Category Archives: Events

Register to have a say in the future of South LA.

What: Empowerment Congress Summit   (That’s the Second district folks.)

When: Saturday, January 15th 2011

Time: 8am-12pm

Where: USC’s Bovard Auditorium in the middle of its campus near Figueroa Street and Exposition Park Boulevard


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *The Empowerment Congress attempts to engage the communitiy, encourage participation, educating and informing the community about how government works, developing strategies that shape policy and legislation and connecting the community with resources,

Founded in 1992 by then Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Empowerment Congress served as a model and precursor to the City of Los Angeles’ Neighborhood Councils. Now that Ridley-Thomas represents  nine cities (Los Angeles, Carson, Compton, Culver City, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, and Lynwood) and many neighborhoods of unincorporated areas (Athens, Baldwin Hills, Del Aire, East Compton, El Camino Village, Firestone, Florence, Graham, Ladera Heights, Lennox, Marina del Rey, Rancho Dominguez, View Park, West Carson, West Compton, West Rancho Dominguez, Westmont, Willowbrook, Windsor Hills, Wiseburn) as a county supervisor, the EC has expanded.

After the speakers, residents will break into small groups. Per the website:

Town Centers: Economic Development Strategies for Traditional Neighborhoods. A tremendous amount of assessment and planning has been done to develop targeted Economic Development Initiatives throughout the Second District with the goal of improving local economies through enhanced transportation infrastructure, local job creation and retention, and community asset building. This panel will provide an in depth overview of priority projects in the Second District and discuss their impacts on mobility, sustainability and job creation.

Citizen Participation in Policy Reforms at the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Troubles in the child welfare system have become a constant headline in Los Angeles. While much of the focus has been on a “child death problem”, Second District residents face many other concerns such as protecting parental rights in dependency disputes and ensuring that the department has proper information and technology to make informed decisions. In this session, participants will discuss policy issues that negatively impact children in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services and their families. Through an interactive dialogue session, participants will be empowered to design solutions to these issues.

Out of the Shadows: Strategies to Identify and Treat Mental Illness In a County. where one out of eight adults has been diagnosed with depression and 10% are known to live with frequent mental distress (stress, depression or emotional problems for more than 14 days in the last month), few families go untouched by the challenges related to mental health. Given the increased stress associated with the economic downturn as well as the increase in first-time homelessness, education around mental health issues is more necessary now than ever. This panel will inform and empower participants to recognize mental health indicators and discuss ways that families, friends, faith-based entities, co-workers and others can help.

Beyond Incarceration: Envisioning a New Probation Department. Los Angeles County runs the largest probation department in the world, with over 2000 youth housed in 18 probation camps and 2 juvenile halls at any given point in time. With a cost per probationer of over $7500 a month, an average camp stay of four and half months, and a recidivism rate between 50-75%, many have challenged the effectiveness of the existing system. Led by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, many organizations have called for a consent decree to require Federal oversight over probation camp reform. In addition, the progressive alternative models that are being implemented around the nation provide resources and examples of what the Los Angeles County Probation Department should aspire to. This panel will explore these alternative models and discuss how Los Angeles County can best move forward with reform.

Social Justice through the Arts: While art, in all its forms, is a source of creativity and self expression, it can also be an effective vehicle for advancing a social justice agenda. A noteworthy example of this is the Watts Towers, a collection of 17 interconnected structures, built by Italian immigrant construction worker Sabato Rodia in his spare time between 1921 and 1954. In this panel presentation, participants will dig into the historical, cultural, architectural and sociological significance of the Watts Towers, learn about the creative partnerships that have been forged to preserve this important work and identify opportunities to advance a social justice agenda through art. The panel will also explore other local examples of how social justice is being promoted through the arts.

Emergency Preparedness: Is Los Angeles Ready for the Big One? In an era of domestic terrorist attacks, hurricanes and mammoth oil spills, Americans have learned that both natural and manmade disasters are inevitable occurrences. Yet in each of these disasters, the role and action of both local and federal government has undergone significant scrutiny. In this session, panelists will discuss how prepared Los Angeles County is to handle a local emergency and learn how to prepare themselves and their families.

