Blumenfield leads effort to save this local arts institution by making it part of his Canoga Park Arts Hub
LOS ANGELES, CA – On December 24, 2018 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and the City of Los Angeles closed escrow on the Clyde Porter West Valley Playhouse in Canoga Park, acquiring the property to ensure this cultural resource continues to welcome the local arts community. In conjunction with the nearby Madrid Theater and the Canoga Park Youth Arts Center, the purchase of the Playhouse adds another venue to Blumenfield’s Canoga Park Cultural Arts Hub which will serve as an incubator and home for local artists for years to come.
“With the decimation of arts funding in our schools and the decline of accessible theater in our community, I am proud to help transition the West Valley Playhouse into a public asset,” said Blumenfield. “This will prevent the loss of a community gem and ensure that we have local theater for current and future generations. It will also help fuel local economic opportunity.”
Located at 7242 Owensmouth Ave. in Canoga Park, the West Valley Playhouse seats about 150 people and was formerly a Masonic Lodge before it was transformed into a theater in 2000. Blumenfield and his staff have worked over the last year to save the West Valley Playhouse after he found out the building was up for sale and harnessed $1.395 million in excess Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) bond funds to purchase it. These are funds that can only be used for community revitalization efforts and cannot be utilized for issues such as public safety or homelessness. The theater will now be operated by the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and be available to various community theater and performance groups from throughout the region, including the West Valley Playhouse Company.
Danielle Brazell, General Manager of DCA said, "Arts, culture, and creativity are catalysts for economic development, community engagement, and civic identity. The acquisition of the West Valley Playhouse is an essential component of a new cultural hub that will further develop local artists, generate dynamic programming, and serve the residents of Canoga Park as well as the greater Los Angeles region. The purchase advances our shared goal to develop a creative hub that engages the creative spirit of the residents of Blumenfield’s district, while advancing the Councilmember's mission of investing in cultural infrastructure to support the local arts ecology, increase access to art education, and celebrate the unique creative character of this community.”
LOS ANGELES, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Mayor Eric Garcetti hosted a vigil at City Hall honoring the 11 lives lost this weekend in the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting. This was the deadliest attack against the Jewish community on US soil in American history.
“We absolutely cannot stand idly by and become desensitized to yet another shooting. These 11 Americans had names, stories, families, hopes and dreams,” said Blumenfield. “There is no place in our country for hate crimes of any kind and we must come together, unify and stand up to bigots, racists and intolerance.”
Councilmember Blumenfield convened the vigil to honor these peoples’ lives and to stand in solidarity with Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. From the City family, Blumenfield was joined by Mayor Garcetti, Controller Ron Galperin as well as Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell, Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, Curren Price, Gil Cedillo and Marqueece Harris-Dawson.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Los Angeles Kings President and Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), solidifying a new public-private partnership to build and operate the ‘Reseda Ice Rink,’ the City’s first ever year-round recreational ice facility.
“I am proud to further cement the bond between Los Angeles and our iconic Kings as we move forward to create this unique and historic facility in the West Valley,” said Councilmember Blumenfield. “Thanks to the entire Kings organizations for your partnership on this project and for their dedication to our City, ensuring that future generations of Angelenos will have access to learn and love hockey and skating.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the LA Kings to continue to grow the game of hockey in Los Angeles,” said Robitaille. “We would like to thank Councilmember Blumenfield and Reseda for their hard work and diligent effort in helping make this a reality. We look forward to seeing the shovel in the dirt and watching the Reseda Ice Rink come to fruition. The facility is something that will be enjoyed by the community for a long, long time.”
LOS ANGELES, CA- Today Chairman Bob Blumenfield led the Public Works and Gang Reduction (PWGR) Committee to approve keys steps to reinstate over 300 streets to the City grid, many of which were removed from public use in 1936.
“It is absurd that we have streets in the City of Los Angeles that haven’t been serviced since the Great Depression,” said Blumenfield. “Ever since I took over as Chair of the Public Works Committee last year, I have used the power of that position to right this historic wrong. It has been unfair to the people living on those streets, that for all intents and purposes have been used as public streets, to be treated like second class tax payers.”
LOS ANGELES, CA- Today the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously for Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s motion to ban the manufacture and sale of new fur products throughout Los Angeles. This motion, co-presented by Councilmember Paul Koretz and seconded by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, will take effect two years after the adoption of the ordinance and will specifically prohibit the sale of new products made in whole or in part of fur, such as fashion accessories.
“It’s 2018, there’s no excuse for being complicit in this inhumane and unnecessary trade. With this vote we are telling the world that Angelenos care about animal welfare, “said Blumenfield. “Thanks to Councilmember Paul Koretz and Marc Ching from Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation for partnering in this effort and helping galvanize so many voices. We will continue to be a leader in animal welfare efforts and must work with other Cities and States until this vile practice is ended across our nation.”
