Next week, Angelenos across the city will go to the polls to vote on a variety of candidates and initiatives. Of these many items, there is one that I have dedicated significant time and energy to campaigning against: Measure S. The measure would put a two-year moratorium on any development, which includes affordable housing and housing for our veterans. While the current process to develop is not perfect, Measure S is not the solution. It would permanently harm our city’s economy and prosperity by increasing homelessness, driving up rents, taking away much-needed developments from communities and destroying jobs throughout the city.
Another initiative on the upcoming ballot is Measure M, also known as the Cannabis Activity Permits and Regulation Initiative Ordinance. I support Measure M because it will ensure we work together as a city to regulate this new industry. Measure M gives city leaders the flexibility to create and repeal new regulations as we learn more about the marijuana industry and its effects on our city.
Regardless of your politics, it is important that you cast your ballot on March 7th. This election will have large impacts on the landscapes of our city, and voting ensures your voice is heard. To find your local polling station visit www.lavote.net.
(At a rally on February 16th urging others to vote No on Measure S)
Recognizing OurCycle L.A.
In 2015, we helped found OurCycle L.A., a program that refurbishes worn computers for deserving individuals. The program is a part of our continuing efforts to reduce the city’s electronic waste footprint while also helping provide a level-playing field for all members of our communities. OurCycle L.A. is a partnership between various government agencies, schools and non-profit organizations, and we were proud to recognize their hard work and dedication to bridging the digital divide.
(With Councilman Bob Blumenfield and representatives from Human I-T, L.A. CleanTech Incubator, Bureau of Sanitation, Information Technology Agency, Department of General Services and L.A. Housing Authority)
Three CD10 Citizens Receive the Manhee Koju Life Grant
The Manhee Koju Life Grant awards monetary assistance to individuals who are either senior citizens, teenage head of households or a person living with a disability. This year, our office nominated Etta Counts, Marjorie Faniel and Un Chu Ko, three senior citizens who live in CD10, to receive the grant. They accepted their awards in a ceremony held at the Koreatown Senior and Community Center and enjoyed a lunch with other recipients.
(Recipients accept the Manhee Koju Life Grant Award in a ceremony at the Koreatown Senior and Community Center)
Recognizing Young African-American Leaders
Black History Month is a special time because it provides a moment for us to celebrate past, present and future African-American leaders from all industries. This year we were lucky enough to host young leaders in sports, music and film who are all making waves in Los Angeles and beyond.
On February 15th, we welcomed Kevin Hall, the first deaf golfer to play in the PGA Tour, and his family to City Hall. Despite losing his hearing at 2 ½, Kevin’s perseverance in the sport brought him to Los Angeles last week to compete in the Genesis Open. He is an inspiration to us all that just about anything is possible, and it was an honor to host he and his parents.
On February 22nd (Black Women’s Day) we took a moment to recognize Issa Rae, the creator and star of HBO's Insecure. Issa is not only a native Angeleno but also a multi-faceted artist whose list of accolades includes being a NY Times Bestselling Author and leading a wildly popular web series. She has helped bring filming to South L.A. and is a role model for young African-American women everywhere.
A few days later, two-time Grammy award winning artist Terrace Martin stopped by City Hall. Terrace’s new label, Sounds of Crenshaw, is a powerful reflection of CD10 and our surrounding neighborhoods. He has worked both as an artist and a producer, and his contribution to our community’s cultural fabric has been immeasurable.
(From top to bottom: Kevin Hall, Issa Rae, Terrace Martin)
Standing Together to Oppose the Travel Ban
Last week, I joined Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer in filing an amicus brief opposing President Trump's unconstitutional travel ban. We joined 34 other municipalities in voicing our concerns about the ban and its effects on our citizens and communities. We must never be afraid to standup against injustice, especially when it threatens to fuel ignorance and intolerance. To read more about why we are firmly united against the ban, you can read the brief here.
(From left to right: myself, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Mayor Eric Garcetti)
Hidden Figures Film Screening
This past weekend our office partnered with 20th Century Fox, Councilwoman Nury Martinez, Councilman Curren Price and Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson to host a screening of Hidden Figures for local high school girls. The more positive role models we can show L.A.’s young people the better our city will be.
(In the theater with some of the people who made this screening possible)
March is National Women's History Month
In March we celebrate National Women’s History Month, and the events of the last year have provided us with a newfound invigoration to celebrate the women in our lives. We are living in a time when basic health and social protections for women have come under fire, and as a society we face the possibility of breaking our collective promise that all Americans, regardless of gender, will always have the same opportunities. March is a time for us to reflect not only on what kind of world we want to ensure for our mothers, daughters, sisters and wives, but also to also actually act on those ambitions. Last week, I joined all the women staffers in our CD10 family for lunch at a female-owned restaurant. It is their dedication and hard-work that makes our office special, and looking around the city I have never been more confident that the future is female.
(Enjoying lunch at Michelle's Country Diner with the women staffers in the CD10 office)
Upcoming Events in Los Angeles
SORO Digital and Computer Literacy Program Launch
March 19th from 1:30 p.m.- 4 p.m.
Roberston Branch Public Library
1719 Robertson Blvd.
Community Public Forum on Housing Needs
Multiple Dates and Locations
See picture below for more details
Community Open House- I-10 Area Circulation Improvement Project
March 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Hamilton High School
2955 Robertson Blvd.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Festival
March 10 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Jim Gilliam Park Rec Center
400 S. La Brea Ave.
(Dates and locations of the upcoming Community Forums on Public Housing Needs)
Herb J. Wesson, Jr.
Los Angeles City Council President
Councilmember, 10th Council District