Header Image - Paul Koretz
March 12, 2022   

Dear Friends,

March is Women’s History Month and last Tuesday was a momentous day as our City Council confirmed two incredible women to leadership positions in our City.  I was pleased and honored to support the appointments of both Dana Brown as the General Manager of the Personnel Department and Kristin Crowley as LA’s first female and openly gay Fire Chief.

Dana has been an excellent and very capable public servant at City Hall for more than 35 years, working in many capacities, including handling personnel and labor relations for LA World Airports, the LA Zoo, assisting the CAO, and most recently she briefly served as the General Manager of LA Animal Services.  In this challenging time of labor shortages, it is so exciting that Dana is willing to take the helm in the Personnel Department - she has told me that this is her dream job, and I think that there is no one with more talent and leadership ability to handle it.  She has expressed that her goals are the recruitment and development of a diverse and inclusive workforce where the best talent is encouraged to come and fulfill their passions and purpose here at the City.

Dana Brown Paul Koretz LA City Council meeting screenshot

Additionally, I was thrilled to support the appointment of my friend and champion of the LAFD, Chief Kristin Crowley. A 22-year veteran of the department, Chief Crowley previously served as the City’s first female fire marshal and subsequently served as deputy chief.  I am incredibly proud that the City of Los Angeles will continue to have the best in the country leading the Los Angeles Fire Department.  In addition, Chief Crowley is a decorated firefighter who is well respected by everyone.

LAFD Chief Crowley Councilmember Paul Kore tz City Council meeting

And finally, I would like to give a special thanks to the incredible women serving as CD 5 staff who lead and inspire. I celebrate the accomplishments, extraordinary efforts, and tireless commitments of these public servants who work daily toward making this City a better place for all. I am proud to celebrate and honor you this month and all year round!

Happy Womens Day CD5 staff collage

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


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LA CITY COUNCIL STANDS WITH UKRAINE, CONDEMNS PUTIN - Council Vote Encourages Government/Businesses to Divest from Russia

Led by Councilmember Paul Koretz, the Los Angeles City Council this week voted to unanimously affirm its solidarity with Ukraine by approving a Resolution “strongly condemning” Vladimir Putin’s invasion and supporting immediate divestment of all holdings and investments in Russia by all business and governmental entities. The Resolution also states that the City of Los Angeles shall continue to support and celebrate the City’s diverse Russian community, culture, and local Russian-owned businesses that have nothing to do with Putin’s war. The Resolution was co-presented by Council President Nury Martinez, Kevin de León, Monica Rodriguez, and Nithya Raman, and seconded by Councilmembers Mitch O'Farrell and Joe Buscaino. Ukraine Resolution 22-0002-S22

“Putin must be removed and charged for crimes of aggression, the most egregious crime against humanity,” said Councilmember Koretz.

The Council acknowledged that it does not have legislative authority over its pension systems and cannot direct them to divest their holdings in certain investments.  But Councilmember Paul Koretz said, “I am sure we have people running our pension funds with enough talent and imagination to free us from ethically questionable investments. We cannot help fund this insane war against Ukraine.” 

Councilmember Koretz also joined Councilmember Buscaino in putting forth a motion to declare Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital and most populous city as a Sister City to Los Angeles, which would allow Los Angeles to send “retired” city goods, such as fire trucks and ambulances, to Kyiv.  Currently, that motion awaits council approval.


City of LA Recognizes Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy’s First Right of Refusal on Hillside Surplus Land

Protected land in Santa Monica Mountains

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of a motion that I authored and co-presented with Councilmembers Raman and Blumenfield directing the Department of General Services to identify City-owned surplus property in the Santa Monica Mountains Zone and provide the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) with the first right of refusal to acquire such lands for conservation.

Los Angeles is located in a global biodiversity hotspot called the California Floristic Province, which means that it includes more than 1,500 endemic plant species, that at least 70 percent of the area’s original habitat has been lost, and that the rest is endangered by human activities. Much of the remaining biodiversity within Los Angeles is located in the mountains and hillsides. Plants and animals need these interconnected ecosystems to continue to exist and flourish within this urban context and this biodiversity hotspot is jeopardized by increased development and habitat fragmentation.

In 2008-9, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa initiated the “Own A Piece of LA” program to itemize, account for, and offer slivers of City surplus land and/or remnant parcels not capable of being developed to adjoining neighbors. However, with advanced engineering innovations in recent decades, development in sensitive ecological areas has increased, resulting in the fragmentation and degradation of essential remaining wildlife habitat connectivity and corridors.  This is particularly in the Santa Monica Mountains Zone, home to the Southern California subpopulation of the Mountain Lion among a wide variety of unique biodiversity. Our local mountain lions are now a “candidate” species under consideration for listing as “threatened” under the California Endangered Species Act by the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife.   

“While I have been working with the City Planning Department for the better part of a decade to protect wildlife habitat connectivity in the Santa Monica Mountains, it is imperative that we be certain we are not at the same time inadvertently selling off parcels for development that could obstruct the very linkages we are working so hard to protect,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz.  “Thank you to Councilmembers Raman and Blumenfield for continuing to partner with me in our shared commitment to protect our precious wildlife and habitats in our Santa Monica Mountains.”

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Traffic Signal Upgrades in CD5

Thank you to the Department of Transportation for working with our office on several recently completed traffic intersection upgrade projects.  Several weeks ago, LADOT activated protected left turn-only arrows for eastbound and westbound traffic on Venice Blvd. at Clarington Ave. which should greatly improve traffic safety at this intersection. Two similar projects are also in the queue for Venice Blvd. at Hughes Ave. and at Midvale Ave.  LADOT also recently completed a new protected-permissive left turn for eastbound Olympic Blvd. to northbound Westwood Blvd. which should improve safety and efficiency.  Last fall, the Department also completed new protected left turn-only signals for eastbound and westbound traffic on Pico Blvd. at Beverwil Dr.  In addition, the Department is scheduled to complete construction or begin construction on a substantial number of intersection and pedestrian signal projects throughout Council District 5 in 2022.




Westwood Construction Alert on Wilshire - Traffic Lane Reduction Starts This Weekend  

Westwood UCLA train station image

This weekend, Wilshire Blvd. will temporarily be reduced to a single lane due to the construction of the Westwood/ UCLA metro station. The traffic control reconfiguration is scheduled to have begun 9:00 p.m. on Friday, March 11 through 6:00 a.m. on Monday, March 14.  Work will require one lane of traffic open in each direction on Wilshire Blvd between Westwood Blvd and Veteran Ave.  Traffic control officers will assist during the change and for the first few days of the reconfigured traffic flow.   The new traffic plan will allow for westbound Wilshire Blvd to be expanded to three lanes.  In the meantime, please consider avoiding Wilshire Blvd. if you can.  Westwood Village remains open for business.




“Community Remembrance Day” - Wed., March 16

Communnity Remembrance DayOn March 12th, we join in solidarity with our Asian American community as we remember the lives lost and families impacted in Georgia on March 16, 2021, when eight people, including six Asian women massage workers at three spas, were tragically murdered in Atlanta. May we recommit to expanding and deepening our community of care for all and throughout the country and the world. Let us hold this day and space as our communities navigate loss, grief, and trauma not only in the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings but in experiencing continued violence, misogyny, and racism against Asian Americans across our country. Therefore, on this day of solidarity, may you spend time with loved ones, gathering with community, or simply cultivating care within your own emotional space.  Please click here to learn more.
 



Rosewood Gardens Community Clean-Up - Sat., March 26.

Please join Mid-City West for a beautification project to show some love to Rosewood Gardens park and the surrounding areas. The event also is in preparation for a mural installation later this summer. Please sign up to volunteer at https://bit.ly/RosewoodGardens




Mid-City Neighborhood Safety Improvements Open House - March 30 or March 31

LADOT is working with community partners to bring safety improvements to the Beverly Grove, Fairfax, and Hollywood neighborhoods. The improvements will bring various pedestrian and traffic safety improvements, such as neighborhood traffic circles to slow traffic, continental crosswalks and curb extensions for better pedestrian visibility, and updates to traffic signals to better assist and protect bicyclists. 

Mid City West Safety Improvements Open Houses

Click to RSVP to the Open House on March 30 at 5:00 p.m. or March 31 at 10:30 a.m.  Interested stakeholders can register at the project website


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ATTENTION TENANTS AND LANDLORDS! Housing Assistance Ends March 31st 

Rent Relief infoRenters and landlords who have been economically impacted by COVID can receive robust financial assistance from the state – but time is now running out.
 
The “Housing is Key,” California’s pandemic rental assistance program provides free financial assistance to landlords and renters who need help with unpaid rent or utilities due to COVID-19.  Applications can be made quickly and easily online at housing.ca.gov or over the phone: 833-687-0967.    Applications are accepted until 5:00 pm March 31, 2022. Once an application has been successfully processed, both the landlord and renter will be notified of the next steps.

For additional information, including eligibility and application help, residents should call the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122.

Residents who are facing eviction should immediately contact www.stayhousedla.org. StayHousedLA will continue to provide LA County renters with information about their rights as tenants, workshops, legal assistance, and other support to keep tenants housed in Los Angeles County even after the State deadline of March 31, 2022.

Income-eligible applicants may qualify regardless of immigration status and will not be required to show proof of citizenship. Assistance from the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program does not count as earned income (for renters) and will not affect eligibility for any other benefit assistance programs, such as CalFresh or CalWORKS.




Sitting Volleyball Clinics Start THIS Sunday (March 13) in West LA

The LA City Department of Recreation and Parks Play LA program is proud to present its first Adaptive Sports Clinic in West Los Angeles! The first Sitting Volleyball Clinic will be held this Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 p.m. at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center. Sitting Volleyball is just one of several Paralympic sports that will be launching this year for youth with disabilities, boys & girls ages 5 - 17 are all welcome.  Learn more at https://www.laparks.org/discover-activities


Summer internship opportunity for LA college students at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens - Deadline THIS Fri., March 18

The LA Zoo is now accepting summer internship applications for their Summer 2022 Internship Cohort, which will run from June 12 to August 20. This 10-week paid summer internship is geared toward LA’s diverse youth community.  There are internships available in various Zoo Divisions, including Conservation, Learning & Engagement, and Animal Health (Nutrition).  Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and have a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 18, at 5:00 p.m.

For more information visit https://www.lazoo.org/join-our-community/.

LA Zoo Flyer - Apply for Paid Internship


LA Marathon 2022 Running Through Council District 5 on March 20th

LA Marathon Map and Closures

In just a few weeks, the 2022 LA Marathon returns on Sunday, March 20th. Please be advised that the route includes many parts of CD 5 as well as the finish line in Century City. Street closures will begin as early as 2:00 a.m. the night before, so expect delays and congestion in and around the event area. Learn more about the route and street closures here: https://www.lamarathon.com/pages/lam-road-closures.



 

 

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Adopt A Pet This Weekend During The Spring Forward Adoption Event



It’s time to get ready to Spring Forward and turn our clocks one hour ahead this Sunday, and also a great time to adopt a pet from LA Animal Services, where they have many fantastic pets who are ready to meet you and be a part of your family. To entice pet adoptions, adoption fees will be reduced for dogs ($51) and puppies ($75), excluding license, while adoption fees for cats and kittens will be waived thanks to a generous grant from the ASPCA. 

Ready to open your heart and home to an amazing furry friend?

View the pets available for fostering or adoption and make a difference today.

All six LA Animal Services locations are operating without appointments every Saturday and Sunday, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will continue to operate by appointment during the week, Tuesday through Friday, for pet adoptions, fostering, and owner surrender, with Centers closed on Mondays. Sick or injured animals will be admitted without an appointment. Appointments may be scheduled by going online or by calling 1-888-452-7381.

To follow the City’s COVID-19 safety protocols, social distancing will be observed and face coverings will be required when in our Centers.  Visitors will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entry into the shelter. You can request a digital COVID-19 Vaccination Record if you were vaccinated in California (unless you were vaccinated at a federal facility) by visiting MyVaccineRecord.cdph.ca.gov. For any questions regarding vaccination records, visit the LA County Vaccine Records website.

For more information about LA Animal Services, and to learn more information about microchipping and licensing, visit: laanimalservices.com.



DayIight Saving Is A Good Time To Check Smoke Alarms and Pet MicroChips

Spring Forward LAAS Pet Care ReminderChanging your clock for Daylight Saving Time is also an ideal time to change the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors, and for pet owners to check your pet’s microchip and licensing information to ensure that your contact information on your animal companion’s microchip and license is current and up-to-date, especially if you have moved. Microchips greatly increase the chances that pets will be reunited with their families, especially if they are lost or stolen, however, a microchip only works if the phone number and contact information is accurate.

 

This message was sent to  by:

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