Skid Row Visit Shows Meaning Of Giving Back

Senior Lead Officer Deon Joseph gives a tour of Skid Row to a group of UCLA representatives.

Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer Deon Joseph has enough sad stories to fill a dozen seasons of “Law and Order”, but through his 17 years patrolling downtown L.A.’s Skid Row, he has not succumbed to despair. Joseph is hopeful, and he has a goal of opening the minds of Los Angeles residents.

On Dec. 11, a delegation of UCLA staff and students visited Skid Row to get a better sense of the area and the challenges presented to both police and human service volunteers in the area. They had an eye opening experience and were left with the knowledge that there is much to be done — via police enforcement, infrastructure investment and seriously tackling mental health and drug issues — in order to improve the area.

UCLA staff had met Joseph at a community forum in San Pedro on homelessness earlier this year, and the lead officer stopped by the UCLA Day in Downtown L.A. reception to chat with Chancellor Gene Block and again offer a special tour of Skid Row to discuss homelessness and the issues there, something he is looking to offer to any group in Los Angeles willing to hear him out. He was first assigned to Skid Row in 1997.

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The Veterans Administration, under its new leadership, is working to transform the West Los Angeles VA (WLA VA) campus. UCLA, which has been providing medical services to veterans at the campus for almost 70 years, is committed to providing new services and programs for veterans and their families in mental and physical health, law, and adaptive recreation, and other ways that make the WLA VA a welcoming home to our nation’s veterans.  In addition to paying fair market rent for use of Jackie Robinson Stadium, named for its famed UCLA alumnus and veteran, UCLA is working on exciting and innovative veteran-centric recreation services at and around that site. This is the right thing to do for veterans and for the community.

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UCLA Advocate In Action: Rep. Ted Lieu Sees Higher Education Propelling The American Dream

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu holds up a packet relating the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge.

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) won’t stop giving back to a country that gave his family so much.

“In my mind, my parents achieved the American Dream,” he said. “They went from being poor to owning a home, and gave my brother and me and amazing education. There are few places in the world where that can happen.”

The congressman earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during his career in the Air Force and remains a member of the JAG Corps. He has held office in the Torrance City Council, California State Assembly and Senate, and most recently won an election to replace longtime and beloved Rep. Henry Waxman.

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Project SPELL Celebrates Another Successful Quarter

Students and employees gathered for a Project SPELL graduation and reunion event.

Project SPELL celebrated the conclusion of another successful quarter with a special graduation and reunion ceremony on Dec. 4.

Approximately 48 participants completed the quarter. There were 29 employees from UCLA Housing (housekeepers, food service workers, on campus housing maintenance) and 19 from UCLA Facilities Management (custodial, maintenance and alternation, MDDS and grounds).

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Los Angeles Controller Touts Advocacy Merits Of Control Panel

The Los Angeles Control Panel offers Angelenos a number of ways to keep tabs on the financial dealings of the city.

Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin doesn’t want a city of secrets, and in keeping to that goal, he hopes to empower its people as well. And as he travels across the city this year to extoll the values of the Los Angeles Control Panel, he sees the next phase of the project as the perfect launching pad for successful advocacy in the city.

The Los Angeles Control Panel website offers transparency on city purchases, staff payroll, contractors, liabilities, assets, and special funds. Employees call it the “front page” of what is ultimately a very sophisticated and complex financial management system.

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