City Council honors former mayor with Tom Bradley Day

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City proclaims 

July 1 as Tom

Bradley Day

Wave Staff and Wire Reports

LOS ANGELES — The City Council has proclaimed July 1 as Tom Bradley Day in the city of Los Angeles to mark the 50th anniversary of the late former mayor’s inauguration.

The council previously adopted a formal resolution honoring Bradley’s legacy, which council President Paul Krekorian described as a “transformative time of our government.”

“For many of us who are old enough to remember, we really separate the time of Los Angeles before Bradley and the post-Bradley era,” Krekorian said.

“That’s what a monumentally important leader and transformative change maker Tom Bradley was,” he added. “It’s especially appropriate that we mark this anniversary — both to remember that history, but also to look forward to our future and draw inspiration from the example of our greatest Mayor Tom Bradley.”

Charmaine Jefferson, chair of the California Institute of the Arts, spoke on the historical significance of Bradley’s contributions to the city of Los Angeles.

“On behalf of the (Tom and Ethel Bradley) Foundation, and frankly, in my opinion of the city of Los Angeles, we really want to thank the City Council for this moment,” Jefferson said.

“To remember Tom Bradley is to remember the totality of this person.”

Born in Texas, where his grandfather was a slave, Bradley moved with his family to Los Angeles when he was 6. He attended Poly High School where he played football and ran track.

He attended UCLA on a track scholarship, but dropped out in 1940 to join the Los Angeles Police Department. While serving with the LAPD, he studied law at Southwestern University Law School.

He ran for the 10th District City Council seat in 1963, defeating the appointed incumbent Joe Hollingsworth. Six years later, he ran for mayor but was defeated by incumbent Sam Yorty. He tried again four years later, unseating Yorty.

Bradley was the first Black mayor of Los Angeles, serving from 1973 to 1993. He took office on July 1, 1973.

He ran for governor in 1982 and 1986, losing both times to republican George Deukmejian.

According to his foundation, in his 20 years as mayor, which marks the longest tenure by any mayor in the city’s history, Bradley contributed to the financial success of the city, spearheaded efforts to expand public transit and bolster public safety.

“The issues we think are issues today were issues for him,” Jefferson said.

Prior to the council’s recognition, Krekorian hosted a breakfast reception and celebration with Mayor Karen Bass, family and staff of Bradley at the Tom Bradley Room and Observation Tower in City Hall.

“(Bradley was) one of the great leaders who has ever stepped foot into this building, and somebody whose inspiration and whose legacy still helps to direct the city and hopefully inspire all of us even today,” Council President Pro Tem Marqueece Harris-Dawson said.

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