April 1 2021

Though we are still very much in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, there is a lot of hope on the horizon. As vaccine eligibility expands, almost four million people in LA County have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine and over 1.3 million are fully vaccinated.  As of last week, I am among them.  I got my appointment using the online portal as my age group (50+) finally became eligible. 

Since it’s opening, I’ve been volunteering once a week at the City’s Pierce College COVID-19 vaccine site. It is the second largest in the City, and they are currently vaccinating 3,500 people a day. I am so grateful to LAFD, CORE and the healthcare professionals, staff and volunteers who have been working long hours to make the whole operation run smoothly and efficiently.  

As I volunteer, I love hearing the feedback from relieved residents and seeing the happy look of safety and freedom that comes over their face as they leave the vaccination tent. Our friends at LAFD asked me to remind folks to make sure to completely fill out your online health survey when you book your appointment.  Doing so in advance makes the whole vaccination process go even quicker.

In addition to the COVID19 response, please read below to learn about the efforts my team and I have made in the last two weeks to help unsheltered people, support renters, improve streetscapes, and find forever homes for shelter pets. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at [email protected] anytime.

Addressing Homelessness and Housing Insecurity

Blumenfield Jogs to Support Hope of the Valley’s Fundraiser; Sees Progress at Reseda Cabin Community Site

Blumenfield joined Hope of the Valley’s Ken Craft (CEO) and Rowan Vansleve (CFO) for miles 98 -100 of their 'Rally in the Valley' ultra marathon fundraiser.  Ken and Rowan were jogging between all of their sites in Southern California. Blumenfield joined them as they jogged from the soon to be built Cabin Community Site in Tarzana to the partially built cabin community site in Reseda.  Hope of the Valley will be the service provider for both the district’s cabin communities. 

These two sites in Reseda and Tarzana will create 125 new cabins for unhoused people in the West Valley, and along with two Project Homekey sites, Bridge Housing and more permanent supportive and affordable housing moving forward, more of the housing that is desperately needed to help get people off the street is on the horizon. These two cabin sites are set to open in April/May.


Emergency Rental Relief Program Now Accepting Applications 

As of March 30, eligible Angeleno renters may apply for the second round of the City of LA’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. If you were put on the waiting list last year, you were the first to be contacted by HCIDLA about the new round of assistance funds. Click here to learn more about eligibility and the application process.


Investing in Infrastructure for the West Valley 

Blumenfield Hosts Ribbon Cutting for Sherman Way Great Streets Project

Recently, Councilmember Bob Blumenfied joined community members and City representatives to celebrate the completion of the Sherman Way Great Streets Project.

This $3 million project is part of Blumenfield’s $100 Million Reseda Rising initiative that is focused on making Downtown Reseda a vibrant neighborhood center and community gathering place. The wonderful improvements to Sherman Way include streetscape elements to help build community identity, improve safety, beautify and green Sherman Way, and provide places for people to gather. The new amenities include two brand new “Reseda'' monument signs on Sherman Way— one at Wilbur and the other at Lindley. 

This project also involved:

  • Installing important safety features, including the new signalized crosswalk at Sherman Way and Capps, and a mini-roundabout at Hart and Baird Streets.
  • Planting more trees and drought-tolerant landscaping, which will eventually provide much-needed shade and beautify Sherman Way. 
  • Adding cabanas, tables and chairs along Sherman Way between Wilbur and Lindley to provide places for people to gather, especially people who are enjoying food from Reseda’s amazing restaurants. 
  • Placing “Reseda” sidewalk decals, and upgraded curb cuts and crosswalks. 

This project could not have happened without a lot of hard work. Councilmember Blumenfield is exceptionally grateful to LADOT, BOE, the contractor Sully-Miller, and countless community members for helping make this project a reality. Click here to learn how this project fits into Blumenfield's Reseda Rising initiative. 


