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Councilmembers Share Excitement for Downtown's Future

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, April 16, 2009, at 03:32PM
jose, ed and jan Ed Fuentes

Councilmembers Jose Huizar, Ed Reyes and Jan Perry pose with plaques given to them by the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council.

There was a lot of love in the Tower Theatre on Tuesday night. Councilmembers Jose Huizar, Jan Perry and Ed Reyes were warmly welcomed to a special meeting of the DLANC board, and each expressed his or her belief in Downtown's bright future.

The neighborhood council billed the night as a chance for the community to meet and greet the elected officials that represent Downtown on City Council. After a chance for mingling, the Councilmembers shared their vision for their respective districts.

Councilman Jose Huizar went first, giving remarks that focused on the revitalization of Broadway. "The cornerstone of this initiative and the anchor of this initiative are these beautiful theatres," he said, gesturing to the Tower's interior. "The idea is this, if we reopen these beautiful theatres, bring them up to their potential and provide the type of programming that would bring the critical mass back to Broadway, we will then see the rest of this corridor revitalize itself."

Perry's 9th District contains the majority of Downtown, and her remarks praised Downtown for its welcoming of growth and density. "This is the one part of the city where people will accept more density. This is the one part of the city where there isn't the NIMBYism there is in other parts of the city." At the same time, she promised to fight to make sure that affordable housing and homeless services are not solely concentrated Downtown. "I think you'll see me pushing far more to make sure that affordable housing gets built throughout the city -- which has not occurred."

Reyes' 1st District includes the area west of the 110 freeway and north of the 101. He talked of the opportunity presented by the Los Angeles River and city properties that can be pushed into better use. As for the challenge of connecting different parts of Downtown? "I think incrementally, we're going to get there," he said.

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