Marqueece Harris-Dawson was sworn into office on the Los Angeles City Council in 2015 to represent South Los Angeles, where he was a longtime community organizer. Before participating in the Zócalo/The California Wellness Foundation event, “How Do You Fix a ‘Bad’ Neighborhood?” he revealed in the Zócalo green room his favorite neighborhood haunt and talked about what he likes most about his job.
What’s the last thing that inspired you?
Probably the Democratic National Convention, watching Hillary Clinton get the nomination of a major party. That’s the biggest breakthrough in terms of gender equality that I think I’ve witnessed in my life. That was very inspiring. I wasn’t ready for it when it happened.
What do you like most about your job?
Being able to help people realize their hopes and dreams. And help people realize change and improvements that they maybe thought that they couldn’t make happen.
If you didn’t live in Southern California where would you be?
What is your biggest weakness?
Probably being far more contemplative and pondering than is useful.
What’s the ugliest tie you own?
I don’t own ugly ties.
How do you take your coffee?
Equal and hazelnut creamer.
How would you describe yourself in five words or less?
Deep, hopeful, happy, enthusiastic, thoughtful.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
There are a lot. My grandmother gave me a hand-me-down thing called a cyclo-teacher when I was about six or seven years old.
What’s your favorite neighborhood haunt?