Summer is officially here and City Council will be on recess from July 5th through July 26th. All of my offices will remain open to serve you.
In the meantime, I hope you will find time to enjoy some of the myriad of wonderful locations and events that Los Angeles has to offer during the summer months. Go to the beach or participate in our LA City park programs, like movies in the park and outdoor festivals. On hot days, remember that you can cool off at a museum or one of many Los Angeles Public libraries.
But before the inevitable heat waves start, please familiarize yourself with the resources that are available and make sure you have the supplies to keep you, your family and pets healthy and safe. I’ve included resources below about cooling centers among other News You Can Use.
And please remember, LEAVE FIREWORKS TO THE PROFESSIONALS!
Have a great summer!
Streetsblog LA: Metro Introduces Purple Line Extension Tunneling Machines
NBC VIDEO: Councilman Recommends Pulling Permits for E-Scooter Companies if They Don't Cooperate in Criminal Investigations
City News Service: LA Panel Backs Measure Requiring Advance Notice of Work Schedules
L.A. This Week: Press Conference Announcing Sunset Blvd Partial Closure for Yearlong Power Upgrade Construction
FROM THE DESK OF JEFF EBENSTEIN
DIRECTOR OF POLICY & LEGISLATION
Koretz and the City Council Look to Step Up Efforts to Address Homelessness
The CD5 office regularly receives complaints and inquiries about what Councilmember Koretz and the City are doing to deal with the explosion of homelessness we see all around us. The implication generally is that we’re not doing anything, or at least enough. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The last couple of weeks of June were big weeks for the City ramping up the amount of energy and resources being devoted to tackling homelessness.
The Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee (on which Councilmember Koretz sits) approved two reports to set a new plan for the clean-up of homeless encampments and illegal dumping into motion. This plan will expand the number of clean-up crews and interdepartmental HOPE teams and make it possible for clean-ups to take place on demand when requests are received from Council offices. It will also deploy trash receptacles at, and make mobile bathroom facilities available to, homeless encampments to address basic needs.
The plan is set to become operational after the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1st. Some new City workers will have to be hired and equipment procured, so it could take a couple of months before the Bureau of Sanitation is ready to roll the new plan out.
On Wednesday, June 26th, the Council devoted nearly four hours to presentations and discussions about the state of homelessness in Los Angeles. Putting data to work providing insights on what’s behind the reality we see on the streets every day, experts from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), Los Angeles County, the City’s Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) and the City Administrative Office (CAO) spoke for more than an hour about the 2019 Homeless Count (which found homelessness up 16% in the City), the status of various programs and the HHH housing program (which has now has 79 projects in the works), the A Bridge Home shelter program (3 sites open, another 15 in the works), and other ongoing efforts, such as the deployment of more hygiene and bathroom facilities.
During the ensuing discussion, Councilmember Koretz offered his thoughts and suggestions on a long list of issues and solutions meant to enhance and strengthen the work already underway:
- Homelessness Prevention: Use programs like “Right to Counsel” (proposed by Koretz in 2018 and expected to launch later this year) to stem the flow of people losing their homes into homelessness due to unjust evictions.
- Family Reunification: Prioritize reuniting people experiencing homelessness with their families.
- Increasing Efficiency of Housing Utilization: Employing roommate techniques such as “shared housing” and doubling up, make better use of existing or new housing to move people off the streets.
- Ellis/Costa-Hawkins Reform: Push the state legislature to approve modifications to the two laws most implicated in high rents and evictions often resulting in homelessness.
- Unpermitted Units: Use more aggressively the 2017 ordinance to allow bootleg units to be legalized.
- HHH Best Practices: Keep working to lower the per unit cost of new housing for the homeless through permit streamlining and innovative approaches to design and construction.
- Temporary Shelters: Look at whether City buildings could be used for temporary sheltering of the homeless.
- Section 8 Vouchers: Fully implement a City ordinance to prevent landlord discrimination against Section 8 tenants.
- Vacancy Tax: Continue to pursue a vacancy tax that would discourage intentional vacancy of habitable units for investment purposes.
- Short-Term Rental Units: As the Home Sharing Ordinance goes into effect on July 1st, work to expedite the return of rent-controlled units that are not eligible for home sharing to the regular rental market.
- State of Emergency: Escalate declarations of a State of Emergency regarding homelessness to provide the City with more flexibility to maximize its resources.
- Homeless Mentally Ill: Work with state legislators and regulators to provide local jurisdictions with more tools to deal with people experiencing both homelessness and mental illness.
- County Jail: Work with the County to provide treatment to mentally ill inmates in the County jail system (which already is considered the largest housing agency for the mentally ill in the U.S.).
