Header Image - Paul Koretz
October 3, 2020   

Dear Friends,

You may have heard in the news about the recent violence against our Los Angeles Police Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies. Last week two Sheriff’s Deputies, who were parked in their patrol car, narrowly survived a brazen shooting in Compton. This week shots were fired at an off-duty LAPD Officer who was heading home from the West Valley Division. Another LAPD Officer was attacked in the lobby of Harbor Division.

The Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department provide Angelenos and residents of LA County safety and security. Their devotion and dedication to the job is admirable and commendable.  Every day these officers leave behind their families, friends and loved ones when they put on their uniform and badge, and go out into the world to do their duty and protect the public.

The assaults against the guardians of our City must stop. They need to be able to get back to the work of keeping peace on our streets. These despicable acts are unconscionable and I stand with the LAPD in condemning these acts of violence. Besides being sworn to uphold the law, these public servants serve in many different capacities: as mentors, as teachers, as listeners, as drug counselors, as coaches, as detectives, they reunite families, they are guardians and still they are peace officers. Any harm or loss of life due to an act of violence is tragic and unacceptable.

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



In the News

  1. Larchmont Buzz - Launching RegenerateLA – Los Angeles’ New Strategy to Give Back to Mother Nature
  2. City News - Officials Want More Time From FAA to Comment On Hollywood Burbank Airport Project
  3. LAist - Parking Relaxation Expiration Extended to October 15

LEGISLATIVE NEWS

FROM THE DESK OF JEFF EBENSTEIN
DIRECTOR OF POLICY & LEGISLATION

COVID Emergency Eviction Defense Program

Working off the program template created for Councilmember Koretz’s 2018 proposal for an Eviction Defense Program, on September 23rd the City Council adopted an emergency version of the program co-sponsored by Council President Martinez and Councilmembers O’Farrell and Koretz.

This approval provides approximately $10 million for a program that will provide pre-eviction services and legal assistance for tenants faced with COVID-related threats of eviction for the duration of the declared emergency. It will take a few weeks to get the program up and running, and more information will be available at the Housing and Community Investment Department website soon.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 has exponentially worsened an already dire situation for many Angelenos struggling to stay in their homes and far too many of them might end up out on the street,” said Councilmember Koretz. “For the past two years, my office has been working on a general Eviction Defense Program which all along has been intended to keep eviction cases out of court, provide legal assistance when necessary, provide rental assistance when needed to halt an eviction, and provide wrap-around services to help tenants be better educated about their rights. I am proud to join Council President Martinez and Councilmembers O'Farrell in moving this legislation forward.”


Home Sharing Ordinance Enforcement Enhancements

L.A.’s Home Sharing Ordinance (HSO), which went into effect in November 2019 has experienced some growing pains, especially in the area of identifying unregistered or improperly registered sites and disqualifying them from use. Even with those challenges, however, Los Angeles has witnessed a 64 percent decrease in short-term listings, amounting to over 23,000 fewer citywide listings on AirBnB and other home sharing platforms as of August 1, 2020.

When the HSO was approved a while back, a key provision of an agreement signed at the same time the ordinance was approved by the City Council required AirBnB to work with the City to develop software that would track and remove unregistered properties across the City. Key targets are Rent Stabilized properties that are not owner-occupied but operating as “fauxtel rooms” or party homes.

After its long-awaited launch in August 2020, this Application Programming Interface (API) helped the City Planning Department (which administers the HSO) remove another 1,350 ineligible listings in just one week.

AirBnb is the first hosting platform to pilot this program, and once fully operational, AirBnb listings that are ineligible or without a registration number will be removed on a daily basis. These ineligible listings include Rent Stabilized and registered affordable housing units as well as units that were either subject to recent evictions under the Ellis Act or have been registered on the “Proactive Prohibition” list by the landlord or manager in charge of the property.

The City Planning Department staff is also working to improve its registration system to reduce the number of ineligible properties that get listed in the first place.


Retention Program for Low Income Pet Guardians

This week Councilmember Koretz introduced a resolution to help the Department of Animal Services establish and pay for a Pet Retention program for low-income pet guardians in Los Angeles. As a potential surge in evictions threatens to accompany the severe disruption in the incomes of pet guardians caused by the pandemic, more people are expected to be put in the unfortunate position of not being able to afford to keep their animals. This program will create a pilot program at the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter located in a neighborhood where a lot of low-income families live, and will provide counseling and financial assistance to help people keep their pets instead of relinquishing them to the shelter. The City Administrative Code requires that the City Council approve a resolution authorizing the use of funds from the Animal Welfare Trust Fund to create this new program.

 

Plans to Use LA Food Waste to Drawdown LA Greenhouse Gases; Inspired by Groundbreaking New Netflix Documentary “Kiss The Ground”

With record-breaking climate-exacerbated wildfires burning across the west and extreme weather pummeling the Gulf Coast states, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz (CD5) and Mike Bonin (CD 11) introduced a motion on Wednesday launching RegenerateLA which they are calling “an antidote to global warming.”

