An endearing figure in the Watts community was commemorated with renaming of a pocket park in her honor. Betty F. Day Park was unveiled on Saturday, March 31, to the cheers of Day’s family, neighbors and friends.
Councilmember Tim McOsker (CD-15) and Assemblymember Mike Gibson co-hosted the ceremony to acknowledge the civic leader for her contributions to improving Watts.
Early in her career, Day managed the Watts Towers Teen Post, which offered after-school programs for youth. Later, she worked with LAUSD and the Watts Labor Community Action Committee before founding and becoming board president of the Watts Gang Task Force.
Day’s commitment to the uplifting the community impressed McOsker as he ran to represent CD 15 on the City Council.
“On the campaign trail, I spent a lot of time with the Watts Gang Force and all paths led back to Betty Day. People like [County Supervisor and former CD 15 Councilmember] Janice Hahn and [Watts Gang Task Force President] Donny Jubert all directed me to Betty Day,” recalled McOsker.
“Towards the end of my campaign and sadly, towards the end of her earthly journey, I had a chance to meet with her. I just sat with her and talked. She was so gracious and just had great advice for me. I decided then and there that one of the first things I wanted to do when I came to office was to rename Grape Street Pocket Park for Betty Day,” he added.
Immediately after taking office, the councilmember made a motion to obtain a status on renaming the park and took steps to ask the Recreation and Parks Commission to consider it. The commission approved the action and McOsker arranged to have the renaming ceremony scheduled.
“I really wanted to get it done by March because that would be the one-year anniversary of her transition,” McOsker said. “She did so much in the community. It’s probably unfair to pick one thing because she did so much.
“The most significant thing was founding the Watts Gang Task Force in the early 2000s when we had such a spike in violent crime. The Watts Gang Task Force still meets weekly to this day.”
The Betty F. Day Park is located at 10729 Grape street in the Watts community of Los Angeles.