Proposal would add new pedestrian bridge, improved walking path, enhanced watershed health and increase safety measures
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Councilmember Blumenfield introduced measures to improve connectivity and safety along the LA River and Aliso Creek Confluence Park by investing in much needed bike and pedestrian infrastructure. His motions direct the investment of over $4 million of local CRA/LA Bond funds to build a pedestrian bridge at the Aliso Creek Confluence Park in Reseda, add new bike and walking paths, establish better storm water treatment, and create new cross walks, striping and a traffic signal at Victory and Vanalden.
“This is a massive investment in the neighborhood (local infrastructure) and paves the way for better pedestrian and bike traffic along the LA River,” said Blumenfield. “My dream for the river is that it becomes a safe and beautiful place where all Angelenos can go, get outside and enjoy our City; this is a big step in that direction.”
Effort to curb unnecessary plastic utensils for takeout and delivery
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced legislation that would pave the way for a new ‘Plastic Utensils-On-Request’ ordinance in the City of Los Angeles. In conjunction with the pending ‘Straws-On-Request’ ordinance, Blumenfield is seeking to curtail the impact that plastic utensils are having on the environment and the aesthetic quality of local communities.
“Now more than ever, Los Angeles needs to lead strong environmental efforts and I believe that as the second largest City in the nation, we can make a big ecological difference by thinking twice about how much we need wasteful plastics, such as utensils,” said Blumenfield. “Many people have that special drawer in the kitchen packed to the brim with extra forks and knives from takeout or delivery and I believe it is sensible to ask consumers if they really need more.”
With over 8.8 billion metric tons of plastic in the ocean and over 90% of plastic not being recycled, Blumenfield believes that Los Angeles must continue to curb the use of plastics and incentivize responsible disposal. Cities such as Seattle and San Francisco have passed full plastic straw bans and many other municipalities are adopting new environmental standards to combat similar waste. Companies like Starbucks, American Airlines, Hyatt and the Walt Disney Company have all announced efforts to stop offering plastic straws as well.
Caballero Creek Park will convert a blighted vacant lot into innovative new open space
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield announced a huge step forward in creating the Caballero Creek Park, converting a 1.6-acre underutilized site into a multiple-benefit park, located at the convergence of the Los Angeles River and Caballero Creek in Tarzana.
“I am proud that we are on the verge of creating a brand new park that the West Valley can be proud of,” said Blumenfield. “This park is not only an investment in our community and watershed, but also in the health, wellbeing and future of the LA River.”
The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), Department of Recreation and Parks, Bureau of Sanitation, and General Services, and Los Angeles County have joined forces to design and complete the Caballero Creek Park. Blumenfield has also partnered with Reseda High School to utilize the new space as an outdoor classroom. The design utilizes innovative methods that lead to watershed protection, including a bioswale and a wetland component for storm water treatment. In 2016-17, a total of $750,000 in City MICLA bond funding was allocated to the Caballero Creek Park Project. After months of collaboration between Blumenfield, his staff and the City and County family, the project is ready to move forward.
LOS ANGELES – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced a measure to ban the manufacture and sale of fur products throughout Los Angeles. This motion, co-presented by Councilmember Paul Koretz and seconded by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, would take effect in January of 2020 and would specifically prohibit the sale of products such as apparel made in whole or in part of fur or any fashion accessory, such as handbags, shoes, hats, earmuffs, and jewelry.
“It is time to move past the arcane practice of killing animals for goods,” said Blumenfield. “Los Angeles must be a leader in this effort, stop the unnecessary killing of animals and finally eliminate this vile market.”
Marc Ching, Founder and CEO of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation said, “In the end the truth is, there is no humane way to skin an animal for its fur. This legislative act is not just about taking a stand. It is about compassion, about morality- and about what it means to be human.”
“The fur trade is senseless and brutal to animals. Today’s motion to stop the manufacturing and retail sales of animal parts is long overdue,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz. “These beautiful animals deserve better than the cruel treatment they receive at the hands of fur ranchers, especially if it is to create trivial fur fashion items. The world looks to Los Angeles for fashion trends and this will be one we can be proud of.”
Blumenfield leads effort to clean city of animal tested products while celebrating animal rights organization
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced a measure called “Cruelty-Free Los Angeles,” to ensure that the City of Los Angeles will only purchase supplies such as cleaning products and hand soaps that are free from animal testing. As part of the announcement, Blumenfield celebrated the animal rights nonprofit, Rescue + Freedom Project (R+FP), and was joined by middle school student animal advocates from R+FP Kids, and six beagles who were rescued from animal testing.
“Testing cleaning products on animals is not only based on flawed and arcane science, but it is simply despicable and disturbing that major companies in our country treat man’s best friend like a science experiment,” said Blumenfield. “We can do better and we must do better.”
R+FP, previously known as Beagle Freedom Project, is a U.S. based nonprofit founded in 2004 that saves animals all around the globe from laboratory experiments, hoarding cases, the meat trade, unique captivity and cruelty, and death row. R+FP Kids is a great initiative they run to help educate and empower the next generation of animal advocates.