Los Angeles Councilman Gil Cedillo recently heard from Lincoln Heights residents who were eager to share with him the several things they think need fixing. One of the main topics repeatedly brought up by members of the Lincoln Heights Senior Center, where his ‘Listening Tour’ event was held, was a need for repaired sidewalks, better street lighting and additional time to legally cross the street at intersections with countdown timers.
Seniors Guadalupe Jimenez, Maria Ignacia Sanchez and Eva Castillo were among the voices asking for street improvements that would allow the elderly to cross the street or take walks without fear of falling and becoming injured.
Ernest Sanchez, a member of the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council, told EGP he would like to see the sidewalks on Selig Place near EL ARCA—an organization that caters to developmentally disabled adults—be the first to be repaired. Large concrete slabs of sidewalk have been a major hazard for way too long, he said.
The Aug. 8 meeting was broken up into groups where facilitators wrote down issues and possible solutions that they want addressed.
Theresa Velasquez, a Lincoln Heights resident, told her group that transients are a major problem in the area. They are aggressive and intimidate business owners, they also come up to cars as they come off the freeway asking for money, she said.
Velasquez also pointed out that while dumped bulky items on the streets are problematic and unattractive, metal recyclers make the issue worse by destroying items, like TVs and mattresses, and leaving debris scattered on the spot in order to take the metal.
Jess Arenaz, also a resident, said he wanted to see more affordable housing in the area and surveillance cameras installed on the streets to catch vandals in the act.
Gangs, graffiti control as well as overzealous police and parking enforcement officers were also mentioned. Economic development, arts and culture and the environment were also topics discussed.
During the meeting local police and fire fighters were introduced to the audience by the councilmember and students from a new music program established by the councilmember performed. After introducing his staff to the audience, and at times going back and forth between speaking English and Spanish, Cedillo told the attendees their priorities are his priorities too.
“Stop signs, better lights, better crossing, speed bumps… these problems of public safety are the most important for us, so we have heard you today talk about public safety in a very specific way…,” said Cedillo. “I want you to know that we are working on these issues right now and we will continue to work on these issues.”
Another “Listening Tour” for the Pico-Union and University Park communities will take place tonight from 6:30pm to 8pm at the Red Shield Youth and Community Center, located at 1532 W. 11th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015