CD 11 Councilmember Traci Park was sworn in December 11 and took several actions on December 13 at City Hall.
Park worked to revive an agenda item to post park hour signs, dawn to dusk, at the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon in Pacific Palisades, which opened this past Saturday. The former Councilmember Mike Bonin introduced the motion on November 22 but did not follow through with a promise to have the signs up before opening.
At the Westchester Senior Center, squatters in the parking lot had stymied its reopening after Covid because of senior’s safety concerns.
The once vibrant center, that prior to Covid was filled to capacity with events and lunch for seniors five days a week, saw people too afraid to come back. Handicapped parking spaces had been taken over by illegally parked RVs.
Park submitted a motion to ensure that the Westchester Senior Center gets the support it needs to run at its pre-pandemic capacity. Park noted the Westchester Senior Center has opened but has operated at less than full capacity due to safety concerns that need to be addressed.
She asked the L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks to report on the operational status of the senior center, including an overview of its current operating capacity and the resources needed to further enhance the space for the senior community.
“Many seniors have been left isolated at home because of a lack of resources and safety at the senior center,” says Debra Huston, a Westchester community member actively involved with the Recreation Center’s cleanliness and safety. “We were entirely focused on basic safety issues, and resources and amenities were placed on the back burner. The seniors will be pleased about having a fully-equipped, safe, and functioning senior center and are grateful to our Councilwoman for this help.”
L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks Superintendent Sonya Young Jimenez said, “We have gotten our programs to 80-percent capacity, but we look forward to reaching full capacity with the Councilwoman.”
Park also asked various City Departments to provide a status update on a proposed housing project in Mar Vista that may result in the transfer of City property at 12901 Venice Boulevard to the Disability Community Rights Center. There were community’s concerns about the private sale of property without public input.
“I promised that I would get to work on day one to make sure our parks and public spaces are clean, safe places for residents in my district,” Park said. “I also made a commitment to generate new practices linked to measurable and successful outcomes. Today we started that work and will continue to do so.”
(Editor’s note: The entrance gate locks weren’t operating properly on Saturday evening and a resident’s private security guard stood near the entrance at Friends until midnight. The resident wrote, “After several emails Park’s new Chief of Staff Star Parsamyan, formerly with O’Farrell, amazingly got City locksmiths out on Sunday to fix the problem — both gates operated properly on Sunday night and I believe also last night.” The gates are supposed to automatically open at dawn and lock at sunset.)