Jordan Downs

L.A. City Planning Department Names Faisal Roble First Chief Equity Officer

City Planning, the largest planning department in the United States, has named its first Chief Equity Officer Faisal Roble to lead in a newly-created position to spearhead racial justice efforts within the Department. This role will also help address implicit bias in City Planning policies and outreach. With more than 30 years of experience and most recently holding the title of Principal City Planner, Roble will help craft City Planning’s Racial Equity Action Plan that will better guide diverse outreach and engagement that informs 35 distinct communities during the City Planning process.

Largest U.S. Planning Department Stewards Its First Chief Equity Officer Appointment

Appointed by the Director of Planning Vince Bertoni in response to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Executive Order No. 27on Racial Equity in City Government, Roble has a robust history of serving various community groups around Los Angeles. His experience includes managing visions for South, Southeast and West Adams-Baldwin Hills-Leimert communities. Part of his work helped address racial injustice, equity, as well as economic disinvestment. His leadership in over 20 projects has helped bolster affordable housing and sustainable communities. Most recently, he oversaw projects of significant importance to the South L.A. community, including the redevelopment of Jordan Downs from 700 units of public housing into a 1,073 unit, mixed-use, mix-income neighborhood with a full-service grocery store, commercial and community services and more than five acres of parks and open space.  

Veniceball Unveils the Watts Oasis

Veniceball unveiled the Watts Oasis, an art-infused basketball court and community garden on Saturday, March 23, to provide a safe space and resources to the underserved Watts community. “I discovered this court that was hanging on a string here 10 years ago and I always thought it would be nice to kind of upgrade the facility,” explained Nick Ansom, founder and CEO of the Venice Basketball League. The Watts Oasis court refurbishment was the tenth of its kind, part of Veniceball’s Build Courts Not Walls global campaign. With the help of 100 volunteers and Watts Towers artist in residence, Augustine