- Homeless Individuals and Their Pets: Complete passage of the Koretz-proposed ordinance to require publicly-financed affordable and homeless housing projects to allow tenants to have pets.
- Foster Care: Push for reforms in the foster care system that currently produces thousands of homeless youth each year.
- Loss of Existing Affordable Housing: Work with the City Planning Department on strategies to reduce the number of affordable, rent-controlled units lost to redevelopment of properties.
- Safe Parking: Expand safe parking for the vehicular homeless with additional funding and by working to involve corporations and commercial property owners in voluntarily providing sites and covering expenses.
- Temporary Encampments: Allow the temporary use of prospective development sites for controlled encampments.
Of course, some of these ideas require more study and vetting in the communities of the city, and they don’t even represent the total of the ideas this Council office is working on relative to this issue. But Mr. Koretz’s point was that we need to become both more creative and energetic if we’re going to start making visible progress in reducing homelessness and making the lives of those experiencing homelessness and housed residents better in the meantime.
The Councilmember welcomes your constructive ideas for addressing these tough issues. They can be submitted to Paul.Koretz@lacity.org.
USO Army Anniversary & Veteran Recognition
On June 12th, City Council partnered with the USO to honor the anniversary of the US Army which was established June 14, 1775 by act of the Continental Congress.
Each Councilmember selected a US Army Veteran to honor. Councilmember Koretz was delighted to recognize Lieutenant Colonel Steve Embrich who retired from the United States Army Reserve on March 1, 2019, after twenty-nine years and eleven months of continuous service. Not only was he a hero in the United States Army but he continues to be a hero on the streets of Los Angeles as Patrol Captain of our beloved West Valley Division. On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, we proudly salute Lieutenant Colonel Steve Embrich and applaud his distinguished service to the United States.
Every year the Los Angeles City Council celebrates and recognizes June as LGBT Heritage Month and each Councilmember selects an honoree from their district who is making significant contributions to the LGBT community. The reception and Council presentation marks the kickoff for LGBT Heritage Month 2019 in Los Angeles.
This year, Councilmember Koretz honored Brad Kane, who is not only a native Angeleno and CD5 constituent but he is also an active representative of the Pico Neighborhood Council and works with our office on issues of employment law and landlord tenant disputes. Brad also serves on the Board of the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) as the first openly gay board member. As Brad quickly learned that even within the LGBTQ+ community, “bi+” people are often viewed with suspicion and mistrust. As a result, AIB promotes and funds scientific research, publishes an academic journal, conducts public outreach and education, and works to empower the building of “bi” communities. AIB’s social media engages millions of people every week, not only spreading accurate information about bisexuality but also creating bi visibility and modeling bi pride.
Among all of his advocacy, Councilmember Koretz recognized Brad for his life work including encouraging through litigation a Southern California public school district to: update and include LGBT people within in its non-discrimination policy; and to require 5 years of diversity training for administrators, facility, staff, employees and students. Moreover, Brad works to help Gender Non-Conforming Employees vindicate their rights in the workplace – including the right to wear a combination of what is traditionally viewed as men’s and women’s clothes.
Construction Along Sunset Blvd. in Greater Bel Air Area for Necessary Power Upgrade
On June 25th, LA DWP began Phase 1 of a construction project to improve underground power lines for the Bel Air, Beverly Crest, Westwood, and Holmby Hills communities. Phase 1 is taking place along Sunset Blvd. between the I-405 Freeway and Bellagio Road. At the same time crews are working along Sunset Blvd. between South Beverly Glen Blvd. and Carolwood Drive. These areas have experienced significant power reliability issues due to increasing demand. The circuits servicing these communities are operating at 120% capacity and the goal is to alleviate this with the installation of additional circuits. The project will take about a year and the Council office is working very closely with LADWP and assisting agencies to do everything possible to minimize the traffic impact. For more details click here. In addition, call the project hotline with any questions or concerns about this project, (213) 367-6045.
Councilmember Koretz continues to request that drivers stay away from the area during construction hours (Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
Overland Avenue Elementary Celebrate New Murals
Just as the 2018-2019 school year wrapped up, Overland Avenue Elementary school added two new murals to its campus. Designed with the help of students to cultivate a sense of ownership and pride in the community, the murals were made possible thanks to a partnership with Arts Bridging the Gap, a non-profit organization that works with local kids and police officers to foster positive relationships with law enforcement and increase quality of life to children in underserved communities. We are looking forward to many more collaborative programs and projects for our CD 5 schools in the 2019-2020 school year.
Career Day at Castle Heights Elementary
Thank you Castle Heights Elementary for inviting Councilmember Koretz's staff to participate in the Third Annual Career Day. School Liaison Monica Molina and Field Deputy Elizabeth Garcia had a wonderful time speaking to Mrs. Robles 4th grade class about their roles as City Council staff and talking to the students about ways students can be advocates for their communities at any age.
