It’s Spring! Have you noticed the wildflower super bloom or the amazing migration of Painted Lady butterflies? These uniquely beautiful flora and fauna are an integral part of what makes Los Angeles a truly special place to live.
Speaking of Spring, keep reading below to learn about last week's Nowruz celebration in City Hall and about some of the spring cleaning and even planting we are doing in our neighborhoods.
Jewish Journal: Koretz Among Those Condemning West Valley Anti-Semitic Flyers
City News: City Council Committee Supports Developing Green New Deal for L.A.
L.A. This Week: Nowruz (Persian New Year) Celebration at City Hall
World's First “Climate Emergency Mobilization Department Moves Forward As LA Council Weighs in With Its Own Green New Deal
Councilmember Koretz/ Leap LA Coalition Provide Grassroots Solutions to Climate
In a hearing packed with community members, the City Council’s Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee (ECCEJ) unanimously agreed to move forward a variety of proposals to create the world’s first Climate Emergency Mobilization Department (CEMD). This new department will have a mission "to protect all residents, especially the most vulnerable, from the health and economic impacts of the climate crisis by ensuring a rapid and equitable just transition... and the right to a healthy, egalitarian quality of life for future generations." While the work creating this department has preceded the proposed federal Green New Deal, the CEMD can be the mechanism by which LA’s version of a Green New Deal can quickly and effectively be developed, implemented and the necessary regional mobilization on climate action launched.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez, ECCEJ Committee Chair and initiator of the City’s Green New Deal legislation, presided over the hearing and directed the city departments to report back on several fundamental implementing steps for the creations of the CEMD. Top priorities included coordination to establish a ”Green New Deal” for the City and budgetary and staffing requests necessary to establisht the Department.
During consideration of the issue, Chairwoman Martinez explained that "the environmental movement started decades ago, but generations of Angelenos who live in frontline communities have for just as long, been left out of the discussion. Recognizing the urgency of addressing climate change, my colleagues and I are committed to tackling the environmental and social burdens in the very same frontline communities that have been most impacted by climate change."
The proposed first steps of establishing the CEMD include developing and executing a series of “Community Assemblies” planned in the most at-risk communities throughout LA to hear, engage and cultivate community involvement. The goal will be to meaningfully integrate community knowledge into a city-wide mobilization effort, to develop a Climate Emergency Mobilization Action Plan (CEMAP), and to accelerate the City’s existing goals of meeting the 12-year deadline set by the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 1.5 C report.
Since the legislation to create the CEMD was introduced by Councilmembers Koretz and Blumenfield in January 2018, 400 councils from across the globe have recognized the staggering realities of the world's climate crisis and declared climate emergencies including Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond, and, in December, London, England.
The Leap LA Coalition includes: Communities for a Better Environment, Physicians for Social Responsibility/Los Angeles, The Climate Mobilization, Esperanza Community Housing, 5 Gyres, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), The Leap, and a member of AIM, the American Indian Movement, National.
Council Confirms Jessica Caloza to Public Works Commission
Councilmember Koretz was honored to vote with his City Council colleagues to confirm Jessica Caloza last week as the newest member of the Board of Public Works Commissioners. Ms. Caloza brings a wealth of experience to the Board as she was a key member of the Mayor’s Executive team, served in the Obama Administration, and worked as an aide to several members of Congress. Congratulations on your appointment, Jessica.
Last Friday, Councilmember Koretz was proud to lead the City Council presentation to celebrate Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. He was joined by Mayor Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Controller Ron Galperin and State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.
Nowruz is a chance to celebrate the first day of Spring and the possibility of fresh starts all around us. May everyone have a prosperous Nowruz!
Mediation Awareness Week
This marks the 15th year that the City Council has recognized Mediation Awareness Week in Los Angeles.
Mediation is necessary because people need forums other than our courts to resolve conflict which otherwise would need to be resolved in the courts or arbitration which can be unnecessarily costly, time consuming and complex. In mediation, parties in a dispute can often agree on a resolution, under the guidance of a skilled mediator, thereby avoiding the need to seek a decision from a judge, jury or arbitrator. The option of mediation for people experiencing conflict in their personal or professional lives is of great value to them, their families and communities.
