I am pleased to introduce you to two new members of the CD5 staff:
Debbie Dyner Harris joins us as our new District Director, spending time in both our Wilshire and Valley offices. She’ll be overseeing all District operations, supervising field activities, and generally making sure that the CD5 constituents are well taken care of. Debbie is a veteran of multiple City Council offices and has overseen field operations and land use for four City Councilmembers in three different parts of the City. In addition to working with the City of Los Angeles, Debbie was previously the Director of Programs and Government Relations for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, where she directed government relations programming, planned community outreach strategies, and oversaw the coordination and implementation of volunteerism, hunger policy and educational programs.
Debbie is a product of local universities, with a BA from UCLA in History and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from USC.
Hagu Solomon-Cary is our new Planning Deputy responsible for advising me on policy matters related to land use, zoning, and development throughout the District. She also coordinates projects in Bel-Air, Century City, Cheviot Hills, Rancho Park, West Los Angeles, and Westwood neighborhoods. Hagu works in coordination with Aviv Kleinman who continues to serve as Planning Deputy for Beverly Grove, Carthay Circle, Encino, Fairfax, and Melrose neighborhoods.
Hagu has a Master's degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor's degree in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis. She also holds a professional credential with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and has worked both in and outside of the public sector for the past ten years. Her work has focused on sustainability and resiliency as it relates to urban planning. She has worked with a national nonprofit providing consultation to various municipalities across the country and most recently for the LA Department of City Planning in Venice.
I hope you will join me in welcoming them to your neighborhood,
The LA City Council has been on summer recess. Committee and council meetings will resume on Monday, July 30, 2018.
Homeless Count Broken Down in More Detail
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has released more detailed results from the annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless County staged at the end of January. As usual, the numbers don’t always line up precisely with what CD5 residents experience in their neighborhoods from day to day.
Some of the perceived discrepancies appear to derive from the way neighborhoods are defined by LAHSA, which compiles the Homeless County data by Census tract and assigns the numbers to neighborhoods commonly understood to contain those tracts. Another factor is the mobility of people as they seek services, food and safe places to bed down. As expected, the vast majority of homeless persons in CD5 reside south of Sunset Boulevard.
Some key statistics released earlier by LAHSA indicated that the number of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles had dropped by about 3% since January 2017. This was largely due to a significant effort on the part of agencies and organizations to move a record number of homeless persons into temporary or regular housing. It’s especially noteworthy in the face of the affordable rental housing crisis which is so pervasive in Southern California. That crisis also contributed substantially to the large number of first-time homeless persons counted this year.
Councilmember Paul Koretz is working to address homelessness on all fronts. He is working with nonprofit developers to find suitable locations for Supportive Housing that can be funded by Measure HHH. He’s working with Mayor Eric Garcetti to site “Bridge to Home” temporary housing to get people out of encampments and into shelters. He’s working with LAHSA and private organizations to provide outreach services to unsheltered people and people living in vehicles, and to find Safe Parking opportunities for the latter. And he’s working with LAPD and other agencies to addresses any criminal activities and nuisances caused by a minority of homeless individuals.
The crisis is largely due to the Ellis Act, which helps developers evict tenants in order to demolish properties and build new ones. Sadly, it leaves many tenants who had been paying low rents unable to find affordable replacement units who are then vulnerable to becoming homeless. In addition, the Costa-Hawkins Act, which allows rent controlled units to go to market rate, also is a major contributor to homelessness. For example, when a 25-year tenant moves out (or somehow is evicted) who was paying $1,000 per month, the next tenant might pay as much as $4,000 per month in the current market, meaning every vacated affordable unit eventually becomes unaffordable) These laws need to be modified if we ever hope to end homelessness in Los Angeles (and elsewhere in California).
Here are the numbers for CD5 neighborhoods identified in LAHSA’s latest bulletin (including both sheltered and unsheltered persons, as well as neighborhoods shared with other Council districts):
|Bel Air/Beverly Crest:
||(primarily in CDs 4 and 13)|
||(primarily in CD6)|
||(shared with CD4)|
||(shared with CD11)|
|West Los Angeles:
||(shared with CD11) |
Los Angeles County Launches Homeless Outreach Portal Online and Through 2-1-1 Phone
Did you see someone experiencing homelessness who needs help? Notice a homeless neighbor who seems to be struggling with their physical and/or mental health? You can help them by filling out an outreach request at www.la-hop.org or by dialing 2-1-1 and reporting any specific concerns you may have regarding the person’s well-being.
LA-HOP (Homeless Outreach Program) is a service designed to assist people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County with outreach services. Calling LA-HOP will dispatch a homeless services outreach team to the area. Homeless individuals or others may call the line when seeking help for themselves or others. This program is funded by Measure H, the County of Los Angeles special sales tax increase passed by the voters in 2017 that specifically funds services, shelter, and permanent rental subsidies for people experiencing homelessness.
211 LA is the central source for providing information and referrals for all health, human services and social services in LA County. The 2-1-1 phone line is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, with trained Community Resource Advisors prepared to offer help with any situation, any time. If you are calling from outside Los Angeles County or cannot directly dial 2-1-1, call (800) 339-6993.
Urban Forest Management Plan - Public Input Survey
The City of Los Angeles is in the initial stages of developing an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) funded by a grant from CAL FIRE. Urban Tree Canopy cover in the City of Los Angeles is only 21%, lower than the national average of 26%, making the health and sustainability of the City’s park trees critical. The goal of the UFMP is to help guide the planting, care, protection, and sustainability of the City’s urban trees. The initiative represents a city-wide collaborative effort to better understand current urban forestry management needs. In order to ensure that the plan considers and incorporates resident priorities, the following survey is provided for your voice to be heard. We want to know where focus should be placed as the UFMP is developed. This survey will be collecting responses through August 10, 2018. We appreciate you taking part in this important process. Llink to the survey here: tinyurl.com/UFMPsurvey.
Complete Your Driver License Application from Home
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is now offering customers a convenient way to complete a driver license or identification (ID) card application before visiting a field office. The easy-to-use online application guides applicants through the process of filling out the required fields for a driver license or ID card. When customers arrive at a DMV field office, technicians can quickly access the completed form.
This new electronic form is a significant step in streamlining the process and should greatly reduce time spent in field offices. Scheduling an appointment can also reduce wait time even further.
In order to fill out the electronic application, customers will first need to create an account and then complete the DMV electronic driver license and ID card application. Customers will need an active phone number and email address to verify their identity through a secure two-factor authentication process.
The electronic application also allows customers to choose to be an organ donor and begin the process to register to vote. Voter registration will not be completed until an applicant visits a field office and submits the application with the DMV technician.
Customers can also use the Touchscreen Terminals at field offices to complete the electronic driver license and ID card application.
More information on the new electronic application is available at eDLapp.dmv.ca.gov.
Learn to Swim: L.A. City Expands Affordable SwimLA Program for Kids
Splash into a fun and healthy sport this summer with SwimLA! As a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks program, SwimLA offers affordable swim lessons for kids ages 4-17 at all City pools, all summer long. Swimming not only beats the summer heat – it teaches kids a lifesaving skill. Morning, afternoon and evening lessons are being offered until August 31. Scholarships are available.
Space is limited. Encourage your family members, colleagues and community to sign up today!
Register at www.swimla.org or call (323) 906-7953.
Toiletries Can Be Recycled, Too.
While some opportunities to safely recycle may be pretty obvious, others are not as intuitive. Los Angeles Sanitation has produced this quick video to demonstrate some common toiletries and other items in the bathroom that can and cannot be recycled.
10th Annual Taste of Farmers Market Honoring LAFD
"Celebrating a World of Flavor" was the theme of this year's 10th Annual Taste of Farmers Market supporting the First-In Fire Foundation. A shout-out goes to the brave men and women from our neighborhood Fire Stations 61 & 58 who partnered with the event for the third year in a row and served a most delicious firehouse chili that was prepared by local firehouse chefs. The evening featured flavorful bites, entertainment and community goodwill and all for an excellent cause.
Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of REALTORS
CD5 Director of Policy and Legislation Jeff Ebenstein was invited to speak on behalf of Councilmember Koretz at the Policy Committee of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of REALTORS. Jeff spoke about the Councilmember's work to provide housing and shelter for the homeless, solve traffic problems, protect the environment and provide city services to the residents of Council District 5. (Jeff photographed with BHGLAA Committee Chair Robin Greenberg.)
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.