Blumenfield Buzz - Week of April 5th

City Council Approves Blumenfield's Plan to Create a Bridge Housing Facility in Canoga Park 

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On March 27, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and the Los Angeles City Council approved funding for a new Bridge Housing site in the West Valley. In partnership with County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, this property in Canoga Park will be the first long-term Bridge Housing site in the City. 

“When the Mayor announced his plan for Bridge Housing throughout Los Angeles, I knew that I wanted to help create something in the West Valley that could have a permanent benefit,” said Blumenfield.

The property, located at 7621 Canoga Avenue, had been privately owned, but used to serve as a County mental health facility. Under the plan outlined by Blumenfield and Kuehl, the City will allocate a conditional grant of $4.3 million to the County to purchase the property, then the County will renovate it and provide no less than fifteen years of Bridge Housing services for homeless people.

According to the 2018 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Count, there were over 31,000 homeless people in the City of Los Angeles, 607 of whom were in Blumenfield’s district. 

“Though we have the lowest homeless population compared to other council districts, we still have a serious humanitarian and quality of life crisis in our community,” Blumenfield stated. “Homelessness continues to be the most pressing issue facing our City and I am proud that today we are taking this important step to address this emergency in the West Valley.”

Though this site will be a ‘permanent’ Bridge Housing facility, it will provide homeless people with ‘temporary’ and transitional housing, just like other bridge housing sites opening up around the city. This site will provide housing for no less than 70 people at any given time. Having this site will unlock additional police presence in the vicinity and will enable enhanced enforcement as well.

Details such as opening date and exact capacity are still being finalized. To learn more please click here

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Blumenfield Secures Over $10 Million for Major Improvements in the West Valley

On March 26, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to fund four key projects of Councilmember Bob Blumenfield in the communities of Reseda and Canoga Park. These projects are an expansion of the Aliso Creek Confluence Park, streetscape enhancements on Sherman Way in Reseda, improving the Madrid Theater as part of the Canoga Park Arts Hub, and a new traffic signal.

All are funded with Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) excess bond funds that he helped secure and has been using to successfully grow economic opportunities in parts of the West Valley that have struggled to attract and sustain robust commercial activity.

The Council specifically approved four motions which include:

The passage of these motions adds to Blumenfield’s successful record of bringing much needed economic and recreational activity to the West Valley. In 2013, Blumenfield launched “Reseda Rising” to reinvest in the community and enhance Reseda as a center for entertainment and small business. 

As a City Councilmember Blumenfield successfully helped position the City to take advantage of the Bill (AB1484) he authored as an Assemblymember to help manage the wind down of the CRA. This bill created an opportunity for cities to utilize ‘excess CRA bond revenues’ and certain CRA lands. 


Establishing Permanent Memorials for Victims of Fatal Bike Crashes

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On March 29, the City Council unanimously passed Councilmember Blumenfield’s motion to create permanent roadside memorial signs at the locations of fatal bicycle crashes. Currently, in the immediate aftermath of a traffic fatality, family members and loved ones frequently establish temporary roadside memorials, including "ghost bikes" placed at the site of fatal bicycle crashes. This will not replace nor diminish this practice. However, the City did not have a policy or program for establishing permanent roadside memorials until now.

“I’ve been to too many ghost bike memorials only to see them gone in a few days, as if nothing tragic happened,” said Blumenfield. “Cyclists are dying on the streets of Los Angeles and creating a permanent memorial, which will also serve as a reminder to share the road, is needed.”

In 2018, 240 people died from traffic collisions in the City of Los Angeles, including 21 bicyclists. After the tragic death of 15-year-old Sebastian Montero while bicycling in Woodland Hills on April 1, 2018, LAPD Topanga Division Senior Lead Officer Duke Dao suggested that Blumenfield should pursue such a program. Blumenfield worked closely with the LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) to create a program similar to how Caltrans places memorial signs at locations of certain alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

To learn more about this program and what Blumenfield is doing to improve bike infrastructure in the West Valley please click here.

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Blumenfield Joins the LAPD Community Town Hall in West Valley

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On March 27, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield joined LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher and many other officers for an LAPD Community Town Hall to discuss crime, youth programs, and resiliency plans for the West Valley.

“Joining the LAPD at this event was a wonderful opportunity to meet with residents and discuss all of initiatives we have worked on to make the Valley a safer place to live, work and play,” Blumenfield said.