The City of Los Angeles now has a substantial number of professionally trained mediators providing dispute resolution services to those in need of such services. What matters is that we, as a community, and as a society can come to a common place, no matter how much disagreement is in the air, so we can work out our issues amicably and productively. Litigation and arbitration should be a last resort only after all mediation efforts have been made.
Honoring Susana Reyes Upon Her Retirement
||Councilmember Koretz offers gratitude and celebration of Susannah s work and commitment to the city's sustainability programs. Also pictured is Masters-of-Ceremonies for the celebration Martin Schlageter, our friend from the Council District 14 staff.|
Councilmember Koretz helped bid farewell this week to his friend and one of the City's longtime environmental and social justice champions, Susana Reyes. After 32 years, Susana has decided to retire and spend more time with her family and especially her grandchildren.
An alumnus of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Susana has had pioneering roles with the City, as manager of the City's highly-successful Facilities Recycling Program, the Mayor's Electric Vehicle Liaison, and, most recently, the LADWP Director of Low-Income Customer Access.
Additionally, she currently serves as the Vice President of the National Sierra Club Board of Directors and, in 2017, was part of the first-ever all-female Executive Committee in the organization's 126 year history. She has also been instrumental in making the Sierra Club PAC an effective force in ensuring environmentally-inclined candidates get elected to office all around California. We're all going to miss Susana and are grateful for the wealth of contributions she has made to the City of Los Angeles.
Women’s History Month
In recognition of Women’s History Month, some of CD5's female staffers had the opportunity to attend a special presentation hosted by Councilwoman Nury Martinez (CD6) and California Governor Gavin Newsome’s "First Partner" Jennifer Siebel Newsom. Ms. Newsom gave an inspirational talk about the importance of paving the way for young women in politics and business and about the importance of gender balance and respect.
And what is leadership in Los Angeles without our Neighborhood Councils? On the same evening, CD5 staff women were thrilled to pay tribute to our friend Robin Greenberg, President of Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council, who received the 2019 Empower LA Award from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. Robin was also CD5’s 2017 Pioneer Woman of the Year.
Homeless Resource Fair: Learn How You Can Help Solve Homelessness in LA
Homelessness in LA is a complex issue. So many people want to help solve homelessness in their communities, but don’t know where to start. Our Homelessness Resource Fair is a starting point where Angelenos can learn how to make a difference right away.
Participants will be able to connect to other local homelessness advocates and organizations that provide homeless services, and learn how you can extend these services to homeless neighbors in your own community. At the Fair, attendees will also hear from government agencies which will present updates on their projects and policies, including Measures H and HHH, and A Bridge Home.
A hygiene product drive will also be part of the event, so participants are asked to bring toiletries for donation.
If you'd like to participate in the Resource Fair, please RSVP at this link, and reserve your free parking space: http://tiny.cc/LAHRF
Homelessness Resource Fair
Saturday April 20th
9 am – 1 pm
200 N Grand Ave, DTLA
*** take Metro to Civic Center Station or RSVP at link below to reserve your free parking ***
LA Metro Wants Your Input on the Draft 2019 Public Participation Plan by April 12th
Public outreach and community engagement are fundamental and mandatory activities for Metro. Metro staff have released the draft Public Participation Plan (PPP) for 2019 and the agency wants input from the public before bringing it to the Metro Board for their consideration later this year.
Anyone can submit comments about the draft Plan until April 12th. Share your voice to help shape Metro's outreach in communities.
How to submit comments by April 12:
In-Person – attend one of the meetings where the Plan will be presented and oral and written comments at the meeting will be recorded.
Mail – Address the letter to:
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Community Relations
Attn: Michael Cortez
One Gateway Plaza, MS 99-13-1
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Email – Send comments to email@example.com
Online Comment Form – Submit a comment online here.
