L.A. Becomes Largest U.S. City to Ban Plastic Bags
As the new Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, Councilmember Huizar helped lead the City toward a policy that will encourage consumers to shift to reusable bags while reducing single-use plastic bags that too often trash our neighborhoods, waterways and oceans.
After the issue had languished for several years, the Los Angeles City Council approved a policy that will ban plastic grocery bags after the Energy and Environment Committee voted in favor of a proposed ban in April in only its third meeting under Councilmember Huizar’s leadership.
The policy applies to retailers that sell groceries. Councilmember Huizar added amendments to provide a practical implementation timeline and phase out plastic bags, which:
The period of free paper bags was something Councilmember Huizar fought for, so that residents, particularly people in low-income communities, are better able to prepare for the transition.
- Gives large retailers a 6-month phase-out period before banning plastic single-use bags;
- Gives small retailers a 12-month phase-out period before banning plastic single-use bags;
- Maintains paper bags as a free option during this first year; After that, paper bags will cost 10 cents each; and
- Instructs the Bureau of Sanitation to report back two years after enactment of the program with a progress report and any recommendations to strengthen and/or expand the program.
Highland Park Receives $2.8 Million for York Blvd. Park
The Highland Park community joined Councilmember Huizar for a celebration following the awarding of $2.8 million in Proposition 84 funds to develop the York Vision Plan's park on York Boulevard and Avenue 50.
Councilmember Huizar has been working, along with the community and Green LA Coalition, to develop a Vision Plan for York Boulevard and a park was one of the most popular projects community members requested.
An application for the extremely competitive Proposition 84 funding was submitted to the state and fortunately, a pocket park at York Boulevard and Avenue 50 was one of the projects awarded funding!
El Sereno Celebrates Newest Housing Development
Families welcomed to their new home at Cuatro Vientos Apartments, a $13.1 million investment in the local community
Councilmember Huizar was proud to join the East LA Community Corporation in celebrating the Grand Opening of “Cuatro Vientos,” a beautiful new, 25-unit affordable housing apartment complex in El Sereno.
Located on North Huntington Drive, the state-of-the art $13 million facility offers working families safe, spacious apartments in a quiet setting. ELACC President Maria Cabildo thanked Councilmember Huizar for his assistance in helping the non-profit organization navigate through City processes when the development stalled.
Both thanked the community for working with ELACC on getting this project approved.
Please visit ELACC'S website for more information on this and other development projects on the eastside.
Committee Unanimously Approves Huizar's Medical Marijuana Gentle Ban
Councilmember sides with communities, cites state law in marijuana debate
The Planning & Land Use Management Committee unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday proposed by Councilmember Huizar to repeal the City’s medical marijuana ordinance and ban medical marijuana, while allowing limited access for patients. Previously, the City Planning Commission voted 8-0 in support of the ordinance. It was the second such vote of support by the commission for the plan.
Councilmember Huizar introduced the repeal and ban legislation after a court ruled that the City of Long Beach’s medical marijuana ordinance violated federal law prohibiting marijuana use. Long Beach’s ordinance is similar to Los Angeles’.
Several other court rulings and more than 50 lawsuits from medical marijuana dispensaries have left Los Angeles’ medical marijuana ordinance in limbo. While the California Supreme Court recently stated they will hear the Long Beach case, as well as others, their decision could be as long as two years away.
While waiting for the state’s Supreme Court to rule and bring some clarity to municipalities grappling with this issue, Councilmember Huizar thinks the City of Los Angeles needs an immediate plan to control for the over-proliferation of unchecked medical marijuana dispensaries. He also thinks that state law does not allow for sales, particularly the store-front models that have exploded in Los Angeles and elsewhere throughout the state.
The proposed ordinance will be heard in the City’s Public Safety Committee on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. at the Van Nuys City Hall Bldg., 2nd Fl., 14410 Sylvan St., 91401
Listen to Councilmember Huizar discuss the proposal on Warren Olney's "Which Way, L.A." radio show on KCRW.
White Memorial Hospital to Bring Added Patient Services
Councilmember Huizar joined White Memorial to celebrate the start of construction on their new six-story medical office building, which will replace the medical trailers located on the corner of Cesar Chavez and State Street.
The new $15 million medical facility is expected to be completed by July 2013. Once complete, the project will bring updated medical faculties, more physicians to the community, and 60 new jobs to the City!
200 Alcohol outlets inspected in Hollenbeck Division by ABC and LAPD
Councilmember Huizar's staff and the Boyle Heights Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community were on-hand when 40 officers from the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Los Angeles Police Department completed a special operation to check nearly 200 licensed premises that sell alcohol in Boyle Heights and the surrounding communities after hearing from community residents about problems with public intoxication, loitering and other public safety issues.
