Chiang Takes Campaign for Governor to Boyle Heights

June 8, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

State Treasurer John Chiang began what is being billed as a statewide listening tour for his campaign for governor Tuesday in Boyle Heights, one day short of a year before the primary election. While there, he also picked up an endorsement from Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the area that was once home to former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is also a candidate for governor.

“John is the very definition of a public servant,” Huizar said at Mariachi Plaza. “If you want flash and no substance, look no further than the White House at this time, and see how that’s working out. But if you want a trusted, steady and fearless leader who knows when to be tough against special interests, who knows when to cross the aisle to get things done for the people, then John Chiang is your choice for governor.”

The endorsement comes as a bit of a surprise in the gubernatorial race, given Huizar’s relationship with candidate and former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who supported Huizar’s bid to replace him on the City Council.

Their relations became strained during the 2015 election season, however, when Villaraigosa backed former county Supervisor and Councilwoman Gloria Molina in her bid to unseat Huizar. Molina and Villaraigosa go way back, supporting each other’s political aspirations for decades.

Villaraigosa has not commented on Huizar’s backing of Chiang.

Chiang thanked Huizar for his support, calling him a “dear friend” and an “extraordinary council member.

“This is such a fantastic place,” he told the crowd of supporters. “I am so honored to be in this community. I strongly support Jose and his extraordinary efforts to strengthen this community by investing in safer neighborhoods.”

After the event at Mariachi Plaza, where mariachi musicians have gathered since the 1930s in hopes of being hired by visitors, Chiang visited the Libros Schmibros Lending Library and dined at Al & Bea’s Mexican Restaurant.

Chiang chose to start the tour in Boyle Heights because of its rich history as a multi-ethnic community of immigrants that reflects the “vibrant and rich diversity throughout California,” according to his campaign.

His second stop on the tour was in San Francisco Wednesday.

Chiang officially began efforts to run for governor on May 17, 2016, when he opened an account to raise money for a campaign.

“I’m running for governor to make sure the future my parents provided for my family becomes a reality for the future of all California families,” Chiang told City News Service in February response to a series of questions emailed to his campaign.

“As a child of immigrant parents, me and my siblings grew up in a much different time. My parents arrived in this country, each dreaming of a better future. While their determination and relentlessness led to a middle-class neighborhood with better schools, we still experienced bigotry, as the first Asian-American family on the block, but my parents never gave up on a better life for my family.”

The field to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown, who is barred from running for re- election in 2018 because of term limits, also includes Chiang’s fellow Democrats Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Villaraigosa and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.

Chiang was elected treasurer in 2014 after two terms as controller. He was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998. He began his career as a tax law specialist with the Internal Revenue Service and later was an attorney in the State Controller’s Office.

 

John Chiang lanza Campaña para Gobernador en Boyle Heights

June 8, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

BOYLE HEIGHTS — El Tesorero del Estado de California John Chiang lanzó la que se ha sido llamada una gira estatal para escuchar a la gente esta semana en Boyle Heights, un día menos de un año antes de las elecciones primarias.

Chiang abrió su gira formalmente en la Plaza Mariachi, en donde músicos han congregado desde alrededor de 1930 en busca de contrataciones y trabajo como mariachis itinerantes. Visitó también el candidato postulado para Gobernador a la biblioteca extraoficial Libros Schmibros y aprovechó para tomar su almuerzo en el restaurante Al & Bea’s. Recibió el respaldo público del consejal municipal José Huizar, representante del Distrito 14, el cual incluye a Boyle Heights.

Chiang decidió lanzar su campaña en Boyle Heights por su innegable historia como puerto símbólico para generaciones de inmigrantes que refleja “la diversidad reluciente y la riqueza cultural que se extiende por California”, según su campaña.

La siguiente parada de su gira fue la ciudad de San Francisco.

Chiang inició oficialmente sus esfuerzos como candidato el 17 de mayo del 2016 cuando abrió una cuenta para recaudar fondos con cual correr.

“Estoy corriendo para gobernador para asegurar que el futuro que mis padres hicieron para mi familia sea una realidad para todas las familias californianas”, dijoChiang a City News Service el febrero pasado como respuesta a una serie de preguntas enviadas por email a su campaña.

