New Year’s Day is the moment when we start over, trading last year's calendar (and resolutions) for this year's. With so much of the 2019 story yet to be written, it’s a good time to think about the changes we’d like to see in ourselves, our communities, our leaders and the world around us. Here are some of the new beginnings and changed approaches that we'd welcome:
Enough rain to quench our thirst and grow our food, but not so much as to make us forget to conserve.
A Super Bowl featuring at least one team from Los Angeles, and a final game of the World Series that the Dodgers actually win.
A bold move by California lawmakers to craft a tax system whose revenues don’t fluctuate from feast to famine.
A change of heart among NIMBYs to support much-needed housing — whether it be for low-income tenants or high-rolling homeowners.
A mayor of Los Angeles who generates more headlines for his work on the homelessness crisis than for his visits to states with early presidential primaries.
A commitment by families across the country to stop using disposable plastic straws, beverage lids and cutlery that eventually come to rest on the beach and in the ocean.
A year without a single mass shooting at a school, a nightclub, a concert, a sporting event, a church, a synagogue, a salon, a newspaper, a restaurant, an airport, a barbershop, a block party, a convenience store….
A new civility in public discourse, with partisans on both sides remembering that people who disagree with you aren’t necessarily evil. Most of the time, they just have a different point of view.
A shift among the world’s leaders and governments from talking about climate change to actually reducing carbon emissions. Yes, Washington, D.C., we’re looking at you.
And a clean car so head-turning, fun to drive, affordable and cool that we all dump our gas guzzlers.
A significantly shorter Oscar telecast, preferably with a host.
A strategic decision by Fox News Channel’s hosts to put down the Trump pom-poms and stop acting like a state-controlled media outlet.
A stock market that moves more like tides than yo-yos.
A respite from the tabloid reports about Meghan Markle, the American-born wife of Prince Harry, feuding with her sister-in-law, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. And could Meghan’s own father stop dissing her in TV interviews?
A speech by Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in which she finally utters the word “Rohingya,” then calls for an end to the persecution of the country’s Muslim minority.
An admission by Facebook that, actually, it hasn’t respected its users’ privacy. Then, perhaps, it can actually change.
An end to the #MeToo meme because there are no more #MeToo moments.
A slew of start-up businesses launched by federal employees idled by the latest idiotic government shutdown.
An end to the federal government’s reefer madness approach to marijuana, so states can continue to develop legal, regulated and controlled cannabis marketplaces without fear of a crackdown.
A return to the United States’ historic position of welcoming refugees fleeing war, persecution and violence.
A U.S. Supreme Court that finds ways to issue more unanimous rulings, rather than continuing to churn out the sharply divided, conservatives-vs.-liberals decisions that have undermined confidence in the court as an impartial arbiter. And while the justices are at it, they should find that capital punishment is imposed too arbitrarily and fallibly to be constitutional.
A bid by a serious Republican to challenge President Trump for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020. A Democratic primary process free of favoritism by party insiders. And a presidential campaign where the Russian trolls remain quietly sleeping under Russian bridges.
A comprehensive immigration reform bill that finally passes Congress and is signed by the president, providing relief to Dreamers, shoring up border security, assuring a steady supply of farm workers and giving the millions of people who’ve lived years in this country without legal status a path to citizenship.