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Mayor Gloria releases draft climate plan

 March 2, 2023 at 5:26 PM PST

S1: A plan is released on how to achieve San Diego's climate action goals.

S2: We're trying to have an open door and be extremely reasonable recognizing that horizon of this plan is very far out.

S1: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. This is KPBS Midday Edition. You. Mayor Todd Gloria also talks about downtown homelessness.

S2: I believe that we can successfully relocate folks who are currently in Golden Hall. Make sure none of them return to our street.

S1: I look at the practices of California's antiabortion crisis pregnancy centers , and a new podcast celebrates the history and the impact of K-Pop. That's ahead on Midday Edition. The city of San Diego has an ambitious climate action goal to hit net zero emissions by 2035. But climate activists have been demanding a timeline for how the city intends to get there. The city has fulfilled a deadline to produce that plan. And we'll be talking with Mayor Todd Gloria , about it. Also , as homeless encampments grow in downtown San Diego. There are plans to close Golden Hall as a homeless shelter. We'll find out where the city intends the hall's residents to go. Joining me is San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. And welcome.

S2: Thank you so much for having me. Morning.

S1: Now , the Climate Action Draft implementation plan has been released by the city. It's a complicated document.

S2: It's kind of the difference between working in poetry and prose , right ? We have the plan that sets out ambitious but think achievable goals for San Diego to contribute to reducing climate disruption. The implementation plan becomes very specific and you get to the department and office level of how we're going to take those lofty goals and make them real. And so there's a lot of detail. It is taken months of painstaking work to really put some meat on the bone , if you will. And what we now have is something for the public and the city council to react to. It is a daunting amount of work that lays ahead of us , but obviously the alternative of living with a changing climate and all the impacts associated with it means that this hard work is necessary. And that's why we believe is implementable and that's what's in the plan.

S1: One of the big aspects of the plan and in this latest draft is decarbonization plans to eliminate 90% of natural gas used in existing buildings by 2035.

S2: That's obviously in many ways easier to accomplish. And so that pathway is , I think , clear and we want to move forward in that direction. To your point about existing buildings , that's far harder , not just for lifestyle changes that you and I may have to make at some point , but it's also for existing industries for which there may not be an electric alternative. And so my general approach to this has been to have an open door and to try and understand how we can do things like continue to provide emergency medical care at some of our hospitals where electrification is a real challenge , but also acknowledge where innovation is happening. We will soon take delivery of the city's first electric vehicle fire truck. Now that would have seemed impossible not that long ago , but it will soon be a reality in the city. And so as we look at this electrification effort , we're trying to anticipate what is easy to do with new construction , What is transition possible as we anticipated receipt of that EV and then what's going to be far harder and what do we have to continue provide services for ? The cost of this stuff is not insignificant , but what we also know is the cost of our climate crisis is also very high. I mean , look at the price tag for eroding bluffs in Del Mar that's impacting our ability to get goods to points north of us. So this is all about a balancing act. We're trying to have an open door and be extremely reasonable. Recognizing the horizon of this plan is very far out right , that some milestones are soon , but others are further out. And what we needed to do is tackle this in a methodical way of , you know , again , do the easy stuff quickly , do the more moderate stuff in the near term , and then let's have difficult conversations about the more harder things recognizing that this transition has to happen in order for us to start reducing our carbon footprint and meet some of our state and federal targets.

S1: So I take it from your answer that there's a lot that's still unknown about the elimination of natural gas and existing buildings. You know how long it's going to take , how much it's going to cost. And many of the efforts towards decarbonization and other aspects of the climate plan are listed in this draft implementation plan as in progress or not , started with no deadline for completion. Now , I know climate advocates have raised concerns saying the city can't realistically achieve climate action goals without concrete deadlines and concrete costs.

S2: You know , when innovation occurs , we want to immediately thread that into our plans so we can take advantage of that. When we find roadblocks that are going to slow things down , we need to be dynamic and be able to respond to that as well. So this document will continue to be refined throughout its life to reflect the realities that we experienced and the changes that we may have to to grapple with. That said , I think it's very important for your listeners to know that the city is not just stumbling on this issue. We are actively engaged in the efforts of tackling the climate crisis , and that's everything from adding EVs to our city's fleet , transitioning all of our cities eligible accounts to 100% renewable energy , rolling out citywide , organic waste recycling. There's a multitude of areas where the city has already implemented strategies that are in our climate implementation plan , and we will continue to do that throughout the life of the plant.

S1: Have you discussed the new timeline with climate activists ? I'm thinking like the Climate Action campaign that's suing the city over lack of climate plan enforcement.

S2: So we have stakeholder groups that are inclusive of many environmental and other organizations that help inform our climate action efforts. And those folks are updated frequently and they have had significant participation in this particular plan. We're not always going to please all parties , but what we aim to do is have a consensus that's actually achievable. While we have lofty goals , I believe that they are possible to to realize here in our city. And so we do that work and allow naysayers and other folks to to take their shots from the side. But what we will not be deterred by is actually implementing these changes. And you , your listeners have seen this in the green cans that are now in their driveways to the 100% renewable energy that I hope they've signed up for it through sending community power to all the other ways that we are helping to shape a more clean and green future here in San Diego right now.


S2: And a lot of the pathways to getting there are not necessarily known today. That's precisely , precisely why this climate action plan is important. When I propose this back in 2013 , people threw stones at it. They said that the idea of getting 100% of your electricity from a renewable resource was a fantasy. And here we are less than a decade later where that's actually happening right now. And so I recognize that for some that they may not be able to see it. But what I've seen over my career is that this is possible. And what we've done with our document is really lay out a vision for San Diego. And what I see is industry and stakeholders actually respond to that so that those who were naysayers back in 2013 with the original climate plan , they obviously have been proven wrong. I think with our updated climate plan , naturally there are people who are going to do the same exact thing as in the past , and I expect the same exact thing to happen that we prove them wrong. But Maureen , I want to be clear. It is not going to be easy to do. But what I always fall back upon is the fact that living with a changing climate is are harder. And so we have to do this work and it will take some time. But good news is we have some time. Probably more encouraging is we have a lot of smart people in San Diego who are really committed to this plan and are helping to innovate and take things that were impossible only a short while ago and make them possible. My hope is that we can pioneer much of this work in San Diego and then do exactly what our plan has done , which has been exported to other communities. When other folks were laughing at us and having 100% renewable energy goal and our first climate action plan , well , many of those folks now have adopted that same target. So I think the past is prologue. And what we'll be able to do is not just implement this plan , but export it to other communities across our state and across our nation.


S2: Right. Like things will change. I mean , we could be asked by the state or federal government tomorrow to adjust plans based on whatever they tell us to do. What we've always tried to do is exceed those those standards because we want to be leaders in this space. You know , to the extent that this is a living document , as I mentioned , we've already updated it once. Right. This will continue to evolve. But my hope and intention is for the city to stay on the forefront of climate of the climate crisis and to be leaders in this space. We have done that with our first version of Climate Action Plan. We are that in our second version of the Climate Action Plan , and I expect us to keep that position going forward when we're in this. This plan will certainly be revised over time. My hope and my expectation and what I hope to do as mayor is to keep it in a very forward leaning place where the city is leading on the issue of climate action.

S1: Is the Climate Action Plan still a legally binding document for the city ? It is.

S2: But when we've changed it , we've made it more aggressive , right ? So the Climate Action plan that was adopted in 2015 is less aggressive than the one that we just adopted last year and we're currently working on implementing. So I guess my point is , is it is changeable , but if past is prologue , the city is choosing to continue to get aggressive in its climate action efforts , and our current plan is reflective of that. And I think any future modifications to the plan would also reflect that.

S1: The city announced this week that it's closing Golden Hall as a homeless shelter. Why is that.

S2: So ? Golden Hall , as some of your listeners will remember , is not built as a residential facility. It served as a convention hall for the city for excess of 50 years because of our homelessness crisis. So we saw it as appropriate to put every city facility that is reasonable and to use to help solve this issue. And so whether it's Golden Hall , the old Pier one the city owns on Sports Arena Boulevard , the old Central Library , which now operating as a shelter , many of these facilities that have previously operated under a different use are now serving as a homeless shelter. That presents real challenges going forward basis. And so ultimately , we have to either make the decision to upgrade these facilities to be for residential purpose or we need to relocate the shelter elsewhere. In the case of Golden Hall , it is our expectation to redevelop the civic core of San Diego to have a new city headquarters and a lot of affordable housing for low and middle income San Diegans. And so when we see that need to upgrade the facility or move out with our expectation to demolish and redevelop these properties , we need to start planning for that now. And so we gave notice earlier this week to our residents and providers of what our general impression is. This is we have a somewhat longer horizon. We can do this. We need to do this over the next number of months , quite a bit of time , actually. And so this is just about being open and transparent , particularly with the people who live there. You know , all of us would hope that our landlords would let us know with as much notice on anything that's happening. That's what the city is doing here. We have important partners like Father Joe's , who have been run the Golden Hall shelter for us for the last number of years , you know , working with them and continuing to have their engagement in our homeless response crisis , that's important as well. So essentially what we're doing is acting in an open and transparent manner , anticipating the redevelopment of the site and making sure that we continue to provide as many shelter beds as possible for every individual who wants to get off the streets and end their homelessness and get back on the path of stability and independence.



S2: We will likely do is have multiple sites that address the different populations that are at Golden Hall. So what we currently have are a large number of single adults , roughly 300 or so , a large number of homeless families , and then a not insignificant number of transition age youth. You have covered the fact that my administration , working with the City Council , with neighborhoods across San Diego , have increased our shelter capacity in the city by over 60%. And so some of those folks can go to any of those existing facilities or the new facilities that we continue to work on. We will soon open a new family shelter in Barrio Logan. Some of the families that Golden Hall may relocate there. And we're constantly working to find additional shelter spaces for the homeless in our community. I believe that we can successfully relocate folks who are currently in Golden Hall , make sure none of them return to our street and continue what we need to do , which are offerings for those who are continue to be on the street because we can't be satisfied. With even one person on our streets in San Diego. We have to get them all housed.

S1: Now , San Diego has gotten above average seasonal rainfall , as we all know , for the first time in three years. And that's the good news. The bad news is our roads are awful.

S2: And this is where I could use yours and your listeners partnership. You know , we can fix the potholes that we know about. We have an app called Get It Done that literally goes straight from your phone to the person that fills potholes desk. And so while our team has been out in the month of January and filled 17,000 potholes and drive around the city as you do to rain , you see still many left out there. I have authorized staff to work seven days a week around the clock filling these potholes. Those folks are working hard , filling the puddles we get complaints about and whatever they may see while they're out there in the general area. But we need more people's help in informing us where to go and which problems to prioritize. We've increased the amount of road repairs by over 40% in our current budget , and my hope is that we can continue to keep this going because the roads have been neglected for too long. We're putting more resources toward it , but we could certainly use Mother Nature's cooperation as well as the general public in helping us to identify the roads need to be repaired now.

S1: And I've been speaking with San Diego Mayor Todd. Gloria , thank you for so much time. I appreciate it.

S2: Always my pleasure , Maureen. Thank you very much.

S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. California has long been a bastion of reproductive rights , even more so since the demise of Roe v Wade in 2022. But anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers still outnumber abortion clinics in California and in San Diego County. KPBS Amita Sharma has more.

S4: If you want to keep your baby and you want to be a mom , I would encourage you to do so.

S5: This is the voice of a Latina in a video on the pregnancy care clinic website. The clinic is one of 16 crisis pregnancy centers in San Diego County. Similar centers operate nationwide , and advocates and regulators say some perpetuate confusion over the services they provide.

S6: First and foremost , they don't provide abortions. They don't provide abortion referrals. They don't provide contraception.

S5: California Attorney General Rob Bonta says scores of crisis pregnancy centers across California misrepresent themselves and they manipulate women.

