Happy Holidays from Team Koretz! We wish you peace and good health this Holiday season so please continue to wear your mask in public indoor spaces and keep up on your vaccinations as we look forward to a healthy, happy 2022 full of peace, laughter and good cheer.
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District
In the News
Building Justice Through Decarbonization: LA Launches Innovative Climate Emergency Initiative to Remove Fossil Fuels from Buildings
Climate change is now a fixture in our daily lives, as was evidenced from all of the floods, enormous wildfires, our megadrought, and extreme storms like the tornados that tragically destroyed many towns across the Midwest this last week, all climate-exacerbated destruction.
That’s why last week, Councilmember Koretz was proud to link arms with his colleagues, Mayor Garcetti and Councilmembers Krekorian and Raman, along with the Leap LA and RePowerLA Coalitions, to launch an Energy Justice/Building Decarbonization effort. Their effort works to eliminate climate pollution from our building stock, and to do it in partnership and consultation with the Indigenous, frontline and labor communities who are most impacted not only by climate change, but by climate change policymaking. As long as we continue to emit greenhouse gasses, the climate will continue to get hotter and the weather will continue to get ever more extreme. While we take important steps to reduce and eliminate climate emissions, we must do it in a just and equitable way that supports all Angelenos.
Front row: Councilmember Nithya Raman (CD4), Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Paul Koretz (CD5) and Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD2) stand with LA City Staff, Climate Emergency Mobilization Office Director Marta Segura and members of Leap LA and RepowerLA Coalitions.
Learn more by watching the LA This Week news story here.
Focus on Public Safety
The Fifth District will now incorporate more areas of the City within LAPD's West Bureau and specifically Wilshire Division. Councilmember Koretz has been actively working to reinforce a strong public safety focus in the Melrose/ Fairfax neighborhoods and will work to continue these efforts from Hancock Park to Park La Brea, and in high traffic areas from Pan Pacific Park to The Grove, from the LA Museum of the Holocaust to the Farmer’s Market.
CD5 staff will continue increased support for extra patrols that include foot beats, bike details, crime suppression units and specialized details in areas of the Fifth District which need such attention.
Along those lines, Councilmember Koretz joined Melrose Action and the Melrose BID this month to announce a new implementation of license plate reading cameras as the latest in a series of public safety upgrades in the district that included paying for LAPD overtime where crime was on the rise.
"We helped to fund the new camera system along Melrose to make sure that everybody knows if they commit a crime they'll be doing it on video and this is a place where they're going to get caught," said Councilmember Koretz. "And we believe we've gotten that word out successfully. In fact, the increased patrols have reduced crime around 70% in the Melrose area and over the last two weeks the number of robberies is down to zero. We continue to be focused on how we can reduce crime even more in this area by sending this message out."
Thank you to our partners and those who continue to sacrifice daily to serve our City!
#BuyBlack Local Pop-Up Shop Open on Fairfax and Online
Councilmember Koretz was honored to join the launch of the #BuyBlack Shop window on Fairfax Ave. This is the 2nd Annual #BuyBlack event with a retail window featuring items from local black-owned Los Angeles businesses. This shop is part of Meta’s (formerly Facebook) commitment to support local communities and Black-owned small businesses by connecting them with consumers in high traffic retail neighborhoods, giving them real estate in a physical shop window, and amplifying their unique products and services.
Shop through February 3rd at 420 N. Fairfax Avenue and scan a code for your holiday shopping or do so online here. Congratulations to Rachel Hawk, founder of the #BuyBlack Shop! Yolande Beckles, Founder & CEO of The Knowledge Shop, Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, founders of Crowns & Hops who all stopped by to celebrate the opening.
Toy Drive & Honoring Ana Castro
Councilmember Koretz was proud to join SEIU-USWW for a toy drive event that served hundreds of families in the LA community. Thanks to generous supporters, hundreds of children were able to browse a wide collection of toys and select the one that they wanted to celebrate the holiday season! Councilmember Koretz was happy to join several of his colleagues in presenting a tribute to Ana Castro, a tireless SEIU-USWW executive who has served the union and its members for decades. She is a janitor leader and has also enjoyed bringing annual events like the holiday toy to life each year.
LA City Planning Online Application Portal Now Available
Los Angeles City Planning is pleased to announce that most stand-alone administrative cases can now be filed entirely online using the Department’s Online Application System portal (OAS). Open 24/7, the OAS allows users to submit documents digitally in addition to obtaining status updates on a project filing without requiring an in-person appointment.
Throughout the pandemic, the OAS has helped City Planning maintain its core services so project applications can advance easily through the review process. By incorporating new technological advancements, the Department has also been able to maximize its resources.
To utilize this service, applicants must first create an online account. After establishing login credentials, applicants will be directed to select from a menu of planning clearances supported by OAS.
In the months ahead, the Department will expand the list of planning services available online. Until then, the Department will continue to accept physical files at the Metro/Downtown and Van Nuys Development Services Centers (DSC). However, physical drop-off boxes have been set up at the DSCs to ease the process for submitting project applications and plans without having to schedule an appointment.
For more information, please contact the following DSC locations and visit the Department’s website
Sign up to receive Planning Department updates.
Need Help With Unpaid Rent or Utilities?
The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program provides financial assistance for rent and utilities to income-eligible California renters and their landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19. The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act and the COVID-19 Rental Housing Recovery Act, which were most recently amended and added by AB 832, provides some relief.
The good news is that applying for rental assistance is easy, and qualifying landlords and tenants will receive 100% of all unpaid rent accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, please click here or call (833) 430-2122.
Sign Up for the National Homeless Count
Between Tuesday, January 25th to Thursday, January 27th, 2022, thousands of community members across the greater Los Angeles area will be counting their neighbors experiencing homelessness. The Count, which is mandated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, is among our most important tools in addressing the homeless crisis as it creates the foundation necessary to build and target solutions. It also helps determine the need, measure progress, and focus delivery of services to where they’re needed most.
If you are interested in volunteering and joining the count, please register at theycountwillyou.org.
Steps LA County Department of Public Health is Using to Address the Omicron Variant
LA County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) is taking steps to address the potential threats that may be posed by the Omicron variant, with a particular focus on protecting those most likely to experience severe disease should they become infected:
- As of December 15, their new Health Officer Order requires weekly testing for residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities, as well as a negative test within 72 hours of entry for visitors.
- LA County DPH is providing rapid testing resources to nursing homes and large facilities sheltering people experiencing homelessness.
- Their school teams continue to support routine testing and vaccination efforts at schools.
- Their public health lab has expanded capacity for specimen sequencing and is coordinating efforts with private labs and the state to rapidly identify new cases of people infected with the Omicron variant. Currently, the network of labs is sequencing an average of 25% of all LA County positive cases.
- Their contact tracing teams are working with each positive case to ensure isolation of infected individuals and identification and communication with close contacts.
The best way to protect yourself against emerging variants is to get vaccinated, get your booster when eligible, wear a mask, get tested, and quarantine if infected or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
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.
I know these are really confusing times and that new information is changing quickly, so please continue to check and verify official information through these credible resources: