On Saturday, January 10, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti met with residents from Mar Vista to kick off the Mayor’s Great Streets Initiative, which is designed to begin a process of reclaiming our city one village at a time through what the Mayor terms “urban acupuncture”. Through this process he hopes to inspire the health and betterment of the entire city. Despite the rainy day, more than one hundred volunteers gathered at Fire Station 62 at the corner of Venice and Inglewood Boulevards to help spread the word about the Initiative.
Over a hundred volunteers of which I was one, were on hand to kick off the Mayors program which has targeted a stretch of Venice Blvd in Mar Vista between Beethoven and Inglewood Blvd. This section of Venice Blvd has been recognized for its importance as a central hub in relationship to the surrounding residential community.
Over the past 10 years what was once a sleepy almost ignored section of Venice Boulevard between Beethoven Street and Inglewood Boulevard has come alive and become the commercial core for the Mar Vista Community. Creative new restaurants, coffee shops, and a flourishing and exceptional Farmers Market have all taken hold creating new visibility in an area people used to drive through on their way West to Venice and the Pacific Ocean or East to somewhere else. Now that’s all changed.
Our purpose as volunteers was to walk the neighborhood nearby. In teams of two or three people we each covered a specific street, knocking on doors informing neighbors about the initiative and asking people for their input and ideas on what they would like to see done to improve Venice Boulevard. Recognizing the importance of community and the value of the surrounding communities input, the intention of the program is to gather recommendations from the community and develop a plan that reflects much of what the community would like to see implemented.
Through the Great Streets Initiative one street has been designated in each of the City’s 15 council districts. For more information about the Great Streets Initiative and a full list of the streets involved in the program click here.