Get Involved - Meetup, Krugman, and Volunteering

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Your friends at KCET New Media are probably not the best source for hard-core financial advice (people obsessed with getting rich tend not to build websites for non-profit public media), but we do know a few things collaboration, education and D.I.Y. - do it yourself. Those opposed-seeming values are at the core of what we do here, and there are plenty of ways those same values can be turned into a survival strategy during these down times.

First off, collaborate, which is to say: just meet people who are in your same boat. Social networking site Meetup allows you to find other Angelenos, whether they are trying to make their way through these tough financial times or knit sweaters. With over 300 Business and Career groups, there will likely to be at least 5 folks on Meetup in your situation, each looking to share resources, stories, angles of attack and just plain support. Meetup is an open marketplace of ideas, so as in all marketplaces (and back alleys): caveat emptor. Which translates in English as “Stay away from multi-level marketing schemes!” The Los Angeles Better Business Bureau can help educate you about business opportunities - what to consider and what to avoid. The Los Angeles Public Library also has two lecture series of interest to those hoping to save themselves from the coming (maybe) financial conflagration: The Library's Business/Economics and Science, Technology, & Patents Department offers lectures on entrepreneurship, business on the Web, marketing and related topics once a month on Saturdays. If you're looking for a really big idea, Nobel Prize winning economist (and New York Times columnist) Paul Krugman will be speaking at the Library's Zócalo Public Square Lecture Series on “The Financial Meltdown and the Future of American Politics.” Act fast because tickets are hard to come by, but lectures are streamed on KPCC 89.3FM, and the site contains an archive of past lectures.

Those of you looking to give rather than get during troubled times can visit the Volunteer Center of Los Angeles, which works to “mobilize people and resources to meet community needs.” The VCLA looks for everything from traditional volunteering opportunities like coaching, to people willing to be folks willing to apply for apartments as housing discrimination testers.

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