Education, Arts & Culture

A New Future for Victoria Golf Course

A rendering of the sports plaza that will be a part of “The Creek at Dominguez Hills.”


After years of financial, environmental, and operational challenges, the Victoria Golf Course in the City of Carson is on track to be transformed into a state-of-the-art community hub for recreation, community gathering, and economic development.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a lease with Plenitude Holdings, LLC for “The Creek at Dominguez Hills” on the southern 94 acres of the site. The Creek at Dominguez Hills includes over half a million square feet of commercial and privately-operated recreational uses, including an enhanced driving range, a seven-acre traditional golf practice facility, a multi-use sports facility, a sky diving facility, an outdoor adventure park, and a 6.6-acre public park. These facilities, which will be complimented with a club house, retail stores, restaurants, and a sports health and wellness building, will bring a plethora of recreational amenities suitable for all ages and interests.

“The redevelopment of Victoria Golf Course will be transformative for the City of Carson, the South Bay, and the region at-large,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who authored the motion to authorize a lease with Plenitude to redevelop the site. “The Creek at Dominguez Hills will exponentially increase and diversify opportunities for recreation and community gatherings and have the companion benefit of creating well-paying jobs. Authorizing a lease for this development paves the way for realizing the highest and best use of this property in a manner that will benefit hundreds of thousands of Angelenos annually.”

In summary, the Creek at Dominguez Hills will:

  • Exponentially increase recreational opportunities in Carson;
  • Generate additional revenue for the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation that can be reinvested in park programs in underserved areas;
  • Create hundreds of construction and permanent jobs; and
  • Support economic development in the South Bay region at large.


The proposed redevelopment of the site was first contemplated in November 2017, following direction from the Board to the Department of Parks and Recreation to explore expanded uses of County golf courses, including developing more community-based programs to ensure properties were better utilized to serve a broader section of the population. A 2016 Countywide Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment identified the City as an area with high park need. As compared to the County average of 3.3 park acres per 1,000 residents, the City currently has only 1.5 park acres per 1,000 residents.

In 2019, the Board approved a  lease for the Carol Kimmelman Athletic and Academic Campus on the northern portion of the golf course, which will include a tennis center to be operated by the United States Tennis Association Foundation, sports fields, and a youth-focused learning center operated by the Tiger Woods Foundation.

The Kimmelman Campus is anticipated to attract between 75,000-100,000 visitors in its first year, and the Creek at Dominguez Hill’s recreational amenities are anticipated to attract an additional 600,000 visitors a year. In comparison, the Victoria Golf Course has attracted an average of 43,000 annual users over the past three years.

The Creek at Dominguez Hills will be constructed by workers from the local community. Over 300 construction and 750 permanent jobs will be created, which is a stark difference from the 11 jobs that support current golf course operations on the site.

In its first ten years, including while the project is in its construction phase, the County anticipates generating more than double the rent revenue compared to the current golf concession. This revenue will be used by the Department of Parks and Recreation to support its general operating costs and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in new annual revenue that can be invested in park programming in underserved areas across the County.

“We recognize Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas for leading the way to provide diverse recreational opportunities at the future ‘The Creek at Dominguez Hills’,” said the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation Director, Norma E. García-González. “We look forward to working with Plenitude Holdings, LLC, to develop the Project and the community benefit which include a public park and a golf component for Los Angeles County residents to enjoy.”

“We’re pleased that we have been able to work so closely and successfully with the County of Los Angeles to move this project to the next stage and to secure approval of the Environmental Impact Report. This development will be a tremendous asset for the greater LA region, providing jobs as well as much needed community space for residents. In addition to the multi-use indoor sports complex, the project will also combine a traditional and modern take on the golf experience with FlyingTEE, along with other sports-oriented offerings,” explained Bill Shopoff and Randy Blanchard, Principals of Plenitude Holdings LLC.

A rendering of the FlyingTEE sports complex.

County Leaders Statewide Honor Supervisor Ridley-Thomas

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas was honored with the President’s Award at the 126th Annual Meeting of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), an organization that is considered the voice of California’s 58 counties at the state and federal level.

“Supervisor Ridley-Thomas embodies the essence of tenacious leadership,” said CSAC President and Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett. “When he speaks, people listen… in Los Angeles, California, and across the nation.”

“He went above and beyond in his efforts to ensure our collective County voices were heard in Sacramento and we had a seat at the table on key initiatives that impacted all Counties,” she continued. “Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has been a dear friend and mentor and I am deeply grateful for his leadership, expertise and willingness to foster the potential he sees in others.”

“Thank you very kindly for this honor,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “I wish CSAC nothing but the best as it navigates the policy agenda for the State of California and sets an example for the rest of the nation. It’s important that we view our work through an equity lens if we are to fulfill the promise of democracy for all.”

“I’ve learned a lot over the years I’ve had the opportunity to serve on  CSAC’s executive committee, and I’ve benefited from the fellowship and camaraderie as well,” he added. “Though I’m joining the ranks of city service, that will not in any way diminish my commitment to counties: once a Supervisor, always a Supervisor. It’s just that simple.”

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas has served his community for more than 30 years, including as Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and terms in the Los Angeles City Council, California Assembly and California State Senate.

He has been an active member of CSAC’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and also served Counties as the co-chair of Governor Newsom’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors and chair of CSAC’s Homelessness Action Team.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, who is on his third and final term at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, recently won election back to the Los Angeles City Council, where he will represent the 10th District.

CSAC President and Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in a file photo.

Supporting Small Businesses, One Restaurant at Time

Like so many small businesses in Los Angeles, local restaurants have been some of the hardest hit businesses during this pandemic. Recently, Los Angeles County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas took a trip to Little Ethiopia to show his support for the community, and to support Rosalind’s, one of the oldest Ethiopian restaurants in the neighborhood. Known for its authentic Ethiopian cuisine, Rosalind’s has been a local staple for more than 20 years.

“In the County of Los Angeles, we literally have thousands of small businesses. But few are like those in Little Ethiopia—a cultural center of consequence, and we want to make sure we’re doing our part to bring awareness and support them,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.

Despite the unprecedented nature of this crisis, Rosalind’s has made appropriate adjustments to keep its business up and running during this time. Properly social distancing tables outside the restaurant, and moving to a primarily takeout menu.

“COVID-19 has affected us very greatly. It’s been almost 7 months since the pandemic hit. We have a 400,000 square foot restaurant and we were doing decent. But ever since the crisis began, the inside has been kept closed,’ said Fekera Gedremariam, owner of Rosalind’s Ethiopian Cuisine. “I am thankful to Supervisor Ridley-Thomas for visiting Little Ethiopia and highlighting this community.”

“Small businesses, like everyone says, is the engine of our economy. Small businesses are the mom and the pops, small businesses are where you have the majority of your employees, small businesses drive the economy. Rosalind’s is very dedicated to serving its customers, and I hope that they can survive COVID-19,” said Ethiopian Culture Center Founder, Nikki Legesse.

New and loyal customers help to keep businesses like Rosalind’s afloat during these difficult times.  First-time customers, Henry and Amanda had this to say about supporting local businesses, “During this time everyone should support small businesses and go out to eat at local restaurants. A lot of restaurants have outdoor dining and outdoor patio seating. So, as long as you follow the necessary precautions, it’s very safe to do so. Or you can order take out, shop at the smaller shops, just continue to keep the economy going and support local small businesses.”

“The resilience that these restaurants have demonstrated is not to be ignored. It is to be celebrated and supported. Come and support your local restaurants. They make a difference, they hire people who need these jobs and it’s the best way for us to show that we will not give up, that we will push forward and make the best out of all of these circumstances. Support your local business and start right here,” concluded Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.




Building a Bridge from Baldwin Hills to the Beach: 13-Mile Trail Now Open

After months of Los Angeles residents having limited options for recreation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Park to Playa Trail is complete just in time to offer Angelenos a long-awaited and safe opportunity to explore the outdoors.  

The 13-mile trail connects the Baldwin Hills Parklands to the Pacific Ocean via the Stocker Corridor, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Stoneview Nature Center, the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, and Ballona Creek Bike Path. It represents the first regional trail in South Los Angeles, and the entire Second Supervisorial District of the County of Los Angeles.   

