Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Shelia Kuehl Attend Local Fundraiser for Parks and Open Space Ballot Measure

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, former city Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Supervisor Shelia Kuehl and Mary Creasse LA Land Public Trust
LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, former City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Supervisor Shelia Kuehl and Mary Cressman, Trust for Public Land, thank supporters at fundraiser for the campaign for Measure A last week in Fremont Place.

L. A. County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Shelia Kuehl spoke to more than 120 passionate supporter of parks and open space in Los Angeles at a backyard fundraiser last week in Fremont Place, to support Measure A on the ballot this November.

Officially titled, “Measure A, the Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks, Open Space, Local Beaches, Rivers, and Water Conservation Protection Measure in Los Angeles County,” the measure has gathered a diverse coalition of supporters. Guests at the event included architect Frank Gehry and landscape architect Mia Lehrer. Windsor Village resident and architect John Kaliski and landscape architect Takako Tajima, Larchmont Buzz founder Julie Grist, former City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Windsor Square Residents Carolyn Ramsay, Ginger and Bill Lincoln, Mark Borman also attended.  As did Hancock Park residents Deborah and Larry Brooks and Jon Vein. Windsor Square residents Roger and Lisa Morrison donated their signature aperitif Jardesca and Carolyn Bennett donated Brooks Dry Cider brewed by her son Brooks. Catering was provided by Robertino Giovannelli for hosts Patty Lombard (this writer) and Bill Simon.

“It used to be the county was about providing services; now it’s about providing solutions, said Kuehl. “Parks and open space are solutions. We are seeing programming for parks coming from the health department. We never saw funds going across departments in the past; it was always my budget. But now, we are seeing how parks are becoming part of the solution to improving the health of our community,” said Kuehl.

In her remarks, Solis talked about spending childhood special occasions with her family at Whittier Narrows. “My parents taught me there was nothing more beautiful than nature, and we should treasure it,” said Solis.

Solis and Kuehl has taken the lead in the campaign to persuade voters to approve Measure A on a very crowded November ballot. If approved, the measure would provide an annual parcel tax of 1.5 cents per square foot of development.  The estimated tax for the owner of a 1,500 square foot home will be $22.50 per year, and will be included on the annual property tax bill. Generating approximately $94 million per year for our local parks, beaches, and open space areas, Measure A will replace expiring dedicated funding from the voter-approved Propositions A of 1992 and 1996.

Measure A was developed with extensive outreach to residents and park users throughout Los Angeles County and was designed to meet the needs identified in the Countywide Comprehensive Parks & Recreation Needs Assessment of 2016. The Needs Assessment was an 18-month process which provided detailed information from all 88 cities and unincorporated areas within Los Angeles County about the quality of their local parks, their current access to parks and recreation facilities and overall park needs, including public meetings and project lists developed and prioritized by members of each community. The Buzz reported on one of the sessions held at Pan Pacific Park last year.

In the parks assessment report that features an interactive map of the all the areas studied, our neighborhood, identified as Wilshire-West, fared worse than many areas of the county, with only 46% of our residents living within a mile of a 1/2 mile of a park, compared to 49% for the county as a whole.  The assessment found 71 park acres for our 123,005 residents, or 0.6 park acre per 1,000 people.  In the adjacent Wilshire -Koreatown study area, there are only 18.2 park acres for 168,097 people, resulting in just 0.1 park acres per 1,000 residents. The county aver is 3.3 park acres per 1,000.

Because of our dense population, our neighborhoods were determined to be “high” need. Our local parks would benefit from funds for improvements and enhancements, which would be spread over 3,000 existing parks.  Wilshire-West study parks include: Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, Hancock Park (23.11 Acres); Los Angeles High Memorial Park (2.84 acres); Harold A. Henry Park (2.08 Acres); Pan Pacific Park (26.19 Acres); Queen Anne Rec. Center (5.64 Acres); Robert L. Burns Park (1.68 Acres); and Robertson Rec. Center (1.24 Acres).

While many people support the general idea of more green space, the ballot measure is opposed by anti-tax activists. Windsor Square resident Jack Humphreville, a city budget watchdog and CityWatch contributor, told the Buzz he opposes the measure – which replaces two earlier funding measures that are sunsetting – because it is a permanent tax commitment.

This story has been updated.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Articles

.printfriendly { padding: 0 0 60px 50px; }