LOS ANGELES, CA – As a fragile ceasefire holds in the Middle East, Los Angeles City elected leaders gathered today to reaffirm their solidarity with the people of Israel, support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism, and their desire to secure a lasting peace for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. The gathered officials held a moment of silence in memory of all innocent lives lost in the recent conflict.
“Today we speak with one voice standing with Israel, for peace,” said Blumenfield, who organized this group of leaders in their call for peace. “We are not against the Palestinians, nor the residents of Gaza, both of whom have suffered needlessly in this conflict. Their suffering is heartbreaking to all of us. But we stand with Israel against a Hamas regime that terrorizes Israelis from the skies and now, from beneath the ground. That regime prioritizes hatred and destruction over cooperation and prosperity for the Palestinian people, and believes that peace is counter to its aim of total destruction of the State of Israel.”
Blumenfield also played the familiar air-raid siren, evoking the sensation that has led millions of terrified Israelis in to bomb shelters as nearly 4,000 rockets have fallen from the sky, to the gathered leaders including Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Controller Ron Galperin, City Council President Herb Wesson, City Council President Pro Tempore Mitch Englander, Assistant City Council President Pro Tempore Tom LaBonge, as well as CouncilmembersJoe Buscaino and Paul Koretz.
“Israel is by far our strongest ally in a tumultuous region. One that we stand by in its right to meet its obligation to protect its citizens,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Our prayer today is that this ceasefire holds so that we have an opportunity to create a lasting peace.”
LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today made the following statement regarding the announcement of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas as Mayor Eric Garcetti’s appointee to serve as the next Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department:
“I congratulate Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas on his appointment by Mayor Eric Garcetti to lead the Los Angeles Fire Department, pending approval by the City Council.
From the medical emergencies that make up the highest volume call request received by LAFD, to house fires and brush fires, West Valley residents understand the vital importance of LA’s firefighters and the services they provide to public safety. I was proud to fight for important increases in funding to fire services in this year’s city budget, but it is crucial that the next administration works to address recruitment, staffing levels and response times, and recommit itself to innovation and technology.
I am confident that Assistant Chief Terrazas, a native of Los Angeles with three decades of service to the Fire Department, will have the intelligence, nimble mindset, and willpower to make the necessary changes at the department that will keep our City safe.
I thank Chief Featherstone for his leadership over the last year and I look forward to working with Assistant Chief Terrazas to build an even better LAFD that will provide true peace of mind to Angelenos in the Valley and throughout Los Angeles.”
LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today made the following statement following the discovery of the bodies of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach. Fraenkel, Shaar and Yifrach had been missing since being kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on June 12.
“Our hearts are heavy with the news that after weeks of searching, the bodies of Naftali, Gilad and Eyal have been discovered, and their souls have passed from our world.
Angelenos of all faiths and creeds join with their families and the people of the State of Israel in mourning these three young men whose lives were senselessly lost, and in condemning the murderous terrorists still at large. We pray they are brought to justice.”
Committee moves forward program to utilize innovative paving materials for City sidewalks.
|Councilmember Bob Blumenfield speaks in support of his measure to utilize innovative permeable paving materials at a Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee meeting, on June 18, 2014
LOS ANGELES, CA – The City Council’s Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee today voted to move forward Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s proposal to utilize innovative permeable paving materials for City sidewalks.
“Concrete is about as innovative as the chiseled wheel,” said Blumenfield, who spoke in support of his measure at Committee today. “In order to be a modern city, we need to utilize more modern materials that will benefit our environment, reduce maintenance, liability and other costs, while significantly improving the quality of life for all Angelenos.”
The Bureau of Street Services (BSS) has experimented in the past with alternative sidewalk materials including rubber panels, recycled mixed plastic materials, poured rubber materials and porous concrete. Decomposed granite is another option, though it has not been studied by BSS.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today made the following statement regarding the recent kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas terrorists in the West Bank.
The kidnapping follows the recent pact between Fatah, the leading Palestinian party, and Hamas, which is listed by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization and has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007. The State of Israel is engaged in an intensive operation to return Gilad Sha'er (16), Naftali Frenkel (16), who has dual Israeli-American citizenship, and Eyal Yifrah (19) to their families.
“As a steadfast advocate for a lasting peace in the Middle-East with a long record of working to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship, I was dismayed to learn of the recent kidnapping of three Israeli teens by Hamas terrorists.
These kidnappings have sent shockwaves through Los Angeles, home to one of the largest Israeli-American communities in the nation. L.A. and the international community must condemn these terrorist acts in the strongest possible terms.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas has opened the door to wider Hamas activity in the West Bank with the recent establishment of the Fatah-Hamas pact. These kidnappings are a painful illustration of how the pact between Abbas and Hamas seems to have pushed peace further away and further destabilized the region.
Our hearts are heavy as we keep the families of the Gilad, Naftali and Eyal in our thoughts, and pray with millions around the world for their safe and swift return.”
$1 bilion project brings major benefits for the environment, job creation, and livability throughout the corridor.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield made the following statement following the Army Corps of Engineers announcement that it would be pursuing Alternative 20, a proposal to restore 719 acres of river habitat in Los Angeles:
“I applaud the Army Corps of Engineers for pursuing a more ambitious plan for restoration along the Los Angeles River. The L.A. River was home to the earliest Angelenos who founded our pueblo on its banks. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to reinvigorating the River, not only as a critical natural resource, but as a destination for recreation and investment.
I’ve been pushing for L.A. River revitalization since my time with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Last year I was a proud to travel with the Mayor to Washington, D.C. to lobby the White House and congressional leaders on behalf of the L.A. River restoration. The Corps decision will benefit all Angelenos.
I am confident that every dollar invested in the L.A. River downstream incentivizes further investment in the Valley. Just last week I toured the Mayor through my district to highlight job creation and economic development opportunities. We couldn’t leave without making a stop at the confluence of the L.A. River and the Aliso Creek, where a park will soon bring much needed open space to the L.A. River in Reseda. I look forward to the opportunity to make the case to the Army Corps for further restoration along the entire 51-mile length of the River, which begins at the headwaters in Canoga Park.”
Historic partnership follows from recent accord signed by Brown, Netanyahu in March.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today secured City Council support for the establishment of a task force 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.
|Councilmember Blumenfield shakes hands with Jacob Segal of the Southern California Israel Chamber of Commerce (SCICC), following the unanimous vote in favor of establishing the Los Angeles/Eilat Innovation and Cooperation Task Force, May 23, 2014.
The Los Angeles/Eilat Innovation and Cooperation Task Force builds on the 55 year-old Sister City relationship with Eilat and is designed to promote collaboration and advancement in technology investment, business development and research opportunities in clean technology, water resources, solar energy and environmental technologies throughout Los Angeles and the State of Israel.
“Israel is a true start-up nation,” said Blumenfield. “They have made the desert bloom, launched satellites into orbit, led the world in microprocessor and cellular technology, and even advised our own airports in security matters. As we grapple with a changing environment and the economic challenges that go with it, it only makes sense that a start-up City like Los Angeles partner with Israel.”
Explore economic and job creation opportunities, success at diverse West Valley locations.
WOODLAND HILLS, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Mayor Eric Garcetti toured Blumenfield’s West Valley council district today, highlighting opportunities to spur job creation and economic development, and showcasing successes.
“With nearly 1.8 million residents, mighty freeways, industrial, commercial and residential neighborhoods, the Valley is a regional force unto itself. From Tarzana to Canoga Park, from Reseda and Winnetka to Woodland Hills—the West Valley is open for business and ready to create jobs,” said Blumenfield. “Our goal is to match new job generating projects with each community’s vision for their area. By attracting great development where we need it and where it is appropriate, and preserving the community character and residential nature where appropriate, we will make the Valley stronger and safer.”
“As my administration continues to create jobs and boost economic development across the city, I applaud Councilmember Blumenfield's commitment to improving the economy and quality of life in the West Valley and all of Los Angeles," said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Beginning their day in Warner Center, flanked by the $350 million Village at Westfield Topanga, which broke ground last month, and the 47-acre Rocketdyne property which is in the early stages of planning, Blumenfield and Garcetti met with business and community leaders who are creating the Valley of the future.
In October, Councilmember Blumenfield was able to take the Warner Center 2035 plan over the finish line. The specific plan, cleanest and greenest in the City, was the result eight years of collaboration between the community and the City. Included in the transit-oriented plan are some 30 million square feet of new non-residential space, and some 32 million square feet of new residential space, the potential for 40,000 green jobs and hundreds of millions in total economic impact.
Blumenfield, Englander and Koretz demand public apology and Holocaust sensitivity training.
LOS ANGELES, CA – In a resolution introduced this morning, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Mitchell Englander and Paul Koretz demanded a public apology from instructors and administrators involved in the recent Rialto school assignment denying the Holocaust. Additionally the Councilmembers called on those involved to participate in Holocaust sensitivity training at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
In April, students at Rialto Middle School were asked to debate whether the Holocaust “was an actual event in history or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain wealth.”
The assignment required that students base their argument on “multiple credible sources,” and included an article that stated, “even the Diary of Anne Frank is a hoax.”
LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield this morning announced the release of a request for information, available immediately for comment and review, in a crucial step forward in his initiative to bring universal access to high-speed wired and wireless broadband to Los Angeles. By seeking feedback, not only from potential bidders and industry experts, but from the residents and businesses who will benefit from the service, Councilmember Blumenfield hopes to design a robust system that is truly reflective of the needs of our diverse communities.
Last July, Councilmember Blumenfield directed the City to design an initiative, now known as the Los Angeles Community Broadband Network (LACBN), to ensure every residence and business in Los Angeles has access to world-class, high-speed Internet access and wireless broadband. The next step will be an RFP to be issued later this year.
“By getting bidder and community input upfront, we are better able to design a system to meet the needs of consumers and businesses with a process that utilizes the free market for the benefit of all Angelenos,” said Councilmember Blumenfield. “From the public library, to the post office, to the telephone, universal access to information and communication has helped make our country great. The Los Angeles Community Broadband Network will lead the nation into the 21st century by applying that principle to the Internet.”
"The LA Community Broadband Network will be the largest municipal broadband network in the nation and will benefit a community that still has nearly a third of its residents without internet access or the ability to pay for it,” said Steve Reneker, General Manager of the City’s Information Technology Agency.
While some parts of Los Angeles do have access to high-speed broadband, approximately 30% of all Angelenos, and possibly more, either do not have access to broadband or cannot afford it.