17 Oct Leimert Park is Open!
Today we officially reopened Leimert Park!
Three years ago we started this journey at the request of community stakeholders including Clint Rosemond, Johnnie Raines, Leimert Park merchants, Cherrywood Neighborhood Association and Neighborhood Empowerment Congress West. The ask was simple. Do something to beautify the park and bring it back being a place the entire community could use and be proud of. After many meetings and conversations it was decided to move forward on the renovation of Leimert Park.
This was a monumental undertaking that included first providing direct access to community service providers to the homeless population that called Leimert Park home. For nearly one and a half years we partnered with Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS), Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), Community Build, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to triage people into housing and community programs.
Between re-sodding the entire park, new plantings, refurbishing the tables and benches, reconstructing the water system and rehabilitating the fountain-we’ve probably spent $750,000 in renovations and we’re not done yet. We still plan to put a new roof over the bathrooms. I am sure that you will agree that every dollar is worth it to restore the historical Leimert Park Plaza because it is the heart and soul of Los Angeles’ Black community.
I want to thank Karen Clark and Peter Jackson from City National Bank and Carolyn Ramsey with the Los Angeles Parks Foundation for their financial support of our efforts to restore Leimert Park.
That said, I know that some members of the community who love Leimert Park didn’t want to see a gate. I heard everyone’s concerns and know that my office has been working with community organizations, the neighborhood councils, business owners and other stakeholders to come up with a plan that everyone can live with. We will continuously monitor this situation and we will make adjustments if needed.
We are currently negotiating with the Nation of Islam to open and close the park and to be available to be engaged with the community as they use the park.
I am very excited about the future of this location which has long been the hub for arts and culture in the Black community. With the reopening of the Vision Theater and the new Crenshaw LAX line, we are moving into a new era in Leimert Park that will bring unparalleled events to the neighborhood for us all to enjoy.
Going forward, I will continue to be in dialogue with the community and as always, welcome recommendations and suggestions.
On this day we can all be proud at witnessing the fruits of our collective labor.