This Sunday, CicLAvia will be in Culver City + Mar Vista + Palms. I highly encourage you to bring your friends and family out on two wheels. It's fun to explore neighborhoods you might not otherwise visit or take time to soak in the unique qualities of a neighborhood you might otherwise pass through on your daily commute. CicLAvia is a wonderful way to meet local neighbors and experience unique atmospheres and flavors each area has to offer.
Don’t have a bike? No worries. LA Metro will have three tents along the route where you can borrow a Smart Metro Bike with your TAP card. Scroll down to the ‘Community News’ section for more details.
And be sure to stop by my table (at Motor & National) and meet me or a member of my staff. While you’re there, be sure to enjoy the Motor Avenue Farmer’s Market for refreshments or to stock up on some local produce.
LA This Week: LA Will Consider Giving Retail Workers A Break From Hectic Schedules
Beverly Press: Bridge housing for homeless moving forward
FROM THE DESK OF JEFF EBENSTEIN
DIRECTOR OF POLICY & LEGISLATION
This week, we were happy to see the growing influence of Councilmember Koretz's comprehensive fight against our global environmental challenges. A symposium was held at UCLA this past Monday in which one of its panels, "UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Research Symposium: LA County Natural and Urban Ecosystems," convened to discuss the Councilmember’s Wildlife Corridor and Biodiversity proposals.
His Biodiversity motion directs the city to establish a Los Angeles Biodiversity Index to catalog and measure the plants, animals, and insects which make up our regional ecosystem. The health of our biodiversity has a direct relationship to human health, having significant implications for the state of our food supply, our water supply and the air we breathe. By studying these aspects, we can better monitor the effects of pollution, the changing climate and how we can specifically target mitigation measures to protect and enhance our ecosystem and thereby to protect ourselves and our future.
The next topic was Councilmember’s proposal to establish a system of Wildlife Corridors in our hillside communities. Not only will this proposal protect wildlife connectivity and natural habitats in the hillsides, it will also protect from over-development. Open space and the protection of the Santa Monica Mountains has been a long time priority of Councilmember Koretz and these policies will provide the building blocks to ensure we are successful.
Councilmember Koretz Formally Opposes SB 50
This week, Councilmember Koretz introduced a resolution in formal opposition of California State Senate Bill 50 (Wiener) that ostensibly seeks to mandate upzoning in cities throughout California to increase affordable housing and density along transit corridors regardless of local jurisdiction’s zoning laws.
The resolution points out that SB 50 would allow construction of higher density multi-family housing developments near major transit stops that are out-of-compliance with local land use regulations and procedures and requests that the City of Los Angeles oppose the bill in its 2019-20 State Legislative Program, unless the bill is amended to exclude the City of Los Angeles from its provisions. Los Angeles already has its own increased density mechanisms that are being tailored to better fit the city’s many unique neighborhoods.
Councilmember Koretz pointed out that “While we all agree that we need to build more affordable housing, particularly near transit, SB 50 focuses mainly on the creation of market-rate housing and takes away planning oversight from local jurisdictions. Furthermore, Los Angeles is more progressive than many California cities in that it already incentivizes multifamily development through Measure JJJ and the Transit Oriented Community program – both of which could be set back if SB 50 becomes law. State control of local zoning undermines not only the integrity of cities and counties, but strips residents of their ability to engage in a meaningful planning and community building process. The passage of SB 50 would still threaten single-family neighborhoods in CD5 and elsewhere, where we could look forward to seeing tall narrow 4 to 5 story buildings towering over single-family homes until they are squeezed out and many analysts of the bill say they could still could be much taller."
Neighborhood Council Elections Coming Up
Many Los Angelenos are looking for ways to make a difference in their communities on the issues they care about most: crime, roads and streets, gangs and the economy. Neighborhood Council participants are empowered to advocate directly for real change in their communities. These Councils consist of residents, business owners, and property owners.
Neighborhood Council elections happen every two years. Together, LA’s 99 Neighborhood Councils form the grassroots level of the City’s government. While Neighborhood Council board members serve their communities as volunteers, they are public officials elected by the members of their community. In 2019, 94 of LA’s 99 Neighborhood Councils will participate in the election cycle.
Look below to find the Neighborhood Council district closest to you. There is still time to register your candidacy at many of them:
Bel Air-Beverly Crest: Candidate filing still open until 3/19/2019, Election on 6/2/2019
Encino: Candidate filing still open until 3/5/2019, Election on 5/19/2019
Greater Wilshire: Candidate filing closed on 1/15/2019, Election on 3/31/2019
Mar Vista: Candidate filing still open until 3/19/2019, Election on 6/2/2019
Mid City West: Candidate filing still open until 3/19/2019, Election on 6/2/2019
North Westwood: Candidate filing still open until 3/4/2019, Election on 5/16/2019
Pico: Candidate filing closed on 1/15/2019, Election on 3/31/2019
Palms: Candidate filing still open until 3/19/2019, Election on 6/2/2019
South Robertson: Candidate filing still open until 3/5/2019, Election on 5/19/2019
Westwood: Candidate filing still open until 3/19/19, Election on 6/2/2019
Westside: No election in 2019
Help Metro design our new bus system, and get a free TAP card*, you might even win a transit pass!
Come to any NextGen public workshop between now and March 19th to help redesign the bus system. You’ll meet with Metro staff, learn about the study and have an opportunity to share your thoughts on how to improve LA’s bus system. Metro wants your thoughts on bus routes, frequencies, day and times of operation. Stop in anytime during the workshop hours.
*Everyone will receive a free TAP card, while supplies last. We'll also be raffling additional Metro transit passes. Food and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit metro.net/projects/nextgen/upcoming-meetings or click here to find a location near you.
Build a LA Great Street in your Neighborhood
The City of Los Angeles challenges you and your community to re-imagine our corridors and apply for the Great Streets Challenge grant! This upcoming year, we’re awarding a total of $2.5 million to communities to develop creative and impactful ways of using our Great Streets as public spaces. Check out the Great Streets website here for more information. Applications are due on April 1st.
LADWP Introduces eComment Feature
Members of the public can now offer comments remotely on any agenda item or subject matter under the Board of Water and Power’s jurisdiction, This is important because constituents are not always able to attend Board meetings in person to give input to the Board for consideration. eComment provides another channel for stakeholders to weigh in on important issues. The eComment period opens at 10:00 a.m. on the Saturday before the scheduled Board meeting, and will close on the Monday before the meeting at 6:00 p.m. Comments are then exported into a report and distributed to the Board of Commissioners as well as those in attendance at the meetings. These comments become part of the official Board record just like all other public comments provided in person.
For more information on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners Board Meetings and to begin using the eComment feature, please visit www.ladwp.com/board.
The Board conducts regular meetings at 10:00 a.m., or as soon thereafter as a quorum is present, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month (or on the next business day when a meeting day falls on a legal holiday) in Room 1555-H of the John Ferraro Building (JFB).
This Sunday -- CicLAvia is Coming to Palms + Mar Vista + Culver City/ Don’t Have A Bike? No Problem.
CicLAvia transforms streets into safe, car-free spaces for thousands of people to bike, walk, play and smile. CicLAvia is free and connects people to communities and to each other. Join us March 3rd from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and be sure to stop by CD5’s information booth on Motor at National and meet our staff.
Don’t have a bike? No problem. Unlock the Westside with the NEW Smart Metro Bike.
Be one of the first to ride a Smart Metro Bike this Sunday at CicLAvia which you will be able to check out at one of Metro's three tents (located along the route in Culver City, Mar Vista and Palms.) The fastest and easiest way to ride a Smart Metro Bike is with your TAP card. Click the link below to register your TAP card before CicLAvia.
Here's a little bit more about the new bike:
Built for comfort and convenience. All Smart Metro Bikes will have a front basket and rear pannier compatible rack to carry your things, wide tires to keep your ride comfy and plush, and eight speeds to roll easily at any pace.
Lock-to Capable. Smart Metro Bike riders will be able to lock for free at any Smart Metro Bike station on the Westside. For a convenience fee, riders will also have the option to lock Smart Metro Bikes to any available public bike rack, giving riders access to a variety of destinations within the Smart Metro Bike service area. Convenience fees will be $2 to lock the bike to a public bike rack within the Smart Metro Bike service area and $20 to lock the bike to a public bike rack outside of the Smart Metro Bike service area.
