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Join the Citizen Scientist’s Program!

Los Angeles County faces extraordinary environmental challenges that range from earthquakes and wildfires, to water shortages and habitat fragmentation.  The burden of collecting useful environmental information on critical issues of sustainability and public health is a daunting task and requires collaborative efforts.

Urban ecology is a multi-disciplinary science that strives to understand the dynamic processes that drive the changes observed in urbanized landscapes. These drivers may be physical, such as climate and topography and biodiversity as well as human social factors.

Better understanding the changes to our ecosystems requires the collection of an enormous amount of data.  In response, traditional academic research teams must approach community members, who, in turn, must be trained in order to create effective research teams. The training of community members supports environmental justice efforts within affected communities and helps develop a base for expanded green job opportunities and a workforce with exceptional science, technology, engineering and math capabilities.

The Second District, the Empowerment Congress and Loyola Marymount’s Center for Urban Resilience and Ecological Solutions’ are collaborating to engage residents in this effort to develop Citizen Scientists. Through a series of workshops and completion of actual field projects, residents, teachers and students can acquire the tools they need in order to take leadership roles in the gathering of critical environmental data which they can use to better the ecosystem and social health of their communities.

To learn more about the next training session, click here for workshop flyer and map.

  • August 2nd, 3rd, 4th from 9am-3pm each day in Room 324 William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University (please check in at the security booth located on the Lincoln blvd campus entrance)
  • Open to teachers (Grades 5-12), after school professionals, and interested citizens wishing to conduct scientific investigations in their own neighborhood who agree to attend all three days and to pioneer the curriculum in their own schools and communities
  • The program will feature projects on bird bioacoustics, biodiversity, water quality, and urban gardens
  • There is no charge for participation as support will be provided by the National Science Foundation, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Loyola Marymount University

Contact: Ms. April Sandifer at UrbanEco@lmu.edu (310) 338-2343.  This is the first of a series of workshops to be held over the next year, and you are welcome to sign up for any of the workshops.


Board approves $4 million for East Rancho Dominguez Library

A new library in the unincorporated area of East Rancho Dominguez is one step closer to opening its doors and serving the public. Today the Board of Supervisors allocated $4 million to construct a new facility on the corner of  East Rose Street and South Atlantic Avenue, which will replace the existing undersized library located half a mile away on Compton Avenue.
[pullquote_right] “The County’s investment into this library is meant to meet the needs of the community while serving as a public oasis for people of all ages,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. [/pullquote_right]The action taken by the Board authorizes the contractor to begin construction on the 7,200 square-foot facility, which when completed, will house a collection of 35,000 books and other materials. The library will be built using solar energy panels, which will help offset the library’s annual energy cost and qualifies the County to receive an estimated one-time $32,000 rebate from Southern California Edison through the California Solar Initiative Program.  Once completed, the building will meet Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Certification.

Aside from providing students and adults with a wealth of books, the $7.5 million facility will create approximately 200 jobs and provide nearby residents and commuters with a community room, reading areas, a homework center, public access computers, a meeting room, group study space, and public access Wi-Fi internet connection.

“The County’s investment into this library is meant to meet the needs of the community while serving as a public oasis for people of all ages,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.  “I look forward to walking into the brand new East Rancho Dominguez Library once it’s completed.”

Press Release (PDF Document)

Speaking Up and Out About Redistricting

“Unbelievable.” “Ridiculous.” “That map doesn’t make sense.” These words were uttered from the crowd of onlookers who attended a press conference organized by the African-American Redistricting Collaborative. Stakeholders gathered in front of the California African American Museum in Exposition Park to voice their opposition to the redistricting maps proposed by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

At the press conference, current and former African-American political figures from federal, state, and local government voiced their outrage of the proposed maps which would cut out African-American political representation by dividing the African-American population in the 33rd, 35th, and 37th Congressional Districts.

Political figures expressed how redistricting plans would transfer the California African-American Museum and Leimert Park to unrelated districts such as Tujunga Canyon.

“If you don’t speak up, you will be left out,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Our descendants fought, bled, and died to have a right to participate in the political process and we are not going to start sitting down now.”

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is scheduled to release a final version of the map for public input and review Friday, July 29. The California Citizens Redistricting Commission is made up of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four individuals who are not registered with either party.

Contact the California Citizens Redistricting Commission by writing, emailing, or faxing the commissioners:

Citizens Redistricting Commission
901 P Street, Suite 154-A
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 651- 5711

Email: votersfirstact@crc.ca.gov

National Night Out – Lennox & Wiseburn

National Night Out, now in its 28th year, is a nationwide unique crime and drug prevention event led by law enforcement and organizations that have a common interest in creating a safe and secure neighborhood environment.  NNO has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program that neighborhoods benefit from.  Traditionally, neighbors would turn on their porch lights and hold night vigils to promote solidarity.   Today, neighborhoods are banding together to make a stronger stance against crime by having evening events with their local law enforcement agencies, businesses, non-profits and churches.

National Night Out is designed to:

  • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
  • Promote and strengthen neighborhood spirit
  • Build law enforcement and community relationships

Download Above Wiseburn Flyer (as PDF document)

Download Above Lennox English Language Flyer (as PDF document)
Download Above Lennox Spanish Language Flyer (as PDF document)

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas receives 2011 National Leadership Award

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was honored with the National Leadership Award from the National Forum for Black Administrators at its eighth annual awards banquet Thursday, July 21 in Washington DC. The leadership award, which also was given to Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, and Harry E. Johnson, Sr., president and chief executive officer of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. is given to public servants who have demonstrated an unselfish commitment to serving the community, exhibited exemplary leadership, and achieved excellence in public service. In his acceptance speech, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said, “I am humbled and honored to be recognized by the national forum. “I strive not only to be an effective leader in the political arena, but to always be mindful that I follow in the footsteps of African-American trailblazers who opened the door for me and many others who are dedicated to this work.”

The Supervisor added: “I’d also like to commend the forum for its efforts of preparing the next generation of young people to be conduits of new ideas, innovation, and change in public service positions.”

Founded in 1983, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators is a professional membership organization dedicated to advancing Black leadership in the public sector. To date the organization has 2,700 members, representing more that 350 jurisdictions in 36 states.

The forum is committed to increasing the number of African Americans appointed to executive positions in public service organizations by grooming aspiring leaders for senior public management positions.

Press Release (PDF Document)
Photo Gallery (Flickr Set)
Photo Gallery (SmugMug Gallery)