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Mark Ridley Thomas

January 6, 1996
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced a motion Friday reiterating the city's commitment to affirmative action and calling on Mayor Richard Riordan to clarify his position on the issue. The motion, to be voted on next week, asks the mayor and city attorney's office to report within a month on the impact the so-called "California civil rights initiative" would have on the city's affirmative action programs and policies.
October 1, 1992
Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas won a nasty turf battle with colleague Nate Holden Wednesday, acquiring for his district a Crenshaw-area shopping center that is a likely redevelopment target. The City Council voted 12 to 1 that Ridley-Thomas should represent Santa Barbara Plaza, despite angry protests from Holden that taking the center from his district was unfair and "a slap in the face."
September 28, 1990
In response to "Call Racism by Its Real Name," by Mark Ridley-Thomas (Commentary, Sept. 15): Unfortunately, social activists like Ridley-Thomas tend to lose their objectivity in their zeal to challenge society on issues such as race-related crime. To those of us who prefer facts over rhetoric, there are certainly missing pieces to the puzzle of the Amber Jefferson story that prevent a conclusive determination about the motives of those involved in the confrontation. Was this another of the epithet-strewn street fights in the greater Los Angeles area, blown out of proportion because of the simple race of the combatants?
February 7, 1992
Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas on Thursday called on police and residents in South-Central Los Angeles to step up cooperative efforts to implement a community-based policing program. Ridley-Thomas' request comes after a skirmish between residents and police last Saturday during a controversial meeting sponsored by a black nationalist group.
December 6, 1991
Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas led a parade of community leaders and local residents who on Thursday asked the Police Commission to help set up local citizen groups to participate in the development of an experimental, community-based policing program. The pilot program, approved earlier this week by the council, would emphasize crime prevention over arrests.
October 25, 1992
I wish to provide some clarification for your readers concerning the Los Angeles City Council's Oct. 9 vote to include the Santa Barbara Plaza Shopping Center in the 8th Council District, which I represent. Through their vote, a majority of City Council members recognized the wisdom and logic of placing the Santa Barbara Plaza in the 8th District. The residents and business people of the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw area will be better served. The council vote now places the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza, Santa Barbara Plaza and the encompassing proposed redevelopment area in one council district.
April 28, 2002
In Earl Ofari Hutchinson's April 24 commentary, "10 Years After the Riots, We Stick With Our Own," he states, "The Los Angeles City Council should revive its 'day of dialogue' forums, which brought together community leaders and residents from throughout the city to discuss their problems and needs." I am pleased to report there is no need to "revive" the forums because the Days of Dialogue program has been very active in Los Angeles, Carson, Inglewood and Pasadena. Within the last year there have been more than 50 dialogues surrounding the issues of racism after the terrorist attacks of Sept.
To his supporters, City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas' strong will is vital to improving lives in depressed south Los Angeles. To his critics, Ridley-Thomas is stubborn, almost dictatorial, and is failing to address the needs of many residents in District 8, a 17-square-mile area that includes Baldwin Hills, Leimert Park, University Park, Vermont Knolls and South-Central Los Angeles.
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