Message from MRT, August, 2014

Welcome to the August 2014 Newsletter.

The creation of a citizen’s oversight commission was delayed, but not denied. Hundreds of people attended the board of supervisor’s meeting to demand a civilian role in reforming the department. Despite overwhelming testimony in favor of a commission, we lacked one additional board vote needed to immediately push the agenda forward. But, ultimately, the commission has been delayed and not denied. There is no doubt the issue will surface again soon. Thank you to those who testified to secure the power of the people to promote transparency and accountable public safety in Los Angeles County.

On the subject of public safety, the issue of mental health is no small matter. To that end, we want to invite you on August 27, 2014 to the ribbon cutting of the new Mental Health Urgent Care Center at MLK Campus. We are breaking new ground and you should be a part of it.

The wins do not stop with mental health but continue with education. This is the fifth year of Freedom Schools in Los Angeles County. Freedom Schools started in 1964 in the state of Mississippi during the civil rights movement. This year we celebrated 50 years of literacy, civil rights and social justice through Freedom Schools. Our finale this year at Ladera Park was fantastic. We look forward to next year.

Lastly, it’s not often a lemon is considered a canvas. But to the artists David Burns and Austin Young of the collaborative Fallen Fruit, that is exactly what a lemon will be for their next experiment in bringing communities together through, well, fruit. Join Fallen Fruit for a lemonade stand on Sunday, August 24 from 10am-1pm in Rueben Ingold Park.

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to seeing you again in September. In the meantime, thank you for reading August’s newsletter, stay cool with pools in Los Angeles County, and enjoy the balance of the Summer.

With hope,

Message from MRT, July 2014

Welcome to the July 2014 Newsletter. This week we celebrate Independence Day and offer a reminder to put safety first during your holiday, especially when children are celebrating.

This month, we launched a brand new community development page on our website. This new page will serve as a resource for information about jobs, transportation, environment, the new MLK Medical Campus, affordable housing, and constituent service centers. In short, our intention is to provide you with enhanced access to our strategic approach to improving our communities. We invite you to look around and let us know what you think.

On the subject of community development, we continue to work to bring a comprehensive medical village to the MLK campus. To reduce emergency room overcrowding and decrease the costs of stabilizing homeless patients in expensive hospital beds, the board voted in June to approve funding for a new $3.7-million recovery center. The newest addition to the MLK master plan, the Recovery Center, is expected to open next year, providing a safe environment for homeless patients to recover while saving the county millions of dollars each year. The center will be open 24-7 and will serve as many as 1,400 patients each year. Saving lives while saving dollars is simply a win-win.

The wins do not stop at the MLK campus. Progress continues on the Crenshaw/LAX light-rail line. But to make way for the construction, the first step is the demolition of a defunct railroad bridge at the intersection of Century and Aviation Boulevards near the Los Angeles International Airport. First there was “Carmageddon.” Then, “Jamzilla.” Now we need to brace ourselves for the “Century Crunch.” Beginning at 9 pm on July 25, we are urging everyone who can to stay clear of the surrounding roads and freeways for 57 hours to help facilitate this epic step in the construction of the Crenshaw line.

Lastly, with the summer heat, don’t be afraid to make a splash. Pools across LA County are now open seven days a week. And we invite you to take advantage of all that our county has to offer.

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to seeing you again in August. In the meantime, enjoy July’s newsletter and have a safe and happy Fourth of July.

With hope,

Message from MRT, May 2014

Welcome to the May 2014 Newsletter.

On May 28 at 9:30 a.m. in Willowbrook, we will celebrate the ribbon cutting of the Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center. This facility is an important part of our medical village that will be anchored by three facilities, including the hospital and center for public health. We are excited to celebrate the new resource with you.

Next I would like to thank all who recently joined us to march against child sex trafficking along Western Avenue. This is a terrible problem I, along with many of you, am committed to seeing come to an end. For those of you who could not attend, you’ll find more information on the subject and a video of the event in this newsletter.

