SHERMAN OAKS—On Tuesday, June 23, the City of Los Angeles held a ceremony to honor Councilman Tom LaBonge, who has retired after serving close to 40 years of public service.

Retired after 40 years of public service.
Tom LaBonge retired after 40 years of public service.

LaBonge, 61, represented the 4th district for 15 years, as a council aide. In 2001, LaBonge replaced Councilman John Ferrero, who at the time, held the record for the longest-serving councilmember for the City of Los Angeles. In the summer of 1999, Ferrero was diagnosed with spleen cancer, he lost his battle at the age of 76, in May 2001.

LaBonge recounted the moment when he first realized that he wanted to be a public servant. In 1975, he attended an event, which the mayor at the time, Tom Bradley was also present. Bradley had been leaving the event when he spotted a woman having troubles starting a car.

Without hesitation, Bradley grabbed some jumper cables and gave the woman assistance. After witnessing this event in 1976, LaBonge began to work for Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson. This led to him working for Council President Ferrero in 1978. He also worked as a field deputy and the chief of field operations.

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