Unfortunately I have some bad news for you. This week the State Assembly voted to Pass both SB 9 and SB 10. Both bills passed the Assembly despite efforts from the Los Angeles City Council that voted last week for my resolution to officially OPPOSE both bills, along with a statewide coalition of local governments and community activists. In fact, they passed despite recent statewide polling showing that 71% of voters oppose SB 9 & 75% oppose SB10.
And while these bills still need to go through the CA State Senate, the writing is on the wall that they will make their way to the Governor's desk to be signed fairly soon.
Our only hope now is to lobby the Governor to veto these two bills.
As I've noted several times here in this newsletter, in the press, and on city- and statewide calls, these bills were created and designed by developers and real estate investors under false branding of "affordable housing." Rather, they are “trickle down housing” policies based on the erroneous premise that incentivizing more luxury housing will miraculously produce more affordable housing.
They do nothing to help solve homelessness, nothing to build workforce housing or address any of the real shortages of affordable housing, and would make developers and investors richer in the process. Moreover, if both are signed into law, they will drive up the cost of real estate by de facto up-zoning most properties and decimate environmental review.
Acting today is critical to STOP SB 9 & 10 so please contact Governor Newsom by clicking here.
Spreading the Word: Paid Time Off to Go Get Vaccinated
The Delta variant is a serious concern to all of us — and because it is so important for people to get their COVID-19 vaccinations, I authored a motion that the Mayor signed into law ensuring that all working Angelenos are afforded paid time off to get their shots (even if their sick time is already used up.)
Because we wanted to make sure to spread the word to communities throughout the City, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson joined me to create the following Public Safety Announcement to alert both employees and employers about the new law and to encourage everyone to prioritize their own health and that of their community without fear of losing wages by getting the vaccine. (Click the image below to watch the video.)
No matter whether you work at a small company or a large corporation (or even if you are employed by the City of Los Angeles) your employer must give you up to 4-hours paid time off to go get your COVID-19 vaccinations and up to 8-hours paid time off for any side-effect related symptoms that stop you from being able to safely work. Together, we can make this pandemic a thing of the past but it takes all of us, click this link to find a vaccination location near you.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
Urgent - Please Help Identify Properties for CD5 Homeless Housing
Los Angeles’s Project Homekey program is looking for properties in Council District 5 to purchase for permanent housing for our unhoused residents. If you know about any potential locations, please send them to my office by this coming Wednesday, September 1st for this round of funding.
Vacant Apartment Buildings or Hotels:
• NEW buildings would be preferred
•Apartment buildings or hotels of 40 units or more would be preferred, as well.
Please email leads to my office at: email@example.com.
California Is In Drought - Please Reduce Your Water Use
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) spoke out this week to heighten public awareness of the worsening water shortage affecting the state of California and calling on our customers to redouble their efforts to further conserve water.
On June 30th, Councilmember Koretz introduced a motion requesting a report about the pending update to the Colorado River Compact to meet the worsening drought conditions, including the implementation of water conservation elements, water recycling, and watershed management approaches like storm water capture and reuse, groundwater remediation, the use of native plants for landscaping, and turf removal programs.
“Given the enormity of the alarming drought crisis across the Southwest, we need to do everything we can sooner rather than later to protect the future of our great city,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz. “We are at a critical juncture with new leadership at MWD, the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan in place, and rapidly-worsening climate breakdown occurring all around us. Now we must work collaboratively with our partners across the Southwest toward a healthy, resilient tomorrow.”
City Hall Illuminated Orange to "Stand Up to Cancer"
Last weekend Los Angeles City Hall joined landmarks across the United States and Canada in lighting up building facades in orange lights for cancer awareness in a show of support for the seventh biennial Stand Up To Cancer telecast that aired Saturday night.
The day has also been proclaimed Stand Up To Cancer Day in Los Angeles by the City Council. Other Los Angeles landmarks that were illuminated orange included the Capitol Records Building and the LAX pylons at the Los Angeles Airport.
