Former Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge’s name officially became a fixture in Los Angeles on Monday when an intersection in front of his alma mater, John Marshall High School, was dedicated as Tom LaBonge Square.
The dedication was spearheaded by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District, in honor of LaBonge’s contributions to the school. O’Farrell said the dedication was a special surprise for LaBonge, whose final day in office was Tuesday.
“I think all of us feel, because of his particular contributions to Marshall High School … that it was important to dedicate the space in front of the high school in his honor before he left office,” O’Farrell said. “He was involved in an effort to save the tower (which had sustained earthquake damage), and since his time in public service, he has been actively involved in advocacy for the upkeep of the school. He was responsible for raising funds for the completely renovated football field, and was responsible for a mosaic at the school.”
Tom LaBonge Square is located at the intersection of Tracy and St. George streets, south of Los Feliz Boulevard in the Los Feliz District. LaBonge graduated from the high school in 1971. One of his biggest passions at the school was football, and he served as captain of the varsity team.
“I was really honored and blown away,” LaBonge said.
“John Marshall High School is my high school. There is no better recognition.”
LaBonge added that he is proud to join other famous alumni from the school such as NFL Hall of Famer Mike Haynes, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, Judge Lance Ito and Annette Cardona, who appeared in the film, “Grease”.
“There were a lot of greats,” LaBonge added. “[The honor] came out of the blue.”
LaBonge said he was busy visiting people in the district on his last day in office. He issued a final statement on Tuesday afternoon, and plans to stay involved.
“It has been a pleasure serving the city of Los Angeles for the last 40 years. Even though I am leaving city hall, I am not leaving the city,” LaBonge said. “I am taking some time to enjoy my family, but I will be back soon. In the meantime, let’s continue to enjoy and love the great city of Los Angeles.”
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