Tuesday, June 30, 2009

El Sereno Community Gets Their Day in the Spotlight

El Sereno is one of the oldest communities in Los Angeles, and I am proud to represent this great community. With a rich history that dates back to 1771, it was definitely time El Sereno was recognized for its proud families, community advocacy and leadership. In Council, I introduced a resolution that declared June 30th be recognized as “El Sereno Day.” I was joined by Honorary El Sereno Mayor Eddie Santillan, his father, Lou Santillan, members of the El Sereno Bicentennial Committee and community members at the Resolution Ceremony in Council Chambers, which was followed by lunch reception. Eddie and Lou exemplify El Sereno’s reputation as a community where sons and daughters return to their hometown to raise their families and help out the community.
In honor of the history of El Sereno, the Valley Bridge project, which should be fully operational by 2010, will include tile and limestone artwork highlighting the community’s history. Congratulations El Sereno!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Memories Coming Soon to Hollenbeck Lake Bridge

It’s been more than 5 years since the Hollenbeck Park Bridge, which floats on the park’s lake, was closed to the public due to safety concerns. It has been a high priority of mine since taking office to make sure that we received the funding necessary to restore the bridge and return it to its former glory. For decades the bridge was a destination spot for thousands upon thousands of visitors, many of whom used the bridge’s picturesque view for wedding and quinceanera photos (including my wife Richelle and me for our wedding photos 10 years ago). I’m happy that the bridge is back in business. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony, I thanked our partners at Rec and Parks and the Bureau of Engineering who finished this painstaking process early and nearly $100,000 under budget. It was originally budgeted for $450,000. Also, an additional $150,000 in park improvements that I identified are well under way, witness by all the new trees that have been planted at the park. When it’s all said and done, we’ll have an improved landscape, walkway and a new fitness zone, complete with exercise equipment to promote healthy living in Boyle Heights. After we reopened the bridge, we kicked off our Pre-Independence Day festivities with a free fireworks show for the community! More than 6,000 people came to enjoy the show and live music. Thank you to everyone who came and a big thank you to our CD 14 staff! Great job! Here are a few pics!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dream Act Students Dare to Dream

I want to extend a sincere thank you to the young men and women who put together the Dream Act Mock Graduation at the lawn of City Hall yesterday. The Dream Team coalition did a fantastic job in getting the word out and I was honored to have been the keynote speaker.

The Federal Dream Act would provide a pathway to citizenship to many of our brightest minds. Many undocumented students earn top marks in their classes, are in the top percentile within their high schools and many have aspirations to go on to college. They could be doctors, teachers, lawyers, or urban planners, but are in limbo within our immigration system.
I would encourage everyone to sign the petition to pass the DREAM ACT and contact your Members of Congress & U.S Senate today.

FREE 4th of July Celebrations in Boyle Heights and El Sereno!

My family and staff would like to invite you and yours to join our 4th of July Celebrations!

Two great events have been planned. One in Boyle Heights and one in El Sereno. We will celebrate the birth of our nation and the spirit of our community.

There will be live entertainment and lots of great food!
And most importantly, both events are FREE!

I hope to see you there!

The 3rd Annual Boyle Heights Concert and Fireworks Show
Sunday, June 28th, 2009
Hollenbeck Park
415 S. St. Louis
Los Angeles, CA 90033
4pm – 9pm
Live Entertainment by: Mariachi Olimpico, Domingo Siete, Impact Top 40 Band

The 2nd Annual El Sereno Concert and Fireworks Show
Sunday, July 5th, 2009
El Sereno Park
4721 Klamath Place
Los Angeles, CA 90032
4pm – 9pm
Live Entertainment by: Chico Band, Domingo Siete, Impact Top 40 Band

$75,000 Reward for Info on Double Homicide


Lots of things have happened since my last blog post.

Most urgently, I want to encourage anyone with information regarding the brutal murders of Felipe Villareal (42) and Rafael Padilla (57) to please come forward and talk to the Hollenbeck Police.
These two hard working family men were gruesomely shot and killed in the community of Boyle Heights on June 15th at 3:00am on the 3400 block of 1st St.

We need the public to come forward and help.

I introduced a motion in Council this past week for a $75,000 reward for any information that can help detectives solve this double homicide.
Your identity can be kept anonymous.

We need to protect our community, the health and safety of local residents; and we need to make sure our communities are not terrorized by random acts of violence that separate families.

Please do the right thing if you have any information.
Contact: Detective A. Negrete (323) 526-3679 or Officer R. Chavarria (323) 526-3006 or the Hollenbeck Watch Commander (323)266-5964