October is both Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, as well as Filipino- American Heritage Month and I am very proud and grateful to live in Los Angeles, an international city that celebrates our broad and vibrant diversity. I invite you to take part in some of the many culturally rich and fun-filled events happening throughout Los Angeles.
||Councilmember Koretz marches alongside colleagues Councilmember O’Farrell and Councilwoman Rodriguez at 2019 Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, an annual commemoration here in LA, home to the largest Armenian community in the U.S.|
Unfortunately, while we celebrate the wonderful diversity of our great City, prejudice and hate continue to ripple throughout our Country and across the world. Los Angeles holds the largest population of Armenians in the world outside of Armenia and the Fifth Council District is home to multiple Armenian cultural and religious institutions. Over the past two weeks it has been absolutely heartbreaking to join our Armenian friends and neighbors in witnessing brutal attacks of Azerbaijani rocket and artillery attacks, backed by the Turkish government, on the Armenian people of the tiny Republic of Artsakh whose ancestors have lived there for thousands of years.
In fact, this attack on the Armenians of Artsakh comes on the heels of three significant hate crimes against the Armenian community in California, including one incident with shots fired into an Armenian school.
This week I joined City and California State officials at a press conference hosted by Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD2) in condemning the barbaric actions that has killed hundreds and displaced thousands of Armenian civilian men, women, and children since the attacks began on September 27th. My colleagues and I emphatically condemned these atrocious actions and added that the Government of Turkey is actively complicit in these murders furthering their flagrant attempt to continue what they started in 1915, the Armenian Genocide that killed more than 1.5 million men, women, and children. The Turkish Government has denied these atrocities for over 100 years but these Artsakh attackes are only the latest in growing number of recent Crimes Against Humanity committed upon the Armenian people. Therefore, we collectively called on the United States federal government and the United Nations to immediately intervene to save innocent lives demanding that our nation stand with the Armenian people and the Armenian Diaspora - Artsakh is Armenia. A ceasefire was declared. This seemed to be a hopeful sign but it has already been violated by the Azerbaijani.
Please note: A first amendment “March for Victory” has been arranged for Sunday, October 11th beginning at Pan Pacific Park at 3:00 p.m. We have been advised that tens of thousands are expected to march proceeding South on Fairfax turning west on Wilshire ending at the Turkish Consul General's office located at 8500 Wilshire Blvd. So please consider expected traffic impacts in the Fairfax/ Wilshire area and plan accordingly.
You can read my entire speech here, and you can watch the entire press conference here.
Also, Monday, October 12th our offices will be closed in observance of Indigenous Peoples' Day, a day that honors the past, present, and future of Native peoples throughout the US. The holiday recognizes the legacy and impact of colonialism on Native communities, and it also celebrates the cultures, contributions, and resilience of contemporary Native peoples. There are many ways to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day in Los Angeles, the sacred land of the Tongva people -- here are a few.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
Check Your Mailbox for Your Ballot and Vote Early By Mail or Bring It to An Official Ballot Drop Box
Ballots have been mailed out for the November General Election which is arguably the most consequential election of our time. In a pandemic, protecting your health while casting a ballot is more important than ever which is why the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office, which administers our local elections, has sent Vote By Mail ballots to every registered voter in the County.
Like the March primary, voters won’t cast their ballots at their traditional polling location. Instead, voters will have the option of mailing in their ballots or dropping them off at a local Vote Center or at a Vote By Mail Drop Box.
Voters are strongly encouraged to vote early, especially when sending ballots through the US Postal Service to give ample time for your vote to arrive and be counted. In addition, Vote Centers will be open throughout the County starting October 24th where voters can safely cast their ballot in-person at ANY Vote Center in the County. Vote Centers will require masks and social distancing.
Vote by Mail Drop Boxes are already located in Council District 5 at Encino Park, Holmby Park, Westwood Branch Library, Robertson Branch Library, and in Palms at the Rancho Park Branch Library. Other convenient locations outside of CD5 include the Beverly Hills Library, the West Hollywood Library and the Fairfax Branch Library.
