During this unprecedented time in our history, organizational safety protocols and personal responsibility are absolutely paramount to maintaining the health and safety of our entire community. As you may have heard, a new order from Mayor Eric Garcetti requires Angelenos to wear masks or "face coverings" whenever they leave home. These increased protections are being put in place just as stay-at-home orders are gradually being relaxed. Recognizing masks as the key to slowing public spread is something that I have been advocating since the first emergency orders were implemented by the Mayor and the City Council. I am especially hopeful that the mandatory mask orders will help us to continue to quell the virus as our City moves to safely return to work and outdoor recreation. The new guidelines on face coverings exempt children under 2 and people with certain disabilities, and builds on previous requirements for non-medical essential business workers and customers to wear face coverings. Wearing cloth face coverings will help reduce infection and deaths, and help speed up our return to normal life. Please participate by wearing them whenever out of the home and close to others. You can learn more about the City's guidance on face coverings here.
Also, the Mayor has modified the City of L.A.’s “Safer at Home” emergency order to allow all retail businesses except those in indoor malls to resume limited operations with delivery and curbside or doorside service, and open beaches and more public recreational space for outdoor exercise. However, depending on public health conditions, the Mayor will continue to adjust the order to safely allow more businesses to operate and more people to get back to work.
Even as we welcome warmer weather here in Southern California, social distancing and remaining home as often as possible are essential. As Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti adjust the Safer At Home protocols, many will be tempted to host parties, events, and even venture out in larger numbers. This is where we all need your help. By avoiding these types of activities for the time being we can stem the spread of COVID-19 and get back to some semblance of “normal.”
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
In the News:
Beverly Press: Council observes Senior Fraud Awareness Day
City News: Task Force Votes to Send FAA Recommendations to Reduce Noise Over Homes
LA Times: LA Now Requires Face Coverings Even When Outside, Here Are The Rules
Federal Judge Orders City and County to Find Shelter for Persons Experiencing Homelessness Near Freeways
On Friday, May 15, federal judge David O. Carter issued a preliminary injunction requiring relocation of an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 people camping near freeway ramps and under overpasses and bridges. He gave officials one week — until May 22 — to come up with a plan for providing humane housing.
“Without adequate access to shelter, hygiene products and sanitation facilities, individuals experiencing homelessness face a greater risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, and an outbreak in the homeless community would threaten the general public as well,“ Carter wrote.
In anticipation of the ruling, Councilmember Koretz already has been working on ideas for how to find better accommodations for the hundreds living under freeway overpasses or along freeway embankments or camping elsewhere in Council District 5. According to a news report by the Associated Press, “(Judge) Carter said alternatives to shelters could include ‘safe parking sites’ to camp, or hotel and motel rooms that the county is renting under a state program known as Project Roomkey, which was established during the pandemic to get thousands of homeless off the streets temporarily to avoid transmission of COVID-19.”
As of this date, there are two HHH supportive housing projects and one Bridge shelter under development in the district. Additional ideas are being actively explored and this court order likely will speed up the process of identifying more options.
Emergency Renters Assistance Program Under Development
The Los Angeles City Council has approved the creation of the Emergency Renters Assistance program to provide rental assistance to individuals and families experiencing extreme financial hardship caused by a severe reduction of work hours or job loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and by the Los Angeles Safer-at-Home orders.
The program makes low income renters eligible for a subsidy of 50% of their monthly rent for three months up to a $1,000 limit per month. The program currently is being developed by the City’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCIDLA) and will be administered through its network of Family Source Centers located around Los Angeles. The City Council and HCIDLA are also pulling together funding resources for the program to make it accessible to more tenants in need. Councilmember Koretz has also made an initial contribution to the fund to help eligible CD5 renters. The program is expected to be operational some time in June.
Angelenos can help bring this aid to more people in need by donating to the Emergency Renters Assistance Fund at HCIDLA’s web page.
Valley Airplane Noise Task Force Approves 15 Final Recommendations for Van Nuys and Burbank Airports
The San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force voted to approve moving forward on fifteen recommendations to address months of complaints about increased airplane noise and flight concentrations from both Burbank and Van Nuys Airports.
After two days of final deliberation, final recommendations included increasing climb rates for departing flights, routing planes away from neighborhoods at higher elevations in the Santa Monica Mountains, night-time curfews at both airports, greater dispersal of flights throughout the Valley, and a recommendation for a noise level study focusing on departing flights. The final recommendations will be sent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for review.
Task force members include local officials from Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena including Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz. "This has been a very long and complex process for the residents of the San Fernando Valley. The residents of the Santa Monica Mountains, in particular, have endured frequent extremely-loud, low-flying airplanes which have disrupted their lives and that of neighboring wildlife. In addition, I want to thank our community members for putting forward some very impressive solution-oriented proposals. In turn, I believe that the work we have done together will create solutions that benefit everyone impacted by Southern California air traffic,” said Councilmember Koretz of the Fifth District which includes Encino in the South Valley and several hillside neighborhoods under the flight path. “This task force must not disband and we should continue to work together so that we can evaluate any follow up from the FAA and work with our representatives in Congress to further improve the lives of those impacted by this intrusive airplane noise."
The task force was formed in August of 2019 as a response to the increased air noise and environmental impacts due to the implementation of the FAA’s new NextGen Metroplex program which transitions the majority of flights from ground-based conventional navigation to satellite GPS based RNAV procedures
The task force was created and hosted by Hollywood-Burbank Airport and Los Angeles World Airports and has been holding regular public meetings since its formation. In particular, it has been addressing the fact that the project implementation by the FAA was conducted without extensive community outreach or Environmental Analysis. Consequently, communities in new neighborhoods such as Encino, Bel Air, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village and others are experiencing more and lower flights than ever before.
Penalties Increased for Illegal Dumping
As businesses begin to slowly return to work while Safer At Home orders are modified, please remember that businesses are still required to have trash collection services. Businesses failing to comply with these requirements are subject to illegal dumping penalties which range from a $200 fine to as much as $25,000 and/or jail time.
The MyLA 311 app is not only a good resource for ordering trash and recycling services but witnesses can also use it to report illegal dumping . For more information, please contact LASAN Customer Care at 1-800-773-2489.
Enjoy Los Angeles Outdoors But Please Continue To Practice Physical Distancing
L.A. beaches have reopened for active recreation only, such as swimming, surfing, running and walking. No gathering is allowed, and activities such as sunbathing and group sports are not permitted. Visitors must wear a face covering when not in the water, and maintain six feet of distance from others.
City of Los Angeles Officially Declares May 15, 2020 Senior Fraud Awareness Day
This week, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Mike Bonin and David Ryu introduced a Resolution declaring May 15, 2020 as Senior Fraud Awareness Day in Los Angeles as part of the declaration of May as Older Americans Month. The City Council has kept up the May 15 tradition since 2013 as part of a birthday celebration of former City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl who passed away in 2016. He was a passionate advocate for the health and safety of the senior citizens of Los Angeles.
During these difficult times we are working to not only protect our older Angelenos from COVID-19 but also making sure that our Seniors are receiving their meals and that they are emotionally safe during these vulnerable times.
What’s worse is that there are ever increasing number of "senior scams" using scare tactics based on the COVID-19 pandemic to obtain personal information and to peddle fake COVID-19 tests and "snake oil" cures. If you receive an offer that seems too good to be true or if you feel pressured to provide personal information, please immediately end communication with the source. Instead, please check independent and official resources to cross check the promotions.
Councilmember Koretz, who has led the presentation for several years, said, “Even in the most normal of times, the most nimble sober mind can be lured into fraudulent claims and taken advantage of – they, too, can be too proud to report when they have been defrauded and is, therefore, another important reason why we continue to recognize May 15th as Senior Fraud Awareness Day even if we have to hold it as a part of the City Council meeting online.”
You can report COVID-19 consumer related scams online at https://www.lacityattorney.org/covid19
Slow Streets Application Opens for Your Neighborhood
Mayor Garcetti announced a new “Slow Streets” program, which closes residential streets to vehicle traffic, so pedestrians and cyclists can use available streets for recreation. In addition, LADOT has launched an application process for Slow Streets in Los Angeles and is asking local community organizations and individuals to suggest and sponsor streets in their neighborhood. You can suggest streets for the program here.
Slow Streets are intended for local residents to have room to walk, bike and move around while practicing safe physical distancing only-hey are not intended as gathering areas for the general public.
Neighborhood councils and community organizations in all areas of the City of Los Angeles are strongly encouraged to apply for Slow Streets L.A. A lead organization in each participating community will monitor day-to-day operations of the program, working closely with LADOT and Streets LA to ensure compliance with all health and safety guidelines while local traffic and parking for residents is still allowed on the streets of each neighborhood participating in the program.
Here to Serve
My office, like all City of Los Angeles offices, is following recommended protocols such as social distancing and working remotely to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That said, my staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005, 323-866-1828 (West LA), or 818-971-3088 (Encino) and through email firstname.lastname@example.org. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.
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: