West LA Office
6380 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800
Los Angeles,CA 90048
15760 Ventura Blvd., Suite 600
Encino, CA 91436
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Los Angeles, CA 90012
UPCOMING EVENTS / ANNOUNCEMENTS
Traffic Advisory and Street Closure Announcement for LA Marathon on Sunday, February 14
For over 30 years, the Los Angeles Marathon has been one of the largest and best marathons in the country. While we are proud of this tradition which was inspired by the 1984 Olympics, we are also mindful of the major street closures that will impact the city. The course stretches from Downtown Los Angeles, up through Hollywood, west through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, and continues to Santa Monica. For more information, please visit: http://www.lamarathon.com/race-weekend/street-closures
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Councilmember Koretz was delighted to attend the Carthay Circle Neighborhood Association's annual meeting on January 28. He presented the President of Carthay Circle Neighborhood Association, Ivan Light, with a Certificate of Appreciation for the organization's work on behalf of the community. Councilmember Koretz talked to the neighborhood about local and citywide concerns.
Carthay Circle is an important piece of Los Angeles history, and the residential neighborhood is designated as a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) by the City of Los Angeles. Before it was demolished in 1969, the Carthay Circle Theater was one of the most famous movie places of Hollywood's Golden Age. Many world famous movies premiered at the theater, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Gone With The Wind, Romeo and Juliet, Marie Antoinette, and The Life of Emile Zola. Disneyland's California Adventure Park has rebuilt a copy of the Carthay Circle Theater with a restaurant inside to pay homage to the wonderful history of the area and Hollywood.
Honoring Rick Orlov
Countless interviews and press conferences have been held in a "media room" behind the City Council Chambers, but it's taken until now for the room to be given a proper former name -- and nothing could be more fitting than to name the room after Rick Orlov, the revered, veteran reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News who passed away a year ago.
A plaque was unveiled during a ceremony that was led by Council President Herb Wesson and was attended by other members of the Council, members of the Orlov family, representatives of the Daily News, and friends and journalistic peers of Orlov. He had many friends and admirers, for he always inspired people through his dedication, focus, toughness and kindness, and he guided and mentored many in the process. Later in the day, it was back to business, and in that very room, Daily News reporter Dakota Smith talked with Councilmember Koretz about an issue before council.
Congrats, Vin Scully!
Numerous Los Angeles Dodgers (past and present) recently visited Los Angeles City Hall, many joined by wives and other family members, to enjoy two very special happenings.
At the Council meeting that day, the great Dodger announcer, Vin Scully, who has said he will be retiring after the 2016 season, was honored by having Elysian Park Avenue, which leads to Dodger Stadium, be renamed “Vin Scully Avenue.” Afterwards, the Dodgers hosted a luncheon with the Wounded Warriors Project and combat-injured service members. The Wounded Warriors Project raises awareness and enlists the public’s aid for the needs of those injured, and provides unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.
Among those present representing the Dodgers were manager Dave Roberts, Clayton Kershaw, Orel Hershiser, Maury Wills, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, and Eric Karros.
Clean and Green
One major way of beautifying a neighborhood is by cleaning up the trash and debris that can despoil the "islands" on major streets and boulevards. Recently, the 5th District office teamed with Clean and Green on a cleanup of the islands on Burbank Blvd. between Balboa Blvd. and Hayvenhurst Ave. Thank you, Clean and Green, and thank you to all the volunteers and community groups who take part in such efforts for the sake of a neighborhood's quality of life.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day
The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides. Councilmember Koretz led the ceremony in Los Angeles City Hall.
On January 25, the Los Angeles City Council voted, unanimously, to ban the use of smokeless tobacco products at all Los Angeles baseball fields and other sports venues. The Los Angeles Dodgers had lent their support to this motion, which was authored by Councilmember Jose Huizar and seconded by Councilmembers Koretz, O’Farrell and Ryu, and was strongly backed by the “Knock Tobacco Out of the Park” campaign which is devoted to reducing smokeless tobacco use among our youth.
Boston and San Francisco have already banned smokeless tobacco from their professional baseball stadiums, and San Francisco has outlawed smokeless tobacco at the city's athletic fields.
Smokeless tobacco, which has significant, negative health consequences, has been on the rise among high school athletes, even while smoking rates have dropped.
