Guardian Award for Alumni Service
Bachelor of Arts, 1977; Master of Public Administration, 1981
Councilwoman, Ninth District, City of Los Angeles
Whether implementing cutting edge improvements or ensuring delivery of fundamental services, Jan Perry is making a positive change in the lives of her constituents. Now in her third term as Councilwoman of the Ninth District, Perry represents some of the most diverse and vibrant communities in Los Angeles including Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, and South Los Angeles.
Before Perry began her first term, the basic services available in other Los Angeles neighborhoods were being neglected in parts of her district. Perry’s commitment to change that, along with her untiring efforts in working with public agencies and environmental groups, has resulted in major improvements in the district’s operations and infrastructure. Her success in responding to the district’s needs has been dramatically demonstrated by the increase in trash capture devices, resurfacing of streets, repaving of streets, repair of sidewalks, and the increase in the number of streetlights.
In addition to understanding and meeting the needs of the communities within her district, Perry recognized the special relationship between her constituencies in South Los Angeles and downtown, and she is putting in place the mechanisms that will enable the sectors to benefit each other. Perry is also involved in planning strategies that will maximize opportunities for development in South Los Angeles and share in downtown’s job opportunities resulting from its increase in housing and entertainment centers. One of these initiatives is her proposed one-year moratorium on new fast food outlets in South Los Angeles. This measure, together with a grocery store and sit-down restaurant incentive package that she spearheaded, will provide opportunities for new businesses to invest in South Los Angeles.
In order to reduce crime, Councilwoman Perry is supporting programs for at risk youth, employment opportunities, and after-school programs that serve as an alternative to gang life. She also is putting into place aggressive crime stopping measures and is working for stronger deployment of LAPD personnel and resources in high crime areas.
Central City East, an area known by many as Skid Row, has been a community that Perry has worked passionately with to improve, outreaching to the homeless, fighting for permanent supportive housing, and working with local agencies to create programs that truly help those in need. Perry has earmarked funds to establish the city’s first year-round Emergency Homeless Shelter Program. She is spearheading integration of vital services for shelter cases in a multi-pronged effort to meet the challenge of homelessness in Central City East and throughout the region.
Perry co-authored and is widely credited with passage of Proposition O to clean Los Angeles water. The Augustus Hawkins Wetland is one of Perry’s most inspiring initiatives. The nation’s first man-made wetland in a highly urban area is part of Augustus Hawkins Park. Perry initiated the project, and it is due in large measure to her unwavering tenacity that it came to fruition. The project is an ecological wonder in its own right, and it also serves as a demonstration project for Perry’s proposed 9-acre South Los Angeles Wetlands Park that will simultaneously improve water quality and provide much-needed park and recreation space to the South Los Angeles community.
Perry currently chairs the Energy and the Environment Committee; vice-chairs the Information Technology & Government Affairs Committee; Ad Hoc on Economic Recovery & Reinvestment; and Ad Hoc Committee on Recovering Energy, Natural Resources, and Economic Benefit from Waste for LA (RENEW LA) Committee. She is a member of the Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee and Public Safety Committee. She was appointed by the mayor to represent LA as governing board member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and was re-elected in 2006 by the Western cities to serve another 4-year term. Perry also serves on the Exposition Light Rail Authority and is president pro tempore for the Los Angeles City Council.
Perry earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California School of Journalism, cum laude. She received a master’s degree from USC in public administration.