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VIEWPOINT

A Note from LA Mayor Karen Bass

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Dear Friend, 

(Lea este boletín de noticias en español)

 

Ahead of my first year anniversary on Dec. 12, I’m criss-crossing Los Angeles highlighting work we’ve accomplished on homelessness, safety, business, climate and city services.

 

A few days ago, I focused on work we’ve done to open Los Angeles for business and made the exciting announcement that Banc of California would be relocating their headquarters to Los Angeles! I spoke with business leaders in the Valley, Leimert Park and Highland Park to hear how in our second year, City Hall can continue to be responsive to the needs of the business community.

Today, we focused on homelessness and housing. Since the first day when I declared a state of emergency, we have confronted the homelessness crisis with absolute urgency. We have brought thousands inside and will continue to improve our operations to reduce the amount of people who have fallen back into homelessness and better protect those who are housed but potentially on the verge.

 

Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve accomplished: 

  • We’re housing Angelenos urgently: According to data from intergovernmental agencies, more than 21,000 Angelenos have come inside as of Nov. 30, 2023, which is thousands more than last year.

  • We’re building more housing, faster: accelerated the review of more than 9,000 affordable housing units. ED 1 has cut through red tape at City Hallwhat used to take 6-9 months to get permits now only takes an average of 45 days.  

  • Locking arms to deliver for Los Angeles: We have fostered a new era of cooperation and collaboration to address the number one issue facing our region with local, state and federal partners as well as intergovernmental agencies.

We will continue our new work, as a unified city, locking arms with our partners to bring as many Angelinos inside as possible and connect them to services and support. It’s a new day in Los Angeles and our momentum will not stop.

Yellow Shirts, Bright Hearts: The Compton Initiative is Painting a Better Future

The following commentary is a collaborative effort by Rev. Ken Korver, Rev., Rafer Owens, and Rev. Todd M. Boquet Jr.

While traveling along the streets of Compton, you may have noticed a group of people wearing bright yellow shirts. These dedicated volunteers, holding paint brushes, are the heart and soul of our organization, the Compton Initiative, a community non-profit organization on a mission to transform and revitalize this vibrant city. Throughout the years we have made strides in uplifting the city, one project at a time.

 

Our journey began back in 2006 when a group of faith leaders came together with a common purpose --- to make a positive transformation within our community. This moment marked the birth of the Compton Initiative, a steadfast force for good, committed to enhancing the beauty and cleanliness of city. Together, our organization began painting homes, churches, schools and creating inspirational murals across our city, all at no expense to property owners.

 

Over the years with the help of dedicated community partners and individual volunteers, our yellow-shirted champions have beautified 776 homes and 465 buildings at 46 schools, enhanced the city with 230 murals, and revitalized 90 neighborhoods with thorough trash removal. We have also helped clean up churches, public spaces, and even medical clinics. Beyond these physical transformations, it is the spirit of renewal that underscores the organization's success.

 

Today, our outstanding volunteers play a vital role in our efforts, and our work resonates across the city. Once volunteers finish beautifying each space, parks are cleaner, school buildings stand tall with fresh coats of paint and public spaces have a newfound warmth. Yet, it’s not just about the physical changes; it’s about the renewal of hope and optimism among Compton residents. 

 

Our work extends far beyond beautifying buildings; our purpose is to improve the quality of life for city residents through various community revitalization events. On the third Saturday of every month, we host community clean-ups, an opportunity for the community to come together and remove trash from our neighborhoods.

 

Additionally, every quarter we host events for painting homes and creating vibrant murals, all on the third Saturday of the month. Using the talent and creativity of Compton Initiative’s volunteers, we work to make Compton brighter and more colorful. 

 

On our last clean-up day on September 16th, Compton residents gathered at 212 W. Cypress St. near the Compton Courthouse for our organization’s monthly Project Bright Lights of Compton (BLOC) Lighthouse event to pick up trash in our community. Following these clean-ups, we held a BLOC Talk, where partners were invited to gather for food, fellowship, and sharing about how we can make a meaningful impact in our city. The BLOC event occurs 12 times a year, bringing together residents and partners to work towards a cleaner and more vibrant Compton. We hope to continue this wonderful initiative throughout the coming years. 

 

Our new goal is to take community collaboration to the next level. We envision a monthly gathering, hopefully at the Dollarhide Community Center, where residents, businesses, and schools come together to set goals, discuss challenges, and collectively take ownership of the issues facing our neighborhoods. This ongoing dialogue promises to strengthen community bonds and pave the way for even more impactful change. 

 

Whether you're a local resident or someone from afar, there's a place for you in this impactful journey of commu- nity revitalization. As we gear up for the next clean-up event on October 21st at 212 West Cypress Street in Compton at 8:45 a.m., we encourage you to spread the word and bring friends and family to join this meaningful endeavor. 

 

The next time you see our yellow shirts and witness the transformative power of a community coming together, know that we are not just painting walls; we are painting a brighter future for Compton one brushstroke at a time.

 

Rev. Ken Korver is president of The Compton Initiative, Rev. Rafer Owens, Sr. Pastor of Faith Inspirational Church of Compton, and Rev. Todd M. Boquet, Jr., is program coordinator of The Compton Initiative and Bright Lights of Compton.

JONATHAN BOWERS

COUNCIL DISTRICT 3

THE FIFTH VOTE

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A view to transparent government

District 3 Councilman Jonathan Bowers, has been extended an invitation by Compton Herald to write a column on the complications and complexities of governing a municipality the size of Compton with a population slightly under100,000 residents. This column will also serve as a window to transparent government.

Councilman Bowers' column will serve as a ceremonial "Fifth Vote of Truth and Transparency" to the citizens of Compton, restoring faith and trust in governance and in those elected to govern.

 

Compton Herald recognizes Bowers, as a visionary bearing sound reasoning and fresh ideas that can move City leadership from its current flux of confusion and bickering to one of cooperative politics.

 

A 60-year resident of Compton, Bowers began his career in public service in 1979 following graduation from Compton High School, as an emergency medical technician at Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital, advancing from that position to firefighter with the Compton Fire Department, where he served 37 years. In addition to his duties in fire service, Bowers also held administrative, leadership and instructor roles in the department. He earned a bachelor of science degree in fire science administration, and a teaching credential in 2002.

Bowers also served as liaison to the City Council while employed with the Compton Fire Department. Additionally, he served as the executive vice president of the Los Angeles County Stentorians, a community service organization also known as The African American Firefighters’ Association. Bowers also served as a liaison to the county Board of Supervisors. 

Councilman Bowers was elected to the 3rd district seat in 2021.

Compton: double-minded 'hive,' er, city is unstable in all its ways

By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR., Editor-in-Chief

Compton Herald receives news releases and requests daily to cover events from nearly every city in Los Angeles Countybut not the City of Compton for which the newspaper was created.

 

Yet, a few officials and gadflies alike, have the temerity to mewl, "We don't have a newspaper!"

 

That's just simpleminded, like the donkey dying from dehydration because it's too obstinate to see the water trough a few feet away. I'm convinced certain political influencers in the Citywhether official or gadflyare insentient. They cannot feel anything but their own selfish lusts.

 

Then, there are the rabble-rousers. People that foment confusionhappy to see the city in a constant state

of flux. You know them; the liars, rumor stokers, and mealy-mouths.

 

How is it that a smallish town, merely 10 square miles in circumference harbors such turpitude? You need only look at the city officials and gadflies. They are not dissimilar. Cram them together and it's a double-minded hive. And we all know a double-minded hive is unstable in all its ways.

 

City officials mishandle the budget year after year inflating the deficit evermore. Gadflies buzz, whir, murmur, then fizz. Is their passion only pretentious? Both groups bid to aggrandize the tiny principality known as the "Hive of Hubs," otherwise known as Compton.

 

It has become the nobler ambition of some of them to aggrandize, and to reassume the protectorate of the Compton hive where their wings collide.

Unfortunately, Compton is a double-minded City and unstable in all its ways.

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