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Sylvia Lacy Salute Goes Beyond her Pioneer Status
By Kenneth D. Miller, Assistant Managing Editor
Published April 2, 2015

SURPRISE! Sylvia Lacy (center) receives a surprise salute from City Council President Herb Wesson  (right) at Council Chambers on March 27. Lacy received the Pioneer Women of the Year Celebration.  He is the District Director for Wesson Council District 10.

Council 10 District Director receives surprise honor

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The 25th Pioneer Women of the Year Celebration is annually an opportunity for each Los Angeles City Council member to honor one woman in their district who serves the city by advancing the status of women and girls.

It is a ceremony that is usually held in one of the City Hall’s many rooms, but this year the event spilled onto the Council Chamber where it was only appropriate that that Sylvia Lacy could be saluted.

Lacy, the veteran District Director of Council president Herb Wesson, contributions goes beyond the aid to women and girls within her district. Her true reach is probably throughout every district in the city.

So humble is Lacy, that had she knew she should be so feted that she would have most likely refused.

So, her boss and staff colleagues convinced her that she was required in chambers to pay tribute to someone else and she obliged to attend, only to be shock that the recipient was Sylvia Lacy herself.

“Our honoree today doesn’t even have a clue that she is being honored,” said Wesson on Friday March 27 during the ceremony. ‘We told her that we are honoring someone else and we’ve been taking fake staff photographs to keep her busy.”

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Wesson continued; “It is my honor and pleasure to present to you Sylvia Lacy. Her official title is that she is my district director, but she is more than that. She has been with me every step of the way. She is fiercely loyal and I love her with all my heart and should and do not know how I would survive without having Sylvia at my side.”

Lacy’s family was on hand to honor her as well as her Taste of Soul family of L.A. City Fire Department, Mothers In Action and the Los Angeles Sentinel who have experienced working along side of Lacy during the prominent Black family and fun festival on Crenshaw Blvd

Lacy is 10th Council District’s 2015 Pioneer Woman of the Year, an award commemorating Women’s History Month.

SALUTING SYLVIA: Sylvia Lacy (center with flowers) is joined my her family and her Taste of Soul Family of Sentinel COO Pamela Bakewell, the L.A. City Fire Department and Mothers In Action.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Lacy was educated in local schools. She began her career with the City of Los Angeles in the 10th Council District as a Field Deputy for Councilman Nate Holden.

She was an indispensable asset in Nate Holden’s campaign for election to the City Council in 1995. She soon joined Holden’s staff following his election.

Over the years she has been involved in a wide array of community organizations. These include the 10th District Steering Committee, where she helped guide their philanthropic activities.

She founded the Co- Op Nursery School at 48th Street and 8th Ave, the school later moved to Ranch Cienega Recreation Center.

She was also was a leader with: Parent Advisory Committee at Arlington Heights Elementary School; Parent Advisory Committee at Mount Vernon Jr. High; Parent Advisory Committee at Los Angeles High School thru 1986; and Title One Parent Advisory Committee 1980-1986.

She received the APPLE Award from late Mayor Tom Bradley for outstanding Community Service, and was a Member of Early Childhood Education Committee. She was also a member of first Community Police Advisory Board (CPAB), Wilshire Division

Following Nate Holden’s retirement in 2002, Sylvia served on the staff of Councilwoman Jan Perry until 2005, then she joined the staff of then Councilman Herb Wesson following his election.

Sylvia serves, now Council President Herb Wesson, as his District Director, supervising 7 district staff members who work to serve the needs of the residents of the 10th Council District. Sylvia and her district staff are known to work long hours and weekends, attending community meetings, block club meetings, and helping residents who may be experiencing one form of crisis or another. For Sylvia, and Wesson’s staff, constituent service is a 24/7 proposition.

For the past 9 years, she has been Council President Wesson’s liaison with the organizers of the hugely successful “Taste of Soul” festival, coordinating a large contingent of city agencies in make sure the festival runs smoothly.

Under the leadership of Sentinel Publisher Danny Bakewell, Sr., and the late Brenda Marsh Mitchell, “Taste of Soul” has grown to become one of the largest and most successful community events in Los Angeles and Southern California, drawing hundreds of thousands of people every year.

City of Los Angeles Commission On the Status of Women presented the Pioneer Women of the Year award to many remarkable leaders whose lifelong work has enriched the lives of women and girls, but none were as revered and beloved as the one and only Sylvia Lacy.

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