Labor Day is a time when we stop to recognize the value of all workers. But this year it falls on extraordinarily somber times amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, a suffering economy and extreme heat warnings.
The pandemic has uniquely challenged our Country’s labor force with massive layoffs while those who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs have had their hands full managing care for children at home often also tending to elderly and vulnerable family members all while trying to make ends meet. And on the front lines, our essential workers and healthcare workers risk their lives to keep us safe, bring us basic services and keep our economy afloat. We have seen the selfless sacrifice of volunteers often risking their own health to deliver food and supplies to the many hungry, sick and dying individuals and families suffering from COVID-19. Our teachers have pivoted quickly to tirelessly restructure lesson plans to online learning to keep our students ontrack. And unfortunately, the fallout of the pandemic with its cumulative impact on the economy, still has a long, long climb back to real recovery. And as we enter this Labor Day weekend, we mourn the loss of more than 190,000 people in the U.S. and more than 26 million lives worldwide who have died from COVID-19, alone.
Now, I recognize that the Coronavirus pandemic has been going on for many months and that it is hard to stay away from social situations, but personal well-being and the health of our loved ones must come first. The only way to stop spread is to continue to follow basic social distancing,mask-wearing protocols and to avoid crowds whenever possible. In fact, evidence has clearly shown that after long weekends like Memorial Day and July Fourth there were significant spikes in the spread of COVID-19 and we need to break the cycle now.
So, in an effort to continue to slow the pandemic, combined with extreme heat warnings from the National Weather Service that all daytime outdoor activities in Los Angeles should be limited or canceled this weekend, please consider declining invitations to Labor Day parties and events and practice best safety practices. We will show the most gratitude, respect and thoughtfulness to all those who have sacrificed so much this year by taking care of each other and our loved ones by staying safe.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
What to Know About This Weekend’s Heat
An excessive heat warning for Southern California has begun as temperatures reach triple digits and extreme heat is expected to continue during the evening and overnight hours through Monday.
A Flex Alert advisory will be in effect Saturday through Monday from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. A Flex Alert is typically issued in the summer when extremely hot weather pushes up energy demand as it reaches available capacity. LADWP is advising that there are a few simple steps Angelenos can take, like setting air conditioning to 78 degrees and using heavy appliances late at night, that can help reduce strain on power distribution equipment and prevent localized power outages, which result when extreme heat and demand for electricity overheats equipment. Click here for more information about flex alerts and for even more ways to conserve energy.
If you need to cool off, the City of LA offers cooling centers where you can beat the heat. Patrons are encouraged to call ahead to check availability. COVID-19 social distancing requirements have resulted in reduced capacity at the sites and all centers will operate following LA County Public Health's guidelines for Cooling Center operations.
These LA City cooling centers are in facilities where you can enjoy recreational programming or a good book while you cool off.
- Canoga Park Senior Citizen Center (Capacity: 10), 7326 Jordan Ave. Canoga Park, CA 91303, (818) 340-2633
- South Los Angeles Sports Activity Center (Capacity: 14), 7020 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, 90003, (323) 758-8716, (323) 758-5634
- Lake View Terrace Recreation Center (Capacity: 36) 11075 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace, CA 91342, (818) 899-8087
- Normandale Recreation Center (Capacity: 50), 22400 South Halldale Ave., Torrance, CA 90501, (310) 328-3689
- Lafayette Multipurpose Community Center (Capacity: 45), 625 South Lafayette Park Place, Los Angeles, CA 90057, (213) 384-0562
Also, the City's Department on Disability works to provide reasonable accommodation to ensure accessibility and effective communications for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs at cooling centers.
You can call 3-1-1 from within LA City (or call 2-1-1 elsewhere in LA County) to find out more about cooling center locations and hours of operation.
Facts About Tenant Protections during the Pandemic
On Monday, August 31, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 3088, the Tenant Relief Act of 2020, into law. This new law provides a five-month extension protecting tenants from eviction for non-payment of rent and helps keep homeowners out of foreclosure as a result of economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Tenants who pay at least 25% of their rent from September 1 through January 31 will be protected from eviction, but those who fail to meet the minimum rent payment could be evicted starting February 1. To qualify, tenants are required to sign a declaration affirming a COVID-19 hardship. For more information, please click here.
Also, City Attorney Mike Feuer has compiled some guidelines to help tenants in the City of Los Angeles who are experiencing COVID-19 financial stress. The City Council has adopted an ordinance that offers greater overall protections for renters than the State’s new law, and some additional benefits that tenants should consider. Please read the City Attorney’s letter to help clarify some key questions facing LA tenants and landlords in the next few days as September rent is now due.
September is National Preparedness Month
As our nation continues to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to review your emergency preparedness and reevaluate your emergency plans.
Sign Up for Alerts
In a disaster, there are never too many ways to receive a possibly life-saving alert, which is why the City of Los Angeles will use multiple ways to reach you if there is a threat to your life or property.
Therefore,the City of Los Angeles strongly recommends subscribing to both of the following systems:
- NotifyLA – Create an account to receive urgent notifications about local emergencies by phone, email, and/or text message by subscribing to alerts for your neighborhood, schools, businesses, media, and other interest areas. Register at: emergency.lacity.org/notifyla.
- Nixle – By texting your zip code to 888777 to opt-in or by signing up online to receive email, text or voice messages, you will receive alerts and advisories from local law enforcement and all other relevant agencies. For more information, visit: local.nixle.com/register.
Get Informed and Make A Plan
SoCal residents are invited to participate in free virtual classes and self-guided tools as part of the Red Cross’s “PrepareSoCal” campaign. These classes and self-guided tools available at preparesocal.org that are designed to prepare every household for disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes.
Family Readiness: Knowing what to do and what not to do can be your best protection during disasters. It is your responsibility, your children are counting on you. Click here for the Emergency Management Department's Comprehensive Guide to Family Preparedness.
Community Readiness: The City of Los Angeles cannot be truly prepared without a prepared community. Click here for to learn what community resources and training are available and how to help your neighborhood organize before the next disaster.
Business Readiness: How quickly your company gets back to business after a terrorist attack, tornado, fire or flood often depends on emergency planning that you’ve engaged in today. Click here for resources and guides on preparing your workplace for disasters.
Don’t Forget An Emergency Pet Plan
LA Animal Services reminds pet owners that your plan should include your four-legged family members should an emergency occur.
- Make sure your pet is wearing a City dog license tag with up-to-date identification;
- Create copies of important documents for your animal including vaccination records and microchip information;
- Train your pet to be comfortable in a portable kennel;
- Prepare an emergency kit including your pet’s food, special treats, and medicine; and,
- Find a safe place to stay including pet-friendly hotels and identify friends/family ahead of time that can care for your furry friends in case you have to evacuate your area and you can’t take them with you.
To learn more about pet emergency preparedness and to view available resources, please visit laanimalservices.com/general-information/emergency-preparedness.
Apply for a Speed Hump in Your Neighborhood
The Speed Hump Program opens up a review cycle every 6 months to accept the "Step 1" of the application process for speed humps. The next speed hump application window will open Wednesday, September 16th at 8:00 am.and the application will close when 450 applications (30 in each council district) have been submitted. For more information and to apply for speed humps on your street, please visit the LADOT Speed Humps Request page.
Please note that Council Offices aren’t involved in the selection process and that not every application is approved due to limited budget resources.
L.A. College Promise Program Reopens Enrollment Now Through Sept. 15.
With the enactment of AB 19 three years ago, all first-time, full-time students can attend community college tuition-free. Community colleges offer hundreds of degrees and short term certificates that can help individuals who have been displaced to find a new and better career.
The Los Angeles College Promise (LACP) is open to all first-time, full-time students, regardless of age or background, who enroll at any of the nine Los Angeles Community College campuses. The LACP program is helping to transform the lives of thousands of students by providing free tuition for two years along with comprehensive student support services and unique educational opportunities to help students complete their two- or four-year degree or career education goals. The LACP is turning the dream of an affordable college education into reality. Click here to download the LACP brochure..
Please, click here for answers to frequently asked questions about the LA College Promise opportunity. Click here to apply.
CD 5 Business Spotlight: The House of Meatballs in Westwood
This week’s CD 5 business spotlight is The House of Meatballs in Westwood Village. They’re known as a fun little restaurant serving up great food and wines in their brand new alfresco dining patio and wine garden, and take pride in their pastas, meatballs and breads that are made fresh, in-house every day.
And right now, The House of Meatballs is offering a great dine-in special for all Holmby Westwood Property Owners Association members. Just say “I Love Westwood!” to receive 20% off all regular priced food and drinks when dining in through September 30, 2020.
Rest assured that House of Meatballs has instituted very high COVID safety operating standards, which include frequent cleaning and sanitization of all dining surfaces, properly distanced tables, and wait staff with face masks, face guards and gloves.
Please make sure to visit and support our local CD 5 businesses and restaurants that are appreciative of your patronage during these challenging times.
Join PAWPAC’s 40th Virtual Anniversary Celebration
Councilmember Koretz is pleased to participate in PawPAC’s 40th Anniversary Celebration in recognition of the organization’s four decades of animal protection in California through grassroots lobbying and electoral advocacy. The virtual celebration will take place on September 16th at 5:30 p.m. with these featured guests:
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz
Wayne Pacelle, Founder of Animal Wellness Action
Gene Baur, Co-founder of Farm Sanctuary
Beverlee MGrath, PawPAC Past Chair
René Rowland, PawPAC Chair
The event is free and may be attended online or by telephone. Interested parties may RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (877) 484-2364.
PawPAC was founded in 1980 by a group of animal advocates—most notably the late Virginia Handley—and seeks to benefit all nonhumans by bringing transparency to the work of the California Legislature through its annual humane scorecard which helps to inform its endorsements of candidates for statewide office. A generalist organization advocating for all animal species, PawPAC volunteers are grassroots activists speaking at agency and legislative meetings on behalf of animals who otherwise have no voice.
Masks Make The Difference for Everyone
Los Angeles County recently reported that the most concerning current impact on the spread of COVID-19 are people between the ages of 18-30 who are contracting COVID-19 at a higher rate than any other age group. This age group needs to understand that decisions to not wear masks and ignore social distancing practices are actually dangerous and endangering everyone around them. Wearing a mask really does make a difference. So don’t be a spreader; wear a mask every time you encounter people outside of your household.
Celebrate Bike Month in September
Here are some ways to celebrate Bike Month this year:
- Get a 30-Day Pass for $1: To celebrate Bike Month, Metro Bike Share is offering its 30-Day Pass for just $1. Use the promo code RIDESEPTEMBER online or in the Metro Bike Share app to redeem.
- Play Bike Month Bingo: The first 25 entrants to submit BINGO will receive a Metro Bike Share hip pack. One lucky winner will get a free 365-Day Pass on Metro!
- Ride a Metro Bike on Ride a Bike Day, Tuesday, September 22nd!
- Get social on social media: Add @BikeMetro on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share your Metro Bike rides with us.
So get out on a Metro Bike and ride this month! Just don't forget to wash your hands before and after every trip, keep physical distance between yourself and others while using stations and while riding, and to wear a mask while in public.
Be A Hero, Give Blood
The Bel-Air Association invites you to Give Blood on Sunday, September 13th.
Appointments are available from 11:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. at The Bel-Air Association headquarters at 100 Bel-Air Road, Los Angeles, CA 90077.
Appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure proper social distancing.
To sign up to donate, please visit https://www.donatebloodcedars.org/ group code: BABC
All donors are required to wear a face mask. Donors will receive their choice of a coupon for a pint of Baskin-Robbins ice cream or a limited edition t-shirt.
Pitty-Kitty Adoption Event This Weekend
Don’t miss this weekend’s Pitty-Kitty adoption event, sponsored by The Paula Kent Meehan Pet Care Foundation. Find your new furry friend by going online at www.LAAnimalServices.com to view all available cats, kittens, and pitty-resembling dogs.
During Pitty-Kitty, adoption fees will be reduced for all pitty (pitbull)-resembling dogs. Adoption fees for cats will be waived by the Paula Kent Meehan Pet Care Foundation and adoption fees for kittens will be waived through a generous grant from the ASPCA.
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 (Bel Air/ Encino) and through email email@example.com. 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.