Los Angeles becomes the largest City in the United States to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and the Los Angeles City Council voted to support an ordinance to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur throughout Los Angeles. Blumenfield authored the ‘Fur Ban’ motion, which was co-presented by Councilmember Paul Koretz and seconded by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, last year and in September, the City Council supported the drafting of a formal ordinance. This legislation makes Los Angeles the largest City in America to ban new fur products.
“This arcane and inhumane practice must end and today we said loud and clear, fur will not have a future in Los Angeles,” said Blumenfield. “I am proud that our City made a giant step in ending the unnecessary killing of animals but we must continue towards finally eliminating this vile market.”
“The fur trade is senseless and brutal to animals. Today’s ordinance 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.”
This ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2021 and specifically prohibit the sale of products and apparel made in whole or in part of fur or any fashion accessory, such as handbags, shoes, hats, earmuffs, and jewelry.
A new chapter to end mobile billboard blight, Blumenfield aims to restrict the use of potentially dangerous distractions
LOS ANGELES – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced a motion for the City of Los Angeles to ban digital billboards on top of personal vehicles. On the streets of LA, drivers have noticed an increasing number of digital billboards attached to the top of some Uber and Lyft ridesharing vehicles.
“It was not too long ago that the Valley was blanketed with unhitched mobile billboards advertising everything you can imagine and I am proud to have helped rid our communities of that blight,” said Blumenfield. “Constituents would come up to me all the time and ask what can we do to get rid of those awful mobile billboards? We learned then that some companies will go to extreme lengths to circumvent regulations. Digital billboards on cars are just the next generation of advertising blight on our streets. They enable companies to use, for free, our public rights of way to profit at the expense of our quality of life. Furthermore, they can be a dangerous distraction for drivers. We need a clear law to prevent this problem from becoming an epidemic.”
Called dynamic message signs (DMS), they use digital LED technology to display changeable illuminated advertising. Currently a company called Firefly installs the rooftop DMS devices using Thule roof racks and wiring the screens to the car battery. At 52 inches long by 17 inches high, the boxes holding the screens are bigger than most rooftop cargo carriers. Uber and Lyft drivers who agree to mount the digital screens on their vehicles may be paid an average of $300.00 monthly.
In November 2018, the City Attorney's Office told Firefly that installation and operation of its DMS devices in the City is illegal under state and City law. Disregarding that admonishment, Firefly continues to place its DMS devices on rideshare vehicles operating in the City. The following month, representatives of Firefly appeared at the Board of Taxicab Commissioners ("Board") to request that the Board permit Firefly to install its DMS devices on the roofs of taxis pursuant to Board Rule 415(c). Board. Rule 415(c) allows commercial advertising to be mounted on a taxicab roof or trunk. The Board has yet to act on that request.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) has expressed safety concerns with Firefly's DMS devices, including that the devices may detract from legal lighting requirements such as clearance lighting and hazard lights, and reduce the effectiveness of emergency vehicle lighting. CHP advised that the DMS devices may impact first responders while operating in a "code three" response.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield was joined by LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas to honor two firefighters who heroically saved a family during the Woolsey Fire. On November 9th, LAFD Air Operations Pilots David Nordquist and Joel Smith were requested to evacuate three people and their two dogs in Malibu.
“It’s no secret that LAFD is comprised of incredibly brave and selfless heroes, but the actions of Mr. Norquist and Mr. Smith during the Woolsey Fire were truly remarkable,” said Blumenfield.
With low visibility, running out of fuel, as well as smoke and flames surrounding them, Nordquist and Smith risked their lives for this miraculous rescue. Blumenfield and Chief Terrazas presented the pilots with certificates of recognition and the video of the incredible rescue was shown as well.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield launched ‘Warner Connects,’ a new Transportation Management Organization (TMO) focused on encouraging the use of sustainable or alternative transportation such as walking, biking, public transit and carpooling. Blumenfield was joined by transit advocates, to educate commuters and community members about local transportation options in Warner Center. By reducing traffic and encouraging transportation alternatives, Warner Connects aims to create a fun and active atmosphere for the entire Warner Center community. A community envisioned as a live, work, play transit-friendly neighborhood under the Warner Center 2035 Plan.
“My vision is for Warner Center is to be greenest and most welcoming destination in all of Los Angeles,” Blumenfield said. “Warner Connects will help us reduce traffic and carbon emissions while improving residents’ and local employees’ quality of life.”
A TMO traditionally brings together community stakeholders to raise awareness of transportation options outside of traditional cars. Warner Connects is specifically a public-private partnership comprised of Blumenfield, local businesses, residents, LA City Planning, Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and LA Metro. This TMO will also leverage its unique position to assist local businesses to comply with air quality and trip reduction regulations and to advocate for regional mobility improvements.
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.”