“Como hijo de padres inmigrantes, mis hermanos y yo crecimos en una era muy distinta. Mis padres desembarcaron en este país, ambos soñando en un futuro mejor. Aunque su determinación y persistencia resultó en circunstancias económicas mejores y escuelas mejores, todavía nos tocó sufrir la intolerancia racial como la primera familia asiastica-americana en la vecindad, pero mis papas nunca dejaron de luchar por nuestro porvenir”.

Chiang prometió que si logrará ser elegido “sería un líder fuerte al nivel de la economía quien gobernará con inclusividad” además de “ofrecer soluciones concretas ante cuestiones como el mejoramiento de la infraestructura, el apoyo para el sector creciente de energía sostenible y la protección de nuestros vecinos inmigrantes”.

“La gente de California merece vivir en un estado que les provee un ambiente de bienestar y prosperidad, creación de empleos, protección de sus ahorros, ameliorización general de los costos de educación, incubando la continuación de inovación, acceso a seguro medico universal y el fomento de la diversidad cultural que le da a California su identitad especial”, dijó Chiang.

Para intentar reducir las cifras de la pobreza en el estado, las cuales son solamente peores en el Distrito de Columbia, después de adjustaciones basadas en el costo de la vida, según los números repartidos por el Departamento del Censo, el candidato propone “inversion el analisís de la infraestructura y la inversión que resulta en la creación de empleos”, y “la inversion en viviendas alcanzables para ayudar a los miles de los desalojados transicionar de la calles a sus propios hogares”.

California se “recupera de una desintegración del sistema hipotecaria y una crisis económica de un nivel cual no se ha visto desde la Gran Depresión, y ahora debemos enfocar en sanar a las comunidades más afectadas y debiles con más alojamientos alcanzable para gente de humildes recursos y la creación de trabajos”, Chiang dijó.

El campo para reemplacer al gobernador actual Jerry Brown, quien debido a los limites en la duración de servicio público como elegido no puede volver postularse para reelección, también incluye a los similarmente Demócratas, el Vicegobernador Gavin Newsom, ex-Alcalde de Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa y la ex-Superintendente de Educación Pública Delaine Eastin.

Chiang fue elegido a tesorero en 2014 después de dos términos como controlador. Fue anteriormente elegido por primera vez a la Mesa de Equalización en 1998 Empezó su carerra como especialista en leyes de impuestos con el Servicio de Ingresos Internos (IRS) y después como abogado en la oficina del Controlador Estatal.

Medida S es Criticada Por Líderes Angelinos

March 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

El controlador de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles, Ron Galperin, se unió a la lista de líderes locales opuestos a la Medida S, el 24 de febrero, y criticó la financiación de la campaña por la Fundación de Salud del SIDA (AIDS Healthcare Foundation en inglés).

“La campaña a favor de la Medida S no ha sido transparente con la gente de Los Ángeles. Ha engañado a los votantes ocultándoles cómo dañaría a la vivienda asequible. Ha engañado a los Angelinos diciéndoles que requiere que los funcionarios “desempeñen su trabajo” mientras elimina los fondos necesarios para poder prestar los servicios básicos de la ciudad y no aborda la crisis de vivienda”, dijo Galperin en una conferencia de prensa en el Centro LGBT en Hollywood.

“Ha engañado a sus propios endosantes resultando en cancelaciones de apoyo, ha declarado falsos endosos y usado nombres de oficiales erróneamente. Además ha mal guiado a la comunidad LGBT, colocando el nombre de la organización del VIH/SIDA para llamar la atención y puesto los fondos al servicio de una causa que en el mejor de los casos es irrelevante y directamente perjudicial a la gente que sirve”.

La Fundación de Salud del SIDA, sin fines de lucro establecida hace 30 años, trata a cientos de miles de pacientes al año y rinde servicios filantrópicos alrededor del mundo. Desde la semana pasada, el grupo ha invertido más de $4.6 millones en la campaña, casi el 99 por ciento de las contribuciones en apoyo a la Medida S.

El director general de la Fundación de Salud del SIDA, Michael Weinstein, defendió la inversión política de la fundación en enero, diciéndole a City News Service que el desarrollo en Los Ángeles está aumentando los costos de vivienda y dejando a muchos de sus pacientes sin hogar.

“Adoptamos una visión expansiva de la salud. Creemos que los determinantes sociales de la salud son igualmente importantes a las condiciones medicas de las que los pacientes sufren”, dijo Weinstein.

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La campaña a favor de la Medida S también ha sido criticada por imitar la apariencia de un avisos de desalojo en materielas de campaña enviados por correo.

La Medida S se encontrará en la balota del 7 de marzo y si es aprobada detendría todas las enmiendas del Plan General o los permisos especiales dados a desarrolladores para las zonificaciones de áreas. Esto sucedería por dos años mientras que la ciudad actualice su Plan General y los planes comunitarios de desarrollo de los vecindarios.

Los partidarios de la Medida S argumentan que el procedimiento actual de aprobación de solicitudes de zonificación de áreas da la impresión de que el concejo de la ciudad puede ser comprado. Ellos alegan que los funcionarios electos rutinariamente reciben donaciones de campaña de parte de los desarrolladores creando una relación acogedora.

Los oponentes de la Medida S incluyen al Gobernador Jerry Brown, al Alcalde Eric Garcetti y al concejal de la ciudad José Huizar. Ellos dicen que la medida limitaría la capacidad de construir viviendas asequibles y dañaría la economía local.

“Los partidarios de la Medida S quieren cerrar el desarrollo y están dispuestos a recortar los empleos y aumentar los alquileres para hacerlo”, dijo Huizar en una conferencia de prensa con algunos líderes latinos en Boyle Heights el jueves.

Algunos líderes de la comunidad LGBT se unieron a Galperin para criticar la Medida S.

“El Centro LBGT está construyendo cientos de unidades de vivienda asequible para los jóvenes indigentes y los pobres de la tercera edad”, dijo Lorri Jean, director general del Centro LGBT de Los Ángeles.

“Si la Medida S hubiese existido en el pasado, nos habría detenido y hubiera dejado a un sinnúmero de niños sin hogar en las calles. Esto no es la solución correcta para Los Ángeles”.    Aproximadamente una media docena de seguidores de la Medida S se presentaron en la reunión del Ayuntamiento de Los Ángeles el 24 de febrero y comentaron.

“La organización multimillonaria que nos apoya es el bueno en este caso. Sus desarrolladores millonarios y organizaciones son los malos, para que quedemos claros”, dijo Jill Stewart, gerente de la campaña a favor de la Medida S.

Hermon Fights for Its Own Neighborhood Council

December 22, 2016 by · 2 Comments 

It’s the story of the little neighborhood that refused to give up.

After five years of fighting for a separate voice in Northeast Los Angeles, the small community of Hermon could soon have their very own neighborhood council.

Members of the Hermon Neighborhood Council Formation Committee submitted a subdivision application last week, which if approved would mean Hermon would separate from the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council. The committee has been hard at work over the last six weeks finalizing the application and bylaws they started four years ago. The group has attended dozens of city meetings, gathered signatures from residents on petitions and reorganized its members.

“This is an amazing historic moment for our community,” longtime Hermon resident and community activist Wendi Riser said in an email to members of the formation committee.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to characterize Hermon residents as fiercely proud and protective of the small town like community they’ve worked hard to cultivate near the Arroyo Seco Parkway, known to most people as the Pasadena Freeway. They love their open spaces and the neighborhood dog park that hosts regular “yappy hours” and where their four-legged friends parade in Halloween costumes, as well as their local businesses and schools.

When a medical marijuana dispensary operator tried to open shop in the neighborhood, the community quickly organized a public meeting in protest with help from District 14 councilman, Jose Huizar, bringing in representatives of the city attorney, State Board of Equalization, CD-14 staff and LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division – ultimately stopping the pot shop from ever opening its doors.

(Courtesy of Wendi Riser)

(Courtesy of Wendi Riser)

They tend to be wary of any changes in city policies and ordinances they fear will have a damaging effect on their way of life, and they don’t like having their needs dictated by people on the outside.

In addition to Hermon, the Arroyo Seco NC also represents Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills, Mt. Washington and Sycamore Grove. The Arroyo Seco NC consists of two representatives from each of the five communities with the exception of Mt. Washington that has four. There are also 9 at-large members – representing the environment, health and safety, culture and arts – and one community interest representative on the board.

In Los Angeles, each neighborhood council yearly receives city funds to use on outreach, local improvements, special projects, programs or grants to engage residents. They are tasked with advising the L.A. City Council on local issues as well as the city budget and proposed laws, taxes and land use issues.

After more than a decade as part of the Arroyo Seco NC, Hermon residents felt their needs did not fall in line with those of many of their neighboring communities and a change was needed.

Hermon has too often witnessed its demands vetoed by the rest of the neighborhood council, says longtime community activist Joseph Riser, Wendi’s husband and president of the formation committee.

According to Hermon’s application, the proposed neighborhood council would have nine seats, with each member specializing in fields ranging from education to business.

When the neighborhood council system was first established the process for a community to separate from the neighborhood council it was affiliated with was difficult, if not nearly impossible. In 2012, Councilman Huizar, with help from the community, spearheaded an effort to streamline the process to allow neighborhoods councils to subdivide in cases where communities are separated from its neighbors by significant geographic features, such as the Arroyo Seco Parkway and the Ernest E. Debs Regional Park in Hermon’s case. The new law also eliminates the so-called “Starbucks stakeholder,” referring to outsiders who seek to influence neighborhood council elections by virtue of their patronage of a local establishment.

“I want to thank leaders from the great community of Hermon for bringing this idea to me,” Huizar told EGP Monday. “The new system that I helped create makes it easier and is fair to both existing neighborhood councils, as well as any proposed NCs.”

Hermon is “different from many of the neighborhoods that make up Arroyo Seco,” points out Joseph Riser, explaining the need for change. “Our houses are different, we were established by different people.”

Quaint and quiet Hermon, called the “biggest small community in Los Angeles, was established in 1903 by a group of Protestants, eventually taking on a college town feel when the now closed Los Angeles Pacific College opened. Although primarily residential now, the neighborhood is home to a popular dog park, small business district, an elementary school, an alternative high school and charter school.

Hermon falls under a different precinct than its neighbors and is even served by a different councilmember than the rest of the Arroyo Seco.

“Over the years, some of the people on the neighborhood council couldn’t even tell you where Hermon was,” Joseph Riser said, only half-jokingly.

He told EGP the new neighborhood council would take a closer look at the types of developments, like “McMansions” and affordable housing, as well as new businesses coming into their neighborhood.

Before they can move forward, L.A.’s Department Neighborhood Empowerment (EmpowerLA) must first approve Hermon’s application. If that happens, a vote of all Arroyo Seco stakeholders will take place within 90 days to decide whether Hermon should be allowed to separate and form its own neighborhood council.

“This is where we will need every Hermon stakeholder to show up and vote for Hermon,” says Wendi Riser.

Despite rumors to the contrary, if the Hermon Neighborhood Council is approved the Arroyo Seco NC will not be decertified or lose any of its $37,000 annual allowance.

Voting is expected to take place in March 2017. If passed, the Hermon Neighborhood Council could hold its first meeting as early as July.

 

Pieces of Rock ‘Bridge’ Communities

August 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Some of the rocks were big, others were small, but to the hundreds of people who lined up Saturday in downtown Los Angeles, the only thing that really mattered was the chance to own a piece of Los Angeles history.

Bell resident Bertha Luna and her family were among those who made the trek downtown in hopes of getting a piece of the iconic Sixth Street Bridge that had for decades connected the eastside to the city’s urban center.

“We had to have piece of L.A. history,” exclaimed Bertha.

“There are other bridges but none have this view,” her husband Armando chimed in.

The one-of-a-kind keepsakes were distributed during “Rock Day L.A.,” a celebration held near what remains of the bridge that was demolished earlier this year to make room for safer structural expanse across Los Angeles River.

Since its construction in 1932, the Sixth Street Viaduct – as it’s officially named – has been a favorite among filmmakers, appearing in dozens of TV shows, music videos and movies, including “Grease,” “Terminator 2,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Furious 7.”

“There are few structures in the city that are as iconic and easily recognizable,” pointed out Councilman Jose Huizar, who hosted the event. “This bridge was one of them.”

Hundreds of people lined up Saturday to take home a piece of the 6th Street Bridge. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Hundreds of people lined up Saturday to take home a piece of the 6th Street Bridge. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Just 20 years after being built, engineers discovered that the bridge was succumbing to Alkali Silica, a chemical reaction that was disintegrating the cement supports holding up the bridge. A 2004 seismic study concluded the bridge would very likely collapse during a major earthquake, prompting officials to decide to replace the structure when other restoration attempts failed.

The city of Los Angeles has approved $449 million for the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, the largest bridge project in the city’s history.

In February of this year, crews demolished the old bridge and began construction on a new one that is expected to open in late 2019.

