California State Senator Ben Allen
met with President Bruce W. Ferguson to discuss the Otis Report on the Creative Economy
and its future role in the economic development of the state. During his visit he joined the excitement about Otis’ campus expansion project, setting his hands in the foundation for the new residence hall and academic wing.
Senator Allen and President Ferguson were joined by Lauren Pizer-Mains, consultant for Allen; Dr. Kimberly Ritter-Martinez
, economist at LAEDC Kyser Center for Economic Research and principal contributor to the Creative Economy Report; Matthew Tecle, Institutional Advancement specialist at Otis; and John Axtell, Otis Director of Communications at Otis.
Allen represents the 26th Senate District from Santa Monica to Palos Verdes and serves as the Chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts in Sacramento. The Committee serves as a forum for all issues regarding the arts, from economic incentive programs to arts education.
The group discussed the history, breadth, and depth of the Otis Report on the Creative Economy and its potential to influence policymaking and advocacy in the Capital. Since Otis is not supported by the state government and is not an advocacy group, the College is seeking more resources and support when it comes to advancing its Creative Economy Report. During the meeting various potential scenarios were discussed and Sr. Ben Allen was very enthusiastic and engaged, offering to continue his support and work with the group to take the Otis Report to a higher level of exposure.
Ritter-Martinez pointed out that the creative economy is a relatively new field in economics, and the Otis report is helping to define it. She added that the report encourages businesses to establish themselves and stay in Los Angeles.
The senator suggested using the report to engage the greater business community in order to change the national narrative of California.
“There’s a different story to be told about how exciting and innovative the economy is here,” said Allen.