This week the City Council voted to implement mandatory vaccination requirements for indoor venues in the City of Los Angeles, requiring everyone age 12 and over to be fully vaccinated before entering bars, gyms, restaurants or other indoor facilities beginning in early November. Also, people attending large, outdoor events will need to show evidence of either vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test to attend the event.
I am grateful to my colleagues for their leadership on this principled decision as well as our Mayor Garcetti for signing it quickly because our first priority is the safety of the public.
According to Los Angeles Times data analysis has found that “as of early September, state health officials calculated that unvaccinated Californians were 17 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than their fully vaccinated counterparts. In San Francisco . . . 75% of residents of all ages have now been fully vaccinated. . . And at UC San Francisco’s hospitals, the rate at which asymptomatic people are testing positive for the coronavirus is astonishingly low — 0.4%. In Orange County, of the people who died in August, 94% were unvaccinated.”
We have tried every possible avenue of encouragement from education campaigns to prize give-aways as incentives for Angelenos to go get vaccinated for the betterment of themselves, their families, and the community as a whole, but that just hasn't been enough. Now we must prioritize and reward those who have taken responsibility for their own and the community’s health, thus helping to make opening up all of our indoor venues safer. If you can't show vaccination, then you forfeit the freedom to endanger the health of others. At the same time the County and LAUSD are moving in the same direction, but we need to make sure that we have buttoned up loopholes to slow future pandemic surges.
We have some remaining protocols to work out by the November 4th implementation date of the ordinance, but we expect those to come back from the Rules committee to City Council for final votes soon. Along those lines, I have asked for a few reports back. First, since malls and shopping centers have multiple entrances, making enforcement logistics at these locations a bit more difficult, I have asked the CLA to report back on allowing shopping malls to post signage at all entrances stating that vaccination is required for entry and that failure to comply may be grounds to deny entry. Second, in the interest of this being as self-enforcing as possible, I asked that the CLA report back on a provision that requires businesses who receive a “notice to correct” in a prominent location at the entrance to their establishment.
As we were reminded during the Council debate on this measure, these requirements are controversial and may be challenging to enforce. But we know that most Angelenos are inherently law-abiding and respectful of the well-being of their fellow residents and workers, so I am hopeful for significant cooperation to bring us toward getting the pandemic under control in the City of Los Angeles.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
Koretz Calls For Audit of Gun Violence Prevention Programs in Los Angeles
Like most cities in the United States, Los Angeles has experienced a disturbingly sharp increase in homicides year over year with roughly two-thirds involving the use of a firearm. Although there is no simple explanation for those gun-related deaths, the pandemic has certainly played a role compounding massive job loss, business closures, and related loss of housing. The climate of uncertainty, social tension and crime, coupled with a sharp increase in firearm purchases in the last 18 months, seem to have created a perfect storm for the daily gun violence on our streets.
Of course, every single life lost to gun violence is far too many and one should note that the current number of homicides in the city is well below the 1990s -- Los Angeles and New York accounted for 13.8 percent of homicides nationally in 1990, compared with 3.8 percent in 2020. In response to the surge in the 1990s, the City of Los Angeles launched a variety of social, youth and community sustainability programs intended to curb gun violence including the LAPD’s Jeopardy Program, gang intervention workers, the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, and gun buy-back programs.
This week, Councilmember Koretz introduced a motion asking the City Controller to undertake an audit of social, youth and community building programs geared toward gun violence prevention in the City of Los Angeles. The hope is that this audit will help to gain more insight into what programs have been most effective, as well as other ideas we might consider implementing.
In August, following an increase in shootings, gun-related homicides, and a surge in the number of “ghost guns,” the City Council voted to support Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Paul Krerkorian call for an ordinance banning ‘Ghost Guns’ possession, purchase, sale, receipt and transportation of non-serialized firearms. A 'ghost gun' ordinance is expected to make its way to the Council in the near future.
Council Calls For Feasibility Study of Forming A Public Bank
This past week the City Council called for a formal feasibility study of the City forming a Public Bank. The action was the most tangible step the Council has taken regarding such a bank since former Councilmember Herb Wesson first raised the issue in 2017.
Wesson’s earlier effort was hampered by the fact that, at the time, Public Banks were illegal in California. His local ballot measure asking voters whether they supported the idea also went down to defeat. But that was before AB 857, the state’s Public Banking Act, was signed into law in 2019, eliminating most of the obstacles municipalities have had in trying to create such banks.
Unlike the numerous commercial banks we’re all familiar with, a Public Bank would be controlled by the City and would focus its banking activities on furthering the public good by helping low-income communities and providing investment opportunities at a local level. Its operations could include credit access for small and women- and minority-owned businesses, financing for various forms of affordable housing, plus opportunities for green energy and other sustainability investments.
