Sunday, February 8, 2015

GOODBYE, EPICENTER LA

As seems to be the nature of grant-funded projects, mine is suddenly over. I've been Project Manager and Editor of the Los Angeles Health Care Systems Security Project and its website, EPICenter LA, since May 2012. I knew it was coming and was ready to move on, but expected to make this transition beginning in March rather than late January. 

After a generous first wave of funding from the Annenberg Foundation, a second wave from other organizations did not arrive in time.

I would have liked a little more time to launch the enterprise reporting we'd planned for the blog. We'd only just begun, with a team in place and a schedule finalized. Finding material for 124 unique pages of mostly curated content for a centralized repository of terrorism and disaster resilience information had consumed much time. But we'd shifted focus to the blog and I thought we were finally off and running.

We did build a foundation. EPICenter LA is live, with information for multiple audiences, including the average Los Angeles citizen looking for simple tools to prepare for an event. 




I hope the team carries it forward, and finds the funding to do needed enterprise and investigative reporting on the city's major vulnerabilities to natural disaster and terrorist attack, both cyber and kinetic.

I will probably miss the UCLA undergraduates on the team the most. I was regularly stunned by the focus, intelligence, organization, and maturity of 19- and 20-year old students with no experience on a large-scale public policy project. Playing a small part in helping them to explore their interests was so rewarding.

Thank you to our funders, the Annenberg Foundation, Wallis Foundation, and CIBER, the wonderful team, our collaborators, and our readership. I am grateful.