UEP Senior Comprehensive Projects, "Comps" as they are more commonly referred to, often stretch beyond the classroom to interact, impact and evaluate public policy issues at the local, national and even global level.
2019 UEP Senior Comprehensive Projects
Climate Change Vulnerability: A Historical Perspective of Climate Injustice in Los Angeles
With the effects of climate change growing more apparent, communities across the globe are increasingly worried about their vulnerability to the worst of the impacts. In Los Angeles County, a place that is particularly susceptible to present and future climate-related hazards (Wilson et al. 2010; Wilder et al. 2016), research over the last decade has attempted to better define and quantify “vulnerability,” with the hopes of informing policymakers and empowering community members.
By Shahar Amitay
At the Intersections: California’s Response to the Link Between the Child Welfare System and Sex Trafficking
There are approximately 100,000 children trafficked for sex within the United States every year, and 50–90% of those children have been in the child welfare system at some point in their lives. The system that is designed to ensure the well-being of children is instead a risk factor for commercial sexual exploitation. I explore why this link exists, what is currently being done about it in California, and what other measures ought to be taken.
by Katie Cecconi
Maternal Health Coordination: How Community Health Centers and Maternal Mortality Review Committees Can Impact Black Maternal Health Outcomes
This research examines the increasing maternal mortality rate in the U.S. The research question asks how can community health centers (CHCs) in Washington, D.C. coordinate with the incoming Maternal Mortality Review Committee to decrease maternal mortality rates among black women?
by Megan Cichester
Beyond the Regulatory Period: Keeping Units Affordable for Those Who Really Need Them
The study that I have carried out intends to contribute to a particular niche within affordable housing literature that has minimal academic inquiry. While there is extensive research covering affordable housing development, there has been little research completed that explicitly addresses potential solutions for preventing the removal of affordable housing units from the market. My primary research question of focus is: what tools and strategies can the City of Los Angeles use to retain the affordability of below market rate housing units as they reach the end of their regulatory period?
by Wyatt Duncan
Outside City Limits: Addressing Housing Inequities at the Regional Level
This research seeks to understand if social movement regionalism can be applied solely to individual suburbs organizing with other suburban cities. In other words, how can suburban cities in Los Angeles County organize regionally around housing? What can these cities learn from Southeast Los Angeles environmental justice organizations that already engage in social movement regionalism? I examine social movement regionalism in the context of tenants’ rights activism because the most effective way to address spatial inequities such as segregation and gentrification are through a regional lens. This report is only available at the UEP library.
by Gabriela Elliott
Community-Labor Coalitions and Minimum Wage Campaigns: Beyond the Campaign
What factors impact the ability of labor-community coalitions create a sustainable organization dedicated to advancing the issues of working-class community members after the completion of a minimum wage campaign? In order to answer this question, I conducted a series of seven semi-structured interviews with organizers from organizations that participated in minimum wage campaigns as a part of the broader coalition. I connected with organizers and staff members who participated in minimum wage campaigns in Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, San Mateo County, CA, and Missouri.
by Robert Feign
Local Education Foundations, Parcel Taxes, and their Effects on Equity In and Through California Public Schools
The following research shows not only the amount of funds that parcel taxes and LEFs raise in the districts where they are located, but also the demographic, economic, and school characteristics that define these districts. The resulting analysis showed that both LEFs and parcel taxes raise per-student expenditure past LCFF designations, and that they are located overwhelmingly in wealthier, more advantaged districts, thus harming efforts promoting equity from the LCFF.
by Paul Flood
The Examination of Commercial Land Parcel Gentrification: Analysis of Parcels near the Los Angeles River
Residential gentrification and displacement have a well-documented presence in Los Angeles, that spans decades, yet commercial gentrification is examined significantly less than its counterpart, despite both entities having a considerable impact on the lives of many low-income and middle-class LA residents. This study aims to determine the extent to which commercial land parcels in the Chinatown and LA River area are at risk of gentrification, so as to articulate the estimated future impact of commercial gentrification in Northeast Los Angeles. This report is only available at the UEP library.