The significance of the milestone was not lost on Boyle Heights resident Diana Del Pozo Mora, who along with her daughter and granddaughter each got their hands on a hunk of cement from the local landmark, and the certificate of authenticity it came with.

“We came because of what the bridge means to us; heritage, memories and infrastructure,” Del Pozo Mora said, recalling her many trips across the bridge. “It represents what L.A. was built on,” she said nostalgically.

Her 9-year-old granddaughter, Jessie Ponce de Leon, says she plans to share her rock with her fellow students when she goes back to school.

“I will keep it forever,” she told EGP, holding up the rock that caught her eye.

Hilary Norton was at the event handing out rocks. She said some people wanted to know what part of the bridge the rocks came from while others wanted a rock with graffiti on it. One resident even came prepared with a stroller to carry out the largest piece he could find, she said in amusement.

Most of all, “people wanted to talk about their love for the bridge,” Norton said.

The new Viaduct will have many more features then its predecessor that architects say will make the structure more pedestrian- and bike-friendly.

In addition to 10-lighted arches, there will be bike lanes, wider sidewalks and nearly eight acres of recreational open space under the bridge that will be accessible by stairways and bike ramps.

Replacing such an iconic landmark is a big responsibility, Tim Williams, managing principal at Michael Maltzan Architecture, the firm that designed the new structure, told EGP.

“There’s a civic duty that goes along with designing a piece of infrastructure like this,” he said. “What is especially great is it connects and ‘bridges’ these communities.”

Huizar admits the new bridge has large shoes to fill but believes its design will ultimately be just as iconic.

“The new bridge will not just be about getting from point A to point B, [but] will turn into a destination of its own,” he told EGP.

Oscar Guzman and his daughter Isabella enjoy reading about the history of Los Angeles and specifically attended the event to get a hold of the certificate of authenticity that comes with the rocks. They hope the new bridge will not only last as long as the previous one but also generate the same type of enthusiasm among residents.

“Everyone in Los Angeles, from all walks of life, crossed that bridge,” noted Guzman. “That bridge will go down in history and we have a part of it.”

$50,000 Reward Offered in Shooting of 10-Year Old in Boyle Heights

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A $50,000 reward was announced Thursday for information leading to the identification and arrest of whoever wounded a 10-year-old girl in a drive-by shooting in Boyle Heights, then left the scene laughing.

A man on a bicycle was the intended target in the shooting that occurred about 6 p.m. on June 10 near the intersection of Rogers Avenue and South Chicago Street, west of the Hollywood (101) Freeway, according to Officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section.

The girl and her sister were waiting to cross a street when a passenger in the suspect vehicle opened fire on the intended victim, who was riding a bike near the girls and who was not struck, police said.

“On June 10th, as you know, the little girl was outside with her sister when a car drove by and fired several shots at a bicyclist riding near the girls,” City Councilman Jose Huizar said.

“The 10-year-old girl was struck in the head and collapsed.”

Laughter was heard coming from the car as it left the scene, according to the LAPD. The girl was taken to a hospital and underwent surgery.

The reward was announced at a news conference at the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Station. Members of the girl’s family were among those attending, urging anyone with information to come forward.

Police said there were two vehicles involved, each carrying three to four male suspected gang members. The shots were fired by a passenger, described as a man in his early to mid 20s, in a black 2005 Toyota Camry sedan.

The second vehicle was described as a 2001 metallic silver Chevrolet Impala with a sunroof and a spoiler on the trunk.

Anyone with information about the suspects was urged to call (323) 342-8900 and ask for Hollenbeck detectives Yoshida or Carreon. On weekends or after hours, call should be directed to the Hollenbeck watch commander at (323) 342-4101.

Anonymous tips can be provided through Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS.

Lanzan Campaña para Pedir que se Legalicen las Ventas Ambulantes

June 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Cansados de esperar por años que el ayuntamiento de Los Ángeles les otorgue un permiso para trabajar, cientos de vendedores ambulantes han optado por una nueva estrategia para lograr que se les permita salir de la ilegalidad.

Una nueva campaña se concentra en destacar el aporte de estos trabajadores a la economía de la ciudad.
Vendedores y activistas decidieron enfrentar uno a uno a los concejales de la ciudad. Irónicamente descubrieron que la mayoría de las autoridades son ajenas a la realidad que viven decenas de miles de personas.

Caridad Vásquez es una de las vendedoras que ha padecido este lento proceso. Desde que llegó a Los Ángeles hace 22 años se gana la vida vendiendo comida casera en las calles.

En el 2008 fue desplazada junto a decenas de vendedores del lugar donde había trabajado por muchos años. “De cincuenta vendedores, pues yo no más me quede aquí”, explica.

Se calcula que en Los Ángeles hay casi 50.000 vendedores ambulantes y la inmensa mayoría son hispanos de bajos recursos, a los que nadie les da soluciones.

El 6 de noviembre del 2013 los concejales José Huizar y Curren Price presentaron una moción para regular las ventas callejeras, después de más de dos años y medio los afectados, como Vásquez, no han visto ninguna solución.

“Nos han puesto junta tras junta, audiencia tras audiencia y, sin embargo, todavía no hay una propuesta que venga de los políticos. No más nos están pidiendo más y más tiempo, mientras los vendedores sufren injusticias”, dijo a Efe Janet Favela, vocera de la Campaña por la Legalización de las Ventas Ambulantes de East LA Community Corporation (ELACC).

“Ha sido muy difícil escuchar cuando nos juntamos con un concejal que nos digan: oh no sabíamos que se les cobra renta a los vendedores, que ciertos policías los tratan mal o que piden el estatus migratorio”, relata Favela.

“La policía puede llegar en este momento con sanidad y levantan todo y recibes hostigamiento” explica Merced Sánchez, oriunda de Puebla (México) y vendedora de ropa en el centro de la ciudad.

Además, los activistas han puesto en manos del ayuntamiento las reglas de ciudades como Nueva York que hace décadas otorgaron permisos para la venta ambulante.

Sánchez cree que no hay voluntad política y que el ayuntamiento está olvidándose de la comunidad de bajos recursos. La inmigrante cuenta que en México era empleada de gobierno y que al llegar al Sur de California no encontró trabajo y se dedicó al comercio.

“Hasta este momento la ciudad no quiere entender que no somos una carga sino que generamos dinero” advierte.
Según ELACC, más del 80% de los vendedores ambulantes son hispanos de bajos ingresos, a veces muy por debajo del nivel de pobreza federal. La mayoría son indocumentados que no pueden conseguir trabajo.

“Un oficial me quito y me dijo: ¿Porque no te vas a trabajar? y yo le dije: Oficial, tengo cincuenta y cuatro anos ¿Usted cree que va a haber trabajo para mi? No tengo papeles, ¿Usted cree que si yo, si no supiera trabajar estaría vendiendo?” recuerda con indignación Vásquez.

En estos últimos años la inmigrante se ha sentido ignorada, cree que parte del rezago es por que la mayoría de los afectados son mujeres. Por eso ella decidió convertirse en uno de los rostros de la campaña, que tiene un vídeo musical e incluso una fotonovela. “No porque somos mujeres nos vamos a quedar calladas”, asegura.
La nueva estrategia también busca lograr el apoyo de la comunidad y de los consumidores. La consigna es lograr demostrar que su trabajo no está afectando a los comerciantes.

Angélica María Recibe Estrella en el Paseo de la Fama en Hollywood

May 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

La actriz y cantante mexicana Angélica María recibió la estrella número 2,582 en el Paseo de la Fama de el miércoles, en honor a una carrera en cine, televisión, teatro y música.

“Esta estrella en el Paseo de la Fama de Hollywood la merecía hace mucho tiempo”, dijo el concejal José Huizar en la ceremonia frente al edificio de Live Nation en el bulevar Hollywood.

“Usted representan lo mejor de México. Para los que vivimos en este país, cuando nos fijamos en usted, usted nos recuerdan a nuestro país de origen – la belleza, la estrella, el cine – y por eso le damos las gracias”.

Angélica María recibió su estrella acompañada de su hija Angélica Vale y sus dos nietos. (Cortesía de concejal José Huizar)

Angélica María recibió su estrella acompañada de su hija Angélica Vale y sus dos nietos. (Cortesía de concejal José Huizar)

La estrella está cerca de la primera casa de Angélica María en Hollywood, que estaba en la avenida Formosa, Angélica Vale, hija de Angélica María y actriz, cantante y comediante.

“ Realmente no puedo imaginar la cantidad de veces que caminaste esta calle con mi abuela, sin saber tu nombre estaría escrito en la banqueta”, dijo Vale.

Angélica María nació en Nueva Orleans y se trasladó a México con su familia cuando tenía 4 años de edad. Ella comenzó su carrera en el cine cuando tenía 5 años y ganó el Ariel, premio de la Academia de cine de México, cuando tenía 8 años de en 1952 por “Mi esposa y la Otra”.

Angélica María ha aparecido en 61 películas, más de 25 telenovelas, 17 de producciones teatrales y ha grabado 63 álbumes.

Angélica María es protagonista con Sela Ward y Nick Nolte en la serie de comedia “Graves”, que pronto estará al aire en la red de cable premium EPIX.

‘Clean Up Green Up’ Measure Approved Benefits Boyle Heights

April 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles City Council last week unanimously approved an anti-pollution measure that will benefit the communities of Boyle Heights, Pacoima/Sun Valley and Wilmington, currently known as “toxic hotspots.”

These neighborhoods experience cumulative environmental health impacts due to their close proximity to concentrated industrial and transportation pollution sources. The Clean Up Green Up initiative aims to reduce pollution and revitalize these neighborhoods, states the ordinance.

In Boyle Heights, for example, the community is dissected by at least six major freeways–Golden State (I-5), Hollywood (U.S. Route 101), Pomona (SR 60), San Bernardino (I-10), Santa Ana (I-5), and Santa Monica (I-10)–and pollution is a big concern.

Studies have shown that people living in toxic hotspots neighborhoods endure elevated risk of asthma, cancer, heart disease and other chronic afflictions, all related to living with high levels of local industrial emissions.

The Clean Up Green Up ordinance is a groundbreaking effort where the City of Los Angeles is saying “we want to do more to protect our most vulnerable communities from pollution while offering up green solutions for businesses,” said Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district includes Boyle Heights.

“I am particularly proud of our efforts to improve air filtration systems citywide, said Huizar who championed the program five years ago with former councilmembers Janice Hahn and Richard Alarcón and supporters at Breed Street Elementary School. “This will protect children and families who live near freeways for years to come,” he said.

Through the years, Huizar oversaw its implementation as the Chair of the Planning and Land Use Management.

Rick Coca, Huizar’s spokesperson, told EGP that Whittier and Olympic Boulevards as well as Clarence and Mission Road are clear examples of where residential, schools and parks co-exist with industrial companies.

Groups supporting the Clean Up Green Up measure gathered at Breed Street Elementary School before the City Council voting last week. (Office of Councilman Jose Huizar)

Groups supporting the Clean Up Green Up measure gathered at Breed Street Elementary School before the City Council voting last week. (Office of Councilman Jose Huizar)

The measure requires that new projects within 1,000 feet of a freeway to use air filtration systems strong enough to keep out harmful emissions.

The rule also applies to existing homes and businesses that are changing out heating and air conditioning systems.

The ordinance also calls for a 500-foot buffer between auto shops and homes, and also address landscaping, lighting, building height, the orientation of parking lots, fencing and enclosures for stored materials and pollutants like dust, smoke and fumes.

Elizabeth Blaney, member of Union de Vecinos in Boyle Heights, told EGP the group has supported the measure from day one and helped to get it passed.

She said that the measure only impacts specific priority industries that are listed in the ordinance. It does not directly affect all businesses.

“Clean Up Green Up will impact new businesses that want to come into Boyle Heights and existing businesses that want to expand,” she said.

Coca said the councilman is proud of his work because the policy represents a major shift in how the City plans for the future construction near freeways. “The benefits to that part of the policy are citywide,” he added.

Blaney said that the City set up an ombudsman office to streamline permitting, coordinate inspections by various government agencies, and assist businesses with accessing resources to use green technology or other mechanisms to reduce any pollution their business may cause.

“This is about partnering and working with businesses and not to shut them down,” she said.

The City’s Bureau of Sanitation will hire the full-time ombudsperson to act as a liaison to businesses, to connect them to existing programs and resources that include local, state and federal programs, Coca said.

“The ombudsperson will help coordinate with that enforcement staff and with others from across multiple jurisdictions such as LAFD, Watershed Protection Division, County Health Department, AQMD, and even CalEPA’s Environmental Justice Division,” he said.

Just in December, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced criminal charges against five Boyle Heights metal plating businesses, with allegations ranging from improperly disposing of hazardous materials to metal dust contamination outside of the business, which eventually affected the nearby residences.

