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UPCOMING EVENTS / ANNOUNCEMENTS
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| Westwood Hills|
Councilmember Koretz was delighted to attend the Westwood Hills Property Owners Association annual meeting. At this event, he spoke and took questions for almost an hour. The discussion covered a wide range of issues, both local and citywide. A topic of particular interest to the audience was the recent planting of 81 trees in the Westwood Hills neighborhood. The Councilmember also honored Association president Terry Tegnazian for her dedicated leadership and service. Councilmember Koretz and his staff thank all Westwood Hills POA members for their community activism and civic patriotism!
Councilmember Paul Koretz presenting a certificate of appreciation to Terry Tegnazian, President of the Westwood Hills Property Owner's Association.
Koretz opens South Robertson Neighborhood Council Town Hall on Homelessness
Councilmember Koretz addressed more than 100 people in attendance at the South Robertson (SORO) Neighborhood Council’s successful October 27 town hall on homelessness held at the Museum of Tolerance. Praising the council for convening the event, Koretz encouraged attendees to be an “army of compassion” in educating their neighbors on the issue and working with the City to create and implement constructive responses and solutions to benefit the homeless and our neighborhoods alike.
Justice Armand Arabian Awards
Councilmember Koretz was honored to join the Encino Chamber of Commerce at its October 27th presentation of the 17th Anniversary Justice Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Awards Luncheon.
An audience of approximately 400 persons applauded the honorees, who were being recognized for their contributions to their community and city: businessperson Steve Fazio; Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer; newspaper publisher Appo Jaborian; actress, writer and activist Tracy Nelson; Congressmember Adam Schiff; and community activist Patti Jo Wolfson. The following were also commemorated: 2016 Justice Armand Arabian Scholarship recipient Matthew Shaw; Karl Boeckmann/Keith Richman Scholarship recipient Emilie Hatcher; and Rickey Gelb Veteran Scholarship recipient Richard Reyes.
Justice Arabian, whose legacy is celebrated through this event, was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California from March 1, 1990 to March 1, 1996. Congratulations to all the honorees, and to the Encino Chamber of Commerce for this fine event!
Councilmember Paul Koretz with CD 5 community activist and honoree, Patti Jo Wolfson.
Koretz Rental Housing Initiative takes a big step forward
After months of study and deliberation, a big public hearing back in June and then further deliberation, the City Council’s Housing Committee (for which Councilmember Koretz now is vice-chair) on November 2nd approved a landmark set of proposals that offer better protections for tenants faced with being put out on the street by their landlords. The committee’s action will next go before the full Council within weeks.
Back in 2015, Councilmember Koretz introduced a motion in the City Council calling on the City’s Housing and Community Investment to develop recommendations to address flaws in the City’s Rent Stabilization (rent control) Ordinance (RSO) and the way the City oversees implementation of tenant evictions under the state Ellis Act. These flaws have been allowing some landlords to exploit both laws, victimizing hundreds, if not thousands, of tenants in the process.
The committee-approved reforms broadened coverage of RSO protections for new units replacing demolished rent-controlled units, restricted use of the Ellis eviction procedures in residential hotels, and strengthened controls on how units vacated using Ellis can be used in the short-term. Another key recommendation requires that, for any new building that replaces demolished rent-controlled units, the number of new units subject to rent control must be equal to the number lost, or 20% of the total number of new units, whichever is greater.
“The Ellis Act was supposed to provide mom-and-pop landlords a way to get out of the landlord business if they were losing money on their operation,” Koretz said.“ But now it’s being abused wholesale by property speculators and developers who just want to build luxury housing. These recommendations are just a start in terms of what we need to do to protect vulnerable renters.”
The committee also called for the Council to seek amendments to the Ellis Act when the state legislature reconvenes in January in order to improve the law’s functioning, and approved a proposed ordinance to require landlords to notify tenants of their legal rights when attempting to buy them out of their tenancies.All of these proposals were developed in collaboration with both tenant and landlord advocacy groups.
Michael Hittleman Gallery
Councilmember Koretz was on hand to recognize the Michael Hittleman Gallery on the momentous occasion of its 40th anniversary celebration. Established in 1976, this gallery, a true community institution, has exhibited a broad range of Israeli fine art ranging from the early pioneers to the leading avant-garde artists, and including the popular as well as the critically acclaimed. As part of its educational mission, the gallery maintains a library of books, catalogs, articles and auction records of Israeli art, and owner/director Michael Hittleman lectures and writes on Israeli art history. The gallery has presented shows of Israeli art at temples, synagogues, Jewish Centers, Jewish Museums and for Israeli and Jewish organizations, as a way of raising consciousness about Israeli art and as a fundraising activity. The gallery and its collectors have lent works for numerous museum exhibitions, and many private collections of Israeli art have been started or nurtured by the gallery. Congratulations to all concerned on 40 years of success, contributing to L.A.'s cultural and artistic heritage!
