Councilman LaBonge reacted with disappointment on the draft redistricting maps released on January 25th by the Redistricting Commission.
“In the interest of the city as a whole, I’m very disappointed in the draft-map released by the Redistricting Commission," said Councilman LaBonge. "The people of the 4th District participated in the public hearings on redistricting, stating loud and clear the importance of neighborhood integrity, the balance of diversity and the political representation of communities of interest in Council District 4. This draft redistricting map weakens the political representation of the Santa Monica Mountains, fractures the community of Hollywood among three Council districts and dissolves the historic core of Council District 4 – the greater Wilshire area, including the Miracle Mile, Larchmont Village, Windsor Square, Pan Pacific Park and Park La Brea. What disappoints me most is that the will of the people of the 4th district was seemingly ignored by this important process. “I therefore encourage all interested residents and community leaders of the 4th District to attend the upcoming public meetings on redistricting and make their voices heard unequivocally on keeping their neighborhoods and communities of interest together.”
Click to see a larger map of the proposed new boundaries of CD4
Come to one of the 7 public hearings below to comment on the draft maps, make your voice heard, and share your vision for our great City!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 6:30PM Wilshire Ebell Theatre 4401 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Thursday, February 2, 2012, 6:30PM Loyola Marymount University, Ahmanson Auditorium, 1 Loyola Marymount University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Saturday, February 4, 2012, 11:00AM Pierce College, The Great Hall 6201 Winnetka Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Monday, February 6, 2012, 6:30PM Occidental College, Thorne Hall 1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, CA 90041
Wednesday, February 8, 6:30PM
Los Angeles City Hall, John Ferraro Council Chambers 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Thursday, February 9, 6:30PM Walter Reed Middle School, Auditorium, 4525 Irvine Avenue, Studio City, CA 91602
Saturday, February 11, 11:00AM South Los Angeles (To be announced later this week)
Councilman LaBonge welcomes Councilman-elect Joe Buscaino to Los Angeles City Hall the day after Buscaino won a special-election to fill the 15th Council District seat of former Councilwoman Janice Hahn. Buscaino is a former Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer in the San Pedro area. He prevailed over former Assemblyman Warren Furutani in the 15th District race, which saw a turnout of only about 16% of the registered voters.
Councilman Tom LaBonge was on-hand to help "start-up" LACMA's new Kinetic Sculpture installation called Metropolis II. Designed and built by artist Chris Burden, who created the Urban Lights installation outside of LACMA, Metropolis II is a complex, large-scale kinetic sculpture modeled after a fast-paced modern city. The armature of the piece is constructed of steel beams, forming an eclectic grid interwoven with an elaborate system of eighteen roadways, including a six-lane freeway, train tracks and hundreds of buildings. 1,100 miniature toy cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour on the specially-designed plastic roadways. Every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulates through the sculpture. It's futuristic and retro at the same time ... and sure to fascinate kids of all ages.
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Councilman Tom LaBonge -- at the request of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa -- rang the bell atop Los Angeles City Hall on January 8th to mark the one-year anniversary of the shootings at a Tucson shopping center that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is on the road to recovery despite a gunshot wound to the head. Mayors of 21 cities across the country participated in the bell-ringing commemoration at the exact moment of the shooting one year ago. Councilman LaBonge tolled the bell six times in memory of the six people who were killed the day Rep. Giffords was shot and wounded. The councilman says Los Angeles participated along with 21 other cities at the request of Tuscon's Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. "It's important that we all come together at this moment to remember the victims of that tragic and shocking attack on 19 people, and to speak-out against violence. I'm honored to stand in for Mayor Villaraigosa for this commemoration on top of Los Angeles' majestic City Hall, joining with other US cities who've pledged to raise the civility of political discourse in these challenging times." Said Councilman Labonge.
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Councilman LaBonge introduced an emergency motion in City Council this week to help victims of a wave of arson fires in Hollywood during the New Year's holiday. With the arrest of a suspect, and the apparent end of the fires, Councilman LaBonge is looking to recovery for those affected. There were more than 50 deliberately-set blazes in Hollywood and the neighboring communities of Studio City and North Hollywood, causing more than 3-million dollars in damages. The arsonist mostly targeted vehicles parked outside homes or in car-ports under apartment buildings. Councilman LaBonge's special motion -- seconded by Councilman Paul Koretz and passed unanimously by the City Council on January 4th -- requests the Department of Building and Safety establish or modify any existing expedited permitting process to assist the victims of the arson fires to make the necessary repairs to their damaged structures. "We want to help our residents get back to normal as quickly as possible with as little red-tape as possible in the wake of the arson-fires," said Councilman LaBonge.
