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SOUTH-CENTRAL : Riordan Stresses Jobs and Safety at Meeting

January 16, 1994|SANDRA HERNANDEZ

Calling safety the top priority of his administration, Mayor Richard Riordan has urged members of the Southern California Organizing Committee to support plans for additional police.

"Jobs will come to a city that is safe and friendly to businesses, especially small businesses," Riordan said at the Wednesday night meeting at Phillips Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

Riordan's appearance comes amid criticisms that he has failed to meet with area residents and leaders.

"I'm meeting regularly with groups in the area," said Riordan, adding that he plans a community forum this spring.

The meeting with the committee's leaders was aimed at getting city and county officials to pledge their support for the anti-gang Hope and Youth program as well as developing a job summit this year.

Riordan and County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke were both asked to help secure more than $7 million in city and county funds for the program.

The mayor said this year's budget request will contain $5 million for the program; however, Burke declined to commit to setting aside $2.9 million for it, citing the county's financial woes.

"We have a financial crisis and we don't want to have to close a hospital, but I will work with SCOC," Burke said. "But you can't get blood out of a turnip."

More than 300 people attended the meeting, where jobs, education and racial unity were addressed.

The Rev. Paul Stewart drew applause from the mostly Latino and African American audience at the start of the meeting when he called for unity among area residents and an end to immigrant bashing.

"At a time when immigrants are bashed and ridiculed for coming to America, SCOC is working to bring together Latinos, African Americans and others," he said.

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