Every vote counts. Make sure you have a plan to ensure that your ballot arrives on time so that it can be counted.
The map of vote centers and their availability can be found at locator.lavote.net/locations/vc. The locations of drop-off ballot boxes can be found at locator.lavote.net/locations/vbm/.
If you are not registered to vote or need to update your voter information, please visit lavote.net where you have until October 19th to register or update your registration.
More information can be found at LAVote.net.
Honoring Officer Christopher Ragsdale Upon His Retirement
Councilmember Koretz and his staff would like to recognize, honor, and thank LAPD’s Officer Ragsdale for his many years of service to our office and the residents of the Fifth Council District, particularly the Bel-Air/ Beverly Crest and Westwood communities, where he served as Senior Lead Officer (SLO) for many years. He is currently the SLO for the Pico-Robertson-East and Crestview communities, but he will be retiring in the coming months. "We would like to send Officer Ragsdale off with our utmost appreciation for all that he has done for our community and for making Los Angeles a better place to work, live and play," said Councilmember Koretz. "It is hard to imagine CD5 without his involvement."
Officer Ragsdale was raised in the City of Los Angeles and joined the Los Angeles Police Department in March of 1989. He worked a variety of assignments, at first, including uniformed patrol, and specialized assignments such as the Westwood Village Foot Beat Patrol, Beach Enforcement Detail, and the Juvenile and School patrol car. He also worked in the Detective Bureau conducting investigations of Major Assault crimes, juvenile crimes, and sex crimes. He was promoted to Senior Lead Officer in 1998 and served the Pacific Palisades community for 8 years, and the Westwood, Bel Air, and Beverly Crest communities for 14 years and was recently assigned to the Pico Robertson-East, Crestview, and La Cienega Heights community.
At the same time, we are happy to welcome Officer Pete Ojeda who now serves the community as Senior Lead Officer. Officer Ojeda’s commitment and collaboration with residents in the region are impressive and to be commended. In just a short period, he has multiple successes in helping curb serious issues in his area. We know that he has big shoes to fill in Officer Ragsdale, but we are confident that he is up to the challenge and are thrilled to have his partnership with the community.
“Officer Ragsdale has not only been a staple in the communities of Council District 5 but he has become family to all of us. I have worked with him for fifteen years and he has been nothing less than responsive, caring, kind, effective, and professional. A man with true integrity, class, morals, and ethics. He will be sorely missed by all.”
- Joan Pelico, Chief of Staff.
“Honor, dignity, and commitment are just a few descriptive words that encompass the career of Officer Ragsdale. You can ask any civilian in our District and they will tell you Officer Ragsdale is the epitome of heart and soul. I am so proud to have known this man as he served this great city. I wish him well in his future endeavors.”
- Gregory Martayan, Director of Public Safety
“I have had the privilege of knowing Officer Ragsdale for twenty years, working with him both in the Pacific Palisades and Bel Air/Beverly Crest & Westwood communities. He has always been a model of what a police officer should be, a true mensch, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him for so many years. He will be missed!”
- Debbie Dyner Harris, District Director
“At neighborhood council meetings, Officer Ragsdale would always check in with me before the meeting, whether it was business or simply to chat. He would always listen to the community and provide clear and concise answers to their questions. He would wait and listen to my updates and interactions with the community before he left. Officer Ragsdale is the most polite police officer I have ever met (and my grandfather was a cop.)”
- Jarrett Thompson, Field Deputy to the Bel Air/ Beverly Crest Neighborhood
Project Planning 101 Training Sessions
Project Planning 101 training sessions are available to highlight how projects are reviewed, and to walk attendees through each step of the development review process beginning with the submission of a project application at the public counter and ending with the approval of a building permit.
Registration is still open for City Planning’s Planning 101 online training sessions. We’re excited to see that over 1,900 individuals have registered already!