These initiatives include implementing volunteer patrol programs in all three of the 3rd District’s police divisions increasing the eyes and ears in our community and helping lower crime rates.

At the Community Town Hall, Blumenfield actively listened to the Chief, all of the Valley Command staff who spoke as well as the community members who offered input and asked questions. Blumenfield also discussed the importance of funding programs such as the Police Activity League (PAL) and LAPD Cadets Program.

“These vital programs empower at-risk youth through public service, sports activities, and character-building exercises,” Blumenfield said. “They are critical assets to our community and help inspire our next generation of leaders.”

These programs are made possible by the support and leadership from the LAPD Topanga Police Community Relations Office and LAPD West Valley Division Community Relations Office and funds Blumenfield secured through the city budget process.

Councilmember Blumenfield also described the West Valley’s resiliency plan and extended invitations for residents to give their input.  Currently, Blumenfield and his team are meeting with neighborhood councils and stakeholder groups to make the community more prepared for disasters.


'Planting for Peace' Remembers Victims from Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

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On March 28, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield organized and led the ceremony ‘Planting for Peace,’ an event to remember the 11 victims of the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh and to redouble the City’s commitment to fighting against hate and bigotry. Faith leaders, elected officials, and community members gathered to plant memorial olive trees at the Israeli-American Council’s (IAC) Shepher Community Center in Woodland Hills.

“I am committed to making the City of LA safe and welcoming for all,” Blumenfield said. “When a hate crime or any act of intolerance happens against one group, it’s an attack on all of us.”

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During the ceremony, Blumenfield led a moment of silence and presented a plaque from the IAC to remember the names of the 11 victims. Afterward, Blumenfield invited attendees to come forward to help in the planting the memorial olive tree.

This event would not have been possible without the generous tree donation from the Urban Forestry Division, the tree planting services from LA Conservation Corp, and the location and  enthusiasm from the staff of the IAC Shepher Community Center.

Councilmember Blumenfield is planning another tree planting ceremony to remember the victims from the recent New Zealand Christchurch Mosque attacks and more details will be available in the near future.

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Team Blumenfield Connects Non-Profit Organizations with Security Grant Opportunities

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On March 27, Team Blumenfield hosted a Non-Profit Security Grant Workshop in partnership with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Public Safety. Over 50 non-profit leaders attended to learn how they can apply for much needed security grants.

With the rise in shootings and hate crimes, non-profit organizations need to prepare themselves more than ever for any potential attacks. This requires investing in security resources and technology to monitor potential threats and quickly alert law enforcement.

Blumenfield hosted this workshop for folks in the West Valley to learn how to apply for security grants to fund improvements and speak directly with staff who oversee the grant process.

Blumenfield thanks Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Governor Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, and LAPD for bringing in experts to speak with many of our non-profit leaders. To anyone who could not attend, Governor Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services provided this link to all the documents from 2018's grant application here. Their office is expecting the release of the 2019 application within the month but recommended looking over the 2018 application to at least understand the application process.


Upgrades Coming Soon for the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Project

Recently Blumenfield joined Metro Los Angeles in Warner Center to discuss the new Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project. This $320 million project, funded by Measure M and a State grant, will help make the Orange Line run more efficiently by installing new gates and safety measures at each street crossing. Blumenfield successfully fought to have this funding included in the very first years of the Measure M expenditure plan.

To learn more about this project and how it will benefit the West Valley please click here.

Blumenfield is also hosting an event focused on addressing heat near trasit in Canoga Park. For anyone in Canoga Park who rides the Metro Los Angeles Orange Line during the summer knows how brutal the heat can be, especially getting to and from the Sherman Way Station.

That’s why on Saturday, April 13 Blumenfield is hosting, along with Streets LA and Climate Resolve, ‘Addressing Transit Access and Heat in Canoga Park,’ a community open house to get your ideas about how to improve walking or biking to the Orange Line. This includes improving bike and pedestrian safety, reducing heat, and providing new community amenities.

This event will be their first Project Open House and it will be held at the Canoga Park Community Community Center near the weekly farmers market (7248 Owensmouth Ave. Canoga Park, CA 91303). Before the Open House, it would be great to get as much community input as possible. Please take this quick survey and let us know what you think this station needs.

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Blumenfield Declared March 'American Red Cross Month' 

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On March 26, Blumenfield declared March 'American Red Cross Awareness Month’ in the City of Los Angeles to encourage volunteering, donations, and active participation in improving conditions for those in need. Every year the Red Cross, with over 370,000 volunteers, responds to an average of more than 62,000 disasters across the country, from small home fires to devastating massive disasters, and handles an average of 3,000 emergency military calls every year.

Last year, the West Valley saw what they were capable of doing firsthand when the Woolsey Fire ignited just outside of the Councilmember’s district. Hundreds of thousands of folks were ordered to evacuate, not knowing what they would return home to. While brave first responders were fighting the blazes, the Red Cross and their volunteers swiftly set up evacuation centers throughout the West Valley. Overall, the fires burned approximately 70,000 acres and about 250,000 people were evacuated in total- but for the Red Cross, it was just another week of service and they were ready to help the next emergency.

Blumenfield was happy to welcome Raul Claros, Executive Direction of the Northern Valleys Chapter of the Red Cross, and Renee Henderson from the Community Coalition and celebrate the great work they do.


Local Business Spotlight: Fab Hot Dogs

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Fab Hot Dogs is an East Coast style hot dog restaurant located off of Victory Blvd in Reseda. Owner/ Chef Joe Fabrocini founded Fab Hot Dogs on June 17, 2008 with a goal to bring the hot dog variations from all across the country to LA. Fabrocini brought one of his favorites, the ‘Ripper’, to LA. Before Fabrocini’s business, the ‘Ripper’ was never seen outside of Northern New Jersey.

“Customers and employees alike agree eating a Ripper at Fab Hot Dogs transports you to the east coast,” employee London Sorrells said. “Coming here is a great experience and I highly recommend you check out Fab Hot Dogs!” From being featured on Food Network to their endless on-and-off the menu options, Fab Hot Dogs is a great fast food restaurant for all. You can often spot Team Blumenfield during the lunch hour frequenting this fine restaurant.

To learn more about Fab Hot Dogs, please visit their website here.

19417 Victory Blvd.

Reseda, CA 91335

 


West Valley Animal Shelter Pets of the Month 

dog.png“Maximo" ID# A1015919- Maximo is a little freckled fellow with giant sweetness, adorable spunk, and personality. He loves everyone, and gets along very well with his little dog kennel-mates too.  Maximo loves people, enjoys going for walks with you, and is always happy to be picked up and hold him. He is about 17 lbs. and 10 years old so he is just as comfortable out for a fun walk as he is snuggling in for a long nap with you on the couch.


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"June" ID# A1841694- June came to the shelter from a home with too many cats (48 to be exact!)  Happily, June let none of that affect her!  June is delightfully lovable, social, very well-adjusted, totally fun and in good health too.  June just needs a forever home and new person or family to love her forever  --  loving June is extremely easy to do! 

Bring home forever love, smiles, purrs and wags -- come adopt a shelter pet today!  Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, bunnies, all sizes, types and fur lengths, from playful youngsters to gentle, loving seniors -- they are waiting for you at your local CD 3 Animal Shelter!  Come fall in love at the West Valley (L.A. city) Animal Shelter at 20655 Plummer St., Chatsworth, (818) 756-9325.  See all  the L.A. City Shelter animals at http://www.laanimalservices.com/.


Around Town
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On Tuesday April 9, Blumenfield and the Upper Los Angeles River & Tributaries Working Group hosted a workshop in the West Valley to discuss their efforts to improve the LA River. Blumenfield's Deputy Chief of Staff John Popoch serves as his designee and they are doing some exciting work.

Each of their workshops include interactive exhibits and exercises where you can share your ideas. Tell us what you want to see along the River and Tributaries, specifically the Aliso Canyon Wash tributary right here in our own backyard, and how the River can continue to be a community asset.

Learn more about their work and upcoming meetings here.

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Recently, Blumenfield visited the the Salvation Army's adult rehabilitation program in Canoga Park to learn more about the supportive and drug-free environment they provide for members of our community.

Thanks to their program, folks receive room and board, counselling, faith services, and gain a sense of structure, skills training, and access to employment opportunities. They work in every aspect of the Salvation facility and learn firsthand how the organization functions. Many successful graduates from this program have even gone onto permanent positions with Salvation Army as a way to give to continue giving back.


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