THE PEOPLE OF OUR CITY:  a summer series by Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA

Are you curious to learn more about the individuals who work in city government?  

In early June, as a way for our membership of 3200+ architects and designers to further connect with the people that work for public agencies in the Los Angeles region, I reached out to a few dozen government employees and asked them each to share their personal thoughts about architecture, design and what Los Angeles means to them as a place.

Over the course of the next several months, we will feature these short profiles to further inspire dialogue with our design community about the personal contributions we all make to the public realm.

If you'd like to share your thoughts or have suggestion for individuals that you'd like to hear from, please contact me at Will{at}

Carolyn Ramsay
Chief of Staff for Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Council District 4

How long have you worked for the City of Los Angeles:  
About 7 years

What project are you working on right now that you're most excited about?  
A public viewing point for the Hollywood sign that removes traffic from the beautiful neighborhoods below the sign.

Describe some of your favorite features that give Los Angeles a sense of place:  
The spectacular natural features that scream Los Angeles are our beaches and mountains.  They define the city boundaries and influence our culture in too many ways to count.  There's something about the light in Los Angeles, too.  In 1998, Lawrence Weschler wrote a piece for the New Yorker called "L.A. Glows" about the quality of the sunlight here, which dazzles and moves me.

What's your daily connection to architecture and design like?  
I work in City Hall, which was built with materials from all of the countries represented among the people living here in 1928.  It's a grand old building with marble hallways, decoratively painted beams and hand-crafted chandeliers that I show off to someone almost every day.  I also live in a 100-year-old Craftsman home, whose practical design was ahead of its time.

In your opinion, what makes Los Angeles "Los Angeles"?  
The rich cultural diversity of the people who live here and the complexity of the imprints we all leave on the city.  The entertainment industry defines Los Angeles in so many ways, but does not capture its cultural complexity which is too bad.  

It's the year 2113 - describe what you see from the front steps of City Hall:  
Grand Park is full of people watching a concert with children running around.  Food trucks are lined up on the side of the park offering innovative fusion street food.  Well-cared for street trees are in full leaf.  There are pedicabs and bicycles sharing the streets with cars and buses.  The sidewalks are full of people strolling or running to catch the DASH to the subway.

In your opinion, who is tomorrow's most interesting Angeleno?  
Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti.  I can't wait to see what he does.

What's your favorite building/ place in the world?
Grand Central Terminal in New York City, because it is practical enough to absorb hundreds of thousands of people a day, but elegant enough to lift the spirit.
Last updated: 18-Jun-2013 11:28 AM
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