Councilmember Buscaino has made investing in new and existing parks in the 15th Council District a priority since day 1. Since 2012, over $168 million have been invested in parks from Watts to the Waterfront. The above parks are just some examples of local parks that have received upgrades or are brand new to the District.
Councilmember Buscaino has continued to champion the LA Waterfront as a premier Los Angeles destination. Every year since Councilmember Buscaino has been in office major waterfront milestones have been completed. In 2012 Battleship Iowa arrived on the Waterfront. In 2013, the 12-acre Outer Harbor became a premier event space, hosting Cirque du Soleil, the Red Bull Rallycross, as well as concerts. In 2014, the redevelopment of the Wilmington Marina Parkway and Downtown San Pedro Harbor was completed. In 2015, Councilmember Buscaino worked with Senator Isadore Hall to change state law so that the new lease to redevelop Ports O’Call could be signed. In 2016, the developers unveiled their plans for the $100 million West Harbor waterfront makeover. In 2017, design work on the Wilmington waterfront was completed and LA metro bikes were installed between Wilmington and San Pedro. In 2018, the $15.6 million dollar Harbor Boulevard Roadway Improvement Project was completed. In 2019, the demolition began of the LADWP water tank to make way for the Wilmington Waterfront and work began on the town square and promenade adjacent to West Harbor. In 2020, the ground was finally broken on the $71 million Wilmington Waterfront Promenade! Now in 2021, work continues on the Wilmington Waterfront and a private developer is in the process of building the West Harbor, a new 49-acre $152 million commercial development in the LA waterfront, and in the near future, the Cabrillo Marina, the Outer Harbor, C Street port property and Warehouse 1 will also be redeveloped.
The Jordan Downs Redevelopment Plan is a public/private partnership between The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Jordan Downs Community Partners, and community stakeholders including residents and local service providers. The redevelopment plan will create a revitalized mixed-income neighborhood integrated into the surrounding neighborhood of Watts on the site of the existing 49-acre public housing community and an adjacent 21-acre parcel.
The new neighborhood will consist of a grid of small-scaled, pedestrian-friendly streets and blocks interconnected into the surrounding street grid. The 700 existing public housing units will be replaced with 1,400 dwellings for the existing residents and new neighbors.
In 2017, Councilman Buscaino initiated a multi-year, multi-phase effort to master plan and redevelop the Rancho San Pedro Public Housing community. This 21-acre site with 478 units will ultimately be home to a new mixed-use, mixed-income community of more than 1100 households. The master plan and related land use regulations are currently in development and the project is expected to be initiated within the next 3-5 years.
Councilmember Buscaino and his team have always been at the forefront of addressing homelessness, whether that was bringing permanent supportive housing online in the 15th Council District before the passage of Measure HHH or opening the first navigation center in the City. With an all-of-the-above approach to solutions, Councilmember Buscaino has advanced every type of solution to homelessness in the 15th Council District while continuing to advocate that public spaces should remain clean, safe, and open to everyone.
Councilmember Buscaino and his team have brought new events to the district. These events include Aki Matsuri, a Japanese food and culture festival in Harbor Gateway South; POP LA - the Harbor's first Pride festival in San Pedro; Dia De Los Muertos festival in Watts; Shred Festival of Skate in San Pedro; Harbor City Winter Wonderland; Harbor Gateway North Winter Wonderland; Fleet Week throughout the Los Angeles region; and CicLAvia Southeast Cities, Wilmington to San Pedro, Wilmington and South LA, with CicLAvia Wilmington returning August 2021!
The new events above are in addition to carrying on annual traditions like Watts Winter Wonderland, Wilmington Tree Lighting, San Pedro Tree Lighting, and Night at the Aquarium Toy Drive.
Councilmember Buscaino and his team have continued to advance proposals to improve local commercial corridors. This includes installing Tivoli lights in each community. In San Pedro, the Councilmember has worked to create a Historic Little Italy, to make the Warner Grand a premier performing arts venue by spearheading a $14M renovation to this beloved local landmark. Improvements are being planned to the lobbies and bathrooms; the HVAC, plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems will be modernized; and a new box office and a green room will be created. He has also launched the first sidewalk dining pilot in the City which will become the framework for a permanent citywide program. In Wilmington, the Councilmember has partnered with LA Mas for the On Avalon initiative to conduct facade improvements and provide business assistance as well as investing $1 million to renovate the Wilmington Town Square Park. And finally, the Councilmember continues to push to build on underdeveloped port properties including repurposing two warehouses to become a brewery, artisan craft market, and blue tech incubator.
During the pandemic, Team Buscaino worked tirelessly to distribute PPE to local non-profits and front-line workers. Councilmember Buscaino helped establish a $1,000,000 community fund to meet the needs of the community. This included creating and operating a senior meal delivery program to support local restaurants and protect the most vulnerable residents in the community. The fund also distributed $500,000 in grocery gift cards to families in need.
Watts Rising is a community partnership between 40+ community organizations, the Housing Authority of the City of LA, the Mayor’s Office, and Councilmember Buscaino’s office that applied for the State of California’s $33 million Transformative Climate Communities grant and won! The grant money is going to plant 3,000+ trees in Watts, install 54 new solar roofs, 5 miles of new bike lanes, 216 new affordable housing units, 4+ acres of urban agriculture, 300 tons of food waste diverted, 25+ blocks of pedestrian improvements, electric car-sharing and vanpool, 1-mile of new cultural trails, and 289 new energy-efficient homes.
Councilmember Buscaino was the driving force behind in securing the funding necessary to upgrade and re-open the Harbor Division Jail. The geographic isolation of the 15th Council District from the rest of the city meant that if a person was arrested in Wilmington, Harbor City, San Pedro, or the Harbor Gateway they would be transferred up to the 77th division station - 20 miles away. Re-opening the jail ensures that officers spend more time in the community than sitting in traffic on the 110 freeway.
Councilmember Buscaino worked with City, County, and LA Metro officials to create the Silver Line Express which offers a one-seat ride from San Pedro to Downtown LA. This line means that riders from San Pedro or Harbor City do not have to change buses at the Harbor Gateway Transit Center.
Councilmember Buscaino has continued to advocate for CARE+ Clean Ups. CARE+ clean-ups include services, including tent exchanges, COVID testing, connection with resources, power washing of sidewalks, and collection of illegal dumping, bulky items, and trash.