Wesson’s chief succumbs
Charmette Bonpua, chief of staff to Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson succumbs.
Charmette Bonpua, chief of staff to Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson, (10th District) died in Las Vegas recently, after suffering an aneurysm on a family trip.
Wesson remembered Bonpua, 44 as a trusted aide and skilled government insider, who worked to inspire youth to pursue public service.
The councilman and his staff were in shock over the death of Bonpua, who was not thought to have had any serious health problems, said Edward Johnson, Wesson’s assistant chief deputy.
“She was passionate about public service and government service, and was an inspirational leader,” Johnson said. “We’re going to miss her terribly.”
Besides Wesson, Bonpua worked behind the scenes as a senior aide for some of the most powerful figures in California government.
She was the councilman’s chief of staff, when he served as speaker of the California Assembly. She served in the same capacity with Speaker Fabian Nunez.
Her other posts in government illustrate the depth of her experience. As a staffer for the state legislative analyst office, she provided fiscal and policy analysis. Bonpua also worked for the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission, and served as chief consultant for the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization.
When voters sent Wesson to the City Council in November 2005, Bonpua agreed to come south to staff his office.
Johnson said her passion outside of her job was working with youths. She chaired the board of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, a nonprofit that stages an annual conference to develop leadership skills.
Bonpua was born and raised in the Philippines and immigrated with her family to California in 1981. She held a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s in public administration from Columbia University in New York City.
She is survived by her parents, siblings and their children.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Councilman Richard Alarcon walked out of a Los Angeles City Council meeting today, preventing his colleagues from voting on $18 million to fund the construction of permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless.
The City Council needed 10 members present to vote, but with Alarcon refusing to return, there were only nine members present. Councilman Paul Krekorian later withdrew the motion. By that point, many of the other council members had already packed up their belongings to leave.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—An attorney representing people in three Los Angeles council districts accused city officials today of illegally using race as the basis for redrawing council district lines.
Leo Terrell, who is Black, said the redrawn boundaries were created to strengthen the Black voting bloc in the 10th District represented by Council President Herb Wesson, while carving Koreatown into several different districts, effectively diluting the voting power of the predominantly Asian neighborhood.
Without a doubt, the 27-year campaign to build a national monument to honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. that came to fruition this year is more than worthy of all the words of praise, acknowledgment and congratulations that have been previously spoken.
But in the eyes of Our Weekly, this feat to enshrine the first non-president and African American on the National Mall deserves much more recognition. That is why we have selected Alpha Phi Alpha as our national newsmaker of the year.
The City Council unanimously elected Councilman Herb Wesson to be the panel’s first Black president on Nov. 23.
Councilman Ed Reyes was chosen to serve as president pro tempore. Both will assume their new posts Jan. 2.
The first thing on Herb J. Wesson’s agenda after his swearing-in as president on Jan. 3, could be whipping the Los Angeles City Council into shape, although those are not his words. Actually, what he wants to do is make the Council “run more smoothly—no multiple issues on the agenda, no lengthy debates and just work on streamlining things and making it more effective.”