New Westchester/Playa Field Deputy works to increase accessibility of council office

Fred Sutton has been named the new Field Deputy for the Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista area after being appointed by Councilman Mike Bonin on June 10. Sutton replaces Nate Kaplan who served as Field Deputy under both Bonin and former councilman Bill Rosendahl.

“I’m thrilled and excited to move into this new role,” said Sutton. “It has been a pleasure working with Mike and the rest of the great CD11 staff in the past year and I’m grateful to now have even more of an opportunity to serve the neighborhoods of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista.”

As Field Deputy, Sutton, who previously served as a Constituent Advocate for the Council District 11 (CD11) office, will work on helping fulfill Bonin’s vision for the community, increasing services and making sure the office is responsive to the community’s needs.

Sutton grew up in the CD11 area and studied Political Science at the University of Arizona and Foreign Policy at American University. He previously served as a member of the West LA Neighborhood Council and has been active in local politics for years. Outside of public service, Sutton has worked in commercial office leasing, sales and marketing.

“It has been an amazing three weeks,” said Sutton, who now calls the councilman’s Westchester office his home base. “In a city as huge as L.A., [this community] has a hometown feel like in the movies.”

In his previous role, Sutton was critical in helping coordinate Bonin’s “Access 11” program, which seeks to engage the councilman with community members in informal settings like farmers’ markets, hikes and community clean-up events. In his new role, Sutton wants to continue to make sure that the councilman’s office is a valuable community resource and the first place people turn to when they need help.

“There’s no excuse to not be in touch with constituents,” said Sutton. “We want to increase our customer service and make sure we are accessible to everyone.”

Sutton says he receives hundreds of phone calls and emails per week from concerned residents looking for answers, help and advice. In his first weeks on the job, issues including public safety, the parking situation in the area around Loyola Marymount, the Century Boulevard bridge at Aviation coming down and a disturbing billboard that was located on Sepulveda at Westchester Parkway have all recently crossed his desk. The first temporary parking district around Loyola Marymount was recently approved and added to the  city’s work schedule

“Fred has been a valuable member of our team from day one and has helped me with one of the most important tasks I have: to get out of the city hall bubble and meet with people,” said Councilman Bonin. “Being a Field Rep in a council office, you have to do three jobs at once all rolled into one. Some [participate] in public service because it is cool and some because they have a big heart and that’s what Fred has.”

Sutton plans on continuing Bonin’s and the council office’s work on promoting public safety and encouraging people to start Neighborhood Watch Programs. Also on his “to do” list are projects that would help beautify the community. The council office hopes to be able to form a public-private partnership to help renovate the aging senior center at Westchester Park. The east part of Westchester is also high on their priority list for beautification efforts. They both hope to organize a community clean-up for the area in the near future.

“It has been a blast getting to know the communities better and more in depth,” said Sutton. “I’m excited to be here, so please reach out with any issue and I’ll be here ready to help you.”

Sutton can be reached at fred.sutton@lacity.org or at (310) 568-8772.

This month, Councilman Bonin and Sutton will be at Westchester Park for Movies with Mike and are planning an upcoming community service day for downtown Playa del Rey.

For more info about Bonin and the CD11 staff, visit 11thdistrict.com.