The Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District continues to make strides in improving the business district along Sepulveda Boulevard in Westchester.
In the four years since it was founded, the BID has provided landscaping lighting, increased sidewalk-cleaning efforts and removed graffiti.
The BID’s latest effort has been the filling of tree wells along Sepulveda to prevent tripping hazards.
“New decorative trash receptacles, broken sidewalk repairs, and about 120 new street trees have also been installed through the BID’s efforts,” said Executive Director Don Duckworth. “A new website, shop local advertising campaign, and a ‘Halloween Town Fair’ event have been initiated. All of these efforts are directed at attracting new customers to the area, and without the BID, these improvements would not have taken place.”
During its first years of operation, the organization made an extensive outreach to community groups, potential customers and Westchester business and property owners to develop a strategic action plan of work to assist in revitalizing Westchester businesses.
As the BID enters the final year of its initial five-year term, Duckworth said it will conduct additional outreach and stakeholder communications efforts, including a series of open community workshop meetings in 2011 as the organization’s renewal plan begins to take shape.
Business improvement districts must be renewed by the city and participating property owners, who vote to increase their own assessments to pay for the BID’s operations. The Westchester Town Center BID was adopted by the Los Angeles City Council in 2007, and its initial term will end on Dec. 31, 2011.
“We are actively seeking input from all business owners, property owners, residents, and others,” said John Ruhlen, president of the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association, which has worked closely with the BID.
Anyone who would like to express ideas or preferences about the future BID or participate in its activities may call (310) 417-9030.
FIRST FRIDAY SUCCESS
Merchants in the Westchester Triangle area have found success with their First Friday event.
The initial event drew 13 food trucks, reportedly more than 1,000 attendees and was featured on NBC-TV Channel Four.
On Friday, Jan. 7, the first initial First Friday will take place at 87th Street between Sepulveda Eastway and Truxton Avenue. Food trucks will again be expected and local merchants will feature a variety of discounts and special offers.
ROTARIANS SUPPORT YOUTH AND GOVERNMENT
The Westchester Rotary Club, in conjunction with Gateway to L.A. and the Westchester Kiwanis Club, recently held a fundraiser for the Westchester Family YMCA’s Youth and Government Program.
In the mid-1930s, Clement Duran, a YMCA director from Albany, New York, wanted to find a meaningful experience for young people that might inspire them to become active and concerned participants in government as citizens. He struck upon the idea of a “model” legislature that would provide “hands on” learning.
The slogan, “Democracy Must Be Learned By Each Generation,” was developed by Duran to interpret the purpose of the program. The first Model Legislature was held in Albany in 1936.
With encouragement from the National YMCA, the program spread rapidly to nearby states. With Duran’s help, California initiated its program in 1949. Today’s expanded program includes a judicial program featuring trial, jury trial, appellate, judicial review and Supreme Courts, a dual legislative program, and special programs for pages, print and video journalists, legislative lobbyists, legislative analysts and others.
The program teaches young people how government works in a hands-on fashion.
Donors at the fundraiser were treated to a night of great food and music at the LAX Marriott, Crowne Plaza LAX, Los Angeles Airport Hilton and Renaissance Montura hotels.