Because the number of COVID-19 cases has increased in LA County due to the highly transmissible Delta variant, it is very important for everyone to help slow the spread of the virus by wearing masks indoors and in crowded outdoor areas. If you aren’t fully vaccinated, your mask is one of the most powerful tools you have to protect yourself and others. It is super easy to get vaccinated, not only can you go to your doctor or pharmacy, but this month you can get vaccinated for free at our Valley Cultural Center’s Movies and Concerts in the Park series.
To reach true herd immunity and better prevent the spread of dangerous variants, we need to help people get vaccinated by reducing barriers and fears. Getting vaccinated reduces the risk of needing medical attention and reduces your risk of contracting the virus. I have heard heartbreaking stories from individuals who did not get vaccinated and are now in the ICU wishing that they had and are now urging their family and friends to get the vaccine. It’s our shared responsibility to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help save lives.
By continuing to wear a mask and getting vaccinated, we are on the path to returning to normalcy and having more gatherings with family and friends. Let us enjoy the last summer weekends together and safely. Join me and Valley Cultural Center for the remaining Movies and Concerts at Warner Center Park. All are welcome at this free event and a free vaccine mobile clinic will be on site.
These are trying times, but by taking some simple steps, we can get through them safely.
Councilmember Blumenfield declared August 18 (818), Brody Stevens’ Day, in honor of the late comedian and San Fernando Valley native. Stevens was a legendary and unique standup comedian who was in many films and television shows from The Hangover to Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Beloved by his fans and fellow comedians, Stevens performed all over the world. But, regardless of where he was, he would always share his love for Reseda, the Valley and Los Angeles.
“Brody loved our community and he made such a positive impact on so many,” said Blumenfield. “It’s truly special to be joined by his family and friends to name ‘818 Day’ after Brody, a proud West Valley native and one of the best comedians of his generation.”
He played baseball at Reseda High School, took his talents to Arizona State University, and he’d regularly blend his passions for comedy and baseball and appeared on a variety of sports shows as well.
In 2019, Stevens passed away after a long battle with mental illness but his memory lives on through his friends, fellow comedians, fans and family. Blumenfield was joined by Brody’s sister Stephanie, his mother Jackie, as well as comedians and fans. The event was held at ‘Brody’s Bench’ at Reseda Park that was procured through his friend Tommy Godlove, who also helped organize this event. Other comedian friends who shared memories at the event included Jeff Ross, Teina Manu, Yoshi Obayashi and Darren Carter.
Requiring vaccinations for eligible LA City workers, or for folks patronizing certain indoor establishments, is not something that should ever be done lightly. Such temporary restrictions are being moved forward by the City Council because the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 when people are unvaccinated is substantial and the impact of that spread is both lethal and incredibly costly, financially and health-wise. Blumenfield believes that to responsibly address this COVID crises we must take these bold steps quickly, however he also recognizes that there are many details that need to be hammered out to make sure that it is implemented appropriately. For example, it must be decided who enforces these requirements and what the consequences are for non-compliance.
While these important details have not yet been worked out, the City Attorney has been directed by the Council to put forward draft ordinances. Blumenfield will work to make sure that these ordinances are nuanced enough to address the complexities and legalities associated with these new requirements. He also believes that we cannot ‘let the perfect be the enemy of the good— whatever verification system is enacted, it will be modified over time as it is implemented.
Soon the City of Los Angeles will launch “Comeback Checks,” a COVID-19 financial recovery program for small businesses. So many local business owners are continuing to struggle through the COVID-19 crisis and the first round of this program will offer $37 million in grants. The Economic and Workforce Development Department’s Business Source Centers can help Angelenos ready their applications so please click here to find out more.
Enhancing the quality of life for residents by upgrading our public infrastructure has always been a priority of Councilmember Blumenfield. As Chair of Public Works, Blumenfield sees firsthand StreetsLA’s commitment to improving our sidewalks, preserving our tree canopy, maintaining the safety and accessibility of our streets, and more. Last fiscal year, StreetsLA trimmed over 1200 trees, removed over 7000 cubic yards of debris, and repaired 78 miles of road in Council District 3 alone. To learn more about the work of StreetsLA, please take a look at their just released 5-Year Strategic Plan here.
The LA City Redistricting Commission (LACRC) is still receiving testimony from residents. If you haven’t already, please complete the Community of Interest Form here. The LACRC will present the redistricting plans to the City Council by no later than October 29, 2021. The LA City Redistricting process is behind schedule because of the delay in receiving Census data. The 2020 Census was impacted by COVID and new online submissions.
Similarly, you have an important role to play in helping the LAUSD Redistricting Commission redraw the LAUSD School Board Member (Board of Education) district lines. The Commission will be hosting seven virtual hearings over the next couple weeks to build people powered maps, but they need to hear from you first. Join the conversation and advocate on behalf of your community. RSVP and submit public comment here.
This week's photo from the Los Angeles Public Library's archives is from the Valley Times on February 10, 1960. “More than 100 mothers of Winnetka Avenue School pupils massed at the school’s entrance, Winnetka Ave and Roscoe Blvd, to march with placards protesting absence of sidewalks and crossing guards for their children’s safety.”
Pedestrian safety, especially for our children walking to school, is a priority of Councilmember Blumenfield. LADOT is hiring an additional 138 crossing guards Citywide. For more information and to apply to be a crossing guard, please click here.