Mayor Eric Garcetti, rated a high five from supporters of Veterans, their place in the future growth of California Economy and gratitude for their service to our country. The Mayor’s Business Summit, held this past Monday, May 19, 2014, 12PM-5:00PM, at the Los Angeles City Hall 201 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles California 90012, partnered with Goldman Sachs, local business associations and veterans organizations. Keynote speakers on hand to lend the Mayor support were Martha Daniel, US Navy Veteran, CEO President IMRI, White House Honoree, “Women Veterans Leader Champion of Change”. Larry Broughton, Former, US Army Green Beret, CEO Broughton Hospitality Navora Vetrepreneur and “Hot 500 Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year” and Peter Gravitt, Secretary of Cal-Vet. The Mayor, a 4th generation Angelino and public servant kicked off the summit by telling the story of the kind of men that his father and grandfather were. They were men of integrity and honesty. They were men with a strong commitment to community, the Mayor said. That community in today’s world is a global one. Most of Southern California contains a diverse mix of entertainment, politics, religion, industry, and commerce. Somewhere within these daily life activities lies humanity. With so much attention now given to Veterans and the challenging effects of mental illness in the country, it is a wonder that our business and economic sources are overtaxed. One would suppose that given our history of war and economic turmoil, we might at least be interested in actual not theoretical innovation. After all, is that not what hip-hop says to our NOW, generation, innovate and move forward? Question, how can movement happen when there are so many ideas and yet, not one real solution. Perhaps, Mayor Garcetti, can make a difference. Out of all fairness, no one person can govern an entire country without good reason and without the support of friends, family, and the committed affection of the people. The current policies that govern veteran’s affairs have proved inadequate as it could take and often does, years to give a nod of approval or not. Veterans are simply trying to get the benefits promised to them in exchange for their service. Many veterans have put at risk their health and the security of their families and loved ones. Many have returned to find that spouses and life-partners have all but disappeared. In addition, there is wearing of the life-long stigma of associated with disabilities and service related conditions like, PTSD and bi- polar that affect, lifestyle and general well-being.
This year Garcetti announced his military veteran’s advisory council. Advisory members are all residents of LA who have served or had a family member serve in Armed Forces and serve as leaders in the military community. www.lamayor.org/vets. The Mayor specifically called for progressive and promising practices to support the over 120,000 veterans in Los Angeles. There is no denying that we must create partnerships and authorize strong ties with our city, state, federal, non-profit, faith, and community-based organizations.
Those advisory board members are:
Dr, Anthony Hassen, who is an Iraq veteran who served in both the Army and the Air Force. He serves as the director for the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and, chair of the Military Social Work Program at USC. Hassan is a Mayoral appointee.
Jason Hwang is a veteran of the Marine Corps and president of New World Consulting, a legal firm. Hwang also serves presently as the vice president of the Korean American Veterans Association of Los Angeles and on the Olympic Police Station Advisory Committee and the United States National Defense Corps, 8t Division.
Hwang is a council appointee. LA County 211 service has a dedicated woman that everybody loves on board, as Executive Director, Maribel Marin. The non-profit agency is dedicated to helping Los Angeles County residents access information and obtain referrals on a 24/7 basis. The organization and Maribel can fill up the glasses with celebration of not only their quality level of service but also about the fact that their database sends assistance in over 140 languages.
Rafael F. Nadal is and Army veteran. 509 Mechanized Infantry Battalion, Airborne. He formerly served on the Harvard Heights Neighborhood Council. Nadal is a council appointee.
Stephen Peck is a veteran of the Marine Corps and now serves as the president and CEO of the U.S. Veteran initiative, a non-profit-for-profit partnership that provides transitional housing, employment assistance and clinical counseling to homeless veterans. He was an Outreach Social Worker at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center as well as, founder and president of the Far From Home Foundation. Far From Home is a non-profit formed to bring attention to homeless veterans nationwide Peck is a mayoral appointee.
Armen Ross spends his time consulting as the president and founder of The Ross Group. Toss previously served as a deputy mayor for homelessness an director of homeless services. In addition, he previously held the position as the chief of staff under Mayor James. K. Hahn. Ross is a council appointee.
Last but certainly not the least is retired Navy veteran, Stephanie Stone. Stone served in the Navy for 21 years. As if that were not admirable enough, she now serves as chief deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. Stephanie oversees operations at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall. The hall is for by and for veterans and is a veterans service organization. Formerly, Stone served as the Veteran Employment Representative for Goodwill and served as, chair of the Mayor’s committee on Military and Veteran Affairs under Mayors Riordan and Hahn. Stone formerly help post as a chair of the Los Angeles County Advisory Commission on Veteran Affairs. Stone is a Mayoral appointee.
For more information on Veterans initiative, policies and advisory board members, please contact Mayor Garcetti Veterans Affairs Office Co-ordinator, Joseph Chicas. City Hall: 200 North Spring Street,Room 303, Los Angeles, California 90012. (213) 978-0779.