Monday, October 30, 2006

A City Mourns

As representative of the 13th district, I have had the privilege of working with some of the most extraordinary individuals in the country. From sanitation experts to public safety officers, the strength of Los Angeles can be found in the individuals that have devoted their lives to making the city a sparkling example of social justice, economic prowess, and community development.

It was with great sadness that I attended the funeral of LAPD Officer Landon Dorris, a member of the Northeast Division who was killed in the line of duty when conducting a routine traffic investigation. A three-year veteran of the department, Officer Dorris achieved his dream of joining the LAPD after having served for 6 years in the California Highway Patrol. Father of three-year-old Landon, Jr. and one-year-old Brandon, Officer Dorris embodied the very best qualities of a father and a police officer. His presence will be missed in our community and in our hearts.

Officer Dorris was not the only loss sustained by the City family. Angela Bowden, a long-time researcher for the Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) organization, also left us too soon, passing away at the young age of 30. After dropping out of high school, she returned to Cal State Northridge, where she earned a degree in Deaf Studies/Linguistics, and then went on to earn a Masters in Economics from Cal State L.A. She worked tirelessly to connect low-income communities of color to information to develop effective, proactive workforce and economic development initiatives. My office worked very closely with her to develop a tiered health care workforce system that helped residents of the city move up the ladder in the health care industry. Angela's life was an inspiration, and her legacy will challenge us to work for economic justice in this city and the world over.

The work and commitment of Officer Dorris and Angela have forever changed the face of the city. Our thoughts and prayers are with both families.