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Davenport Discussion with Ron Galperin

This month, the Davenport Institute hosted former Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin for lunch and a discussion with students. Galperin began by discussing his background and what led him to pursue a career in public service. Pulling from his first-generation background and Jewish heritage, Galperin elaborated on his passion for service and public policy. During the conversation, he explained how he believes that much work must be done at the community level to create a better society for all.

While discussing his passion for service and public policy, Galperin explained how it led him to pursue a career in government. His path led him to law school, where he learned how to fight for others in various ways. Galperin eventually ran for City Council in Los Angeles, and while he did not win this initial race, this opportunity led him to the position of city controller. During his time in office, he aimed to bring further transparency to the position and transform how the City of Los Angeles uses data. One way of incorporating transparency was through the implementation of a virtual checkbook that gives residents access to municipal spending made by the City of Los Angeles. Furthermore, he was interested in land use and homelessness initiatives during his time in office.

After discussing his background and career path, students had the opportunity to ask questions. During the Q&A, students asked about Galperin’s thoughts on campaign strategies, transparency in data, and his position as an elected official. His final advice to students was to understand that life will take you on an exciting journey, and the path we take now may not be the one we will continue on. As we look toward the future, we should not be discouraged by rejection and understand that life is often filled with uncertainty and many surprises.