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January 28, 2022   

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Standing Together to Declare All Oil Drilling Sites Non-Conforming Land Use

This week, the City Council voted to end dangerous oil extraction equitably all across Los Angeles.  Councilmember Koretz was pleased to launch in 2013 with Councilmember Bonin the City's investigation into its relationship with oil drilling in conjunction with their motion to ban fracking. The STAND LA Coalition quickly educated them that ALL neighborhood oil drilling was actually the problem

Councilmember Koretz then initiated the effort to hire the City's expert Petroleum Administrator, and along with many of his Council colleagues, introduced the legislation that has led to this week's historic action to declare all oil and gas operations in the City a non-conforming land use.  Through an amortization process the City will determine how quickly Los Angeles oil wells can be shut down.  The City Council also voted to join the County's just transition efforts for fossil fuel workers. 

Councilmember Koretz appreciates the community-driven effort from STAND-LA who educated the City and the Council on all these issues, and the leadership from Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmember and Energy Committee Chair Mitch O'Farrell, and especially Councilmember Paul Krekorian whose motion to declare all oil drilling a non-conforming land use he seconded in committee. 

Oil drilling dangers are a very clear and present concern in Council District 5. Both the Rancho Park and the West Pico Drill Sites have had dangerous spills of toxic materials and both need to join the rest of the drill sites across Los Angeles to be shut down as soon as possible. 

Click here to view the press conference.



Keeping An Eye on the Implementation of State Zoning Bills SB-9 & SB-10

Over the past few years, Councilmember Koretz has been working tirelessly against State zoning bills SB9 (Atkins) and SB10 (Wiener) to warn legislators and the general public about the dangers of the bills overreaching and over-prescribing authority at a local level. Unfortunately because of pressure, politics and misinformation campaigns, both bills were passed by the State Legislature in the fall of 2021 and signed by Governor Newsom, albeit in vastly reduced form due in large part to Councilmember Koretz’s work with advocates, neighborhood organizations and legislators all over California to remove the worst, most devastating impacts of the bill. 

In order to oversee the inevitable implementation, Councilmember Koretz co-authored a motion (Council File 21-1414) with an eye to manage the unique items and consequences as applied to the City of Los Angeles. The intent is to provide clear city guidelines to minimize the harm these bills can do. The motion directs City Planning and other departments to put together a guidance memo that clarifies key provisions in SB9 and their impacts for Los Angeles, including objective zoning and design standards, maximum density per lot, parking standards, exemptions for development in sensitive hillside and fire-prone areas, and residency requirements. 

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This motion will be heard in City Council soon after the memo is distributed — before the Department works on an ordinance. Councilmember Koretz is committed to ensuring that the implementation process is clear and understandable for future applicants and City departments. 

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STILL WAITING FOR YOUR COVID EMERGENCY RENTAL SUBSIDY?

ERAP

Back in 2020 one of the City’s responses to the economic crisis that accompanied the COVID pandemic was to create the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).  Initially the program was administered by the Housing and Community Investment Department, and more recently by the Los Angeles Housing Department.  Low-income tenants whose ability to pay rent had been disrupted by the pandemic were offered the opportunity to apply for a limited rental subsidy, which would be paid to their landlords if those landlords agreed to participate in the program.

To no one’s surprise, ERAP proved to be as popular as it is necessary.  When additional funding was received as a result of the passage of the American Recovery Program by the U.S. Congress, a second phase of ERAP was launched with its parameters adjusted to match requirements set up by the state government.  Key among those requirements was that both the tenants and their landlords had to apply in tandem to be eligible for consideration.  

This eliminated an administrative step in which Housing Department staff had to separately communicate with landlords to determine their willingness to participate.  This streamlined the application approval process and allowed additional hundreds of millions of dollars in rental subsidies to be distributed more quickly.  ERAP Phase 2 applications were due by April 30, 2021, and hundreds of thousands were received.

The state’s program, which is dealing with millions of applicants from all over California, is still a work in progress.  As of this week, the Housing Department staff reports that there are only 50 or so approved second round ERAP applicants whose subsidies haven’t yet been paid out, plus a small number for which the department has incorrect addresses.On September 1, 2021, a third round of COVID emergency rental subsidies was launched.  However, this time, the program is being administered by the state’s “Housing is Key” program, with no involvement by the City’s Housing Department. 

Consequently, there now are two categories of emergency rent subsidy applicants, those who applied to ERAP before April 30th and those who applied to the state after September 1st.  

If you’re a tenant or landlord who applied to the City ERAP and your case hasn’t been resolved, the fastest way to get more information is by visiting ERAP or by calling (833) 373-0587.  The Housing Department also has established a mechanism for obtaining an application status update here.

If you applied directly to the state, information is available at Housing is Key, or by calling (833) 430-2122.  Further questions also can be directed to your local Assemblymember of State Senator, whose offices stand ready to be of assistance.

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Join LA City's Advisory Council on Aging

The Older Americans Act mandates that the Council on Aging be the principal advocacy body for seniors and disabled individuals in the City of Los Angeles. At this time, LA City's Department of Aging is seeking to identify civically-minded seniors sixty years of age and older to join our Advisory Council on Aging.

The role of the Advisory Council on Aging is to provide older adults who reside in the City the opportunity to lend their insights into our community planning process, identify emerging needs and make recommendations on how to best serve seniors in the City of Los Angeles.

If you or someone you know is a civically-minded senior that would be interested in serving as a volunteer on the Department’s Advisory Council on Aging, please contact Zipora Gipson, Social Worker I, at (213) 202-5635 or via email at zipora.gipson@lacity.org to obtain more information and an application.




Applications Open for City of LA’s Youth Council

The Los Angeles Youth Development Department is excited to announce the first ever Olivia Mitchell LA City Youth Council. This youth-led council will be comprised of thirty young Angelenos, ages 16 to 25 from all across the City of Los Angeles. 

Applications to join the first cohort of youth will be open through February 28, 2022.

If you know youth who have been looking for an opportunity to amplify youth voices please consider sharing the application: youthcouncil.lacity.org.




Please Join the Los Angeles Homeless Count

We need your help with this year’s homeless count!

The count is an important tool in determining how we allocate resources and services to help end homelessness. Due to the COVID surge, this year's count has been delayed, and now will be held February 22th, 23rd, and 24th. The Westside count will now take place on Wednesday, February 23. Please Click here to learn more and sign up.

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Get Your Free COVID-19 Kit Delivered To Your Door

With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the demand for COVID-19 testing has led to long lines at testing facilities. As a result, the demand for home testing has increased and home testing kits are now in short supply. 

Here's how to get a free kit delivered directly to your home (one per household):



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/ Canyons) and through email paul.koretz@lacity.org. 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:

 

This message was sent to  by:

Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz
200 N. Spring Street, Rm. 440
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7005