To celebrate the trail’s completion and grand opening, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas hosted a socially-distanced ribbon cutting with partnering public agencies and community members, followed by an inaugural hike across the brandnew pedestrian bridge that crosses La Cienega Blvd and connects Hahn Park to the Stoneview Nature Center.  

“When we broke ground on this trail 8 months ago—the world looked entirely different. Despite this, some things remain the same, or perhaps have become even more important,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “The value of human connection and opportunities to experience the beauty of our natural environment has become paramount to our wellbeingToday we celebrate the Park to Playa Trail, which represents the best of what public agencies can do, when they come together, to create special spaces and experiences for our community.” 

The trail was built in seven different segments over the past ten years, with the connection between Hahn Park and the Stoneview Nature Center representing the final segment—and previous missing link—to the now seamless trail.  

“Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas understands that trails connect people not only to the outdoors but to each other–and this bridge stands as a testament to his unwavering commitment to community engagement and empowerment,” said the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation Director, Norma E. García-González. “The Park to Playa Bridge and Trail will become a destination for hikers and nature lovers; a recreational route for the community that will join together Hahn Park and Stoneview Nature Center, onto the Ballona Creek and finally to the Pacific Ocean, forming a 13-mile trail. It even includes a wildlife corridor, a landscaped path for small animals to cross La Cienega Blvd.” 

Baldwin Hills Conservancy Executive Officer David McNeill added, “Not only will this connection provide a safe elevated crossing for pedestrians and bicycles, it creates an opportunity for wildlife to visit both ridgelines which increases the region’s biodiversity. While the ongoing expansion of Baldwin Hills Parklands has brought a lot of openings, the anticipation from the public for this bridge has been higher than I have seen in years. The Conservancy has been getting emails and calls for months leading up to this day. We’re just grateful the final piece of Park to Playa has come to fruition.” 

In its entirety, the trail amounts to a $23 million investment in outdoor recreation for the Baldwin Hills and surrounding communities. An additional $20.5 million was invested in new amenities along the trail, including in the creation of the Stoneview Nature CenterMilton Street Park, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Tree Grove, as well as the transformation of the community center at Hahn Park into a state-of-the-art Interpretive Center in addition to a variety of other accessibility, habitat restoration, and recreational improvements within the parklands.  

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas worked in partnership with the County Departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, the Baldwin Hills Regional Conservation Authority, and the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority to complete the trail, which spans multiple jurisdictions, including the cities of Culver City and Los Angeles, and State Parks property. 

As the County’s builder, LA County Public Works is constantly looking for ways to improve a community’s quality of life through investments in public infrastructure,” Los Angeles County Public Works Director Mark Pestrella said. “Nearly 60 percent of workers on this project are from the community—which means the bridge has both connected communities and created local jobs.” 

“Today we take stock of what we have accomplished. This bridge and trail have more than just a practical use—they have a symbolic one. The Park to Playa Trail connects us, not just to nature, but to each other,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.  

With the trail complete and ready for visitors, the only question that remains is: how will you Park to Playa? 

For more information visit: 


LA Free the Vote

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, center, with (L-R) Center for Employment Opportunities’ JJ Lamas, Office of Diversion and Reentry’s Peter Espinoza, LAFC’s Larry Freedman, A New Way of Life’s Susan Burton, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan, LA Voice’s Tim Kornegay and a colleague pose with ballot marking devices at the Los Angeles Football Club’s Banc of California stadium, which will be a vote center Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2020. Photo by David Franco/Board of Supervisors.

The Supervisor with a ballot marking device at LAFC’s Banc of California stadium. Photo by David Franco/Board of Supervisors

With the election just weeks away, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and other officials gathered at one of Los Angeles County’s newest and most beautiful vote centers — the Los Angeles Football Club’s Banc of California Stadium — to promote LA Free the Vote, an initiative that encourages people impacted by the criminal justice system to exercise their right to vote.

“In an election where the right to vote is being threatened in many parts of the country, LA County is proud to be working to restore voting rights to all eligible individuals,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who authored the motion that created the initiative. “People who have been involved with jail, prison or probation are disproportionately people of color, and their civic engagement is vital if our society is to reckon with its history of racial discrimination.”

