Monday, May 31, 2010

Honoring True Heroes this Memorial Day in Council District 14

After joining a proud group of veterans in El Sereno Saturday for their Annual Memorial Day ceremony, I was honored to stand guard for a time at the 24-hour Vigil at the Cinco Puntos (Five Points) veterans' memorial yesterday in Boyle Heights. And there was a great turnout for today's Memorial Day ceremony there where we paid our respects to the men and women in our Armed Forces who paid the ultimate price to protect our freedoms. We also announced the renaming of the East L.A. interchange in honor of Eugene A. Obregon, an Eastside native and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who sacrificed his life to save his friend during the Korean War. It was an honor to be one of the sponsors who helped make that happen. We all owe a great debt to heroes like Eugene A. Obregon and we thank them and all our veterans this Memorial Day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Observations in CD14

Saturday, May 29, 2010, 10 a.m.
Veterans Memorial Day Observance in El Sereno
American Legion Post 139 will hold its annual Memorial ceremony honoring fallen veterans who served our country with dignity and valor.Location: Huntington Drive and Eastern Avenue in El Sereno. Please contact Council District 14 El Sereno Office for more information at (323) 226-1646.

Sunday, May 30, 2010, 9:30 a.m.
24-Hour Patriotic Vigil at Cinco Puntos (Five Points) in Boyle Heights
Councilmember Huizar will join veterans to stand guard at memorial honoring veterans. Location: 3300 E. Cesar Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles 90033. Please call Council District 14 Boyle Heights office for more information at (323) 526-3059.

Monday, May 31, 2010, 10 a.m.
63rd Annual Memorial Day Observance Ceremony
American Legion Post 804 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4696 are hosting this event, which follows 24-hours of standing guard at the Cinco Puntos memorial, paying tribute to veterans who have lost their lives in battle. Location: 3300 E. Cesar Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles 90033. Please call Council District 14 Boyle Heights office for more information at (323) 526-3059.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dedicating Paseo Luis Olivares at Placita Olvera Church

On Monday the 17th, I had the distinct honor of commemorating the Paseo Luis Olivares at the Placita Olvera church. This was one of the fastest motions moved through City Council and I am proud that it came right in time to also celebrate the centennial of the Claretian Missionaries whom have served the community of Our Lady Queen of Angeles Church, La Placita since 1910. Fr. Olivares was a devout man who helped many Salvadoran immigrants find assistance during the country’s civil unrest. The Wall of Las Memorias played a momentous role in this honoring as Fr. Olivares contracted the HIV virus during a blood transfusion when he was ill from diabetes. Fr. Olivares continued to serve and honor his commitment and went on to help countless individuals with the virus. He was a true man of God and his presence is missed. I hope that with this humble honor, the people of Los Angeles know of the legacy he left behind. The work of the Claretian missionaries has been a compassionate endeavor to see the world through the eyes of the poor, and in these hard economic times, their guidance, love and support is in dire need.

Peace in the Northeast March

On Saturday May 15th, I, alongside several community leaders members of the community participated in the 3rd Annual “Peace in the Northeast March and Resource Fair.” More than 800 people participated to increase awareness on the effort to decrease violence and allow residents to take back their community. Thanks to the leadership of Captain Bill Murphy from the Northeast LAPD station, violence in the Northeast has decreased significantly. As our communities deal with issues of gang violence, graffiti and crime, it takes a community that is willing to work together to minimize these problems. I am glad to have participated in this walk and want to thank all of our partners who also participated:

  • Assemblymember Kevin de Leon
  • Councilmember Ed Reyes
  • LAUSD Schoolboard Member Yolie Flores-Aguilar
  • Rev. Jeff Carr, Mayor’s Office
  • Victory Outreach
  • Highland Park Ministerial Association
  • Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council
  • Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council
  • Glassell Park Neighborhood Council
  • LA32 Neighborhood Council
  • Highland Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Glassell Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Highland Park Kiwanis
  • Peace Over Violence
  • Anahuak Youth Soccer Association
  • Children's Hospital Los Angeles

Monday, May 10, 2010

El Sereno Farmers’ Market Serves up Great Opening

We had a lot of fun at the inaugural El Sereno Farmers’ Market on Friday. I want to congratulate Angie De La Torre and Melissa Chincilla for bringing this valuable resource to our community, which on Friday drew about 300 people. It was my pleasure to help facilitate the permitting process in order to make the farmers’ market happen and serve as one of its sponsors, along with Barrio Action Youth and Family Center and the L.A.-32 Neighborhood Council. There was entertainment, plenty of vendors and even the famous Kogi Korean Taco Truck . The El Sereno Farmers’ Market is located on the corner of Huntington Dr. North and Maycrest Avenue and will be open every Friday (current schedule: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.). Please tell your friends and families. Check out the El Sereno Farmers’ Market facebook page here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thanks to El Sereno for Turning 35-Year Dream into Reality for Valley Bridge

A big thank you to all the folks who showed up to our Valley Bridge Opening in El Sereno. The $54 million bridge, which links the San Gabriel Valley with Downtown Los Angeles, is now fully functional and ends a 35-year struggle for a much-needed solution to the 30 train crossings per day that adversely affected residents, commuters and emergency personnel. In 2006, the project was shelved by Metro and I and my staff spent several months working to convince Metro that the City was serious about getting this project done. We also got them to agree to put in $9 million, which the City matched to bring the project to fruition. I want to thank our City partners in helping getting this done, notably the Department of Public Works and BOE. But mostly, I want to thank all the people of El Sereno and its surrounding communities for never giving up and making sure that once and for all, El Sereno received a bridge that it needed and could be proud of. On hand yesterday were Luanna Allard and the Hillside Village Property Owners Association, as well as representatives from L.A.-32 Neighborhood Council; The El Sereno Bicentennial Committee; University Hills Homeowners Association; Rose Hill Review; El Sereno Chamber of Commerce and a host of other community members. The El Sereno Middle School Marching Band provided fantastic entertainment and Los Angeles Fire Department Station 16 sounded the sirens as they drove across the bridge, reminding us all why the bridge’s unimpeded access is not just about convenience, but our community’s safety.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

8a.m. Cinco de Mayo Valley Bridge Opening Celebration in El Sereno!

Join me, Department of Public Works President Cynthia Ruiz and the El Sereno Middle School marching band tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., Cinco De Mayo, for the opening of new Valley Boulevard bridge in El Sereno! With up to 30 freight trains passing per day, this multi-million dollar bridge ends traffic jams at tumultuous train crossing and is what I consider to be an environmental justice victory for this community. It has been a 35+ year wait to ensure that this bridge became a reality. Located between Eastern and Marianna Avenues, the busy train crossing linking the San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles has long been a source of frustration for residents, commuters and police and fire officials. Eastbound lanes opened in January 2009 for the new bridge, which promises to be a source of community pride as artists have utilized personal photos of residents in tile and limestone art pieces on the bridge depicting the history of El Sereno.

Pictured: Design of the bridge as show at Eastbound lanes opening in January 2009.