City Hall Will Be Purple Tuesday Evening, August 31st.
For the second year in a row, Councilmember Koretz has arranged for City Hall to be illuminated in purple lights in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day in partnership with LA-based non-profit organization Moms Against Drugs. This annual event on August 31st is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died, and acknowledge the grief of families and friends left behind. The campaign raises awareness of overdose, which is one of the world’s worst public health crises, and stimulates action and discussion about evidence-based overdose prevention and drug policy.
West LA Welcomes AzziArt Gallery to Pico Blvd.
Last weekend, Councilmember Koretz joined gallery owner Aziza Azizova and Westside Neighborhood Council Vice Chair Lisa Morocco as they proudly cut the ribbon for the grand opening of AzziArt Gallery in West Los Angeles.
Talented artist Aziza Azizova was born in Taraz, Kazakhstan into a loving family of Uzbek heritage and moved to the United States seven years ago. Shortly thereafter, she fell into a relationship that would soon become abusive and riddled with domestic violence. With the help of a strong community network, she began a path to recovery and has been able to express herself and her emotions through art. The art gallery's opening marks a new chapter of her life by triumphing with a cultural cornerstone in West Los Angeles, a venue to depict her own work and a safe welcoming space for other artists to realize their potential through expression.
“I want people to love each other, and I want to bring them together, to help protect the world, and to see happy faces,” said Azziza Azizova.
Critical to helping coordinate the event was our Westside Neighborhood Council Vice-Chair Lisa Morocco who proudly said, "We are so happy to celebrate a new business coming to Pico Blvd. After a year and half of tough times with COVID, Aziza’s gallery opening is welcome news to the community!”
Please check out the gallery’s Instagram page here or online at https://azziart.gallery/. Or better yet, stop by and have a look around at the wonderful art at 10511 W. Pico Boulevard.
Norms Encino Is Open
You can’t drive past a Norms location without noting its striking Googie architectural inspiration including dramatic angles, an orange color story, floor-to-ceiling windows and a towering sawtooth pennant sign. The iconic restaurant chain, renowned for abundant plates and cheerful service, has taken over the former Tony Roma’s space in Encino, and is now open (the planned spring opening was delayed by COVID). This marks the 21st location for the classic family diner, joining its Van Nuys counterpart as the second in the Valley.
Joan Pelico, Chief of Staff and Greg Martayan, Director of Public Safety to Councilmember Paul Koretz stopped by on opening day to welcome the Norm’s Encino Team.
Please stop by and experience the new and improved Los Angeles iconic landmark restaurant at 16573 Ventura Blvd. at Hayvenhurst in Encino, CA.
Emergency Renters Assistance Program
GOOD NEWS FOR L.A. RENTERS! Starting September 1, 2021, Angelenos can apply for rental assistance.
Los Angeles renters and landlords will now be able to apply for assistance through the State program starting at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 1st via HousingIsKey.com.
Residents can also call the appointment call center at 833-687-0967 if they need help filling out an application. Renters who have already applied to the City’s program will be provided with detailed instructions on next steps. More information is available at hcidla.lacity.org.
Coming Soon - Assistance for Small Businesses
To support struggling for-profit small businesses, the Mayor and City Council, through the 2021-2022 budget process, allocated fifty million dollars ($50 million) in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to implement a series of programs that promote a strong and equitable economic recovery in the City, consistent with ARPA regulations.
In the upcoming weeks, the first round of programs will be announced (tentatively scheduled for late September). A total of $37 million of “Come Back Checks” will be available for the City’s small businesses.
$25M - Restaurant and Small Business Recovery Program
Deployment of $5,000 grants to 5,000 small businesses impacted by COVID-19 including restaurants and other vulnerable industries needing assistance in their economic recovery efforts
$12M - Small Business Rental Assistance Program
Grants of up to $15,000 (or six months’ rent, whichever is less) to support rental/lease costs for about 800 small businesses in qualifying industries for both current and in arrears rent payments, and to eligible new businesses that need assistance with first and last month rent.