S6: They generally want to counsel you away from seeking an abortion.

S5: The single mom in the pregnancy care clinic video describes her ordeal. She's grappling with finishing her education and trying to pull her family out of poverty. She says her loved ones were clear about what she should do.

S4: They wanted me to get an abortion and it was devastating.

S5: She says she canceled two abortion appointments after scheduling a third. She phoned a friend at pregnancy care. The friend first urged her to come in for an ultrasound to see her unborn child , who she named Zion. As soon.

S4: As I saw Zion , he was waving.

S5: She says.

S4: She sobbed because I was feeling ashamed of myself for wanting to get an abortion.

S5: Pregnancy care clinic did Notrillionespond to an interview request from KPBS. Christine Heinberg is a family physician based in Northern California who performs abortions. She says ultrasounds are a key tool of many crisis pregnancy centers.

S7: I've had women say to me , You're not going to make me look at the ultrasound , are you ? Or tell me the last place I went. They made me look at the ultrasound even though didn't want to see it.

S5: San Diego County Supervisor Tara Lawson Riemer has harsh words for the industry.

S8: They're really preying on women at a vulnerable moment and offering often misleading information that limits our choices.

S9: There is nothing deceptive about what we do.

S5: The woman you just heard operates a local center. She did not want to reveal her name or that of her facility out of fear she would be targeted. And KPBS altered her voice , she says when a pregnant woman enters her center , the staff provides her with evidence based information from the CDC. The goal is to confirm her condition , determine how far along she is , and make sure the pregnancy is viable.

S9: Everything is done by her wishes and what she desires. She is respected and treated with dignity. That is what we do , she says.

S5: Her staff educate women on the different forms of abortion , what they should ask their doctors and the after effects of a pregnancy termination. But she says her facility is not a crisis pregnancy center.

S9: A crisis pregnancy center is a very antiquated term , and now it's a derogatory term.

S5: Her place does not offer abortions or referrals because she says they are not within its scope.



S10: On the best of all worlds , they shouldn't exist.

S5: A 2015 California law required the centers to disclose if they aren't a licensed medical provider. But the US Supreme Court struck it down in 2018 , saying it violates free speech rights.

S1: That was KPBS investigative reporter Amita Sharma with her story on the complicated nature of crisis pregnancy centers in San Diego. Amita joins us now and opens her Reporter's Notebook. Amita , welcome.

S5: It's good to speak to you , Maureen.

S1: Now , you report that these centers often misinform women seeking their services and sometimes even offer potentially harmful advice.

S5: Some of them do sexually transmitted infection testing and even treatment.


S5: They don't provide abortion referrals. And of course , they don't provide abortions.

S1: And how do we know that the main goal of these clinics is to stop women from having abortions ? Is it ever made crystal clear in their statements or literature ? No.

S5: We know this from organizations like the Alliance , which did a large study looking at over 600 crisis pregnancy centers in the country. We know this from California Attorney General Rob Bonta and other state attorneys general. We know this from organizations like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The actual literature from crisis pregnancy centers uses language that offers paths out of unexpected pregnancies , but doesn't specifically say what those routes are on its websites.


S5: She's just discovered she's pregnant with her third child. She made a few abortion appointments and then canceled them. And then she schedules another one and she calls a friend who happens to work at a crisis pregnancy center. She says her friend suggests that she come to this center first to see her baby on an ultrasound. The woman does just that and decides to keep her baby once she sees him on the ultrasound. I also interviewed a northern California doctor. She says that patients have come into her office. These are patients. These are women who want an abortion. And they have previously mistakenly visited a crisis pregnancy center. And they have told her that the centers tried to get them to view the ultrasound image. The idea being that once the woman sees that image , she will change her mind about ending a pregnancy.