TAP Integrated. Metro Bike Share’s integration with TAP will extend to the Smart Metro Bike. Unlocking a bike will be as simple as tapping your card to the screen on the bike. TAP users must be enrolled in Metro Bike Share, so be sure to register your TAP card and enroll on metro.net/bikeshare/tap. There you check the website or download the Metro Bike Share app for Smart Metro Bike service area boundaries, real-time station locations, and bike availability.
If you don't already have a TAP card registered for Metro Bike Share, purchase a TAP card at any Smart Metro Bike kiosk or stop by one of the Metro Bike Share tents along the route to sign up.
Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center Now Open
||Councilmember Koretz and LA County Supervisor Sheila Keuhl were proud to cut the ribbon to the grand opening of the Suicide Prevention Center located on West Olympic Blvd in Century City in Council District 5.|
Congratulations to Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services on the grand opening of the Suicide Prevention Center. The stigma that surrounds suicide prevents people (and their families) from getting the help they need. The Center is a visible representation of hope and lets Angelenos know that help is available. If you or someone you know is feeling alone, hopeless or thinking about suicide, please call the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Crisis Line at 877-727-4747. Crisis counselors are there to help 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.
On Sunday, February 24th, Joan Pelico, Councilmember Koretz's Chief of Staff, attended Thrive, an event hosted by City Attorney Mike Feuer with Valley Beth Shalom.
Joan’s good friend James Darren amongst other distinguished panelists, discussed how Seniors can stay healthy and productive. Topics covered included Health and Wellness, Alzheimers, Staying Active, Legal issues, Consumer Scams, and more. It was a wonderful event with a lively audience who engaged in the discussions. We will let you know when the City Attorney has another event like this one.
Beyond Neighborhood Councils
On Wednesday, February 27th, EmpowerLA hosted its annual Beyond Neighborhood Councils event. It was co-sponsored by Councilmember Koretz and Mid City West Community Council, and was hosted by the National Council of Jewish Women-Los Angeles.
Councilmember Koretz kicked off the event discussing the importance of civic engagement, his experience running for public office, and he encouraged those in attendance to consider running for Neighborhood Council and higher office. Then, the panel of city commissioners spoke about what it is like to be on a city commission in the City of Los Angeles, and how that ties into addressing the needs of constituents throughout the city.
CD5 Coalition’s Marcia Selz Launch of Her Book
Last weekend, Councilmember Koretz and several members of CD5 staff were pleased to honor CD5 Coalition’s own Marcia Riman Selz at a launch party for her book, At Vitoria: A City’s Medieval Promise between Christians and Sephardic Jews.
While many CD5 residents and stake holders know Marcia Riman Selz for her community role as founder and Chair of the CD5 Coalition, you may be interested to learn that she has had a long career as a marketing consultant to financial institutions. However, after a vacation in Spain, she felt compelled to write about the medieval city of Vitoria and its Jewish community. Selz is working on her next novel about growing up on the south side of Chicago. Congratulations, Marcia!
Roots to Grow
Councilmember Koretz and Mayor Eric Garcetti were delighted to welcome Roots to Grow, a transitional housing program for youth, to the community. Thank you to Safe Place for Youth & Venice Community Housing Center for their hard work and partnership in putting Measure H dollars into good use, to fight homelessness in Westwood.
Westwood Homeless Task Force
The Westwood Neighborhood Council, North Westwood Neighborhood Council and Westwood Community Council have created the Westwood Homeless Task Force for working together on solving homelessness in the community. Councilmember Koretz and staff met with the group to hear updates and to discuss collaborative goals.
Tocaya Moves Into Westwood
Congratulations to Tocaya Organica on their grand opening last week in Westwood Village at 1140 Gayley Avenue. Stop by for a delicious meal or sip one of their specialty margaritas.
Looking Good Malcolm Ave!
Thank you to Bureau of Street Service for giving Malcolm Avenue a whole new surface (between Santa Monica Blvd. and Olympic).
CD5 STAFF SPOTLIGHT
Encino Field Deputy Christopher Givens
Christopher Givens joined the office of Councilmember Koretz as a caseworker in the West Los Angeles district office in 2017. He recently has taken on a new role as Field Deputy for Encino, which is the valley portion of CD5. Chris is a firm believer in community development and feels that a community cannot grow with a single person. He also wants to help empower constituents by providing the tools to ease navigating the City process.
