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DLANC Founding Member Lesley Taplin To Be Remembered In Celebration of Life
Photo by Don Garza, used with permission
Last Tuesday, Leslie Taplin, a Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) volunteer and founding member, was tragically killed in a freeway accident. blogdowntown first reported on the story and a read through the comments tells the story of a remarkable woman who dedicated countless efforts to bringing positive change to the downtown community. Those who knew Lesley described her as a "tireless volunteer" and a "tireless friend". She was involved with everything from the creation of Gallery Row and Artwalk to the provision of low-income housing and the DLANC Education Committee.
In an email, Skid Row community activist General Jeff wrote:
Her efforts won her an "honorary lifetime pass" on our tough Skid Row streets. Through DLANC's Education Committee she was able to encourage support for many of the thriving community events, activities and organization's that have helped to establish the "new Skid Row positive movement". Included in this list are O.G.'s-n-Service's Father's Day event, the Skid Row 3on3 Streetball League, Project Homeless Connect, the Skid Row Photography Club and the Fun Zone Reading Club for homeless kids, (not to mention our very own ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS).
At blogdowntown, Russell Brown wrote:
Lesley almost single-handedly started the DLANC Education committee. One of the first projects was to create a booth at Project Homeless Connect event, to do a used book give away at the event. It sounds so strange now, but we had no idea how we would be received or involved but Lesley pushed to make it happen. For years, the participation by the social service agencies and the CCE/Skid Row community in DLANC and a broader part of the community had been minimal or adversarial. Lesley loved education and books, and wanted to bring that to the community. I remember folks saying that the books would go to waste, be thrown away or sold for drugs. Lesley knew otherwise, and pushed forward. Lesley’s intent was “If I am wrong we tried, but if I am right, they can read, learn and we can help things change, even if just a little.”
A service to celebrate the life of longtime DLANC volunteer Lesley Taplin has been set for Thursday, April 30, at 6:30pm and will take place at Vibiana. Taplin, who had been involved with DLANC since its formation in 2002 and was a driving force in the neighborhood council's education committee and efforts on Skid Row, was killed in a freeway accident last Monday night.
In making the decision to hold the memorial service Downtown, son Nick Taplin said, "It's where her heart is."
The service will include photos of Taplin to be projected during the evening, according to Qathryn Brehm, who asks anyone with photos they would be willing to share to send them to email@example.com.
The family is also planning to set up an ArtShare LA scholarship for at-risk youth in her memory. Details will be passed along as they become available.
Photo by Don Garza//Flickr.