New name game: South LA or SOLA?


What’s in a name? More than a decade ago Los Angeles officials decreed that the area south of the 10 freeway would no longer be referred to in official documents as South Central. Instead, to end the stigma of crime and violence associated with the area, officials rebranded it “South L.A.” but the area may soon see another name change.

District 8 Councilman Barnard Parks introduced a proposal last week to abbreviate South L.A. to “SOLA.” The proposed change is indicative of a larger trend at promoting city nicknames: West Hollywood has been embraced as WeHo, and Downtown has taken on the moniker DTLA for locals.

Read the original City Council file on changing “South Central” to South L.A.” in 2002.

As far as South L.A. residents? “They see these other communities reinvigorated by these contemporary names,” Parks told the L.A. Times. “And they wonder, at times, why their community is lagging behind.” [Read more…]

100 South LA sidewalks fixed, 400 more to go

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Video courtesy of Annenberg TV News

Councilman Bernard Parks and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative broke ground on the city’s 100th sidewalk repair yesterday as part of a project to improve South L.A.’s District Eight, calling on repairman to tear out the old pavement with shovels and drills.

The initiative’s executive director Veronica Hahni said the partnership had succeeded at “improving the quality of life for South Los Angeles residents by removing invasive tree roots and replacing these uplifted sidewalks.”

The repair also marked an important milestone for 84-year-old South L.A. resident Geneva James, who has lived at the corner of St. Andrews Place and 48th Street for more than 40 years, according to the L.A. Times. For many of those years, the broken-up, uneven sidewalk impeded her ability to leave the house, James’ grandson said at the event.

“I am glad I live to see it,” James said. “I will be able to come out and worry about not falling.” [Read more…]

City Council favors raising minimum wage for hotel workers

The vote tally -- three people dissenting. | LAANE Facebook

The vote tally — three people dissenting. | Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy/ Facebook

South L.A. residents working in the hotel industry might see their hourly wages rise by just over a half beginning next summer.

The Los Angeles City Council took a vote on the issue Wednesday, with 12 out of 15 council members agreeing to raise the minimum wage to $15.37 per hour for workers employed in the city’s largest hotels. The minimum wage is currently $9 per hour.

Council members Bernard Parks, Mitchell Englander and Paul Krekorian dissented. Because the city council did not reach a unanimous decision, it will revisit the issue next week for a final vote. The city council must reach a unanimous decision during next week’s vote for the higher minimum wage to take effect. [Read more…]

Donald Sterling visits South LA church + Bernard Parks defends Magic Johnson

Donald Sterling at a South LA church | NBC screenshot

Donald Sterling at a South LA church | NBC screenshot

NBC Los Angeles: Shunned Clippers-owner Donald Sterling made an appearance last weekend at a South L.A. church with a predominantly Black population, telling NBC, “I’m here to support this wonderful group.”

LA Times: South L.A. councilman Bernard Parks praises Magic Johnson’s investments in the neighborhood in wake of Donald Sterlings harsh words against the basketball legend.

See also on Intersections: Bernard Parks reflects on 50 years of public service

Streetsblog LA: Why is South L.A.’s Harvard Park often “awfully empty?” Sahra Sulaiman says the lack of sidewalks around the park prevents accessibility.

Streetsblog LA: Check out the new bike lanes on Grand Ave. south of Downtown.

South LA councilman Bernard Parks reflects on 50 years of public service

At ease behind a desk in the conference room of his Crenshaw district office, Councilman Bernard Parks sat down recently with Intersections South LA, in shirtsleeves and a tie, surrounded by poster-sized District Eight maps from yesteryear and took stock of his career and legacy of service in Los Angeles.

In July of next year, Parks’ third and final City Council term will come to a close, marking five decades that he has served the City of Los Angeles.

[Read more…]

Bernard Parks talks Donald Sterling ban

Bernard Parks

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced yesterday that Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned from the league for life, will have to pay a $2.5 million dollar fine and will have no association with the Clippers organization.

Among many other city officials, Councilmember Bernard C. Parks has been vocal about making sure the city condemns Sterling’s racist comments.

Annenberg Radio News spoke with Councilmember Parks about his reaction to the decision and what this all means for the city of Los Angeles:

Councilman Parks votes against restructuring trash disposal system

On a 12-1 vote, the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to completely redo the way it disposes of garbage from apartment complexes and businesses in a hope to clean up a situation that some people think is stinky.

Listen to an audio version of this story from Annenberg Radio News: 

The bill was spearheaded by Councilman Jose Huizar. It would restructure garbage collection by giving private haulers one of 11 franchises across Los Angeles. It will also require the haulers to recycle. In the past, trash collectors of businesses and apartments simply dumped all trash in Los Angeles area landfills. [Read more…]

‘Impossible Dream’ documentary film pays tribute to Tom Bradley

Screenshot from "Impossible Dream"

Screenshot from “Impossible Dream” |

The California African American Museum premiered a documentary film yesterday on Tom Bradley, the first African American mayor of Los Angeles.  The 46-minute film titled “Tom Bradley: Impossible Dream” will be distributed to Los Angeles Unified School District high schools as a way for 11th and 12th graders to commemorate Black History Month.

Click play on a story from Annenberg Radio News to hear comments on Bradley’s legacy from South L.A. councilman Bernard Parks and others.

Watch an excerpt from the film on Vimeo.

City council considers more murals for South L.A.

A June 2013 photo of a mural outside a home in South L.A. | Intersections

A mural outside a home in South L.A., as seen in June 2013 | Subrina Hudson

The L.A. City Council considered an ordinance Thursday that would allow single-family homes in South L.A. to paint exterior murals. The ordinance would affect Boyle Heights and Highland Park as well.

Bernard Parks was the lone council member who opposed mural ordinance in a 14-1 vote, saying that individual communities should decide whether residents can paint murals on the sides of their homes.

The response from community members was mixed.

Hear their comments in an audio story from Annenberg Radio News:

[Read more…]

Crenshaw Digital Media Team gets City Council recognition

CMDT at City Council

Councilman Bernard Parks honoring Mother of Many founder Daphne Bradford.

Eighth District City Councilman Bernard Parks on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 recognized Daphne Bradford, founder and CEO of Mother of Many (M.O.M.), and the Crenshaw Digital Media Team for making innovative technology history.  They are the first group of LAUSD students to design and release a game, Going Banana’s for Health, in the Windows 8 App Store. [Read more…]