For more information, visit their website at www.metro.net/about/special-projects/public-participation-plan/
Seismic Retrofit for Westwood Senior Facility
Councilmember Koretz and his staff last week had the opportunity to tour the first non-ductile seismic retrofit project in the City of Los Angeles at the Watermark senior facility in Westwood. The $22 million budgeted project is being used not only for building safety improvements that include asbestos and mold removal, but also for making the building earthquake-safe. We look forward to having the Watermark Senior Facility open next Summer, with 189 units available for Seniors.
Melrose Action Public Safety Updates
CD5 Director of Public Safety Greg Martayan and District Director Debbie Dyner-Harris spoke at the latest Melrose Action community meeting. They were joined by LAPD Wilshire Community Police’s Captain Roberts, Senior Lead Officer Ken Price, and burglary and gang detectives.
A number of issues were addressed including recent robberies in the neighborhood. Latest crime statistics were provided showing that crime is down overall in the City, although specific neighborhoods have shown a recent uptick in burglaries. All of the speakers provided tips on public safety and especially reminders to never hesitate to report crimes and nuisances to the police. These reports help to solve and reduce crimes. Thanks to Melrose Action and Blu Jam Cafe for hosting the event.
Holmby Park Advisory Board
The parks and green spaces of Los Angeles are the lungs of our City. Thank you to the Holmby Park Advisory Board for tirelessly volunteering to keep Holmby Park, the jewel of #Westwood, beautiful and vibrant.
Westwood Village Makes Recycling Attractive
The Westwood Village Improvement Association (WVIA) is taking recycling to the next level! Their new recycling program is the first of its kind in the City of Los Angeles with custom made receptacles maintained by WVIA maintenance crews. The receptacles feature Westwood Village branding that touts the area’s historical significance. The Association has done a terrific job working to make these attractive recycling bins available throughout the Village. This is a great opportunity to spread awareness of and participation in recycling in Westwood. The WVIA is also encouraging folks to go green and blue at work and at home, making Westwood cleaner while protecting the environment.
Re-Landscaping Comstock Hills Medians
|Councilmember Koretz was excited to kick off the re-landscaping of Santa Monica Blvd in Comstock Hills where native plants were placed on more than 50% of the median. Thank you to the Comstock Hills HOA for partnering with our office to make this great neighborhood beautification a reality.
Inaugural Teen Court Hearing at Hamilton High
Councilmember Koretz and staff were treated to an inspirational and educational experience last week at Alexander Hamilton High School’s Teen Court inauguration.
The Teen Court program is a juvenile diversionary experience for youthful offenders who commit low level offenses. Over 33 high schools in Los Angeles County participate in the Teen Court Program, and over 80 Superior Court judges volunteer their time to the program. Councilmember Koretz was delighted to speak to the students and welcome Teen Court to his alma mater in CD5. He is also extremely proud to have helped fund this program that offers kids a chance to have a fair peer review considering compassionate & realistic consequences while teaching kids about the judicial process. Thank you to co-alumnus Judge David S. Wesley and all the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to bring this program to Hamilton High. For more information on how to support the Teen Court Project for Justice Program, please visit their website at: www.LATeencourt.com
Career Day at Hesby Oaks School
It is always a pleasure for Councilmember Koretz and his team to stop by and visit local CD 5 schools. This week, Monica Molina, CD5's School Liaison, along with Encino Field Deputy Christopher Givens and Greg Martayan, CD5's Director of Public Safety, participated at Hesby Oaks' Career Day where they spoke to the students about their roles in the Council Office and encouraged them to become active ambassadors for their communities. We thank all the wonderful parent volunteers who helped make this event possible.
Crespi Carmelite Hosts CD5 Staff
We are also very proud to have Crespi Carmelite Preparatory School in our Encino neighborhood of CD5. Crespi has been shaping the minds of Los Angeles young men since 1959. Thank you to Jeff Thornton, Vice Principal of Student & Campus Development, for hosting Encino Field Deputy Christopher Givens, School Liasion Monica Molina and Public Safety Director Greg Martayan and providing a tour of your wonderful campus.
Dockless Scooter Update and Warning
Last week, LADOT launched its Dockless Mobility Pilot and issued one-year permits to three operators - Bird, Lime, and Spin. Eight additional applicants are working toward compliance with the Council approved rules and guidelines, and may be permitted by April 15th. This means that Los Angeles is about to experience a huge influx of e-scooters and bikes for rent, and will unfortunately have the nation’s largest fleet of electric scooters and bikes for rent. This means that pedestrians and drives will need to be extra vigilant on the road. As well, scooter riders need to be responsible and respectful operators by following these safety guidelines.
Be sure to check out the newly published Dockless Mobility website that provides additional information and answers to FAQs.Report Poorly Parked or Abandoned Scooters via 311
Now you can report improperly parked or abandoned scooters (or other dockless vehicles like e-bikes) to MyLA311 - LA's one-stop-shop for requesting City services! Simply select "Dockless Mobility Enforcement" from the Transportation service request list on the MyLA311 mobile app or website, or dial 3-1-1 from any LA telephone.
Purple Line Extension Construction Temporary Partial Closure of Wilshire/ Crescent Hts
Plan your weekend commute accordingly. From Saturday, March 30 to Monday, April 1, westbound Wilshire Blvd. between Fairfax Ave. and San Vicente Blvd. will be closed to through traffic. This closure supports the installation of monitoring wells in the Wilshire/Crescent Heights area.
Leash Laws Matter
We join our City in mourning the death of a young boy who was hit by a car this week, as the well-meaning driver dodged a loose dog in the street and ended up striking the boy. LA Animal Services reminds our community that dogs must be on a leash or confined to your yard or home at all times.
Los Angeles City Municipal Code (LAMC 53.06 Animals at Large) states:
"No person owning or having possession, charge, custody or control of any animal, except cats which are not in heat or season, shall cause, permit or allow the animal to stray, run, or in any manner to be at large in or upon any public street, sidewalk or park, except as otherwise expressly provided in section 63.44 of this Code, or in the bed of the Los Angeles River or upon any unenclosed lot or land."
Simply stated, dogs must be on leash unless they are in your fenced yard or at a dog park that allows off leash exercise.
Dogs found roaming the streets unattended will be picked up, impounded, and owners/ guardians may be fined and charged impound fees to retrieve their pet.
If you see a stray dog roaming the street, please call 888-452-7381 and PRESS 1 to report them to the Department of Animal Services. If the dog is friendly and already in your care, please go to your nearest animal shelter so that they may be scanned for a microchip.
For more information on LA Animal Services visit: http://www.laanimalservices.comLeashing your dog is not only the law - it is a necessary safety precaution for your dog and everyone around you.
Valley Villagers Choir - April 6th
Love to sing? Looking for new ways to get to know your neighbors? Valley Villagers Choir in Valley Village is reaching out to adjacent neighborhoods seeking fellow crooners, choralists, minstrels and chanteuses to join in the harmony.
Valley Village Choir rehearsals begin April 6th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. RSVP for the exact location in Valley Village.
Walk or Donate to Walk for Kids - April 7th
Walk for Kids™ is a fun, family-friendly 5K walk event designed to help raise funds for the services and programs provided by West Los Angeles Ronald McDonald Family Room and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California. Be a hero by making a donation or walking in support of local children and families! Donations will go towards a "Family Room" within UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital that provides a respite for the families to retreat to while still being close to their kids.
The West Los Angeles Ronald McDonald Family Room Walk for Kids will take place on Sunday, April 7th, 2018 - 7:00 a.m. at UCLA's Dickerson Court South, located at 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095. For more information, please visit: www.walkforkids.org/westla
Westwood Connect Day - April 24th
Connect with City, County, State, and nonprofit agencies to receive free services on April 24th, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Westwood Recreation Center, 1350 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Food, haircuts, and clothing will be provided. If you would like to volunteer, please e-mail Jessica Salans (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call her at 213-300-8233. For more information, e-mail Erin Schneider (email@example.com) or call her at 310-231-1170.
Pick Pico 2019 - May 19th
SAVE THE DATE! REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!
Pick Pico 2019
Sunday May 19, 2019 11am-3pm
Corner of Overland and Pico
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.