Friday, February 29, 2008 pays off

Thank you to everyone who helped fund exciting public school projects through! Because of you, we raised more than $12,000 to fund projects in more than 16 classrooms. Hundreds of kids will benefit from new books, science kits, computer software, and so much more! These donations have paid for Let’s Learn Science, a project that helps kindergarten students at Mayberry Street Elementary to learn the lifecycle of the butterfly; Leap into Literacy, which provides family literacy packs for low-income students with a limited grasp of English; and Digital Producers/Directors, which allows students to create digital movie presentations to improve their computer and speech skills. Even though the February challenge is over, our public schools always need help. Visit to learn more about how you can help!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grand Opening of the Griffith Park Community Center

On Saturday, March 1, the Griffith Park Adult Community Club will celebrate the grand opening of the new Community Center, located on Riverside Drive, south of Los Feliz Boulevard. The facility is operated by the LA Department of Recreation and Parks and serves the over-50 population of Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, and Silver Lake. Come join members of our senior community to tour the new facility and enjoy music, dancing, activities, and food from 11AM to 4PM. A big thanks to all who made this center a reality – Lia Lomedico, Stephanie Vendig, Doris Slater, Bea Gold, Jeanne Phipps, and Marilyn Friedman. Call (323) 667-3043 or email for more information about the Griffith Park Adult Community Club and the event.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Homeownership Preservation Fair

On Saturday, March 1st, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services will be hosting a Homeownership Preservation Fair at the Praises of Zion Baptist Church, located at 8222 S. San Pedro Street. Please join housing and financial services professionals as they discuss foreclosure prevention, buying opportunities, and credit recovery from 10AM to 1PM. Call (213) 381-2862, extension 142 or e-mail to reserve space and get more information.

If you can’t make it this Saturday, foreclosure counseling is always available through Operation Hope. You can call their financial services hotline at (877) 592-HOPE at any time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Glassell Park gang shooting incident yesterday

Yesterday’s gang shootings in the Glassell Park area once again demonstrated our city’s need to make safe communities our top priority.

In the last few years, we have poured additional resources into this area to stop the gang violence that has plagued the neighborhood for decades. LAPD and other law enforcement officers have been active in the neighborhood and were able to intervene immediately to bring safety back to the community. I want to thank the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department who did a stellar job of responding to this incident. I am committed to working with the police department to make sure it is getting the resources it needs to protect our communities.

I am also committed to creating more opportunities for young people to give them positive alternatives to gang life, including continuing a program I started last year called At the Park After Dark, which kept the Glassell Park Recreation Center open late into the evenings during the summer.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Westmoreland Lofts bring art to formerly blighted property

Westmoreland Lofts
Originally uploaded by CD-13
Revitalizing our neighborhoods happens block-by-block.

At the corner of Westmoreland Ave and Council St, the community has transformed a blighted property into 31 lofts where artists live and work. Last weekend, the artists of the Westmoreland Lofts hosted a neighborhood open house with music, food, and - of course - art. It was a great day and the festivities exemplified what communities can become with big dreams and hard work.

YOU can help make our neighborhoods safer

My office regularly hosts Leadership Academies -- half-day workshops that bring local residents together to teach them about the city services available to them and train them to organize their neighborhoods to improve their communities.

Today, I met with some wonderful people from the East Hollywood community who participated in our Public Safety Leadership Academy. Participants learned how to organize a neighborhood watch, how to work effectively with LAPD, and how to report graffiti for paint out and bulky items for pick up.

The Academy also gave participants the opportunity to meet each other and forge new relationships that can make their efforts on behalf of the community so much more powerful. In fact, this group will meet again next month to work on next steps toward making the community a safer place.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Los Angeles LEEDs the Way

Silver Lake Library
Originally uploaded by CD-13
Buildings consume 60% of electricity, generate 30% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, and produce 136 million tons of landfill waste every year. Today Los Angeles took a huge step forward as two council committees today approved a new green building ordinance for the City of Los Angeles. This ordinance includes a new requirement that large developments meet a nationally recognized environmentally-friendly design known as LEED – or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This standard will take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, cut down on energy and water bills, and put Los Angeles at the forefront of the green building movement.

We’re asking more from developers, but we’re demanding much more from ourselves. We’re setting up a new Green Building Team designed to tackle codes and make it easier to build green. We’re also offering new incentives for builders that agree to meet a higher LEED standard.

Cleaning our air and water, preserving our land, and fighting global warming is important to our city’s future. We’re one big step closer to a greener, healthier Los Angeles.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Spreading Good News

Good News for School on Wheels
Originally uploaded by CD-13
Usually when I see the newswomen in this photo, they are reporting on City Hall. Today, I'm turning the tables on them.

The Good News Foundation is a non-profit organization comprised of women in television news and works to make a positive difference in the communities they cover every day. Today, the Good News Foundation dedicated a new computer center at the School on Wheels location that serves students in grades K-12 who are living on Skid Row. The Foundation donated $10,000 and facilitated a donation by OfficeMax of office supplies and computer equipment valued at $20,000.

This is indeed good news for thousands of students who have received tutoring and mentoring through School on Wheels.

(Pictured are KTTV's Dorothy Lucey, KABC's Wendy Burch, KNBC's Ana Garcia, School on Wheels' Agnes Stevens, KCBS/KCAL's Pat Harvey, and KTTV's Christine Devine.)

Here's an opportunity to help local schools!

Every kid deserves access to a top quality education, but too many of our teachers do not have the resources they need to help kids learn through creative classroom projects and engaging instructional materials.

Here's an opportunity to help! is a non-profit organization that helps connect public school classrooms in need with people who want to help them. Teachers submit project proposals that are carefully vetted by before they are posted on the web site for potential donors to review.

This month, is making a final effort to raise funds for 2007-08 projects before school ends for the summer. Projects in my City Council district range from purchasing reading comprehension games for second graders at Glassell Park Elementary School ($215) to buying a high-tech SMART board to help Hollywood High School students learn science ($2,656). You can contribute as little or as much as you want toward one of these projects.

Even a small contribution will go a long way toward helping a student understand a complicated concept or making a subject come alive for a class.

Click here to visit my page on the web site and find out more about local classrooms that need your help.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Skid Row housing goes solar

This morning I went to the St. George Hotel to announce the installation of solar panels at this permanent supportive housing facility operated by the Skid Row Housing Trust. The solar panels were made possible by the BP Solar Neighbors Program, which engages celebrities to raise awareness of the benefits of solar power. Celebrities have solar panels installed at their home and the BP Solar Neighbors Program installs a solar power system free of charge for a low-income family. Actor Will Ferrell made possible the solar panel installation at the St. George and this was the first multi-family project by BP Solar Neighbors.

See more from the St. George in this video.