Twenty enforcement teams visited licensed
establishments during an IMPACT inspection in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. IMPACT stands for Informed Merchants Preventing Alcohol-Related Crime Tendencies. It is a cooperative program between ABC, local law enforcement agencies, and licensees.
Councilmember Huizar has also asked the City's Building and Safety inspectors to follow up on this action.
Read Boyle Heights Beat Story Here.
Read EGP News Story Here.
LA.Streets.blog Highlights Unique CD 14 Improvement Efforts
The community-based Huntington Drive and York Blvd. improvement projects sponsored by Councilmember José Huizar, with the help of Living Streets LA, is the subject of a story examining how these kinds of efforts can lead to more focused, pedestrian-friendly communities. Efforts are also underway to do the same on Spring Street in Downtown.
See excerpt from story below:
Move over Sunset Triangle Plaza, a pair of street reclamation projects on the Eastside are threatening to steal your thunder as the most progressive street reclamation project in Los Angeles.
Living Streets L.A. and Councilman Jose Huizar unveiled new designs for a “street porch” on York Boulevard in Highland Park and a “street plaza” on Huntington Drive in El Sereno.
Read full LA.STREETS.BLOG STORY HERE.
Clean Up Green Up Plan Moves Forward
The City’s Planning, Land Use & Management Committee, which Councilmember Huizar sits on as Vice-Chair, recently requested that the LA City Planning Department develop recommendations for implementing the Clean Up Green Up initiative championed by Councilmember Huizar.
Clean Up Green Up is a pilot project that aims to clean up pollution in heavy industry areas like Boyle Heights, Wilmington and Pacoima by creating incentives for local business operators to help increase their bottom line while cleaning up the environment.
Endorsing organizations include the Coalition for Clean Air, the American Lung Association in California and the Los Angeles Business Council.The sponsoring organizations are Coalition for a Safe Environment, Wilmington; Communities for a Better Environment, which also works in Wilmington; Pacoima Beautiful and Union de Vecinos in Boyle Heights.
Two Boots Pizza and Famima!! Latest Bizs to
Open on Broadway
Councilmember Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway continues to garner support, bringing services and hundreds of jobs to boost L.A. economy
Downtown’s Broadway continues to make a comeback with two more businesses opening up recently, adding to a growing list of accomplishments for the historic street and for Councilmember José Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative.
Councilmember Huizar joined New-York based Two Boots Pizza owner Philip Hartman for the Grand Opening of Two Boots on Broadway, located at 826 S. Broadway.
And soon after, Councilmember Huizar welcomed in the latest Famima!! Convenience Market to Downtown – with a new store at 544 S. Broadway, in the historic Broadway Spring Arcade building.
These openings comes amidst a slew of announcements, with Councilmember Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative helping bring new services Downtown and hundreds upon hundreds of jobs for Angelenos from all parts of the City.
Improved Eagle Rock Historical Monument Park Opens
The newly improved Eagle Rock Monument Park is now open to the community.
Originally scheduled to be completed in 2014, Councilmember Huizar worked with the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Bureau of Engineering to move the project’s start date to September 2011, which coincided with Eagle Rock’s 100th Anniversary.
Eagle Rock was established as a City in 1911, before being annexed to the City of Los Angeles in 1923.
The Eagle Rock Monument Improvement Project significantly improved the area around the base of the Eagle Rock along Eagle Rock View Drive.
Upgrades include new native drought-resistant landscaping with a state-of-the-art “smart” irrigation system, a decomposed granite walkway and split rail fence, as well as a natural grade drainage swale with boulders designed to help divert storm run-off.
Happy 100th Anniversary Hermon!
Councilmember Huizar honored the community of Hermon on its Centennial celebration with a resolution from the City of Los Angeles during a recent City Council meeting.
Hermon was established in 1903, when the free Methodist church group obtained the isolated valley to establish a school. In 1912, the town of Hermon decided to become part of the City of Los Angeles.
In the 100 years since its inception, the neighborhood has grown from 100 small lots into a community of over 3,000. Congratulations Hermon, on this significant milestone!
Celebrating the Rich History of the Breed Street Shul
Councilmember joined with Mendez Learning Center students at a ceremony at the Breed Street Shul to welcome Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to Boyle Heights.
The Breed Street Shul was once home to the largest Jewish congregation west of the Mississippi. Its restoration through the Breed Street Shul Project is not only important to the Jewish community but to people from all corners of the world who have called Boyle Heights home through the years - representing one of the country's earliest examples of a truly diverse community.
As a longtime Boyle Heights resident, Councilmember Huizar looks forward to seeing this historic place of worship fully restored.
New, Graffiti-Resistant Bus Benches Installed
New, graffiti resistant, steel bus benches are being installed throughout Los Angeles. The project includes replacing the older, brown plastic benches, which were prone to tagging and difficult to clean and maintain and installing benches at new locations.
Thirty-nine new benches have already been placed in northeast Council District 14 on Colorado, Eagle Rock, and York Boulevards, as well as Figueroa and Yosemite Streets. Over the next two months, more than 200 additional new benches will be installed in Council District 14 eventually replacing all the old benches and increasing the total number of benches.
The new benches have a graffiti-resistant coating to make cleaning easier and include a bar to prevent sleeping on them.
City Honors Hispanic Scholarship Fund –
Wilson High 2012 School of the Year!
Councilmember Huizar and the City of Los Angeles recognized the Hispanic Scholarship Fund in City Council for giving out more than $360 million in scholarships to more than 53,000 Latino students.
Councilmember Huizar, a Hispanic Scholarship alum and member of its Hall of Fame, was on hand as HSF honored Wilson High School at its 2012 Leaders in Education Award School of the Year Winner. As part of the award, Wells Fargo donated $10,000 to the school.
Wells Fargo also made the single-largest donation in HSF history when it committed to donate more than $3 million to the fund. Toyota also stepped up by providing office space so HSF can now move its headquarters to Los Angeles, where through the years HSF has given out more than $57 million to 8,200 Southern California students, making the region the highest recipient of HSF scholarships.
Metro Expo Line Opens
Metro Board Member Huizar rose early to join Metro officials in welcoming and handing out commemorative pins to first-time Expo riders on the first day of full service. By 2030, the Expo Line is expected to have 64,000 riders a day!
See the full Expo Line route here.
See ABC7 report on the Expo Line's first day of service here.
Honoring Our Fallen Heroes This Memorial Day
The eastside and Northeast communities of Boyle Heights, El Sereno and Highland Park paid homage to our fallen heroes at three distinct ceremonies this Memorial Day and Memorial Day weekend that had one thing in common: a sincere gratitude to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. Councilmember Huizar sponsored and attended all three ceremonies.
He spoke about the common heritage that he often hears our servicemen and women speak about, one that is not based on the color of their skin, their social or economic status, but rather, the common bond they share as military personnel fighting for a common cause as Americans. He also spoke about the long tradition of service in our eastside and Northeast communities.
Special thanks to our veterans and all those who helped make the Memorial Day ceremonies great successes.
See NBC4 video on meaning of Memorial Day here.
New Bike Lanes in Boyle Heights - Coming Soon to Downtown
Councilmember Huizar is proud to announce new Bike Lanes are ready for riders on Lorena Street, between Cesar Chavez and 3rd Street.
The lanes run alongside Evergreen Cemetery and connect to the First St. Bike Lanes.
First Street in Boyle Heights, along with Spring Street in Downtown, received the first Green Bike Lanes in the entire City. Councilmember Huizar worked to include First Street on the City’s Master Bike Plan, when it was initially left off that list.
Courtesy of BIKAS (labikas.wordpress.com)
And in Downtown, the Councilmember joined bike advocates and LADOT at a Downtown Bike Network Open House to announce new bike lanes are coming in June to portions of Main, First and Los Angeles Streets, as well as additional lanes on Olive Street and Grand Avenue by late summer.
Councilmember is a proponent of the complete streets concept, advocating for more pedestrian and bike friendly uses throughout his district, including the City’s first bike corral in Highland Park, parklet and plaza projects in Downtown, El Sereno and Highland Park, and helping the York Vision plan secure a $2.8 million in Prop. 84 funds to build a pocket park on York and Avenue 50.
Read details from LA BIKAS blog on Boyle Heights lanes here and the Downtown bike lanes coming soon here.
Councilmember Jose Huizar Honors Top 115 Students in District
Councilmember José Huizar honored 115 of the top elementary, middle and high school students from 59 schools throughout Council District 14 at his 9th Annual Adelante (Onward) Awards.
The 115 students come from schools in Northeast L.A., El Sereno and Boyle Heights and are selected by the participating schools. Students and their parents enjoyed a breakfast and magic show at a banquet room at the Our Lady of Angels Cathedral Downtown before receiving their “Adelante” trophy and Certificate of Recognition from Councilmember Huizar and the City of Los Angeles. Special thanks to our generous sponsors for their support.
The award ceremony was first established by Councilmember Huizar when he was a Board Member of the Los Angeles Unified School District as a motivational tool to encourage students who were excelling in academic and community achievement.
Throughout its nine-year history, the awards ceremony has recognized more than 700 students.
Community, Councilmember Get Traffic Light Installed
Councilmember Huizar’s office worked with the Boyle Heights community to bring a traffic signal to Cesar Chavez Avenue and Fresno Street, near Malabar Elementary School and the Evergreen Jogging Path.
The Community first asked for the signal more than 30 years ago but it never moved forward.
Councilmember Huizar worked with the Department of Transportation, community activist Arturo Solis and other community members and made installing the traffic light a priority project.
Read EGP News post here.