On another serious note, the Board of Supervisors has taken on the question of how to manage our inmate population. It’s clear to all of us that Men’s Central Jail must be replaced, but the challenge before us is how to successfully divert mentally ill inmates to treatment. Stay tuned for further updates as we will be working to systemically reform our overcrowded and antiquated jail system.

Moving on, I am happy to note that construction on the long anticipated Crenshaw-to-LAX rail line has begun. But I don’t want you to be caught off guard: On Friday, May 16, please expect a street closure on Crenshaw Boulevard between Exposition Boulevard and Rodeo Place. There will be some inconveniences while the line is being built, but the result will be worth it!

Construction along the long anticipated Crenshaw-to-LAX rail line has begun. On Friday, May 16, please expect a street closure on Crenshaw Boulevard between Exposition Boulevard and Rodeo Place. When the Crenshaw/LAX line opens to the public in 2019, passengers and customers will be able to travel throughout the Los Angeles region. It will help revitalize the local and regional economy.

Lastly, this month in our architectural feature, we highlight King Fahad Mosque in Culver City. A gift to the Muslim community in Southern California from Saudi Arabia, the mosque serves as a religious and educational center.  Read more about this remarkable gem in this month’s newsletter.

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to seeing you again in June.

With hope,

Message from MRT, March 2014

Welcome to our March 2014 Newsletter.

As we enter March, nationally designated as Women’s history month, I am pleased to announce our selection of Martin Luther King Community Health Foundation Board Chair Linda Griego and Board Member Candace Bond McKeever as the Second Supervisorial District’s Women of the Year. Both women are being honored for their outstanding work as advocates for better healthcare, their philanthropy and community service. Read more about them below.

On a different note, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday took action earlier this month with regard to the Sheriff’s department We have asked for a comprehensive study the probes the idea of having a civilian body to monitor the department. I believe instituting civilian oversight of the agency is imperative, as it is abundantly clear that the department cannot police itself. Partnership and oversight with and by citizens is crucial.

Each month we know you look forward to learning more about architectural gems in the Second Supervisorial District. This month in our architecture feature, we highlight The Reserve, a former U.S. Post Office facility, now known for sustainable reuse. The Reserve is a 20-acre site situated at the edge of restored wetlands and wildlife preserve in Playa Vista. Read more in this month’s newsletter.

As always, thank you for your attention. I look forward to seeing you again in April, and in the meantime, enjoy Women’s history month.

With hope,

Message from MRT, February 2014

Welcome to the February 2014 Newsletter. We enjoyed seeing many of you at this year’s 22nd Annual Empowerment Congress Summit where we paid especial homage to two titans of civil rights and human rights: Dr. Martin Luther King and President Nelson Mandela. As we enter February, nationally designated as Black History Month, we invite you to continue to the celebration of Black History Month through images, sounds and stories at events throughout the County and also at this year’s 22nd Annual Pan African Film Festival.

Well the last few weeks have been busy ones. One of the most significant projects in both the Second District and the entire county broke ground. At last, the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, an 8.5-mile light-rail line that has been a 30-year dream in the making, is under construction. The $2.058-billion project is expected to open in 2019 and will bring a train stop closer to Los Angeles International Airport.

Good news for those following the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. The new emergency and surgical facility was constructed and finished on time and $10 million under budget and is scheduled to open in April. This is a continuation of our commitment to deliver high quality emergency and trauma care in this new health care reform era with innovative technology. Take a look at our video feature on it to see this beautiful new facility.

Each month we feature architectural sites that define our community. This month, our site features an entire community. It’s a community that was settled in the 1800s and derived its name from the willow trees and rambling brook that decorated its landscape. In addition to being a neighborhood with a rich history, it is also home to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital. This month, join me in exploring the wonderful new developments and projects in Willowbrook.

Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to seeing you again in March. In the meantime, enjoy February’s newsletter.

With hope,