Jan’s Story

Jan’s Story

About me

I served as Los Angeles City Councilwoman for the residents of District 9 which includes Downtown, Little Tokyo and South LA. During my 12-year tenure I led catalytic projects such as LA Live, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and the new Police Administrative Building. I brought in $15 billion in investment, $52 million in net new tax revenue for the City of Los Angeles, and approximately 90,000 full-time jobs.

I prevailed in my efforts on downtown projects such as AEG, garnering city financial aid and favorable zoning for Staples Center, subsidies for new hotels, and my support was crucial to the L.A. Live complex of theaters and restaurants.

My father was elected mayor of Woodmere Village Ohio 1965. I was told that he was allegedly the first black mayor to be elected in the state of Ohio since the Reconstruction and one of the first in the entire country. This photograph brings many happy memories because his election was based on a coalition of Black and white people wanting change. My father and mother were early civil rights leaders and adopters of coalition politics.
After World War II my parents married and my father went to school at night on the G.I. Bill to get an undergraduate degree and eventually went to law school. He had various part time jobs to support his family and my mother worked too. She had a high school education. She played the organ at a neighborhood ice-skating rink in the Grenville neighborhood in Cleveland in order to make ends meet. She went on to further her education as an adult and became a social worker for the county. My mother was elected mayor after my father served in Woodmere Ohio.

I see myself as a strategic job creator

I also spent more time focusing on Skid Row than any other official had. I dealt with property owners, human rights advocates and the LAPD. My years in office also saw the development of more than 5,670 units of supportive housing to shelter the homeless and people suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.

I ran the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD). EWDD provides a broad range of programs offering assistance to business, job seekers and disconnected youth. All of EWDD’s programs are designed to help build local business and strengthen the workforce.

I currently serve as the executive director of the Infrastructure Funding Alliance, a national initiative to meet future infrastructure, economic development, and environmental challenges. The organization’s mission is to develop and advocate approaches and strategies that motivate government at all levels to implement environmentally and fiscally sustainable infrastructure projects.

I graduated from the University of Southern California with honors. Like many children whose parents were members of the “greatest generation”, I was expected to go to college no questions asked. My parents believed that education is the ticket to a better life. My mother always said that no one could take your knowledge away from you.
My grandmother, Mabel and her brother Arthur had difficult lives. They left the south and went north for work and to escape segregation. My grandmother was a domestic worker her entire life and took care of other people’s children. It took its toll on her personal life. But her children got an education, owned a home, all while continuing to fight for justice and civil rights. Children are the manifestation of their parent’s aspirations.
The elders in my family were always loathe to discuss this topic which was part of our family lore. The topic was lynching. My great uncle Columbus was allegedly charged and lynched for “reckless eyeballing.” His sisters were always afraid to discuss what happened and they were ashamed. Lynching was not only murder it was a form of intimidation. This is part of our American history.

Here are some of my career highlights

In working to protect the environment I expanded parks and created new green space, wildlife habitats and wetlands. I co-authored and delivered the passage of “Proposition O” to clean up Los Angeles’ water benefitting every L.A. neighborhood by upgrading storm drain systems, eliminating flooding, creating community parks, and improving water quality.

Increased ‘green space’ in South Los Angeles leading to more than $73 million dollars in improvements.

Developed the Augustus Hawkins Wetlands, the first man-made wetland in an urban area, and the Jan Perry Wetlands, which is 10 acres in South Los Angeles.

Developed 5,670 affordable housing units including permanent supportive housing for those formerly homeless.

Established the full continuum of care for homeless services, including expansion of the City’s emergency shelter program and development of thousands of units of permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless.

Worked with non-profit housing developers to ensure housing for working families, seniors, recently emancipated foster youths, and formerly homeless individuals.

Developed Dept. of Public Works Project Labor Agreement and Public Infrastructure Stabilization Ordinance, guaranteeing the hiring of local residents at nearly 100 public works projects for the City of L.A. This template has been used by Metropolitan Transportation Authority projects and applied to major catalytic projects citywide. It ensures 30% local hiring and provides for apprenticeships and disadvantaged worker job opportunities.

I continue to work on projects that are intended to rebuild communities and bring jobs with benefits to people who need it most.

My father was elected mayor of Woodmere Village Ohio 1965. I was told that he was allegedly the first black mayor to be elected in the state of Ohio since the Reconstruction and one of the first in the entire country. This photograph brings many happy memories because his election was based on a coalition of Black and white people wanting change. My father and mother were early civil rights leaders and adopters of coalition politics.
After World War II my parents married and my father went to school at night on the G.I. Bill to get an undergraduate degree and eventually went to law school. He had various part time jobs to support his family and my mother worked too. She had a high school education. She played the organ at a neighborhood ice-skating rink in the Grenville neighborhood in Cleveland in order to make ends meet. She went on to further her education as an adult and became a social worker for the county. My mother was elected mayor after my father served in Woodmere Ohio.
I graduated from the University of Southern California with honors. Like many children whose parents were members of the “greatest generation”, I was expected to go to college no questions asked. My parents believed that education is the ticket to a better life. My mother always said that no one could take your knowledge away from you.
My grandmother, Mabel and her brother Arthur had difficult lives. They left the south and went north for work and to escape segregation. My grandmother was a domestic worker her entire life and took care of other people’s children. It took its toll on her personal life. But her children got an education, owned a home, all while continuing to fight for justice and civil rights. Children are the manifestation of their parent’s aspirations.
The elders in my family were always loathe to discuss this topic which was part of our family lore. The topic was lynching. My great uncle Columbus was allegedly charged and lynched for “reckless eyeballing.” His sisters were always afraid to discuss what happened and they were ashamed. Lynching was not only murder it was a form of intimidation. This is part of our American history.