If the resulting study confirms the desirability of forming a Public Bank in Los Angeles, the Council’s action calls for appropriate documents to be drawn up to proceed. However, the actual decision to create the bank would still have to be approved by the voters. Los Angeles would be the first large municipality in the United States to form a Public Bank.
Redistricting Meetings Continue In October
The Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission will continue to discuss the proposed draft map K2.5 (click here) which was moved forward by the Commission on September 30th for subsequent public hearings and adoption of the final map and report at the end of October (see below). The outcome will affect who represents you on the City Council.
The Commission is continuing to accept written testimony so if you haven’t done so already, you are encouraged to provide feedback by clicking the link here.
Join a virtual meeting:
- Wednesday, October 13th (6:00 p.m.) Zoom Link
- Saturday, October 16th (10:00 a.m.) Zoom Link
- Thursday, October 21st (6:00 p.m.) Zoom Link, Adoption of Final Map
- Thursday, October 28th (6:00 p.m.) Zoom Link, Adoption of Final Report
Join the Discussion: Ventura Cahuenga Blvd Specific Plan
In response to a motion by the City Council (Council File No. 17-1071), Los Angeles City Planning is preparing an amendment to the Ventura-Cahuenga Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan (Specific Plan). The amendment’s goal is to modernize regulations and speed up the project review process in order to support small businesses along the Valley’s premier commercial corridor. It aims to ensure that Ventura Boulevard will remain a vibrant destination for future generations of Angelenos and an anchor for independent businesses in the San Fernando Valley.
The Ventura-Cahuenga Specific Plan Amendment has launched a new webpage that provides all of the project’s information resources in a single spot. Visit planning4la.org/VenturaCahuengaSPAmendment to view maps of the six communities covered by the Specific Plan, see details about past and upcoming outreach events, read about the amendment’s proposed policies, sign up for email alerts, and submit comments and questions.
To speed the Corridor’s post-pandemic recovery, Planning will focus the Planning team’s efforts on issues of immediate concern to businesses and stakeholders along the Corridor, such as streamlining signage clearances, modernizing Project Impact Assessment (PIA) fee expenditures, and improving mobility along the Corridor, in order to ensure that businesses get the help they need.
City Planning will address the rezoning portion of the Ventura-Cahuenga Specific Plan Amendment as part of the Community Plan Updates underway in the Southeast and Southwest Valley. This approach will use the City’s resources more effectively and support community-by-community land-use policies and zoning that respect each neighborhood’s priorities.
City Planning will be hosting outreach events on October 27th, November 2nd, and November 4th, as part of the effort to update Project Impact Assessment (PIA) fees and allowable expenditures.
Dial In Instructions:
US: +1 213 338 8477
Use Meeting ID: 847 1273 5241 and then press #.
Press # again when prompted for participant ID.
LAUSD Family Update
Please remember that All LAUSD students who are 12 years of age and older and are part of in-person extracurricular programs must receive their first vaccine dose by no later than October 10, 2021 and their second dose by no later than October 31, 2021.
All students who are 12 years of age and older must receive their first vaccine dose by no later than November 21, 2021 and their second dose by no later than December 19, 2021. All other students must receive their first vaccine dose by no later than 30 days after their 12th birthday, and their second dose by no later than 8 weeks after their 12th birthday.
Students and families that have questions or concerns regarding the vaccine are encouraged to call our family hotline at 213-443-1300 and review the LAUSD Frequently Asked Questions.
Los Angeles Unified has partnered with a number of health professionals, community clinics, and wellness centers. The following lists offer a weekly overview of all the various clinics and locations for a local district's students, families and employees. Please use this tool to see where clinics are offered, hours of operation, and what you need to do to make an appointment or walk on!
All eligible students must upload their vaccination records in the Daily Pass.
Please click here to access the COVID vaccine appointments or visit https://achieve.lausd.net/covidvaccineappt.
Virtual Exhibit "Reimagine Public Art: Vol. 2"
Over 70 local artists reimagine the meaning of “public art” during a time of reflection and exploration during the COVID-19 pandemic. View how they tackle the pandemic’s most prevalent issues as they find ways to collectively heal, explore, and navigate virtual and physical spaces as the city reopens.
The artists selected for the Curatorial Showcases provide insight about their neighborhoods. In addition, artists featured in Curatorial Showcases will highlight upcoming public programs (online or in person) for the public to enjoy. As you explore Reimagine Public Art: Vol. 2, think about what makes YOUR neighborhood unique!
See it online at https://culturela.org/reimagine/
In March 2021 the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) launched Reimagine Public Art: Vol.1 in partnership with the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), a virtual public art exhibition that captured the adaptation of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. It introduced a compelling lineup of artists working across all mediums to reimagine what new forms public art might take in the new hybrid public space when the city was closed. (To revisit Vol. 1, please go to the DCA Archive).