For the Spring 2022 semester, our POSC 395 Policy Research Internship students conducted an analysis of housing accessibility and availability in Los Angeles in accordance with potential reforms of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) laws. In addition, the students researched public safety and mental health in incarcerated communities analyzing the closure of the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail. Students gathered information on best practices and answered questions regarding the impacts of regulations as well as providing solutions moving forward. They presented their extensive research and policy recommendations to our partner, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger's Office.
Saba Samy, a junior majoring in Law, History, and Culture, said this about her research experience: "I interned with Los Angeles Supervisor Kathryn Barger's office. I focused on the issues that arise with the development of affordable housing and California's Environmental Equality Act (CEQA). L.A. is the center of California's housing crisis and is facing the larger issue of homelessness and affordable housing. I was excited to work on this project and help the Supervisor's office look at ways to combat this large scale issue on a local level. I'm honored to have this experience working with all six members on the team and the Supervisor's office! The individual research I did was focused on housing developments and the conflicts they faced—specifically looking at what arguments are brought forth through CEQA that prevent these developments from being built. I also looked at possible resolutions, such as shifts in the use of documents that CEQA requires, efforts that can be made locally, and state or federal aid that can be useful. This class helped my research, project management, and time management skills that I know will aid me in the future as I finish at USC and head off to law school!"
Project: Impacts of Regulation Effecting the 5th Supervisorial District
USC Students: Kyara Galloway, Zain Khan, Lily Ramirez, Delarai Sadeghitari, Saba Samy, and Ara Yacoubian
Research Question for "The Closure of the Men’s Central Jail & Next Steps": What's the most appropriate facility and staffing model to safely house and treat the mentally ill population in the L.A. County jails who cannot safely be diverted to community based treatment?
Research Question for "California Environmental Quality Act & Affordable Housing": How can we bypass California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) challenges on affordable housing developments to address Los Angeles’ housing crisis?
Read the group's full research presentation.
Watch the video presentation on "Impacts of Regulation Effecting the 5th Supervisorial District."