May 12, 2018   

Dear Friends,

For the past two weeks, the Budget & Finance Committee, on which I serve, has been considering the Mayor's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Also, I would like to remind you that May is Older Americans Month. The number of Californians over 65 will nearly double by 2025. One of the biggest challenges facing the growing aging population and their caregivers is the barrage of fraud attempts that seniors face. According to the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2017 released by the Federal Trade Commission, people aged 60 years and older were defrauded of $249 million during 2017, with the median loss to defrauded victims aged 80 and older averaging $1,092 per person, more than double the average amount lost by those aged 50 to 59.

In honor of the incredible work that the Department of Aging is doing both in the City of Los Angeles and through their partnerships with LA County, I will be hosting a special presentation next week in City Council both to officially recognize the month of May as Older American’s Month and to proclaim May 15th as Senior Fraud Awareness Day.

In addition, I have joined the Dementia Friends Initiative. The initiative is part of a global movement to change how people think and talk about this disease and how we can make a difference for people whose lives are touched by dementia and Alzheimer’s. I hope you’ll join me in taking the pledge by clicking here.

Finally, there are many seniors and family caregivers who may feel lonely. Please give them a call to say, “Hello!"  Let them know that the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging has a wide variety of services available through their website www.aging.lacity.org or by calling 800-510-2020.

Sincerely,


Paul Koretz


LEGISLATIVE NEWS


Koretz, Budget Committee Work to Finalize Next City Budget

Councilmember Koretz and his colleagues on the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee (chaired by Councilmember Paul Krekorian) have been working since April 27th to review and revise the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 proposed City Budget released by Mayor Eric Garcetti on April 20th.

That budget, balanced at $9.863 billion, with more than $100 million in emergency reserves built in, features an infusion of more than $60 million to address the homelessness crisis and the proliferation of encampments around the city. The Police and Fire departments both receive generous allocations to bolster their ability to protect public safety.

The budget was carefully examined by the committee, which held a series of lengthy hearings featuring discussions with department heads and City budget officials.Those hearings concluded on May 3rd, after which the committee made recommendations for possible changes to the budget to be analyzed for funding possibilities by the Chief Legislative Analyst.That was done on Monday, May 7th.The committee is expected to consider that information on Tuesday, May 15th and then draft its report for the City Council.

Councilmember Koretz has been working on obtaining funding for a collection of priorities he’s identified for the district and on issues he champions.The draft budget at least partially addresses several key Koretz recommendations, including funding for Planning Department staff to support the work of Design Review Boards, create and support Historic Preservation Overlay Zones, and to complete important planning projects to protect ridgelines and wildlife corridors.He also is seeking more funding for alley repairs, Clean and Green clean-up teams and the completion of a tree protection ordinance.

For City departments, Koretz is working to increase enforcement staff, spay-neuter funding and emergency call-in capabilities for Animal Services, and more staffing to help accelerate important work in Personnel, Cannabis Regulation and Emergency Management departments.He’s also pushing for more Building and Safety inspectors for hillside areas and staff to strengthen the City’s fight against wage theft.He has also proposed to create a Climate Emergency Mobilization Department to help the City increase its efforts to deal with the challenge of climate change.The extent to which these priorities will be addressed won’t be known until after May 17th, the deadline for finalizing a Budget and Finance Committee report with its official recommendations on revising the Mayor’s proposed budget to the full Council.

The committee’s goal is to have its recommendations ready for presentation to the full City Council by May 21st, with June 1st being the goal for Council adoption.



City of Los Angeles Sponsors Ovarian Cancer Genetic Testing Bill

The City of Los Angeles, led by Councilmember Koretz, is sponsoring Assembly Bill 2342 (Burke/Waldron), legislation ensuring that women who are high risk for ovarian cancer are assessed and receive genetic counseling.

Having a family history of ovarian cancer may increase a woman’s risk of having this and other gynecologic cancers because of certain mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene. A recent study by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that new technology now makes testing for these genes more affordable.

"It is imperative that all high risk women, even those without symptoms of breast or ovarian cancer, be identified and given the opportunity to receive screening, counseling and testing," said Assemblywoman Burke.

"Part of the reason for the high mortality rates of gynecologic and breast cancers is that detection often comes too late. All too often doctors do not offer early screening until symptoms occur, and that is due, in large part, to lack of insurance coverage," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz. "If early detection of the BRCA gene mutations are the difference between life and death and the tests are noninvasive, then there is no good reason why insurance companies shouldn't cover them," he emphasized. The City of Los Angeles passed a resolution in early April to become the official sponsor of the legislation.

The bill  recently passed out of the Assembly Health Committee on a unanimous vote and will soon be heard by the Appropriations Committee.

NEWS YOU CAN USE


The Boring Company: Information Session

The Leo Baeck Temple invites you to an information session featuring The Boring Company. Please attend to learn more about The Boring Company’s vision to alleviate soul-destroying traffic through Loop, a zero-emissions, high-speed, underground public transportation system!

Community members will have the opportunity to dig into The Boring Company, the Hawthorne-based tunneling company founded by Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla. During the information session, representatives will provide an overview of the company, Loop, Hyperloop, and their potential Los Angeles project.

Thursday, May 17, 7:00 PM

Leo Baeck Temple
1300 N Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049

We look forward to seeing you there.

Please RSVP using the link below.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-boring-company-information-session-tickets-45831660731



DISABLED PARKING PLACARD CRACKDOWN

In April, investigators with the California Department of Motor Vehicles issued misdemeanor citations to more than 380 people for fraudulently using disabled person parking placards.  According to the DMV, offenders had their placard confiscated and must appear in court to face possible finds ranging from $250 to $1,000 and will receive a notation on their driver record about the violation.

The DMV carries out as many as 24 enforcement operations each month in an effort to reduce the impact disabled person parking placard fraud has on the mobility of those with disabilities.

How does law enforcement know if someone might be misusing a Disabled Person Parking Placard?  Law enforcement verifies a disabled person parking placard by comparing its assigned number with its accompanying registration card, and a person’s driver license or identification card. Simply put, the person who is assigned the placard is the only one who can use it. 

It is ILLEGAL to:

  • Lend your placard to someone else.
  • Forge a medical professional’s signature.
  • Use someone else’s placard.
  • Possess or display a counterfeit placard or license plates.
  • Provide false information to obtain a placard or license plates.
  • Alter a placard or placard registration card.

If you suspect someone may be fraudulently using a disabled person parking placard, contact your nearest DMV Investigations office, email the DMV at placard.misuse@dmv.ca.gov or complete the online reporting form available at www.dmv.ca.gov. If possible, provide the placard’s issuance number, make and model of the vehicle, its license plate number, and the location where the suspected abuse is occurring. 

It is important to point out that not all disabilities are visible and allegations of misuse may be unfounded. 

The DMV has posters, brochures and videos that are available for download at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/about/dppp_outreach.



Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project Community Survey

Metro understands that getting between the Valley, the Westside and LAX can be very challenging. Building on the promise of voter-approved Measure M, Metro is working to improve these connections and offer new options for the more than 400,000 Angelenos who travel through the Sepulveda Corridor every day to commute to work, school, and other destinations.

Metro is currently conducting a Feasibility Study to identify and evaluate a range of high-capacity transit alternatives between the San Fernando Valley and LAX, with possible connections to existing and planned Metro bus and rail lines, including the Orange, Purple, and Expo Lines.

As the study gets underway, Metro needs your input to learn more about the travelers who currently use the Sepulveda Corridor, including the 405 Freeway, Sepulveda Boulevard and the hillside roads connecting the San Fernando Valley, Westside, LAX, South Bay, and other areas in the L.A. region. They would like to know more about travel times, destinations and what's most important to you when making this trip.   

We encourage you to take their short online survey, in English or Spanish, to help guide that work. As an incentive to participate, Metro is offering a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.



Seniors: Learn About Stroke Prevention

The Los Angeles Department of Aging will be offering an informational session Tuesday, May 22 from 2pm-3pm on stroke prevention. Information will be available in English, Russian and Farsi at the Pico Wooster Senior Housing, 1425 S. Wooster St.  For more information, please call (310) 271-5934.

Information about other useful classes and resources can be found by calling the Los Angeles Department of Aging at (800) 510-2020 (if calling within the City of Los Angeles only) or (213) 482-7252 or visit their website at www.aging.lacity.org.



Native Plant Poetry Contest

Enter LA Stormwater’s Native Plant Poetry Contest. Wax poetic about your appreciation for native California plants by submitting an original poem (haiku, limerick, sonnet, or tweet-length) about a native California plant you love that you have found in your garden, on a hike, or in a plant nursery.

Submit your poem to be entered into a random drawing to receive a $25 gift certificate to the Theodore Payne Foundation. All participants will receive a Discover Your Watershed Moment tote bag for entering.

Have a photo to accompany your poem? Submit a photo of the native plant featured in your poem.

CONTEST RULES: LA County Residents Only. Contest will close at midnight on May 31st.  The winner of the $25 gift certificate will be selected at random. Participants who enter are eligible to receive one canvas bag per e-mail address. Participants will receive a Discover Your Watershed Moment cotton tote bag in the mail.  Tote bags will be delivered after the contest deadline. Fill out the entry form here.

 

LA ANIMNAL SERVICES NEEDS YOUR HELP


Free Spay/Neuter for Cats and Kittens All Throughout the Month of May

LA Animal Services is excited to announce that they are offering Free Cat Spay/Neuter Certificates to all LA City residents, regardless of income levels, throughout the entire month of May!

By spaying or neutering your cat or kitten, you are helping LA Animal Services get one step closer to ending pet overpopulation in LA and also helping the Department place more animals in permanent homes. The Department will be issuing free certificates to spay or neuter your cat or kitten at no cost to you.  To learn more about how to apply for a Free Certificate, to read the rules and guidelines, and to find participating veterinary hospitals in your area, please visit LAspayneuter.com.

To locate your nearest services center, visit: http://bit.ly/LAASlocator.

Download our Free Spay/Neuter Flyer in English
Download our Free Spay/Neuter Flyer in Spanish

To apply and receive a Free Certificate the same day, you’re encouraged to visit your nearest LA City Animal Services Center. To receive a Free Certificate via email within one week, you can apply for a Free Certificate directly at lapets.net. This program is available for residents of the City of Los Angeles who are 18 years of age or older. Each household is eligible for Free Certificates for up to 3 cats. Free spay or neuter surgeries are for companion cats only: all feral and stray animals are excluded. Once a Free Certificate is received, it must be redeemed at a participating veterinary hospital within 10 days of issuance.

To learn more, visit: www.LAspayneuter.com



Volunteers Needed to Bottle Feed Unweaned Kittens

Unweaned, young kittens require extra care that only foster volunteers can provide. Our West LA and East Valley Animal Services Centers need bottle baby fosters to provide care for 1 day to 7 week old kittens. The shelters will provide training and supplies to foster volunteers. It's a rewarding experience, as well as a great learning opportunity for young children and families. "Kitten season" has just started and it will keep going throughout the summer. Please stop by the your nearest Animal Services Center Tuesday through Saturday from 8am to 5pm or Sunday from 11am to 5pm to learn more about bottle baby fostering and sign up as a foster volunteer. If you aren't able to foster, please consider donating an item from the list of much needed supplies on our website at: http://www.laanimalservices.com/kittenfostervolunteers/.


It’s Pick Pico Time Again!  Free Neighborhood Street Fair

Save the Date for the best Pick Pico ever! Pick Pico 2018 will be on May 20th, from 11am to 3pm. Look forward to great local food, local products, learn about your local government and non-profit organizations, and have lots of fun. With over 100 booths featuring food & drink, local businesses, non-profits, local government, & a huge kid zone, this street fair is fun for all ages. Located at the corner of Pico and Overland in West LA. Go to www.pickpico.org for maps and event schedules.

 

IN THE COMMUNITY


Israeli American Council Celebrate Israel Festival

On May 6th, Councilmember Koretz, members of CD5 staff and friends were among 15,000 Los Angeles community members who participated in the "Celebrate Israel Festival" on its 70th anniversary, hosted by the Israeli American Council. Similar events are taking place throughout the United States in April, May and June.

 
Councilmember Koretz and Scott Svonkin, Los Angeles Community College Trustee, with members of Los Angeles Hatzolah, a Jewish volunteer paramedic organization, and CD5 staff.   Councilmember Koretz presenting certificates onstage to Naty and Debbie Saidoff and to the event organizers at the IAC Celebrate Israel Festival


Ovarian Cancer Awareness

The Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired By Robin Babbini does so much in LA to educate women about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, support survivors and fund clinical studies at the UCLA G.O. Discovery Lab: Gynecologic Oncology Cancer Research Lab.

Last week CD5 Communications Director Alison Simard honored survivor and tireless Circle volunteer Donna Richards who worked with CD5 to sponsor California Assembly Bill AB 2342 (Burke) to require insurance companies to pay for BRCA screenings.

 



Carol Schatz Square

Joan Pelico, CD5 Chief of Staff, shared in the celebration honoring Carol Schatz at the corner of Wilshire and Hope. This intersection will now be known as Carol Schatz Square and it is a well-deserved recognition. As well as being a resident of CD5 for more than 40 years and a longtime friend to the Council Office, Carol headed the Central City Association and was the force behind Downtown's Renaissance.  Congratulations, Carol!!



Adopt Some Love

Looking for a new furry companion? Check out these LA Animal Shelter Dogs and Cats of the Week from the West LA & East Valley City Animal Shelters. Please come meet our dogs and cats – they need homes now. The shelters are open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 am to 5 pm and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm (closed Mondays). Click on any photo below for details.

 

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Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005