This week the Los Angeles City Council took two very important steps towards enhancing public safety, health, and quality of life for all Angelenos.
First, to halt the COVID-19 surge, all City employees will now be required to get vaccinated or tested weekly as an amendment to the Mayor's Safer At Home order. Councilmember Ridley-Thomas and I also co-authored a motion to implement mandatory vaccination of City employees. While the government is doing its part to protect employees, it must be said that the only way to eradicate this virus is when enough people have gotten inoculated. Remember that even those who are vaccinated may contract the virus and transmit it to others, which is why indoor masking also continues to be of the utmost importance.
Secondly, after months of deliberation the City Council has adopted an ordinance to replace the outdated section of the Los Angeles Municipal Code which governs how sidewalks and other rights-of-way in the City are regulated to allow for full public access. By amending Section 41.18 of the LAMC to specify the particular times and locations where it shall be unlawful for a person to sit, lie, or sleep, or to store, use, maintain, or place personal property in the public right-of-way, the ordinance passed by the Council will allows us to identify the most problematic places for public access, including areas like the main entrance to a school where children would be blocked from safe pedestrian travel. This ordinance is a reflection of the will of the voters who supported Measures H and HHH, coupled with offers to provide services and housing at every interaction with the unhoused.
As I discussed in my remarks to my Council colleagues, this ordinance is merely one step in the development of a citywide framework to better manage our public right-of-way (including ADA compliance), while continuing the work of getting services and solutions to the far too many people who remain unhoused:
“To those opposed, this ordinance by itself does not criminalize homelessness. What it does, however, is revise a section of the municipal code that is outdated by many decades and creates a new framework to keep portions of our public right-of-way accessible to everyone. And while by itself it is not the solution to homelessness, it does enable service providers to place some additional pressure on those who are service resistant to accept shelter and services.”
Click image below or this link to listen to my complete remarks.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
In the News
Councilmembers Koretz and O’Farrell Ask for Report on Hyperion Water Treatment Plant Sewage Spill
Los Angeles City Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz introduced a motion to address the July 11th sewage spill at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant (HWRP) of approximately 17 million gallons of sewage (or 6% of HWRP’s daily load) one mile offshore instead of the standard five miles. As a precautionary measure, nearby beaches were closed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) for two days before being reopened after shoreline sampling verified that the water was safe for swimming. LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN), which operates HWRP, is currently engaged in extensive repairs to the facility as well as administering a treatment process to mitigate the odors that have impacted the local community.
“The Sanitation workers whose quick thinking saved Hyperion from complete destruction should be commended for saving Santa Monica Bay from an even worse and ongoing sewage spill. While we work to make absolutely certain this never happens again, we need to repair with the future in mind,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz. “Since we are already making plans to transform Hyperion to recycle 100% of our available purified wastewater via Operation NEXT, we could potentially save significant funding by using the current repairs to actively mitigate our ever-worsening megadrought.”
The motion further instructs LASAN to immediately report on the cause of the spill; its impacts on the ocean, beaches, and water quality; the current state of repairs at the Plant; steps it is taking to control the noxious fumes and odors impacting the local community; and steps to mitigate future similar occurrences, including public education efforts. The motion also instructs LASAN to report on its coordination with DPH regarding public notification of the spill, and how emergency public notification protocols can be improved. Lastly, the motion instructs LASAN to look for engineering opportunities to use the necessary repairs to begin the transformation towards the 100% recycled water Operation NEXT project and thereby maximize funding resources.
Click here to listen to Councilmember Koretz discuss this further on KNX-AM 1070 radio.
Koretz Introduces Motion Calling on the City’s Building Inspectors to Report on Safety of City’s High Rise Buildings
Out of an abundance of caution, this week Councilmember Koretz introduced a motion instructing the City’s Department of Building and Safety, Bureau of Engineering and Fire Department to prepare a report on existing inspection protocols for high-rise buildings, best practices for their inspection, and steps that can be taken to prevent the type of tragic event that occurred in Surfside. The motion also directs the departments to prepare a map that identifies the location of all high-rise buildings in the City, and the dates of their most recent structural inspections or reviews, with particular focus on Century City, Downtown, and the Wilshire corridor.
