Checks & Balances: L.A.’s Vendors, Violators and Values


You Name It; We Buy It

The City of L.A. buys just about everything imaginable -- nearly $400 million a year for our police, fire, parks, libraries, zoo … and so much more. I’m on a mission to buy more locally, so we can help create more local jobs and promote area businesses. We also have the opportunity to help small and medium-sized businesses grow and to save the City money by encouraging more competition for L.A. contracts.

This week, about 100 prospective City vendors, from painters to programmers, came to City Hall for a Vendor Fair to learn about opportunities with the City. To help companies who do business with the City, my office is also boosting an easy-to-use Vendor Self Service program to allow our vendors to view and track transactions, to manage account information -- and get paid faster.

Check out the many things we buy. If you’re interested in selling your goods or services to the City, check out the Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network.

Don't Even Think of Parking Here!

We all hate getting parking violation tickets. We need parking enforcement and rules to make parking fair, safe and available -- the challenge and imperative is to make parking rules helpful instead of punitive.

I also see it an imperative that people who park in L.A. have information about parking and parking tickets that’s informative and helpful. That’s why my office launched parking.controlpanel.LA, which shows when and where drivers are most likely to receive a parking ticket in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Downtown News recently featured our website -- which, among other things, highlights areas in and near the Toy District, Olvera Street and the Music Center where you’re most likely to be bestowed with a gift from parking enforcement in the form of a ticket. Check it all out here.

A Prayer for Understanding

On May 4, our National Day of Prayer, I joined other elected officials and members of the LGBT community on the steps of City Hall -- to pray for values we all hold dear: inclusiveness, unity and healing.

Along with Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin, we prayed for an end to the politics of division and bigotry -- and underscored that we must embrace religious freedom, but not allow religion to be a pretext for discrimination. With mixed signals from Washington on equality for LGBT Americans, we must remain vigilant and proactive.

Read coverage in the L.A. Daily News here.


Biden, Bush, Chopra ... and Me

Former President George W. Bush spoke there. So did former Vice President Joe Biden. And in the middle of the two former Washington leaders’ addresses to the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Beverly Hills last week, I shared my thoughts with attendees on how to provide affordable housing and adequate infrastructure to meet our needs here in California.

I was joined by Councilmember David Ryu and Kelli Bernard, the regional Chief Executive for the global infrastructure firm AECOM. I spoke of the need to deal with homelessness and affordability, as well as stay on top of infrastructure such as roads and water lines -- and how we need to do it without overtaxing. Check out my thoughts about affordable housing in the Los Feliz Ledger here.

Speaking at the Milken Global Conference with Councilmember David Ryu, Kevin Klowden of the Milken Institute, Kelli Bernard of AECOM, and Managing Partner Eric Garner of Best Best & Krieger.

Hands Around City Hall

It’s been 25 years since Los Angeles was gripped by civil unrest following the acquittal of police officers implicated in the beating of Rodney King. Since then, our City has made much progress in reforming police practices and investment in underserved areas -- but we still have much to do. Our young people need opportunities to succeed no matter where they grew up.

I marked the 25th anniversary of the riots at the UNITY event at First AME Church Los Angeles and a commemorative service at Korean Churches for Community Development, as well as the “Hands Around City Hall” event symbolizing our unity as leaders. Let’s work together for a better future for all of us.

With Rev. J. Edgar Boyd at the First AME Church of Los Angeles (top left), with the Korean Churches for Community Development (top right) and the Hands Around City Hall event (bottom).

Meetings and Greetings

Left to right, top to bottom: With California Attorney General Xavier Becerra at the L.A. Conservation Corps Spring Luncheon, with ABC 7 reporter Elex Michaelson discussing my father’s story as a Holocaust survivor and my reading of a portion of Elie Wiesel’s Night during Holocaust Remembrance Day, with Councilmember Paul Koretz and others during the Celebrate Israel Festival, and speaking to programmers and activists during the first L.A.-based Debug Politics Hackathon.

Top left: with Dr. David Carlisle, president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, while touring the nonprofit health sciences campus; top right: speaking at a Los Angeles County BizFed meeting; and with the firefighters of Engine Company 97 and Laurel Canyon residents for Fire Station Appreciation Day.

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