September 27, 2019   

Dear Friends,

Wishing everyone L’Shana Tovah or simply Happy New Year!  This week we held an early Rosh Hashanah celebration of the Jewish New Year, 5760, that will begin this Sunday evening. 

Rosh Hashanah is a joyous time when families and friends join to celebrate the possibilities that come with a brand new year. Rosh Hashanah is also a time when we can and should reflect on the events of the previous year, lessons learned and make a note of our growth emotionally and spiritually as individuals, as a people, and as a nation.

I was proud to once again co-host the day’s festivities of food and services at City Hall with Councilmember Blumenfield, City Controller Ron Galperin and City Attorney Mike Feuer.  Thank you to the Jewish Federation who brought food and honored several non-profit organizations that work for the betterment of the Los Angeles community.

Click here to see LA This Week’s coverage of the City Hall Rosh Hashanah celebration.


Paul Koretz


LA This Week: Peace Angels Project: Weapons Taken Off The Street For Art

CurbedLA: City Orders Demo Work to Stop on Eva Gabor's Longtime Home in Holmby Hills

Spectrum News: Housing Bill Aims to Speed Up Construction and Ease California's Housing Crisis


As the U.N. Convenes For Climate Action, the L.A. City Council Takes Its Own Climate Action

As the United Nations Climate Action Summit convened in New York City this week to address rapid decarbonization in the face of continuing record global climate emissions and ever-worsening climate disasters like Hurricane Dorian in Bermuda and the horrific Amazon rainforest fires, the LA City Council moved forward several of Councilmember Koretz's climate-related motions this week.  The Brazilian rainforest fires have been directly linked to cattle ranching and industrial agriculture that feeds those cattle. The plastics industry has announced plans to build $180 million in new plastics manufacturing facilities at a time when plastics in our oceans continue to dangerously increase.  The production of plastic, which uses tremendous amounts of natural gas and oil, has a massive greenhouse gas footprint. The City’s purchasing policies have been successfully used to positively influence food production, now we are aiming to improve the environmental quality of all our purchasing. Lastly, Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) has lost significant court cases over its controversial defoliant, Round Up (aka, glyphosate), so the City is addressing its use in order to protect City workers and the environment.  The climate-related motions that moved forward are:

  1. Reports on Citywide polystyrene use and possible elimination (co-authored by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield). 
  2. Vegan protein options to be required at LAX, large entertainment venues and City concessionaires (one more committee to go).
  3. Strengthening the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy (with Councilmember Paul Krekorian). Including adding California's Buy Clean Policy.
  4. Ban on Round Up use by City (led by Councilmember Mike Bonin who co-authored this motion with Councilmember Koretz), which will go to City Council next. 
  5. Leash Your Lid and 75% recycled content required in plastic bottles for sale in LA.
  6. Formation of Organics recycling/composting implementation team to expand our excellent pilot which is already sending food and plant waste to a composting facility in the Central Valley, which farmers are already using on their crops and building healthy carbon-sequestering soil. Also to make use of new local anaerobic digestion facilities by the RecycLA Service Providers.  Anaerobic digestion breaks down food waste and turns it into biogas, which can be used to create power and eliminate methane, a particularly dangerous climate gas (with Councilmember Paul Krekorian).

Thank you to so many who came out to testify, call, write or otherwise support these multiple issues.

A Visit from His Holiness Mar Gewargis III, the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church on his first trip to Los Angeles

Councilmember Koretz was joined by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield in welcoming his Holiness Mar Gewargis III to Los Angeles City Hall for a special City Council presentation marking the completion of a 3-month tour of the United States that began on the east coast and Washington D.C. where he was invited to provide consultation and insight on the Assyrian people.


Also hosting His Holiness in Council Chambers was the leadership of St Mary’s Assyrian church from Tarzana that includes his Grace Mar Aprim Khamis the Bishop of the Western Diocese U.S.; and the Very Reverend Father George Bet-Rasho, Cor-Bishop and Rector of St. Mary’s Parish.

Today there are approximately 50,000 Assyrian Americans living in California and more than 10,000 in Southern California.  And even with hundreds of thousands of followers throughout the world, Los Angeles has one of the largest and most vibrant Assyrian populations outside of the Middle East.  Of those, we have a significant population in CD5’s Encino area and in Tarzana, the area that Councilmember Blumenfield represents. 

This first visit to the US (and especially last week's visit to Los Angeles’ City Hall) was an extraordinarily significant and sacred opportunity for these parishioners to meet his Holiness in person as he has spent the last decade in Iraq caring for the persecuted Assyrian people who have endured undue suffering at the hands of terrorists. 
Moreover, the festivities marked an opportunity to connect to a worldwide displaced Assyrian Nation to reflect upon its 2000 year history, celebrate its unity with over a million brothers and sisters scattered all over the globe in culture and faith with a message strengthened with hope for a brighter future.


Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan Visits City Council Before Addressing Thousands in Grand Park

Councilmember Koretz and colleagues were honored to meet with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan last Sunday in Council Chambers before he stepped outside to address approximately 10,000 people in a rally marking his first visit to Los Angeles, the largest Armenian population center outside the Republic of Armenia.

While estimations of the Armenian population in Greater LA vary, the 2000 census reported over 150,000 Armenians in LA County with some 40,000 living in the San Fernando Valley. 

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Adam Schiff were also among the elected officials on hand to welcome Prime Minister Pashinyan to Los Angeles. Click here to watch the video on LA This Week.


The "4 a.m. Bar Bill" (SB-58) is Closed For Business, For Now.

On September 14th the California State Assembly voted to put a stop on SB 58 (35 members voted NO, and 29 voted YES, and 15 members did not vote) another way of making sure the bill's author would be handed his third failure in three years of attempting to establish a so-called "pilot project" to give some California cities the ability to extend last call at bars, restaurants, and clubs.  Councilmember Koretz stated, "This is a huge victory.  The California Assembly chose the safety of its residents over profits for alcohol-related businesses. I am proud of their actions and of the coalition that fought to oppose this dangerous bill."

Councilmember Koretz has been the primary elected official leading the way to defeat this dangerous piece of legislation that would allow local jurisdictions to extend drinking hours from 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.

Councilmember Koretz has repeatedly said, "No good can come from serving alcohol until 4 a.m."  This bill would have caused more DUIs, more drunk driving injuries and more alcohol related deaths. Moreover, he has explained that “no district is an island" because while the author has campaigned that this is a bill that leaves final authority up to local discretion, its impacts would spill over into adjacent jurisdictions that would end up with the very expensive public safety bill - the cost of life and death.

We must all remain vigilant as we can expect this "zombie bill" to be resurrected again soon. 

Councilmember Koretz Announces Peace Angel Monument Project for Los Angeles Made Entirely of Firearms

Councilmember Paul Koretz held a press conference to announce that a coalition of Los Angeles-area community leaders will oversee the creation and installation of peace-themed monuments made entirely of seized and repossessed firearms.

The Peace Angels Monuments will be designed by artist Lin Evola, who started the Peace Angels Project more than 25 years ago. The installations are intended to deter people from engaging in gun violence.

“People are frightened. I have a staff member whose teenage son told his mom that he would rather have a bulletproof backpack than the computer he was hoping for,” Koretz said. “While my colleagues and I have pushed against the gun lobby, there are those building a different kind of activism to recognize the loss and help build hope.”

The largest monument will be 64 feet tall and placed in downtown Los Angeles. Another 12 monuments, which will be designed to reflect local culture, will be placed throughout the city and will stand 11 feet tall. Only weapons seized in the city of Los Angeles will used for the smaller, cultural monuments.

“I know the power of art. I know the responsibility of what art is, and it has an amazing, remarkable power to change people’s hearts,” Evola said. “You look at any great art … and you will see how it marked that time period in humanity, and you will see the message going forward.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department donated thousands of confiscated weapons to be used by the Peace Angels Project to create the downtown monument. According to project officials, more than five tons of weapons have been donated to the Peace Angles Project by the Sheriff’s Department over the past two years.

The organization’s goal is to collect 1 million weapons, including handguns, rifles and automatic weapons.

Evola said she is still looking at locations for the monuments, which are being funded by private donors.

The artist also created the 13-foot Renaissance Peace Angel sculpture, which is part of a permanent collection at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York and has been on display at the museum since 2018.

Peace Angels Project organizers are also planning to install peace monuments in New York and San Francisco. Each custom-designed monument will stand atop a 100-foot-by-100-foot labyrinth with a narrative about the site on which the monument sits.

  The coalition created to oversee the project includes Councilmember Koretz; Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva; Steve Whitmore of the Los Angeles County Assessor’s office; Fabian Garcia, the director of government affairs for Homeboy Industries; and Tess Cacciatore, the founder of the Global Women’s Empowerment Network.

Los Angeles Lights Up TEAL for Ovarian Cancer Awareness

  City Council Members Paul Koretz (CD5), Nury Martinez (CD6), and Monica Rodriguez (CD7) co-host a commendation presentation of the Ovarian Cancer Circle for the third year in a row in a September City Council meeting.

For the third year in a row, Councilmember Koretz co-hosted a City Council presentation to commend The Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini, UCLA gynecologic oncologist Dr. Sanaz Memarzadeh, and a group of ovarian cancer survivors. In addition, Los Angeles City Hall was illuminated with teal colored lights on its façade for three nights for Ovarian Cancer Awareness, starting September 18th.  Teal is the nationally recognized color of Ovarian Cancer Awareness in the month of September.

The purpose of this annual event has been to not only recognize these organizations for their efforts but to educate the public about the disease, highlighting the often missed, silent symptoms and the importance of being your own health care advocate.  The Ovarian Cancer Circle is a local non-profit grassroots organization that was founded by Paulinda Babbini, a North Hollywood resident, after her 20 year-old daughter Robin died from the disease. Babbini has raised more than $700,000 locally for ovarian cancer research.


Straws on Demand Ordinance

Approximately 300-500 million plastic straws are used in the United States each day. Straws are the 6th most common item during beach cleanups, and they are often consumed by marine life – which suffocate, starve or are poisoned as a result. Because of their small size, few straws can be recycled due to limitations of recycling process equipment. When disposed in landfills, plastic straws have the potential to leach toxic pollutants into soil and groundwater.

Food or beverage facilities in Los Angeles that have more than 26 employees are now subject to compliance with the City’s Straws-on-Request ordinance. Under this ordinance, food or beverage facilities may provide a disposable plastic straw to a dine-in or take-out customer ONLY if the customer requests one. Food or beverage facilities may not automatically provide a disposable plastic straw to drive-through or delivery customers, but may ask those customers if they want one.  Although the City's Straws-on-Demand ordinance went into effect in April and enforcement will begin on October 1st.  See the flyer below to learn how to report violations or visit to learn more about the ordinance.

Free CPR/First Aid/ AED Class

The South Robertson Neighborhoods Council will again be sponsoring a free CPR/First Aid/Automated External Defibrillators (AED) class on Saturday, September 28th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Hamilton High School.

This 4-hour course will train you how to provide immediate care in cardiac, breathing and first aid emergencies until advanced medical personnel arrives. Instruction will be provided by Vital Training & Response.

First Aid: Learn how to respond to common first aid emergencies, including burns; cuts; head, neck and back injuries and more.

CPR/AED Learn how to respond to cardiac and breathing emergencies in adults, infant/child including the use of automated external defibrillators (AED).

Upon completion, participants will receive First Aid, CPR and AED 2-year certification by the American Heart Association.

SORO Neighborhood Council is covering the cost of instruction which is a great value since these classes normally run $75 and up!

If you wish to participate, you must reserve your space in advance by email to as early as possible (class is limited in size and expected to fill up quickly.)

Please provide full name of each participant, address, phone number and email, as the AHA will need this information.

LADWP: Bel Air Power Upgrade Project Update

As part of the Bel Air Power Upgrade Project, LADWP will be excavating N. Carolwood Drive, north of Sunset Blvd. to Brooklawn Drive. New underground infrastructure will be installed to upgrade and increase electric capacity. This portion of Carolwood Drive will be closed intermittently to traffic through the end of October 2019. Access to homes within the work area will be allowed but motorists should plan extra time to navigate around construction.  For more information, visit



Crestview Neighborhood Association Town Hall

Councilmember Koretz and Council President Herb Wesson were joined by Los Angeles City Planning's Craig Weber at the Crestview Neighborhood Association town hall on Tuesday night.   Community neighbors gathered to learn about construction and zoning updates for the Crestview Neighborhood.  They also learned discussed neighborhood beautification issues like street cleaning, lighting and the refurbishment of the Robertson Recreation Center.  In addition, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Representative Chin Thammasaengsri was on hand to offer information the CERT Program, disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact the area.  The free CERT program offers training in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

  CP HW, CERT Representative Chin Thammasaengsri, CM PK

  (L to R) Council President Herb Wesson, Crestview Neighborhood Association President Carlo Matricardi, Councilmember Koretz)

Robertson Recreation Center Coming Soon

Good news. The Robertson Recreation Center is scheduled to reopen in January 2020.  Councilmember Koretz staff recently toured the facility and met with the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, the SORO NC - South Robertson Neighborhood Council at the redevelopment site to learned about the progress.

Honoring Pastor Toure Thomas Roberts

Councilmember Koretz’s Field Deputy Kevin Nahai was proud to present a resolution to Pastor Toure Thomas Roberts and his wife at ONE LA Church on N. La Brea Ave. The City of Los Angeles officially named September 8, 2019 as Toure Thomas Roberts day in honor of his  accomplishments and contributions to the lives of Los Angeles residents.

Saint Mary’s 100th Anniversary

Congratulations to St. Mary in Palms on their centennial celebration last weekend! Councilmember Koretz joined Father Shamo and Right Reverend John Harvey Taylor at their bilingual mass on Sunday to present them with a special Certificate of Appreciation.  Thank you in particular to Father Shamo for all of the work he has done in the Palms community.

Spiffing Up CD 5

We are so proud of the incredible work of the LA Conservation Corps Clean & Green Team who swiftly helped clean up this alley behind the 1200 block of Crescent Heights Blvd. Thank you for your partnership in getting these necessary cleanups completed in CD 5.

  Before and after alley resurfacing West of Westwood Blvd between Wilkins and Ohio.

The State of the Valley

Councilmember Koretz was proud to once again join his colleagues at the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber’s State of the Valley panel discussion.  This Chamber is one of the largest in the San Fernando Valley and the 20th largest chamber in Los Angeles County. It was established in 1911 as the Van Nuys Chamber and in 1989 merged with the Panorama City / Sepulveda Chamber to form what is known today as the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s mission is to build community relationships; create positive perception; provide education for business; revitalize the community; promote business development; and advocate for business to the government.



Walk to School Day 2019 - October 2nd

The Safe Routes to School Day (also known as Clean Air Day), will be on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019. Walk to School Day, is a key program of Safe Routes to School (an LAUSD and Los Angeles Department of Transportation partnership) to build awareness about the importance of safe and respectful behavior by persons driving, walking and bicycling in school zones. In Council District 5, Fairburn Avenue Elementary, Hancock Park Elementary School are registered to participate.

Safe Routes to School is here to help schools organize Walk to School Day events:

Registration will remain open through October 9th to support Walk to School events throughout the month!

Encino Family Festival - October 6

The 32nd annual Encino Family Festival will pack Ventura Boulevard with new live entertainment, food trucks, artisans and vendors. Live music mini-concerts and dance performances, kids’ activities, arts and crafts as well as a beverage garden round out the day. Admission to the Sunday October 6th festival is free.

Hosted by the Encino Chamber of Commerce, the annual fall celebration draws thousands of festival goers from all over the city.

This year’s street festival will have special pet adoptions hosted by Los Angeles Animal Services and Delaney’s Dog and a Kids Fun Zone featuring children’s activities.      

The festival, previously known as Taste of Encino, takes over Ventura Boulevard, between Balboa Boulevard and Amestoy Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.For more information about the festival, visit or call 818-789-4711. Follow the festival on Twitter at #EncinoFamilyFestival or download the mobile app at

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 every Tuesday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed Mondays).
Click on any photo below for details.

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Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
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