S1: These centers , as you've said , have faced criticism from California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

S5: They try to counsel them away from abortions. And so the result is if a woman , by doing a Google search , is directed to a crisis pregnancy center because she typed in ultrasound or pregnancy test or even abortion , that she lands at one of these centers and that she might be confused. She might think that she can get an abortion here. And , you know , California thought it had come up with a fix for that back in 2015. It started requiring crisis pregnancy centers to notify clients that there really are clinics in the state that offer free abortions or subsidized ones. The law also required the crisis pregnancy center to disclose to women walking through their doors whether they are a licensed medical clinic. And then in 2018 , the US Supreme Court struck down that law , saying it violated free speech rights. Now , while Attorney General Rob Bonta doesn't really come right out and say they're using deceptive practices , you'll say there's a lack of transparency. They are causing confusion. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that the centers divert women from seeking abortions by telling them , quote unquote , false risks with abortion procedures. They say that abortion can cause breast cancer , that it can cause mental illness or infertility and pre-term birth if they should become pregnant in the future.

S1: People often confuse crisis pregnancy centers as being affiliated with Planned Parenthood.

S5: Say a woman is is facing an unexpected pregnancy. And , you know , she wants to confirm her pregnancy test or she wants to get an ultrasound so she'll Google pregnancy tests or she'll Google ultrasound or she might even Google abortion. That the way the search ends up working operating is that they will produce a list. Of sites to go visit. And on that list are crisis pregnancy centers. So that is how women are ending up there and not necessarily seeking counseling away from getting an abortion.

S1: For your story , you spoke to a woman who runs a crisis pregnancy center.

S5: She's very clear that she is speaking for her facility and her facility only. And she says we do not practice any kind of deception. She says her is offer , quote unquote , evidence based information from the CDC. She says when a woman , a pregnant woman , enters her clinic , the staff's goal is to to a , confirm her condition , determine how far along she is and make sure that the pregnancy isn't , say , an ectopic pregnancy , just to to ensure that the pregnancy is viable. She says that her staff does provide abortion education. She says that includes telling them , telling women about the various forms of abortion , what they should ask their doctors about abortion. And she says that the staff tried to explain the after effects of terminating a pregnancy , and she doesn't call her facility a crisis pregnancy center , even though it doesn't offer abortion , abortion referrals or contraception. And the reason she says she doesn't do that , she says the the term crisis pregnancy center is a very old one and she believes it's a disparaging one.

S1: Watchdog groups have described these centers as being part of a global anti-abortion movement.

S5: And the Alliance did a study looking at more than 600 crisis pregnancy centers across the country. And this was study was done a few years ago. And the alliance found that almost half of these centers were connected to one or more international , national or regional right wing organizations. One of those organizations was Heartbeat International , and that these groups exerted a lot of control over the crisis pregnancy center industry. The groups offered marketing strategy. They at least one of the groups. This is pretty important. At least one of the groups collects and stores data on women coming through the doors of crisis pregnancy centers. And that data includes the sexual history , their sexual history , and it goes into what are called digital dossiers. This is a story that I'm hoping to do a follow up on.

S1: All right. I've been speaking with KPBS investigative reporter Amita Sharma. And , Amita , thank you.

S5: Thank you , Maureen.

S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. What was the best selling digital music record in the U.S in 2021 ? If you guess something from Taylor Swift or Drake Close , but no Thatrillionecord goes to the Korean pop band.

UU: Beats smooth like butter , like criminal undercover , dawn pop like trouble breaking into.

S1: It's not news to fans of K-Pop that Korean artists have captivated American audiences with their look , their sound and that incredible choreography. When looking to me , K-Pop has a special meaning for Korean American audiences , helping to express a unique identity that is often overlooked by mainstream culture. Actor and writer Vivian Yoon is the host of the new season of the California Love podcast called K-Pop Dreaming , which blends the phenomenon of K-Pop with a personal memoir. Here's an excerpt.

S11: It's pretty much undeniable that K-Pop has become a global phenomenon in the US. Four out of the ten best selling albums in 2021 were K-Pop albums. Four out of ten and two of those albums were by none other than it's B. T.

UU: T. S. B. T.

S11: S the biggest boyband in the world. The group has shattered music industry records left and right and has gone far beyond the category of K-Pop. I mean , they spoke at the United Nations three times. They even have their own McDonald's meal. And K-Pop is not limited to just BTS. There are hundreds of other groups that people love. K-Pop has its own category at the VMAs. MTV's Big Music Awards show. And there are tons of collaborations between American and K-Pop stars like this one with BTS and Coldplay. But this music that is now playing everywhere on TV and in shopping malls. It really was limited to Koreans and Korean Americans. So what happened ? How did this genre that I grew up hearing in my neighborhood become a full on global sensation ? And what does this cultural shift mean for Korean-American kids like me ? There is so much out there on the history of K-Pop , but not enough about the role that Korean Americans and Los Angeles have played in shaping the music. I'm Vivian Yoon , a Korean American actress and writer from Los Angeles and from Elias Studios. This is K-Pop Dreaming , a show about how pop culture carries our shared history. In this show , I go on a journey to find out how K-Pop got to where it is today. And K-pops rise is an epic one spanning continents and generations.

S12: I was like that token Asian guy in every hip hop club and bunch of dudes in there. Just they were there to just battle.

S13: Without hip hop , you would not have K-Pop.

S14: You know , people were running into my dorm room and saying , Hey , bro , your hometown is on fire.

S15: That's the Magic Man. I could see myself singing it in front of a thousand people.

S16: And one of her friends said , Your grandma watches K-Pop.

S17: I've never seen so many Koreans in one spot in my life. Everywhere I look , everybody's Korean.

UU: Oh , my God. Are they here ? Oh , my God. I think they're coming out.

S11: And in learning about K-pops history , I ended up filling in gaps in my own family history , hearing stories I had never heard before.

S4: I got more so.

S11: Like from my grandmother who grew up in Korea during the Japanese occupation , or my mom who told me about her time in a neighborhood in Seoul that would become a hot spot for early K-Pop legends. The world has embraced K-Pop in ways that young me could never have predicted , and it's had ripple effects on my life and career. Like , I've gotten opportunities because of the growing interest in Korean anything. Like right now I'm pitching a TV show about Korean Americans in Koreatown , which I never would have thought anyone would be interested in. And looking back , it's kind of wild how I felt like I needed to hide my love of K-Pop in the first place. So I don't want to hide it anymore. I am saying it here publicly to the world. And I know I'm very late , but I love K-Pop and I always have.

S1: And actor and writer Vivian Yoon joins me now. Welcome. Hi.

S11: Hi. Thank you so much for having me.

S1: Now , in the podcast , you look at the history of K-Pop through your own upbringing in LA's Koreatown during the 1990s and 2000.

S11: The music is really tied to my memories of Koreatown. So I grew up in K-Town in the 90 seconds and early 2000 , like you said , and all of the restaurants and shops and stores , they were all playing Korean music over the speakers and playing K-Pop music videos on TV. So my memories to the neighborhood are really tied to this music from as early as , you know , 5 or 6 years old.

S1: But you actually hid away your love for K-Pop for many years. Tell us about that.

S4: I did.

S11: I did keep my love for K-Pop a secret. So my dad had grown up in the States and he was in the US Army. And I felt like that made him different from other Korean adults I knew in Koreatown , and I really idolized him growing up to the point where I would take his army medals to school for show and tell. And so I really wanted to be seen as American , like my dad was. I kept my love for K-Pop hidden because it represented this side of me that made me other right. Like I just couldn't figure out where Korean culture fit into the American identity I was aspiring to have as opposed to Korean American. And yeah , so it's been really complicated because now that the genre has totally blown up and become like this global phenomenon , it's a surprising turn of events. And I think this is a very common experience for a lot of Korean Americans my age.


S11: We ended up talking to a lot of K-Pop reporters and academics and producers while working on this podcast , and a lot of the people who were actually involved in making the music pointed to this one elusive musical element that sets K-Pop apart from other types of pop music. And it's called Bong or Bong Jack or the Bong Feel or Bong Factor. And this musical element really comes from a century old genre of Korean music called Trot that was popular during the Japanese colonization of Korea back in like , you know , 1910 to 1945 period. Told.

S4: Told. You die some part. Uh.

