Header Image - Paul Koretz
July 3, 2020   

Dear Friends,

The current risk level of infection is that 1 in 140 people in Los Angeles County are being infected with COVID-19 and there are estimates that next week the threat will increase to 1 in 100 and possibly even to 1 in 70. As hospital capacity and cases are going up, the City of Los Angeles recommends that everyone stay at home wherever possible.  More than 40% of positive cases now are people under the age of 40. 

Facing a surge in COVID-19 cases on the eve of the major July 4th holiday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Southern California counties to temporarily halt visits to indoor restaurants, bars, wineries, and tasting rooms, entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos, museums, and card rooms. Restaurants can, however, still offer sit-down dining outdoors, as well as takeout and delivery.  The Governor also has indicated to local officials that they have his full support as they undertake efforts to enforce his and their own COVID-19-related orders.

Safety Before Fireworks This July 4th Weekend

Earlier this week, Mayor Garcetti made the decision to ban fireworks displays in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Please remember that all non-professionally-staged fireworks in LA are illegal. Beyond the dangers to the individuals setting them off and those around them and the fires they can cause, illegal fireworks take a toll on community members, as well. Take a moment to check out this PSA and learn more about fireworks safety and reporting illegal fireworks at mysafela.org/fireworks-safety/.  

In addition, LA County beaches, piers, parking lots, and bike paths will be closed throughout the weekend through Monday, July 6th at 5 a.m. to prevent crowds from gathering.  However, some hiking trails remain open.  Please remain respectful of nature and of each other by properly disposing  your litter in trash receptacles.  And, while on the trail, it is very important to not only keep a mask handy to put over your nose and mouth anytime you come into contact with other hikers from outside of your household but to also give enough space to maintain physical distancing as you pass the other hiker(s).  We have to work together to continue to enjoy the kind of natural beauty that Los Angeles has to offer.

City Council will be on summer recess until July 29, 2020, but my staff continue to be available for constituent services. And, to all of us who have grown tired of the restrictions related to COVID-19, as Mayor Garcetti recently put it, “We may be done with the coronavirus, but the coronavirus isn’t done with us.”  Stay safe, stay vigilant, stay healthy, and enjoy the holiday weekend.

Sincerely,
Signature of Paul Koretz
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District


LEGISLATIVE NEWS

FROM THE DESK OF DAVID HERSCH
DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF & BUDGET DIRECTOR

This past Wednesday, the City Council voted to adopt the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee amendments to the Mayor’s Fiscal Year 20-21 $1.8 billion operating budget.  The revisions are best described as a compromise involving shared sacrifice due to our significant revenue shortfall.  Like other departments, this included LAPD.  A $150 million cut from LAPD will allow the City to postpone the originally approved furloughs that would have reduced staffing in many other departments and maintain the Targeted Local Hire program that provides disadvantaged workers a chance to get City jobs. It places the rest in the Unappropriated Balance, to be allocated for social justice programming in underserved communities if our finances enable us to do so. Otherwise those funds could be used to make up some of our budget deficit.   Through the Budget Committee process, Councilmember Koretz led the effort to restore several cuts to technology-related items that will make the LAPD more efficient.  These were the most problematic cuts that would have lost the city many times their cost in officer’s time. Please take a moment to view LAPD Chief Michel Moore’s video message to his officers reflecting the path forward for reimagining the Police Department.

By postponing the staff furloughs, City services will be maintained at levels close to 2019-2020 Budget levels and will ensure that other enforcement agencies such as Building and Safety, Street Use, Parking Enforcement, and others are able to continue to respond to requests from the public.  A retirement incentive proposal for City staff of retirement age was also approved, which should save many millions of dollars.

Councilmember Koretz felt that the budget that was enacted on July 1st, 2020, dealt appropriately with the fiscal realities and requirements of our City to try to mitigate any future economic impacts that the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic and our current recession may cause.

As the pandemic’s uncertain course will affect future revenues, the City Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Analyst have stated that the City Council will unconventionally undertake several mid-year reviews to make budget adjustments as needed.  The City also will continue to call on Congress to provide state and local COVID-19 funding replenishments.  So the City Budget will be fluid and we can expect changes throughout the year. 

 

Protecting California Endangered Species Act

Councilmember Koretz introduced a resolution this week for the City of Los Angeles to oppose Assembly Bill (AB 235) in response to Assemblymember Chad Mayes’ efforts to effectively gut the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). 

The bill, which contains language Assemblymember Mayes substituted for the previous language about a different topic, aims to amend sections of the Fish and Game Code related to endangered species in such a way that would undermine the purposes and precautionary nature of CESA. Such revisions could greatly jeopardize protections afforded to the struggling mountain lion population and numerous other imperiled species throughout the state.

AB 235 would open the door to stripping CESA protections from candidate species like mountain lions in Southern California and along the Central Coast during a time when action could be most critical for their survival. By mandating the Commission to prioritize (perceived) economic impacts over scientific evidence, the bill would overhaul the state’s landmark conservation law and contribute to biodiversity loss.

 

COMMUNITY UPDATES

LADOT COVID-19 Update Header

Extended Limited Relaxed Parking Image of parked carsThe City had previously announced that parking enforcement relaxation would expire on July 6th, however, due to the return of many restrictions with encouragement to be Safer at Home, the City Council has voted to extend parking relaxation until at least August 1st for vehicles that are either parked in rush-hour and anti-gridlock zones, or in residential areas during street sweeping. In addition, parking officials will not ticket vehicles with expired registration.  

LADOT has RELAXED enforcement for the following categories:

  • Residential street sweeping;
  • Expired registration on a vehicle;
  • Overnight/Oversize parking districts;
  • Peak/rush hour and gridlock zone parking restrictions;
  • Abandoned vehicles and oversized/overnight parking; and

  • Vehicles displaying recently expired permits within preferential parking districts will have a two-week grace period following the expiration to renew.

In addition:

  • No parking fine increases for failure to pay;

  • Extended grace period for people dropping off or picking up;

  • Immediate extensions on all deadlines for payments; and,

  • LADOT will supply a temporary, print-at-home permit to residents within a preferential parking district who have renewed their permit but will not receive the new hangtag before their current permit expires.

Enforcement CONTINUES for:

  • Metered parking;

  • Time limits within preferential parking districts for vehicles without a valid or recently-expired permit;

  • Posted time limit zones in residential and commercial areas;

  • All posted Temporary No-Parking signs;

  • No blocking emergency access (alleyways, fire hydrants, etc.);

  • Colored curb zones; and,

  • Parking restrictions for City-owned lots;



LA Animal Services' Plans For 4th of July Holiday Weekend

LA Animal Services Plans for July 4th WeekendSubstantial concern has been raised about the impacts on pets when illegal fireworks go off in residential neighborhoods, a problem that has been especially bad throughout the city in recent weeks.  The loud noises can frighten dogs and cats, causing them to escape their homes or yard in an attempt to look for safety.  Consequently, LA Animal Services has taken the following precautions:

  • Shelter populations will be kept low in expectation of the influx of animals keeping life-saving space available in the four open Animal Services Centers for the animals coming in this weekend due to the holiday.

  • Security guards will be on-hand at our West Valley and North Central Centers 24/7 who can call an Animal Care Officer to pick up animals should someone need to urgently surrender a pet and/or unable to go to another shelter. 

  • Animal Care Officers will be patrolling the City, giving licensed and microchipped pets a free ride home.

  • Several rescue partners and friends with scanners will be in the West Valley and North areas during the holiday weekend scanning lost dogs and trying to get animal companions home rather than having them impounded.

Please note: LA Animal Services Centers, while closed on Friday, July 3rd in observance of the 4th of July holiday, will re-open by appointment only on July 4th. Due to the pandemic, Animal Services Centers are open by appointment only. If you have a pet emergency, please call 888-452-7381.




New Mercy Housing for Seniors and Senior Veterans

Mercy Housing Pico-Robertson News Homes for Seniors and Senior Veterans Flyer

Great news: The long-awaited Mercy Housing project for seniors is at completion!  Located in the Pico-Robertson neighborhoood of Council District 5, the Mercy Housing project will provide supportive housing for low-income, veteran, and homeless seniors. 

Twelve apartment units are available for homeless senior veterans through New Directions, which will serve as an onsite service provider for veterans.  If you have questions about eligibility or the application process, please call (323) 302-4264.

Units in Mercy Housing are in short supply.  The application period to become a resident in this new development has been extended until July 20th and the lottery will be held virtually on July 27th.  Due to coronavirus restrictions, the lottery will not be open to the public, but interested applicants may submit an application for the lottery on accesshousingla.org.  Applications will also be available for download on the Mercy Housing website.

To have an application emailed, please send your request to pico.robertson@mercyhousing.org

For more information, please visit the Pico-Robertson Senior Community website.




Spotlight: Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council

Kudos to the Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council for their community  activism and outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Neighborhood Council has sent out more than 13,000 mailers with information about obtaining important COVID-19 updates, and they have put out these helpful lawn signs in all of their neighborhoods.  

Also, they had a very successful blood drive in May and will hold another one on July 26th at Tree People in Coldwater Canyon Park.  Make an appointment at cedars-sinai.org/giveblood and use group code: BABC. 


COVID-19 Fourth of July Precautions

 

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 paul.koretz@lacity.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:

 

 

This message was sent to  by:

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