LOS FELIZ—Tuesday, June 30 marked the last day of Tom LaBonge’s 14-year tenure as Los Angeles City Councilman for the 4th District. To honor LaBonge’s legacy, the City Council chose to designate the intersection at Tracy and St. George Streets in Los Feliz as “Tom LaBonge Square.”

The intersection sits at the south corner of John Marshall High School, LaBonge’s alma mater. The designation was motioned by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, of the 13th District, who called LaBonge “the biggest booster of all things remarkable about this city.”

Tom LaBonge and Mitch O'Farrell at the newly designated LaBonge Squre in Los Feliz.
Tom LaBonge and Mitch O’Farrell at the newly designated LaBonge Squre in Los Feliz.

The Democratic LaBonge graduated from California State University Los Angeles and began his career serving the city of Los Angeles in 1976 when he worked for Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson of the 13th District. He then moved to work for the 4th District under Councilman “Big John” John Ferraro, acting as his counsel aide for 15 years. After Ferraro died in 2001 from cancer, LaBonge assumed his role until he reached the term limits this year.

Part of the legacy LaBonge leaves behind will be his active efforts to see the city restored or revived. In 2013, the councilman hosted a clean-up effort for the public staircases of Los Angeles, in a stretch from Silver Lake to Los Feliz. He was also responsible in helping raise funds to save Marshall High School’s main building that was damaged during the 1971 Sylmar Earthquake as well as the building of the Mike Haynes Stadium & Hugh Boyd Field on its campus.

In 1997, LaBonge was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Los Angeles City Employee’s Association.

Councilmember David Ryu was elected as LaBonge’s successor, defeating LaBonge’s former aide, Carolyn Ramsay, for the position. Ryu was sworn in on June 29 and took office on Wednesday, July 1.

The 4th District covers much of the heart of Los Angeles, encompassing Sherman Oaks, Hollywood Hills, the Fairfax District and LA’s Miracle Mile, and some of the city’s most popular sites like the Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Sign, and Universal Studios Hollywood.