Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tournament of Roses and its Gold Line Connection

I joined the Tournament of Roses Queen and her court yesterday morning at Mariachi Plaza to promote the Metro Gold Line East Side Extension as the best way for people from downtown and the Eastside to get to all the great events surrounding the Tournament of Roses Parade, Rose Bowl game and the National Title game on Jan. 7. The great thing is during these tough economic times, with the Rose Parade being a free event and the Showcase of Floats costing very little (and free to kids 5 and under), this is a unique opportunity for families to enjoy top-notch, one-of-a-kind entertainment and not have to spend a fortune. So gather the kids, jump on the Gold Line and have some fun this New Year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Letter to The Autry, re: Southwest Museum

While I was disappointed to hear about the Autry’s plan to close and limit space at the Southwest Museum, I am nonetheless determined to meet and discuss with the Autry’s leadership a number of viable alternatives(see below letter) to keep the Southwest Museum – the City’s first museum – open as a fully credited museum. The Autry has nothing to lose and everything to gain. I am encouraged that John Gray has committed to meet with me in the New Year and I am very much looking forward to that discussion, which I believe can benefit both the Southwest Museum and the Autry National Center in Griffith Park. The Mt. Washington and the Griffith Park communities, as well as all Angelenos, deserve our very best on this issue. I am convinced that there are a number of “win-win” scenarios that can benefit both the Southwest Museum and the Autry National Center.

Chair, Board of Directors
& Board Members
Autry National Center of the American West
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027

December 16, 2009

Dear Chairman and Board Members:

I write to update you on some important work that my office and the City of Los Angeles have undertaken to explore funding options for the rehabilitation and re-opening of the Southwest Museum (SWM), as well as the expansion of the Autry Center at the Griffith Park site.
On June 30, 2009, the Board of Referred Powers voted unanimously to direct the Autry to negotiate with me, on behalf of the City, a legally binding agreement to assist with the re-opening of the SWM. I took this directive very seriously and undertook a meeting with John Gray, the Autry’s Executive Director. I also attended the Autry’s Board of Directors meeting on July 15, 2009. However, I was disappointed when the Autry unilaterally broke off negotiations without informing me and announced the calling off of those negotiations through the press.
Since that time, we have been hard at work to come up with a solution to make the SWM a viable destination. In 2003, the Autry commissioned Brenda Levin to study the SWM to determine alternatives for its revitalization. The Levin study articulated two options valued at around $16 million and $23 million respectively, which demonstrate that the SWM can be economically viable and sustainable. However, instead of using the SWM collection to fundraise and implement either of the Levin options, the Autry has used the SWM collection to launch an ambitious $175 million capital campaign to expand its other facility at Griffith Park. In this economic climate, I understand the difficulties that the Board might have in reaching such an ambitious fundraising goal.
Over the past month, I have reached out to Mr. Gray in an effort to discuss City and Federal financial assistance options that may be beneficial to the Autry and its interests regarding the SWM collection, the SWM building, and the Griffith Park site.
These options include: 1) low-interest loans via the Federal stimulus funding package; 2) a park assessment district; and 3) various other City grant options that should be reviewed further. I would be happy to discuss the staff’s report with you at anytime to find a resolution for the SWM and Griffith Park sites. I understand that the Board of Directors will meet in January 2010 to discuss revised plans for the Autry’s expansion at Griffith Park site and the potential closing of the SWM. I am supportive of your goal to expand the Autry Center site at Griffith Park, and I want to work collaboratively with you on finding a win-win strategy for the re-opening of the SWM. I hope that we can meet prior to your January 2010 Board of Directors meeting.


José Huizar
Councilmember, 14th District

CC: John Gray, Executive Director

Friday, December 18, 2009

4th Annual Winter Wonderland in El Sereno

Join me tomorrow for the 4th Annual Winter Wonderland in El Sereno!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

KTLA Skate Plaza w/ Rob Dyrdek Segment!

Check out this video by KTLA from this morning with the very cool Rob Dyrdek! Today is the grand opening of this new Skate Plaza located at Hollenbeck Park. 3:30pm
Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Skate Plaza Grand Opening Thursday Dec. 17th! 3:30pm

Join Councilmember José Huizar and MTV Skateboarding Star Rob Dyrdek Thursday
at Skate Plaza Grand Opening!

Friends, please join me (and bring the skateboarding enthusiasts in your families) at the Grand Opening of our new Skate Plaza at Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights.

This new “Safe Spot Skate Spot” skating area is a 14,000 square-foot, tri-level street skating plaza, which is already considered one of the premier Skate Plazas in the entire nation and offers a picturesque view high on a hillside at the southeast corner of the park overlooking the lake.

This street-skating plaza is a $350, 000 collaboration between my office and Rob Dyrdek, star of “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory.”

Rob and my office discussed the Safe Spot Skate Spot a few months ago and we moved forward very quickly. We know all too well that our young people need more recreation space, particularly in a dense neighborhood like Boyle Heights.

Celebrate Park's New Outdoor Fitness Zone and Workout Equipment

We’ll also be celebrating our new outdoor Fitness Zone and workout equipment I had installed at the park recently, which brings total renovations to Hollenbeck Park to nearly $1 million.

Other park improvements include:

• A completely renovated floating bridge, which sits on the lake and had been shut down for five years.

• Repair to signature fountains in the lake.

• New landscaping and tree plantings.

• Repairs to the jogging/walking pathway around the lake.

• Remodeling Playground area to make it ADA accessible.

All these improvements are part of $1.4 billion in mostly public investment in Boyle Heights, including the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension; four new schools including the Mendez Learning Center and Oscar De La Hoya Ánimo Charter High School and the New Hollenbeck Community Police Station, to name just a few.

So, please join us!

What: Grand Opening of Safe Spot Skate Spot at Hollenbeck Park

Where: 415 Saint Louis Street (near Saint Louis and Sixth Street)

Los Angeles, 90033

When: 3:30 p.m., Thursday, December 17, 2009.

For more information, please call my Boyle Heights District Office at (323) 526-3059.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Streetcar Project Receives Congressional Appropriation

Great news for our effort to bring the Streetcar back to Downtown Los Angeles. On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to support $250,000 in funding specifically for the Streetcar. The 2010’s Omnibus Appropriations Measure is expected to be adopted by the Senate before President Obama signs it into law. Special thanks to Congressmember Lucille Roybal-Allard for her work on this effort and for believing in my call to get a Streetcar running downtown by 2014.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Toy Giveaway Today, Rain or Shine (Just like Santa!)

Just want to remind everyone that we will be having our 4th Annual Holiday Toy Giveaway at Evergreen Park in Boyle Heights today from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. rain or shine. Bring the kids out to get a gift, visit with Santa and enjoy carolers while drinking cinnamon tea and eating pan dulce (Mexican Sweet Bread). A big thanks to the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council and our other sponsors for help making this happen. Hope to see you there!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Honoring our Parent Heroes

On Thursday, I had the pleasure to attend an extremely moving and touching tribute to parents who have gone the extra mile to help their children receive a college education. Telemundo News came up with this fantastic idea where people (mostly sons and daughters) wrote essays about why their parents should be honored as Padres Héroes (Parent Heroes). We gathered at a luncheon celebration at USC to honor the eight regional winners and to announce the Grand Prize Winner, Mr. Gusmaro Reyes. Mr. Reyes endured unthinkable hardships during his childhood in Mexico, only to come to this country and raise children who went on to get degrees from some of the finest universities in the country. His mantra to his children was simple yet effective: "You can work in the fields or you can go to school." After he was announced as the winner, an extremely emotional Mr. Reyes, said above all, he wanted to make sure his children didn't suffer the way he did. I spoke about my own experience as a college student and how the love and support of my parents and their efforts to help me during that time, both large and small, continue to inspire me to this very day. Congratulations to Mr. Gusmaro Reyes and the other Padres Héroes. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hermon & Eagle Rock Tree Lighting

Thank you to everyone that came out to participate at the Tree Lighting Festivities at Hermon and Eagle Rock! Have a safe and Happy Holiday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

12.04.09 Newsletter

Councilmember Huizar Acts to Protect Northeast Communities from 710 Extension
Councilmember Huizar introduced legislation through the City’s Information Technology and Government Affairs Committee Tuesday seeking to protect Northeast Los Angeles communities from any undue burden from a proposed extension of the North Long Beach 710 Freeway. The resolution, which was co-sponsored by Councilmember Huizar, along with Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Ed Reyes, asks the City to officially oppose the extension of the freeway through Zones 1 and 2, which would run through a significant portion of Northeast Los Angeles. The resolution also seeks to protect the community of El Sereno by stating that if a tunnel of any kind is proposed, the portal must begin and end south of Valley Boulevard. In October, Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger vetoed a bill that would have banned any above-ground freeway option for the proposed extension of the northbound 710 Freeway to the 134/210 Freeways. The Councilmembers’ resolution is expected to be heard in Council next week.

