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Motion Asks Metro to Honor Joel Bloom

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, April 17, 2009, at 03:02PM
Joel Bloom Ed Fuentes

Joel Bloom stands outside Bloom's General Store in February of 2007.

A motion passed by Metro's Construction Committee yesterday asks that the agency create a program to recognize Joel Bloom as one of five members of the Eastside Review Advisory Committee who passed away during the line's planning or construction.

Bloom, a longtime Arts District resident and activist, passed away in July of 2007 after a long bout with cancer. He had owned and operated Bloom's General Store since 1994.

Councilman Jose Huizar was one of three authors of the motion, along with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Supervisor Gloria Molina.

"We wanted to do something for those who have passed on, but who really spent a lot of time making sure that we got the rail line out to the east side," Huizar told blogdowntown today.

"I first met Joel Bloom when I was a law student at UCLA and I lived in Boyle Heights. I joined the RAC and I saw this interesting individual there, with very strong personality and just a fascinating person."

"As a Councilmember, I got to know Joel even more. He would come visit me, and I would always make time for him. Councilmembers can be busy, but I would make time for him not only because I wanted to hear from him and what was going on in the community, but just to spend time with him. This was a person who really cared about his community and cared about his neighborhood."

Along with Bloom, the motion recognizes Dorothy Harthshorn, Ross Valencia, Louis Martinez and Al Taira. It next goes to next Thursday's meeting of the full Metro board for approval. The exact form of the recognition has yet to be determined.

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