June 1, 2001 - From the June, 2001 issue

Metropolitan LA Has A New LA Council Champion: Jan Perry Links Economic Development & Quality Of Life

If a Council District wanted a representative that was familiar with every facet and nuance of City Hall, they couldn't ask for a better candidate than Jan Perry. TPR was pleased to interview the former Legislative Deputy, Planning Deputy, Chief of Staff and now Councilwoman-elect right after her victory. Here are Jan's thoughts on how she will address development in CD9.

Jan Perry

Jan, what is your vision for accommodating this growth in your district?

I am fortunate to be in office when the new boundaries for the redevelopment area will be drawn. The boundary needs to reach further south and east into the areas that remain untouched by the tax increment financing opportunities available to redevelopment areas. These incentives will help encourage new investment and additional housing opportunities-both market-rate and affordable-in the district so that we can begin to address the residential, commercial and transportation issues in CD 9.

How does that vision relate to a comprehensive plan for dealing with that same kind of growth throughout Los Angeles? And have you seen any projects either in the San Fernando Valley, San Pedro or on the Westside that pique your interest for addressing these issues?

Actually there are a couple projects that I really like. The Hayden Tract project in Culver City is one. This adaptive reuse project began as an abandoned set of warehouses and has been converted into clean, environmentally friendly, high- and low-tech business, cultural and community space. The project created job-opportunities, space for community-based organizations, cultural opportunities and recently saw some small restaurants open in the middle of that tract. Projects that tap into a wide-range of issues such as this are models that need to be replicated throughout L.A.

Within the city-limits developers like Samitaur have blended market-rate housing, affordable housing and new commercial space into these villages within the city. Again, these holistic projects are the ones I want to implement.

How do see these specific plans for fitting in with the greater Southern California regional growth? And how can you as a Council member in this region's largest municipality address the larger issues of regional growth and prosperity?


Well, the region is tied to CD 9 in a multitude of ways. We have a vast untapped pool of employees, people who can work at all levels and who are located very close to already existing centers for employment. We have major corridors that connect us with the surrounding communities-Figueroa, Vermont, Broadway and of course the Alameda Corridors. So my goal will be to focus on making sure that the district's commercial corridors develop and that the City's investment in those corridors be shared with all the stakeholders within the community-non-profit and for-profit. We need to make sure that the economic investment the city puts into an area is realized by the people who not only own the property, but those who live there as well.

You've talked about housing, transportation and investment. What other issues do you want to champion on this new Council?

Restoration. One of the first projects I'm going to work on is the restoration of Central Avenue, Historic preservation and restoration can and should be an economic development tool. The Central Avenue community has an enormous amount of history. We need to take that history and embrace it, celebrate it and make it a focal point to attract neighborhood retail opportunities such as a bakery, shoe repair, a dry cleaner, a family style restaurant, a movie theater, etc. Restoration can create an opportunity which attracts brand new investment into the neighborhood so that it can be recycled throughout the community.

Lastly, are there any particular committees that you're interested in serving on when you take office on the 1st of July?

I'm very interested in economic development, urban planning and the development of housing. So I would obviously be interested in PLUM, CED and Budget and Finance. But I'm also interested in Public Works. I believe that Public Works is as a wonderful platform for correcting the infrastructure problems that have existed in my District and this City for way to long.


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