Latynia Bell Bell: ‘In Los Angeles, 67% of the population is of color and the Latino population is almost 50% of the county.’ Photograph: Jeremy Cowart/Demotix/Corbis
We are fortunate that the city of Los Angeles is a strong and vibrant region. And we have a legacy of a vibrant and fair city that works hard to protect the rights of its residents.
The first day of voting in our city was very interesting. There was a video going around that showed a man in a mailbox, holding a rose, saying that if people go to the polls they should vote for the good of the city and the good of the country. And it makes me laugh when I think about all the hurdles and challenges people can face to be able to vote.
In Los Angeles, 67% of the population is of color and the Latino population is almost 50% of the county. There’s people who do not have access to voting and our job is to make sure those citizens are able to vote.
In general, in this country, two-thirds of children go through “early voting” and voting machines make it very easy to be able to cast a ballot.
You don’t have to vote as a Democrat. You don’t have to vote as a Republican. In almost every city in the state of California you’re eligible to vote.
In the local government, locally, we hire the employees who work with the city of Los Angeles residents and we don’t have a partisan office in the city of Los Angeles.
We hire the attorney general, we hire the district attorney, we hire the secretary of state and we make sure that everybody who can get registered to vote can register to vote.
And we work with the state and federal government to make sure the right information is available to the people to vote. But it’s us who have to go out to the voter precincts and knock on the doors and make sure that we educate the people.
It takes us weeks sometimes because we need to be able to go in and make sure we educate the residents on the importance of voting and our job is to make sure they know that it is their constitutional right to vote.
Vaccine Service Delivery: ‘We wanted to make sure the vaccine got to where it needed to go, when it needed to go.’ Photograph: Jeremy Cowart/Demotix/Corbis
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does research and updates vaccine programs throughout the country, but we felt like we were really important at it. We were really trying to make sure the vaccine got to where it needed to go, when it needed to go.
Immunization of children and youth is so critical and the reason we do what we do is because vaccines can prevent disease, which can save lives.
I am a Southern Californian and born and raised in Los Angeles. My mom wanted to give me a better education than I would be able to get otherwise. My mom was a secretary with the county public library system, so I grew up around library books and I think that has got to be a big part of the reason why I’m in my role today.
I was studying for my postgraduate degrees at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. I studied political science there, but I really didn’t know what I wanted to do at the time and I was able to apply to a number of organizations.
I worked at Mothers Against Drunk Driving and I had first-hand experience with… I don’t want to go into detail… I was riding in a car and I was in my friend’s car and my friend got a little bit behind and it all happened before my eyes and I was able to react. I thank God that I had a good memory because I was able to write this letter.
The celebrity community is huge in Los Angeles. After I was done there, I got a call from a friend who was also a track and field athlete and she wanted me to work at USC.
I think LA has a reputation for being a creative, social, multicultural, technologically-enabled and competitive city. You can go see a lot of this here.
Latynia Bell is the president and CEO of UPS. The company’s helicopter delivered 130,000 flu vaccines in Miami on Friday