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,

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,

Message from MRT, December 2013

Welcome to the December newsletter. As usual we have a lot in store for you.

Many of you joined us last month on Long Beach Boulevard to March Against Trafficking. As you know, one of the most atrocious crimes against children continues to this day not just in our district, but throughout the county and state. Our rally and prayers served to launch a campaign to make it clear that child sex trafficking cannot continue in our community and that “buyers” will pay, not child victims. Period. Early next year we’ll be supporting legislation to bring new penalties to those who prey on our young ones.

And on the subject of working to improve our community, we want to share with you our vision to transform eight miles of blight, unused railway from the LA River roughly along Slauson Boulevard, to a more vibrant area including a bike path and green space. Take a look at the video and join me in envisioning what a transformation of our community on this scale might look like.

Every month we feature the architectural gems of the Second District. This month we’re doing something new: we’re featuring the architect behind some of the most outstanding and distinctive buildings not just in Culver City, his home base, but around the world: Eric Moss.

We are thrilled to bring you a sampling of the buildings that are altering the visual landscape of Culver City as well as an interview with this giant of design. Take a look.

Lastly, we hope that you’ll join us on Friday, December 13 for our annual tree lighting ceremony at the Martin Luther King hospital in Willowbrook. We’ll have more information posted on my website as it becomes available.

Thank you for your attention and have a Happy Holidays.

With hope,

Message from MRT, November 2013

Welcome to the November newsletter. As usual we have a lot in store for you.

I’d like to begin on a serious note and discuss the plight of children who are being trafficked. Increasingly, children are being bought and sold not only abroad and across the nation, but also right here on the streets of Los Angeles County. We are taking action against those who exploit our children, and I am inviting you to join me on November 21st for an evening march and rally along Long Beach Boulevard. Save the date and check back here for more details.

I’d also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of medical professional who volunteered their services for the recent Care Harbor free clinic. Almost 4,000 people went to the Sports Arena late last month for desperately needed health care. As troubling as it is to see so many people who are sorely in need of medical and dental attention, it is also inspiring to see the hundreds of volunteers who line up to help them.

Lastly, I’d like to call to your attention is our monthly architecture feature, which displays the design jewels of the Second district. Sometimes we highlight classic buildings; sometimes we choose modern sites that stretch the definition of architecture. This month’s choice embraces both classic and modern structures: beautiful Loyola Marymount University. Take a look.

Thank you for your attention and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

With hope,

Message from MRT, October 2013

Welcome to the October 2013 edition of the second district newsletter. As you’ll see, we have a lot going on.

Last week, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg paid us a visit at the board to add fuel to our conviction that Los Angeles County can lead the way in reducing recidivism statewide. And treating mental illness and substance abuse is the way forward. Providing necessary services to people right when they leave prison or preferably before they leave, is simply being smart on crime.

The Board also recently joined with the City of Los Angeles to oppose a June 2014 ballot initiative that seeks to create a public health department to be run by the city. This misguided ballot measure however, would effectively leave residents of the city without public health services for one to two years, should it pass. The initiative prevents the County from contracting to provide services, so those would cease, and city officials say it could take them two years to ramp up a new department. But flu epidemics and viral infections do not respect city borders. These will always be regional challenges that affect the 10 million residents of the county, not just the 4 million who live within the city lines. As such, creating a city public health department would be rolling back the clock on important progress made in combatting outbreaks and epidemics county-wide.

And on the subject of health, one of the best ways I’ve found to promote good health is by providing avenues for free fitness in our community. In the Second District we work to build parks, community gardens, bike paths, and our latest recreational addition, the Eastern Ridgeline walking trail in Kenneth Hahn Park. The trail is the first part of planned “Park to Playa” regional trail, which will eventually create a 13-mile pedestrian route from Baldwin Hills to the Pacific Ocean.

We hope you enjoy October’s newsletter, and we look forward to seeing you in November.

With hope,