As we make our preparations to celebrate the Fourth of July next weekend, it's easy to want to return to the way things used to be before COVID-19 -- to enjoy family gatherings, barbecues and partaking in all that Los Angeles has to offer outdoors. But please continue to put safety first - remember, not everyone is vaccinated (including children), and even vaccinated people can carry the virus to those who are still vulnerable.
Also, last week we got only the first heatwave of many to come over the next several months. The drought has already exacerbated dry conditions and there is no relief in sight. In fact, high temperatures are expected across Los Angeles County, bringing elevated fire conditions and excessive heat Sunday and Monday.
That is why the Department of Public Health is reminding everyone to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness, especially older adults, young children, outdoor workers, athletes, and people with a chronic medical condition. Some of those suggestions for heat-related safety precautions are provided further down in this newsletter.
So among other summer safety precautions, please leave the fireworks to the professionals. Beyond the dangers to the individuals setting them off and those around them and fires they can cause, illegal fireworks take a toll on community members and their pets. Please take a moment to learn more about fireworks safety here and reporting illegal fireworks at the MySafeLA website at mysafela.org/fireworks-safety.
Finally, please be advised that LA County beaches, piers, parking lots, and bike paths will be closed throughout the weekend until Monday, July 6 at 5:00 a.m. to prevent crowds from forming.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
In the News
Eviction Defense Comes Online To Decrease Homelessness
The City of L.A. has finally launched the long-awaited Eviction Defense Program (EDP) first proposed by Councilmember Koretz in the summer of 2018. After months of hard work in collaboration with service providers, tenant advocates and property owners, a multi-purpose program was developed by the spring of 2020. However, it was held up by the sudden drop in City revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, attention and resources originally intended for the EDP were diverted to emergency rental assistance and other efforts to help people who were suddenly put out of work by the pandemic.
Now, after an influx of state and federal funds and with the prospect of a surge in evictions looming as California emerges from the imposed slowdown, all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s have been crossed to get EDP up and running. The program, which can be accessed through the City’s network of Family Source Centers, will offer assistance to qualified tenants facing eviction or at risk of being evicted with eviction prevention, case management services offering housing stability, financial counseling, and homeless prevention resources to families.
“I’ve been focused on combating homelessness by preventing it in the first place,” said the Councilmember, “but with all the economic disruption and housing displacement going on, the City has been trying to bail out a leaky rowboat. We know that a large percentage of unfair evictions can be avoided if the tenants have legal representation and guidance, so this program is a way the City can directly help tenants stay in their homes.”
That said, the City’s Housing and Community Investment Department is offering free webinars in June to introduce the program to interested tenants and landlords.
Councilmember Koretz encourages those in need to take advantage of them, and information on how to register for the webinars can be found here or by calling (213) 928-9075.
Redistricting Commission To Hold Public Hearing for the Fifth Council District
The Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission (LACCRC) has developed a calendar for Public Hearings that will provide residents across our vast and diverse City the opportunity to talk about their “communities of interest”, a fundamental component of drawing new Council District boundaries.
A public hearing for CD5 is proposed for Wednesday, July 7th at 6:00 p.m. in a virtual format. 15 council district hearings and 4 regional-scale hearings will run from July 1st through September 25th. The Commission will follow a standard format for introducing the Redistricting process and receiving public testimony from as many residents as possible about their perceptions of their “communities of interest”.
To RSVP, please send an email to email@example.com
For more information, go to http://redistricting2021.lacity.org/LACCRC
Over the next few weeks the City will release a draft of the 2021-2029 Housing Element and Safety Element 2021 Update. Save the date to attend one of two webinars to learn more about the drafts and participate in a question and answer session.
Thursday, July 8 6:00-7:30 p.m. - REGISTER HERE
Tuesday, July 13, 12N- 1:30 p.m. - REGISTER HERE
Over 40,000 Engaged in Housing Element Concept Outreach
In late 2020 the City launched the “Concepts” phase for the 2021-2029 Housing Element. This plan phase focused on six concepts guiding the Housing Element Update that were drafted based on state law and the feedback City Planning collected during the "Vision" phase of its outreach. The Concepts focus on how the Housing Element will address housing-related issues in the City. All six concepts respond to urgent needs: addressing the housing shortage, advancing racial equity and access to opportunity, and promoting sustainability and resilience.
During this phase the department of City Planning engaged with an unprecedented number of people through several targeted outreach efforts, including three webinars, a statistically valid poll, and a public survey. Each of these is discussed in more detail in the attached PDF. In addition to these efforts the city held a meeting of the full Task Force, attended six Neighborhood Council alliance meetings, and held several smaller stakeholder meetings with community organizations.
Learn More: https://planning.lacity.org/plans-policies/community-plan-update/housing-element-news/wrapping-concepts-phase
Halo Installation -- Remembering Monique Muñoz
This past weekend Councilmember Koretz and staff gathered with the family and friends of Monique Muñoz for a Rainbow Halo installation in her memory. At just 32 years old, Monique’s life was senselessly and tragically taken much too soon, in an accident that should never have happened. As she was driving home from work at about 5:00pm, heading east on Olympic Blvd., a 17 year old male driving a Lamborghini going 120 miles per hour collided with her vehicle, totaling it, and ultimately causing her untimely death. The group was joined by SoCal Families for Safe Streets founder Jeri Dye Lynch, mother of 16-year-old Conor who was also a victim of a fatal traffic accident during his Junior Year at Notre Dame High School, when he was killed in a hit-and-run accident. The first rainbow halo was installed in 2019 to honor his memory. Also speaking was Lili Trujillo, founder of Street Racing Kills, who tragically lost her 16-year-old daughter Valentina, when she was killed by a young man who was street racing and crashed while giving her a ride home.
The Halo on Olympic & Overland now serves as hallowed ground to both pay tribute to Monique and also serves to remind drivers that there are very real consequences for street racing and careless driving. Councilmember Koretz will continue to stand with Monique's family and friends, because justice for Monique must prevail and be our priority. Monique is now an angel in the City of Angels, watching over her family and friends and will continue to be remembered as a vibrant young woman who was the joy of all who knew her. She has touched us all. May she Rest In Peace.
Spiffing Up CD5
Pacific Graffiti Solutions and their amazing staff, including their summer youth crew, have been hard at work at Military and Pico helping to do cleanups in CD 5. Yvette Neal, Founder/CEO oversees a fantastic group that has been critical in helping us keep the district clean.
Beautification Grants Available -- Deadline June 30th
The City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works, Office of Community Beautification (OCB) and Keep Los Angeles Beautiful (KLAB), an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful – the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, have launched the KLAB Community Beautification Grant or Beautify LA Grant. The new grant program will support the efforts of community-based groups to beautify public spaces throughout Los Angeles and empower individuals to take personal action to improve their neighborhoods.
The Beautify LA Grant is a competitive matching grant of up to $2,500 that will be awarded to selected community-based groups in the City of Los Angeles to fund exceptional neighborhood beautification projects that are designed to enhance the public spaces where Angelenos live, work, and play.
OCB and KLAB are now accepting proposals for the Beautify LA Grant until the submission deadline on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
Are You Brush Fire Ready?
There are hundreds of brush fires in the city every year, but most of them go unnoticed because firefighters respond quickly and extinguish them while they are still extremely small. Firefighters use a combination of air and ground resources, and take advantage of different kinds of technology that are now available. We ask members of our community to be diligent with brush clearance and fire safety.
LAFD continues to practice and prepare for the next big wildfire. Every large brush fire starts as a fraction of an acre at one point but can quickly grow out of control.
Please click here to watch a recording of LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas on L.A. Cityview's Maria Hall-Brown discussing all things wildfire, as the temperatures quickly rise around Southern California.
Take the Public Safety Announcement and Fireworks Survey
Did you know that thousands of people in Los Angeles use fireworks even though they are illegal? Please watch this Fireworks LA City 2021 video to learn more.
Do you have an opinion about the use of illegal fireworks in Los Angeles? Have you seen fireworks being used? Do you have pets? Are you a veteran? A homeowner?
The best way to create change is to share real and authentic opinions and experiences. With good data, change is possible.
You are encouraged to take the 2021 Fireworks Survey, produced by MySafe:LA that is designed to gain input from anyone affected by fireworks - pro or con. They want to learn what your opinions are, your concerns, your preferences, and anything you want us to know about fireworks. Please take the survey by clicking here.
How to report people using fireworks
There are several safe and secure methods for reporting fireworks in Los Angeles - these include:
- The MyLA311 smartphone app. It’s free and available here: www.lacity.org/MyLA311
- Also, the LAPD has an online fireworks form that you may fill out at: https://complaint.lacity.org/fireworks
- IMPORTANT: Please do not dial 9-1-1 unless you see someone being injured or at risk of immediate injury, or a fire or other emergency. Instead, please use this telephone number: 1-877-275-5273
Safety precautions to Beat the Heat this Weekend
The Los Angeles Department of Public Health also recommends to take the following precautions:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Please remember to call 911 IMMEDIATELY if any signs of heat-related illness (high body temperature, vomiting, and pale and clammy skin) is present.
- Never leave children or pets alone in a car -- even with “cracked windows'' temperatures can rise to dangerous, life threatening levels in just minutes. If you see a child or pet alone in a car, call 911 IMMEDIATELY!
- Check on those that are at risk, those who are sick, the elderly, pregnant women and children.
- Check with your power company to see if there will be any rolling outages in your area.
- Thankfully, there are free indoor air-conditioned locations throughout the County. where you can keep cool when there are extreme heat weather conditions. To find a Cooling Center near you, please visit https://ready.lacounty.gov/heat/ or call 311 for a list of cooling centers throughout the City of LA.
- Public Libraries are a good place to cool off and are included among many of the Cooling Centers.
Los Angeles Public Library has reopened 5 locations in Council District 5
- Encino - Tarzana Branch Library
- Fairfax Branch Library
- Palms - Rancho Park Branch Library
- Robertson Branch Library
- Westwood Branch Library
There are also 70 locations open throughout the City with select services including quick browsing, computer access, and materials pick-up.
You are encouraged to visit the LA Public Library online for updated hours and services.
California Is In Drought, Please Reduce Your Water Use
All of California is in some level of drought, according to the US Drought Monitor, and at increased risk of wildfires. About 33 percent of the state is in "exceptional drought," the most severe classification.
How is our region doing in terms of drought? This past winter was our second wet season in a row to have pretty low rainfall totals, and the majority of our area is in D3, extreme drought.
LADWP offers a variety of water-wise tips and water conservation measures including landscape redesign, appliance and plumbing upgrades. You are encouraged to take advantage of LADWP Water Conservation programs for both residential and commercial facilities that help conserve water and might even save money on your bill. Click here to learn more.