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Reyes taking LA River rehab to the top




Today Councilmember Ed Reyes takes his long-standing commitment to restoring the LA River to the top.

City Councilman Ed Reyes plans to urge President Barack Obama today to support projects related to the Los Angeles River, asserting they will create jobs and improve community health and the environment...

The letter asks Obama to issue an executive order requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete an ecosystem study of the river within six months. The study would allow the city to move forward with construction plans along the river, Reyes said.

They'll also talk job creation. Reyes partially envisions a WPA-styled project.

Debbie Cortez Lopez and I interviewed Reyes in July, and we spoke at length to the Councilmember about his efforts regarding the river.

Some of the argument Reyes encounters centers around the Los Angeles River, a project of special interest to Reyes throughout his tenure of office. There have been great strides in rehabilitation and returning nature to the flow of what was known two centuries ago as El Río de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Ángeles de Porciúncula. But some in the district also worry that development of the river might mean overdevelopment.

During the long process of rehabilitation, Reyes has visited over seventy urban river settings around the country. He much admires Denver's riverfront, where the long-neglected South Platte became part of the city's much heralded greenbelt revolution in the 1990's.

Local political luminaries acknowledge Reyes' work on the river as especially exemplary of his urbanist visions as a Councilman, and expect him to finish his term of office with a Porciúncula flourish.
The interview was also featured at CityWatch and fetched over a quater of a million hits in aggregate. Today's meeting with the President is certainly part of that flourish.