May 30, 2013

LAWT Staff Report


The most unique opportunity in the history of ‘Taste of Soul’ has been extended to food vendors to participate at the inaugural  ‘Taste’ of A Taste of Soul Food Expo at the BET Experience at LA Live on June 28 and June 29, respectively.  

Only a limited number of vendors will be afforded the luxury of promoting their business at the BETX@L.A. Live with Staples Center as their backdrop and thousands of patrons from Los Angeles and the rest of the world in attendance.

This exclusive invitation to ‘Taste of Soul’ vendors is so that they can enhance their brand name beyond the region, while operating in the heart of downtown Los Angeles on Friday June 28 from 12-noon to 8p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8p.m.

It is an opportunity that can be a tremendous boost for food vendors, new and old and for repeating ‘Taste of Soul’ vendors.  It’s a once in a lifetime chance to showcase your delicious treats or tasty meats to a new world of customers coming to the BET Experience Fan Festival, where there will be all types of outdoor activities held each day, all day for the family throughout the weekend to draw in the crowd.

The deadline for this unique opportunity is June 10 or until spaces have been filled. For more information contact Brenda Marsh-Mitchell at (323) 299-3800. ‘Taste of Soul’ is a Bakewell Media creation.  It is important to note this event will be held in addition to our traditional annual ‘Taste of Soul’ Family Festival’ that will take place on Saturday, October 19th on Crenshaw Blvd.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

May 30, 2013


Assistant Managing Editor


The results are in and the votes from the recent Los Angeles municipal elections have been tabulated and confirmed, but African Ameri­can leadership have demonstrated their ability to deliver the Black vote on May 21st.

African Americans represent just 12 percent of the voting bloc in the City of Los Angeles, but still it is an influential and unified constituency that can impact the results of an election.

Blacks supported Controller Wendy Greuel by an overwhelming 71 percent according to The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University, but she did not win. However that is because Greuel failed to win the majority of Latinos (60-40), whites (59-41), and barley won her home region of the San Fernando Valley 51-49 percent. Greuel grew up in the Valley and represented that area when she served on the City Council.

The Black vote also substantiated itself in the race for 9th District City Council where Senator Curren Price defeated Ana Cubas 5,184 (52.75%) to 4,643 (47.24%), although Blacks are no longer the majority of the district.

Among the many Black community leaders and elected officials who rallied together for the municipal elections was former Lakers’ great and Dodgers owner Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, veteran Congress­woman Maxine Waters, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Bishop Charles E. Blake of West Angeles, John L. Mack of the Los Angeles Police Commission, Watts community activist ‘Sweet’ Alice Harris, Sentinel Publisher Danny J. Bakewell Sr., former Congress­woman Diane Watson, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, and former City Councilman Dave Cunningham who were all instrumental in delivering 69 percent of the Black vote for Greuel.

Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti was also supported by Blacks, such as Rep. Karen Bass, City Council President Herb Wesson, Council­woman Jan Perry, actor Danny Glover  and Black clergy leaders including Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, presiding bishop, 5th Episcopal District, A.M.E. Church, Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, senior minister, First A.M.E. Church, Rev. Kelvin Sauls, senior pastor, Holman United Methodist Church, Rev. Xavier Thompson, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and president, Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Los Angeles & Southern California and Rev. Eric P. Lee, president, Black Community, Clergy, Labor Alliance (BCCLA).

However, according to the study by Loyola Marymount, which accurately predicted to election outcome, only 31 percent of Black voters punched a ballot for Garcetti.

Greuel won the African-American vote by a whopping 69-31 percent, likely due to her connection to revered former Mayor Tom Bradley and endorsements from Magic Johnson and Congress­woman Maxine Waters.

While Black leadership was divided in the race for mayor where Garcetti won 181,995 (53.92 %) to Greuel’s 155,497 (46.07 %), they were all unified in their overwhelming support of Curren Price.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

May 30, 2013


Assistant Managing Editor

As the evangelical icon The Rev. Cecil ‘Chip’ Murray fired at 600 hundred elated supporters with three chants of “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” they joined elected officials and community leadership in celebrating approved funding for an underground station on the planned Crenshaw Line at historical Leimert Park Village, last week.

Acting on a motion co-sponsored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mayor Antonio Villa­raigosa and four other Metro directors, the board voted to include the Leimert Park Village station in the new Crenshaw-to-LAX light rail line after securing the necessary funding in its upcoming budget.

The most recent estimate for the Leimert Park station is $120 million, and Metro’s fiscal year 2014 budget contains $460.5 million in uncommitted funds—more than enough to safeguard against a significant cost overrun. Further burnishing the station’s funding prospects was the recent commitment by the Los Angeles City Council of $40 million toward the design and construction of the station.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, who is also on the Metro board and who has championed the Leimert Park station for years, greeted the vote with a deep sense of satisfaction and gratification.

Ridley Thomas stated; “I am delighted that the board has approved funding to make this historic community a train stop,” he said. “Leimert Park is an iconic neighborhood in Los Angeles. All we have ever said is that it should be treated on par with our county’s other great cultural landmarks. This was always a matter of will – a test of will. Because we knew there was a way to make this happen. This is one case where it really did take a village to get a fair share for Leimert Park Village. It is a major achievement for those who have advocated for the station, for those who insisted that the Crenshaw line quite obviously had to stop in the heart of the Crenshaw community.”

Added Mayor Antonio Villa­raigosa, whose support for the Leimert Park station was crucial:  “The fate of the Leimert Park Village station on the Cren­shaw/LAX line has – up until today – been uncertain,” he said. “I am proud to say that both the City of Los Angeles and Metro have stepped up to the plate and committed a total of $120 million to fully fund the Leimert Park Village station. We worked together, we got creative, and we never gave up. I look forward to seeing the upcoming designs so that this project can move forward and serve our entire region.”

