Measure L Citizens Oversight Committee


In March 2020, Lakewood residents passed Measure L, which provides funding to the City of Lakewood to maintain and improve public safety, parks, recreation programs, city facilities and more. Measure L is funded by a 3/4-cent sales tax increase on purchases effective July 1, 2020 (excluding groceries and pharmaceuticals). Prior to Measure L, the State of California had taken away traditional local funding sources from Lakewood and other communities. All funds raised by Measure L, by law, remain in Lakewood for local improvement projects. The state government cannot take away Measure L funds. 

A significant component of Measure L is the Citizens Oversight Committee.

The Citizens Oversight Committee, consisting of seven residents and business community leaders appointed by the Lakewood City Council, is tasked with providing an extra level of transparency to the community in reviewing the revenues and expenditures related to Measure L.

Appointees include representatives from various sectors in the Lakewood community, including a non-profit organization, youth organization, senior, Neighborhood Watch block captain, business owner and Chamber of Commerce board member.

Photo: The commission members are, top row (L to R): Crystal Jones-Duncan, Ron Piazza, Jeannie Clark, Ahmed Rafi, and bottom row: Rose Nelson, Valerie Youell, Joanie Dixson.


Commission Members

Representing senior groups in Lakewood is Crystal Jones-Duncan. Crystal has lived in Lakewood for 21 years. She is retired from a career with Verizon, and currently works for the Long Beach Unified School District managing budgets for a high school and middle school.

Representing the Lakewood business community is Ron Piazza. Ron is an owner of several McDonald’s restaurants in Lakewood. He started off as a teenager working at the McDonald’s at Paramount Blvd. and Carson St., worked his way up to manager, and ultimately purchased the restaurant. Ron’s been deeply involved in the Lakewood community for decades, and served on the Lakewood City Council for seven years.

Jeannie Clark was selected as an “at large” community member. She’s a long time resident of Lakewood and member of the Lakewood Rotary Club. She’s also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), has worked in public accounting for over 30 years, and is a partner in a small business in Long Beach.

Representing Neighborhood Watch is Ahmed Rafi, who goes by the name “Rafi.” He has been a resident of Lakewood since 1986. His children grew up and graduated from Lakewood schools.   Rafi is a former United States Air Force aerospace engineer, retiring after 25 years of service.  Rafi has volunteered as a neighborhood watch block captain for 18 years, and was honored as the Block Captain of the Year in 2016.  He also represented Lakewood on the Bellflower Unified School District Citizens Task Force.  

Representing the Community Service groups is Rose Nelson. Rose and her family moved from Missouri to Lakewood in 2018. She is a past President and current member of the Lakewood Women’s Club. In her professional life, Rose was a registered nurse having worked in several clinical and management positions. She and her husband also owned and operated Nelson Sign Co for several years.

Representing youth groups is Valerie Youell, who has lived in Lakewood for 28 years.  Valerie’s children attended local schools and played in local parks. In her professional life, Valerie is a small business owner providing home care for the elderly.

Representing the Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is Joanie Dixson, who is Vice Chair of the Chamber Board. Joanie currently serves as the First Vice President and Branch Manager at the Lakewood Farmers and Merchants Bank.

Also sitting on the Oversight Committee are the two Lakewood City Council Members who are members of the council’s Audit Committee (Cassandra Chase and Jeff Wood).

See the current projects underway thanks to Measure L funding.