Feuer said their office is “intensifying our focus on environmental justice, deepening our partnerships with state and local agencies and committing ourselves to rid underserved communities of pollution that no one should have to tolerate.”

The companies that received misdemeanor charges are; Nature’s Design, Bronze-Way Plating Corporation, Grana Industrial Finishers Inc., California Electroplating Inc. and Chromal Plating. Four of them, within two or three blocks form each other and less than a mile distance from the 5 Freeway.

Also, a report by the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center at USC found out that freeways and other busy roadways are a fact of life for many people in Southern California, with half of Los Angeles County, nearly 8 million people, living within a mile of a freeway, and a million within 100 meters.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement that Clean Up Green Up is a cutting edge policy that will help protect the public health of the residents of some the most polluted neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

“Thanks to this ordinance, residents in Pacoima, Boyle Heights and Wilmington will get the tools to reduce pollution, support economic development, and improve public spaces,” said Garcetti.

Coca said the ordinance is expected to take effect 45 days after the Mayor signs it.

“We expect him to sign it this week,” he told EGP.

York Park One Year Later

March 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s been one year since a small neighborhood park opened to the public in Highland Park.

Located on the corner of York Boulevard and Avenue 50, York Park was designed with input from the community.

There are not many parks or open spaces in the neighborhood, so people were excited when the park opened. At the grand opening, children could be seen running around, enjoying everything the park has to offer.

At just one-third of an acre in size, the park still attracts a lot of people. A year of use, however, has led some park-goers to now say there are issues with the design. They say there are things not needed in a child-friendly park, and believe it could be made better.

The park was designed as part of the York Vision Plan, a blueprint for improving York Boulevard for residents, businesses, walkers, bicyclists and commuters.

A committee of volunteers worked with Councilman Jose Huizar’s Office on the plan. They held meetings in the community to find out what people in the area wanted most, and a park made the list.

EGP recently sat down with some park-users to discuss their views on the final design and found opinions are split.
Gloria Hernandez, a mother of three young children, visited the park for the first time with her sister. She looked around and said she doesn’t “adore” its layout.

“This reminds me of the park at home except this one has fewer things, but more colorful” she said. “Where are the swings?”

Highland Park resident Maria Ramirez said she brings her two children to the park almost every day after school. She also wishes the park had swings.

“That exercise area is not needed, it’s a park, not a gym,” she complained. “Instead of that area being for machines it should’ve been swings,” she told EGP. “My children have gotten hurt using the machines,” she explained.

Father of three, Jose Sanchez, disagrees. “I like the exercise machines,” he said. “I get to exercise while watching my children,” he added. “This park is too small for swings.”

Several people said they believe the space for the park’ small amphitheater could have been put to better use.

Children swing from the playground at York Park. (EGP Photo by Gisela Jimenez)

Children swing from the playground at York Park. (EGP Photo by Gisela Jimenez)

Yolanda Nogueira’s family has owned the brick building across from the park since 1964. She was on the committee that helped design the park. According to Noguiera, city engineers took the committee’s ideas and came up with 8 possible designs for the community to vote on.

“We voted on the swings, we definitely wanted swings in this small park,” she told EGP, agreeing with current park-users who want to see them added.

“There was certain equipment we voted on that didn’t get put in,” but should have, said Noguiera.

EGP reached out to Councilman Huizar to ask if changes could be made at the park, such as adding swings.

The councilman told EGP he is not aware of any big concerns about the park design. He pointed out that several workshops were held to give the community a chance to share their ideas. “We also had the survey where people got to vote for their favorite design after we had an idea of what it would be like,” the councilman said.

“So, the community designed the park, it was for the community.”

Creating a park on the site of a former gas station was challenging and pricey, Huizar stressed.

“When I first heard the community wanted the park there at first I thought, ‘Wow, this may not be possible.’ I realized it was going to be pricey and we would have a long process to building everything,” the councilman told EGP.

The councilman donated money from his discretionary funds to hire a grant writer to apply for Proposition 84 state park funding, which was received.

“Yes, we are open to new ideas but we do have to keep in mind that it will cost.” Huizar said.
“We [would just] have to figure out where the money would come from.”

Gisela Jimenez is a senior at Academia Avance Charter School in Highland Park. She is interning at Eastern Group Publications/EGPNews as part of the school’s “Work Educational Experience Project.”

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