Header Image - Paul Koretz
February 18, 2022   

Dear Friends,

It’s up, it’s good!  Congratulations to our own Los Angeles Rams for winning Super Bowl LVI, so please feel free to do any victory dance that you want in the end zone! 

This is the team’s second Super Bowl victory, the other in 2000 when they still played in St. Louis.  Although the Rams scored first, they found themselves trailing the Bengals 20-16 entering the fourth quarter. In addition, it appeared that a missed extra point kick by the Rams might really come back to haunt them as the fourth quarter wore on. But then with just little more than 6 minutes to play, and likely the last opportunity the Rams might have to score a touchdown, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford marched his team from their own 21 yard line a whopping 79 yards in 15 plays to score what proved to be the winning touchdown with only 90 seconds left in the game.  On defense, Aaron Donald (who many consider to be the greatest defensive tackle ever) forced Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to make a horrible desperation pass on fourth down that was incomplete and the game was over.

Of interesting note, Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth at 40 years old is now not only the oldest active player in the league (since Tom Brady at age 44 has retired) but also the oldest player to win his first Super Bowl title.  

For a moment this week our Hollywood sign shined for all with a festive parade on Wednesday to declare for all to see that this is the Rams House!  So thanks to the Rams for bringing pride to our City. 

On a separate note: Monday (2/21) is Presidents’ Day.  LAUSD schools will be closed as well as government offices. Feel free to put your trash out on Monday, as pickup will be on its regular schedule.

I hope you enjoy your long weekend.

Sincerely,
Signature of Paul Koretz
Councilmember Paul Koretz, Fifth District


In the News

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Koretz, O’Farrell, and Krekorian Lead City Council in Groundbreaking Move to Reduce Plastic Pollution

A full report on the City’s future without single-use plastic is expected by Earth Day

Trucks dumping plastics and recyclablesCouncilmember Koretz and colleagues Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Krekorian led the City Council in a unanimous vote approving a landmark series of instructions that will move the City forward in a reduction of single-use plastics.  The vote builds on several actions we have already taken, including reducing single-use foodware accessories, plastic straws on request, and reducing plastic bags - as well as our ongoing ‘LA100’ plan to achieve 100% carbon-free energy by 2035.

“We’ve been treating the whole planet for decades as a throwaway item,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz, one of the principal authors of the comprehensive plastics legislation. “The reality is there is no ‘away.’ We live on a tiny planet with limited resources and we need to behave as if we fully understand that fact. Today, with this legislation, we begin altering our daily habits toward a truly regenerative society.”

“This is another aggressive and progressive step taken by Los Angeles as we lead the way on environmental sustainability,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the chair of the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and River (ECCEJR) Committee. “Other municipalities need to follow our lead.  This week’s vote builds on several actions we have already taken, including reducing single-use foodware accessories and plastic straws, as well as our ongoing ‘LA100’ plan to achieve 100% carbon-free energy by 2035.”



City Council Transportation Committee Approves LADOT Speed Reduction Plan

45MPH Speed Limit

This week, the City Council Transportation Committee approved a life saving proposal by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to repeal and reduce speed limit increases on dozens of local streets. The proposal will reduce speeds by 5 mph on over 177 miles of city streets that had previously been increased, as required by the state to ensure enforceability. The proposal comes as a result of the passage of AB 43, authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, which grants cities more local control of speed setting and took effect this year. The speed reductions will help the city address its street safety goals.  Councilmember Koretz has been championing this return to sensible speed limits and helped to lead the City Council efforts to support Asm. Friedman’s legislation. 

"I am so grateful to Assemblymember Friedman for working with us to convince the California Legislature to return discretion over local speed limits to Los Angeles and other California cities," said Councilmember Paul Koretz.

“We know speed kills, and traffic deaths have increased despite our investments and engineering work,” said LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “This proposal will roll back speed limits on streets in Los Angeles to common sense levels that will save lives.” 

LADOT’s proposed speed limit reductions will now go to the full City Council for approval, and if adopted, road users can expect the installation of new, reduced speed limit signs to begin one month after approval. The full list of streets where speed reductions are proposed is available in this LADOT report.   LADOT is recommending the following speed limit reductions in CD5 (with the proposed change in parentheses):

  • Century Park East between Olympic Blvd. and Pico Blvd. from 40 to 35 mph;
  • Deep Canyon Dr. between Mulholland Dr. and Hutton Dr. from 35 to 30 mph;
  • Olympic Blvd. between Century Park East and Centinela Ave. from 40 to 35 mph;
  • Overland Ave. between Coventry Pl. and Palms Blvd. from 40 to 35 mph;
  • San Vicente Blvd. between Pico Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd. from 40 to 35 mph;
  • Sepulveda Blvd. between City Limit n/o Ohio Avenue and Venice Blvd. from 40 to 35 mph;
  • Sepulveda Blvd. between Getty Center Dr. and City Limit s/o Cashmere St. from 45 to 40 mph; 
  • Venice Blvd. between Cadillac Ave. and Bentley Ave. from 40 to 35 mph. 

Under the new speed setting law, future reductions will be possible on streets with high rates of fatal or severe injury collisions as well as in areas with a high density of retail and commercial activity. 

Prior to AB 43’s passage, California's 85th percentile rule forced LADOT to raise speed limits on nearly 200 miles of city streets over the last several years. Under new laws the City can choose to retain a street’s existing speed limit following traffic speed studies, as long as that speed limit was established by a prior survey and no lanes have been added to the street. 

The speed of a vehicle is closely tied with the severity of a collision. A pedestrian has a 90% chance of surviving when hit by a vehicle going 20 mph and only a 10% chance of survival if a vehicle is going 40 mph. Lower speeds on streets give drivers and others more time to react to prevent a collision and reduce the severity of collisions that do occur.



Motion to Bring Greater Transparency to Tenant Utility Bills

Couple struggles to read utility billsThis week Councilmember Koretz joined Councilmember Nithya Raman to co-present a motion to create a new ordinance for the City of Los Angeles that would provide greater transparency for tenant utility bills. The proposed ordinance would require landlords and third-party billing agencies to provide a detailed written disclosure of the methodology used to allocate utility charges to each tenant. 

Currently, tenants of large buildings where there is often only a single meter for an entire property are often billed an estimation of their unit’s portion of the whole building’s utility costs, rather than their actual utility usage. As a result, many tenants are unable to verify the amount for which they are being billed and are unable to ensure they are not being overcharged. 

"Renters in Los Angeles, particularly low-income renters, have borne the disproportionate brunt of this pandemic -- oftentimes serving as essential workers, all while dealing with inconsistent housing regulations, staving off illegal evictions, and now managing household expenses under tremendous inflationary pressures," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz of the Fifth District. "A utility transparency ordinance would require landlords to be upfront with the way utility fees are calculated, shine a light on how tenants are charged, and ensure landlords are tying utility fees to actual usage. This ordinance is long overdue and I look forward to helping move the initiative across the finish line."   

“So many of the City’s low-income renters are unable to take advantage of the wide array of services available to them because they have no way to verify their utility charges,” said Councilmember Raman. “Not only does this system make no sense, it leaves money on the table that could help tenants pay their bills.”

The proposal is not without precedent. In 2003, the City of Seattle adopted an ordinance that requires landlords and the third-party billing agencies they contract with to disclose their Ratio Utility Billing System formula in tenants’ utility bills, along with readings of the meter for the entire building at the start and end of the billing period. This provides tenants who suspect they are being overcharged with a clear way to verify or dispute their bills.

If passed, the Los Angeles Housing Department, with the assistance of the City Attorney, will be required to report back within 60 days with recommendations for the implementation of an ordinance that includes the aforementioned clarity of billing and a protocol for tenants and landlords to resolve disputes over utility charges, with the possibility of LAHD as a mediator.



The Sober Living Network Recognizes LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz

This week, the non-profit organization, Sober Living Network (SLN),  recognized Councilmember Paul Koretz of the Fifth District for his partnership and commitment to support our mission to provide Sober and Safe housing to thousands. In addition, for his ongoing efforts to go “Above and Beyond” his work with “Addiction, Recovery, Treatment, Sober Living and Rehabilitation.”

