Thursday, July 12, 2007
In a 36-hour span, we heard about each council district, the opportunities that every neighborhood presents and the common challenges that each community faces, whether gang violence or poor air quality. We discussed how the power of the council as a whole can be used to articulate policies and programs that will address these issues on a citywide basis. We thought through strategies to make the council more effective and more accessible to residents. From being more proactive in setting budget priorities to solutions to gang violence, this council's record in getting things done was highlighted by the retreat, as was its recognition that we are standing at a crossroads in this city's history. As representatives of the people, we have been entrusted to work the raw materials of Los Angeles's human and natural resources and turn it into the model for a 21st-century city.
What's next? In the coming months, we will be setting up visits to each council district. We will have in-council broad-view policy discussions on the highest-profile issues that confront our city: public safety, the environment, and mobility, to get started. I think we will become an even more effective body at advocating for the residents of Los Angeles.