Senator Kevin de León Speaks at One America LA – Strengthening Communities – Chase


Andy Carney, California Regional Manager, Chase: So I’d like to call up first of all, our elected officials, and I’ll start first of all with Kevin de Leon. Senator Kevin de Leon, California: That’s me. Thank you very much. Good morning to each and every one of you. Buenos días to our elected officials here, locally. Welcome and to JPMorgan Chase. Thank you very much for coming to Los Angeles and being one of the stops. I want to give a shout-out to those from Boyle Heights, the Rough Riders. Rough Riders in the house. I want to give a shout-out also to—obviously to those Trojans I taught last year at USC for a whole semester. To the Trojans here in the house. And, of course, to all of the employees/staff members of JPMorgan Chase. Thank you very much for coming out here. This day of service is a reflection of who we are in this community because it’s an amazing mosaic of different ethnicities, different cultures, and it’s the strength of this community. In this area that we represent together geographically, we have Chinatown, we have Koreatown, we have Filipinotown, we have Thai Town, we have Little Armenia, we have Little Bangladeshi, we have the largest concentration of Mexicans outside of the republic of Mexico in Boyle Heights and East LA. And we have the largest of Central Americans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans, outside of Central America over here in MacArthur Park, Pico-Union area. So it’s the rich tapestry of the different colors and ethnicities that strengthen Los Angeles and that ties us to each other. And those are the bonds that we create, that we cement, and that we fortify. And today, with regards to Points of Light and cleaning up the Los Angeles River, when we all come together as a community, it strengthens us. But let me put this and provide some context because it’s very important. Now I’m excited to work with my friends, Jimmy as well as our council member here, you know, Mitchell, and other folks because our goal and agenda is to take what’s concrete, what’s asphalt, what’s cement, and break it all up, break it all up and start greening and start planting trees and start creating what is ours because it’s by no mistake, it’s by no mistake, through bad planning, lack of vision from the local level, the state level, the county level, as well as the federal level, horrific planning, lack of vision that we have so much cement, concrete, and asphalt. So if you come from a low-income community, communities that we represent, but communities that we’re proud of, whether you’re from Boyle Heights or Lincoln Heights or Cypress Park or MacArthur Park or Pico-Union, communities that we’re very proud of, South LA, it’s no mistake that there’s no parks or green space. And you shouldn’t have to be a hedge fund investor of some sort to have the financial wherewithal to have access to natural beauty and open space. Some folks in other parts of the city or just close by here in San Marino, they have more acreage of green space in their front yard and back yard than we have local public parks in our own communities. And that’s why it’s exciting to come here together as volunteers, community actively, proactively moving forward to say this is our community. We’re proud of our community. We’re proud of who we are. We’re proud of what our parents do. We’re proud that they clean homes, someone else’s home. If they wash dishes for someone else, they wash someone’s car, we’re proud of who they are because they work very hard. They work very hard to pay the rent that puts the roof over our head. They’re very—they work very hard to put the food on the table. They work very hard to put the clothes on my back. And as the youngest child of a single immigrant mother with a third-grade education, I realize that my story is not an original or a unique story. It’s a story of many of us in this room today. And that’s why we’re proud to come together and give to the community, not just today, but many days so we just won’t have one day of voluntary service, but the volunteer service will be every day when we can beautify, we can green this community, and this LA River, we’ll bust up the concrete eventually soon. We’ll bust up the cement. And everyone will have access to deal with the issues that we deal with type-2 diabetes, the issue of asthma and dirty air, the issue of obesity because we don’t have markets here to provide fresh food, fresh fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices. These are the larger issues that we deal with that have impacts on our lives every single day. And what I’m so proud about the young men and women who have come here from Roosevelt High School in particular and other schools, too, who may be here that I haven’t acknowledged today is that you’re on the right track that you may end up going to USC or UCLA or Cal State LA or Cal Berkeley or Brown or Yale or Georgetown or Pomona, Pitzer College, wherever the school that you want to go to. And when you give to the community, it means a lot. It’s something that’s real and it’s something that’s tangible. So I just wanted to thank the good folks here at One America, the LA River Revitalization Corporation folks who are here. Cleaning up the river is something for each and every one of us regardless if you’re white, if you’re black, you’re brown, you’re African American, it doesn’t make a difference, you’re Asian-American. It’s our river. We’re going to clean it up. We’re going to bust up that concrete and that cement. We’re going to have green flooring. We’re going to folks on their own kayaks floating down that river, you know, and it’s going to be a beautiful thing. And it’s going to be—happen because of each and every one of you. So from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank the young men and women who have come here today. For all of the volunteers from JPMorgan, you know, thank you for coming out today. For all of the students at USC, to my colleagues here on the stage, and I understand from E! Channel that Rocsi is going to be bestowed a recognition here today. Congratulations to you. Let’s get out there. And again, muy buenos días a todos ustedes. Muchas gracias, un abrazo muy fuerte. Un abrazo por parte de mi corazon y un abrazo sobre la. Vamos, que sigue adelante hacienda la limpieza del rio de Los Anegeles. Y vamos a hacer todo lo posible para mejorar la comunidad. Muchas gracias, y un abrazo muy fuerte. Thank you very much, everybody.

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