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Guest Editorial: From Councilman John Lee

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The new year has brought many changes to the City of Los Angeles, with five new Councilmembers, and a new Mayor, City Attorney, and City Controller all assuming office this past December.

The welcoming of new Council colleagues also brings changes to the makeup of the committees that serve as the foundation for the legislative work of the City Council. Council committees oversee the work of City departments and related policy areas, and the committee setting is where much of the substantive discussion about ideas and issues take place. Committees play a key role in the legislative process, providing an environment in which to vet important questions with the aim of developing thoughtful policy and legislation.

I am very excited to have been appointed to serve as Chair of the City Council’s Public Works Committee, which has oversight of the Department of Public Works (Engineering, Street Lighting, Street Services, Sanitation, Contract Administration, Urban Forestry) and related issues. This committee, and especially the departments and City staff that report to it, represent the nuts and bolts services that the City of Los Angeles is expected to deliver to its residents. Public works touches the daily lives of every resident, business and visitor in countless ways, and our communities and our City are able to function thanks to the labor, expertise, and dedication of thousands of public works professionals.

There are numerous priorities before the Public Works Committee that we are ready to tackle. Critical issues such as street and sidewalk repair, the new street furniture program, growing our urban tree canopy, and exploring ways to fortify our street lighting network for the safety of our communities, are just a few of the key topics that the Committee will be addressing.

I am also proud to serve as Vice-Chair of:

Public Safety Committee- oversight of LAFD, LAPD, Emergency Management Department and related issues.

Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment Committee- oversight of Cultural Affairs, Recreation & Parks, Animal Services, Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, Library, Zoo, Youth Development Department and related issues and as a Member of:

Planning and Land Use Management Committee- oversight of Planning Department, Building and Safety, Cannabis Regulation and related issues.

Housing and Homelessness Committee- oversight of Los Angeles Housing Department, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the Housing Authority (HACLA) and related issues.

I look forward to using my role on these committees to continue being a strong advocate for the needs of our district, to meaningfully shape policy on the critical issues facing the City, and to ensure that critical services are delivered to City residents in ways that are efficient, innovative and cost-effective.

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