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Building a Better Life for the Homeless

Two brothers who used to live in makeshift encampments along the LA River take a tour of what will become their new home. It’s part of Los Angeles County’s unprecedented efforts to end the crisis of the homeless through Measure H.

 

Home for the Holidays

Monica Potts has been in and out of homelessness for over 30 years, but her life has taken a turn for the better, thanks to Los Angeles County’s efforts to combat homelessness through Measure H.

Spectrum News In Focus: Concerns about Legalizing Marijuana


LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas talks about his concerns over the legalization of marijuana.

Remembering the Legacy
of Mayor Tom Bradley

A new documentary, Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race, celebrates the life and legacy of Los Angeles’ first and only African-American mayor on what would have been his 100th birthday.

All photos by Aurelia Ventura/Board of Supervisors

Remarks by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas during a recent screening of the film.

“Thank you to the March on Washington Film Festival, The California Endowment, and The California Wellness Foundation for hosting tonight’s event.

“Mayor Tom Bradley’s impact on Los Angeles is immeasurable. It is a privilege to reflect on these accomplishments in commemoration of his 100th birthday, and in the presence of some of his family, friends and colleagues.

Mayor Tom Bradley

“Tom Bradley has had a profound impact on my career as a public servant and elected official, from his support of my work with Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and my candidacy to City Council, and his influence on the rest of my political career.

“He was not only the first and only African American mayor in Los Angeles, but he was also this city’s longest standing mayor. His accomplishments over his five terms as mayor are far too long to list, but three things stand out that cannot go unmentioned.

“First was Mayor Bradley’s work ethic and integrity. His work ethic was second to none. He arrived at City Hall before everyone else, and left after everyone else. He handled the job with humility and honor, providing an extraordinary example of leadership in the modern era.

“Second was his commitment to celebrating, recognizing and investing in the diversity of Los Angeles. Mayor Bradley understood that the great diversity in a city like Los Angeles was an asset, whether around religion, gender, race and ethnicity, nationality, class or profession.

The late mayor’s daughter, Lorraine Bradley

“His staff and commission appointments reflected this. In many ways, he opened up City Hall to those who had never before felt that government could truly represent and look like them. He built diverse coalitions that brought people together for the first time around a shared vision of change. He gave coalition politics a new meaning.

“Third, Mayor Bradley helped transform Los Angeles into a world-class metropolis. His contributions to the development of downtown L.A. are enormous, as was his work around bringing the Olympics to this city.

“I believe his leadership on building out L.A.’s light rail transportation system was particularly transformative in Los Angeles. The Crenshaw/LAX Line is in no small way an example of the legacy of Tom Bradley. Due to his efforts, two years ago, we dedicated the Expo/La Brea station in honor of his wife, Ethel Bradley. Together they laid the foundation for the light rail system we are benefiting from today.

“In closing, I want to thank all the partners in the room, who give me confidence that we will continue to honor Mayor Bradley’s legacy, today and moving forward.”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas with event panelists, including journalist Warren Olney, USC Professor Manuel Pastor, and the late Mayor Tom Bradley’s daughter, Lorraine Bradley.

A New Beginning for Casa Honduras in West Athens

Officials from the Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles (CDC) joined Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, friends, and neighbors to celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of the Casa Honduras Restaurant (Casa Honduras).

Formerly a Waffle Factory restaurant and Stan Kite Coffee Shop, Casa Honduras was converted into a Latin American restaurant serving the Athens-Westmont community. The CDC provided a RENOVATE grant of over $207,000 for the restaurant’s exterior façade improvements. Casa Honduras is the first of five other businesses along corridor now upgrading their facades with a total investment of $700,000 to date.

“When we invest in our communities, we create opportunity and hope,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.

Monique King-Viehland, Acting Executive Director said, “This is the first RENOVATE project completed in the Second District and I hope it demonstrates the value the County can provide to help businesses grow. We have programs to help businesses large and small; it just takes a call to our office and we’re ready to help!”

Funded by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ Economic Development Trust Fund Initiative, the Casa Honduras façade improvement project continues the CDC’s vision of revitalizing commercial corridors. For example, in order to create an inviting outdoor space for the local Athens-Westmont community, the CDC designed a new patio area for festive gatherings. Not only will this enable the Casa Honduras Restaurant to expand its clientele, but will also provide an enhanced sit-down dining experience to benefit the adjacent neighborhood. The enhancements also included new windows, doors, painting, lighting, signage, and a new accessible ramp along the main entry with landing surface and railings. The CDC’s RENOVATE program provides business owners architectural design services, environmental testing and abatement, and construction project management.

“This represents a new beginning for local entrepreneurs, Jose Alvarado and Jose Marin, and a better and safer experience for those that live, work and play in this neighborhood,” the Supervisor said.

Casa Honduras Owner Jose Alvarado said, “I am truly thankful to the CDC for my restaurant being selected as one of the first RENOVATE projects for Los Angeles County. I am very excited to see how my business and the Athens-Westmont community will improve through these enhancements. Thank you to the CDC and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas for this distinct honor!”