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City Councilmember Tom LaBonge held a special ceremony on the steps of the Griffith Observatory Dec. 16 to mark the 115th Anniversary of what he calls “the greatest gift the City of Los Angeles has ever received”.
It was on December 16th, 1896 that a 46-year old Colonel Griffith Jenkins Griffith strode into Los Angeles City Hall, a gold-headed cane in one hand, a roll of papers tied with a bit of blue ribbon in the other. He’s accompanied by about four dozen prominent men as he hands the roll of papers to then-Mayor Frank Rader.
That was it, according to historian Mike Eberts, who wrote "Griffith Park: A Centennial History". That roll of papers contained an offer to donate 3,015 acres of his Rancho Los Feliz, which was located a mile north of City Limits (at the time).
Well, that was almost it. The Colonel asked for two things in return. One, that all rail-fares be kept at a nickel so that even the poorest people could afford the ride out to the new park to enjoy the fruits of fresh air and sunshine, which the Colonel considered the “first requisites of sanity and health”. And, two, that the new park be henceforth and forever known as Griffith Park. And so it has. 115 years later, Griffith Park is pretty much the same as that original gift, except for the recent addition of the 138-acres of Cahuenga Peak, the purchase of which Councilman LaBonge spearheaded, and realized in 2010 with help from private donors big and small, to protect the peak from development adjacent to Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign. “My love for Griffith Park is on-par with the family I have and the family I come from,” says Councilman LaBonge. “It’s part of my family. Celebrating this anniversary is a big part of life in Los Angeles. Every year during the holidays, we remember the greatest gift the City of Los Angeles has ever received … a gift that keeps on giving. And – on a personal note – I’m pleased to have a daily relationship with Griffith Park, where I’ve been hiking nearly every day since 1978.”
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There aren’t many people who don’t mail something via the U-S Postal Service during the holidays.
But with the Postal Service now moving forward with planned closures of mail-processing centers and local post offices in May 2012, how will those packages get through next Holiday Season? Will people be able to afford the private delivery services? In addition to closing postal facilities, the Postal Service has cutback on staff, and lopped-off billions of dollars in operating costs. Postal officials are also considering terminating Saturday service. “The U.S. Mail is one of those things you can always count on in America,” said Councilman Tom LaBonge, who sits on the Los Angeles City Council Jobs and Business Development Committee, as well as Chairing the Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee. “You put that stamp on a letter, and you know that – no matter how remote your Grandma’s house is – that letter will come right to her front door, or at least to her nearby Post Office.” That might not always be the case. Of the post offices being considered for closure, more than 100 are in California – from Honeydew up in northern California to a Post Office at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. The closure list also includes several post offices in Los Angeles, as well as Long Beach, Beverly Hills, South Gate, Bell, Cudahy, La Puente, Inglewood, Compton, San Bernardino, Ontario, Orange, Huntington Beach, Laguna Woods and Santa Barbara among others. Therefore, Councilman LaBonge has introduced a motion in the Jobs and Business Development Committee, calling on the City of Los Angeles Chief Legislative Analyst and United States Postal Service officials report to the committee on the economic impacts of the post office and processing center closures in Los Angeles, as well as the potential job displacement of postal employees.
Councilman LaBonge embraces Li Zenquan or "Jackson", who served as official tour-guide and interpreter during the recent visit to Los Angeles' Sister City Guangzhou. Tom and the delegation were so taken with Jackson and his desire to visit the United States and Los Angeles, that the Councilman raised private money from the delegation to fly Jackson to Los Angeles for an 18-day stay, much of the time spent at the home of Councilman LaBonge in Silver Lake. Jackson said his life will never be the same after his visit to southern California. His favorite food: Pink's Hot Dogs with chili and onions and jalapenos. He also liked the grilled steak salad at Musso and Frank and the Quesadilla at Lucy's El Adobe. Jackson loved the houses in Los Angeles, saying every one seems to have its own personality. While in Los Angeles, Jackson bought a pair of Levi's Jeans, a Levi's Army-Style Jacket, two pairs of Converse All Stars and an American Cell-Phone. He said that the people in Los Angeles are very nice and that people drive very gently - not like in China, he said; drivers here let you cross the street. Jackson also visited other parts of California: his favorites were Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica Beach. He also liked Solana Beach near San Diego and San Francisco. About his host, Tom LaBonge, Jackson said he serves a lot of government officials in China and he's never seen anybody work so hard and who is so friendly with the people in the community. Jackson remarked that Mr. LaBonge always picks up all the trash in the street ... even when he's visiting China. Jackson feels the Councilman works too hard.