Welcome to the Valley!

I love the San Fernando Valley. It's where my wife and I are raising our children, where my parents are enjoying their golden years and home to the best people in the nation. It is an honor to serve and a privilege to represent the Valley on the Los Angeles City Council.

Please explore the resources offered on this website and remember that my staff and I, whether based out of my district office in Reseda or at City Hall, are here to serve you above all else. Please feel free to stop by – we are ready to help. Together we will work to achieve our shared goals and create the Los Angeles it should, can, and deserves to be. 

Thank you.

 

BOB BLUMENFIELD

Councilmember, Third District

Councilmember.Blumenfield@lacity.org

 


  • Latest from the blog

    Council Round Up 8.31.2020

    This week there were several critical motions that the City Council voted on or introduced that I want to share with you. Properly Disposing of PPE and Making Sure Everyone Has Reusable Masks One of the most affordable and efficient ways to help combat the spread of COVID-19 is by wearing a mask when in public. Though many Angelenos have been abiding by physical distancing guidelines and wearing masks, we continue to see and read reports that too many aren't. It seems like every day we learn of record high diagnoses throughout the City, despite public health officials continuing to promote the importance of masks. The Council passed my motion to increase fines up to $250 and boost enforcement measures for people littering dangerous PPE on our streets and sidewalks. We’ve all seen masks and rubber gloves littered on our streets, sidewalks and throughout shared spaces like parking lots, sometimes even laying feet away from a trash can. So many people in our community are doing their part and encouraging others to curb the spread of this virus and act responsibly. Again, thank you to everyone who has been doing their share —more people need to follow your lead.  Also, for residents who don't have a mask, I have given away thousands of reusable masks so far in this pandemic and have thousands more to give. If you need one, please send me an email at C03.foryou@lacity.org or call my district office at 818.774.4330. My team and I have also been actively handing out masks to homeless people in the district, giving them to first responders as well as working hand in hand with service providers to continue this effort. I want to make sure there is no excuse for not wearing a mask.  Allowing ‘Take Out and Delivery’ Banners in LA  There was news last week that the Department of Building and Safety issued fines to local restaurants who hung banners on their property advertising takeout and delivery options. Though most un-permitted signage is illegal, right now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to do everything we can to help keep all restaurants and businesses up and running. Being able to communicate clearly is critical to their survival and it’s important for the public trying to navigate food and services options during the crises. That is why I introduced legislation to allow these signs during the emergency and drop all fines associated with citations that had been issued. Please, if you can afford to, continue to shop local and support neighborhood restaurants and stores. Many residents and businesses are struggling through this emergency and every dollar spent locally goes a long way. Debate on Special Clean Up Zones The Council debated a motion to resume “Care Plus” clean ups surrounding Bridge Housing sites. One of the issues that has arisen with the COVID 19 pandemic is that the CDC has guidelines to not clear encampments during this time of crisis for fear of spreading the virus, unless housing is available. The Care Plus clean ups do not ‘clear’ encampments, but they do require people living on the street to move temporarily (average 2 hours) while the street is sanitized and cleaned.  The people are given between 24 - 72 hours notice before any care plus cleanups take place and are given at least 30 minutes once sanitation arrives before the actual clean-up begins.  When Councilmembers and advocates went to the community before the pandemic started, one of the most important items to earn the support of nearby neighbors was the promise of consistent Care plus clean ups surrounding bridge homes.  Neighbors feared that the site would be a magnet for more encampments and potentially more trash and debris.  The City promised not only that the bridge homes were meant to take in and prioritize the people who were living on the streets in close proximity to that location and therefore there would be less people living on those streets, but that the City would go the extra mile to keep those streets clean of trash and debris via Care Plus clean ups.  The motion that passed by a 10 to 4 vote ( I supported it) will not immediately impact the West Valley because our Bridge Housing site is not set to open until the end of the year. The Council was split on this motion and members of the public called in with legitimate concerns about whether or not it was safe given the pandemic to ask people to move, even if it was only for a few hours.  I tried to address this concern by offering an amendment that would have enabled the Care Plus clean-ups only once we reached “stage 3” in the Governor’s pandemic response — basically saying that when it was safe to allow the general public to go inside of restaurants, it should be safe to ask homeless people to leave their location for several hours.  My amendment did not receive a majority of votes, as some members wanted the Care Plus clean up right away (while we’re in Phase 2) and some simply don’t want Care Plus cleanups at all. There were a number of public commenters who were concerned that Care Plus was the same as “sweeps” and would involve a heavy police presence.  Sanitation officials responded by clarifying that it is not the same and that Police do not necessarily even have to be involved.  The question of how the Police are involved or not involved in these Care Plus cleanups is still being worked out and has implications beyond Care Plus cleanups near bridge home locations.   This issue continues to highlight the need for more creative housing solutions like tiny homes/pallet shelters, congregate housing, modular homes, etc.  To truly get people off the streets and eliminate encampments in our city we need someplace people can go and be connected with help.  The Courts have made it clear in multiple court cases that we cannot enforce anti-camping laws unless and until there is shelter available.  However, there is a pending federal court case being heard by US Judge David Carter that may actually help enable this outcome through a global, but district specific settlement agreement.  To read my thoughts about this, click here. 
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    Update on Judge Carter- Shelter Beds Are Key to Progress on Homelessness

    Published with the Valley News Group on June 25, 2020 In the first three months of 2020, Woodland Hills made the most 311 service calls related to homelessness in the City, even though it has fewer homeless people than the vast majority of LA’s communities (see here).  The best way to reduce calls is moving people off the street, and the key to that is building new shelters in the West Valley. Whether people like the idea or hate it, we simply must create more beds in our communities in order to move people off the street and have some ability to enforce anti-camping laws. I understand why people are calling, frustrated by the growing encampments — especially under freeways.  I’m frustrated too. Despite sending City CARE teams to the underpasses every week, personally going to these sites with LAHSA workers, the attempts I’ve made to enact special high transit corridor legislation, and offering every underpass dweller in my district refuge at one of the temporary COVID Rec Center shelters, the underpasses are still encampment hotspots. Like so many of my constituents, I’m tired of it, of people not receiving lifesaving services, and of being told that Court decisions prevent the City from moving tents, bulky items, or having much control beyond briefly enforcing ADA access. It’s not right for nearby communities or for the people living in squalor, breathing the exhaust. Hope for positive change is on the horizon.  Because of a new agreement reached between the County and City of Los Angeles, two major stumbling blocks to progress are being removed.  Of critical importance, this agreement is being overseen and will be enforceable by a Federal Judge, David Carter. He is the Judge that presided over homeless cases in Orange County, is presiding over the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights v. L.A. case, and has spent months meeting with local leaders grappling with the real world impacts of homelessness.
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