I know that these are trying times and news is changing quickly. Every day brings new data, new orders and new questions. For our families, our neighbors and our community, please remember that the most important work that any of us can do right now is to stay home in order to save lives. As your Councilmember, my staff and I are working around the clock to address the needs of the families, businesses and communities of our District during this unprecedented time. For your information, you can find helpful tools and resources offered both City-wide and with a particular focus on the Fifth Council District:
Now some much needed good news! The City's website has a brand new online portal to sign up to get tested for the Novel Coronavirus. These tests are strictly limited to residents of Los Angeles who are in the most high-risk categories and most vulnerable. If you think you might have symptoms, and you are over 65, and/or have underlying health issues, please sign up at https://lacovidprod.service-now.com/rrs
More than anything, my fellow Councilmembers, the Mayor and I are unified in our commitment to making sure that no one loses their home. That is why I am thrilled to share that the Mayor has enacted an emergency order prohibiting the removal of any residential rental units from the rental market under the Ellis Act, a State law that allows landlords to evict residential tenants to "go out of the rental business." The Mayor is also imposing a moratorium on Ellis Act related evictions in the City through this crisis. In fact, if you can not pay your commercial or residential rent during this period, you will not be evicted. However, this is not free rent. When the emergency ends, you will be required to pay it within 6 months. So, just like your utility bills and taxes, if you CAN pay your bill, you should.
Also, because our homeless are still the most vulnerable to the virus, the City has moved quickly to convert eight recreation centers into temporary emergency shelters and many are already near, or at, capacity. In Council District 5, we have already filled the Westwood Recreation Center to its 100 bed capacity and the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center is also nearing capacity.
Also, to assist both residents and businesses during the emergency period, the Mayor’s latest order allows restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages for delivery or takeout — and relaxes certain parking restrictions on commercial vehicles during the locally declared emergency. Cheers!
Los Angeles Unified School District has announced that schools will remain closed until at least May 1st. Keeping the schools closed is the best way to keep Los Angeles students and their families safer. LAUSD has provided a wide variety of resources to keep our students connected to educational platforms for their learning at home. In fact, LAUSD and Verizon announced today that they have reached an agreement to provide Internet connectivity for all students who have can't go online at home. LAUSD will also continue to provide nutritious meals to all students who need them during the temporary closure of schools.
For more, visit http://achieve.lausd.net
DASH buses are now free to ride and all metro buses now require people to enter through the rear door only. The front door will remain available to those who use wheelchairs and need to access the ramp. Please be mindful about observing the 6-foot space rule between passengers, as well as the driver, both on the bus and while waiting for its arrival.
The City Council and Mayor issued an order for relaxed parking and yet we are hearing that citations are being issued. My office has asked that the Department of Transportation respond and provide clarity about the new rules. To be clear, there is NO moratorium on parking enforcement. Please continue to be vigilant and pay close attention to signs where you park.
In the meantime, here are the guidelines:
As we roll into the second full week of the Safer At Home emergency order, it is an uncertain time for everyone, please consider that isolation and stress can impact your mental health and your well-being. Here are some tools to help cope with stress during the COVID-19 crisis.
I know these are really confusing times and that new information is changing quickly, so please continue to check and verify official information through these credible resources:
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District