City Council President Herb Wesson. Photo by John Schreiber.
City Council President Herb Wesson. Photo by John Schreiber.

A trio of City Council members introduced an effort Thursday to reach out to residents to gauge their views on issues of race, ethnicity and diversity, beginning with an online survey.

In a city that has seen rising racial tensions sparked by police shootings of black suspects, Council President Herb Wesson said the effort will give residents “a platform to express themselves in a safe and encouraging environment leading to an open and ongoing dialogue about race relations in our city.”

“Time and time again, Los Angeles has been a national leader on pressing issues of our time and today we are proud to lead by example,” he said.

Dubbed the “embRACE LA” initiative, the effort will begin with the online survey, which will be available until December, and door-to-door visits residents in select parts of the city, using a longer interview. The door-to- door visits will begin in Councilman Curren Price’s Ninth District.

“Having this conversation in a very candid and sincere setting is the first step in building a stronger, more unified Los Angeles,” Price said. “As a grandfather of small children, I worry about the future of our young boys and girls. It is my hope that one day the topic of race relations will not be necessary and we can simply see each other as human beings.”

The results of the surveys will be reviewed by the city’s Human Relations Commission, which will  also develop proposals for additional steps, possibly including art programs, community forums and mural installations. The commission will report its findings to the council’s Arts, Parks and LA River Committee, chaired by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.

“As city leaders, it is our responsibility to engage in these conversations, to lean into the issue, not run away from it,” O’Farrell said.

The online survey — which is voluntary and anonymous — can be accessed at

–City News Service 

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