Harold Irving Cherness
July 28, 1922 - March 10, 2016
Judge Cherness (Hal to his friends and those who knew him) was born July 28, 1922 in Brooklyn, the eldest of four children. A keen student with a quick and curious mind, Hal pursued a college degree at the University of California, Los Angeles, until his formal education was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the US Army, in the Pacific theater. Upon his honorable discharge from the military, Hal returned to UCLA, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1946, and shortly thereafter entered law school at the University of Southern California, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree.
After 25 years in private practice, much of it as a criminal defense attorney, Hal was appointed to the Municipal Court for the Culver Judicial District in 1975 by Governor Edmund (“Jerry”) Brown Junior and remained on the bench here in Culver City until 1994. During his tenure on the Municipal Court, he developed a reputation for courtesy and civility to attorneys, defendants, staff, and the general public. He later served on the Superior Court as an “on assignment” judge (a judge who substitutes for judges who are sick or on vacation). After 38 years of distinguished service on the bench, Judge Cherness finally retired in 2013 at age 90.
Hal was devoted to his wife, Gertrude Cherness, whom he married in 1945 and with whom he had two children, Janel and Darryl. Two years after Trudy's death, Hal met and married Carolyn Falstein, with whom he shared 15 wonderful years.
Hal was a longtime member and past president of the Culver City Democratic Club, having joined the Club in 1953, and remained an active member for the rest of his life. As an early member of the Club, he fought for street lights and sewers for Culver City, which at that time was a semi-rural community. In addition, he fought for pay parity for the Culver City Police so that they could earn a salary comparable to the Los Angeles Police. All three goals were ultimately achieved. In 1998 the Democratic Club awarded him the “Trudy Cherness Active Democrat Award,” and his son, Darryl, was privileged to present it to him. In addition, several years ago, he received from the Democratic Club the Club’s first “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Harold Cherness will be remembered as a passionate believer in the law, a fierce defender of civil rights, a committed champion of the under-privileged and working people, and a loving father, husband, and friend of many. He is survived by his daughter, Janel, son Darryl, and granddaughter Isabell.
Exchange Club Candidates Forum
Tuesday, March 15 at 11:30 a.m.
Culver City Elks Lodge
11177 Overland Avenue in Culver City
Blair Hills Association Forum
Tuesday, March 15 at 7 to 9 p.m.
Kenneth Hahn Park Community Center
4100 S. La Cienega Blvd in Los Angeles
Ask League of Women Voters Candidates Forum
Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m.
Mike Balkman Council Chambers, Culver City Hall
9770 Culver Boulevard in Culver City
Fox Hills Neighborhood Association Candidates Forum
Sunday, March 20 at 5 p.m.
Heather Village Condominiums
6443 Green Valley Circle in Culver City
Culver City Downtown Business Assn. Candidates Forum
Wednesday, March 23 at 10 a.m.
Kirk Douglas Theatre
9820 Washington Boulevard in Culver City
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In 1940, Tom Bradley was sworn in as one of the 100 black officers on the 4,000 member LAPD force. After leaving the force, Bradley went to law school and became active in politics. He joined the Crenshaw Democratic Club and later became the club’s president.
By 1963, Bradley was the first African-American elected to the Los Angeles City Council representing the Crenshaw district. In 1969, he ran for mayor but lost to conservative Sam Yorty. Bradley ran for mayor again in 1973 and won, serving in that capacity until 1993, thus becoming the first African-American mayor of Los Angeles.
Although Ryan Coogler is best known for his directorial work in “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed” films, he is also known for co- founding Blackout for Human Rights. This is comprised of a network of filmmakers, entertainers and everyman pooling their resources to address human rights violations in the US. In 2014, the group spearheaded Blackout Black Friday, a national call to boycott Black Friday shopping following the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo. Notable members of Blackout include Ava DuVernay, Jesse Williams, Nate Parker, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David Oyelowo.