Message from MRT, January 2014

Welcome to the January 2014 newsletter. As usual we have a lot in store for you. This month, among other activities and events, we celebrate the legacy of a truly great American Hero, our nation’s last Founding Father, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are now hard at work preparing an inspiring 22nd Annual Empowerment Congress Summit. As is tradition, it falls on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend (Saturday, January 18) and this year we will celebrate both the legacy of Dr. King, and another human rights giant and proponent of peace, President Nelson Mandela. Some truly inspiring local leaders are confirmed to participate in the Summit including SEIU ULTCW president Laphonza Butler, Founder of the environmental non-profit environmental justice Mujeres de la Tierra Irma Muñoz, Lynwood Mayor Aide Castro, Attorney and social justice advocate Sandra Fluke, the man who is working to reshape healthcare here and nationally, one of our region’s most inspiring and generous businessmen, philanthropist Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and Aja Brown, the recently elected mayor of Compton who has brought new energy and hope for a renaissance in that community. There will also be workshops focusing on issues ranging from Sex Trafficking to the Affordable Care Act. Be sure to register today.

On another front, we continue to work hard to bring reform, transparency and accountability to public safety and law enforcement. We need a citizen’s oversight commission to work with and monitor the Sheriff’s Department. I have held this position since taking office, and this week, even though Sheriff Lee Baca announced his retirement, he also made clear his support for a civilian oversight commission.

In this edition of our newsletter we have a special treat for you. Construction of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital and Outpatient Center has been largely completed. These facilities are part of an entire medical campus that will focus on both preventative care and emergency treatment. Staffing and equipping of the facilities has now begun, but take a look at the video in the newsletter for a sneak peak.

Every month we feature the architectural gems of the Second District. And this month, we focus our attention on the Bethlehem Baptist Church. This is the only church designed by the great modern architect Rudolph Schindler. Commissioned by an African-American congregation in 1944, its futuristic lines were a visual symbol of a time to come that would embrace social and racial progress. Read more about this architectural gem in our newsletter.

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

With hope,