Friday, April 29, 2011

Thank you, Father Mandala!

Today in Council Chambers we paid tribute to a man who has left a huge mark on the Hollywood community -- Father Michael Mandala. As the Senior Jesuit Pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church, Father Mandala has helped to bring together local clergy of all faiths to work for social justice. He has played a crucial role in establishing a tradition of caring for Hollywood's homeless community and he's an outspoken advocate for bringing affordable housing to neighborhoods with the greatest need. He's also worked with LAPD to help make our communities safer and with young people to help promote learning and leadership.

Father Mandala will continue serving the Los Angeles community in his new community outreach position at Verbum Dei High School in Watts.

We will miss him in Hollywood, but wish him the best in his new endeavor.

Elysian Park Expansion Grand Opening

Yesterday, I joined Elysian Valley and Echo Park community members in announcing the grand opening of the Elysian Park Expansion located on the border of the two communities off of Riverside Drive.

Elysian Park is a gem in our community and now it’s getting bigger and better with the expansion of five additional acres of open space, including two game courts, a children’s playground, lawn areas, picnic tables, a walking path, an outdoor classroom area, and parking spaces.

Go check it out today!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Festival Unidos por Nicaragua this Saturday

The 2nd annual Festival Unidos por Nicaragua will be held this Saturday, April 30, at 3541 W. Temple Street. The event will feature musical performances and food. A $10 donation is suggested for people over 12 years-old. For more information, call 323-953-8100 or send an email to

Unified Young Armenians march

Last weekend I was proud to join the Unified Young Armenians at the annual Armenian Genocide march in Hollywood to remember the millions of Armenians who were killed during this dark time in history and to help ensure it never happens again.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Big Sunday Weekend - May 14 and 15

This year's Big Sunday Weekend is just around the corner, so mark your calendars for May 14 and 15, and then check out the Big Sunday website to find a volunteer opportunity near you. All ages are welcome and volunteers can commit as little as one hour or up to two full days.

There are hundreds of projects that need your time, help, and skills -- including the Echo Park community clean-up that starts at El Centro del Pueblo (1157 Lemoyne Street).

Last year, more than 50,000 volunteers lent their time, energy, and labor to a worthy project through Big Sunday's annual weekend event. Help make this year's event even bigger and better!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Recycled Water Forums

The LADWP and Bureau of Sanitation are hosting a community forum in East LA to gather input, questions, and comments from community members about their Recycled Water Program. The forum will be held on Tuesday, April 26, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the PUENTE Learning Center. (501 S. Boyle Ave.) and will provide an overview of the City's long-term strategies to expand local water supplies through increased use of recycled water.

Neighborhood Nursery School Spring Fair

The Neighborhood Nursery School of Silver Lake (2700 Tesla Avenue) is hosting their annual Spring Fair on Saturday, May 14, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The fair will feature musical performances by The Alana Banana Band, The Squeegees, Ellen and Matt, Clay Allen, and The 5 & Dime Novelty Orchestra. There will also be a silent auction, a handmade quilt raffle, food, crafts, and games.

Admission is $12 for guests ages 12 and over and $5 for kids 6 to 12 years old. Children under 6 will receive free admission.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Join us for the grand opening of the Elsyian Park expansion

Join me in celebrating to opening of the Elysian Park expansion on Thursday, April 28. The new addition to this beautiful park includes new benches, disabled access, nature trails, an outdoor classroom, and new sustainable filtration technology. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. at 1800 Riverside Drive.

For more information, please contact my District Office at 323-957-4500.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Zumba to support youth scholarships for Echo Park Rec Center programs

Get fit, have fun, and support the Echo Park youth by enrolling in Zumba for Scholarships classes at the new Echo Park Rec Center gym (303 Patton Street).

Designed for beginners, classes will be held on Wednesday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Registration is $40 for a 10-week session, but there is a 2-for-1 special available for the session beginning on April 20.

Zumba for Scholarships is supported by the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council and underwritten by the Silver Lake Medical Center. One hundred percent of the proceeds will support youth athletic scholarships at the Echo Park Rec Center. The first session has already raised $500!

Here are the dates of the upcoming sessions:

  • Session 2: April 20 - June 29, 2011
  • Session 3: July 13 - September 14, 2011
  • Session 4: September 28 - November 30, 2011
To register for classes, please email

City Council commemorates 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Today I joined with Councilmember Paul Krekorian, our Council colleagues, and members of Los Angeles's Armenian American community in the city's official remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, during which 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children lost their lives and 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes.

As part of the presentation, we honored Professor Richard G. Hovannisian, an American historian and scholar who was the first holder of the Armenian Education Foundation Endowed Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA.

