December 23, 2019   

Dear Friends,

As 2019 draws to a close we would like to say thank you to everyone who has been engaged with our office.  

To City Family Colleagues: My staff and I are grateful for your work and collaboration.  Whether you work to fix City infrastructure, implement our vision for new policy, analyze numbers and data, power our emergency services, keep our communities from harm, or pick up trash, please know that every member of our office is so grateful and we know that we couldn’t serve our constituents without you.  

To all of our residents and community groups, business developers and entrepreneurs, activists and  advocates, small businesses, religious leaders, homeowners, renters, and students: It is my pleasure to serve you and your communities. This holiday season, my staff and I would like to thank you for your input, your collaboration, and your partnerships in working to make the City a great place to live, work and play.  YOU are our eyes and ears in the community and we know that your neighborhood, business, school, place of worship and/or recreation/ park facilities are important to your health, happiness and well-being.


Thank you to Lyndsie Zacheis, Founder of The Play Way who stopped by our City Hall office on her birthday to spread some Christmas cheer along with Santa Claus. The Play Way ambassadors help bring smiles to countless communities, schools, organizations and people through pop-up events with spontaneous acts of kindness and cheer.



Thank you to the Jewish Federation and Chabad for partnering with us to organize Hanukkah candle lighting ceremonies and festivities. Your organizations are among the many wonderful groups working all year round to bring light and healing to communities in the Fifth District and throughout Los Angeles all year round. Happy Hanukkah!


Paul Koretz



Suspect Arrested for Series of Anti-Semitic Vandalisms in West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills

Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department Major Crimes Division have arrested an individual in connection with a series of vandalisms that occurred throughout the West Los Angeles and Calabasas areas between December 14, 2019, and December 16, 2019.  

On December 19, 2019, 44 year old Israel Herrera Perez, was arrested and booked into the LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center, in connection with the crimes, which included the spray painting of threatening anti-Semitic paintings on numerous vehicles and three schools in the Beverlywood, Pico-Robertson, Brentwood, and Westwood Communities. Investigators were also able to connect Perez to similar acts of vandalism in the Calabasas Community in Los Angeles County.

This announcement came less than 24-hours after the news was released that the Beverly Hills Police Department has made an arrest in connection with the vandalism that took place at the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills on Saturday, December 14th.  Many of Nessah’s congregants reside in Council District 5.

On the evening of December 19, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Councilmember Koretz joined command staff of the Los Angeles Police Department and Beverly Hills Police Department, local elected officials, and community members to denounce the recent acts of hate, which have taken place both locally and nationally.  The Councilmember outlined the steps and measures he has taken to combat Anti-Semitism and to assure that all resources are being brought to bear to further maintain security and public safety. 

Please note:

The Los Angeles investigation is ongoing and no additional suspect(s) have been identified at this time.  Anyone with information regarding these crimes is urged to call Major Crimes Division Detective B. Banachowski or Detective E. Hurd at (213) 486-7220. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”



Beware of Senior Scams and Holiday Cons

Seniors age 65 and over who likely have homes, retirement funds and excellent credit are especially vulnerable to holiday scams. The following holiday financial tips are part of City Controller Ron Galperin’s ongoing efforts to provide the public with financial literacy tools aimed at protecting the financial well-being of all Angelenos. Seniors are urged to keep an eye out for these common holiday cons targeting them:

  • Grandparent Scam. Scammers call and pretend to be a grandchild in trouble needing some sort of urgent financial help. To avoid getting scammed,hang up and contact your grandchild or their parents directly to make sure they are safe.

  • Fake miracle health cures. Seniors and people with chronic health conditions can easily be targets of fraudulent anti-aging and miracle health product sales schemes. These products may have harmful side effects, so it’s very important to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

  • Funeral and cemetery fraud. Sadly, funeral planning is a business and some sales representatives heartlessly take advantage of vulnerable and emotional people. Make sure that you do your research, shop around, and read the fine print before you make a purchase or sign a contract.

Recycle During the Holiday Season

As we head into the holiday season, it is a time to celebrate with our friends and family with festivities, gifts and great food. This is also a time to remember the gift of maintaining our sustainable community.

There are many items that can be recycled rather than thrown into the trash. For example, holiday packaging, foam blocks and cardboard can be recycled. Also, all plastics with a 1-7 chasing arrow symbol can be recycled in the City of Los Angeles.

This also means foam takeout containers, cups, water bottles, aluminum cans and much more can be placed in your BLUE bins. Whether you are recycling plastic or glass, make sure to wipe your product if it has held any food.

All of us together doing our part to recycle can make a difference this holiday season and throughout the year to help us get closer to a zero waste community. And while we’re at it, how about that Christmas Tree? 

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas TreeSafety First

Fresh trees are beautiful and they smell good but they can be a fire hazard so please consider the following tips:

  • Buy a freshly cut tree as they retain moisture longer.

  • Keep the tree no less than three feet from heat sources.

  • Water the tree on a daily basis.

  • Remove the tree from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry and place it in your GREEN bin or curbside next to the GREEN bin.  LA Sanitation has curbside collection for Christmas trees to make it convenient to properly and safely recycle your tree. There are several options.

Collected Christmas trees will be recycled into compost and mulch that is available to residents for free.

How to Recycle your Christmas tree and put in the GREEN bin:

  1. REMOVE all ornaments, decorations, tinsels and stand from the tree.

  2. CUT the tree pieces before putting them inside the GREEN bin for regular pick-up on collection day. PLACE the tree pieces inside the GREEN bin. Please try to put the pieces in the bin so the lid can be fully closed.

  3. If your Christmas tree is too big to cut and place inside the GREEN waste bin, simply place the tree next to your GREEN waste bin on collection day.

  4. Flock or artificial trees can’t be recycled, place them in the BLACK container.

In addition, holiday wrapping paper, cartons, cardboard, Styrofoam® and other expanded polystyrene products, plastics and gift boxes are also recyclable and should be placed in the BLUE bin. However, it is illegal to place household hazardous waste, such as electronics (i.e. televisions and computers) and batteries into the collection bins. Please take those items to one of seven S.A.F.E. Centers for safe disposal and recycling.

Visit for a complete list of locations and hours.

We thank you for helping us do your part in creating a cleaner, greener and more sustainable place in which to live, work and play. Happy Holidays!

Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

The holiday season is a joyous time of year when everyone is decorating, cooking, and coming together to celebrate and create memories with their family, including their furry family members. With all the holiday hustle and bustle, we can easily forget about the potential dangers that may come along with all the festivities, so LA Animal Services wants you to keep the following hazards in mind to keep your best buddy safe:

1. Beware of holiday décor. Our beloved pets often see these festive décor as something to eat or play with, but which can be very dangerous to them:

  • Tinsel. If consumed, can cause intestinal blockage, while breakable ornaments and other glass decorations can cause injuries. Place tinsel and fragile decorations up high and out of reach from your pet.

  • Electric lights and wires. If cords are chewed upon, can cause burns. 

  • Christmas Trees. If you put up a Christmas tree, consider tying it down to a door frame so your pet doesn't tip it over. If the tree is real, keep the water covered and inaccessible because the water may contain fertilizer and other harmful chemicals.

2. Watch out for these flowers and festive plants. You probably worry over poinsettias making your pets sick, and the truth is that these festive plants only cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal irritation. However, there are other seasonal foliage that you should be more wary of such as amaryllis, holly, lilies, and mistletoe that can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them.

3. Keep away holiday feasts. We have a tendency to  share our holiday meals with our pets, which often results in overindulgence. Even when we don't purposely include them, the agile and creative dog or cat can capture a special treat from the kitchen counter, trash, or even the dining room table. Dogs and cats can suffer very serious and sometimes fatal consequences from turkey or chicken bones, consuming too much rich and fatty foods, yeast dough, chocolate and from just plain overeating. Instead of giving your companion animal leftovers, stop by a pet food store and purchase some new dog biscuits or cat treats.

4. Keep away from noisemakers. While celebrating, it is easy to forget that loud noises and celebratory poppers or noisemakers can scare your furry friend. Even if your pet doesn't seem obviously upset by noisemakers and fireworks, they can still cause harm to pets if burned or if they accidentally ingest them. Try creating a safe place in your home where your pet can have some quiet space if needed.

5. Plan ahead. If you are not going to be home with your pet, unplug decorations, and take out the trash to make sure your pet doesn't sneak any food scraps. If your pet is not acting like themselves, consult your veterinarian and make sure you know how to get to your 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic before there's an emergency.

6. Always make sure your pet has up-to-date identification. If for any reason your pet escapes during the holiday hubbub, a collar with a current license and/or ID tag on them and a microchip that's registered with your contact information, will help reunite you with your companion animal.

By keeping these precautions in mind, the holiday season can be enjoyable and safe instead of stressful for you and your two and four-legged family members.

Don't have a furry family member to celebrate the holidays with? Stop by any of our six LA Animal Services Centers on December 24 for a Holiday Adoption Event offering reduced adoption fees  on all dogs and puppies, and waived adoption fees on all cats and kittens thanks to a generous grant from the ASPCA. 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). 


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Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005