September 2020 Buzz

During these unprecedented times, it's critical we stay in touch on the latest news and developments in the West Valley, including recent efforts on supporting small businesses,  addressing homelessness, and more. My office may still be virtual, but if there's anything you need please remember 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.

SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESS DURING THE PANDEMIC
CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTS BLUMENFIELD’S MOTION TO SUSPEND SIGNAGE RULES TO HELP SAVE RESTAURANTS AND BUSINESSES 


(Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dramatically impact the local economy, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously supported Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s motion to temporarily suspend certain signage laws so local businesses can promote their services without fear of fines or penalties. Fourteen business owners were cited by the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) over the past few months for illegal signage, often due to temporary signs on their property that simply are letting people know they are open. This is a common sense step to help local businesses in a devastating emergency.

Neighborhood business owners continue to face mounting economic fears and signs should be the last thing they worry about. There is confusion about which businesses are open and when, these signs can be a business’ lifeline. 
This motion helps codify Mayor Garcetti’s recent executive action into law, but it also goes further. It suspends the requirement for businesses to obtain a permit for ‘temporary’ signs that are tacked, pasted or otherwise temporarily affixed to windows and/or on the walls of buildings, barns, sheds or fences, as defined by Municipal Code Section 14.4.16. Click here for the full press release

LA COUNCIL PASSES ADDITIONAL MEASURES TO PROVIDE COVID RELIEF
This week, Blumenfield strongly supported the City Council’s adoption of several motions to provide Angelinos with additional COVID relief:

Expect more details in the coming weeks as City Departments report on the next steps to create these programs. As always, Blumenfield will work hard to ensure residents of the West Valley get their fair share from these vital programs.
 
BLUMENFIELD'S SMALL BUSINESS ANGEL FUND AVAILABLE AND CRITICALLY SUPPORTING WEST VALLEY ECONOMY
The West Valley is home to thousands of unique small businesses that are struggling like never before during these unprecedented times and many are considering closing their doors for good.  For any small business trying to get by week-to-week, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield wants you to know about the Small Business Angel Fund. To provide rapidly accessible, interest-free loans to small businesses throughout the West Valley, Blumenfield partnered with the Change Reaction back in July to roll out this crucial program and help keep the small business community afloat. 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. 

Here is a quote from Jill Mellman, owner of Born to Travel, in Woodland Hills: "With Councilmember Blumenfield’s proactive support by facilitating a small business loan program in his district, Born To Travel, in business for over 10 years, was able to secure a small business loan and keep our doors open as we continue to ride out this COVID-19 Global Pandemic. Once all the travel bans are lifted and with help from Councilmember Blumenfield and his office, we will be here to meet all your travel needs."

In addition to available Federal aid for small businesses during the pandemic, these loans are helping fill the financial holes many owners are experiencing. To start an application, please apply here. Loans vary from business to business and range from $5,000-$25,000. If you know a small business located in Reseda, Tarzana, Canoga Park, Winnetka or Woodland Hills, please share this message and flyer with them. Please read eligibility requirements on the bottom of the flyer to determine if this program is appropriate for your small business.

 
ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS

The Councilmember going to encampments this week to help find solutions for homeless individuals and encouraging them to accept services
 
ALL YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED FROM HOMELESSNESS TOWN HALL

In July Blumenfield hosted a Telephone Town Hall about homelessness and had the opportunity to address many concerns and questions about this crisis. Several thousand people participated.  Many people called or wrote after the meeting with additional questions that Blumenfield and his staff directly responded to via telephone or email. Also, as promised on the call, he published a list of all of the questions that were submitted during that telephone townhall that were not answered because of time, along with his responses to those questions: http://blumenfield.lacity.org/homelessness_town_hall_questions 

There is a lot of positive movement on the homelessness front. If you want to read about the pilot program Blumenfield has initiated to specifically help with the Winnetka underpass, click here and if you want to read his recent article about the need for pallet shelters/tiny homes and how that will likely be part of the solutions enabled via the pending court case presided over by Judge David Carter, click here

BLUMENFIELD ANNOUNCES PILOT PROJECT TO HOUSE UNSHELTERED RESIDENTS AT WINNETKA/101 UNDERPASS
Bringing new resources to the effort to shelter people living in the Winnetka underpass beneath the 101 freeway, Blumenfeld announced a new pilot project to house unsheltered residents at that encampment, in partnership with. the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). During the pilot, LAHSA will identify service needs and housing/shelter resources for each of the estimated 24 people currently living at this location. To learn more, read the full press release. 

BLUMENFIELD SECURES FUNDING TO GROW INNOVATIVE HOMELESS PROGRAM OFFERING DRUG ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved $450,000 to help continue and grow an innovative drug treatment program launched last year by Councilmember Blumenfield, Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center and Tarzana Treatment Center (TTC). In response to the growing number of ER cases involving homeless people struggling with drug addiction, Blumenfield helped develop the Homeless Housing and Recovery Project (HHRP) with leaders from Providence and TTC.  Instead of simply treating overdoses and discharging patients, special ER ‘patient navigators’ intervene and help insure that treatment, including offsite temporary housing and rehabilitation is offered so that the person’s crises experience becomes a turning point rather than another stop on a self destructive road. Read the entire story here.

Community Notices:

UPDATE ON SHERMAN WAY STREETSCAPE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT


Despite the pandemic, work continues on the $2.5M Sherman Way Great Streets project's safety, beautification and community improvements between Wilbur and Lindley. Traffic-calming measures along Hart Street will make it safer and more convenient to bike and walk in Reseda. The Sully-Miller Construction Company recently finished the mini-roundabout and new crosswalks at Hart Street and Baird Avenue, to reduce speeding on Hart Street between Reseda Blvd and the Aliso Creek pedestrian bridge. Primary funding is from CRA Excess Bond Funds that Blumenfield was instrumental in helping preserve while in the State Assembly and then directed to this project as a Councilmember. Click here to watch the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Sherman Way Great Streets Project. 

 

Speed Hump Applications to Open Sept. 16


Starting on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 8 a.m., LADOT will initiate a new round of the city speed hump application cycle. Residents may petition the department for the construction of speed humps at new locations provided that certain criteria are met. The filing window, which occurs biannually, will continue until the set threshold for requests is met. Details may be found on the LADOT speed hump request page. Applicants are encouraged to apply promptly after the application opens due to high demand. 

 

Prevent Senior Fraud by Watching and Sharing this Critical PSA Video

Click here to watch. Produced by the Stop Senior Scams Acting Program.

 

ONEgeneration - Make a Senior Smile Yard Sign Campaign


 

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Upcoming Virtual Events

Virtual Job Fair

The Valley Economic Alliance will be hosting Valley Works Virtual Job Fair on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, from 11:00am-3:00pm. If you are looking for a new employment opportunity, be sure to attend this great networking event to hear from businesses looking for talented new employees and ways to grow your marketability. Register here.

 

Valley Village Couch Concert

On Thursday, September 10, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, Valley Village, a leading provider of services to the developmentally disabled community, located in Winnetka, will present The Valley Village Couch Concert (virtual and live, via Zoom). The evening will feature music performed by American Idol contestant Juno Rada, and hosted by humanitarian, comedian, and recently retired NBC4 weathercaster Fritz Coleman.  Please click here to purchase your sponsorships and tickets. For more information, be sure to check out their events page. 


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