S11: Some people describe Bong as being like the soul of Korean music , right ? It's hard to pinpoint or identify , but , you know , it's there when it's there , and it really comes from Korean history. So we actually got to talk to a producer named 250 who made the music for one of the biggest groups in the world right now , New Jeans. And he pointed to their song Hype Boy , to say that Bong is so present in this song in the way that , you know , the lyrics are about pining for a lover in this really , like , melancholy and nostalgic way. Meanwhile , you know , you marry that feeling with like , upbeat music and beats because.

UU: I know what you like. For you. Boy.

S11: And it's the combination of all those things like happy and sad , grieving and joyful that contribute to the bone factor in that song.

S1: That's really interesting , you know ? I mean , I've read that much of your background is in improv and sketch comedy. Did that help in putting together this podcast about K-Pop ? Absolutely.

S11: I think my background in improv and sketch helps me in literally every facet of my life. I think the thing with improv is , you know , the funniest idea wins or the best idea wins. And the goal is to not have any ego when you're performing. And I think our team at least really , you know , took the same approach when it came to crafting these podcast episodes , like some of the episodes we rewrote like , you know , five , ten , 15 times. And it's just because we were trying to get to the clearest , best way to tell these stories as opposed to being married to like one specific process or script.


S11: So for example , in episode four of the podcast , which is called Moon Night , we were exploring this really interesting nightclub in the 1980s in Seoul. That was sort of like a CBGB , but instead of punk rock legends , you had a bunch of early K-Pop legends hanging out there. During one of our meetings when we were talking about the story , I realized my dad was in the US Army and he had been stationed in Seoul at around the same time , and it turns out he was actually in the neighborhood in the 80s. And not only that , but he had met my mom for the first time in that neighborhood. So , you know , I ended up talking to my mom and we got this great firsthand account of what this neighborhood Itaewon was like. And it was really that organic. Like every time I fold in somebody from my own life into the episodes , it's because I was genuinely making these connections and discoveries in real time.

S1: So you find that K-Pop sort of swirls around your own personal story in a very , very significant way.

S11: You know , people like me , we had grown up thinking it wasn't cool. And now all of a sudden , this music is being celebrated and championed and. You know , really , really loved by people all over the world , like millions of people. And I think it's this feeling of why this , why now ? So it's very complex and complicated. And I'm not sure that I have like a very tidy answer for how K-Pop affects my identity. You know , there are a lot of layers.

S1: Vivienne , what do you hope listeners will take away from the podcast , whether they're Korean-American , a longtime K-Pop fan , or someone completely new to the genre ? Yeah.

S11: So I think the thing that I realized that I hope we're able to convey to listeners is there's something really powerful about knowing the history of your people and your community and where you come from and seeing the larger forces that have shaped , you know , your family and your identity. For me , it's helped me reconcile where I fit as a second generation Korean American from California. And I think that's my hope for listeners to , you know , that they get a chance to reflect on their own life story and their own history and come to the realization that , you know , knowing these things , this knowledge , it leads to a kind of self acceptance and self love. And that's that's really what I hope for people. I think the other thing I hope for is , you know , I had a lot of secret dreams growing up , things that I wanted to do that I never told anyone about because I never saw people like me doing those things right. So when I was like eight years old watching all that on Nickelodeon , I wanted to be one of those kids on TV. But because I didn't see any Asian American little girls , I thought , that must not be meant for me. But in reporting this podcast , I've realized so many people who have found success , it's because they brought all parts of their identity to their work and to who they are. It really gave me permission to do the same , I think , to bring all aspects of my identity. And instead of trying to cleave the Korean and American halves , like really embrace the fact that I am I occupy this third category of Korean American and let that let that be who I am and be what I bring to the world. So I also hope that listeners can feel that and also feel empowered to go after dreams that maybe they were scared to pursue.

S1: I've been speaking with Vivian Yoon. She's the host of the new podcast K-Pop Dreaming by LAist Studios. The next episode drops today wherever you listen to podcasts. Vivian , it's been a pleasure. Thank you for speaking with us.

S11: Thank you so much , Maureen.

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