Blumenfield Delivers $31 Million ATP Grant for Multimodal Improvements in Canoga Park, Largest ATP grant in State History 

With the final approval of the California Transportation Commission, Blumenfield is proud to announce a grant of $31 million in investments for multimodal transportation projects in Canoga Park. This is the largest Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant in CA history and will lift up and help transform Canoga Park.  The funds are dedicated for:

  • Building new sidewalks, crosswalks and curb cuts
  • New bike lanes, including protected bike lanes on portions of Owensmouth and Sherman Way, and protected bike connections between the Orange Line and the LA River bike path
  • Improvements to transit stops including new shade structures at locations like the Orange Line on Sherman Way
  • New bike and pedestrian prioritized low-traffic streets, including on Valerio

This would not have been possible without the incredible work of Streets LA, LADOT and every community member who helped highlight the need for these improvements in the community. Click here to read more about this project. 


Community Updates

Blumenfield Visits Recently Reopened West Valley Animal Shelter

Earlier in the pandemic, the West Valley Animal Shelter was temporarily closed due to ongoing budget cuts.  Blumenfield was determined not to see the Shelter privatized or permanently closed. Partnering with Councilmember John Lee on a motion, Councilmember Blumenfield helped ensure the doors finally reopened.  Blumenfield went to meet with staff and see some of the pets in search of their forever homes. All of the City’s shelters are open by appointment only. If you are interested in adopting or fostering an animal, please go to www.laanimalservices.com/adopt/ to learn more.


Addressing Uptick of Mail Theft 

Over the last few months there has been a significant increase in calls to the District Office about the issue of mail theft in the West Valley. During the pandemic, many households rely on mail delivery to receive medical supplies and stimulus checks. While so many people remain sheltered in place, it's critical to follow best practices to avoid someone stealing your mail. Here are some of the many steps you can take to avoid mail theft:

  • Check your mailbox on a daily basis. 
  • Consider investing in a doorbell camera to monitor activity outside your front door or mailbox. 
  • Create a local watch program with some of your neighbors and text one another when you see a package arrives or mail being delivered.

If your mail has been stolen from your personal mailbox, consider the following:

  • Check all of your financial accounts and cards to confirm sensitive information was not taken and misused by the mail thief.
  • Notify your local community department of the LAPD of the incident. The non-emergency number to call is 1-877-ASK-LAPD (1-877-275-5273).  
  • File a report with the United States Postal Service Inspector General’s Office.  To do so, go to the following link USPS Mail Theft. Alternatively, you may wish to contact the postal inspectors office at (818) 876-2455 and press 3.

Mail theft is a Federal crime and is not directly handled at the City level. For additional information, be sure to reach out to Congressman Brad Sherman’s Office at (818) 501-9200.  Councilmember Blumenfield has been a victim of mail theft several times in the past and knows firsthand how awful it can be. 


Updated Southwest Valley Community Plans Will Guide Development

The Southwest Valley Community Plan updates are well underway! Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some delays in the timeline, the Planning Department is chugging along and is preparing to start the CEQA review this summer. Blumenfield pushed for Community Plans in the West Valley to be updated because it's been over 20 years since the last update, and a lot has changed. Updating these plans will guide development more appropriately, based on current data and analysis and will provide more certainty about where development can and will go.  It should also reduce the use of variances for development. To stay updated on future developments, be sure to visit the Department of Planning’s website. Learn more about the Southwest Valley Community plan by clicking here


Historic West Valley

Team Blumenfield is partnering with the Los Angeles Public Library’s (LAPL) photo archive to highlight historic photos of the West Valley. This week's photo was taken in 1954 on Sherman Way to celebrate the expansion of Reseda’s shopping district. Just like today, Councilmember Blumenfield is continuing to invest in Sherman Way and transform the corridor through the Sherman Way Great Streets Project. Blumenfield just announced the completion of this $3 Million project, which includes new pedestrian safety features, more trees and greenery, colorful street furniture, and a Reseda sign to help make this section of Reseda an attractive and inviting destination for passerbyers. Learn more about this archive photo by clicking here.