LOS ANGELES — In celebration of African American Heritage Month at City Hall, City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson hosted a film screening of “Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race at City Hall,” Feb. 2 at City Hall.
Harris-Dawson was joined by county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, City Controller Ron Galperin and City Councilman Curren Price, who gave opening remarks inside City Hall’s Council Chambers.
The event drew hundreds of community members, city employees and former city government leaders who served during the Bradley administration. Audience members came to commemorate the legacy of Tom Bradley, the first African-American to serve on the City Council and as mayor of Los Angeles.
After the film screening, Bradley’s daughter, Lorraine Bradley and Robert Farrell, a former city councilman, described Bradley’s vision and his significance in the national political landscape.
Bradley is the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history, holding office from 1973 to 1993. He is largely credited with bringing the Summer Olympics to Los Angeles in 1984, developing the modern downtown, giving the city a world-class international airport and mass transportation system.
Bradley served as a bridge builder among ethnic groups, which opened doors to diverse groups gaining key appointments and leadership positions within City Hall.
“Mayor Tom Bradley was a man who represented hope and courage, and transcended the barriers of race,” Harris-Dawson said. “We’re all direct beneficiaries of his legacy and it’s only fitting to kick off African American Heritage Month at City Hall by commemorating him.”
“He ambitiously transformed Los Angeles into a world-class city and pushed us to be innovative and forward-looking with our economy.”
The documentary tells the story of Mayor Bradley and his 1973 election, which was a remarkable political first in America that changed civic leadership among African Americans and other minority groups.
The film airs on PBS KOCE Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. and PBS WORLD Feb. 19 at 5 p.m.