Year In Review-2008 “General Jeff” of Issues & Solutions

Year In Review-2008 “General Jeff”

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

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