Councilmember Huizar wishes you and your family a wonderful and joyous Thanksgiving holiday.  Please read below for important updates in Council District 14, including efforts to put DWP Ratepayer Advocate and Election Reform measures on 2011 ballot, Veterans Day Parade & Celebrations, Legislation to increase City’s Commercial Recycling, Scholarships for Garfield and Roosevelt High School Students, and much more.

Election Reform and DWP Ratepayer Close to Ballot

Honoring Veterans – 5th Annual Northeast Los Angeles Veterans Day Parade & Celebration and the 1st Annual Veterans Day Program at Cinco Puntos

Legislation to Increase Commercial Recycling

East L.A. Classic/Scholarships

Valley Bridge Completion Block Party

Shop El Sereno

New Health Center on Huntington Drive

Traffic Light for Charter Middle School

Wilson High Library Fundraiser Reaches $25,000 Goal

Helping Others This Thanksgiving

L.A. Voters Bill of Rights, DWP Ratepayer Advocate One Step Closer to the 2011 Ballot  

Two measures that Councilmember worked on will go before voters in the March 2011 ballot. The City Council voted to support putting a crucial part of Councilmember Huizar’s L.A. Voters' Bill of Rights election-reform policy on the March 2011 Ballot, which aims to limit the influence of big money special interests on City elections. The measure asks voters to support updating the City's Matching Fund Program, something voters first approved 20 years ago. It also will ask voters to support imposing restrictions on campaign contributions from those vying for City contracts. 

And a proposal to place a DWP Ratepayer Advocate position on the March 2011 ballot was adopted as well. Councilmember Huizar became the first council member to introduce legislation to create a ratepayer advocate in July 2008 and is pleased that this idea is finally being brought before the voters. The Office of Accountability will help the DWP, City leaders and the public engage in informed conversations about rate adjustments and long-range energy projections in a timely, thoughtful and deliberative manner.

Click here to read our press release on the Matching Funds-Campaign Donation Restriction Measure.

Click here to read our press release on the Ratepayer Advocate.

Here is a link to Councilmember Huizar’s interview on Patt Morrison’s show on KPCC 89.3 FM, talking about the L.A. Voters’ Bill of Rights.

Honoring Our Veterans

Councilmember Huizar joined the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce, Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, Glassell Park Neighborhood Council, Northeast Veterans Day Parade Committee and the Eagle Rock community to honor the men and women of our Armed Forces for the 5th Annual Northeast Veterans Day Parade.  This year’s Grand Marshall was WWII Veteran and three-time Purple Heart recipient Robert A. Gutierrez.

Enjoy the slideshow and footage of the event.

With so many still fighting around the world, we also owe a special thanks to the families of those who serve.  On Veterans Day, at the historic Cinco Puntos (Five Points) which is home to the historic Mexican American All Wars Memorial monument, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4696 & American Legion, known for their annual Memorial Day ceremony, hosted their first Veterans’ Day commemoration. Councilmember Huizar co-sponsored this important first-time event commemorating our veterans.

This Eastside Veterans Day featured its first female keynote speaker, Iraq War veteran Veronica Mayela Martinez. Councilmember Huizar recognized Tony Zapata, Boyle Heights resident, Navy veteran and Los Angeles County 2010 Veteran of the Year.

Enjoy the slideshow of the event.

Huizar Introduces Legislation to Increase Commercial Recycling in City

Councilmember Huizar joined Mayor Villaraigosa, several Council colleagues and union and environmental leaders to commemorate "America Recycles Day" and introduce “Don’t Waste L.A.,” a larger call to increase the percentage of our City's trash that is diverted away from landfills and recycled. Councilmember Huizar announced that he would introduce legislation calling to include commercial users in a budding franchise system for waste hauling that the Bureau of Sanitation is just starting to implement for apartment buildings. Businesses produce two-thirds of the City's trash and the fastest way to meet the Mayor's goal of 75 percent trash diversion by 2013 is to place benchmarks on haulers who service businesses.  Following the model of San Jose, which is implementing a franchise system for businesses in 2012, the City can also impose minimum worker safety and pollution limits on trucks through its Charter-mandated power to regulate trash. Finally, a franchise system could generate millions of dollars for the City's budget.

El Sereno Valley Bridge Community Block Party

A community celebration was held at the completed Valley Boulevard Bridge, a project that has been delayed for more than three decades. Councilmember Huizar finally got the projected completed after convincing Metro to move the project forward, while also identifying $9 million to complete it. The new bridge is now alleviating traffic congestion at the railroad crossing near Mariana Avenue, improving response times for police and fire personnel during emergencies and reducing pollution from idling cars.  More importantly, it has turned a community nuisance into a source of pride — with beautiful art work showcasing El Sereno and its community icons.

El Sereno Honorary Mayor, Eddie Santillan, attended the celebration along with his father, Lou Santillan, former honorary mayor, who was the guest of honor.  Councilmember Huizar unveiled a mural from a local artist depicting scenes from Lou’s life and contributions to the community.

Enjoy the slideshow and footage from the event.

Honoring Excellence On and Off the Field at 76th Annual East L.A. Gridiron Classic

Councilmember Huizar attended this year’s East L.A. Classic matchup between Garfield and Roosevelt High School, one of the nation’s most storied rivalries. This tradition dates back to 1934 and draws upwards of 20,000 fans each year. Garfield came out victorious this year but it was a hard-fought and well-played game by both teams.

Since his time on the LAUSD Board of Education, Councilmember Huizar has honored students from both schools with his Excellence in Education scholarships. This year’s recipients will receive $500 scholarships and represent the academic and community-service best from both schools. The 2010 Excellence in Education winners are from Garfield: Anthony Roldan, Frida Peincido and Anthony Lemus. And from Roosevelt: Brian Salazar, Jesús Arellano, Abigail Zambrana and Michelle Salinas. Congratulations to all the winners.

Enjoy the slideshow from the event as well as from the press conference earlier in the week.

Shop El Sereno Campaign – Good for Business, Good for Community

Councilmember José Huizar and the Greater El Sereno Chamber of Commerce announced a plan to increase business in El Sereno while benefiting organizations and saving shoppers money.

The “Shop El Sereno Campaign” will offer a discount card that organizations seeking to raise money–like churches, non-profits and youth sports’ groups – can sell for $10 apiece and keep $5 for their organizations. The other $5 will go back to the Chamber. Shoppers will benefit with at least a 10 percent discount from any one of the 58 participating El Sereno businesses.

To increase business in El Sereno, Councilmember Huizar has supported more than $1.3 million in improvements along Huntington Drive, including streetscape, sidewalk and façade improvements, as well as the first welcome monument in the town’s history.  Another improvement project, the “Our Downtown” plan is in its initial phase with planned streetscape improvements being planned with significant community participation.

Enjoy the slideshow from the event.

El Sereno Community Gets New Healthcare Facility

The El Sereno community scored another victory with the recent opening of the Arroyo Vista Family Health Center on Huntington Drive. Councilmember José Huizar joined with Arroyo Vista CEO Lorraine Estrada, doctors, nurses and community members at a Grand Opening celebration for the new clinic, which will provide much needed health services to El Sereno and its surrounding communities.  Arroyo Vista operates another health center in El Sereno on Valley Boulevard, as well as one in Highland Park and Lincoln Heights. It also serves the Northeast community with a mobile unit that brings healthcare services directly to the community.  

KIPP LA – Stopping Traffic in Boyle Heights with Academic Success

Parents, staff and students of KIPP LA College Preparatory Charter Middle School recently celebrated with Councilmember Huizar and Principal Angella Martinez over the installation of a new traffic signal at a busy intersection next to the school. KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) LA  is the first middle school built in Boyle Heights in more than 80 years and is the 2nd highest performing Charter Middle School in Los Angeles. The new traffic light crosses busy Whittier Boulevard at Camulos Street and represents the second traffic signal installed near a school in Boyle Heights in the last year (with Bravo Medical Magnet High School being the other). KIPP LA was one of four new schools that opened in 2009 in Boyle Heights, including the Mendez Learning Center, Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High School and Ramona Opportunity High School.

Wilson High Library Fundraiser Reaches $25,000 Goal

Councilmember Huizar and his wife, Richelle, had the pleasure of attending a dinner gala for the Wilson High School Library, which has not been able to purchase books since 2004 due to budget cuts. Peter Cabrera, Wilson Mules Book Drive Committee Chair announced that Councilmember Huizar not only donated $1,500 to the book drive, he worked with the Latino Book and Family Festival to secure an additional $3,500 worth of new books to the library. With more than 400 people in attendance and a successful silent auction, the Committee, made up of Wilson Alumni, presented a check for $25,000 to the school.

Helping Others this Thanksgiving Holiday

Councilmember Huizar sponsored a number of Thanksgiving related events and turkey giveaways throughout Council District 14 with the hopes of easing the burden on families this Thanksgiving.

Enjoy the slideshows: El Sereno Barrio Action Youth & Family Center, the Boyle Heights Senior Citizen Center and the 5th Annual Gobble Gobble at the El Sereno Senior Citizen Center

Surplus Food Report Coming Soon

The full City report for Councilmember Huizar’s surplus food legislation to help those in need throughout the year will soon be released. The Chief Legislative Analysis report will instruct City departments on how they can donate surplus food from any City-related event to local food banks or pantries.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Councilmember Huizar wishes you and your family a wonderful and joyous Thanksgiving.

This message was sent to  by:
Los Angeles Councilmember Jose Huizar
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 465
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7014