Prohibiting 'Ghost Guns' in Los Angeles
Following an increase in shootings, gun-related homicides and a recent surge in the number of 'ghost guns' (low-cost, unfinished, non-serialized guns often marketed to those who are unable to purchase firearms legally) in Los Angeles, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Paul Krerkorian co-authored a motion requesting the City Attorney to draft an ordinance prohibiting the possession, purchase, sale, receipt and transportation of these ‘ghost guns” within the City of Los Angeles.
The City of San Diego recently approved a similar ordinance and in May of this year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) issued a rule that would expand the definition of a firearm to include weapons that can be assembled at home. The proposed rule aims to hold ready-to-assemble gun kits to the same legal standards as completed, serialized guns.
“Shootings and homicides have surged around the country since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Los Angeles has been no exception,” said Councilmember Koretz. As of July 2021 homicides are up nearly 30 percent over last year and shootings are up 43 percent. Additionally, even with a substantial increase in the legal purchase of firearms during the pandemic, over 40 percent of guns confiscated by the ATF and a third of crime guns recovered by the LAPD in Los Angeles in 2020 were ghost guns. “With such staggering numbers and the sharp increase in hate crimes, we cannot turn a blind eye on a backdoor that allows criminals to gain access to firearms when they would otherwise be denied through the front door.”
The item is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, August 18th in the Public Safety Committee.
ABC7 Eyewitness News: LA City Council Considering Ghost Gun Ban
Los Angeles City Council Moves Forward In Response to Recent Sewage Spill
The Los Angeles City Council this week unanimously approved a motion introduced by Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell that addresses the July 11th sewage spill at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant (HWRP) into the ocean.
“We are taking this very seriously, and while we are starting to get answers, we will remain vigilant on this issue and on all matters pertaining to the environment,” said Councilmember O’Farrell, Chair of the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice and Los Angeles River Committee. “Through accountability, innovation, public education, and a collective sense of urgency, I am confident that we can prevent this from happening again.”
On July 11th, a blockage in the HWRP system led to the discharge into the Pacific Ocean 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 the water was safe for swimming. LA Sanitation & Environment (LASAN), which operates HWRP, is currently engaged in extensive repairs to the facility. The local community has also been impacted by the odors caused by the disruption.
LASAN reported no adverse effects to current water quality or to marine life. Normal operations at HWRP are expected to resume by the end of August, and LASAN is expected to report back in approximately 90 days with a further update on the repairs, next steps, and cost.
"It makes perfect financial sense to use this crisis as an opportunity to address multiple problems at once. Use the funds necessary to restore Hyperion and start the process towards engineering Operation Next and 100% recycled water," said Councilmember Koretz, co-author of the motion. "Drought conditions are only getting worse and we need to be planning forward."
During the Council discussion, LASAN reported that it is currently undertaking several third party assessments including: plant protocols and procedures; HWRP’s conveyance system; and communications to the public. Facility and process improvements include: implementing procedures to open the bypass gate to pre-specified water levels; sealing and waterproofing doors to prevent damage to equipment inside HWRP; providing multiple connections to reroute flows from HWRP’s storm drain system and minimizing overflow of wastewater into Santa Monica Bay in the event of a spill; and working with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to evaluate and improve air quality monitoring.
A public townhall is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, August 18th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
To login online at www.zoomgov.com/j/1603621215
Or by phone by dialing, 1-669-254-5252. When prompted, enter meeting code: 160 362 1215 #, then # again.
Van Nuys Airport Proposed Departure Redesign Virtual Briefing
A virtual briefing by the FAA on the proposed redesign of Van Nuys Airport (VNY) departure procedures hosted by Los Angeles World Airports took place on Monday evening, August 9th. This briefing was a result of the Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force recommendation to modify VNY departure procedures to more closely mimic the previously existing flight paths from 2017, prior to the implementation of RNAV GPS-based navigation procedures.
Councilmember Koretz encourages all those who have been affected by the noise or who are interested in the topic, to click here to view the recording and presentation of the Proposed Redesign of the VNY Departure Procedures from August 9th, 2021.
Rec and Park Staff Spotlight
Councilmember Koretz had the honor of presenting a Certificate of Appreciation to Raul Mora, Senior Gardener at Holmby Park, who has dedicated more than 30 years of service to our beautiful Westwood Park. Many call Raul the King of Holmby Park and we are fortunate to have the Park so well tended for under his loving care. Thank you, Raul, for your three decades of service to the City and our parks and communities.
A Plea to Contact Your Assemblymember on Senate Bills 9 and 10
Despite the best efforts of a broad coalition led by Councilmember Koretz, the League of California Cities and dedicated community leaders, Senate Bills 9 and 10, (this year’s versions of state legislation which will end crucial environmental protections and open single-family neighborhoods to counter-productive, dense, multi-family housing) are advancing in Sacramento.
Originally promoted as affordable housing bills, neither bill produces affordable housing, and both bills will bring upheaval to stable and affordable communities:
- Both bills tie the hands of local communities, allowing dense market-rate and luxury rental housing achieved by destroying existing neighborhoods.
- SB 10 allows cities to rezone single-family areas, without CEQA review, to allow 14-unit apartments — 10 units plus four “granny flats.’’ And it wrongly allows cities to undo voter-approved initiatives that protect land.
- SB 9 lets developers demolish single-family homes to build “by right” four to eight units where one home is now. Yards will be turned into 4-foot setbacks. All trees can be cut down. No garage is required. No affordable units are required.
SB 10 implies that the four allowed granny flats, called ADUs and JADUs, will be affordable. In fact, the developer can price all 14 units at luxury or market-rate levels.
SB 9, aimed at single family neighborhoods also contains no affordability requirements.
The City of Los Angeles has in recent years done just about the best job of any city in the state on housing production. It has mechanisms for meeting these needs without destroying single-family neighborhoods or placing high density in inappropriate locations such as our fire season danger zones.
Both SB 9 and 10 were approved by the California State Senate. In the next three weeks, and perhaps earlier, the bills are expected to be considered by the State Assembly.
Councilmember Koretz is working to stop their progress. But that can’t happen without Assemblymembers hearing from you, their constituents.
To object to SB 9 and 10, please contact the Assemblymembers representing parts of CD5 and adjacent neighborhoods including Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, Assemblymember Richard Bloom and newly-elected Assemblymember Isaac Bryan.
You can find information on how to contact them here:
Here to Serve
My staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005, 323-866-1828 (West LA), or 818-971-3088 (Bel Air/ Encino) and through email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.