“For more than three decades Paul Koretz has worked to ensure that quality Sober Living facilities are available, and he has partnered with our network to make sure that Sober Living Facilities are certified and inspected for quality control as such supporting both the community in which it serves as well as the clients and their families and friends,” said Vince Roncone, SLN’s Executive Board Member.  “Mr. Koretz has been a consistent advocate of quality sober living both in terms of legislation and on the ground” 

“Providing access to safe havens for individuals seeking a path to recovery is essential to every community,” said Councilmember Koretz. “I am most honored to be recognized by this organization whose primary mission is to promote the establishment, successful management, and growth of high-quality sober living homes and other community-based recovery services.”

The Sober Living Network promotes excellence in the management of sober living facilities by providing guidance that helps guarantee the facilities are good neighbors. Their larger mission is to promote individual recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, and in that respect they serve the entire community.  However, the SLN does not own, manage or have a financial interest in any sober living or other recovery facility but rather acts as a standard setting, instructional, informational, planning and organizational resource to local associations of independent sober living homes which meet affiliation standards.

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They Will Count, Will You?

The Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count is happening this coming week! This annual census helps count our neighbors experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Through the Count, we’re better able to direct and advocate for vital services to support the needs of our unhoused neighbors. 

To register, please visit http://www.theycountwillyou.org/




Questions and Answers About Composting in Los Angeles

Organic wasteIn California alone, one in five children go to bed hungry every night. Together we can combat hunger while reducing emissions from organic waste.  Organic waste makes up a large portion of waste that goes to disposal in landfills. The term "organic waste" covers a wide variety of items including yard trimmings, manure, food waste, and more. We can reduce 20 million tons of food waste, green waste, paper products, and other organic waste annually by composting. In this way we can increase edible food recovery in California by 20 percent and reduce organic waste disposal by 75% by 2025 while increasing our capacity for food rescue and material reuse, creating less waste and reducing emissions from climate pollutants. 

To find questions and answers about composting, click here.
 

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Honoring Our Law Enforcement Partners

Greg Martayan, Councilmember Koretz's Director of Public Safety, recently presented commendations to our West Bureau Homicide Detectives and partners from the Federal Bureau of Investigation who led and assisted in the investigation, search and capture of the suspect in Brianna Kupfer’s murder. Led by Lieutenant John Radtke, the unit is made up of some of the best detectives in the world. We thank you all for your continued diligence and commitment to help bring justice to grieving families and our neighborhoods.




Celebrate National Love Your Pet Day By Adopting or Fostering a Pet

Dog looking up at person

In honor of National Love Your Pet Day, LA Animal Services is celebrating by offering reduced adoption fees on Saturday, February 19 and Sunday, February 20. To encourage animal lovers to add a new furry friend to their family, adoption fees for dogs will be $51 (not including license) and $75 for puppies. The adoption fees for cats and kittens will be waived thanks to a generous grant from the ASPCA. 

You can view the wonderful pets who are available for adoption by going to laanimalservices.com/adopt.

Dogs and cats adopted from LA Animal Services go home to their new families already spayed or neutered, licensed, microchipped, and vaccinated. 

LA Animal Services would also like to remind pet owners and animal-loving Angelenos about important pet laws in the City. In addition to giving pets love and attention, they rely on us to care for them, and help keep them safe. Part of keeping our furry friends safe is by following City and State pet laws that were created to protect you, your pet, and your community.

Please take a look at the list of pet laws under the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code to ensure you are protecting your pet and avoiding possible fines.

And, finally, Tuesday, February 22nd is World Spay/Neuter Day.  Spaying/neutering combats companion animal overpopulation and is good for your pet’s health.  If you haven’t done so already, please spay or neuter your furry family member, and spread the word!

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Vaccine Pop-Up Clinic

Cedars-Sinai will be hosting a pop-up clinic at Poinsettia Park next Thursday, February 24th from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Pfizer (ages 5-11, 12+), Johnson & Johnson (Ages 18+), and Flu vaccines will be available.  Please note that at this time Moderna vaccines will NOT be available.   

If you would like to schedule your appointment, please visit https://myturn.ca.gov/ and complete the required fields. When prompted, locate “Cedars-Sinai Pop-Up - Poinsettia Park” and select the appropriate vaccine. Poinsettia Park is located at 247341 Willoughby Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046.

Vaccine Event Flyer

 

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 (City Hall), 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.


 

 

This message was sent to  by:

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