by Matt Gonzales
Accessory Dwelling Units in the City of Los Angeles: An Assessment of Policy Impacts, Affordability, and Attainability
In recent years, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have emerged as an alternative model of housing in California cities. ADU growth in Los Angeles has outpaced that of any California city. As time has passed for data to become available, researchers can begin to ground-truth the projected affordability and attainability benefits of ADUs. The goal of this paper is to do just that, using qualitative and quantitative data to assess the current ADU landscape in order to inform future policy decisions and ADU development programs. This report is only available at the UEP library.
by Layla Hamedi
Improving upon the Model: A Case Study of San Francisco Navigation Centers
by Madeline Hill
The State of Foster Care in Los Angeles: A Study of Government and Organizations’ Efforts to Aid Transitioning Foster Youth Attaining Steady, Useful Employment
This project examines the services and programs offered to foster youth who are “of age”, (defined as between the ages of 18 and 21), and their job procurement and stability while they are in the process of transitioning out of foster care. I examined the resources offered and employment outcomes of foster youth in Los Angeles by looking at data sets recording their employment since the passing of the California Fostering Connections to Success Act (AB 12) and speaking with professionals in order to understand the systems and organizations at work to help these transitioning foster youth get jobs and keep them in Los Angeles, CA.
by Cayman Hunter
Analysis of Alameda county Housing Options for the Older Homeless Population
As much as we dedicate our healthcare expenditures and government resources to taking care of our elderly population, the United States fails to address the older homeless population in the same comprehensive manner. This report seeks to answer how we are addressing older homeless care in housing and what are the best practices and limitations in this arena. This report is only available at the UEP library.
by Isabella McShane
Diabetes Management Confidence and Emergency Room Visits in Los Angeles
Diabetes mellitus is a major public health concern that is becoming more prevalent every year. Understanding the disease is an important aspect of developing policies and healthcare plans in order to treat diabetes. My research examines the link between emergency room visits and level of confidence among patients diagnosed by a physician with diabetes, based on data and survey questions from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).
by Sarah Moore
Urban Wildlife Conservation: The Case for Corridors
This paper explores the concept of wildlife corridors in Southern California—evaluating whether or not they are an effective conservation tool for the preservation of Los Angeles’s urban wildlife. The primary species the study will focus on is the mountain lion as they serve a critical role as an umbrella and keystone species for conservation biology, thus making its preservation especially important. This report is only available at the UEP library.
by Anisha Rao
MOVING SOUTHEAST LA: Ensuring Equitable Transit
This research examines Southeast Los Angeles’ public transportation through a perspective of equity. These cities are some of Los Angeles County’s densest, also representing an overwhelmingly low-income, foreign-born Latino population. As such, the area remains in a cycle of disinvestment, including a dated, disconnected transit system that doesn’t match contemporary needs.
by Amber Roman
Transnational Immigrant Activism: México y Los Estados Unidos
The traumatic experiences that deportees and returnees face post deportation or return is a pressing bi-national immigration issue; however, it is currently only being addressed by activists in Mexico. This study explores the role that transnational activism currently plays in the work of immigrant serving groups located in U.S. cities, Mexico City, and Tijuana.
by Alison Salazar
The Complexities of Sex Education in Utah
Limiting the standards by which sex education programs are deemed “effective” to disease and pregnancy prevention, neglects the holistic view of sexual health as defined by the CDC. Therefore, in an attempt to understand the broader implications that sex education has had on youth in Utah, this study examined, through a survey and interviews, the social, cultural, and educational influences that youth in Utah attributed to their sex education.
by Grace Sponaugle
Electrifying Private Transport in California
With increasing automobile use, electrifying the private transportation sector is a key step in reducing California’s environmental impact. This paper examines the viability of this solution, how it has been addressed at a policy level, and determines whether further action is needed to fully deploy electric vehicles. Although time will tell which measures have had the most significant impact on vehicle uptake, the data revealed that equity-driven government outreach is one of the only remaining needs.
by Ruben Teverow
Green Gentrification: A study of revitalized parks in Los Angeles
The purpose of this study was to test theories of green gentrification in the city of Los Angeles, with particular scrutiny on Proposition O that granted approximately $105 million for the revitalization of community parks (Hansen Dam Park, Echo Park, and South Los Angeles Wetlands Park). This study examined the following research questions: What is the correlation between the revitalization of green space and gentrification? And What are community perceptions of sustainability discourse and how green infrastructure affects their community?
by Emma Yudelevitch