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L.A.’s Only Homeless Public Official Aims to Turn Skid Row Around

General Jeff islives on Skid Row in LA. He’s also an activist who’s hoping to turn around the impoverished area of Los Angeles and instill hope in the people who call it home. There were 1,000 violent crimes and more than 13,000 arrests in the area in 2009. Page is on the LA neighborhood council, and is the area’s only homeless public official.

Jeff Page and an LAPD officer (blogdowntown.com) He’s taking steps to improve the rundown area, and even got sponsorships from Nike to revamp a park with basketball hoops. It’s an uphill battle to turn things around in the area, but he’s not giving up. “I’m determined to succeed. I’m a finisher. So, I will see this through no matter what the odds,” Page said in a CNN video.

LA’s mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said: “People like General Jeff are saying we need more, and he’s right. We need to provide for a safety net to address the hunger and homelessness.”

Categories: Uncategorized

January 22, 2010 1 comment
January 21, 2010
It is “official”!
The Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League has won the Downtowner’s of Distinction Award given annually by the Downtown News. The Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League won for the Central City East/ Skid Row District.
A heart-felt “Thank You” goes out to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council for the initial support that helped to build this grass roots organization into a respected and recognizable entity that will soon be receiving an award that puts Skid Row at the table with many other prominent developers, political figures, organizations and individuals that help to make Downtown Los Angeles such an important piece within the City of Los Angeles.
This is a tremendous boost for our community and our “positive movement” in Skid Row! It also helps us get that much closer to repairing our community’s badly-damaged international image which once fully repaired, will generate more intrigue and interest from around the world and thus more tourism and commerce to the entire Downtown community.
Again, thank you for supporting us when we needed it most.
Sincerely,
General Jeff
community activist-
ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS
Resident Director- Central City East/ Skid Row
Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council
Team Captain- “Da Villanz”- Defending Champions(2008)
Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League
Categories: Uncategorized

ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS Year In Review- 2009

 We at ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS take pride in our efforts to improve the conditions in the Skid Row community and are proud of the progress that we are making here. In fact, we have begun to expand our efforts to address not only a wider range of issues, but also partake in more necessary outreach to increase the awareness of the successful and viable solutions that we have initiated. While noting that there is still a lot of important work that still needs to be done, at this time we reflect on some of our accomplishments over the past year. (Please keep in mind that this is only a partial list). + January 2009, Supported General Jeff in his efforts as he successfully encouraged NIKE to donate shoes to the entire Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League. This coming soon after last month’s unveiling of the brand-new NIKE basketball court at Gladys Park in Skid Row. + January 2009, Coordinated a discount tickets and fundraising opportunities program with the Los Angeles Clippers sales department. + February 2009, Successfully contacted D.W.P. regarding emergency street light repairs on both Main and Spring streets just prior to the Downtown Art Walk. + February 2009, Contacted the City Attorney’s office regarding pedestrian crossing times at Skid Row intersections, especially 6th and San Julian where many jaywalking tickets were issued by the LAPD. + February 2009, Initiated contact with LAUSD and 9th Street Elementary School to connect them with DLANC’s Education Committee in order to bring these entities together to better address education-related issues including LAUSD’s Homeless Education Program. + February 2009, Congratulated our General Jeff, who as team captain, led “Da Villanz” to the championship victory in the Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League. + March 2009, Contacted the Board of Commissioners for the Department of Recreation and Parks to discuss the day-to-day operations of Gladys Park in order to establish better relations between them and the Skid Row community. +March 2009, Initiated contact with newly appointed LAPD’s Central Division Captain Blake Chow to establish better relations with LAPD in order of addressing community issues that continue to this day. + March 2009, Met with Skid Row Housing Trust in the first of a series of meetings to design and implement what eventually became a 6-month pilot program that waived the “overnight guest fees” at two of their buildings. + March 2009, Supported nearby Downtown resident Daveed Kapoor and his successful efforts which led to the addition of a Metro 720 line bus stop at 6th and Central. + April 2009, Was contacted by 14th Council District’s Jose Huizar’s office to aid them in addressing the issue of much-needed sidewalk repairs in Skid Row. + April 2009, Supported General Jeff as he appeared on National Public Radio (NPR) and was featured on a slideshow focused on the current climate of Skid Row. + April 2009, Spoke successfully on behalf of the Safer Cities Initiative’s (SCI) diversion aspect (alternative sentencing component) which includes projects such as HALO and SOS, where community members can do 4 hours of community service in exchange for a ticket and also have the option of requesting supportive services instead of jail time. (More specifically, key staff in the City Attorney’s office were able to retain their positions and thus were able to continue to provide these programs). + May 2009, Our General Jeff was invited to write a column that focused on Skid Row issues in DTLAX magazine. + May 2009, Publicly thanked the Dept. of Rec and Parks for their efforts to complete the Gladys Park Improvement Project even while our General Jeff had an extended stay in various hospitals. + June 2009, Attended a DLANC Public Safety Committee meeting were the featured guest was a representative of the L.A. County Department of Public Health to address the issue of bacteria and other diseases on Skid Row’s pubic sidewalks. + June 2009, Supported General Jeff as he was nominated and approved to sit on the DLANC Rules and Bylaws Committee to review and amend the entire bylaws document. + June 2009, Met with representatives of the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. to discuss the issue of cultural vitality in Skid Row. + June 2009, Successfully spoke out on behalf of LAUSD’s Homeless Education Program that was to be eliminated due to budget cuts. Thus, the entire program and all it’s staff were completely retained, which still is an important segment in LAUSD’s $9 billion dollar annual budget. + June 2009, Publicly thanked 9th Council District Jan Perry’s office for her continued support of our “Operation: Facelift /Skid Row” project as she had San Julian Street completely repaved. San Julian Street is considered by many to be the “ground zero” of Skid Row’s heart and soul. + July 2009, Contacted by the Mayor’s office and asked to assist with updating our previously submitted Skid Row storm drains list in order for repair work to begin. + July 2009, Met with organizations Village Green and Urban Glue from Australia regarding the possibilities of them creating a “green strategy” for Skid Row and also moving their international headquarters to Downtown Los Angeles. + July 2009, Attended “The Future of California” symposium hosted by State Senator Gil Cedillo at the California Endowment to represent the Skid Row community. + August 2009, Supported our General Jeff as he spoke out against DLANC for the mistreatment of the Skid Row community during a DLANC Board meeting. + August 2009, Supported our General Jeff, team captain, as he led the “Skid Row Streetballerz” who won the Consolation Bracket at the inaugural Lakers 3on3 basketball tournament held at Staples Center. + August 2009, Distributed information about new legislation bill AB1177 (Assemblymember Paul Fong), which was to create a California Interagency Council focused on homelessness in California. + August 2009, Contacted by Brentwood Baptist Church in Tennessee, who help to serve the homeless in Tennessee, with hopes that we could send them all of our correspondence regarding our efforts here in Skid Row which could possibly aid their efforts there. + September 2009, Gave a walking tour through Skid Row to the staff of State Senator Gil Cedillo. + September 2009, Supported our General Jeff as he spoke out against Skid Row Housing Trust and their wrongful termination of several of their long-tenured, good-standing employees for “whistle-blowing” and speaking out against their co-workers for conduct that should have been deemed unacceptable by the company. + September 2009, Gave a walking tour through Skid Row to a group of undergraduate students from U.C. Irvine’s School of Social Ecology. + September 2009, Was contacted by producers of the TV show “Wipeout” about our General Jeff appearing in a special show that would recognize local heroes. + October 2009, Supported the DLANC Sustainability committee’s Skid Row Tree Planting project that was made possible by them winning a grant from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in Washington, D.C. + November 2009, Supported our General Jeff as he publicly spoke out against LAHSA’s “Homeless Count” regarding inaccurate statistics. The count was performed in January of 2009 and the numbers released in October of 2009. + November 2009, Joined the Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League as they met with LAPD’s Community Relations Department to hear how the Dept. wanted to support many of our “positive” programs in Skid Row with the possibility of expanding them to other communities citywide. + November 2009, Associated Press released a story of their interview with our General Jeff. + November 2009, Supported our General Jeff as he gave a lecture at UCLA to students of the Urban Planning Department and School of Public Affairs. + December 2009, Coordinated the Christmas tree and lights program at Gladys Park with D.W.P. + December 2009, Supported the Skid Row Artist’s Collective (SRAC) in their debut performance and showing at the Downtown Art Walk. + December 2009, Coordinated two “Christmas for Skid Row Families” programs with both the Santee Court Village in Downtown L.A. and The Hills Apartments in Glendale, Ca. + December 2009, Supported our General Jeff as he spoke out against the LAPD on behalf of the Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League regarding their distribution of 10,000 pairs of athletic shoes to organizations that help the homeless, with none being allocated to the Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League. + December 2009, Supported our General Jeff as he did an interview with KABC 790 talk radio host Peter Tilden to discuss our “positive movement” in Skid Row. Even with the presence of an ever-changing, global financial climate, Skid Row has always been underserved. Now more than ever, each and every dollar has a greater weight of responsibility attached to it. We at ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS recognize that importance and will continue to provide solutions that will help to better address the issues of our community with the hopes of making every dollar count. Please be reminded that all of our efforts to this point have been done with “zero funding” while still being extremely understaffed. We would also lie to recognize the organizations that have helped us to make 2009 another successful year; Mayor Antonio Villaragosa’s office 9th Council District Jan Perry’s office 14th Council District Jose Huizar’s office State Senator Gil Cedillo’s office City Attorney’s office Department of Water and Power LAPD Department of Recreation and Parks Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Metro Transportation Authority Fashion District BID Central City East Association NIKE La 84 Foundation Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League Skid Row Photography Club Skid Row Chess Club Skid Row Kareoke Skid Row Artist’s Collective Dramastage-Qumron Movies on the Nickel S.R.O. Housing Skid Row Housing Trust LA CAN Santee Court The Hills Apartments/ Glendale, Ca, AEG Worldwide Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles Clippers LAUSD Cedar’s-Sinai Hospital Good Samaritan Hospital California Hospital UCLA USC UC Irvine Urban Institute American Institute of Architects Union Rescue Mission Midnight Mission LA Mission Pop’s Market People Market Food for You Food for Life Pizza Xpress Holly Star Check Cashing Corner Kafe Associated Press CNN National Public Radio KABC 790 Talk Radio TV Show- “Wipeout” Downtown News Garment and Citizen Blogdowntown DTLAX Magazine Central City East Blogger Scribeskidrow blog OG’s-n-Service Set Free Ministries Community Church of the Nazarene Brentwood Baptist Church/ Tennessee McCoy Baptist Church The Exchange Bert Green Fine Art Raw Materials Weenez The Downtown Art Walk Inner City Arts 9th Street Elementary School Mann-o-Mann Recording Studios Phenomenal Entertainment Screen Actor’s Guild Chinook Productions Forat Electronics West LA Music Although some may think we should, we at ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS don’t thank individuals, only organization’s. However, we do recognize that many individuals have helped and supported our efforts in countless ways. If we thanked each and every one of you, no work would get done. Already, our list has increased from the previous year, making this an extremely long document. That said, we view the increase as a positive expansion of our efforts and in that regard hope to continue to grow year after year. As with every year, we look forward to accomplishing even more in the coming year which will not only benefit us, but more importantly, the Skid Row community. Thank you for all your continued support of our efforts! Sincerely, The Entire Staff ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS

Categories: Uncategorized

ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS-Year In Review- 2008-General Jeff

January 19, 2010 1 comment

Issues & Solutions-Year in Review “2008”

We at ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS have finally completed a full calendar year of work in the Skid Row area. Since we started in September of 2007 there, we determined that a Year In Review was not appropriate then. Now, we take pride in our collective effort to not only bring awareness to various issues in Skid Row, but also creating viable solutions that continue to help the community to this day. Here is a look back at some of our most memorable accomplishments over the past year. (please keep in mind that this is not a complete listing, just an abbreviated one).

+ January 2008, spoke on behalf of Skid Row at Safer Cities Initiative Conference, hosted by the Manhattan Institute, and was invited by various organizations to become the “point man” for future planning for Skid Row.

+ January 2008, along with Manuel “O.G. Man” Compito created “Operation Facelift/ Skid Row”, a “grass roots” community effort that focuses on cleaning up the trash and debris in Skid Row and also brighten up the walls with murals and colors which would give the community positive visuals that might help to stimulate positive thoughts, thus leading to a more positive and productive lifestyle.

+ February 2008, was an “on-air” guest on radio station 102.3 FM KJLH with Music Superstar Stevie Wonder and spoke about the current conditions in Skid Row.

+ March 2008, organized a field trip to L.A. Kings hockey game for the Skid Row community thru the Staples Center Foundation.

+ April 2008, organized a field trip for the senior citizen’s of Skid Row to attend the California African-American Museum’s exhibit entitled  “The African Presence in Mexico”.