Fairfax High School Celebrates Successful First Year of Police Academy Magnet Program
Upon the successful completion of the first year of the Police Academy Magnet, Councilmember Koretz’s School Liaison Monica Molina and Director of Public Safety Greg Martayan had the pleasure of visiting Fairfax High School and meeting with Principal Adiekweh, Magnet Coordinator Kelly Cohen, and Teacher Michael Rubin. The Police Academy Magnet is a four-year program that focuses on a career in law enforcement and offers a wonderful curriculum of physical training, specialized forensic science and law classes as well as computer training. We look forward to collaborating on future field trips and schools visits for the upcoming school year.
Palms Intersection Gets Significant Safety Improvements
Councilmember Koretz, LA DOT, and community members commemorated the completion of safety improvements in Palms at the intersection of Overland and Rose Avenues. The project included the addition of a new traffic signal, two new continental crosswalks, and the installation of new street lighting. Councilmember Koretz extends his gratitude to Palms Neighborhood Council who have supported these safety improvements since the tragic death of a local area resident at this intersection. Thanks to LADOT Construction Engineer Mat Talag, Design Engineer Adam Driscoll, Design and Construction Senior Engineer John Varghese, Design and Construction Principal Engineer Bill Shao, Senior District Engineer Mohammad Blorfroshan (retired), LADOT Electrician Juan Montoya, the LADOT Field Crew, and the Department of Public Works for their involvement in the completion of this project.
PM Pediatrics Open on Pico Blvd.
||From left to right, Rachel Crook, RN Head Nurse, Jefferey Schor MD - Co-Founder, Field Deputy Elizabeth Garcia and Joshua Sherman MD- Regional Medical Director|
Councilemember Koretz's Field Deputy Elizabeth Garcia helped celebrate the grand opening of PM Pediatrics on Pico Blvd., the nation's largest provider of specialized pediatric urgent care. This newest location expands PM Pediatrics' national footprint of more than 30 locations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, with this first West Coast location. PM Pediatrics focus on patient and family services by providing after-hours specialized pediatric urgent care for children from newborns through college students.
Welcome to the Pico-Robertson community, PM Pediatrics.
Help foster an animal before July 4th
Every 4th of July, LA Animal Services shelters experience a spike of incoming dogs due to fireworks — dogs that escape their homes due to fear. These incoming dogs require space in the shelter which puts existing shelter dogs at higher risk for euthanasia.
Please consider fostering an available, adoptable dog for four days to make space for the incoming dogs. Not only would you help that shelter dog and the shelter, but you would also help the owners of those potentially lost dogs with the time to reunite with their beloved family member.Learn more at https://4daysforlife.com/
Be A 2020 Census Goodwill Ambassador
Do you want to help your community gain the funding and representation it deserves for the next 10 years? Become a Census Goodwill Ambassador and help ensure that everyone in Los Angeles counts in 2020. The Mayor’s Office has announced four volunteer training sessions throughout Los Angeles in June. Learn more here Sign up for a training session here.
HOME SHARING REGISTRATION EXPECTED TO BEGIN JULY 1ST
Beginning July 1st, hosts will be able to start registering for home-sharing in the City of Los Angeles.
Hosts who are currently operating will have until October 31, 2019, to register before the City begins enforcement. Hosts can register at any time during the July 1 to October 31, 2019, period.
In December 2018, the City Council adopted the Home-Sharing Ordinance (CF 14-1635-S2), establishing a regulatory framework to restrict short-term rentals to one's primary residence, in order to prevent the wholesale conversation of homes into rental properties. The Home-Sharing Ordinance requires hosts who wish to engage in short-term rentals to register with the City and post their registration number on all advertisements. Hosts must adhere to all requirements and must use the online portal to register. The portal will be accessible via the City Planning Department website at http://planning.lacity.org/, where complete information on the ordinance can also be found.
The Home-Sharing Ordinance prohibits any listing of a short-term rental without a valid home-sharing registration number (or pending status registration number). An initial notice of violation will be issued in situations where a listing without a registration number is identified. The non-permitted activity must cease within a specified time or else a citation will be issued, including possible fines.
Hosting platforms will be required to provide information to assist in the enforcement and removal of illegal listings. Additionally, both hosting platforms and hosts will be asked to maintain and provide written logs of all home-sharing activity.
The City Planning Department maintains a 24/7 Complaint Hotline at (213) 267-7788 for individuals to report any concerns or complaints.
The Home-Sharing Online Registration Portal is anticipated to become available on July 1, 2019, at which point eligible hosts can submit their application. Hosts will have 120 days to complete the registration process. During that time, the City will provide additional outreach and educational materials to raise awareness of the home-sharing registration process.
The City will begin enforcement of the Home-Sharing Ordinance on November 1, 2019. Individuals who continue to engage in or advertise short-term rental activity after that date without posting an approved registration number will be in violation of the Home-Sharing Ordinance.
5 Key Steps to Participate in Home-Sharing
- Verify eligibility criteria
- For renters and lessees, obtain a notarized affidavit signed by the property owner/landlord authorizing the Host's participation in Home-Sharing
- Gather relevant documents to demonstrate primary residency
- Complete online registration
- Post Home-Sharing Registration Number on all listings
For questions or additional information on the Home Sharing Ordinance, contact email@example.com.
Beat the Heat in Cooling Centers
The City of LA offers cooling centers where you can beat the heat. These cooling centers are in LA City facilities that offer recreation programming while you cool off. Cooling centers are open and available during regular hours of operation unless otherwise noted. The City Department on Disability works to provide reasonable accommodation to ensure accessibility and effective communications for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs at cooling centers. You can call 3-1-1 from within LA City or use the links below to find out more about cooling center locations and hours of operation. During extreme heat events, many of these facilities offer extend hours as safe havens.
Recreation and Parks Facilities
Recreation and Parks facilities like recreation centers, senior centers, and museums are open to the public and serve as cooling centers during normal hours of operation.
To find your nearest Recreation Center, visit: laparks.org/reccenter
To find your nearest Senior Center, visit: laparks.org/scc
To find your nearest LA City Swimming Pool, visit: laparks.org/aquatics
To find a Summer Night Lights location with late and/or weekend hours, visit: http://grydfoundation.org/programs/summer-night-lights/snl-sites/
Please call sites to confirm the air conditioning system is operational before arriving.
The Los Angeles Central Library and all branches serve as cooling centers during normal hours of operation, including Sunday hours at regional branches. Stop by to enjoy a book or browse the internet while you take a break from summer heat.
To find your nearest library branch, visit: lapl.org/branches
L.A. County Facilities
Los Angeles County and neighboring cities also operate cooling centers during periods of extreme heat. For more information about these locations, call LA County 2-1-1 or visit the LA County website for a listing of active cooling centers: http://lacoa.org/PDF/coolingcenters.pdf
Free DASH Bus Passes for LAUSD & LACCD Students Starting August 2019
Starting this August, all Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) students will have access to free DASH bus passes. This one year pilot program is part of a citywide effort to reduce barriers to education and to increase student ridership on public transportation.
Students must obtain a reduced fare TAP card via the Metro process, then when they TAP on LADOT DASH buses, they will automatically receive free rides.
“A lack of reliable transportation should never be a roadblock between students and their dreams,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Free DASH passes will help students get to class on time, save money for families who are struggling to make ends meet, boost school attendance, and empower young people to get involved with clubs or take a job that previously felt out of reach.”
Based on current ridership trends and projections, LADOT estimates that providing free DASH passes to LAUSD and LACCD students will increase student ridership by 10 percent. In other U.S. cities that have implemented similar initiatives, more than 90 percent of students have reported seeing clear benefits from free bus passes — including better attendance and improved grades.
You are invited to join the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates for the annual Budget Day at City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, June 29 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Registration and breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the 3rd floor rotunda. As breakfast concludes, guests will be invited into the John Ferraro Council Chamber for discussions on the City’s Budget, the changes and initiatives driving the FY 19/20 plan, including the actual process and timeline.
Speakers for the day will include Councilmember Koretz among other Elected Officials, Department Representatives, and Budget Advocate leadership. Following the general session, attendees will be invited to smaller working groups with members from their respective areas in the City to discuss their greatest concerns, thoughts and suggestions on how their quality of life and how to improve it.
Here, each person will be able to share their priorities and get a better understanding of the Budget process to understand how they can influence the decisions made by our elected officials. Current members of the Budget Advocates will help facilitate the discussion and ensure everyone’s thoughts are documented so the Committee can incorporate them into their process this fiscal year.
When the discussion is concluded, elections will be held to fill vacant seats on the Budget Advocate Committee. Elections are open to stakeholders who have been formally appointed as a Budget Representative by their Neighborhood Councils.
For more information on registering for the event, what’s involved in Budget Advocacy or general questions, email the Executive Committee at LABudgetAdvocates@gmail.com.
Adopt Some Love
Looking for a new furry companion? Check out these LA Animal Shelter Dogs and Cats (and Bunny) of the Week from the West LA & East Valley City Animal Shelters. Please come meet our animals – 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.