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Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez Speaks at One America LA – Strengthening Communities – Chase

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez Speaks at One America LA – Strengthening Communities – Chase


Andy Carney: I’d like to bring the stage now — he was already here I guess — the assembly member, Jimmy Gomez (applause) Jimmy Gomez: Thank you so much. My name is Jimmy Gomez and I’m the assembly member for the 51st district, which is most of Northeast LA and
then unincorporated East LA. Everything from Silver Lake to Eagle Rock down to unincorporated East Los Angeles. I have the honor of representing a good portion of the Los Angeles River and I think that this is one of the best
projects that we could work on. Before I get started, I want to thank
the tour organizers and the participants
today, the One America Tour, Points of Light, as well as JPMorgan
Chase. I think there’s no more significant
project that you can choose to help. The Los Angeles River gave birth to one of the greatest cities, I believe, in California and if not the country and the world. And
we have forgotten that history. We have forgotten that history and now we’re trying to make that people remember. The LA River, just like what you guys are doing creating a One America, is the same thing as we do here with the LA River. We’re creating one city, because there’s no
other part, no other feature in the entire city that combines so many
different communities, from the Valley to the East side to South
Central LA. It is the Los Angeles River we have But people didn’t think there was much
to protect so they paved over it, like it was mentioned, and the river fought back. In this part of town, it fought back because the water table was too high to full pave the river and just busted up at the concrete on its own. And then there was a group of volunteers
that stood in front of bulldozers preventing them from
re-paving that part of the river. It wasn’t the city, it wasn’t elected officials, it wasn’t the county. It was a volunteer who had a bigger vision for the river than some other elected leaders. that’s why volunteerism, that’s why the communities are so important. Because sometimes elected officials lack the vision that ordinary citizens have and that’s
why we’re here to thank you for being here, to volunteer to make sure the LA
River is something we can be proud of. But the river and the communities that surround it are represented by multiple elected officials and we are working together to
revitalize it, from the federal level, with Congresswoman Lucille Roybal Allard, to the state level, with Senator de León and myself, and the City, with Mitch O’Farrell, Councilman Cedillo, as well as the mayor because we believe that this is one
project that not only transforms the communities but it also transformed the lives of the
people who volunteer to take it back to its natural
state. So I greatly appreciate all of you being here, but we have to sell it. Once you participate in this cleanup, look around and see what the
potential is. Imagine what it could be and also
imagine what it’s already done for the first time in years we have
actually kayaked along the LA river from the 2 Freeway down to around the LA State Historic Park just past Frogtown Kayaked! And people think it’s a small
river; I stuck my paddle in and you can even touch the bottom of the river. So it is a real river, where people fish, kayak, recreate, run
along the edges, but we need to do that for the entire 51
miles and that’s going to take a lot of support and
a lot of vision. We need to promote it. And that’s what we’re doing for the
first time in the state capitol. We’re going to have a Los Angeles River day. We’ll bring the experts up to the state capital to tell them that this river is not where you see the drag
races in the fancy movies, this is where people go and enjoy
themselves and that brings the community back into
the river. So I greatly appreciate all your help
and I look forward to working with all of you as well as JP Morgan Chase, Points of Light and the One America Tour. Thank you so much. Have a great day. (applause, music)

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