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Ladies and gents, no worries if you can’t make it downtown to Los Angeles’ 9th District Councilwoman Jan Perry’s swearing-in ceremony as I will be broadcasting it live on my site, blogging, and twittering the entire event.  Check back at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning to check it out!  Ciao!

About Jan Perry

Whether implementing cutting edge improvements or ensuring delivery of fundamental services, Jan Perry is making a positive change in the lives of her constituents. Now in her second term as Councilwoman of the Ninth District, Perry represents some of the most diverse and vibrant communities in Los Angeles including Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, and South Los Angeles.

Before Perry began her first term, the basic services available in other Los Angeles neighborhoods were being neglected in parts of her district. Perry’s commitment to change that, along with her untiring efforts in working with public agencies and environmental groups, has resulted in major improvements in the district’s operations and infrastructure. Her success in responding to the district’s needs has been dramatically demonstrated by the increase in trash capture devices, resurfacing of streets, repaving of streets, repair of sidewalks, and the increase in the number of streetlights.

In addition to understanding and meeting the needs of the communities within her district, Perry recognized the special relationship between her constituencies in South Los Angeles and downtown, and she is putting in place the mechanisms that will enable the sectors to benefit each other.

At the groundbreaking for the 27-acre LA Live mega project in downtown, Councilwoman Perry noted the economic benefit of thousands of new jobs. She stated, “These are jobs that are born out of an empty parking lot. So for me, that is the most compelling reason why I pushed to get this project.”

Perry is also involved in planning strategies that will maximize opportunities for development in South Los Angeles and share in downtown’s job opportunities resulting from its increase in housing and entertainment centers.

One of these initiatives is her proposed one-year moratorium on new fast food outlets in South Los Angeles. This measure, together with a grocery store and sit-down restaurant incentive package that she spearheaded, will provide opportunities for new businesses to invest in South Los Angeles. This will help the community to grow in a direction consistent with the desires and best interests of the people that live and work there.

In order to reduce crime, Councilwoman Perry is supporting programs for at risk youth, employment opportunities, and after-school programs that serve as an alternative to gang life. She also is putting into place aggressive crime stopping measures and is working for stronger deployment of LAPD personnel and resources in high crime areas.

Central City East, an area known by many as Skid Row, has been a community that Perry has worked passionately with to improve, outreaching to the homeless, fighting for permanent supportive housing, and working with local agencies to create programs that truly help those in need. Perry has earmarked funds to establish the city’s first year-round Emergency Homeless Shelter Program. She is spearheading integration of vital services for shelter cases in a multi-pronged effort to meet the challenge of homelessness in Central City East and throughout the region.

Perry co-authored and is widely credited with passage of Proposition O to clean Los Angeles water. She has greened her district by reducing blighted property and cleaning brownfields since her first term of office.

The Augustus Hawkins Wetland is one of Perry’s most inspiring initiatives. The nation’s first man-made wetland in a highly urban area is part of Augustus Hawkins Park. Perry initiated the project, and it is due in large measure to her unwavering tenacity that it came to fruition. The project is an ecological wonder in its own right, and it also serves as a demonstration project for Perry’s proposed 9-acre South Los Angeles Wetlands Park that will simultaneously improve water quality and provide much-needed park and recreation space to the South Los Angeles community.

Perry is committed to the development of strong public policy and works actively through her current leadership roles on the City Council. She currently serves as the chair of the Energy and the Environment Committee; the chair of the Ad Hoc Homeless Committee; vice-chair of the Arts, Parks, Health, and Aging Committee; the vice-chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Recovering Energy, Natural Resources, and Economic Benefit from Waste for LA (RENEW LA) Committee. She also is a member of the Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee; Ad Hoc Los Angeles River Committee; and Ad Hoc Stadium Committee. She was appointed by the mayor to represent the city of Los Angeles as a governing board member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and was re-elected in January of 2006 by the Western cities to serve another 4-year term. Perry also serves as the chair of the Exposition Light Rail Authority and is assistant president pro tempore for the Los Angeles City Council.

Perry earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California School of Journalism, cum laude. She received a master’s degree from USC in public administration.

Perry began working in LA city government years before her first term of office in 1991. She soon realized that positive change was possible through service in local government. She kept on caring as she served in a number of civic capacities and eventually became a Councilmember’s chief of staff. Now that she’s in a position to make the greatest difference, she strives to continue providing basic services to people in the most efficient manner possible and makes sure her staff does the same.