This article was originally posted on the USC News Section of their website. Click here to visit USC's website where you can view pictures of the event and the article.
Former president of South Africa visited Coliseum in 1990
Nelson Mandela was inducted into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Court of Honor on May 14.
Dignitaries unveiled a bronze plaque that honored Mandela, who appeared at the Coliseum for a freedom rally in June 1990 after spending 27 years as a political prisoner in South Africa. Mandela would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and become president of South Africa the following year.
The court’s plaques honor outstanding people or events, athletic or otherwise, that have influenced the history, glory and growth of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandela’s plaque recognizes his unwavering commitment to social justice.
“By dedicating a plaque in his name today, we honor not only Nelson Mandela’s memory, but also the many memories that have been created in this city and in this Coliseum,” said USC President C. L. Nikias.
Mandela stood before a 70,000-person crowd and lauded Los Angeles as a place that transforms a global community, “We could not have left the United States without visiting the city which daily nourished the dreams of millions of people the world over.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said Mandela was intentional about coming to Los Angeles and embracing the leadership of Tom Bradley, the first African-American mayor of the city. “Mandela chose to honor and salute the leadership of former Mayor Bradley as a stand-up individual who had to overcome a different set of challenges,” Ridley-Thomas said.
Local and international dignitaries spoke of the transcendent power of the human spirit that Mandela represents.
For civic leader, philanthropist and South Africa native Patrick Soon-Shiong, Mandela brought dignity and reconciliation. “Mandela had the wisdom and the courage after his horrible time in Robben Island to forgive, and importantly, to heal a country,” Soon-Shiong said.
South African Consul General Cyril S. Ndaba gave his heartfelt appreciation for the recognition. “Thank you for remembering the people of South Africa,” he said, “and for honoring our icon of all icons.”
Every neighborhood deserves a park, but in the Ninth District, open space is scarce and adding green space has been a chronic challenge. But this weekend, Councilmember Curren Price joined with members of CANNDU Neighborhood Council, local residents, volunteers and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust to break ground on a brand new park which will convert an under-utilized median into a lush parkway. When completed the project will include fitness zones, a toddler playground, picnic areas and a tree-lined seating area.
" The New Ninth is about bringing a transformation to our community, replacing blights and neglect with the kinds of amenities that so many other parts of our city enjoy," said Councilman Curren Price. " Nothing says change like taking an under used median and converting it into a park for residents of all ages to enjoy. I am excited and eager to see this project completed and thank the Neighborhood Land Trust and all of our partners for their investment and support."
The project was a labor of love for community members, who launched the effort to transform the 1/3 acre median into park more than a decade ago.
Dozens of volunteers from all over the city descended on Broadway Avenue this week to plant 100 new trees on the arterial street. Councilman Curren D. Price Jr. and City Plants LA, formerly known as One Million Trees LA, were joined by community groups, residents and volunteers on a sunny Saturday morning for the planting. From Slauson Ave. to 69th Street, these trees will help transform an area currently barren of any greenery, helping to transform an important commercial corridor. The new trees will also help conserve energy, provide additional cooling and improving the overall curb appeal of the area. Residents will also be able to adopt a fruit tree to plant in their own garden.
“The New Ninth is all about bringing positive change to our community, and our efforts to make our community cleaner and greener are among the most important as we look to improve the quality of life of our residents,” said Councilman Curren Price.
Earth Day is being celebrated everyday in your New Ninth District, as we work to clean up - and green up - our community! From our targeted community clean-up initiative to opening up new parks and community gardens, we are on a mission to transform our neighborhoods starting with improving our environment. This weekend we held four community clean-ups across the district to celebrate Earth Day, with dozens of community volunteers and collected tons of trash and bulky items. As we take a moment today to think about preserving our environment, visit sites like www.epa.gov/earthday/tips for tips on how to live "greener." I'd also love to hear from you - what are your ideas for environmental change in our community? What activities or policies would you like to see our office take on, and as always, let us know if you want to be a volunteer for our next "Clean and Green" event!
Here's to making our community, cleaner, greener and safer!
Councilmember Ninth District
Local, state and federal leaders gathered with residents and community advocates this week to celebrate the grand opening of the Juanita Tate Marketplace, calling it a game changing development for South.
The $21 million shopping center is more than 25 years in the making and brings more than 200 new jobs to the area as well as a brand new 42,000-square-foot full-service Northgate supermarket and is the largest scale development to come to the area in decades.