The June 24 collapse was a tragedy that residents of the Champlain Towers, as well as their families’ and friends’, should never have had to experience. "I’ll be doing everything in my power to ensure that an incident like this never happens in Los Angeles," said Councilmember Koretz.
Save the Date - August 3rd - National Night Out at Poinsettia Park
National Night Out is an annual event meant to build relationships between community members and law enforcement. While multiple communities will be holding National Night Out events across the City, please save the date for the evening of Tuesday, August 3rd, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and join our staff, LAPD and Melrose Action Neighborhood Watch at Poinsettia Park, and learn about latest public health and public safety measures happening in the Fifth Council District. Masks are required at this outdoor event.
Free COVID-19 testing and Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccinations will also be available at Poinsettia Park’s South Lawn, 7371 Willoughby Ave. at Fuller St., and second doses will be available at the same location on August 24th.
Walk up appointments are welcome and/or if you prefer to pre-register to get tested, please click here.
Ridgeline Protection Ordinance Comment Period Extended to August 2nd
Los Angeles City Planning staff has been working closely with our office and grassroots community members and organizations to develop the Ridgeline Protection Ordinance. The Planning Department has extended the public comment period for the Ordinance to August 2nd, to give community members and local stakeholders additional time to comment on the draft proposal and zoning tools being proposed to better preserve and protect the City’s ridgelines, or natural crests of the mountains that surround and bisect Los Angeles.
In developing the Ridgeline Protection Ordinance, the Department aims to protect and preserve the City’s ridgelines—not only to preserve their natural profile and aesthetic value but to also retain the ecological benefits. To achieve this goal, the Department has proposed a series of setback, height, and grading restrictions to limit the degradation of ridgelines and ensure that new development is appropriately scaled and designed with a sensitivity to the surrounding ridgeline environment. Please note that the intent of the Ordinance is to focus only on new development and does not seek to impact existing homes in these hillside communities. All interested constituents are encouraged to continue to email both CD5 Senior Planner Daniel Skolnick at email@example.com and the Planning Department at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or recommendations.
Click here to read the Draft Ordinance
Click here to read the Fact Sheet
Click here to view the Public Hearing Presentation
Get involved with the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Express Lanes Project
Metro is actively seeking your opinions on the challenges and priorities facing corridor improvements on the San Diego Freeway. In coordination with Caltrans, Metro is evaluating alternatives to convert the existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to dynamically-priced, high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, also called ExpressLanes, in the southbound and northbound directions of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass, between US-101 and I-10.
Please visit the website https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/405expresslanes
to take this 3-minute survey no later than August 8th to be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Target gift card. This survey will also allow you to sign up to receive project updates via email or SMS text.
StreetsLA Cleaning and Improving Infrastructure in Council District 5
Thank you to StreetsLA for a year’s worth of maintenance on the roads and also tree cover and maintenance in the Fifth Council District. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, StreetsLA was out in the community responding to community and council office requests.
18,990 Miles of Street Sweeping
1,255 Trees Trimmed
35 Miles Resurfacing Lanes / 51 Slurry Miles
99,692 sqft Pothole Repairs
Food Distribution - Saturday, July 31st - Mid City West
Councilmember Koretz is proud to join Television City and community partners for a food distribution event this Saturday, July 31st.
If you or someone you know can benefit from the event please come by from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 7800 Beverly Blvd. (enter through Fairfax).
The event will include a drive-thru grab-and-go format, but walk-ups will also be accepted. People can pick-up food and groceries. Diapers will be distributed to families with babies. For information, visit midcitywest.org.
Cultural Grants Available
The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is now accepting applications for its Cultural Grants Program. DCA supports creative projects that reflect the core values of inclusion, diversity, equity, excellence, and access. Nonprofit organizations and festival producers offering free and/or low-cost cultural events taking place between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 can apply.
For more information, please visit: https://culturela.org/grants/cultural-grant-program-org/.
Deadline to apply is August 27, 2021
Applicants will receive notification of results in May/June 2022
- Applicants receive legal contract and/or panel feedback in July 2022
For instructions to register for DCA Cultural Grants Program webinars and workshops, please visit: