A DEDICATED ELECTED LEADER THAT SERVES HIS COMMUNITY
Highlighting the Commitment of the Los Angeles City Councilmember, Curren D. Price, Jr.
We are witnessing a grand shift in how we maneuver our lives, whether in the ways we have adjusted living through a global pandemic or witnessing a presidential transition that has been far from peaceful.
One thing is for certain, during such unprecedented times, we must lean on experienced and proven leaders capable of moving us forward and creating lasting change. Nationally or on a local level, down to grass root efforts, these community champions are all over the country, though sometimes their efforts go unnoticed.
It’s a fact that our communities of color have suffered decades long oppressions -economically, socially and racially. However, the recent election results have changed the tides and have clearly revealed what happens when people of color vote. Their voices have been heard and they are demanding leaders that are committed to change, a more progressive agenda and one that includes all of the PEOPLE of our nation.
Looking for such examples of the type of leadership we need to continue to foster, I wish to highlight a local leader in Los Angeles that has been a lifelong, committed public servant. LA City Councilmember Curren Price, who upon joining the 15-member Council has consistently set the bar high to change the narrative of South LA, in his fight for inclusion, justice and equity to fulfill the promise of NEW 9th.
Councilman Price, who represents the 9th District of Los Angeles, an underserved community overwhelmed by the issues I have described, has taken measures to lift up working families and help all ships rise with the tide. In fact, long after he leaves office, his legacy will be felt throughout South Los Angeles for generations to come. His focus has been on ensuring a more prosperous future for children, seniors and families and I find it necessary to celebrate these achievements and use them as an example for others to follow.
His long standing commitment to protect working-poor families is evident in all of the initiatives he has chosen to invest in since joining the LA City Council in 2013.
In an area where a third of his constituency is under 18 years old, he has secured nearly $50 million to improve and upgrade dozens of parks and recreation centers all over the District. This includes new playgrounds, exercise equipment, and the addition of three new community parks, among a slew of other improvements.
To further support this new endeavor, he has successfully obtained $16 million in funding for an innovative and interactive multipurpose facility, named Slauson Connect, which will be a place for community members to learn, create and enjoy green space. Scheduled to open in the community late 2022, this 20,000 square foot complex will sit on 2 acres of open space along Slauson Avenue next to Metro’s Rail to River project and will have a daycare center, afterschool programming for youth, computer and technology laboratories, as well as play areas with active recreation and exercise equipment for all ages.
As the Chair of the Economic Development and Jobs Committee, Councilman Price has helped usher billions of dollars in private investments with historic projects like Banc of California Stadium, home of the Major League Soccer team the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), and the $1.2 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a 300,000 square-foot, five story cultural institution currently under construction. Furthermore, Price continues to insist that transformative development projects include local hire, inclusion of minority- and women-owned businesses and job training, among other community benefits.
He has been a long standing advocate for supporting small businesses creating the Business Resource Center in his District Office to provide a place where local businesses can obtain information and resources. Since the pandemic hit, Councilman Price has advocated for millions of dollars in loans and grants to help small businesses weather the storm caused by the public health crisis. Councilman Price has built a reputation for being one of the most progressive and effective leaders that this City Council has seen in the last 10 years, which is evident in his role penning some of LA’s most landmark policies. His efforts led to the increase of minimum wage to $15 an hour, “ban the box,” which removed the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record from hiring applications, reducing the 2020-2021 LAPD
budget by $150 million and reinvesting it in communities of color for social service programs, and implementing the city’s most effective homeless prevention program, among other initiatives.
He has been a champion of immigrant families going on to allocate over $1.5 million in discretionary funds to bring supportive services to immigrant advocacy groups, which include the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) and Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). This years-long partnership has allowed two of the largest and most trusted immigrant-rights groups in California to offer free legal services, community education and outreach events while bringing much-needed services directly to South LA that support “dreamers'' and permanent residents who want to become US citizens.
The insurmountable problem of homelessness that plagues LA directed Councilman Price’s attention into finding ways to solve the lack of affordable housing in his District. To address this humanitarian crisis, he has a plan to add nearly 2,000 units of affordable and permanent supportive housing in the next three years. This year alone, five new projects are scheduled to be completed, which will help some of our most vulnerable populations including disabled senior citizens, veterans experiencing homelessness, and homeless individuals between the ages of 18-24. He has also added additional support for individuals and families suffering from homelessness by introducing innovative ideas such as pallet shelters and “safe parking” at various sites throughout the District to get homeless people off the streets and on the path to stable housing.
I applaud Councilman Price, who has seemed to find a formula that works and is not afraid to stand up and do what is right for The People. He represents an example of someone who has had to persevere through the thorns that society bore down making him fight extra hard to pave his way but he still keeps his eyes on the prize. I look forward to living in a land of acceptance, one that flows with inclusion, respect and understanding which will be absolutely necessary for real change to occur.