First Annual - In the Art of the City
A Better LA
May 3, 2012


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1st Clip:
DJE:   David James Elliott
NC:   Nanci Chambers

Host:   So, now, how did you get started with ABetterLA?
DJE:   Well, you know, I'm a Pete Carroll fan, and I'm a fan of Los Angeles.....
Host:  Oh yeah? Sounds good.
DJE:   ....so I was immediately interested.
Host:   And here you are.
DJE:   And here I am.  (Host: Yeah)  And I've been---you know, I took a trip down into Watts, and toured around some of the improverished and troubled areas, and it touched me, and you know, I think it's a great cause.
Host: What is one of the worst things you have seen here.
DJE:  Well, it's just, you know, the violence that plays into everybody whose life... lives down there  (Host: Yeah)  I'll tell ya'.  At the City Council meeting I heard somebody say that not one person who lives in Watts that has not had violence done to somebody that they love.  (Host: Hmhm)  I mean, I talked to so many people who lost not just one child, but two children.  You know, like it's a war zone .....
Host:   And this money?
DJE:   And this money and this organization has made a huge difference.  And Pete Carroll---they, you know, they herald him down there.  They said he's one of the few people that actually said he was going to do something, and backed it up.  And he's still passionate about it.  And it's a worthy cause, and it's making a big difference and changing lives. 
Host:  That's unbelievable.  So we need to.....
DJE:   So why don't we bet on something that works, if we---I mean, this is not far from where we are right now, you know, some of the worst areas---a couple of miles from here.  That's why.....
Host:  You know, we are 'live' here  (DJE: Right)  and asking people to dig into their pockets and help out.  (DJE: Great)  Every dollar really does count, right?
DJE:   Yes, please.  Dig into your pockets.
NC:   Dig deep.  Donate.
DJE:   This is a worthy cause.  And you know what?  And this is a model that's talked about looking for federal funding for it, and spreading to all, all other major centers.  So it's a model that's about empowering the community from within, right?  And the Safe Passage program.  And so, you know, Pete has come up with something that's going to work for all of America.  So, you know---if everybody digs into their pocket and donates, thank you.
Host:  Great.  This is your wife,
DJE:   This is my lovely wife, Nanci.
Host:  You're on the Board.
NC:   Yes, I'm on the Board.....
Host:   So you get kind of like a behind the scenes of how we're growing.
NC:   I do, I do.  It's.....
DJE:   It's her baby tonight.
NC:   Yeah, tonight---this is my baby, and this is a concept just to celebrate the best of Los Angeles.
Host:  Fantastic.
NC:   Yeah.  (To DJE)  Did you talk about the tangible numbers that we're doing downtown?  (DJE: No, I don't have the.....)  We are down in the areas that ABLA works (ABetterLA).  We're down 55% in gang violence. 
Host:   That's unbelievable.
NC:  Yeah, and we know it's creditied to ABetterLA by the LAPD, and they feel that, you know,we have a huge part in bringing those numbers down.
Host:   So we're a community coming together to really make a difference.
NC:   Absolutely.  And we're really, really building the community from within---you know, really empowering the community to do it themselves.  We're not coming in and going, 'we're saving the day'.  We're coming in going, you know, building programs that they work at, that they bring their families and do their part, and everyone is involved. 
Host:   Fantastic.  Thank you guys somuch. 
DJE:  Thank you.   
NC:   Thank you.  Thanks for being here.  Bye, everyone!