On Sept. 1, I was joined by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and hundreds of wide-eyed, smiling youth from South LA for the grand opening of a brand new, state-of-the-art synthetic field at Trinity Park—one of latest upgrades and part of a nearly $1 million investment to the area. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, we held a soccer programming clinic with National Soccer Hall of Fame member Hugo Pérez.
With almost one-third of the population that I represent under the age of 18, it is imperative that our families have clean, safe spaces and recreational programming that our youth need to be happy and prosper.
Unfortunately, our neighborhood parks have been historically underfunded and haven’t always had the resources they need or support they deserve. To say this is a high priority issue for my office is an understatement. Since taking office in 2013, I have helped secure more than $38 million for much-needed repairs and improvements at more than half of the 26 parks in Council District 9.
Improvements to-date at Trinity Park include: a state-of-the-art, synthetic soccer field; new custom playground equipment; and resurfaced basketball courts, among other upgrades.
Stay tuned for more upgrades coming to several of our parks later this year. I can honestly say that I'm very happy with the progress that we've made so far, but we have a lot more work to do.
In August, students across the Ninth District took part in the 2nd Annual “Youth Innovative Entrepreneurial Leadership Development” (YIELD), a program designed to offer area high school students an opportunity to experience hands-on, real world entrepreneurial training by trade experts.
The intense week-long program exposes local African American and Latino youth to valuable information and resources, giving them the tools to succeed and prosper. For five days, students in the program were exposed to a variety of industries such as Technology, Financial Literacy, Construction, Government and more.
It gives me great pride to bring programs such as YIELD into our community. It is my sincere hope that such opportunities inspire our youth to reach for their dreams despite the cultural and economic barriers they may face.
A big thank you to all who attended this year’s Central Avenue Jazz Festival July 30 and 31, 2016. For more than two decades, the annual jazz fest has been a staple for our community—celebrating the area’s rich cultural past, present and future.
It gives me so much joy to see people of all ages and backgrounds embrace this free community event year after year.
I loved seeing our seniors get up and dance to jazz legends like Kenny Burrell and Ernie Andrews, and our youngsters gain a new appreciation for jazz with emerging talents like Ray Goran. This is a festival that truly has something for everyone.
Once again, the festival included three stages of live music; free health screenings; a children’s area; an arts pavilion highlighting artists near and far; resources and information for emerging businesses, entrepreneurs, job seekers and employers; and traditional cuisine from different countries.
But the festivities don’t have to end just yet. I’m pleased to announce that my office is sponsoring two fun contests!
If you fancy yourself as a star of next year’s festival, enter your talents into our “Search for the Next Jazz Star” challenge. In this challenge we’re looking for 2017 jazz festival performers—yes, you could be performing at the 22nd Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival. For more information, please visit indi.com/centralavejazz/nextjazzstar.
There’s more. We also want to hear about your most memorable jazz fest experience. Was it a favorite performer, some delicious food or your friend breaking down to some serious grooves? There’s still time for you to win an iPod nano, Best Buy gift card, and movie theater tickets. For more information on entering this contest, please visit indi.com/centralavejazz/favmoment.