NO to upzoning Pico
As part of the City's efforts to create a better planning model for those areas surrounding incoming Exposition Train stops, many changes have been proposed. One of those proposals has been to "upzone" a portion of Pico Blvd., between Bentley Ave. and Overland Ave. To "upzone" an area is to rezone it to allow for more intensive use, which can often involve more traffic being generated. That's why Councilmember Koretz has said, "This proposal will have a negative effect on both Pico and the adjoining neighborhoods, and I will not support this effort. I have let the Planning Department know that a Pico Blvd. upzone is not appropriate. The EIR will soon be released, and I will fight to make sure Pico is removed."
Marc Ching and Animal Hope & Wellness
Councilmember Koretz recently saluted Marc Ching, founder of the Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization focused solely on rescuing dogs from the meat trade throughout Asia. This humane endeavor rescues these dogs from harm's way, and since they have so often been severely abused and even tortured, provides full rehabilitation and then works to find them perfect homes.
To achieve such caring goals, Marc takes solo trips throughout Asia, rescues dogs and makes certain they receive urgently needed medical care, and finally brings them to Los Angeles to find them fosters and families ready to adopt. Marc began this extraordinary enterprise posing as an undercover dog meat buyer during his rescues: however, he now negotiates with slaughterhouse owners to close their operations and open other, different types of business as an alternative.
Talk Day LA.
From left to right: Councilmember Mike Bonin, Executive Director of Women Against Gun Violence, Margo Bennett, Councilmember Paul Koretz and Loren Lieb, WAGV board member.
October 26, 2016 was the third annual “Talk Day L.A.” and a City Hall ceremony was held marking this occasion, because it is important to get out the word about the topic of the day: gun safety and preventing gun violence. The “talk” in “Talk Day L.A.” is to encourage people to…
Talk with their kids about guns
Ask their family, friends, and neighbors if their guns are locked up
Lock your guns up safely and securely, and
Keep our children and community safe!
Joining Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin for the special “Talk Day L.A.” presentation were Margo Bennett, Executive Director of Women Against Gun Violence, and WAGV board member Loren Lieb.
It has become a horrible norm to see front-page headlines concerning mass shootings, and/or other tragedies involving guns, and of course there are many other stories that don’t make the news but that claim lives, and devastate families and communities. WAGV, through Talk Day L.A. and various related educational programs, seeks to ensure that people, especially households with children, are well aware of the facts, the dangers, and essential safety mechanisms and practices.
Forty percent of homes in America with children have guns, and a gun in the home makes it three times more likely that a family member or friend will be killed. In the United States, nine children are killed a day with guns, and more teens are killed by guns than in any other industrialized country. 1.2 million elementary school kids have access to guns while home alone after school, and 68% percent of school shootings involve a gun brought from home.
Women Against Gun Violence has worked for over 20 years at the community level in Los Angeles to prevent gun violence, through its strategic partnerships, and has achieved great success in legislative advocacy and implementing innovative community programs serving families, youth, children, and gun violence survivors. WAGV's newest program, The TALK Project, is the only comprehensive gun violence prevention program in California working with Los Angeles schools and parent associations to empower parents to protect their children by making the conversation about guns and safe gun storage routine, and not adversarial or political. WAGV has donated 3,000 gun locks, trained more than 10,000 families and provided bilingual (English and Spanish} gun safety information to over 500,000 Southern California elementary school families. WAGV states that gun violence is 100 percent preventable and believes an effective gun safety campaign can achieve the same success as the anti-smoking and seat belt buckling campaigns, by making sure that more people know that all guns are to be stored unloaded in a locked gun safe, and that ammunition is to be securely stored at a separate location.
Keeping our streets clean and clear of debris is a vital part to the quality of life in our neighborhoods. That is why our office is working closely with the Bureau of Sanitation's Clean Streets LA program to eliminate dumping and to preserve the cleanliness of our streets. As part of this program Sanitation workers are deployed across the city to take on dumping hot spots and remove bulky items so they don't linger on our streets attracting additional blight. You can help us by using the MyLA311 app or by calling 311 to report dumped items, graffiti, or any other service needed from the city. By being our eyes and ears in communities, you can help us keep our city beautiful.