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Americas Summit: Wednesday’s highlights, what’s coming up, traffic watch

With the event now officially under way, the Summit of the Americas will be bustling with activity on Thursday in Los Angeles.

The conference convenes once every three or four years and is expected to address issues including immigration, climate, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit will run through Friday with a focus on “Building a Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Future” in the Americas. Most events are at or around the Convention Center.

Here’s a look at the Summit at a glance:

Wednesday’s Highlights

  •  During the formal inaugural ceremony, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom welcomed attendees. Vice President Kamala Harris said the delegates are gathering “to build a more prosperous and inclusive future,” calling the gathering “an opportunity to launch new initiatives, to begin new conversations and to build new partnerships.”
  • After landing at LAX and greeting Gov. Newsom, Biden hustled to Hollywood to tape an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which is filmed at the El Capitan Theatre complex on Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Harris made multiple appearances Wednesday at summit-related events. She spoke downtown at the CEO Summit — a gathering of business leaders — to discuss efforts at addressing the root causes of migration, highlighting private investments she announced earlier in the week aimed at improving economic outcomes in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. She later headed to Monrovia to visit the Dream Big Children’s Center to highlight the administration’s work to address inflation and support economic recovery for small businesses.
  • Various protests were staged. Los Angeles-area Republicans held a rally outside the Sheraton Grand Hotel to protest rising gas prices and inflation. And a group of climate activists dropped a banner from the Seventh Street overpass of the 110 Freeway to protest what they called the Biden administration’s reliance on fossil fuels, and demanding an end to fossil fuel drilling on federal lands.
  • The Young Americas Forum, hosted by the Young Americas Business Trust, continued around the downtown area. The event was designed for attendees aged 18 to 34, allowing them to “connect with international leaders in an ecosystem that stimulates the spirit of cooperation for a resilient, sustainable future and equitable, inclusive opportunities for the Americas.”

Coming events

  • Time/date unknown: Biden will announce more than $300 million in regional assistance to combat food insecurity, along with health initiatives aimed at preparing for future pandemics and a partnership with the Caribbean community to address climate issues.
  • Time/date unknown: Biden is expected to have a private meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro said he would attend the Summit of the Americas only if Biden granted him a private meeting and also refrained from confronting him over some of the most contentious issues between the two men, the officials told The Associated Press. He didn’t want any criticism over

Thursday

  • deforestation in the Amazon or warnings about his questioning of the Brazilian electoral system’s reliability as he prepares to campaign for another term, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.
  • 10 a.m. Gov. Newsom will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the establishment of an agreement between California and Canada on climate change.
  • 11 a.m. Head of delegation arrivals to the Summit Site
  • 2 p.m. Leaders’ Opening Plenary Session
  • 7:30 p.m. Leaders’ Dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Biden
  • 6 p.m. Ministers’ Reception hosted by  Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken
  • 6 p.m. Delegates’ Reception hosted by the City of Los Angeles

Friday

  • On the final day of the summit, Biden and other leaders are expected to sign the “Los Angeles Declaration on Migration,” which the administration official described as a pact to pursue a “comprehensive” approach to addressing the crisis.
  • 9:15 a.m. Leaders’ Second Plenary Session
  • 10 a.m.  Leaders’ Roundtables 1 & 2 with Civil Society, Private Sector, and Youth Representatives
  • 10:45: Biden will deliver remarks at the Battleship Iowa in San Pedro
  • 11:30 a.m. Leaders’ Roundtables 3 & 4 with Civil Society, Private Sector, and Youth Representatives
  • 1:30 pm. Heads of Delegation of the IX Summit of the Americas Family Photo
  • 1:45 p.m.  Leaders’ Retreat and Working Luncheon hosted by The President of the United States
  • 1:45 p.m.  Ministers’ Luncheon hosted by The Secretary of State of the United States
  • 3:30 p.m. Leaders’ Third Plenary Session
  • 3:30 p.m. Leaders’ Roundtables 5 & 6 with Civil Society, Private Sector, and Youth Representatives
  • 5 p.m. Leaders’ Roundtables 7 & 8 with Civil Society, Private Sector, and Youth Representatives