+ April 2008, organized a meeting between the Department of City Planning and the Skid Row community so the community could have input into the City of Los Angeles’ upcoming 10-year Downtown Los Angeles land use plan, which includes the Skid Row area.

+ May 2008, initiated the inquiry and received confirmation from D.W.P. that the drinking water would be tested at both Skid Row Parks- Gladys Park and San julian Park- resulting in the Department of Recreation and Parks not only replacing the drinking fountain unit, but also most of the adjoining  underground pipes at Gladys Park.

+ May 2008, as a result of our “Midnight Walks”, we started working with the Bureau of Street Lighting notifying them of all street lights in the entire Skid Row area that needed either repairs and/or maintenance.

+ May 2008, initiated a successful “grass roots” campaign for General Jeff in his quest to join the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s(DLANC) Board of Directors.

+ June 2008, contacted Congresswoman Diane Watson’s office on behalf of Skid Row residents to discuss viable options for those with either physical disabilities and/or learning disabilities regarding digital t.v. converter boxes, focusing on the application process.

+ June 2008, invited by the Department of City Planning to discuss proposed City Council changes in “Quimby Fund” regulations.

+ June 2008, helped to make the DLANC elections have the biggest voter turnout ever by way of a strong Skid Row residential showing.

+ June 2008, organized the first of many field trips to the Staples Center for L.A. Sparks games for the Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League thru the Staples Center Foundation.

+ July 2008, contacted various religious organizations to address the issue of feeding the homeless and how to better serve the people without leaving trash on the streets of Skid Row.

+ July 2008, contacted City Councilmember Jan Perry( CD9/ Skid Row) about repaving San Julian street ( ground zero of Skid Row). Project delayed due to multiple new construction sites on the street. SIR # already in place.

+ July 2008, requested an air quality test be performed in the Skid Row area by the Air Quality Management District( A.Q.M.D.)

+ August 2008, wrote an article for a local newsletter regarding the L.A.P.D. horse patrols in Skid Row, focusing on the issue of why officers fail to pick-up after their pets just as other pet owners do. Also, spoke in front of the L.A.P.D. Police Commission at Parker Center further addressing this issue.

+ August 2008, sent out an update e-mail on the digital t.v. converter boxes which included the locations and amounts at all stores within a one-mile radius of Skid Row.

+ September 2008, voiced concerns regarding the increase of women and women with children coming to Skid Row which led to numerous news stories that continue to this day.

+ October 2008, spoke on a panel at U.S.C. for the Annenberg Latino Student Association( A.L.S.A.). The topic was “Mic Check: Hip-Hop Music and Politics”.

+ November 2008, celebrated with the Skid Row Photography Club( S.R.P.C.) for their first “art exhibit” during the monthly “Downtown Art Walk” event. Our own General Jeff is a member of the S.R.P.C.

+ November 2008, publicly complimented the L.A.P.D. for their “Ladie’s Night Out” event which focused on topics ranging from self-defense martial arts to laws and procedures regarding domestic violence and other informative issues.

+ December 2008, was featured “on air” guest on radio station 102.3 FM KJLH with Music Superstar Stevie Wonder and spoke about the current conditions in Skid Row.

+December 2008, organized the musical duet of Stevie Wonder and Lauren Smith for “Stevie’s House Full of Toys” event at the Nokia Theatre.

+ December 2008, co-promoted the “Songs and Operatic Arias” concert featuring soprano soloist Lauren Smith. DLANC made it possible for Skid Row residents to attend this opera event by providing complimentary tickets.

+ December 2008, along with DLANC’s Affordable Housing committee, organized a community meeting that helped over 100 Skid Row residents sign up for their digital t.v. converter boxes.

+ December 2008, along with NIKE and the LA84 Foundation, celebrated the grand opening of the “new” Gladys Park basketball court during an event which featured the Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League versus the Central Division-L.A.P.D. We also created and initiated the entire Gladys Park improvement project, working directly with the Department of Recreation and Parks.

+ December 2008, organized with D.W.P. a project called “Christmas in Skid Row/ Gladys Park” which included a christmas tree and lights and decorations. An additional tree along with toys for the kids was provided by the Department of Recreation and Parks.

+ December 2008, partnered with the Santee Court to provide food, clothing, toys and money to needy families in Skid Row.

+ December 2008, spoke out against Skid Row landlords and the practice of charging residents “overnight guest fees”, which upon our research determined that the same exact practice has been illegal in San Francisco since 2001.

We intend on making 2009 an even more successful year than 2008. Also, please keep in mind that we operate with “zero” funding and are extremely understaffed.

We would also like to thank the organizations that have proved to be supportive of our efforts;

Councilmember Jan Perry’s office

Councilmember Jose Huizar’s office

Department of Recreation and Parks

Department of Water and Power

Bureau of Street Lighting

Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council

Central City East Association

Fashion District

Nike

LA84 Foundation

Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League

Skid Row Photography Club

U.C.E.P.P.

L.A. Can

S.R.O. Housing

Skid Row Housing Trust

Santee Court

California African-American Museum

Stevie Wonder and

102.3 FM KJLH Radio Station

AEG Worldwide

Staples Center Foundation

Categories: Uncategorized

Does the LAPD have a problem with General Jeff?

January 16, 2010 1 comment

Last night, on two separate occasions, General Jeff was stopped and handcuffed for no apparent reason in Skid Row by LAPD Central Division officers, only to be released without being charged of any wrongdoing.
These two incidents come after he was issued a “meaningless” ticket for allegedly standing in the street only a few months ago.
General Jeff is a community activist in Skid Row and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council(DLANC) and almost everyday “patrols” the community either in the day, at night or even in the early hours of the morning.
Here is an account of last night’s two events;
The first of last night’s two handcuffed episodes happened at approximately 9:30 pm where General Jeff was speaking with some constituents about community improvements. Suddenly, Officer’s Navarro(31587) and Garcia(38182) shined their patrol car lights on General Jeff and told the others to “clear the area” on the patrol car’s bullhorn. Not doing anything illegal, General Jeff didn’t move.
The officers then proceeded to get out of their vehicle and immediately put General Jeff into handcuffs. They refused to even look at the business card that General Jeff provided that clearly identifies him as a Board member for DLANC and told him to get up against the wall where he was searched. After finding his California Driver’s License, Officer’s Navarro and Garcia put General Jeff into the back of the car. At that time, a supervisor was requested. Approximately 10-15 minutes later, Sargent Contreras(25402) arrived. While he spoke with Officer Garcia, Officer Navarro spoke to General Jeff in a demeaning manor, making various comments that were “unprofessional”. Finally, Sgt. Contreras let General Jeff out of the patrol car and held an approximate 10 minute conversation while the handcuffs were still on. Without any further incident, apology and/ or explanation, the officers removed the handcuffs and drove away.
On the LAPD business card that General Jeff requested, one of the officers wrote that “suspect”(General Jeff) refused to leave(the area) and that supervisor (Sgt. Contreras) was called. That’s it.
The second of last night’s two handcuffed episodes happened at approximately 1:30 am where General Jeff was speaking with some other constituents getting an update on recent events in the past couple of weeks during that time. Suddenly, Officer’s Corona(38229) and Pacheco(38464) parked their patrol car perpendicular to the sidewalk, altering traffic, and proceeded to jump out and put General Jeff into handcuffs. Officer Pacheco took General Jeff’s business card and put it down without looking at it. He then proceeded to search and tape record the conversation with General Jeff. Again, a supervisor was requested. Approximately in less than five minutes, again Sargent Contreras(25402) arrived on scene along with two other officers that were cordial. Soon thereafter, the officer’s took off the handcuffs, surrounded General Jeff ( approx. 5-10 foot perimeter) and began to ask questions in a belittling manner. After explaining and answering most of the officer’s sarcastic and repetitive questions, all the officer’s dispersed with no further interaction with General Jeff.
On the LAPD business card that General Jeff requested, one of the officers wrote that “pedestrian” was stopped for loitering. That’s it.
Then, General Jeff continued to “patrol” the community before leaving at approximately 3 am.
I’m not sure what LAPD Central Division is attempting to do, but these interactions are starting to feel like harassment. 
Can’t the Resident Director for the Board of Directors of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council walk through the Skid Row community without being hassled, regardless of the time?
General Jeff is a hard worker and commits long hours as a volunteer. He should be appreciated for his efforts to improve one of the worst communities in America, and arguably the world, from within said community.
Can somebody from LAPD Central Division explain what is going on?
Respectfully,
General Jeff
community activist-
ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS
Resident Director- Central City East/ Skid Row
Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council
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Hello world!

January 16, 2010 1 comment

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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