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.
WINNETKA, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield was joined by Board of Public Works President Kevin James, Jim Treadaway from the Bureau of Engineering and community members to mark the full reopening of the Vanowen Street Bridge after more than three years of construction.
The north side of the bridge was closed on December 22, 2010 after a large hole was discovered on the north side of the bridge deck due heavy rain and erosion.
“Today, I’m proudly checking this bridge opening off my list of first-year priorities,” said Councilmember Blumenfield. “This new bridge is 25 feet wider, it’s better lit and more attractive, but more importantly, it’s much, much safer.”
Recognizing recent accord between Gov. Brown and Prime Minister Netanyahu, ideas pave the way for enhanced cooperation and innovation.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today introduced a pair of measures to celebrate and strengthen the relationship between the City of Los Angeles and Israel. Both measures build on the recently signed MOU between the State of Israel and California.
“California and Israel share more than just similar climate and culture,” said Blumenfield. “We are two of the most prolific hubs of tech and innovation in the world. With the MOU signed, we must build upon these efforts and continue to work closely for our mutual benefit.”
Blumenfield introduced a resolution which activates Los Angeles’ policy team in Sacramento to support legislation and administrative action that implements provisions of the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for strategic partnerships and joint innovation exchanges and cooperation between California and Israel.
Councilmember Blumenfield joined Governor Jerry Brown as he signed the MOU with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Mountain View earlier this month. This MOU grew out a 2009 bill by then Assemblymember Blumenfield that directed the State to create a similar MOU, focusing on clean tech and green tech exchanges.
Building on that important work, Councilmember Blumenfield today also asked the City Council to establish the Los Angeles/Eilat Innovation and Cooperation Task Force. The Task Force is designed to build on a 55 year-old Sister City relationship with Eilat and will foster technology investment, business development and research opportunities in clean technology, water resources, solar energy, and environmental technologies and promote the exchange of ideas and innovation between Israeli companies, Southern California business and education communities, non-profits and the City of Los Angeles.
“As Los Angeles and California reckon with the most severe drought in decades, this task force will foster an exchange of technology and ideas with a country that has dealt successfully with water scarcity for years,” concluded Blumenfield.
Agreement finalizes work Blumenfield began in Legislature.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today joined Governor Jerry Brown as he signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to strengthen trade, research and economic development ties between California and the State of Israel, with an emphasis on water conservation, alternative energy, cybersecurity, health and biotechnology, education and agriculture technology.
“Israel and California share more than culture and climate,” said Blumenfield. “We represent two of the most dynamic high-tech sectors in the world, and it only makes sense that we redouble our efforts to work together for our mutual benefit.”
Today’s MOU evolved from a similar proposal by then-Assemblymember Blumenfield in 2009. That bill, AB1032, would require the Governor to establish a memorandum of understanding to formalize a relationship between the state and Israel to foster technology development, business development, and educational opportunities in solar energy and environmental technology industries.
Major destination retail center opening in fall 2015 will create jobs and revitalize area.
LOS ANGELES – Led by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, the Los Angeles City Council today approved a final subvention agreement to leverage local investment by sharing new City tax revenues with the Village at Westfield Topanga project. By allowing the project to recoup up to 50% of new City tax revenues generated over 25 years, the City enabled the approximately $350 million private investment to be fast tracked with construction in one phase, immediately creating jobs and economic benefits in the area.
“The Village at Westfield Topanga project will jump start a major economic engine in the West San Fernando Valley and provide substantial benefits to the entire city,” said Blumenfield. “My communities are excited that we are redeveloping this land to house a first class hub for entertainment and shopping, with a sustainable green and modern design.”
The Village at Westfield Topanga mixed-use development will invest about $350 million in the local economy with upscale retail, boutique specialty shops, personal services, restaurants, a Costco with a member-only fueling station, and a community center. The project will create middle class construction jobs and approximately 1,500 permanent jobs for local residents as a new major destination for shopping, dining, and investment in the Valley.
The project is expected to generate tens of millions in net new tax revenue for the City, including new sales tax revenue the City could not realize without such a project. Indirect City revenue benefits also will result from increasing property tax values, attracting other investments and improving the attractiveness of the West Valley as desirable places to live and do business.
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield urges City to explore feasibility of rubber and decomposed granite material for Los Angeles’ sidewalks.
LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today introduced a measure that instructs the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) to develop a sidewalk repair program using environmentally friendly sidewalk paving materials rather than conventional portland cement concrete.
“Concrete is about as cutting edge as the wheel,” said Blumenfield. “It doesn’t hold up to tree roots; it doesn’t allow for groundwater recharge. If we’re serious about greening the Valley and beyond, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be looking towards a more sustainable and cost effective mix of paving materials as we tackle our City’s unique infrastructure challenges.”
BSS has experimented with alternative materials to cement concrete including rubber panels, recycled mixed plastic materials, poured rubber materials and porous concrete. The City of Santa Monica implemented a sidewalk repair program using rubber sidewalks in 2000 and has since installed approximately 20,000 square feet of rubber sidewalk.
In fact, over 100 cities have rubber sidewalk programs. It is estimated that each square foot of rubber sidewalk diverts one passenger tire from the landfill.
Both decomposed granite and rubber are ADA accessible and allow us easier access to grind tree roots. Sidewalks made from permeable pavers reduce harmful runoff and act as a natural filter for solids and pollutants.
Rep. Eliot Engel, top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joins Councilmember Blumenfield and City Attorney Mike Feuer to urge municipalities to follow Los Angeles’ lead.
LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today secured the Los Angeles City Council’s support for his measure that makes Los Angeles the first City to be in full compliance with the Iran Contracting Act of 2010. That law, authored by then Assemblymembers Feuer and Blumenfield, bars persons engaged in investment activities in Iran’s petroleum, natural gas, or nuclear industries from bidding on or renewing contracts with the State and local governments.
“With an economy that ranks among those of major industrialized nations, home to one of the busiest ports in the world, Los Angeles plays an outsized role in ensuring the crucial sanctions designed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities are as robust as possible,” said Blumenfield. “Now more than ever, it is crucial that all levels of government work as a team in the interests of maintaining pressure on the Iranian regime.”
|Councilmember Blumenfield is joined by Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, City Attorney Mike Feuer, and Jewish community leaders as Los Angeles takes historic steps for a municipality in the ongoing effort in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.
In 2010, Congress extended US sanctions to parties involved in Iran’s energy sector through the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA). Section 202 of CISADA authorized state and local governments to divest their funds from parties involved in Iran’s energy sector and to bar such parties from state and local government contracts. The Iran Contracting Act of 2010 made California the first state in the nation to enact a law pursuant to Section 202.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was among those who drafted the original language, under then-Chairman Howard Berman.
“There is no greater threat to the United States and our allies than a nuclear-capable Iran. In recent years the Congress has passed bipartisan legislation designed to cripple the Iranian economy,” said Rep. Engel. “These measures played a major role in bringing Iran back to the negotiating table. We must continue to work with our partners here in Los Angeles and around to country to keep the pressure on Iran until it verifiably abandons its efforts to develop nuclear weapons.”