“Our society is at its best when the decisions we make at the ballot box are truly inclusive of all of us,” said Judge (ret.) Peter Espinoza, Director of the County’s Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR), which co-leads the initiative. “The voices of those who have been in the justice system must be heard clearly when justice is on the ballot.”

People with justice system-involvement who can vote in L.A. County include those:

  • on probation, including supervised release and adult felony probation
  • out on bail
  • in jail awaiting trial or sentencing
  • in jail on an AB 109 felony (low-level felonies diverted to local jails under state realignment)
  • in jail for any misdemeanor

The Supervisor with LAFC Co-President Larry Freedman at LAFC’s Banc of California stadium. Photo by David Franco/Board of Supervisors

Those who have not already registered can register in person at any one of nearly 800 vote centers in the county through election day and then immediately cast a ballot. The Registrar/Recorder-County Clerk’s office has implemented extensive safety measures to protect voters from COVID-19: all election workers will wear protective gloves and masks, all surfaces and Ballot Marking Devices will be wiped and sanitized after each voter, social distancing will be maintained, and coverings and gloves will be made available to all voters who have not brought their own.

“We want every voter to know that it is safe and easy to vote, and that there is no better time to vote than right now,” said Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan, the other co-lead of the LA Free the Vote initiative. “We want everyone to vote and to vote as early as possible to ensure the fastest, safest voting experience for all.”

The Los Angeles Football Club’s Banc of California Stadium is one of several sporting venues that will have vote centers during this election, to accommodate social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters can cast ballots there from October 30th through election day, November 3rd.

“We take great pride in being a force for good in the Los Angeles community, and we see it as both our honor and our duty to make our stadium available as a voting center for our neighbors and to highlight the important work of LA Free the Vote,” Los Angeles Football Club Co-President Larry Freedman, said. “We hope every eligible Angeleno will likewise show their pride by registering and voting.”

Three people who were previously involved in the justice system, made the most of their second chance, and now are advocates for justice reform and pillars of the community, also spoke at the event. Each offered powerful personal testimony about the importance of the right to vote.

A New Way of Life’s Susan Burton. Photo by David Franco/Board of Supervisors

“People who have lived the criminal justice system have a unique and visceral understanding of what a difference these offices and ballot initiatives could make in people’s lives,” said Susan Burton, founder and president of the nonprofit A New Way of Life. “That’s why our voices as voters are so essential this election, from the presidential election at the top of the ballot all the way down to the local level at the bottom, where you vote on the officials and decisions that will make the greatest impact on your day-to-day life.”

“To me, voting is an expression of rights as a person and of my power as an equal member of society to make change in the world around me,” said Tim Kornegay, Justice Transformation Organizer for the community non-profit LA Voice. “With the LA Free the Vote initiative, the county is saying it recognizes the voice of the historically unheard. The initiative encourages us to be informed and vote in order to shape the programs and policies that impact our community.”

“The more we vote, the more our elected officials will hear and respect the power of our voice and our advocacy,” said JJ Lamas, Supportive Services Specialist at the Center for Employment Opportunities. “So, to my justice-involved siblings, I say: tell your friends, tell your family, tell your community, and be an example yourself. The time to register and vote is now!”

Los Angeles County has been a national leader in civically engaging people impacted by the criminal justice system. Since 2018, members of the LA Free the Vote taskforce have helped register over 7,000 people impacted by the criminal justice system — 5,000 Angelenos in LA County jails through the County Sheriff’s Department and nonprofit partners, and over 2,000 in the reentry community. The initiative has also trained over 800 County staff and partners on voter eligibility and registration.

LA Free the Vote is also a natural extension of the County’s efforts to ensure that voting is easy and safe for all voters, including first-time voters. Vote-by-mail ballots were sent to the home of every voter registered by October 19th, and can be either mailed back (postage paid) or dropped off at any secure voting drop box or voting center (without waiting in line) in the county.

LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium will be a vote center from October 30-November 3. Photo by David Franco/Board of Supervisors