Special Olympics Come to the West Valley


In just a few short weeks, Los Angeles will welcome more than 7,000 athletes from 170 nations for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister to President John F. Kennedy, the first Games were held in 1968 in Chicago. In that time, the Special Olympics has grown into the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.4 million athletes. This year is the first time the Special Olympics have been held in the United States since the 1999 Games in Raleigh, North Carolina and a chance to display the best of our city to the world.

As your Councilmember, I’m thrilled that not one, but 4 of our West Valley communities and their chambers of commerce have stepped up to the plate to serve as host towns, welcoming the world's athletes in to our neighborhoods as they compete on the global stage: the communities of Woodland Hills, Tarzana, and Reseda, along with the West Valley-Warner Center Chamber of Commerce will be welcoming the Greek delegation to the World Games, while the community of Winnetka will host the delegation from Venezuela.

How to get involved:

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Mid-Term Report


July 1 marks the completion of my second year as Councilmember and the midway point of my first term in office. It has been a partnership, and I am grateful to you for making it possible. Together we have accomplished much, but many challenges remain.

Please take a look at my Mid-Term Report e-book. It outlines the accomplishments of the past two years and sets the course for an even greater future for the San Fernando Valley.

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Tackling LA's Broken Sidewalks

Today we delved into the issues surrounding our crumbling sidewalks as the City Council began an urgent conversation around sidewalk repair in the City of Los Angeles. For too long, LA neighborhoods have been strangled by broken, buckled, impassible, and dangerous sidewalks that have threatened safety and jeopardized economic activity due to decades of neglect.

Earlier this year, I was proud to play a role in pushing the City to resolve ongoing litigation that had previously hampered efforts to comprehensively address our sidewalk infrastructure. In settling, the City made a $1.4 billion commitment to sidewalk repairs and pedestrian improvements, the first $31 million of which are included in the recently passed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Today, in a special joint hearing of the Council’s Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee, of which I am a member, we took first steps toward bringing our sidewalks into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and making them passable and safe for all Angelenos. Several field hearings will be held throughout Los Angeles to follow up on today’s discussion.

We considered recommendations that include:

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Celebrating Innovation

Today we celebrated the hardworking, dedicated City employees who submitted the first round of funded ideas to the Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is a City program that looks to our employees and commissioners to crowdsource new ideas to make government more efficient, responsive, and transparent.

Dr. Marc Eckstein, with the support of Councilmember Mitchell Englander, brought forward the concept of a nurse practitioner unit for the LAFD. The new unit will provide efficient and effective health services to vulnerable Angelenos while freeing up valuable resources for immediate, life-threatening emergencies.

Mark Nakata found a new way to bring Los Angeles into the 21st century by suggesting the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering utilize 3D printing technology to produce architectural models that will save many hours of staff time.

Sandip Soni, Arment Kamyshyan and Ken Husting conceived of the "Can I Park Here Now" idea that will simplify parking signs that have been known to confuse and confound drivers throughout the city.

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2015 Budget Survey Results

Earlier this week, the City Council's Budget and Finance Commitee, of which I am a member, concluded its deliberations on the Mayor's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Over the course of marathon hearings on the budget, my colleagues and I put in many hours reviewing documents, analyzing projections, asking questions of City departments and staff to make sure next year’s budget is fiscally sound and reflective of our shared values.

In a budget survey sent out last month, I asked you to let me know your priorities for the City’s upcoming budget. I received hundreds of responses, and despite a diversity of ideas, a clear consensus emerged: public safety must remain our top priority, and we need to remain focused on growing and improving the City’s physical and environmental infrastructure to make LA a safe, clean, green and friendly place for people and businesses while ensuring our long-term, fiscal sustainability.

A visual representation of what you told us can be found below.

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Blumenfield Community Budget Survey 2015-2016

While California's economy continues to experience a slow recovery, the City of Los Angeles continues to be challenged by a $165 million deficit. Addressing the structural deficit could require either or both increasing revenue and decreasing City services. This means that some of the services that are important to you may not be delivered or may not be delivered as frequently.

Please know that I am very focused on improving efficiency, increasing accountability and transparency. While we continue to make progress on those fronts, the decisions inherent in the annual budget process cannot be mitigated by efficiency alone.

The Budget and Finance Committee's deliberations on the 2015-16 budget begin on April 28, 2015. You can find a schedule of budget hearings hereHearings are broadcast live on the City’s public access network on Channel 35 and are streamed online here.

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Burglaries Reported In Woodland Hills

Yesterday, on April 1, 2015, at least 8 residential burglaries occurred in Woodland Hills in the Topanga Area. See the community alert from LAPD below, and follow these burglary prevention tips.

  • Reminder: Don’t forget to lock and secure your residence when you leave. Leaving your windows open is an open invitation for a burglar to come into your residence.
  • Here are a few examples of things that may help prevent you from becoming a victim: If you decide to leave your windows open get a stick and put it in the window frame preventing your window from opening all the way.
  • Make sure you have your side gates locked. This is one of the most common entries for burglars. They enter through the side gate, and make entry into your home from the rear, away from public view.
  • Keep your bushes around your windows trimmed so there is no place to hide.
  • Post alarm signs in your front yard.
  • Place a Beware of Dog sign on your gates.
  • If your residence looks like a hard target, the criminal will be more likely to pass your house and move on to an easier target. 

See more at nixle.com.

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Raise the Wage and Get it Right

Last night, as the City Council's Economic Development Committee met to discuss proposals to raise the City's minimum wage to lift people out of poverty, I submitted a letter to the Chair, raising questions and proposed solutions to ensure that any wage increase enacted by the City works to achieve our goals. 

Raising Los Angeles's minimum wage has the potential to change people's lives for the better, and re-energize many sectors of our economy. But with Los Angeles's diverse and complex regional economy, it is important that we craft good public policy that addresses the unique needs of our City.

The text of that letter appears below:

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Economic Development Committee Hearings on the Citywide Minimum Wage

The Los Angeles City Council’s Economic Development Committee will be holding a series of field hearings across Los Angeles on the proposal to raise the City’s minimum wage. By doing so, the Council hopes to create as thorough and deliberative a process as possible. Hearings are open to the public and will be held starting the week of March 24th as follows: 

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This Holiday Season, Provide a Spark of Love

Over the past two decades, Spark of Love has successfully collected millions of toys for children in need.

It was my pleasure this morning to present a sample of this season's donated toys to Chief Ralph Terrazas and the Los Angeles Fire Fighters who make Spark of Love possible.


If you have new, unwrapped toys and sports equipment to donate, please join me this Monday from 4:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. as we Stuff-a-Bus full of toys at the Westfield Topanga & Promenade.

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