The neighborhood council which presides over View Heights, Angeles Mesa, and Hyde Park will host a planning meeting on May 12 at Dulan’s on Crenshaw.
By Megan Reed
Residents in Park Mesa Heights are not waiting for city officials and city services to solve various issues. They are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.
Recently Park Mesa Heights Community Council, which governs View Heights, Hyde Park, and Angeles Mesa, partnered with Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Development Council, 8th District City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project’s Community Leadership Council, to perform a community cleanup event. About 25 people picked up trash on the streets surrounding Van Ness Recreation Center, which is located at the corner of Slauson Avenue and Van Ness Avenue.
The purpose of this event was to solve a lingering problem, instead of waiting for city departments to address issues.
“We're trying to get the people in our community to understand that it starts with us,” said Tonia Knightner, Park Mesa Heights Community Council treasurer. “It’s community pride. It's not about just getting the city and county departments to do their part with the mandatory cleaning that they do. We have to make sure that our stakeholders do our part as well. When we collectively come together instead of pointing fingers at city departments and city officials, we get more done,”
This group was also able to clean up the alleys, which can be missed by the city’s sanitation department. Park Mesa Height Community Council’s beautification committee is working on some ideas for those passage ways, which can attract crime.
“We’re looking at how we can beautify the alleys,” Knightner said. “We may be able to grow a garden there.”
The community council has many other plans, which they will discuss at their council board retreat. This meeting will take place on Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Dulan’s on Crenshaw. This meeting is open to the public.
“We’re going to talk about the pressing issues.” Knightner said. “We’ll talk about what we see that is always coming up, but not being handled properly. We want to find the solutions.”
City officials, real estate developers, business owners, and community leaders will be in attendance to address issues that many locals have.
“We’re not going to just have a pow wow to talk about issues, but we’re going to come up with a strategic plan to deal with them,” said Kahllid Al-Alim, Park Mesa Heights Community Council president.
Many community members have major concerns over the changes that are happening in their neighborhoods.
“We have at least four medium to large size developments going on in our community,” Al-Alim said. “They’re being built up and down Crenshaw, or just off of the strip. We want to make sure that we’re addressing that issue. We want development, but we want to make sure that those developments meet the needs of the community.”