Many sports fans of a certain age or older can remember collecting trading baseball cards featuring players like Nellie Fox and Don Zimmer, tough guys with at least one cheek full of chew. That bulging cheek was as much their trademark and a sign of their stature as their fine skills with a bat and glove. Nellie Fox, a future Hall of Famer, was nicknamed "Mr. Chewing Tobacco," and he and his teammate, speedster Luis Aparicio, were among the many sports celebrities who were paid spokespeople for chewing tobacco and tobacco companies, some of which actually produced baseball cards. Bill Tuttle, an outfielder and third baseman, was another whose every image seemed marked by the bulge in cheek. He was eventually diagnosed with oral cancer, and surgeries to keep him alive cost him much of his face, including his jaw, teeth and right check. During his final years, he was a disfigured but compelling spokesperson for the National Spit Tobacco Education Program of Oral Health America, advocating against dipping, and was interviewed for a Readers Digest article entitled, "My War With A Smoke Free Killer" in which he discussed his addiction and how he had been introduced to chewing tobacco by a teammate. Tuttle, who died in 1998 at the age of 69, was trying to stop baseball players from chewing tobacco, for the sake of their own health but also to keep them from setting a bad example for young sports fans. Bill Tuttle made a difference, but the grim toll has continued, as we know from the fate of all-time great Tony Gwynn, who died two years ago shortly after turning 54. Gwynn attributed his cancer to the dipping tobacco habit that he had picked up while playing rookie ball in 1981.
Councilmember Koretz explained that, “baseball remains a prime gateway for smokeless tobacco and hooking young people in its use, and that's why the Council’s action on this issue can make a big difference. Our city should have no place for smokeless tobacco at our city stadiums, parks and venues, and especially not in our youth, school and park leagues played there.”
UCLA: Olympic Village designee
Councilmember Paul Koretz recently joined Mayor Eric Garcetti, Council President Herb Wesson, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman and some past UCLA Olympians at a press conference held at UCLA, in order to make a special announcement: as part of the City of L.A.’s bid proposal to host the 2024 Olympics, UCLA has been chosen to be the site of the 2024 Olympic Village. (Congratulations, also, to USC, which has been named the “Media Village” and will host the media in the event of a 2024 Olympics in L.A.) If Los Angeles is selected, participating athletes will be housed on the UCLA campus, which is located within the 5th District represented by Councilmember Koretz.
Without a doubt, UCLA is the perfect choice. After all, just as Los Angeles is a city of unparalleled diversity, UCLA is in its own way a remarkable global village, showcasing people of all heritage, backgrounds and walks of life coming together while striving both for individual accomplishment and the common good. UCLA is one of the true treasures of all of Los Angeles, and so it makes wonderful sense to have UCLA be home to the Olympic Village in 2024, where all the Olympic athletes will be warmed and enchanted by the welcoming spirit of UCLA and its history of remarkable achievement.
UCLA has been tremendous in developing people academically, but UCLA has, also been an amazing presence in sports, besting all other schools across the country in winning 126 national championships, including 113 NCAA team championships. UCLA student athletes have won an incredible 251 Olympic medals, 126 of them gold. Bruins have competed in nearly every Olympics since 1920, and have won a gold medal in every Olympics that the United States has participated in since 1932.
An amazing number of Bruins – 398 all told – have combined to make 650 Olympic appearances, and while it's almost unfair to single out a few, the ranks do include Olympics immortals such as Rafer Johnson, Debbie Meyer, Evelyn Ashford, Florence Griffith-Joyner and Jackie Joyner. It’s worth noting that Jackie Robinson – an all-time great Bruin, major league Hall of Famer and civil rights trailblazer – might well have won the 1940 Olympic long jump competition, but the games were cancelled that year due to World War II. Lucky for us, that didn't stop him, nor did anything else, from accomplishing so many urgently essential and good things in his life.
2024’s future competitors, if the Olympics are held in L.A., will be delighted by the fun and excitement of Westwood Village. Having UCLA serve as home to the 2024 Olympic Village will be a great boost to the local economy and will be enjoyable for anyone who is here then. UCLA has expressed its determination to make this possible through use of its own current facilities, thereby minimizing any stress on local neighborhoods. This effort should be an important boon to Westwood. The Village has an illustrious history but it's also been roaring back, these past few years, reclaiming it's place at the top as one of L.A.'s best and friendliest hot spots for dining, business and entertainment, thanks to many involved neighborhood organizations and community leaders, UCLA, local businesses, and the civic pride of people who work, live and study in the area. Westwood is already in the midst of many ongoing and rapidly looming beneficial advances to this area, like the Metro Purple Line Extension, and so the “Olympic Village” announcement is in some ways beautiful icing on the cake, making clear the area’s local vitality and vibrancy.
John Bwarie (left) , Founder, City Impact Lab, Eugene Shirley (middle), President of Pando Populus, and Councilmember Koretz pictured above.
Councilmember Koretz presented the Council District 5 "Impact Makers to Watch" award to resident Eugene Shirley. Mr. Shirley is the President of an exciting new organization called Pando Populus, whose aim is to mitigate climate emissions and pollution problems by connecting and supporting like-minded organizations around LA County under CM Koretz's "Decade: Climate Safe (2016-2025)" initiative. The award ceremony was sponsored by City Impact Lab.
On the Legislative Front
Councilmember Koretz hit the ground running for 2016 introducing several legislative proposals during the Council’s first week back from the holiday recess:
Council File (CF) 15-0002-S118: Support President Obama’s Gun Safety Executive Order: This resolution calls for the City of Los Angeles to formally support the background check, information-sharing and other regulations called for by President Barack Obama on January 4th.
CF 11-0754-S3: Pet Shop Mill-Bred Animal Prohibition: This motion calls for an ordinance to eliminate the June 30, 2016 sunset clause in Councilmember Koretz’s nationally-acclaimed law to prohibit the sale of puppy mill animals in L.A.’s pet shops. The ordinance has essentially eliminated the flow of these animals into the city and has been replicated in numerous other cities across the country.
CF 15-0002-S113: Research into Gun Violence: This resolution calls for federal legislation to lift a congressional ban on research into the health impacts of gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health.
CF 16-0059: Update Report on Management of City Facilities and Property: This motion calls for an update on efforts being made to improve the management of City-owned buildings, facilities and surplus property that were reviewed in audits by the City Controller in 2003 and 2008.
CF 16-0067: Create “Affordable Housing Impact Statements”: This motion asks for drafting of an ordinance to require Affordable Housing Impact Statements for development projects and other City decisions affecting the housing stock.
CF 16-0109: Call on the new Strategic Workforce Development Task Force to report monthly to the Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee: The City expects to lose thousands of experienced employees to retirement before the end of the decade. The new labor agreements with the City’s unions acknowledge this and mandate the creation of a task force to develop strategies for filling the crucial vacated positions and draw upon the expertise of the departing workers to prepare new hires for the job.
CF 15-0002-S121: Pursue Legislation or Administrative Action on the 2020 Census: This resolution calls on the City to work to get a question into the 2020 Census questionnaire regarding how many pets live in a household.
Korean-American Day at City Hall
On Wednesday, January 13, Councilmember Koretz joined leaders of L.A.’s Korean-American community who came to City Hall to celebrate the annual Korean-American Day. This day acknowledges the growing Korean-American community in the city and the contributions it makes to the vibrancy of our economy and culture.(Photo by Betsy Annas)
Getting Serious About Homelessness
On January 7 the City Administrative Office and the Chief Legislative Analyst released the long-awaited “Comprehensive Homeless Strategy” for public review and legislative action. The substantial 230-page report proposes 51 strategies for addressing homelessness in Los Angeles. Simultaneously, the County of Los Angeles issued its own report containing dozens of recommendations that complement the City’s.
The recommendations encompass a set of guiding principles that include ending homelessness through a multi-year commitment, making it simpler and easier for homeless individuals to access services, taking steps to prevent additional people falling into homelessness, coordinating City and County efforts and focusing on housing as a primary goal for addressing both short-term and chronic homelessness, amongst others. The report acknowledges that accomplishing all of these goals could cost upwards of $1.865 billion and that it doesn’t pretend to have answers to the question of where those funds will come from. The City thus far is spending $15 million, mostly to provide winter and emergency shelter services.
The City Council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee held its first hearing on the Comprehensive Homeless Strategy on January 13th.Another is planned for January 27th at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
The Strategy is available on-line at:
Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count 2016 - It's over!
A big thank you to the thousands of volunteers, including the team leaders, for their time for this year's count. The Fifth Council District is a very large area and spans from Carthay Circle to Encino, with many communities in between. The amount of coordination by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and the volunteers is to be commended. It will take LAHSA a couple months to get the final numbers calculated, but if you are interested in reading about the count, and want to view last year's numbers, then please visit: http://www.lahsa.org/home
CD 5 Field Deputy Phil Bennett presenting Deployment Site Coordinator for the Homeless Count, Sean McMillan, a certificate of appreciation for his tremendous work.
Master Plan released on January 28 for the West LA VA Campus
This week, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald visited Los Angeles to unveil the Master Plan for the long-neglected West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus. The plan calls for 1,200 housing units, a village for women many of whom suffered from sexual trauma, gardens, theaters, and more. The plan comes after one year of community engagement and input. Thank you to all the veterans and community members for all your input through this process. For more details on this plan, please visit: