Council approves new providers for innovative financing mechanism
LOS ANGELES, CA –Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today secured Council support to expand the number of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing providers from two to four, increasing competition while expanding choice and lowering rates. PACE is a state-run program that assists property owners to finance upgrades by allowing them to be paid off as an assessment on their property taxes.
Today’s action follows previous Blumenfield initiatives to implement PACE for seismic retrofits and to engage the City in existing energy and water efficiency upgrade programs.
“I have long championed the PACE program as an innovative financing mechanism for critical energy, water, and seismic upgrades,” said Blumenfield. “Today’s action gives Angelenos choice as we work to build a resilient City.
Council moves forward airport commission decision with operations and safety recommendations.
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles City Council today approved a proposal to allow Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft to operate at Los Angeles International Airport, including a series of recommendations put forward in last week’s in-depth hearings of the Trade, Commerce, and Technology Committee, which is chaired by Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.
“Angelenos and visitors to our city are using services like Uber and Lyft to get to and from the airport in a manner that is unregulated, unmonitored, and inconvenient. Our challenge has been to meet the demands of a changing marketplace to ensure safety, transparency, and accessibility,” said Blumenfield. “Today, the Council embraced rather than hindered new technologies to provide the safe and convenient access Angelenos demand.”
Today’s action follows Council’s decision, pursuant to Charter Section 245, to review the Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) July 16, 2015 action to approve a Non-Exclusive License Agreement (NELA) covering Transportation Network Companies serving Los Angeles International Airport.
Trade, Commerce, and Technology Committee approves airport commission decision on Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) with recommendations.
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles City Council’s Trade, Commerce, and Technology Committee (TCT) today endorsed a proposal to allow Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft to operate at Los Angeles International Airport, while setting out recommendations to enhance consumer protection and access.
“TNCs such as Uber and Lyft have changed the way Angelenos move around our City, and regulated or not, that has included to and from the airport,” said Blumenfield. “Today we voted with millions of consumers who demand convenient access to the airport in a way that is regulated, monitored, and above all, safe.”
Pursuant to Charter Section 245, the Committee, chaired by Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, voted 3-2 to move forward the Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) July 16, 2015 action to approve a Non-Exclusive License Agreement (NELA) covering Transportation Network Companies serving Los Angeles International Airport.
Blumenfield worked to create a process that was substantive and transparent, with testimony brought before the committee from subject-matter experts and stakeholders including representatives from LAWA, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and ground transportation providers including Lyft and Uber as well as the taxi and livery industries.
New Woodland Hills park the result of extensive community outreach effort.
WOODLAND HILLS, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today was joined by representatives from the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the United Firefighters of Los Angeles and a host of neighbors and community members to cut the ribbon at the new Costanso Fire Station 84 Park in Woodland Hills.
Fire Station 84 operated at the corner of Canoga Ave. and Costanso St. from 1949 until being relocated to a new location in Warner Center in 2007. The vacant fire station remained unused and became blighted, overgrown with weeds and a place where illicit activity occurred. ln 2013, Blumenfield, newly elected to the Los Angeles City Council, undertook a massive community outreach effort to determine the future use of the site, and began working feverishly to transform the area.
“Today, I’m proudly checking this park opening off my list of first term priorities,” said Blumenfield. “The neighborhood around the old Fire Station 84 is one of the oldest and most beautiful in the Valley, but after years of neglect, the property had fallen into disrepair. After two years of hard work and community input, we have transformed what was a blighted piece of land into an incredible neighborhood resource.”
|Blumenfield is joined by Recreation and Parks officials, LAFD Firefighters, and the neighbors and kids of the Costanso neighborhood in Woodland Hills to cut the ribbon on the new Costanso Fire Station 84 Park, on July 2, 2015.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Responding to news reports that Amsterdam would not be following through on their planned Sister City relationship with Tel Aviv, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today introduced a measure, co-presented by Councilmember Tom LaBonge, to urge Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard Van der Laan to move forward with the planned relationship between the two cities.
A vote to establish the relationship had been planned for July 1, but was has since been cancelled.
“As a City that opens its arms to the world and is committed to the promotion of global cooperation, cultural understanding and economic development through the Sister Cities movement, we in Los Angeles urge Mayor Van der Laan to reverse course and strengthen bilateral relations with Tel Aviv,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield. “Against the backdrop of increasing anti-semitic incidents in Holland and throughout Europe, building bridges of understanding with the only pluralistic democracy in the Middle East has never been more important.”
According to the country’s main anti-semitism watchdog, the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), anti-semitic incidents in Holland rose 71% in 2014.
Lanark Park Skate Plaza is the First Skatepark West of the Sepulveda Basin
CANOGA PARK, CA – Tony Hawk and members of the Birdhouse Skateboards team joined Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and City leaders today to help the community inaugurate the Lanark Skate Plaza: a brand new 14,000 sq. ft. street plaza style skatepark set among old-growth trees at Lanark Recreation Center in Canoga Park
Blumenfield joined the world famous skateboarder, the Birdhouse Team, and local youth, hopping on a skateboard to try out the new park.
“This is a great resource for the community,” said Blumenfield. “Growing up, I loved to skateboard, but we didn’t have anything like that. The Lanark Skate Plaza will be a great place for our kids to stay active, learn a sport, and do it in a way that is safe and fun.”
Lanark Recreation Center was identified as a potential skate park site by the Department of Recreation and Parks in 2008. Upon election to the City Council, in 2013 Blumenfield worked with Recreation and Parks to make this a priority project for the West Valley. The new skate plaza, designed by New Line Skateparks and built by California Skateparks, was partially funded by a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
“I want to congratulate Canoga Park on this skatepark,” said Hawk. “We were happy to help, and it was the effort of the Councilman who made it happen and it’s exciting to be here.”
City Council Votes to Approve CityLinkLA Request for Participants.
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles City Council today approved a Request for Participants (RFP) to identify one or more providers to commit to deploying advanced wireline and wireless networks that can provide one gigabit broadband speed or more to residences and businesses. The RFP asks proposers to provide a free level of service, including free basic wireless services, and to complete build-out within the next five years.
The RFP was issued as part of CityLinkLA, the long-term initiative led by Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to ensure that Los Angeles is among the most connected cities worldwide. The RFP received unanimous approval from Los Angeles City Council following remarks from supporters including Kenn Phillips of the Valley Economic Alliance and Norma Fernandez of EveryoneOn, a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the digital divide.
“In today’s digital age, Internet access is a necessity, not a luxury. Today however, too many Angelenos do not have access to broadband, while many businesses and residents pay higher prices for slower speeds when compared to other global cities,” said Councilmember Blumenfield, who chairs the Council’s Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee. “Universal access to high-speed Internet is essential to the City’s future economic competitiveness, and will drive Los Angeles’s entertainment, tech and entrepreneurial activity. Free wireless Internet access will be a game changer in terms of helping to bridge the city’s digital divide.”
"More than 30% of our families in LA still don't have broadband Internet access. That presents real challenges in everyday life, from finding jobs to obtaining an education to participating in our City's social fabric," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Delivering digital infrastructure for access to the Internet is as important today as our other older infrastructure that delivers electricity, transportation, clean water, and lighted streets. This RFP makes City assets—real estate, strands of fiber optics, streetlights, and more—available to broadband providers, cellular operators, and new providers to continue the trend of faster speeds around LA and help us connect more of our residents, visitors, and businesses to the Internet."
"We've been in the 21st century for 15 years, it's time we move into the future,” said Council President Herb Wesson. "I am confident that with the right partners we will be able to position Los Angeles as a global leader in connectedness."
“CityLinkLA was created to deliver the high-speed, high-quality and affordable Internet that Angelenos need and deserve. Our goal is to see that all Los Angeles neighborhoods have equal access to advanced communications networks, allowing residents and businesses to take full advantage of Internet capabilities. We have set a course for the City’s technological future. We’re looking for providers that share our vision and are ready to invest now,” concluded Blumenfield.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today made the following statement following the City Council’s vote to move forward the Citywide Minimum Wage Ordinance.
The final motion incorporates several policy suggestions raised by Blumenfield in the months since Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed increasing the City’s minimum wage:
“President Kennedy famously proclaimed that 'a rising tide lifts all boats,' and today, through a thoughtful, deliberative process, we've created a policy that will give Angelenos the raise in wages they need and deserve, while lifting the economic and spiritual tide of our City, including for our most vulnerable populations.
The Citywide Minimum Wage is among the most consequential policy decisions enacted by this Council in years, and as with any major policy, it is crucial that it be crafted in a way that is thoughtful and deliberative to ensure that we achieve our goal of lifting Angelenos out of poverty.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today convened the Los Angeles-Eilat Innovation and Cooperation Task Force at the Milken Global Conference, the annual symposium that brings together some of the world's brightest minds to explore solutions to today's most pressing challenges in financial markets, industry sectors, health, government and education.
The task force was created to facilitate the exchange of ideas and innovation between Israeli companies, education communities and non-profits and their counterparts in the City of Los Angeles. It was established following last year's signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), based on legislation Blumenfield authored as an Assemblymember, to strengthen trade, research and economic development ties between California and the State of Israel.
In its second meeting, the task force members today explored innovation based solutions for tackling California’s water crisis, including increasing irrigation efficiency, enhancing groundwater recharge, and expanding water reclamation projects. Israel is a recognized leader in dealing with water scarcity issues.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today was joined by his colleague Councilmember Nury Martinez in securing the Los Angeles City Council’s support for a funding plan for the first round of proposals as part of the City’s Innovation Fund program. The Innovation Fund solicits and funds ideas from the City family, including employees, commissioners and others, to make city government work better, faster and more efficiently.
The Innovation Fund was spearheaded by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who joined with Councilmember Blumenfield in officially launching the solicitation and evaluation process in November 2014.
“In government, as in business, we are constantly seeking creative ideas to create efficiencies, save money and make life better for the residents of Los Angeles,” said Blumenfield. “With the establishment of the Innovation Fund, we are exponentially multiplying our ability to explore new ideas to achieve these goals.”
"City employees are at the intersection of our government and the community. They understand how the City works and the needs of its residents,” said Martinez. “It’s time we put their unique skills to work. By utilizing their combination of skills, the Innovation Fund gives employees the opportunity to take the lead and improve our neighborhoods one solution at a time."