Ten Accomplishments to Build On
As Councilmember for the 14th Council District I had some successes that I would like to share with you. Many of these were done in collaboration with the community and others were done by my staff working closely with the City departments. Either way, they are only the beginning and I look forward to returning to service and bringing a "sense of community" to the 14th Council District.
Here they are:
1. Celebrating A Clean Community/Celebrando Una Comunidad Limpia (Environmental Fairs)
I felt that the only solution to bringing cleaner streets in our neighborhoods was through a joint venture with the community. I worked with the Department of Public Works to coordinate volunteers and promote "spring cleaning" in every part of the district. Each day ended with an environmental fair involving CBOs, environmental groups, and Public Works. This program started in CD 14 and has spread to 6 more council districts in the City. Councilman Villaraigosa changed the name of these events to “A Day of Service” and built them up to the point that thousands now show up.
2. Neighborhood Prosecutor Program
After September 11 the City of Los Angeles has a shortage of police officers in the neighborhoods because they were protecting the airport and other sensitive areas. During this time, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo asked me to introduce the motion to create the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program and as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee I pushed it through the council. This was at a time that we had very few resources for new projects, but public safety trumps all other programs.
3. Washington Boulevard Bulky Item Drop Off Center
The Bulky Item drop off center was Lloyd Monserratt's idea and I fought hard to get it funded. I put $2.4 million dollars into the 2003-2004 budget so that South Los Angeles, Hollywood and the Valley could get their requested bulky item drop off centers, but unfortunately all were closed down after I left the council. I am committed to re-open this center and expand it throughout the City.
4. Y.O. Program and $9 Million Dollar Boyle Heights Youth & Technology Center
I fought hard to make sure that Los Angeles received a Youth Opportunity grant from the Department of Labor. I convinced then Mayor Riordan to add $1 million into the application for a new City facility in Boyle Heights to eventually house the YO program. The program has grown into the Valley and will be a permanent City program. I put together close to $9 million dollars to build the 20,000 square foot center.
5. Evergreen Cemetery Jogging Path
The Evergreen Jogging Path is the most creative project I have ever worked on. The sidewalk surrounding Evergreen Cemetery (1.4 miles) was torn out and replaced with a rubber/cement compound made of recycled automobile tires. The project was designed to minimize rain run-off into the storm drains. I can see the City replicating this type of project and embracing the use of rubber/cement sidewalks everywhere.
6. Doña Street Signs
The City will no longer misspell Dona Teresa; it will be correctly labeled as Doña Teresa. I received international press on this item.
7. Automated Toilet Program
("European Style" Public Toilets)
I visited San Francisco with then Public Works Commissioner Woody Fleming and returned with the goal to have these self-cleaning toilets in Los Angeles, especially for areas with larger number of homeless or tourists. They will soon be all over the City.
8. Affordable Housing Trust Fund
($100 Million Dollar Motion: CF# 01-1458)
I was asked by the housing advocates to create a housing trust fund in 1999. They were not optimistic but I convinced then Mayor Riordan to start one with $5 Million for 2000-2001 and then doubled it for 2001-2002. In July of 2001, the Council adopted my motion (01-1458) to pursue placing $100 million in the fund.
9. Neighborhood Leadership Institute
The Councilman, working with City departments (especially Public Works) trained average residents on how to access City services. Council District 13 began a similar program after ours was initiated and other District Offices are considering following this model.
10. CLARTS Community Amenities Fund
I negotiated an Amenities Fund for CD 14 when the Department of Sanitation wanted to purchase a Recycling and Transfer Station located in CD 14. This fund generates around $1 million dollars a year for CD 14 projects.
As proud as I am about these items, there is still much work to be done. I want CD 14 to have the same sense of community it had when I was growing up: when every family shared in raising the children in the neighborhood. We will get there, but only if we all work to bring government closer to the people it serves.
Join my campaign and share my vision of bringing local government closer to the people.
We, in CD 14, have the resources to energize our neighbors into being a part of the solutions to our problems.
-- Nick Pacheco
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