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North Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – July 1

By Elizabeth Sherwood

Jul. 6, 2020 12:26 pm

The North Westwood Neighborhood Council is the official neighborhood council representing Westwood Village and UCLA to the Los Angeles City Council. Council meetings are open to the public and held monthly. The next meeting will be held virtually August 5.

 

Announcements

 

  • The Community Health and Homelessness Committee plans to hold a town hall to discuss recent community initiatives, including health care for the those experiencing homelessness, and the general community climate.

 

  • Los Angeles Police Commission President Eileen Decker called for an investigation into the Los Angeles Police Department’s potential use of force against protesters, and is in the process of organizing a town hall on criminal justice and a town hall on small businesses.

 

  • Councilmember Katja May announced her intent to move out of the state and her subsequent resignation from the board.

 

Comments

 

  • LAPD officer Brian Espen responded to the council’s concern regarding the LAPD’s use of Jackie Robinson Stadium as an arrest processing center. Espen said he could not speak to the actions of the LAPD officers involved, and is not aware of what changes will be made in the department, if any, in response to this issue.

 

Agenda

 

  • The council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to change the name of Westwood’s Le Conte Avenue after recent Black Lives Matter protests brought to light the racist history of the street’s namesake, Joseph LeConte. LeConte was strongly pro-slavery and advocated for scientific racism. The council discussed a future resolution to rename the street after a UCLA alumnus, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche or Olympian and chemist James LuValle.

 

  • The council discussed a public petition to rename UCLA’s Janss Steps, which received more than 2,000 signatures as of July 3. The Janss Investment Company banned people of color from owning properties in Westwood Village in the 1920s. The council unanimously approved a motionto rename Janss Steps and urged UCLA to collect suggestions from the community for a new name.

 

  • On behalf of the Community Health and Homelessness Committee, councilmember Andrew Lewis proposed a motion to make police records available across all jurisdictions in order to encourage transparency regarding instances of police misconduct. Lewis moved to award investigative power to a neutral third party that could initiate adequate disciplinary action toward police officers, and to make all records of these investigations accessible to the public. The motion unanimously carried.

 

  • Grayson Peters, the chair of the NWWNC’s Transportation and Safety Committee, brought forth a motion to demand the LAPD Board of Commissioners and the Los Angeles City Council Public Safety Committee investigate all LAPD officers involved in the use of the Jackie Robinson Stadium parking lot as an unauthorized field jail for protestors June 1. The motion also called to create an independent third party to carry out the investigation. The motion passed unanimously with one abstention.

 

  • The council voted unanimously to adopt Metro’s Draft Long Range Transportation Plan in Westwood. The $400 billion, 30-year plan aims to create a more mobile and sustainable Westwood by allowing improved transit and reducing traffic congestion.

 

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Elizabeth Sherwood | Assistant News editor
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