Rev. Murray began a celebration that almost never was. One that was stalled for two years in tangled negotiations and left on a respirator to die. The 8.5-mile Crenshaw Line would run south from the Expo Line at Exposition Boulevard along Crenshaw Boulevard through Inglewood, terminating at the Green Line near LAX.

“The announcement of funds to build an underground train station in Leimert Park Village along the Crenshaw Line is welcomed news for so many residents who have patiently and diligently worked to make this day possible.  Leimert Park Village is a vitally important cultural destination in our community and construction of an underground station ensures this area continues to thrive and fully reap the economic benefits such a project can provide.  I commend all of the local leaders both inside and outside of government who have fought and believed in this project from day one.  I will do all that I can to further support the construction of this station in the months ahead,”
 said Karen Bass in a statement.

During a Metro Transportation Authority board meeting last week, Mayor Villaraigosa seconded a motion by Mark Ridley-Thomas, which insisted that a Leimert Park station be inclusive in the planning of the Crenshaw Line.

It ended two years of fighting for a light-rail station in Leimert Park, with the approval of $120 million full-funding for a stop in the heart of L.A.'s African American community.

“Good News! Good News! Good News! Good News in Leimert Park Village today, clap your hands and give somebody a high-five and tell them there is Good News in the Village today!” proclaimed Ridley-Thomas at the rally.

The supervisor referred to the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” paraphrasing it to ‘It takes a village to cause a train to stop at Leimert Park Village.”

“In other words we did it together. Say Mr. Mayor we did it together! Mr. Council President we did it together! Ms. (Jan) Perry we did it together! We did it together with the Sentinel and other newspapers! We did it together,” Ridley-Thomas added, also mentioning churches, clergy and community organizations that were instrumental in solidifying the station.

That was the theme celebrated in the same location that three to four years from now will be an artery through, to and from the single region in Los Angeles that is most symbolic of African American culture.

Mayor Villaraigosa smiled continuously and then reflected on the long journey of not just the Leimert Park station but also his 33-year relationship with glowing political superstar Ridley-Thomas.

“For 33-years Mark Ridley-Thomas and Antonio Villaraigosa have been working together. From the co-chairs of the Latino/Black Roundtable to work on his campaign for city council, mine for the state assembly, my first second and third run for mayor, we have understood that when we work together, we get things done,” said Villaraigosa.

The mayor concluded by saying the event is a celebration of the Leimert Park Village community that has always been a big part of this town from the very beginning. “This is a community that has a cultural destination point that people from all over this town should come and visit.”

Leimert Park was developed in the 1920s as an all-white neighborhood known for lush golf courses, but the 1965 Watts riots, Black musicians, writers and artists began to move in and transformed it into an African American cultural destination for entertainment, food and business.

Sounds of Jazz can frequently be heard throughout the community, lined with shops, art galleries and the last Black-centric bookstore in the region. Leimert Park is the last African American business corridor in Southern California.

“Let me just say this. The role that the Sentinel has played in this outcome, frankly has been under reported,” said Sup. Ridley Thomas. “I want to publically acknowledge the rather, pivotal and critical role that the publisher (Danny J. Bakewell Sr.) of the L.A. Sentinel has played in this. That’s not overstated, that’s just frankly the facts. So two years to the date was not the day we hope that it would be, but today is the day we hope for.”

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

May 30, 2013

By Chelsea Battle

LAWT Contributing Writer


If you’re ready to support the higher education of our nation’s young Black scholars, you might wish to put on your walking shoes and/or get out your checkbook; The United Negro College Fund’s 31st Annual Walk for Education is only days away!  On Saturday, June 1st join R&B songstress Goapele, reality court TV Judge Greg Mathis, rapper Warren G, Supervisor Mark Ridley- Thomas, thousands of college hopefuls, alumni, friends, and family for the event, which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for college scholarships.

Judge Mathis is a true example of the power of education.  Having once lived the street life and paid the price of incarceration, he shares how education turned his life around, and why fundraisers like these are important.

“I was invited by UNCF to join the walk and I was glad to do it because of the challenges our young people face both getting into college and paying for it,” explains Judge Mathis. “Education was probably the most important factor in becoming the man I am today, in the sense that it empowered me to be able to overcome the obstacles I had to deal with. It’s difficult to join the work force without some type of education beyond high school. I wanted to be able to contribute to our young people and our community both financially and with my time.”

Goapele also shares why she has decided to walk.

“I think higher education, or at least the opportunity for higher education, is important for everyone.  Income, or a lack of it, can make a lot of people of color feel like they just can’t go to college. So I think UNCF has been out there as kind of a huge support system for African Americans to go to college for a long time. I’ve recognized the brand for a while, so it seemed like something naturally that would be nice to be involved with.”

This year the walk will begin at 8:30am in Exposition Park at 700 Exposition Park Drive. The walk’s stage, and vendor booths will be located on the corner of Coliseum and South Menlo Avenue. Organizers expect to raise over $200,000 in scholarship money, and have received the support of corporate sponsors such as

BP, Toyota, American Airlines, and UPS—just to name a few. The money raised supports more than 3,000 students from California, and 60,000 students nationwide who go on to attend more than 800 colleges.  Previous student recipients have been awarded scholarships to some of the most prestigious historically Black colleges in the nation. Scholars attending in-state schools, including UCLA, USC, and FIDM, have also benefited.  Additionally, the program supports students who choose to attend two year colleges.

 “If the need is there and they are about to graduate from high school we will help them,” says Carolyn Trader, the Development Director for UNCF.  To register for the walk visit or call (213) 639-3800.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

Page 41 of 85