All eyes are focused on tomorrow’s general election. If you have not voted yet PLEASE make a plan to vote tonight or tomorrow, November 3rd. Helpful voting information is included further down in this newsletter.
Also, due to budgetary constraints, the Los Angeles City Council has approved an ordinance that requires civilian staff to take an unpaid leave tomorrow. Therefore, our offices will be closed. However, if you have an urgent issue that can not wait, members of our staff have volunteered to answer our main phone lines between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.:
City Hall - (213) 473-7005
Valley District Office - (818) 971-3088
West LA District Office - (323) 866-1828
If you have any questions about how to cast your vote in Los Angeles County, please visit www.vote.net to find voting centers and ballot drop boxes. You can also call us during working hours (listed above) and we will try to help you with any unique voting issues or problems, as well.
Additionally, with Halloween behind us, the extended traditional holiday season begins. In a normal year, this would be the next couple of months of family time and holiday gatherings. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, 2020 has been anything but normal.
I am writing to urge you to exercise great caution as you consider how to celebrate the upcoming holidays. This Wednesday, October 28th, the City Council hosted our LA County Director of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, as well as the LAUSD School Superintendent, Austin Beutner, and heard again that LA County is still not yet in a safe infection range. Also, the LA County Health Department has announced the highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases since August. Combined with the infection spikes being reported all around the country and around the world, this is extremely alarming. Models are showing that some hospitals in other states are expecting to run out of hospital beds in the near future.
We do not want this to occur here in LA County and so we must remain vigilant and focused. We must continue to emphasize wearing masks, physical distancing, and to NOT HOST OR ATTEND LARGE GATHERINGS OF ANY KIND. Do it for yourself, do it for your elderly and at-risk friends and family members, do it for our medical professionals who need our assistance to keep them safe and effective as well to not overtax hospital facilities, and, most of all, do it in the memory of all those who we have sadly lost.
Thank you for all that you have done to keep yourselves safe. Thank you for understanding the very real need to make the hard call not to host a large family Thanksgiving dinner, and not to travel during the holidays. Please consider reaching out through other means such as online platforms, sending handmade cards to your loved ones, or even making donations to favorite charities in your loved one’s name.
The top infectious disease expert in the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said this week that it may be 2022 before we begin to approach any sense of normality again. I look forward to that day and I want very much for all of us to still be around so that we can all celebrate together.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
In the News
MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE
With Election Day tomorrow, we are encouraging Angelenos to drop off their Vote by Mail ballots at any official drop box or Vote Center.
There are more than 400 official ballot drop boxes throughout L.A. County — including outside every one of our City’s Public Library locations — to help you easily and quickly return your ballot.
There are also hundreds of Vote Centers open across the region every day through November 3rd. This year, the Vote Centers include iconic L.A. landmarks like Dodger Stadium, Staples Center, the Hollywood Bowl, and many more. These sites allow plenty of space for physical distancing so you can vote safely.
Click here to find a Voting Center convenient to you. Also, Metro will offer FREE rides on bus, rail and bike share on Nov. 3 For your convenience, here are the available voting centers located in Council District 5:
Mayor Garcetti Announces ‘Recovery Roadmaps’ to Help Manufacturing Businesses Recover From Covid-19
Last week, Mayor Garcetti announced Recovery Roadmaps –– a program to help small and medium-sized manufacturers in Los Angeles navigate the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Los Angeles is a manufacturing capital, and with COVID-19 dealing a devastating blow to this vital sector, we have to equip our small manufacturers with the tools and resources required to come back stronger than ever,” said Mayor Garcetti. “So many factories used their assembly lines to deliver masks, gowns, and personal protective equipment to workers on the front lines of this pandemic, and Recovery Roadmaps will help these essential businesses navigate our new reality and weather these unprecedented times.”
Recovery Roadmaps is working with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) to provide participating manufacturers with individualized plans to help them adapt to the current economic climate. This initiative seeks to assist 3,500 small and medium-sized manufacturers in the Los Angeles region by September 30, 2021.
Each customized roadmap will supply business owners with recommendations and resources to assist in the recovery from COVID-19. These blueprints can include support in the following areas: Business Continuity and Workforce Planning; Workplace Safety; Marketing; Acquiring PPE; Market Diversification; Local Supplier Matching & Scouting; and Risk Management.
The City is also leveraging its network of Business Source Centers to connect manufacturers to the Recovery Roadmaps program. Any manufacturer in the Los Angeles area with fewer than 500 employees is eligible to participate, and interested businesses can sign up or learn more here.
Beyond the individualized plans, the Recovery Roadmaps effort will seek to highlight specific sectors within the local manufacturing community through a “pitch fest” to connect small business owners with new clients.
Local Emergency Code Amendment Proposed to Aid Small Businesses
On October 19th, the City Planning department released a draft ordinance that would grant small businesses relief from certain land use regulations during a state of emergency. Referred to as the “Local Emergency Code Amendment,” this ordinance would allow applicants to qualify for time extensions for certain planning approvals if financing falls through for a project.
Additionally, the Local Emergency Code Amendment would allow businesses to flourish along Los Angeles’s commercial corridors by encouraging them to start up in vacant spaces that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. In particular, the ordinance would ease the process for granting change of use permits without triggering new parking requirements, provided that the property is under 5,000 square feet and is not expanding beyond the existing footprint. These projects would be eligible for administrative approvals that would not rise to the level of discretionary review.
In the coming weeks, planning staff will hold a public hearing on the draft ordinance, before preparing a staff report for consideration by the City Planning Commission. The ordinance will then advance to the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee before going to the City Council.
Read the Fact Sheet here
Read the Draft Ordinance here
New Early Pay LA Discount Program for Certain Citations Paid Within 48 hours
Mayor Garcetti has announced a new economic relief program that will provide motorists with an early payment discount on certain citations paid within 48 hours. The program, Early Pay LA, will award a $20 discount and remain in effect until June 30, 2021.
Starting Monday, November 2nd, the new program will award discounts for early payment on citations for residential street sweeping, overnight and oversize parking districts, and vehicles displaying recently expired permits within preferential parking districts.
In addition to this new program, the Department of Transportation (LADOT) offers several economic relief programs to assist low-income individuals and individuals experiencing homelessness with outstanding parking citation debts and citation amnesty.
The Department's existing programs will include:
- Community Assistance Parking Program (CAPP): Allows individuals experiencing homelessness to pay their parking citations through volunteer community service or enrollment in a homeless service program.
- Low-Income Payment Plans: Creates a payment structure for eligible low-income motorists to waive late fees and allow up to 18 months to pay off base citation fines.
- Citation Amnesty Program: Grants a one-time opportunity for those with citations over three years delinquent the chance to waive all late fees and pay the base citation amount(s) over a period of time.
- Unemployment Citation Amnesty Program: Assists those experiencing unemployment during the pandemic by waiving late fees and creating payment plans.
For more information on the Early Pay LA program and parking regulations, please click here to visit the Parking Violations Bureau.
Student Engineer Internships Available at LADWP
LADWP is currently accepting applications for its Summer 2021 Student Engineer Program.
The program provides college-level engineering students with practical on-the-job-training and experience. Students are paired with LADWP engineers and work in technical teams throughout the organization. The deadline to apply is December 19th.
Join Metro’s Public Safety Advisory Committee
Metro invites the public to apply to join the new Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). Applications are open until November 13, 2020. Click here for more information including Metro’s second virtual information session on November 5 and links to apply to join this Committee.
What is the PSAC?
Following the George Floyd protests earlier this year, the Metro Board is seeking recommendations on how to reform the agency’s policing practices. The PSAC will be part of this effort working in partnership with community leaders to re-envision transit safety and community-based approaches to policing.
Who is Metro seeking?
Metro is seeking 15 community members and three alternates who:
- Regularly ride the Metro System;
- Are committed to ensuring that Metro follows best practices for providing safe transportation, and feels safe for our customers; and
- Bring relevant knowledge and expertise as a resident, advocate for racial justice and/or public safety reform, law enforcement expert, mental health provider or expert, or social services provider or expert.
What is the time commitment?
Applicants should plan on being able to meet until June 2022. The exact meeting schedule will be established once the PSAC is formed. We anticipate that the PSAC will meet twice per month in a virtual setting, most likely late afternoon or early evening.
Join a virtual information session hosted by Metro on November 5th.
hank you for your continuing support of Metro’s efforts.
Free San Fernando Valley Audubon Society Membership
The San Fernando Valley chapter of the Audubon Society is currently offering a free one-year trial membership. Members have access to their wide variety of educational and conservation programs, including informative bird walks, nature activities, and advocacy for important environmental issues to prioritize the importance of birds in nature.