“Today we see a vision realized for our community and we also deliver an important message to the rest of the city – this community matters and deserves the same kinds of amenities that others enjoy,” said Councilman Curren Price.is is a game changer for our community and I want other retailers to hear us loud and clear – the New Ninth is open for business but not for business as usual!”
Councilmember Curren D. Price Jr. issued the following statement Friday, following the tragic bus crash in Orland, California involving dozens of Los Angeles area students including students from four South Los Angeles high schools:
“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of 10 lives, including 5 young students. We also send our best wishes for recovery to the 33 people injured in this devastating crash. We are aware that students from several schools in my district, including Fremont, Diego Rivera, Jefferson and Manual Arts, were a part of this trip to Humboldt State University. While we are still waiting to get more details we encourage parents and students at all impacted campuses to remain calm during these very difficult times. Our prayers are with the victims, the injured and their families and loved ones.”
For more information, we encourage students and their families to call Humboldt State University’s Information Line (707) 826-6327. Red Cross is also assisting with reunification efforts, you can visit www.redcross.org as well as www.lausd.net for updates from the school district.
Please consider donating to the Orland Bus Crash Victims Relief Fund, launched by Sharefest and Councilman Joe Buscaino, by visitng http://www.sharefestinc.org/buscrashfund.
Councilman Curren D. Price Jr. hosted a special free screening of the Cesar Chavez film for more than 200 local teens from across the “New Ninth” Council District. The screening was held on the opening day of the historic film depicting the life and struggles of the Latino civil rights icon. All youth that attended the screening were invited to watch the movie for free and they received drinks and popcorn as well.
“It brings me great pleasure to host a free screening of this historic and empowering movie for this group of deserving young people from our community,” said Councilman Curren Price. “Cesar Chavez was a tremendous civil rights leaders, who fought for social justice and change. I think it is critical for our young people to know more about this great man and to be inspired by his story.”
Councilmember Curren Price was excited to help celebrate the grand re-opening of ALBA Healthy Snacks and Services, on Vermont and 60th Street this March. Formerly the site of a “$1 Warehouse,” owner Nelson Garcia partnered with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council to transform his storefront shop into a healthy market. Replacing fried potato chips with baked bean chips and candy bars with fresh fruits and the like Garcia said he hopes to not only help community members eat better, but also to change the perception that South Los Angeles communities don’t want healthier food options.
“I hope my business is successful and helps us prove that our community wants more healthy options – we just need to make that available,” Garcia said.
Councilman Curren Price applauded Garcia’s efforts and urged more business owners in the community to follow the trend.
“For too long, our community has suffered from high rates of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease while we have also faced a lack of healthy food options. Well, residents in South LA deserve better, and this market makeover project is an example of community businesses stepping up to be a part of the revitalization of our community,” said Price said.
I am a product of the Ninth District. I was born here, I attended public school here, my foundation was established here and it provided me with the tools I needed to obtain a solid education and eventually become a contributing member of society. I want to make sure that every child in the Ninth District has access to the opportunities I had.
The “New Ninth” will be a district focused on transforming our community and restoring the kinds of core services and programs we need and deserve. From cleaning up our littered alleys to improving our roads and sidewalks, I will make sure that City Hall prioritizes the needs of our neighborhoods – something long overdue.
I am committed to addressing the issues of housing, education, small business development, job creation and homelessness, that plague our community and to identifying new pathways and partnerships to bring us success.
This work is critical but I cannot do it alone. The community must be involved if we are going to make the kind of sustainable change we need and want for the New Ninth. This website will be one of the many ways you can stay connected and informed about what’s happening in your community and where you can learn about ways to get involved.
I get up early, go to bed late and work tirelessly and passionately for those I serve. I invite all of you who are willing to do the same and help me make the “New Ninth” a place we can all be proud to call home.
—Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr.
For the last four years Gilberto Sanchez had not been able to let his three daughters play in their own backyard. The alley abutting his residence was covered in 7-foot high piles of trash and debris that regularly attracted fleas and cockroaches and man-made barricades built with water damaged boards, abandoned shopping carts and dirty suitcases that attracted rodents “the size of cats and dogs,” Sanchez said.
But that all changed this week when Sanchez’s alley on 52nd Place and Broadway was cleaned as part of a coordinated “Clean and Green” campaign organized by the Office of Councilmember Curren Price.
“It’s not fair that we would have to live in this trash and filth filled area where our children can get hurt and sick,” said Sanchez. “I am so grateful to the Councilman, for cleaning up not only our neighborhood but the entire community.”