This year marks the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and today we recognize those who have the courage and are working to ensure that it never be lived again.

Crisis Response Team volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed for the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team, a group of community volunteers who are trained to respond to traumatic incidents at the request of the Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments.

CRT volunteers provide immediate on-scene crisis intervention, attend to urgent victim needs, act as a liaison between the victim and emergency personnel, and give referrals to victims and their families affected by a death, serious injury, violent crime or other traumatic incidents.

All CRT volunteers must attend a seven week training course from May 2 through June 20, with sessions Monday and Wednesday evenings at the South L.A. Sports Activity Center at Florence and Figueroa.

For more information or to apply, please e-mail Jeffery Zimerman at

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The 22nd Annual Great L.A. River Clean-Up

Friends of the Los Angeles River is hosting the 22nd Annual Great L.A. River Clean-Up on Saturday, April 30, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Volunteers are needed to pick up trash at 14 different sites, including Sunny Nook Park in Atwater Village and Marsh Street Park and Elysian Valley Gateway (on Knox) in Elysian Valley.

Last year more than 3,000 volunteers participated in the largest clean-up event in the river’s history.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, click here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Free Immigration Law Clinic in East Hollywood

The Rosewood Neighborhood Immigration Clinic will host a free legal clinic offering counsel on immigration issues on Saturday, April 23. The clinic begins at 10:00 a.m. at Rosewood United Methodist Church (4101 W. Rosewood Ave). Attendees will be able to consult with a licensed attorney on all immigration law matters. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. For more information click on the flyer to the right or call 1-800-244-8622.

Celebrate Earth Day

There will be many ways to celebrate Earth Day and learn about how to preserve and protect our environment in Los Angeles. Among them is the Zero Waste at City Hall Earth Day Celebration hosted by the Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation and L.A. Farmers’ Market. The event will take place on Thursday, April 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the City Hall South Lawn (200 N. Spring Street). It will feature live music, free coffee, games, and prizes.

Click on the flyer to the right for more information.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Orchestra Concert in Echo Park on Saturday

The Harmony Project will hold a Spring Orchestra Concert featuring live music by students from their organization and the Hollywood Youth Orchestra on Saturday, April 16.

The concert begins at 2:00 p.m. at Angelus Temple, 1801 Park Avenue, in Echo Park. Free parking is available in the Angelus Temple parking structure off of Glendale Boulevard. It's free and open to the public.

The Harmony Project is a local nonprofit organization that works to promote positive youth development through year-round music lessons and ensemble participation for at-risk youth in underserved areas of Los Angeles.

Update on Songs of the L.A. River Project

The City of Los Angeles, in collaboration with the L.A. River Day of Service, is presenting the Songs of the L.A. River Project. Local youth between the ages of 6 and 18 are invited to write and submit an original piece of music inspired by the Los Angeles River. The top two entries will win a chance to perform their song with Grammy-winning band Ozomatli at the L.A. River Day of Service on April 30.

Submissions are due by Friday, April 22. E-mail your video, MP3 recording or YouTube link of your performance to For the required entry forms and more information, please visit

Garage sale to benefit Atwater animals date change: now April 16

The Atwater Village Directors of Animal Welfare will host a garage sale to benefit the animals of Atwater on Saturday, April 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 3713 Edenhurst Avenue.

Donated items can be dropped off at the address above.

More information is available by contactting

RSVP now for May 7 Los Angeles Neighborhood Dreams (LAND) Visioning Summits in Elysian Valley and Silver Lake

The Elysian Valley Visioning Summit will be held at Dickerson Employees (1918 Riverside Dr.) on Saturday, May 7, beginning at 9 a.m. Click here to RSVP.

The Silver Lake Visioning Summit will be held on Saturday, May 7, at Mayberry Elementary School (2414 Mayberry Street) beginning at 1 p.m. Click here to RSVP.

LAND is a collaborative process for community members to identify priority projects in their neighborhoods and then achieve them. You can learn more about my Los Angeles Neighborhood Dreams (LAND) initiative here.

"Clean and Connected Communities" grant deadline extended to May 5. Apply now!

The deadline to apply for our neighborhood beautification grants has been extended to Wednesday, May 5th! Neighborhood leaders are encouraged to apply for this new initiative to plan and implement improvement projects in their communities. The Clean and Connected Communities program will provide grants of up to $2,500 each to up to three neighborhood projects.