Christopher grew up in Southern California and is a native to the San Fernando valley. He attended the University of San Diego where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and minored in Journalism. During his college tenure, Christopher participated in several campus activities centered on politics, race, and society. Shortly after college, Chris interned with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works which sparked his interest in public sector. When Christopher is not at work you can find him playing with Duke, his Boston Terrier, and working out.
What do you love about working for a CD 5?
What I love about working for Council District 5 is that everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission. This truly creates a family environment where everybody is there for each other. The variability of my job is what continues to keep me going. It is always changing, always evolving and I get front row seats in watching that process. What I also like about my job is that my Chief of Staff makes it mandatory for guys to wear suits Monday through Thursday. These days, guys do not get many chances to rock a suit so it’s nice to play with fashion and always look dapper.
What is your favorite part about working in your community?
My favorite part of working in the community includes grabbing coffee with my constituents, hearing their stories and trying to figure out ways to support them by connecting them to other people I know. The best part of working in my community is being able to make a difference to people’s lives whether through implementing legislation or resolving issues. Over the course of being a Field Deputy, I have seen great accomplishments throughout the Encino community and I want to continue to be part of that. I love our Encino constituents and especially the Neighborhood Council, who challenge me to put pressure on the departments to get thing things done. Since I started as a Field Deputy they have truly been supportive.
What do you like most about your job?
Knowing that the work I do matters and seeing how the city runs and operates.
LA Animal Services Launches Instant Print-at-Home Spay/Neuter Vouchers
LA Animal Services has unveiled a new Print-at-Home option for free or reduced cost spay/neuter vouchers, saving community members a trip to the shelter to get a voucher, or waiting to receive one in the mail in celebration of World Spay Day. With this new process, a voucher will be in your inbox in moments, each with their own individual bar code to be scanned when bringing in your companion animals in for spaying or neutering.
Vouchers may be printed at home and brought into the nearest animal service center or participating veterinary hospitals, spay/neuter clinics and mobile spay/neuter clinics.
"It has never been easier to spay and neuter your pets," said Brenda Barnette, LA Animal Services General Manager. "With this new innovation, the process of receiving one of these vouchers is easier than ordering movie tickets online!"
"The new Print-at-Home voucher process is nothing short of a game-changer for current and soon-to-be pet owners of Los Angeles," said Councilmember Koretz. "This new convenience will make today, and future World Spay Days, easier to take part in for all Los Angeles City residents."
Free Spay & Neuter Certificates (vouchers) and Discount Spay & Neuter Coupons are available for Los Angeles City residents online, and at all six LA City Animal Services Centers. Each household is eligible for discounts for three dogs and three cats per household. Feral cats and stray dogs do not qualify for this program.
More information about our spay/neuter program, as well as general benefits of the procedure, can be found online at http://www.laanimalservices.com/general-information/spay-neuter.
What Goes In Your Blue Bin?
Here’s a quick guide for common recyclable items. Ensure all items are CLEAN and fully EMPTIED. For more information go to recycLA.com
March 14th - Town Hall with State Senator Ben Allen
The Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council is hosting a Town Hall to meet Senator Ben Allen on March 14th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Dr.
Please RSVP to Colby.Harriman@sen.ca.gov.
March 24th - Purim Carnival
The Valley Beth Shalom Youth Department Purim Carnival is just around the corner and they are asking for YOUR HELP!
Each year all proceeds from the Purim Carnival go directly to sending VBS teens and youth to Summer Israel Programs and Jewish Summer Camps.
By becoming a Sponsor or Donor of the Purim Carnival, you become a part of this Scholarship Legacy!
Click here for more
March 24th - Los Angeles Marathon
The 2019 Los Angeles Marathon will take place on Sunday, March 24, 2019, https://www.lamarathon.com/. The racecourse has not changed in the past few years - the map is available by clicking this link. The race course begins at Dodgers Stadium and finishes up by the sea in Santa Monica, passing through and near many ionic Los Angeles areas and places.
The Marathon has HUGE impacts on the traffic. Here is where to find STREET CLOSURE as well as FREEWAY CLOSURES lists as provided by the LA Marathon website - https://www.lamarathon.com/race-weekend/street-closures.
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, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed Mondays). Click on any photo below for details.