To get started, please start gathering the required Active Business Registration Tax Certificate (BRTC) and
Recent tax returns (2019-2020).
For more information, please visit the Economic & Workforce Development Department website at bit.ly/LABusinessSource
Redistricting Los Angeles Schools
You have an important role to play in helping the LAUSD Redistricting Commission redraw the LAUSD School Board Member (Board of Education) district lines. The Commission will be hosting seven virtual hearings over the next couple of weeks to build people-powered maps, but they need to hear from you first!
Please join the conversation and advocate on behalf of your community.
RSVP HERE AND SUBMIT A PUBLIC COMMENT
The virtual hearing dates and times are:
Saturday, August 28th, 11:00 a.m.
Monday, August 30th, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 1st, 6:30 p.m.
To attend one of the public hearings please RSVP HERE or join via Zoom through the link below:
Via telephone: 1 (669) 254-5252
Meeting ID: 161 077 4991
Spanish interpretation will be provided at all hearings via Zoom. To request interpretation services in a different language, please email redistricting.LAUSD@lacity.org or call (213) 221-2245, at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing.
Please join this critical conversation that will affect our school district for the next 10 years.
I-405 Public Scoping Comment Period Extended
The I-405 Freeway is one of the most traveled in the nation and Metro has a plan to make it easier to get around. Along with better transit and other improvements for this area, Metro is planning ExpressLanes for a better drive on the I-405.
ExpressLanes are managed lanes where toll prices are based on real-time traffic conditions and vary according to the level of traffic congestion using dynamic pricing. Also, ExpressLanes are free for qualified carpools, vanpools, and transit vehicles, and tolls are discounted for qualified clean air vehicles, to move more people in fewer cars and encourage sustainable travel behaviors.
Due to strong early interest in the project, the scoping comment period has been extended from 30 days to 60 days, through October 1st to allow more time for comment submissions. You are encouraged to submit your thoughts and comments on any alternatives, as well as help to identify issues that may need to be addressed in the environmental process.
Learn more by watching this 3-minute video or by visiting the Metro project website https://www.metro.net/projects/i405-expresslanes/.
L.A. Al Fresco Program Extended to Year's End
To provide ongoing assistance to businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the City of Los Angeles has extended L.A. Al Fresco through December 31st.
L. A. Al Fresco is an outdoor dining program that provides healthy spaces for local eateries to serve customers by expanding dining areas into parking lanes, driving lanes, and adjacent private lots. LADOT assists in the administration of Al Fresco by managing the reapportionment of transportation spaces into open-air dining areas, and by providing street barriers to protect restaurant customers and delineate dining zones. Before the program’s extension, Al Fresco was set to expire at the end of August 2021.
For details about L.A. Al Fresco, including how to file a program application, please click here. To facilitate the process of Al Fresco’s extension, program participants are requested to update their use authority certificates via the program application portal. Those with additional needs for assistance are requested to please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third Doses Now Available for Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised
The City of Los Angeles began administering third dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. Those who qualify should check with their healthcare provider to make sure that receiving a third dose is the best option for them. Moderna or Pfizer third doses will be administered at least 28 days after second doses. Additional doses are currently not recommended for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In addition, as LAUSD reopened its doors to in-person classroom instruction last week, we must continue to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our kids. We must continue to encourage Angelenos 12 years and older to roll up their sleeves for their first and second doses.
To find a vaccination site nearest you, please visit www.coronavirus.LACity.org/GetVaccinated
Updated Mask Guidance for Events
The California Department of Public Health announced that beginning September 20th, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for indoor events with 1,000 or more attending. Self-attestation to verify a person's vaccination status will no longer be accepted. You can read the release here. The County of LA Department of Public Health also announced that people must wear masks at outdoor mega events with 10,000 or more attendees, effective August 20. See the order 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 email@example.com. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.