As we said goodbye to May, I was joined by a coalition of LA's leaders in the fight to end homelessness to cut the ribbon on at the Irmas Family Campus, an LA Family Housing project. This location has a special significance for me. Once the home of Northeast Valley Health Corporation, I worked my first job here at age 16, providing HIV tests for homeless individuals during the AIDS epidemic of the early 1990s.Read more
Our HOPE Teams are working every single day to help our homeless residents in the Valley, and every time I hear one of their success stories I want to share it with you. I often hear from people complaining about the homeless issue – from the encampments to the lack of housing. It’s a huge problem in our city and region, but by having our HOPE Teams building relationships with the homeless communities and identifying their specific needs, we are seeing concrete results.
Recently, Sgt. Padilla with the LAPD Operations-Valley Bureau HOPE Team wrote me, “With some much appreciated help from Michael's Furniture Store, Gobethe 1, LAHSA and HOPE of the Valley the OVB HOPE Team and LAHSA were able to obtain and deliver food, clothing, gift cards, new beds, welcome home kits and misc household items to a newly housed Veteran Patrick and a mother/daughter Rachel and Rebecca. We still have some work to do but this was a great start.”
I agree, there’s a lot more work to do, but this is certainly a good start. I hope nothing but the best for Patrick, Rachel and Rebecca with their new start!
The Sheldon Skate Park in Sun Valley is well loved by many skaters from throughout the region. It is a great place for kids to get together and enjoy the outdoors and participate in their favorite sport. However, late last year, residents nearby, many park users, and others had grown weary with how the park was being treated by some users. Many complained about graffiti, vandalism, and blatant disregard for the park facilities. There were thousands of dollars of damage that were being reported almost daily.
We celebrated Women’s History Month throughout March in the City of Los Angeles. I was pleased to lead the City Council in many of those efforts where we highlighted the incredible talents and contributions of women in the City of Los Angeles.
On International Women’s Day, the organizers of the mid-January Women’s March called for a day of protest and action called, “A Day Without A Woman.” As the only woman on the City Council, and a fierce advocate for the people of Council District 6, I wasn’t going to step away from the City Council and let the men run things without me for the day, so I decided instead to bring the women who work for the City of Los Angeles into Council Chambers to have our own demonstration. For nearly an hour we shut down the work of the City Council and demonstrated to employees throughout the City what a day without women would look like. I led the City’s women employees as we, one-by-one, stepped to the microphone and announced our name and role within the City. This demonstration showed how every department in the City is dependent on the contributions of a talented, smart, and dedicated female workforce. Well over two hundred women participated, and though that’s a fraction of the female workforce of the City, it filled the Council Chambers to capacity, and made a clear impact.Read more
A fire department that reflects the communities it serves is something Los Angeles must achieve, and one area where we fall short is in female firefighters. The LAFD is taking aggressive steps to recruit more women and minorities to the force, and I am thrilled to partner with the fire department with the 2nd annual LAFD Girls Camp. This was our second camp for girls from throughout the City, and this year we brought the camp to the 6th District at Drill Tower 81 in Panorama City.
I will never get tired of fighting human trafficking. As long as our girls are bought and sold on the streets, I’ll keep fighting to rescue them and arrest the men who buy and sell them.
Usually, the men who are behind selling these girls are gang members who have discovered that selling a girl over and over again can be much more profitable than selling drugs.Read more
When someone signs up to be a Los Angeles Firefighter, they are embarking on a very intense process. Before even being admitted to the training, they face a serious of tests and evaluations. The training is then an intense twenty week program that tests each recruit by pushing them to the extremes that firefighters might encounter protecting our community.
It is an incredible honor to see these recruits graduate after their training. Last week, I joined Chief Terrazas, along with Mayor Garcetti, Controller Galperin, and Councilman Blumenfield at the graduation of LAFD Recruit Class 2016-1. This group of 45 new firefighters, 43 men and two women, started service to our City on Monday morning!
Latina History Day celebrates the many accomplishments of Latinas in the United States. For the past 15 years, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) has worked with the City Council to declare a day in March as Latina History Day. This year’s resolution coincided with HOPE’s Latina History Day Conference. The Latina History Day conference, for which Latina History Day in California was created, draws over 900 women to celebrate the historic accomplishments of Latinas and gives them the opportunity to partake in forums on corporate advancement, the state of public education and financial empowerment. This is the 26th year that HOPE has been putting this conference together. This year’s theme is “Embrace the Journey.” I was honored to present HOPE with this year’s Latina History Day resolution at the City Council last Friday.
Adrienne Alpert hosted the leadership of the Los Angeles City Council on her news talk show, "Newsmakers", to discuss Council's work in 2016 and look ahead to 2017. As the City Council's Assistant President Pro Tem, I was pleased to join my colleagues, Council President Herb Wesson and Council President Pro-Tem Mitch Englander.
I joined the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last week to testify in favor of their new Women and Girls Initiative (WGI). The WGI was introduced by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis. The WGI, which the Supervisors passed unanimously, creates a five-year effort to study all 37 county departments for how they impact women and girls.Read more