Los Angeles

LA Holds Cleanup Events to Honor Late Councilman Tom LaBonge

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Los Angeles held five “Tom LaBonge Day of Service” cleanup events around the city Saturday in honor of the former councilman, known as Mr. Los Angeles, who died on Jan. 7.

City officials spoke at each event, with cleanups starting at about 9:20 a.m.

The cleanup locations were:

  • Silver Lake Meadows, at 2300 Silver Lake Blvd., where Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, LaBonge's widow Brigid LaBonge and Nelson Mejia of the Department of Water and Power kicked off the cleanup;
  • Griffith Park Trails Cafe, at 2333 Fern Dell Drive, where City Attorney Mike Feuer, Controller Ron Galperin, Councilwoman Nithya Raman and Board of Public Works President Greg Good were on hand; 
  • The Watts Towers, at 1765 E. 107th St., where Councilman Monica Rodriguez and Board of Public Works President Pro Tempore Mike Davis attended; Algin Sutton Park in Vermont Vista, at 8800 S. Hoover St., attended by Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, L.A. Civil Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox and Recreation and Parks General Manager Mike Shull.
  • Victory Outreach Church in North Hollywood, where Councilman Paul Krekorian and Pastor Raymond Solorzano were on hand. 

“Today on #TomLaBonge Day of Service, we're celebrating and honoring Tom's legacy. Thank you to @LACivilRights and @LACityDPW for hosting community beautification events across our city and to all the volunteers who showed up for #MrLA,” Garcetti tweeted Saturday morning.    

“Today, over 250 Angelenos showed up to show their love for #TomLaBonge and love for LA. From South LA to the Valley, we cleaned parks & neighborhoods, celebrated our communities, and brought people together - which is what Tom did best. Thank you, Los Angeles,'' LA Civil Rights tweeted. 

The events celebrated what would have been LaBonge's 68th birthday on Wednesday. LaBonge died Jan. 7 at his Silver Lake home at age 67. 

He represented the council's Fourth District from 2001-15, overseeing an area that includes Koreatown, Mid-Wilshire, the Miracle Mile, Fairfax District and much of Hollywood, Silver Lake, Los Feliz and Griffith Park. 

He was known for his love of Griffith Park's trails and hills, and was frequently spotted hiking through the park, as well as taking it upon himself to clean up trash and debris around the community. 

During his time in office, he expanded the park by 500 acres and was involved in the Griffith Observatory's restoration and expansion. 

Following his death, Los Angeles rushed to honor him in several ways. The L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority dedicated the future Wilshire/La Brea station on the Purple Line extension to him, and the city's 311 information line added an audio clip of LaBonge to its system. 

L.A. also renamed the Mount Hollywood Summit in Griffith Park, where LaBonge frequently hiked, “Tom LaBonge Summit.”

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