Our city is grappling with a host of deep-seated challenges – the containment of COVID-19 and the equitable distribution of vaccines, the economic fallout of the pandemic and staggering job losses, the intertwined crises of housing affordability and homelessness, rising violent crime, and the reimagining of how law enforcement works in, and with, communities of color.
These challenges are partly a reflection of longstanding inequalities in education, employment, housing, and health care that the current crisis has only made worse. They’ll require an “all hands on deck” approach to tackle -- every idea, policy approach, and recommendation should be on the table.
It is the charter-mandated responsibility of the City Controller to conduct performance reviews of all City Departments to assess the effectiveness of the programs for which they are responsible and to determine if the departments are performing as efficiently as possible. The City Controller has produced hundreds of audits and policy recommendations – from evaluations of the voter-approved Measure HHH, and women’s pay and representation, to expanding digital government services, contracting equity, and creating a more effective Disaster Service Worker program.
The City Council has traditionally taken the role of vetting and, if appropriate, implementing the recommendations in the Controller’s audits. In the past, to facilitate adequate consideration of the Controller’s audits, the Council’s Audits and Government Efficiency Committee would meet to discuss the audit with the Controller’s auditors and the affected departments. I chaired that committee for several years at the beginning of my Council career and I was able to partner with then-Controller Wendy Greuel to implement certain efficiencies. For example, a Controller’s audit identified that the City paid its bills early, a practice that was not cost-effective. I pushed the City to use available technology to pay its bills exactly on time, resulting in savings of millions of dollars.
The Audits and Government Efficiency Committee was then unfortunately dismantled in an effort to reduce the number of Council committees and as a result, the City Council lost the functionality of reviewing audits. To revitalize this role, I asked the Council President to refer all audits from the Controller’s Office to the Personnel & Animal Welfare Committee which I chair. She agreed, and the Committee has added Audits to its name and function. We have advanced several important ideas already in the short time the Committee has had audits added to its duties.
The City Council has a responsibility to ensure that Angelenos come away from this pandemic better than they went in, and we should be looking to every corner of the City – and to our state and federal partners – for ideas and resources to build a better, more equitable, more just Los Angeles, and I will work to use the Audits function in my committee to help get us there.
On another note, Passover begins this Saturday evening.
Passover reminds us of our commitment to freedom, human rights, and welcoming the stranger. As the traditional words read at the Passover meal say, “All who are hungry, let them enter and eat. All who are in need, let them come celebrate Passover with us.” That said, we have a responsibility to create a more equitable and kind City to ensure that all those vulnerable among us will be welcomed and aided in dignity.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
Mid City Greenway Proposed Project Through Beverly Grove, Fairfax, and Hollywood
LADOT is working with community partners to create two intersecting neighborhood greenways through the neighborhoods of Beverly Grove, Fairfax, and Hollywood.
The Mid City Neighborhood Greenways will connect Central L.A. neighborhoods with calmer local streets. These streets are on the Mobility Plan 2035 Neighborhood Enhanced Network, which serves as a system of low-volume streets that are slower moving and can be more comfortable alternatives to arterials for people walking and biking.
Please click here to RSVP for the Rosewood & Martel Community Meeting discussion that will be taking place on April 6th at 5:00 p.m.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program Application Will Be Open March 30 through April 30, 2021
The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the State of California and the federal government, has created the 2021 COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to assist resident renters who have been unable to pay their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible, a household must pay rent on a residential dwelling and meet the following requirements:
- Be a resident of the City of Los Angeles, regardless of immigration status.
- One or more individuals within the household have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income
- The household income is at or below 50% of the area median income (AMI)
The program WILL OPEN on Tuesday, March 30th at 8:00 a.m. and close on Friday, April 30th at 11:59 p.m.
For more information, please visit https://hcidla.lacity.org/.
COVID-19 Relief + Recovery Grant Opportunity Available for Small Businesses and Nonprofits up to $25,000
Round 5 of the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will be open from Thursday, March 25th through Wednesday, March 31st.
Lendistry, a minority-led, LA-based CDFI and a partner of LISC, was selected to administer a $500 million statewide grant fund on behalf of the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions.
Please note that receiving a grant from the LA Regional COVID Fund would not deem you ineligible for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant. This new grant program is being administered separately from the LA Regional COVID Fund.
If you have any questions about this program please visit the website at https://careliefgrant.com/partners/county/.
City Hall Lights Up Blue and White For the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution, Greek Independence Day
This Thursday, Councilmember Paul Koretz recognized the 200th Anniversary of the 1812 Greek War of Independence by lighting up City Hall in the blue and white colors of the Greek flag. Los Angeles has a strong Greek-American population that is part of its vibrant and diverse fabric. In fact, Athens, the capital of Greece, and Los Angeles share a Sister City relationship dating back to the 1984 Olympics. As Los Angeles prepares to host the Olympic Games for the third time in 2028, it will honor Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and Democracy.
The Ancient Greeks were the founders of Democracy, and yet 200 years ago their own principles were tested through a nine-year revolution to decolonize from the Ottoman Empire that led to the formation of the independent state of modern Greece. Councilmember Koretz was proud to support this vibrant community and recognize this important day in their history by displaying the colors of their flag on City Hall in commemoration of this important event in the history of their country.
|Photograph Courtesy of City Photographer Raymond Kwan. |
The translated as "the Struggle," was a successful war of independence waged by Greek revolutionaries against the Ottoman Empire between 1821 and 1830. The war led to the formation of modern Greece. The revolution is celebrated by Greeks around the world as independence day on the 25th of March.
Please sign up to participate in the volunteer-led Mid-City West Homeless Count on Wednesday, March 31st from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Television City at Beverly and Fairfax.
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) will not be doing the count this winter, but because it is critical to understand how the homelessness crisis changes every year - especially during a pandemic, the results of this count will be shared with LAHSA for coordinated efforts.
Counting will be via driving tracts only. For best safety and health measures, people may volunteer that can safely be in a car with a "pandemic pod" of 2 or more people (3 is ideal).
Please sign up by registering here.
If you are a singular person looking to volunteer, there are plenty of other opportunities for you, so please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about volunteering.
Volunteers Wanted for the Westside Neighborhood Council Community Clean-Up Effort
The Westside Neighborhood Council (WNC) is asking for volunteers to participate in a community clean-up over the next 6 weeks. Each volunteer will be asked to "adopt" one (or more) of forty sections of the community to clean and revisit for upkeep on a weekly basis at his or her convenience.
You may do it yourself or create a clean-up team. WNC will provide gloves and trash bags, brooms and dustpans, as well. Please click here to sign up for an available section (most sections are 2 blocks long).
Please email Lisa Morocco and Jae Wu at email@example.com for further information and instructions about picking up cleaning supplies.
Please abide by these safety guidelines:
- Do not pick up sharp objects;
- Avoid any homeless areas or possessions of those living in encampments. ; and,
- Be aware of traffic as you clean up.
Need help with large items or graffiti removal? Please take a picture and email the location to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Please tell any business owners who ask, that you are a part of the WNC Community Clean UP, an effort to clean up and revitalize the local business community. Encourage your friends to sign up as well!