November 2020 Buzz

I hope you are staying safe. While my office is now a hybrid of virtual and socially distanced in-person work, please know we are open and always ready to help. Please don't hesitate to call my office at (818) 774-4330 or email me at councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org anytime. Thanks and stay safe.

 

Addressing Homelessness in the West Valley

If you’re no longer seeing people camping under the 101, it’s the successful result of an intensive pilot project to provide housing to everyone living along the freeway in my district. I'm currently working with my City Council colleagues to update City ordinances that would finally allow us to legally keep these underpasses clear once we offer an appropriate alternative. To learn more about the ongoing efforts to house the homeless and keep certain sensitive corridors and shelter adjacent spaces free from camping, read my blog post.

 

Inviting You to Reimagining Public Safety: Unarmed Options

On November 19 at 7pm, join Councilmember Blumenfield for "Reimagining Public Safety: Unarmed Options," a virtual Presentation and Q&A featuring Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner and former CAHOOTS employee Ben Climer, sharing how the unarmed responder model known as CAHOOTS works in Eugene, OR. 

Please be sure to RSVP Today.

As the City look towards creating an unarmed responders program for certain types of nonviolent calls in Los Angeles, it’s important to study existing models. If you've wanted to ask a question about how their team works and what a similar program may look like in LA, now is your chance.

Back in June, Blumenfield co-authored the Reimagine Public Safety motion, which directed City Departments to explore creating an unarmed response model based off of the CAHOOTS model, which has operated for 31 years as one of the most successful unarmed crisis programs in the nation. 

CAHOOTS sends out unarmed crisis responders to nonviolent calls rather than sworn, armed officers to handle situations that could be handled more effectively by folks with health and social worker backgrounds. The program has given police more time to tackle crime and has become a topic of conversations in major metropolitan cities across the US.

 

LADWP Utility Grant Program Now Available

During the pandemic so many families have lost sources of income and are struggling to pay their monthly bills, such as to LADWP.  That’s why Councilmember Blumenfield voted to spend $50 million from our City’s CARES Act Coronavirus Relief funds to help up to 100,000 households.  Starting today folks can apply for the LADWP Utility Grant Assistance Program.  

This new program will provide a one-time $500 grant to qualifying households. This grant can be applied to utility costs associated with cell phone payments, gas services, wifi, internet and cable television. If you'd like to check if you are eligible, your household must meet the following criteria: 

(1) Have an active residential LADWP online account for an address within the City of Los Angeles.

(2) Provide proof that you (or a member of your household) have experienced a "loss of income" related to COVID-19, or the Safer-at-Home order.

(3) Are enrolled in an existing LADWP assistance program or meet the program’s household income requirement of approximately 50% of the Area Median Income.

Please tell your friends and family about this program because the deadline is November 15. Fill out this form to start your application today.

 

Update from the BobCAT on Emergency Preparedness 

Councilmember Blumenfield is extremely proud of his Community Action Team (BobCAT) on Emergency Preparedness. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic they have continued to support the community by orchestrating massive donations to folks in need both in the district and beyond. Nathan Wolfstein and Jamie Pellegrini have been at the forefront of these efforts and have effectively used their BobCat’s non-profit arm,  BMP-2-COPE, to make some amazing things happen on a large a scale.

Through collaborative efforts, the BobCAT has:

(1) Supplied feline care supplies at the Little Angel Project Animal Care Day.

(2) Spearheaded the receipt and distribution of 800,000 KN95 face masks to LAPD Stations across the entire City.

(3) Coordinated the receipt and distribution of 67,000 full body protective gowns.

(4) Worked with Nestle Water to secure 257,000 water bottles and organized the distribution of over 150,000 to victims of Wildfires.  We even coordinated direct delivery of 3 truckloads (133,000 bottles) for Relief in Northern CA.

(5) Distributed over 140 pallets of Teacher Classroom Supplies and Course Study Books, supported by LA Dodgers, Pepsi, Warriors and American Muslim Foundation. 

Blumenfield has put together multiple BobCATS, each is focused on a different issue.  The teams are comprised of community volunteer leaders who work with the Councilmember to address issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, community beautification and economic development. Blumenfield started the Emergency Preparedness BobCAT back in 2009, and they now have permanent office space/ a command center at his district office, have acquired multiple warehouses to keep forward deployed supplies, and have been instrumental in helping triage and recover from multiple emergencies including fires and now a pandemic.  To join a BobCAT, please visit http://blumenfield.lacity.org/join_cat

 

Change Reaction Continues to Uplift Constituents and Small Businesses in Need

For the last several months, Blumenfield has been partnering with the Change Reaction to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 and residents in need. Recently Blumenfield heard from a Tarzana resident who was living on social security and due to medical complications, was required to run his oxygen machine 24 hours a day. This resident had a large LADWP bill on account of his oxygen machine and contacted Blumenfield’s office for assistance. Through the Change Reaction partnership, Blumenfield was able to get the bill paid off. 

In addition to helping out folks in dire situations, Blumenfield and the Change Reaction have partnered to support small businesses through the Small Business Angel Fund. This special fund offers zero interest loans to West Valley small businesses struggling to get by week-to-week because of the pandemic.  Loans vary from business to business and range from $5,000-$25,000. Since the July kickoff, five small business loans have already been approved and collectively these businesses have received $56,000 to keep their stores operational. Click the link here to learn more about whether your business is eligible. 

Join Metro’s Public Safety Advisory Committee

There is still time to apply to join LA County’ Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s new Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). Please consider doing so and share this opportunity with others. Applications are open until November 13, 2020. Click here to learn more. 

 

PPE Unite: Providing Free PPE to Your Business

Los Angeles County Consumer Business Affairs has partnered with public and private sector organizations to create access to personal protective equipment for small businesses across the County of Los Angeles through PPE Unite™. Sign up today to get your 30 day supply of free PPEs.

 

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