Solidarity, Justice, and Equity for the Black Community

Posted on 06/03/2020
City Hall

The events of the past week, here in Los Angeles and across the country, have particular resonance in the LGBTQ+ community. As an openly gay man of Indigenous heritage, I am keenly aware of the structural injustices that continue to pervade American society. We have never fully acknowledged nor reconciled the genocide of Native Americans, nor centuries of slavery and the institutional oppression of Black people before and after the Civil War. These histories feed into the pain and outrage expressed after the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, followed by the death of Tony McDade two days later in Florida. Allies and advocates against racism and injustice are now marching together as never before. 

June is also Pride month, and this year in particular was to be the biggest celebration yet, commemorating 50 years of L.A. Pride, which began in 1970 when the world’s first legally permitted Pride parade took place in Hollywood, in the 13th District.

The fight for LGBTQ+ rights began as a protest against police brutality and societal oppression of homosexuals. All of us have benefited from the sacrifices and courage of the pioneers in our community who fought for our rights and paved the way for people like me.

Now there is a new call to action, and we all have a part to play. In order to fulfill the promise of full equity for everyone, without the soul destroying scourge of racism, we must act to make change. The LGBTQ+ movement was born out of diversity: a transgender black woman - Marsha P. Johnson - led the protests at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, and it changed the world.

These events also have resonance for me, as I reflect on my own journey and the privilege I have because of the color of my skin. I proudly join in solidarity with the Black community. 

I am with you. Together, onward we march.



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LOS ANGELES - During Wednesday's meeting, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance limiting the amount third-party food delivery apps can charge restaurants. The cap for food deliveries, an initiative of Councilmember O'Farrell, will be 15% and there will be a 5% cap per order for all other types of charges during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Lastly, Councilmember O'Farrell co-introduced a motion to develop a COVID-19 Homelessness Recovery Roadmap. The policy will serve to coordinate resources to provide essential services and housing for people experiencing homelessness; prevent and respond to future outbreaks of disease; and prevent residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis from becoming homeless with a particular focus on housing all residents over the age of 65.


EAST HOLLYWOOD - Last weekend, Councilmember O'Farrell visited Rick's Produce to help distribute 120 boxes of fresh produce and eggs to families in need in the 13th District. Thank you to the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, community volunteers, and Rick's Produce for the collaboration in making this initiative possible. The next event will take place on Sunday, June 7 from 11am - 1pm at 755 N. Virgil Avenue.



LOS ANGELES - Due to events occurring throughout the City of Los Angeles over the last several days, limited drive-thru testing sites will remain open. The testing sites remaining open are the Dodger Stadium location at 1001 Scott Ave (enter through gate B), and Crenshaw Christian Center at 8901 S. Vermont Ave (enter off of 79th St.).



LOS ANGELES - Councilmember O'Farrell is accepting entries from LGBTQ+ community members, partners, and allies for ‘Pride & Pandemic.’ The series will feature essays and other forms of literary storytelling to share personal experiences of survival during the AIDS epidemic, which began in the 1980's, and how it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic we are living through today. Please send your essay to with "Pride Month Writing Submission" in the subject line. The deadline to submit is Friday, June 5.



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