Neighborhood stakeholders -- including Neighborhood Councils, school organizations, Neighborhood Watches, and non-profit organizations – are encouraged to collaborate and apply. Projects must be located in Council District 13 and make physical improvements through initiatives such as landscaping, tree planting, signage, community clean-ups, community gardens, and murals. The Council Office will select semi-finalists from the applicants, and community members will then be invited to vote for the final grantees.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Songs of the L.A. River Project

The City of Los Angeles, in collaboration with the L.A. River Day of Service, is presenting the Songs of the L.A. River Project. Local youth between the ages of 6 and 18 are invited to write and submit an original piece of music inspired by the Los Angeles River. The top two entries will win a chance to perform their song with Grammy-winning band Ozomatli at the L.A. River Day of Service on April 30.

Submissions are due by April 15. E-mail a video or YouTube link of your performance to For more information, please go to

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Healthy Kids Day

The Hollywood Wilshire YMCA will host its annual Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 16th from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. Free health screenings, H1N1 vaccinations and health and nutrition activities will be available. Attendees can also sign up for YMCA summer camps, Jr. Lakers and Splash Week activities.

Healthy Kids Day will be held outside the YMCA building at 1553 North Schrader Blvd in Hollywood. For more information please contact Kitty Gordillo at 213-639-7542 or

Monday, April 04, 2011

Los Angeles Neighborhood Dreams summits this weekend

Over the weekend, I held Los Angeles Neighborhood Dreams summits for the Echo Park/Historic Filipinotown and East Hollywood communities. I would like to thank all the community members who came out to share ideas on how to make our neighborhoods better.

At the Echo Park/Historic Filipinotown summit, dozens of community members joined in a constructive conversation around topics such as beautification, economic development, arts, transportation, safety, and community capacity building. For Historic Filipinotown, LAND participants were particularly interested in promoting the neighborhood's identity through increased marketing, signage, and tours of the community. Participants ranked beautification as their number one priority for Echo Park -- more trash cans, a streetscape plan, tree planting and maintenance, street furniture, and conversion of empty lots into green space were among their biggest concerns.

In East Hollywood, economic development, neighborhood beautification, public safety, arts, and green space topped the list of participants' priorities. Ideas that were raised included attracting more restaurants and small businesses to the area, beautifying storefronts, and bringing more lighting to the neighborhood. Stakeholders also said they would like to see a community garden in East Hollywood as well as youth centers and fields.

Historic Filipinotown Clean Up

On Saturday, April 9, the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) in partnership with the Historic Filipinotown Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Historic Filipinotown are sponsoring a neighborhood clean up.

Participants will meet at Lake Street Park (227 N. Lake Street) at 9 a.m. The clean up will last until 12 p.m.

The Silver Lake Meadow is now open

On Saturday, I was very pleased to join the Silver Lake community for the opening the Silver Lake Meadow. This is a real milestone for the Silver Lake Reservoir. Along with the walking path that we just completed two years ago, we’re continuing to enhance what is already a treasured community asset.

The Meadow includes more than three acres of green space around the Silver Lake Reservoir. It will be available to the community from dawn until dusk for passive recreation such as jogging, walking and strolling.

Thank you to everyone who came to help cut the ribbon and open the gates! It was great to see so many families already enjoying the new open space - with kids of all ages running around barefoot on the fresh grass.

New Farmer's Kitchen Workshops

The Farmers Kitchen (1555 N Vine St) has announced two new workshops for the month of April.

On Saturday, April 9, "Fermentation 101" will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants will learn the art and science of fermentation by making vinegar, yogurt and sauerkraut. They will also have an opportunity sample fermented products and take home one or more mother cultures.

On Monday, April 11, "Healthy Treats for your Hound" will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Participants will learn how to make great-tasting, healthy all-natural snacks for their dogs. The workshop will be taught by Annie Siegmann of Ruff Ruff Bakery.

LéaLA, Los Angeles' first Spanish-language book fair

LéaLA (“ReadLA”) is Los Angeles city and county’s first-ever Spanish-language book fair. The three-day literary event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Concourse Hall, 1201 South Figueroa St.) April 29 through May 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

LéaLA is organized by the University of Guadalajara and co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Public Library. The fair is expected to draw more than 10,000 people each day. More than 80 renowned Latin American authors and over 100 publishers will showcase their Spanish-language fiction and nonfiction. The event will also offer non-literary events including concerts at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live by Grammy-winning artists including Lupillo Rivera, Pedro Fernandez and Molotov.

A LéaLA-sponsored cultural seminar, “Icons, Patterns, Aesthetic and Social Control in the Management of the Collective Imagination,” will be held at the Richard J. Riordan Central Library (630 W. Fifth St.) on Thursday, April 21, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information about the seminar, please call 213-228-7125.