President’s Message

Greetings Highland Park Community!

Happy blazing hot July to all of you! I hope your 4th of July was an enjoyable and safe one this year with your loved ones. As we can all agree that family and community matters, which makes getting together during special holidays and events important for our overall well being.  Our community connects us and gives us our sense of place. Living in community means being a part of something bigger than oneself and creating space within nature and our urban surroundings for people, families, and local economy. HHPNC believes in this and more.

Since the last time we connected, HHPNC was involved in various events, such as the Day of Compassion for our homeless residents, Budget Day and the 9th Annual Fireworks Show and Concert. On June 16th, HHPNC organized a day to give to our neighbors in need and with the help of community members we did just that. We distributed free women’s shoes; clothes for men and women; clothes, books and toys for kids; sanitation items; socks; free food; and a housing and homelessness directory. Laughter and good energy filled the space donated by Avenue 50 Studio. A special thanks to Johnny’s Bar for the collection of socks and hygiene items. Also, thanks to Rome’s Kitchen for hooking us up with some yummy food. We hope to organize another Day of Compassion soon.

I was glad to be able to attend on June 23rd Budget Day at City Hall to learn about the process that the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates go through when preparing to advise the Mayor and City Council on the City’s budget. HHPNC has two budget representatives Liz Amsden and Jamie Tijerina, who cover the issues pertaining to Highland Park. In addition, Liz serves as the co-chair for the Budget Advocates and both she and Jamie are the Budget Advocates for the Region 8, North East Los Angeles. They have a lot of meetings and work ahead of them in preparation for next year’s white paper to be presented to the Mayor. You can check out their website for more information on what the Budget Advocates do,

Most recently was the 9th Annual Fireworks Show and Concert held on July 1st at the Eagle Rock Park organized by Councilman Jose Huizar of District 14 and the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce. The park was packed with families enjoying the live hip-shaking music, fun bouncers, food, free balloon animals and personalized cartoon sketches, and, of course, the fireworks, which had everyone enthusiastically enthralled throughout the whole show. HHPNC was present to pass out good cheer, free fans, candy, and information about Highland Park and how neighborhood councils can make a difference in our communities. Can’t wait until next year’s.

Board members were also busy on committee meetings, attending city department meetings and following city council motions and council files to become better informed of the issues that impact not only Highland Park, but California and our nation. This past July 5th board meeting, the board approved several community impact statements and letters that affect our community, such as in the environment, schools, and housing.  For instance, HHPNC approved community impact statements (CIS) letters to support: legal counsel to renters facing eviction (Council File 18-0610); AB1506 repealing Costa-Hawkins; and Occidental College’s Oxy Development Principles, which aims to strengthen community communication, relationships and partnerships. In addition, HHPNC provided CIS letters to support: of upholding Net Neutrality and supporting municipal broadband (CF #18-0002-S83 and #18-0186); and provide recommendations for Council File #18-0467, which focuses on making changes to the Neighborhood Council System.

As for the protection of our environment and sustainability, HHPNC approved CIS letters: urging the decontamination of properties
contaminated by Exide Technologies, supporting City efforts to take the necessary action within its power to demand accountability and action from the parties responsible for cleanup, and supporting decontamination of all parcels; requiring DWP to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030 (Council File 18-0247); and providing a recommendation that the City Council use the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA) for the City’s Zero emissions Maintenance Equipment Pilot (Council File 18-0131).

Finally, the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council unanimously voted to submit a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District School Board and Superintendent Beutner in support of community schools and urging their funding. Community schools provide wraparound support services and staffing that strives to address the holistic needs of the students (e.g. intellectual, psychological, physical and emotional development) by situating itself within a network of community partnerships. We hope they consider strengthening their commitment and investment in community schools.

HHPNC board also approved supporting and participating in upcoming events taking place in and around Highland Park, such as the unveiling of the Through the Walls: Communities Connecting Heritage mural unveiling on Saturday, July 7th. HHPNC was able to support the reception with some vegetarian food for the artists. Also, we are happy to help out for the Summer Night Lights’ “Back to School Night” with backpacks and school supplies scheduled for early August. HHPNC will assist with the purchase of backpacks and school supplies to distribute at the Highland Park Recreation Center, stay tuned to an upcoming flyer with detailed information. In addition, HHPNC will participate in the Homelessness’ Community Forum organized by Recycled Resources to take place on Wednesday, August 22nd from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at the Highland Park Senior Center. Lastly, there is the National Night out on August 7th from 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm taking place at the Rio de Los Angeles State Park. Please mark these events on your calendars!

We look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new people at these events. Until then, keep hydrated and be happy.


Rocio Rivas, President
Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council (HHPNC)