The annual Planning 101 series provides a general overview of the core functions of planning in Los Angeles and serves as an educational and practical resource for anyone interested in learning more about how land-use policies are created and implemented. This year's Planning 101 series consists of two presentations, one on project planning and one on community planning. Each presentation will be offered several times, but the content will remain the same each time.
In keeping with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Safer At Home orders, this year’s training will be offered virtually to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Attendees will be able to join remotely, either by telephone or through GoTo video conferencing software.
RSVP for one of these upcoming presentations:
- Tuesday, October 13 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. RSVP here
- Thursday, October 15 from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. RSVP here
- Saturday, October 17 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. RSVP here
Curbing Canyon Street Racing
Street racing is dangerous in any neighborhood but a fiery crash in the hillsides could not only jeopardize the lives of other drivers or pedestrians but those of hillside residents as well, especially in a High Fire Severity Zone where all it takes is a single spark. Thank you to the Department of Transportation for quickly recognizing and helping us try to stop these dangers to public safety by installing delineators at the intersection of Mulholland Dr. and Benedict Canyon Dr. These delineators help mitigate speed in the hillside community and help prevent auto racing and spinning donuts in this busy canyon intersection.
Parking Enforcement to Resume October 15
Beginning Thursday, October 15th, LADOT Parking Enforcement and Traffic control will RESUME parking enforcement and impounding of vehicles in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where applicable, for the following categories:
- Residential street sweeping
- Expired registration on a vehicle
- Overnight/Oversize parking districts
- Peak/rush hour and gridlock zone parking restrictions
- Ticket/tow for abandoned vehicles (72-hour rule)
- Vehicles displaying recently expired permits within preferential parking districts
LADOT will DELAY impounding vehicles used for dwelling pending a report back to Council in 30-60 days. Additionally, LADOT will DELAY the booting and impounding of scofflaw vehicles until January 1, 2021.
Enforcement is ONGOING for all the following categories:
- 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
- Parking restrictions for City-owned lots
At the instruction of Mayor Eric Garcetti, the department has also launched new economic relief measures to assist low-income Angelenos through a new program that allows discounts for citation payments that are made early.
This program supplements others created by the department to assist Angelenos in need including:
- Community Assistance Parking Program (CAPP): LADOT offers the CAPP for individuals experiencing homelessness that allows them to pay their parking citations through volunteer community service or enrollment in a homeless service program. As of June 30, 2020, LADOT has assisted 1,070 participants to complete 14,238 community service hours for a total of $559,783 worth of citations converted to community service.
- Low-Income Payment Plans: LADOT worked with the State Legislature to shape legislation that created or modified payment plans for the indigent and eligible low-income motorists. Depending on the existing payment plan, the City may waive all late fees for eligible motorists and allow up to 18 months to pay off the base citation fines.
- The citation amnesty program grants a one-time opportunity for those with citations over three years old to have all late fees waived with the opportunity to pay the base citation amount(s) over a period of time thereby clearing DMV holds, tax intercepts, and/or tow orders.
- The unemployment citation amnesty program assists those who lost their job during the pandemic by allowing them to have late fees waived and pay only the base citation amount over a period of time.
For a comprehensive list of parking regulations affected by the resumption of parking enforcement — and for more information on LADOT’s assistance programs — please click here.
Los Angeles Fire Department New Wildfire Safety Webpage Is Live
The LA Fire Department has launched a new website focused solely on Wildfire Safety information. The page focuses heavily on the preparedness aspect and provides information on Ready, Set, Go, a program that is designed to walk you through the steps to take to ensure you are prepared in the case of an approaching wildfire. It also links to existing brush clearance information and home hardening against wildfire, among other important resources. Please visit the site at https://www.lafd.org/wildfire.
LADWP Financial Assistance & Discount Rates Available
LADWP has several financial assistance programs to make sure your service is never interrupted just because you are short on cash by offering discount rate programs to make water and electricity more affordable for qualifying families who are experiencing difficulties paying their bills. They are also actively seeking customers who may have trouble managing their household expenses such as senior citizens, customers with disabilities, customers on life support equipment, and those who meet physician’s certified requirements to determine if they are eligible for a discount on their utility bills. Please contact LADWP before your bill becomes delinquent so you can reach an agreement on a payment plan. More information is available at ladwp.com/financialassistance.
First-in Fire Foundation Donations Delivered
Knowing how hard our firefighters are working, Councilmember Koretz felt they deserved a thank you and a good meal to boost morale and to help fill the firehouse freezers and stock their pantries with dry food by buying nutritious food locally. So, partnering with First-in Fire Foundation to arrange to pick up and deliver, he donated meals to seven LAFD Fire Stations 37, 43, 58, 61, 71, 83, and 92. Of special note, Councilmember Koretz’s field deputy Angel Izard joined First-In Fire’s program coordinator, Jared Purcell, in visiting each station and dropping off the food.
First-in Fire Foundation is devoted to fund-raising for the Fire Department, its firefighters, services, and programs including the Fire Department’s Adopt-A-Fire-Station Program, Fire Safety Education, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), and Emergency Preparedness, including Pet Preparedness. To learn more about First-In Fire Foundation programs, please visit www.firstinfirefoundation.org or call (323) 933-8164.
Metro Survey: Proposal to Eliminate Fares for All Riders
Metro has established an exploratory task force to develop a proposal called the Fareless System Initiative to eliminate fares for all riders on Metro buses and trains. As this Task Force studies and identifies the benefits, challenges, and implications of a fareless system, Metro wants to hear from you.
To provide your feedback and for a chance to win a $100 Visa card, please take this short survey!
Urging CA to Move to Single-Payer Healthcare System
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the deficiencies of our current healthcare system. With California now the fifth largest economy in the world, and with every other major country on earth offering universal healthcare to its citizens, it's time for California to move to a single-payer system.
With that in mind, Councilmember Koretz drafted a letter urging Governor Gavin Newsom and the Healthy California For All Commission to strongly consider the single-payer model as a way to realize equity in healthcare for all Californians. The Councilmember would like to thank his colleagues for supporting this effort.
Click here to read the full letter
Councilmember Joins LAPD Wilshire on National Night Out 2020
Councilmember Koretz and staff were proud to join our LAPD for National Night Out 2020. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. While in previous years National Night Out served as an opportunity to create a true sense of community by gathering in person, this year we celebrated together virtually via Zoom. During this meeting, LAPD officers alerted the community about the increasing number of home break-ins and auto thefts and reminded the public to make sure to lock their doors (even when home) and never leave keys in the car.
Coming Soon: LA COVID-19 Child Care Provider Grant Program
The City of Los Angeles COVID-19 Child Care Provider Grant Program application period is scheduled to open on Thursday, October 15th, and to close on Thursday, October 22nd.
The Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) is administering this program on behalf of the City, in partnership with the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF). The program will provide $10 million in grants to licensed childcare providers that can be used to cover items such as employee payroll (including sick time) and working capital expenses.
- There will be one round of grants.
- To be eligible, licensed providers must have budgets less than $5M and must not be Head Start or Early Head Start programs.
- Grants available up to:
- $10,000 for Family Child Care
- $25,000 for Small Centers (up to 60 slots)
- $40,000 for Large Centers (61+ slots)
- Funds may be used for:
- Employee payroll
- Payroll for employee sick time
- Working capital to continue operations
- Payment of outstanding business expenses
- Adaptive business practices needed to remain open
- Other expenses related to your typical program operations
If you need (virtual) assistance filling out applications, six of the City’s BusinessSource Centers are designated to provide technical assistance, including the East LA, Harbor, Hollywood, South Valley, North Valley, and West Valley Centers.
Please visit https://ewddlacity.com/index.php/lachildcaregrant for more information or to find the nearest center.
Artsakh Under Attack - March For Victory, October 11, Starting at 3:00 p.m.
Due to the current conflict in Artsakh, a first amendment “March for Victory” has been arranged for Sunday, October 11th beginning at Pan Pacific Park at 3:00 p.m. We have been advised that the march will proceed South on Fairfax turning west on Wilshire ending at the Turkish Consul General located at 8500 Wilshire Blvd. Tens of thousands are expected to march so expect traffic impacts and plan accordingly.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
“Big Dogs” will have discounted adoption fees of $25 (not including license) happening now through October 18th.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and a good time to bring home an animal companion from LA Animal Services. To encourage pet adoption, LA Animal Services will offer a discounted adoption fee of $25 (not including license) for our larger breed dogs during our Big Dog Adoption Event, until October 18th.
“We have a lot of amazing dogs in our Centers who would make great workout partners, couch potato buddies, and who can bring a lot of love into your home,” said Brenda Barnette, General Manager for LA Animal Services. “Don’t rule out a larger breed dog when looking to adopt a four-legged friend to be a part of your family.”
In celebration of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, we’re encouraging those who adopt from us during this month to share their stories! New “Big Dog” adopters from LA Animal Services are encouraged to share a photo of their new best friend on social media using the hashtags #AdoptaShelterDogMonth #LAcitypets #LAanimalservices and tagging us! We’re also always looking for stories to share and be featured on our social media accounts, so we encourage you to submit your story and photos to us by clicking here.
If you would like to adopt a pet, please follow these steps:
Due to the pandemic, our LA Animal Services Centers are open by appointment only. Please visit laanimalservices.com or call 888-452-7381 for more information.
- Visit laanimalservices.com/adopt and identify an animal you would 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 schedule a pick-up appointment.
- During the appointment, the staff will introduce you to your selected animal.
- Please be advised that due to City order in response to COVID-19, no more than 10 people are permitted in our facilities at a time, which includes staff.
- To comply with social distancing requirements, we will be scheduling appointments daily at our four LA Animal Services Centers from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Celebrating Filipino American History Month - October 10th Starting at 5 p.m.
As part of Filipino American History Month Celebration, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) invites you to their 48th Annual Benefit. With the theme, Vision for Tomorrow, it will be a star-studded virtual gala on Saturday, October 10, at 5:00 p.m., hosted by Erin Lim of E! Entertainment and beauty guru Patrick Starr. Money raised at this event will benefit Filipino American non-profit SIPA in Historic Filipinotown. Registration for the virtual gala is free, with viewing available on Facebook, IGTV, YouTube, or Twitch. Please support SIPA today by becoming a sponsor, purchasing dinner online, or making a tax-deductible donation at https://sipacares.org.
USC Latinx Heritage Month Closing Celebration w/ Dolores Huerta- October 13, Beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Please join USC President Carol L. Folt in our closing celebration for Latinx Heritage Month as she sits down with American labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, President and Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
DCA Latino Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide
This year the DCA’s Latino Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide feature over 100 events across the region that celebrate and honor our Latino communities. Please click on the image below to view the guide.
Gary has a smile that lights up the room! This senior dude enjoys going for walks and is great at keeping company! Gary is 10-years-old, weighs 57-lbs, and located at our East Valley Center. If you are interested in adopting Gary, please call 888-452-7381 and provide Gary's Animal ID (#A1942582). Click here to learn more.
Meet Thumper! This sweet dude weighs 4-lbs and is located at our East Valley Center. If you are interested in adopting Thumper, please call 888-452-7381 and provide Thumper's Animal ID (#A1954471). Click here to learn more.
Looking for something fashionable? Coco Chanel is your gal! This sweet diva loves to play and is super friendly. Coco Chanel is 5-years-old, weighs 65-lbs, and located at our West LA Center. If you are interested in adopting Coco Chanel, please call 888-452-7381 and provide her Animal ID (#A1905459). Click here to learn more.
Meet Batman! This handsome guinea pig is only 1-year-old, weighs 3-lbs, and located at our West LA Center. If you are interested in adopting Batman, please call 888-452-7381 and provide Batman's Animal ID (#A1954123). Click here to learn more.