Councilmember Huizar Pledges Support to El Salvador
On November 8, Hurricane Ida struck the country of El Salvador. More than 184 people were killed, hundreds of thousands have been displaced and thousands more have been injured. Councilmember Huizar, along with Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers Ed Reyes, Tony Cardenas and Richard Alarcon, pledged a total of $10,000 in aid. By some accounts, Los Angeles is home to the second largest Salvadoran population outside of the nation’s capital, San Salvador. In March, Councilmember Huizar traveled to El Salvador with a delegation of prominent Salvadoran Americans election experts and city and state officials to help monitor the recent historic presidential election.
Photo Credit: Yuri Cortez-AFP/Getty Images via The Washington Post

The Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund (SALEF) is accepting tax-deductible donations to support the victims of Hurricane Ida.
Tax deductible donations can be made payable to:
EL SALVADOR CARE FUND (Chase Bank, Account #825607187)
Mail to SALEF:
1625 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 718
Los Angeles, CA 90015
For more information, please call (213) 480-1052 or visit www.salef.org

Councilmember Huizar Unveils Bringing Back Broadway Streetscape Master Plan
Last Tuesday, more than 100 community members gathered at The Exchange Building in Downtown's Historic Core to review and provide Melendrez Design Partners with input on final concepts for the Broadway Streetscape Master Plan. Part of Councilmember Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative, a 10-year plan to revitalize Broadway’s Historic Core, Councilmember Huizar described the final plan as one that prioritizes people over vehicles. The Streetscape Plan calls for widened and reinforced sidewalks, along with basement reconstruction in places where basements extend out under current sidewalks, which are collapsing in places. Curb extensions will provide space for comfortable, real-time transit stations for bus and streetcar users, while on-street parking and loading will support merchants. The plan also calls for new signage inspired by Broadway’s historic past along with new streetlamps, which with will have the street’s original, authentic design. Trees and plantings will be added to offer green elements to the street (supported by a storm water retention and recycling system). Completion of the streetscape plan is intended to coincide with construction of the streetcar line, which will connect historic Broadway with L.A. Live on one end and the Bunker Hill/Music Center area on the other by 2014.

Fourth Annual Operation Gobble-Gobble a Big Success!
Councilmember Huizar hosted the 4th Annual Operation Gobble-Gobble – an event aimed at helping families from El Sereno, Eagle Rock and Boyle Heights during Thanksgiving by providing a free turkey with all the trimmings. Held at the Boyle Heights Technology Center last week, about 700 turkeys were given out throughout the day thanks in large part to donors like the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, Food 4 Less, El Super, Chivas USA, and the SCE Credit Union. Councilmember Huizar teamed up with the Roybal Family Source Center and the Boyle Heights Technology Center to ensure families had a great Thanksgiving meal. The event featured photo opportunities with Chivas USA Girls and a children’s corner featuring a free movie screening and popcorn.

Visiting the Guadalajara Int’l Book Fair
As the former President of the Los Angeles Unified School District, promoting literacy is a key issue for Councilmember Huizar. This week, alongside Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Huizar represented the City of Los Angeles at the Guadalajara International Book Fair – one of the biggest Spanish language book festivals in the world. More than 1,600 publishing houses from 40 countries participated, as well as scores of authors, literary agents and librarians. The City of Los Angeles was the Guest of Honor at this year’s festivities and reinforced the City’s longstanding reputation as a home to some of the world’s greatest contributors to literature, theater, dance, fine arts and film.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Schedule of CD 14 Holiday Events

Holiday festivities begin today! Hope you and your family can make it out to any of the below events taking place in CD 14. All events are free for the whole family.

- Jose

Hermon Tree Lighting
December 4, 2009 6:30-8:30p.m.
Monterey Road & Via Marisol

Eagle Rock Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 4, 2009 6:30-8:30p.m.
Corner of Colorado Blvd. & Maywood Ave.

Glassell Park Tree Lighting Ceremony
December 11, 2009 6:30-7:00p.m.
Rite-Aid Parking Lot
4044 Eagle Rock Blvd.

Boyle Heights Tree Lighting Toy Giveaway
December 12, 2009 4-8:00p.m.
2844 E. 2nd Street Evergreen Park

El Sereno Tree Lighting and Toy Giveaway
December 19, 2009 4:00-8:00p.m.
Corner of Huntington Drive & Van Horne Ave.

Please consider donating a toy to our partners:

LAFD Spark of Love Program
Contact: Firefighter Michael Marquez

Sgt. Franciso Ulloa