At a press conference that morning, along with healthy soil and regenerative agriculture experts and key city staff and inspired by and in coordination with the world premiere of the groundbreaking new documentary “Kiss the Ground,” Councilmember Koretz announced the legislative action to “drawdown,” or pull greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through a holistic, comprehensive effort by using the City’s annual estimated 280,000 tons of food waste to build healthy soils on parklands and open space. In the wake of the COVID-19 economic crisis, the additional goal is to create jobs throughout the City, particularly in the areas that need it most.

Click here to watch the entire press conference and to learn more.



FAA’s Inadequate Response to Increased Air Noise and Environmental Effects Concerning

Valley and hillside residents have suffered sharp increases in air noise and environmental effects due to the implementation of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) new NextGen Metroplex program, which transitioned the majority of the Van Nuys and Burbank airports' flights over South San Fernando Valley neighborhoods.

"This has been a very long, complex and frustrating process for the residents of the San Fernando Valley,'' Koretz said. "The residents of the Santa Monica Mountains, in particular, have endured frequent, extremely loud, low-flying airplanes disrupting their lives and the lives of neighboring wildlife."

In a press statement in May, Councilmember Koretz was still hopeful. "I believe that the work we have done together will bring forward solutions that benefit everyone impacted by Southern California air traffic."

After many public hearings, the Task Force approved and submitted a set of recommendations to the FAA and both airport authorities. The FAA’s response to these recommendations was dismissive and Councilmember Koretz, along with his colleagues, are concerned and disappointed by the woeful response. Councilmember Koretz and Councilmember Ryu wrote a letter explaining some steps that the City of Los Angeles and our partners in Congress can pursue to work on convincing the FAA to rethink the situation.



Click here to read the letter.



Great news! Governor Newsom signs California Bill AB 1788

Please join us in extending our gratitude to Governor Newsom for signing the California Ecosystems Protection Act (AB 1788 - Bloom), the state bill that places a moratorium on the use of second generation anticoagulant rodenticides. This makes California the first state in the nation to ban the most toxic rodenticides that also kill predators like owls, bobcats, coyotes, and mountain lions. Simply put, rat poison is an indiscriminate killer that harms native wildlife and domestic animals, too. In fact, of the animals tested in the Santa Monica Mountains region, a high percentage tested positive for rodenticide exposure (92% of the bobcats and 94% of mountain lions.) Our native wildlife is the barometer of the health of our larger environment, which is why Councilmember Koretz has worked with the Department of Recreation and Parks to successfully remove SGARs from our 460 square miles of LA City park area. It is also why he and his colleagues Councilmembers Blumenfield and Ryu have stood firmly with our hillside communities, scientists, and environmental organizations in support of this important bill. This act is a big first step but it is just the beginning and we must continue to fight for ways we can protect our owls, hawks, mountain lions, and bobcats to restore the natural balance of pest control in our wild areas. Hopefully, other states will soon follow.

 

COMMUNITY RESOURCES


Tax Penalty Amnesty Program

In an effort to provide financial relief to distressed businesses negatively impacted by the current economic climate, the Office of Finance will administer a Tax Penalty Amnesty Program from October 1, 2020 through December 17, 2020. The City of Los Angeles will waive penalties for the following: Business Tax, Communications, Electricity & Gas Users Tax, Commercial Tenant's, Transient and Parking Occupancy Tax provided businesses paid any outstanding principal, interest and applicable fees owed to the City.

Who is Eligible?

1. Registered businesses operating in the City of Los Angeles who are behind on paying taxes;

2. Registered businesses operating in the City of Los Angeles who have underreported their business activities; and,

3. Unregistered businesses.

Any penalties paid prior to October 1, 2020 will not be eligible for a refund. The offer is good between October 1, 2020 through December 17, 2020. The program shall apply to penalties for delinquent tax liabilities for tax periods ending on or before December 17, 2020.

Please note our City Hall, West LA AND Figueroa Plaza One-Stop Locations are closed at this time.

Our Van Nuys Location will be open with the following adjusted schedule effective October 12th, 2020:

Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Closed

*Van Nuys Public Counter will be closed from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., daily.

For additional questions, please contact customer service at 844-663-4411 Mon -Thursday from 8:00am to 4:30 pm and on Wednesday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm or visit the web page at finance.lacity.org/amnesty

Please note that participation in the Tax Amnesty program is voluntary and non-participation does not impact a taxpayer’s administrative appeal rights.



Essential Work Continues

LADWP crews completed work overnight to restore power to the remaining customers affected by power outages caused by the record-breaking heat storm over the last few weekends since Labor Day weekend. In the event that any customer may still be experiencing either low voltage/dim lights or an outage, please check your circuit breakers. If the problem is still not resolved, please call 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) so a DWP crew can be dispatched to investigate.

We want to thank both these incredible crews who worked 16-hour shifts around the clock to restore power, and customers who were affected by outages. We appreciate your patience as LADWP, along with other utilities in Southern California, respond to the major heat incidents that have been affecting our local distribution grid. Crews will continue working to make permanent repairs in areas where temporary repairs were made to restore power more quickly.


LOS ANGELES NEEDS YOUR HELP


Get your Free Flu Shot As Soon As Possible to Help Keep Our City Safe

With the fall and winter seasons quickly approaching, please prepare for a new chapter in our fight against COVID-19. The flu season threatens to increase the number of people in need of medical care which can lead to what experts are calling a “twindemic” –– seeing our community and economy overtaken by both the flu and COVID-19, and placing a strain on our hospitals that they simply can’t handle.

We must do everything we can to keep our health care system from getting overwhelmed, protect Angelenos’ health, and save lives.

A flu shot should be part of everyone’s annual routine, but this year, it’s more important than ever. With few exceptions, we all should call our doctor, visit a pharmacy, or use VaccineFinder.org to track down resources and make an appointment to get vaccinated. And because this year, the stakes for flu season are higher than before, Mayor Garcetti launched a pilot program with the USC School of Pharmacy to bring flu shots directly to more Angelenos across the city in the weeks ahead.

Anyone with a confirmed COVID-19 case should wait to get a flu shot and stay in isolation. Those with COVID-19 symptoms should consult a medical professional before getting a flu shot. Residents will be able to get their shots free of charge, with no appointments necessary.

To learn more about the program or find a location to keep our city safe and get your flu shot as soon as possible, please visit Coronavirus.LACity.org/FluShot.



2020 Census Deadline Extended But There’s No Reason to Delay - It’s Simple To Be Counted

There’s another critical way to support our city, our health and safety, our families and our neighborhoods: fill out the 2020 Census.

The deadline to fill out your census form is fast approaching and all Angelenos need to be counted and make our voices heard. A northern CA Court has recently ordered the Census Bureau to continue counting until October 31, 2020

The census count couldn’t be more important and the final tally will shape what L.A. will look like for the next decade. It will determine how many representatives we send to Washington D.C. to fight for our interests –– and how much funding we bring home for our roads, schools, health care, unemployment benefits, and other essential programs.

If we don’t respond by the deadline, those resources will end up going somewhere else, which we can’t let happen. All it takes to prevent this from occurring is ten minutes of your time, ten minutes to secure L.A.’s future for the next ten years. The power is in our hands.

You can fill out the census online by going to My2020Census.gov, or you can complete it over the phone in a variety of languages.  A list of phone numbers by language can be found here.  As a reminder, you will never be asked about your immigration status.

If you’ve already filled it out, your job isn’t done.  Please check in with five friends to make sure they’ve filled out their form too.



Vote By Mail Ballot Deadline is October 19 - Check Your Registration Today

This year’s election is more important than ever, and our job is simple: cast a ballot. The last day to register to vote and receive a Vote by Mail ballot is October 19th. If you miss that deadline, you can register and vote in-person at any Vote Center up until November 3rd.

And remember, there are three ways to cast your ballot: you can mail it, place it in a drop box, or show up in-person at your local voting center from October 24th through Election Day.  Remember, voting is our civic duty, and everyone should have their say.

Key dates:

  • 10/5: Vote by Mail ballots mailed out to all registered voters and can be returned by mail or at official drop boxes
  • 10/19: Last day to register to vote to get a Vote by Mail ballot
  • If you miss this deadline, you can still register and vote in-person at any Vote Center.
  • 10/24: Some of the Vote Center locations will open for safe in-person voting and registration
  • 10/29: All Vote Center locations will open for safe in-person voting and registration
  • 11/3: Election Day – LADOT rides will be free; last day to mail back Vote by Mail ballots (must be postmarked by 11/3)

Note: If your ballot is postmarked by Election Day and received within 17 days by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder, it will be processed, verified, and counted.

And just as important, even if you think you’re registered to vote, double check your status and verify that your information is correct. To do that, and get more information on voting in Los Angeles, visit LAMayor.org/LAVotes.



Metro Wants Your Help Unsnarling LA Traffic

Gridlock steals valuable time and creates stress for all of us.  To-date, efforts to ease traffic have not kept up with the demands of long-term regional growth. While the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced traffic congestion for the moment, traffic is likely to return and get worse as our economy gets back on track.  Consequently, Metro is considering new approaches* to addressing traffic congestion as part of the plan to make it easier to get around. 


Please join the upcoming public meeting for the Traffic Reduction Study:

  • Tuesday, October 6th, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Click here to register for this meeting

Emails provided at registration will receive meeting log-in details and reminder notifications only. In addition, participants will not be signed up to receive further communications from Metro, and personal information will not be used for any other purposes.

These meetings will provide an opportunity to learn about the study, ask questions, and provide your input.  Please note that the content of all meetings will be the same.  Participants will be able to join online or call in.   Live translations in Spanish will be available, and a Spanish-only meeting with translated information will be held on Saturday, October 3rd from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

*Metro’s Traffic Reduction Study will focus on determining if, where, and how a potential pilot that includes congestion pricing and more high-quality transportation options could reduce traffic to make it easier for everyone to travel, regardless of how they travel. Ultimately, a recommended pilot will be brought to the Metro Board, in partnership with one or more cities, for consideration.

For more on this study, please visit the Metro website at metro.net/trafficreduction

Please email any questions to wigginsr@metro.net

COMMUNITY UPDATES


Councilmember Koretz Joins Congress of Neighborhoods Zoom Meeting

The Los Angeles Congress of Neighborhoods brings together leaders from the City’s 99 Neighborhood Councils for a day of networking and education. Held yearly, the event aims to help Neighborhood Council leaders obtain the tools and establish the relationships they need to build a successful future for their communities.

Councilmember Koretz was pleased to join the Congress of Neighborhoods for a Zoom meeting over the weekend where he spoke about several housing and planning topics as well as the importance of Neighborhood Councils. In particular, he discussed how he is working to fight short term rentals that are being used for party houses and our collective work to defeat SB 1120, among 9 bad planning-related bills, that could have been a disaster for single-family neighborhoods and made housing affordability worse, NOT better. These bills also would have decimated local control of the planning decision making process. As well, Councilmember Koretz and his staff remain vigilant to stop similar bills that will likely arise in the near future.



Los Angeles City Hall and LAX Recognize Ovarian Cancer Awareness

For the fourth year in a row, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz (CD5), Nury Martinez (CD6) and Monica Rodriguez (CD7) recognized Ovarian Cancer Awareness in City Council announcements but due to COVID this year there was no in-person presentation. The illumination of City Hall and LAX pylons is inspired by the work of grassroots non-profit organization, The Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini who died at 20 years of age from the disease.  The non-profit was founded by her mother Paulinda Babbini.  It is The Circle’s intention to educate the public about the disease, highlighting the often missed, silent symptoms and the importance of being your own health care advocate.

Ovarian Cancer is one of the deadliest gynecologic cancers. More than 22,000 women are diagnosed each year with a 50 percent mortality rate. And for those who fight it successfully, there is still a 50 percent chance of recurrence. Ovarian Cancer can happen to any woman of any age. Women should know that while annual pap tests determine cervical cancer, they do not detect ovarian cancer. In fact, there is no early detection test for the disease other than a CA125 (a test that measures for cancer antigen 125 protein) which is not always accurate. Therefore, ovarian cancer usually gets diagnosed in the later stages of the disease which is partly why it has a high mortality rate. Women need to know the symptoms and should talk to their doctor about a trans-vaginal ultrasound exam, although insurance companies may not cover the procedure. Please be aware of the symptoms as early detection is the key to survival. Thank you to The Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired By Robin Babbini for partnering with our office to keep Los Angeles women educated and supported.



Beloved Mary & Robbs Gets New Wind From Westwood’s Own Roozbeh Farahanipour

Gratitude and kudos to Westwood’s own Roozbeh Farahanipour, owner and president of Delphi Greek Cafe, as he takes on this exciting new role in shepherding and guiding Mary & Robbs Westwood Cafe, its staff, and legacy through many more years of success and service to Westwood in the future.

For the past 41 years, David Hekmat has been the face of Mary & Robbs Cafe, guiding its success and welcoming our Westwood community for THE best breakfasts, most wonderful lunches, and most delicious family-style dinners anywhere.

Dining at Mary & Robbs always feels like you are dining at home with family and friends -- cozy, comfortable, and truly satisfying. Mary & Robbs began as a humble soda fountain and lunch counter inside the former Westwood Super Drugs at Westwood and Ohio, in the early 1940s or 50s. Since then, it has become one of the most iconic and beloved eating establishments in all of Westwood, and indeed Los Angeles. It is a throwback to a simpler time (and we can all appreciate simpler times right now!).

Last week, David Hekmat announced that he will retire and pass the reins to Roozbeh’s most capable hands. It is with gratitude and love that we thank David for his decades as a cornerstone of service and hospitality to the Westwood community.

Mary & Robbs hours of service for limited Outdoor Dining, Take-Out, and Delivery are:
Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Mary & Robbs offers FREE DELIVERY by calling the restaurant at (310- 478-3822 to order all of your menu favorites. And now you can also order through Postmates, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Doordash.

 

This message was sent to  by:

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