Urban Ecology and Green Technology – How It Applies To Your Community Communities throughout the Second District are faced with serious environmental concerns. Whether you live near an active oilfield or land that is currently being investigated for groundwater contamination, have concerns with air quality or lack of open space, an array of environmental issues can challenge your quality of life and wellbeing. This panel will engage community members in a conversation about how they can access the necessary tools and knowledge to take leadership roles in gathering environmental data and then use that data to improve their ecosystem and the social health of their communities. Participants will have an opportunity to join a year long program, sponsored by the Empowerment Congress and Loyola Marymount University that will provide them an opportunity to further hone their Environmental IQ!

Redrawing the Map: Citizen Participation in LA County’s Redistricting Process Redistricting is the process by which governments re-allocate populations within their respective jurisdictions to ensure that district boundaries contain roughly equal numbers of residents for purposes of representation. As such, the boundaries created by decennial redistricting define the terrain of electoral competition and, ultimately, the composition of legislative bodies at the local (city council, county board of supervisors), state and congressional levels. While the Board of Supervisors and local cities will soon gear up for redistricting, the public must understand the impact it may have on them, and how they can engage in the process. This panel will provide a technical overview of the redistricting process and discuss the opportunities and importance of local participation.

Youth Voices: Creating Opportunities for Youth Empowerment in the 2nd District (Youth Only: 15-21) There are few safe and welcoming spaces that provide a venue for frank and honest dialogue about the issues of importance to youth. This session will allow for a self-inspired and facilitated dialogue among youth to discuss important issues related to education, health, safety and justice. Participants will have an opportunity to put pen to paper and visually depict their ideas and opinions on a board, followed by a chance to tour the “gallery” space and share their renderings.

The Power of Multi-Organizational Networks: Limited space with 1st Priority to 2nd Saturdays participants. As nonprofits are forced to thrive in an environment in which resources are scarce, the power of working in multi-organizational networks provides great opportunities for coordination and systems change. The purpose of this session will help organizations identify opportunities to form a network and develop a foundation upon which a network can begin to operate. With the right structures and planning in place, networks of diverse organizations can successfully work together as equal partners to pursue a common social or civic purpose over a sustained period of time. This will be open to participants in the Second District’s 2nd Saturday’s program, with limited space available.


Bike Ride

Check this out. There’s going to be a fun bike ride going on in South LA this Sunday! This is a repost from Eddie of University Park Family:

Join us for an Informal bike ride to explore some potential streets for South L.A. CicLAvia. All you need is a working bike and some free time – ride will be about 15-25 miles – about 2.5-3 hours – liesurely pace. I did the Crenshaw Crush with these guys last year and it was a blast – 20 miles and it was easy.

Streets to Explore:
Jefferson Blvd.
Hoover Street
Vermont Blvd.
Central Blvd.
Figueroa Blvd.
Vernon Ave.
Slauson Blvd.

Los Angeles hosted it’s first Ciclavia last year and it was a blast. The city closes the streets for a long ways and opens them up to people on foot and bikes. It’s a temporary creation of a park connecting the city.

In Bogata, Columbia they host ciclovía every Sunday on 80 miles of city streets.

“A Ciclovía is not just for recreation. It is social integration,” the website says.

The organizers were your typical do gooders that make LA a better place -like the LA County Bicycle Coalition, Jenn Su of GOOD and who I worked with as an intern at Public Matters,and Joe Linton, an artist who took me and dozens of others on tours of the bridges that cross the Los Angeles River. And a whole lot more.

152 W. 32nd Street
Los Angeles, CA

January 9th 2011



Plant Sale!

Raymond ave garden is having their plant sale again this year. I will be there with bells on! Deltails below:

Hey Everybody — friendly reminder:
Raymond Avenue Neighborhood Garden is having its 2nd Annual Fundraiser & Celebration this Sunday from 11-2. We’re selling TONS of great vegetable seedlings for very low prices (cheaper than Home Depot!), including Heirloom tomatoes from Tomatomania. We’ll also have lots of amazing home-cooked food, fresh bread from a new neighborhood bakery, and a pickling demonstration! We’ve got handmade skin care made by our gardeners, and homemade organic fertilizer — what a great event!

Day: this Sunday, April 11
Time: 11-2
Location: Raymond Avenue Neighborhood Garden
2632 S. Raymond Ave., 90007 (2 blocks east of Normandie, 1/2 block south of Adams)

Would love to see you there — come out and enjoy the event and support the garden — xo, Julie

First Garden Workday of the School Year

Come on out and garden with a South LA Elementary School!

Guerrilla Garden Expert Bulbil let me know about a gardening event in South LA happening this Saturday, October 24th, 2009. It’ll be from 9am-12pm at the 24th Street Elementary School Garden. Sounds pretty neat-o. Make friends with them on facebook and then you’ll be in the know for some gardening awesomeness. Info and links below:

We look forward to seeing everyone at our first workday of the school year, Saturday, 10/24 (9am-12pm) at the 24th Street School! Please mark your calendars. Bring your garden gear (garden gloves, some water, sunscreen, a shovel or pitchfork). We will be catching up on our fall planting, building some infrastructure, making new beds, and many other tasks.

The address is: 2055 West 24th Street, Los Angeles

From the I-10 Freeway: take the “Western Avenue” exit (3 miles west of downtown) and head south on Western. Take a right turn on 24th Street. The school and parking lot will be on the right-hand side on the east side of school. There will be plenty of street parking as well. Look for the banner reading “24th Street School Workday” and enter through those gates.

We are fortunate to have our partners from RootDown LA, Megan Hansen and Katy Atkiss, providing us all a delicious meal!

We look forward to seeing you then


Facebook Link to the event Here

Garden School Foundation Blog

Bulbil’s Website

Guerrilla Gardening this Saturday

And the season begins!!

If you folks want to start Guerrilla Gardening, you can come out this Saturday Oct 17th at 5pm. I just got this email with the details from my buddy Bulbil.


I know it’s kind of short notice but with the rain coming I can’t think of a better time to plant some plants guerrilla style. We are going to be doing a planting (replacing some plants) at the Van Ness and Harold Way garden behind the Dennys (at the Sunset exit to the south bound 101 freeway) this Saturday at about 5PM. And there will be a weeding event at the same time across the freeway at the Sunset and Wilton garden (at the Sunset exit to the north bound 101 ).
The LA Guerrilla Gardeners group will be having a meeting very near these sites from 3 till 5PM then we are going over to work in the gardens. I’ve copied their email about their event below. It has a link to a map to the house for the meeting but here’s the address in case I do something wrong and the link doesn’t work – 1922 Taft Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
If you can’t make the meeting at 3 maybe you can still help out in the gardens at 5.
I think all you’ll need is some gloves but if you have a tool or two you like to work with feel free to bring them.
I hope to see you there

AKA bulbil321

South Los Angeles… Wetlands?


South Los Angeles is making moves. Serious moves. Apparently the city is transforming a former Metro bus yard at 5413 Avalon Blvd into the “South Los Angeles Wetlands Park.” Yay for us. And if you all forgot, we’re also getting a light rail along Exposition Blvd (Phase one is from downtown to Culver City) which will be done by summer of 2010 (Phase Two extends it all the way to the beach in Santa Monica.) The 9 acre wetlands park (phase one) is also going to be done in 2010. December is the word. June 11th was the ground breaking so things are officially underway.  The computer renderings look amazing. I hope it lives up to the dream. It’ll be nice to have some more green space in South L.A. And 9-acres worth, even more awesome! Looking at the drawings for the Exposition light rail, the plans for that include green space on either side and a bike path. So those two projects alone are going to give us some serious greening up.

This is all really good news to me. I just got back from a trip to beautiful Seattle. I love that city. Everything is so green and healthy there. I come back to LA and it hurts. LA may have sunny skies but this city is so damn grey. Grey concrete everywhere. It kills me on the inside.

This wetlands news is such a breath of fresh air. And it will be, literally.

For more photos and articles about the wetlands check out these links:


View From A Loft

Curbed Los Angeles


So boys and girls, if you want some entertainment south of the 10 here it is. Go see OCHRE & ONYX: THE LANGSTON HUGHES PROJECT, written by Lynn Manning and directed by Nataki Garrett. It’ll be playing May 1 through May 31, 2009.

It’s playing at the LA Design Center. (This building looks so cool. I’ve driven by it a bunch of times and always wondered what it was.) Address: 5955 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90047

Here’s a little info from their website about the play:

OCHRE & ONYX follows the present day story of an African-American slam poet and an Afro Latina painter who find themselves in the middle of a struggle for the true soul of the beloved poet, and father of the Harlem Renaissance Langston Hughes. Meanwhile, in 1920’s Mexico, the young Langston fights to convince his father James, to finance his study of poetry at Columbia University. As father and son struggle in the past, poet and painter struggle in the present, in two strikingly similar worlds.

For more info and tickets go here.