On April 18, the NEW 9th celebrated the long-anticipated ribbon cutting of Banc of California Stadium—the new $350 million home of the Major League Soccer team Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC).
“It’s been incredibly exciting for me and my constituents to drive past Expo Park and see this majestic soccer stadium rise from the rubble,” said Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. “I'm especially proud to say this project exceeded a 40 percent local hire commitment and is contributing to the growth of our small- and women-owned businesses in the area.
Thank you LAFC for bringing the beautiful game to the Ninth District. Now, let's go out and make some history.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2018
LOS ANGELES – Five years after Councilmember Curren Price and José Huizar introduced a motion to legalize Sidewalk Vending, the Los Angeles City Council approved a plan on April 17 to direct the City’s Planning Department and City Attorney to write the ordinance. The Council backed a plan introduced the day prior in the Economic Development Committee (EDC) - chaired by Councilmember Price, with Huizar and Joe Buscaino as members. Price introduced an amendment in EDC to find common ground in developing an enforceable and fair Sidewalk Vending Ordinance by rejecting a proposal that would allow brick-and-mortar business owners the power to veto sidewalk vendor licenses. Instead, committee members, and today the full City Council, favored a plan that would establish a formal hearing process, allowing adjacent property owners to voice concerns and submit appeals to proposed vendors based on health and safety issues.
“Today, the City of Los Angeles took historic, brave and decisive action that is long overdue,” said Councilman Price. “We enter the last leg of a long race and are one step away from delivering a fair and balanced sidewalk vending policy that protects vendors, allows business input, and gives Council the ability to weigh in on their district's needs.
“It wasn’t an easy victory, but it was well worth the fight because the status quo was simply not good enough. It wasn’t helping aspiring micro-businesses, wasn’t helping brick-and-mortar businesses, and it definitely wasn’t helping the communities whose health and public safety we must protect.”
The Economic Development Committee on Monday approved details of what would be the first-ever citywide sidewalk vending program. In addition, committee members asked for the development of enforcement protocols, including possible confiscation of goods and equipment, to ensure the health and safety of the community. With Tuesday’s City Council vote, an ordinance could be in place by July 1, 2018, with the program expected to be fully operational in 2019.
"This is seminal vote for the City of Los Angeles and the thousands of immigrant and low-income Angelenos who work as sidewalk vendors and have asked us for five years to regulate them so they can get permitted, come out of the shadows, feed their families and become part of the City’s economy,” said Councilmember Huizar. “We have tried to craft a plan that takes all perspectives into account and I have always said, if you want sidewalk vending or if you don’t want it, you should support a legal ordinance regulating it. Continuing on the path we have been on for decades is an exercise in futility. This is what was needed.”
Of America’s 10 biggest cities, Los Angeles is the only one that does not have a process for street vendors to sell legally. Chicago, Portland, New York, Austin do.
And sidewalk vending is already part of Los Angeles’ culture and underground economy. A 2014 study from the Economic Roundtable shows that LA’s sidewalk vendors generate $434 million in economic output annually. The same study found that for every $2 earned by a sidewalk vendor, an additional $1.72 in economic activity is generated.
In 2017, the City Council voted overwhelmingly to decriminalize sidewalk vending in response to the Trump Administration’s policy that places undocumented immigrants with criminal charges in jeopardy of being deported. Since then, close to 1,500 pending misdemeanor charges against sidewalk vendors have been dropped.
Click here to hear a message from Merced who was at today's City Council meeting, and is one of tens of thousands of sidewalk vendors in Los Angeles.
On April 12, South Los Angeles residents welcomed a multi-million dollar investment that breathes new life into South Park Recreation Center — one of the oldest, most historic parks in the City.
Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. was joined by the Department of Recreation and Parks, along with the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, to announce the upgrades taking place in the eastern portion of the park.
“We are committed to conserving open space, creating safe havens and developing much-needed programming in the Ninth District,” said Councilman Price. “With this makeover, we seek to recapture that feeling of nostalgia, pay respect to the history of South Park and build a modern, beautiful park that we can all be proud of.”
The groundbreaking ceremony kicked off the renovation of the 19-acre park, which serves nearly 22,000 residents living within a half-mile walking distance. This latest phase of improvements includes restoration of the historic Palm Walkway with new paving, picnic tables and benches, new walkways, turf play area, outdoor fitness equipment facilities, smart irrigation system, security lighting and more.
Department of Recreation and Parks General Manager, Mike Shull stated, “When we return upon South Park’s completion, it will be a community destination worthy of being considered an heirloom. With modern amenities, it will once again be one of Los Angeles’ premiere parks for residents and families to enjoy.”
In 2016, the Department of Recreation and Parks installed a new synthetic soccer field at the park, as part of an overall $10-million plus investment. During this second phase, a portion of the park will be closed to the public through December. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019, just in time for South Park’s 120th anniversary.
“We are re-envisioning and re-imagining South Park 2.0!” Councilman Price said. “I can’t wait to be back for the ribbon cutting to celebrate just how far our community has come and the bright future ahead of us.”
Since 2013, Councilman Price has led an unprecedented investment of more than $40 million to improve local parks in the District.