As the end of 2009 quickly approaches, may you and yours be filled with lots of love and joyous moments during the upcoming holidays. There are many things we can be thankful for, our families, our health and the many blessings in our lives. May you have a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving.
- Jose Huizar
Chief Beck is New Top CopThe City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the Mayors nomination of Charlie Beck as new Los Angeles Police Department Police Chief. Councilmember Huizar hosted a community forum in El Sereno last week to introduce Chief Beck to residents and his candor, sincerity and commitment to fighting crime while building stronger relationships between the LAPD and the community, are proof that Chief Beck is the right person to lead the department after the successful reign of former Chief William Bratton. Chief Beck brings 32 years of experience to the job, a great deal of knowledge and a deep understanding of the intricacies of the department and the men and women who serve in it.
Pictured L-R: Margarita Amador, Jose Huizar, Charlie Beck, Sal Martinez
East LA Classic Scholarship Recipients
The 75th Anniversary of the East Los Angeles Classic, a gridiron matchup between Garfield and Roosevelt high schools, marked a momentous day in the history of the schools friendly football rivalry. Since he was a school board member, Councilmember Huizar has established a scholarship for the schools top students. While Roosevelt proved victorious on the football field this year, students from both schools have proven that they are winners in the classroom, each earning $500 to help them in their collegiate studies. Congratulations to this years scholarship winners! From Garfield: Marichuy Gomes, Genesis Coronado and Lained Huerta, and from Roosevelt: Joshua Recinos-Almanza, Andrea Carrillo and Elizabeth Torres.
Park Named in Honor of Veteran Ross Valencia, Mr. Boyle Heights
Councilmember Huizar was joined by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal Allard, family and friends, community members and a host of veterans on Veterans Day to pay tribute to WW II veteran and legendary Eastside activist Ross Valencia (Mr. Boyle Heights), by naming a community park in his honor. Ross Valencia, who died late last year, was a staunch Boyle Heights' supporter who founded many community groups, including the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce. He was also an original member of the LANI Vest Pocket Park Steering Committee, the very same park that now bears his name. Councilmember Huizar, with the support of the community and Mr. Valencias wife, Carmen Valencia, led the effort to name the park in honor of the man who did so much for the Boyle Heights community.
Celebrating Veterans Day
CD14 residents have a storied history of serving in the United States Armed Forces. Councilmember Huizar joined veterans, families and community members at celebrations in El Sereno and Eagle Rock to honor the men and women who answered the nations call to service and put themselves in harms way to protect the liberties of so many. Flags flew at half-staff throughout the district in their honor and the Veterans Day parades in El Sereno and Eagle Rock allowed one and all to give thanks to our Veterans for all they have done and continue to do for the betterment of family, God and country. While giving thanks to the veterans and their families, Councilmember Huizar asked that we honor their service each and every day.
*Approximately 131,000 U.S Veterans find themselves homeless each night. Please visit www.va.gov to find ways in which you can help.Boyle Heights Block Party a Smashing Success!
To kick off the official opening of the $898 million Edward R. Roybal Gold Line Eastside Extension, as well as the additional $500 million in public investment in the community, Councilmember Huizar hosted a Boyle Heights Block Party last Sunday. The day-long celebration honored Boyle Heights past, present and future and Councilmember Huizar was joined by Israeli Consul General Jacob Dayan, Japanese Consul General Junichi Ihara, and Mexican Consul General Juan Marco Gutierrez to commemorate Boyle Heights diverse history and its legacy as one of Los Angeles first suburbs. The event also celebrated the 19th Annual Boyle Heights Mariachi Festival, while contemporary bands graced a second stage where the main attraction, Tierra, played a rousing set that had folks swaying and dancing to the music. Thank you to everyone who came out, as well as the organizations and volunteers who participated. See pictures HERE!
Councilmember Huizar Fighting for Better Control of Medical Marijuana
In a meeting that paired up the City Councils Planning and Land Use Management Committee and the Public Safety Committee, Councilmember Huizar voted with his colleagues Monday to allow for the sale of medical marijuana only as a means to cover incurred expenses, but not for profit. As the City Council continues to work on a permanent Medical Marijuana Ordinance, Councilmember Huizar has worked diligently with residents of CD14 to alleviate the over-concentration of dispensaries within his district and their proximity schools, churches and other areas of concern. In City Council on Wednesday, Councilmember Huizar proposed a number of amendments, including a cap of 70 dispensaries based on population within planning areas, as well as requiring that one operator may only operate one collective, thereby prohibiting multiple or serial ownership of collectives. Earlier, in order to deal with the illegal operation of hundreds of dispensaries, Councilmember introduced legislation to strike the Citys medical marijuana interim control ordinances hardship exemption clause.
New Arts High School in Downtown!
This month, Councilmember Huizar joined LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia and others to celebrate the grand opening of the new Central Arts High School, which will focus on visual and performing arts. While serving as President of the Los Angeles School Board, Councilmember Huizar pushed for new schools to be built in dense populated areas to better serve the children of those communities forced to attend over-populated local schools and Central Arts High School was at the forefront of that movement. Central Arts High offers students a state-of-the-art facility that will enrich Los Angeles with the next generation of talented and gifted artists.
Council Passes Huizars Legislation Supporting School Uniforms
The City Council voted unanimously to support Councilmember Huizars proposal to ask the Los Angeles Unified School District to adopt a district-wide policy requiring students to wear school uniforms. Already used in the district at most of the charter schools and the Mayors Partnership schools, school uniforms foster a healthy learning environment, which allows students to concentrate on their studies. Other cities, such as Long Beach, Seattle, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York have implemented a mandatory school uniform policy to great success. School uniforms help create a safer campus environment where students are easily identifiable and gang colors are not allowed. For low-income families, school uniforms offer an affordable alternative since fewer outfits would be needed and go a long way in helping those children deal with self-esteem issues associated with lack of funds to buy name-brand clothes. While the LAUSD has discretion over whether to implement the City Councils recommendation, there is no doubt with about 250 LAUSD schools being opened up to private ownership with the Public School Choice legislation the school board recently passed, hundreds of LAUSD schools will soon implement a school uniform policy.
Pictured: Students in uniform at new Oscar de la Hoya Charter School in Boyle Heights.
Councilmember Huizar's Food Database Legislation Moving Forward
Councilmember Huizars legislation to create a City-wide policy to link food banks and non-profits that offer food services to City departments that have surplus food is moving forward. Earlier this month, Councilmember Huizar asked City departments to return to Council in 60 days or less to inform the Council what their formal policy will be to implement this policy. Also, Councilmember Huizars staff is currently working with the Citys 311 Information Service and non-profits to create a food-bank database, where callers can easily get information on nearby food banks to either call for food services or to donate food.