Councilmember Bernard C. Parks

Councilmember Bernard C. Parks is serving his third term as Los Angeles City Councilmember for the Eighth Council District. One of the most densely populated areas in South Los Angeles, Parks represents nearly 250,000 people. During his first year in office he was appointed Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee where he implemented prudent fiscal policies in tough financial times that steered the city clear of bankruptcy.  Parks helped the Eighth Council District become the leading district in job creation six years in a row.


He has implemented many programs to enrich the South Los Angeles area including the Prevention Intervention and Education (PIE) program at Crenshaw High School. The PIE program works to bridge the gap between black and brown students through various school assemblies and noteworthy speakers.


Parks has been extremely successful in delivering legislation that benefits his constituents in the 8th district. He authored Measure L, which passed by 63% of the vote and guaranteed a minimum level of funding for library services.


Alarmed at the lower-than-average life expectancy for Eighth district residents, as well as the high rate of obesity and diabetes, Parks established an interim control ordinance regulating the establishment of new fast-food restaurants and providing tax incentives for grocery stores to devote more floor space to fresh, healthy food.


Parks believes in promoting a vibrant, diverse, and thriving business environment in South Los Angeles. Concerned by a high saturation of businesses related to automobile sales, auto repair shops, junk yards, and recycling materials and processing facilities, Parks authored a city-wide ordinance that imposed regulations on the issuance of new permits for such businesses.


Parks has been on the forefront of protecting Eight District residents from the fallout associated with the foreclosure crisis. He authored an ordinance ensuring tenants in foreclosed apartment buildings do not have utilities shut off, due to their landlord’s failure to pay their bills. Parks worked with then, Council President Eric Garcetti, on an ordinance that requires banks to maintain houses they have repossessed through foreclosure. The ordinance allows the city to fine a bank up to $1,000 per day until the derelict property is brought up to code. Parks also played an instrumental role in pulling Marlton Square out of bankruptcy and welcoming Kaiser Permanente as a main tenant.


Following Southern Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2006, Parks led the effort in helping evacuees find long-term housing. As the FEMA voucher deadline drew near, Parks worked with the City's Housing Department and local landlords to construct a Rent Stabilization Ordinance. This Ordinance allowed L.A. landlords to temporarily charge reduced rent or offer other rent concessions to eligible persons displaced by the hurricanes.


Before being elected to the Los Angeles City Council, Parks spent 38 years as a police officer in the Los Angeles Police Department. Got help from Beginning his career at the department at a time when patrol cars were just recently integrated, he climbed the ranks of one of the nation’s largest municipal law enforcement agencies to become Chief of Police in 1997.


As Chief, Parks is credited with creating first Cold Case Unit in the nation. That same unit was instrumental in the arrest of the suspect in the “Grim Sleeper” Serial Killer Case. Lonnie Franklin, Jr. was arrested for the crimes in July of 2010. He also implemented some of the most rigorous police reforms ever proposed in the history of the police department, including the institution of an Officer Accountability Policy. Parks also made it easier for the community to file complaints against problem officers by streamlining the Citizen Complaint System. Under Chief Parks the City of Los Angeles saw homicides fall by 45%, rape assault drop by nearly 20% and robbery decline by over 45%.


Chief Parks also fired 130 problem police officers during his tenure; more than any Chief in recent memory. He uncovered the Rampart Incident, which led to the firings of five officers who were tied to a corruption ring involving the department gang unit. Twelve officers were suspended and seven resigned due to their roles in the Rampart Incident. An extremely popular Chief, People Magazine named Parks to their illustrious "50 Most Beautiful People" list in 1998.


In his 50 years as a public servant, Parks has remained closely tied to his community. Aside from patrolling L.A.’s street as a young officer, Parks dedicated many volunteer years to youth activities in the district. He coached Baldwin Hills Youth Football for 10 years and mentored the likes of National Football League Hall-of-Famer Warren Moon and many other kids who grew to become successful community and business leaders. During his Hall-of-Fame induction speech, Moon described Parks as “a guy who instilled values in me at a very young age, showed me discipline and taught me hard work and dedication”.


Parks and his wife, Bobbie, are involved in numerous community groups, such as: the Challengers Boys & Girls Club, the Los Angeles Urban League and the Brotherhood Crusade. He is also a life-time member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Recognized as a longtime voice for minority communities, in 2006 Parks’ footprints were added to the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.


Bernard C. Parks received his Bachelor of Science degree from Pepperdine University and his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Southern California (USC).


Parks and Bobbie, have three children and eight grandchildren.


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