DEMONSTRATIONS/ALTERNATIVE EVENTS

Several alternative events and protests are also planned this week:

  • 9:30 a.m. Thursday:  The Black Alliance for Just Immigration will host a protest at the Summit of the Americas “to speak out about the life-threatening impacts of U.S. domestic and foreign policy on Black people in the Americas” at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.
  • The People Summit, hosted by groups including CHIRLA, CARECEN and SEIU 721, continues at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, 400 W. Washington Blvd.. It features music and art, workshops, speakers, debates, panel discussions and performances that highlight the priorities of working and poor people, and to serve as a critique on the U.S.’s impact in the hemisphere. The three-day program is detailed on the event website: https://peoplessummit2022.org/program
  • Noon Thursday: “Fight For 15” statewide strike day by fast food workers, part of a labor movement to achieve $15 per hour pay for low-wage workers. Los Angeles City Hall, 200 Spring Street.
  • 3 p.m. Thursday:  RiseUp4AbortionRights planned a protest near the Convention Center.
  • 5 p.m. Friday: A march will wind from Los Angeles Trade Technical College to “Biden’s Summit of Exclusion,” 0rganized by the People’s Summit for Democracy.

TRAFFIC WATCH

Through Saturday, commuters should avoid:

  • The areas between the Santa Monica (10) and the Hollywood (101) freeways west of the Harbor (110) Freeway, whenever possible.
  • Connector ramps from the east and westbound 10 Freeway to the 110 Freeway north;
  • The 110 Freeway northbound exits into downtown, including Pico Boulevard, Ninth Street, Sixth Street, Fourth Street and Third Street;
  • The 110 Freeway southbound exits for Sixth Street and Wilshire Boulevard;
  • Figueroa Street, north and southbound, between Washington Boulevard and Third Street;
  • Pico Boulevard, east and westbound, between Union Avenue and Grand Avenue;
  • Seventh Street, east and westbound, between Bixel Street and Flower Street; and
  • Wilshire Boulevard, east and westbound, between Bixel Street and Flower Street.

People can use the following freeway exits to access downtown between Monday and Saturday:

  • Exit 16A Santa Fe, 15B Alameda Street, 15A Central Ave, 14B San Pedro Street and 14A Convention Center if traveling westbound on the 10 Freeway;
  • Exit Convention Center/Grand Avenue/Olive Street, 14A Maple Avenue, 14B San Pedro Street, 15A Central Avenue, 15B Alameda Street, 16A Santa Fe Avenue if traveling eastbound on the 10 Freeway; and
  • Exit 20B 37th Street and Exposition Boulevard, 20C Adams Boulevard, or transition onto either the 10 or 101 Freeways east or westbound if traveling northbound on the 110 Freeway.

Updates on road closures will be provided on Twitter through Caltrans at @CaltransDist7 and @CaltransHQ.

For help/more information

Bicyclists, DASH users, Metro riders and those about to get on a plane can find more information below. Twitter is expected to jam up with details both helpful and dramatic. Here are some online spots to start:

  • Unified L.A. (city of Los Angeles): Twitter account @unifiedla and website at http://unifiedla.lacity.org.
  • Caltrans District 7 (lane/ramp closures): Twitter accounts @CaltransDist7 and @CaltransHQ.
  • Los Angeles Department of Transportation (DASH routes): Twitter accounts @ladotofficial and @ladottransit and website at http://ladottransit.com/whatsnew.
  • Metro (buses and trains): Twitter account @metrolaalerts.
  • Los Angeles International Airport (airport): Twitter accounts @FlyLAXStats (travel time to and through the central terminal area) and @FlyLAXAirport.
  • During the event, people who use Metro’s bike share program may see service interruptions due to the temporary removal of three bike share stations starting Thursday, June 2. The stations will be back June 13.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report

 

 

 

 

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