Dear Friends,

As we continue the 2015 holiday season, I’d like to wish everyone the best the season has to offer. Chanukah is in our rear view mirrors, but Christmas, New Year’s and Kwanzaa lie ahead.

We’re in a strangely tumultuous time in the world, with challenges coming at us from every direction. They serve to remind us that life in the 21st Century is unlikely to be easy or dull anytime soon. But as each of us go about our daily lives during these holidays, I hope we can go beyond such concerns and keep the spirit of compassion and generosity prominent in our thoughts and actions as we celebrate with family and friends.

If you’ve still got shopping to do, I encourage you to support your local merchants whose presence in our communities help to make them better places to live. Shopping locally is good for the neighborhood and helps the city government provide you with the services you expect from us.

On that note, let me close by offering my best wishes to you for 2016. It’s sure to be an interesting year, and we should join together and make every effort to make it a great one for everyone.

PAUL KORETZ
Councilmember, Fifth District

Koretz Supports Tenant Lawsuit Over Illegal Conversion of their Apartments to Short-Term Rental Uses

Councilmember Koretz joined with tenants, their attorneys and housing activists on Thursday, December 17, when they held a well-covered press conference to announce the filing of a groundbreaking lawsuit over violations of the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance and the state Ellis Act.

After being evicted in conformance to City and state law, five former tenants of the four-unit building on Genesee Avenue near Fairfax High School were surprised to learn that their units were quickly listed on AirBnb’s website as being available for tourists and party-throwers to rent at up to ten times the rental rates they had been paying.

Since the state Ellis Act requires that units vacated to allow the landlord to ostensibly take the units out of the rental market be left vacant for at least five years, the former tenants first contacted the Coalition for Economic Survival and then attorneys to see what they could do. The blatant violation of the Ellis Act provided the first ever opportunity to sue a landlord and AirBnb for an improper conversion of apartments to short-term use.

The Councilmember spoke eloquently of the dire impact of short-term rentals that evict long-time tenants from rent-controlled apartments on the City’s ongoing affordable housing crisis and was interviewed by a number of news outlets. Earlier this year he called for revisions to the City’s handling of Ellis evictions of tenants in rent stabilized units and has joined with Council colleagues in pursuing tough regulation of short-term rentals in Los Angeles. The Council is expected to address all of these issues in 2016.

The Federation of Hillside and Canyon Associations

Councilmember Koretz joined president of The Federation of Hillside and Canyon Associations, Marian Dodge, for this year's holiday party along with many community leaders. Senator Kevin de León was this year's honored guest. The Hillside Federation focuses on protecting the life of residents residing in the Santa Monica Mountains and other hillside areas of Los Angeles. Councilmember Koretz thanks you for your efforts in preserving the natural topography and wildlife of the mountains and hillsides.

              
                     Councilmember Koretz presenting a certificate of appreciation to President Marian Dodge.


Christmas Tree Recycling

If your family has a Christmas tree and you’re wondering what to do with it once you take it down, recycle is the answer.  Every year the City of Los Angeles provides tree recycling after the holidays. Your recycled tree will end up being part of the City’s greenwaste mulching program, which provides fertilizer to help plants grow. 

Placing your tree at the curb in front of your home, or in the alley behind, is NOT the way to recycle. The City will have a number of drop-off locations  you can bring your “used” tree to when the time comes. 

The City will have drop-off locations in or near the Fifth District at the sites:

ENCINO
Balboa Sports Center
17015 Burbank Boulevard

RANCHO PARK
Cheviot Hills Recreation Center
2551 Motor Avenue

FIRE STATION #71
107 S. Beverly Glen Bl., 90024 - Holmby Hills/Bel-Air
(310) 575-8571

FIRE STATION #88
5101 N. Sepulveda Bl., 91403 - Sherman Oaks
(818) 756-8688

For more information on tree recycling, please visit this website:

http://www.lacitysan.org/tree-recycle.htm




This message was sent to  by:

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