With 57% of new coronavirus cases infecting Los Angeles County residents younger than age 41, public health officials announced 50 deaths and 2,741 new cases on Tuesday, July 21. And of the nearly 400 cases of children in the US that have been diagnosed with a rare and potentially deadly inflammatory syndrome related to COVID-19, 15 have been diagnosed in Los Angeles County, so far.
This week Mayor Garcetti acknowledged that perhaps the phased reversals of Safer At Home Emergency Orders may have been premature. As a result, Angelenos are facing the very real possibility that the City may shut back down businesses and offices to flatten the curve, an act that would certainly save lives but will also have a very negative impact on our economy. However, many Angelenos just cannot afford to stay home and run the risk of losing their homes. The problem is, those who refuse to wear masks and those who refuse to maintain physical distancing have brought this moment back upon us.
Cities around the world from Paris, France to several of our neighboring cities including West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Calabasas, and Glendale have all made mask-wearing mandatory with fairly significant enforcement fines in order to drastically reduce the chance of spread. The reality is that people must be more diligent about wearing face coverings and more strict about physical distancing. It seems to me that mandatory enforcement may be the only truly effective method as orders do not seem to be enough of a deterrent. When we look at the increase of coronavirus cases in LA County residents younger than age 41, coupled with the tragic number of children who have been isolated from their parents in hospitals, it is unacceptable to step outside and see gatherings of strangers and families strolling through crowded public areas without masks.
At the outset of the pandemic, I introduced a motion to help protect our citizens that included mask requirements but it is time to actually enforce mask-wearing if people will not protect themselves, their families and their more vulnerable neighbors. And while the County’s recent announcement to strongly enforce proper business protocols is a good first step, we have to enforce mask-wearing by individuals, as well. While some continue to act as though requiring people to wear face coverings while outside and in certain other circumstances is a political move, I would ask, how political is unnecessary death?
At this point, it seems that issuing tickets might be the only way to save more lives. Therefore, when City Council meetings resume next week, I plan to introduce new legislation that will tighten restrictions and enforcement requirements on face masks. Unfortunately, I can’t see another way to get people to do the right thing, and the soft consequence of a ticket might be the key to avoid the very dangerous consequences of contracting COVID-19.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
Rental Complaints Resume through HCIDLA
The City’s Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) has resumed complaint inspections (regular + urgent complaints).
The HCIDLA is responsible for investigating code violations in rental properties within the City of Los Angeles containing more than one dwelling unit, such as duplexes, apartment buildings, or more than one single-family dwelling on a property.
Constituents may file a code violation complaint online or you may call the HCIDLA complaint hotline at 866-557-RENT (7368).
For exempted properties or for properties containing only one dwelling/house, residential condominiums, commercial/industrial buildings, vacant buildings or vacant lots you should contact the Department of Building and Safety at 888-LA4-BUILD or 888-524-2845.
For complaints regarding violations of the City's Home-Sharing Ordinance contact the Department of City Planning at 213-367-7788. More information regarding the Home-Sharing Ordinance can be found on the Department of City Planning's website.
Pro Bono Legal Assistance for Angelenos
LA Represents is a legal assistance program for Angelenos who are facing extreme hardships during the COVID-19 crisis. The program is a coalition of law firms, bar associations and attorneys who have expanded their existing pro bono commitments to legal aid organizations to provide COVID-19-related legal services, including helping vulnerable tenants, domestic violence victims, and low-income individuals with employment, consumer debt, and bankruptcy matters.
In addition to the services offered, Bet Tzedek advocates and volunteers have partnered with LA Represents to provide support and pro bono assistance to small businesses as they confront new workplace regulations, renegotiate commercial leases, apply for government relief programs, and navigate compliance with emergency health and safety orders. Business owners interested in applying for this program can verify eligibility and apply here.
Preparing Your Restaurant to Offer Al Fresco Dining
Last month, in order to balance the needs of local businesses and the health concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the city launched L.A. Al Fresco, a new program which allows restaurants to expand dining areas into parking lanes, driving lanes, and adjacent private lots to encourage safe physical distancing for customers. To facilitate this expansion of outdoor dining options, the city will provide planters, barricades, and umbrellas for businesses to use in newly permitted spaces.
Since the launch of L.A. Al Fresco, the city has received more than 1,000 applications from businesses across Los Angeles for inclusion in the program and has approved 649 sidewalk dining applications, 677 private property dining applications, and 181 applications for parklets to provide curbside dining areas. As part of the application process for the program, LADOT and the city review all applications within five business days, with installation occurring within five additional business days following application approval.
Individuals and businesses interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to view the L.A. Al Fresco Manual, which is available in English and Spanish.
Slow Streets Comes to Palms in CD5
To ensure that Angelenos have access to safe outdoor spaces, LADOT has continued the designation of Slow Streets in neighborhoods across Los Angeles, where people may walk, jog, bike, and roll in calmed traffic environments. Recently we announced new Slow Streets in the PICO and Mid-City West neighborhood and we are now happy to announce that the program has expanded to the Palms neighborhood, as well.
Please visit https://ladot.lacity.org/slowstreets for maps of locations where slow streets are in effect. At that site you can also find links to apply for a Slow Street in your neighborhood, find answers to frequently asked questions, and provide feedback on how the program is going in your neighborhood.
FREE Virtual Bike Classes for July
If you know how to ride a bike, but you aren’t comfortable using a bicycle for everyday travel or recreation, then Metro Bike has a class for you. To build rider confidence, this online class covers the basics of bike handling and shows participants how to improve their bike control skills.
This class will help you understand the rules of the road and provide practical skills so that you are able to navigate city streets safely and use bikes for everyday travel.
What You’ll Learn:
- What I Need to Bike: Helmet Fit / Lights / Locks
- Things to Know Before Hitting the Streets: ABC Quick Check / Bike Infrastructure / Route Planning
- Basic Bike Handling Skills: Balance / Mount & Dismount / Steering / Signaling / Scanning
- Biking on City Streets: Rules of the Road / Navigating Common Hazards
- Biking and Transit: Riding around Transit / Taking bikes on trains and buses
- Bike Services / Events Offered by Metro: Bike Hubs / Online classes
Saturday, July 25 – Bicycling 101, Online Video Class
Overview of bike basics, rules of the road, and things to know to bike safely. Perfect class for new and rusty riders.
Register here for the online Zoom class Metro Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) Program.
Sunday, July 26 – Rules of the Road / Bike 2 Online Video Class
Get ready to put all your bike knowledge into action! This class will be focused on folks who attended the previous July 25, 101 class.
Register here for the online 1.5 hour online session (via Zoom) that will help you improve your bicycling skills and lessons addressing how to ride on city streets safely.
Catapalooza Adoption Event This Weekend
Now is a great time to adopt a cat or kitten. The Paula Kent Meehan Pet Care Foundation is sponsoring the Catapalooza adoption event from Friday, July 24 through Sunday, July 26. Find your new feline companion by going online at LAAnimalServices.com and viewing the adorable cats and kittens who are ready to be a part of your family. During Catapalooza the cat adoption fees will be waived by the Paula Kent Meehan Pet Care Foundation and adoption fees for kittens will also be waived through a generous grant from the ASPCA.
If you would like to adopt a pet, please follow these steps:
- Visit http://www.laanimalservices.com/adopt/ to identify an animal you’d like to adopt.
- Call 888-452-7381 with the Animal ID number or A# (example: A1234567).
- LA Animal Services will share all the information available on that animal.
- If you're interested in moving forward with the adoption, LA Animal
- Services will take your information and complete the adoption paperwork by phone.
- LA Animal Services will schedule a pick-up appointment.
- During the appointment, staff will introduce you to your selected animal.
- Please be advised that due to COVID-19, no more than 10 people are permitted in a facility at one time.
- To comply with social distancing requirements, we will be scheduling appointments daily at our four LA Animal Services Centers from 11am to 4pm.
Due to the pandemic, LA Animal Services Centers are open by appointment only. Visit laanimalservices.com or call 888-452-7381 for more information.
Join The Jewish Federation for an Online Discussion About Preparing for the High Holidays During A Pandemic
You are invited to join The Jewish Federation President & CEO Jay Sanderson in a virtual conversation with Rabbi Sharon Brous, Rabbi Pini Dunner, Rabbi Dara Frimmer, and Rabbi David Wolpe as they address Preparing for the High Holidays During a Pandemic. This crucial discussion will focus on how our Jewish community is creatively reimagining the upcoming holidays so that these days will be truly transformative and lead us to a strong future together.
If you have a question you would like addressed during the webinar, please submit it in advance to Melissa York. Please register in advance for this special online conference that will take place Tuesday, August 18th at 1:00 p.m. (via Zoom).
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 (Main), 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: