Approve new penalties for refusal of service motivated by prejudice
LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today pushed Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to hold taxi drivers to new standards of accountability, as Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved new zero-tolerance rules for race-based taxi discrimination.
In October, Blumenfield called for an investigation and an action plan to eliminate instances of refusal of service by taxi drivers on the basis of race following an op-ed by ESPN commentator and former Major League Baseball player Doug Glanville. Glanville, who is African-American, described being refused service by a taxi driver at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) who suggested that Glanville should “take the bus,” instead. An airport employee told Glanville that it was the third time she had witnessed a driver refuse service to a black passenger over the course of her shift.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone who travels to our City is treated with equity and fairness regardless of the color of their skin," said Blumenfield, who chairs the Council committee that oversees the airport. “In this day and age, in our City, we must stand against prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination.”
Held in conjunction with Reseda Rising visioning session
RESEDA, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield led his 3rd Annual West Valley Community Bike Ride on Saturday. Blumenfield holds annual family-friendly bike rides to showcase his West San Fernando Valley district, bicycle infrastructure, and safe streets for families.
“The annual West Valley Community Bike Ride is a great opportunity to get outside, stay active, meet neighbors and see our communities on two wheels,” said Blumenfield.
Joining Blumenfield were over 100 local residents, bike activists, and families, as well as representatives of the Los Angeles Kings, who hosted a pop-up rink for riders as they returned from the hour-long ride.
The 10 mile route highlighted the community of Reseda, where Blumenfield has launched his Reseda Rising initiative, and included both the LA River Bikeway, and the Orange Line Bikeway. Following the ride, community members gathered for the second Sherman Way Concept Plan Public Workshop where they set forth community priorities for the future of Reseda’s historic commercial corridor, which is part of Los Angeles’s Great Streets Initiative.
Approve new penalties for refusal of service motivated by prejudice
LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today pushed Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to hold taxi drivers to new standards of accountability, as the Innovation, Grants, Technology, Commerce, and Trade Committee, which oversees the airport, approved new zero-tolerance rules for race-based taxi discrimination.
In October, Blumenfield called for an investigation and an action plan to eliminate instances of refusal of service by taxi drivers on the basis of race following an op-ed by ESPN commentator and former Major League Baseball player Doug Glanville. Glanville, who is African-American, described being refused service by a taxi driver at LAX who suggested that Glanville should “take the bus,” instead. An airport employee told Glanville that it was the third time she had witnessed a driver refuse service to a black passenger over the course of her shift.
“In this day and age it is unacceptable that anyone can be turned away at one of the busiest airports in the world because of the color of their skin," said Blumenfield, who chairs the committee. “We need to ensure equity and accessibility in our transportation options and fair treatment for people of all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities.”
LAWA led an investigation in response to Blumenfield’s motion and confirmed fears that discrimination was occurring undetected. Los Angeles Airport Police sent undercover African-American plain clothes officers into the LAX central terminal area to conduct a “secret shopper” investigation. The task force approached 25 taxicab drivers to request service. Five of those requests were refused. LAWA gave these shocking results to their contracted taxi coordinator, Authorized Taxi Supervision (ATS), who increased penalties for trip refusals in response.
Google and AT&T join efforts to make Los Angeles most connected city worldwide
LOS ANGELES – On the heels of a series of major announcements regarding high-speed Internet access in Los Angeles, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today welcomed the entrance of both AT&T’s GigaPower and Google Fiber to the Los Angeles marketplace.
“This has been a tremendous week for our efforts to create a more connected Los Angeles as we welcome AT&T Gigapower and Google Fiber to Los Angeles, and look forward to continuing to push Los Angeles to become the world’s premier gigabit city. 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," said Blumenfield, who chairs the City’s Innovation, Grants, Technology, Commerce and Trade Committee.
On Monday, AT&T announced plans to bring GigaPower fiber broadband to Los Angeles, as well as low-cost Internet subscriptions to low income homes, making Los Angeles one of the first major cities in the United States where AT&T has decided to invest in its fiber build out. This morning, Google announced they are exploring rolling out their Google Fiber service to Los Angeles, a significant investment in Los Angeles’s virtual infrastructure that will provide Angelenos with high-speed and relatively low-cost Internet access.
Advise residents to “Lock It, Hide It, Keep It” to prevent theft.
CANOGA PARK – As the holiday shopping season gets underway, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield was joined today by LAPD Topanga Division along with to inform residents and shoppers about steps they can take to keep themselves and their belongings safe this holiday season.
Over the course of the 2014 holiday shopping season there were 82 incidences of burglary and theft from motor vehicles in Topanga Division. Residents and shoppers can minimize their chances of becoming a victim by limiting the criminal’s opportunities.
“The holiday shopping season is a great economic generator that many small businesses look forward to, but it can also become a magnet for crime,” said Blumenfield. “The easiest way to avoid becoming a victim is to take the opportunity away from the criminal.”
The Trust for Public Land will develop critically needed open space in Reseda as part of Blumenfield’s efforts to Green the Valley.
RESEDA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today broke ground on a new river park that will bring critically needed open space to Reseda along the banks of the Los Angeles River.
“This park will be a home base for us here in the West Valley, a destination for those down river, and an integral part of the transformation of the LA River ,” said Blumenfield. “Piece by piece, the people of Los Angeles are reclaiming the LA River as their own, and I’m so proud to have worked alongside the Trust for Public Land, Mayor Eric Garcetti and many others, to move this project forward.”
More than six years in the making, the Los Angeles River and Aliso Creek Confluence Project will create a two-acre park, one mile of walking paths, and three-quarter miles of bicycle path and greenway, 14 decorative entrance gates and a 100-foot long mural in the densely populated, urban community of Reseda. The project will transform a vacant lot alongside the river into a natural space that will provide habitat for wildlife and recreational green space for local residents. In total, the Aliso Creek Confluence project will bring nearly seven acres of new open space the LA River and Aliso Creek.
Once built, the Aliso Creek Confluence Project will connect to and enhance a planned 50-mile network of bicycle and walking paths along the LA River and provide the opportunity to expand the network along the river’s 51 miles.
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.