Blumenfield Donates over $1 Million Worth of Classroom Materials to Over 600 Local Teachers
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, along with his volunteer Community Action Team on Emergency Preparedness (BobCAT), was joined by LAUSD School Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson to give away over 50 pallets of classroom materials to local teachers.
The teachers were treated to a day of “shopping”—but there was no cash register as everything was given to them for free. The supplies had been secured by the nonprofit arm of Blumenfield’s BobCAT and had accumulated in the warehouse they use to forward deploy emergency preparedness supplies. Companies originally donated these supplies because of merchandising issues, such as overages.
Nathan Wolfstein and Jaime Pelligrini, Chairs of Blumenfield’s BobCAT, helped secure all the goods via their nonprofit, Community Outreach Promoting Emergency Preparedness (COPE). COPE is the nonprofit arm of Blumenfield’s BobCAT. Over the four-hour event, teachers came by to get everything from educational games, books, decorative posters, to many other critical items for their classrooms.
“It’s not right that teachers have to dig into their own pockets for classroom supplies,” Blumenfield said. “With the help of my BobCAT, hundreds of teachers will have the goods they need, with zero cost to them or LAUSD. Though it is critical to stand with our teachers during strikes and labor disputes, it is also important to help them in everyday ways that truly make a difference in students’ lives.”
This event came about after Blumenfield contacted members of United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) with the idea of donating the educational materials directly to teachers. Teachers spend an average of $500 on school supplies every year and these donated goods will help alleviate that burden. Over 600 teachers came by in four different shifts and LAUSD allowed its warehouse to be used as the staging area for the teacher giveaway. The LAUSD Team did a fantastic job in organizing the giveaway logistics, outreach and travel flow.
“This is amazing,” said one of our beloved teachers from Shirley Avenue Elementary School. “Teacher Shopping Day is making a huge difference for me and my kids. Just last year I had to spend a thousand dollars of my own money to afford school supplies for my two classes.”
Blumenfield hopes by giving teachers the supplies they need for their classrooms, kids will have the opportunity to learn more effectively and excel in school and beyond.
In my previous newsletter, I highlighted the work of my Community Action Team on Emergency Preparedness (BobCAT) in the wake of the Saddleridge Fire and the incredible generosity of our community. Barely two weeks later, we’ve had more fires, thousands of Angelenos evacuated and lives turned upside down. My BobCAT, led by Nathan Wolfstein and Jaime Pelligrini, and staff have been continuing their work getting goods to displaced neighbors throughout the city while ensuring we keep stocked for the next impending emergency.
Fire season is now a year-round phenomenon and is sadly the “new abnormal.” These fires are more powerful, faster, and more consistent then we have ever seen. We are incredibly grateful for the miraculous work and unparalleled dedication of the LAFD, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the LAPD.
No matter how much “raking” we do of forests and open spaces, the high winds, low humidity and increased temperatures caused by climate change have made our region more susceptible to these fires in the future. Though most of the open space throughout Southern California is owned by the federal and state governments, it is crucial to continue working with every level of government to make our response better.
As many of the folks who were forced out of their homes in the Getty Fire, including some members of my staff, learned, it is crucial to be prepared in case you get the call for an emergency evacuation. As I wrote in my last newsletter, one of the easiest ways to start is by packing a ‘go bag’ for you and your family that will last a few days as well as create an emergency plan. As for the go bag, some of the things to keep in mind can be found here. Together we can be more prepared and help ensure the safety of our loved ones and neighbors.
To Address Issues of Race Head On, Blumenfield Convenes Community Stakeholders for embRACE LA Dinner
Blumenfield convened the latest dinner roundtable discussion of embRACE LA in his Reseda District Office. Blumenfield, other councilmembers, and other people across the City of LA have held dinner discussions on how race can contribute to gaps in wealth, education, environment, and other forms in inequity. Blumenfield was joined by Dr. Carlos Zaragoza, Gabriella Golik Garry, Michelle Miranda, Tim Blaylock, Vahid Khorsand, Dr. James McKeever, Carolyn Ramsay, and many others.
“embRACE LA dinners are a great event to get people to talk about an uncomfortable but important topic,” Blumenfield said. “We don’t normally carve out enough time to talk about the impacts of racial discrimination, but doing so is critical.”
Councilmember Blumenfield is passionate about incorporating equity and inclusion into his policy-making. Recently he has proposed an innovative approach to dealing with the gender pay gap in LA. He calls it Equal Pay LA, to learn more learn more about click here.
One Year After the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting, Blumenfield Commemorates Victims and Re-Commits LA to Stomp Out Hate
On October 25, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield convened interfaith leaders of LA to commemorate the victims from the Tree of Life Shooting who lost their lives one year ago. This was the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in US history and unfortunately anti-Semitism has only continued to surge.
Blumenfield stood in solidarity with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, and the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission and was joined by many interfaith leaders. They all recognized that hate crimes are an intersectional problem that requires people of different ethnic backgrounds, religions, and orientations to come together as one.
This year, many faiths have been attacked and each time Blumenfield stood in solidarity with their respective communities. Earlier this year Blumenfield joined the Muslim community of the West Valley for an interfaith Iftar to mourn the victims from the Christchurch Mosque shootings.
Blumenfield believes thoughts and prayers are not enough. He has worked hard to bring Security Grant Workshops to faith leaders in the West Valley so congregants of all faiths can feel more comfortable in their place of worship. He has hosted an embRACE LA dinner and taken on initiatives aimed at promoting tolerance, understanding and equity.
“LA deserves to be a welcoming place for all people and it is my mission to make everyone feel safe and recognized,” Blumenfield said.
West Valley Residents De-Clutter and Protect Their Privacy at Blumenfield's 2nd Annual Shred-it Event
Last weekend, Councilmember Blumenfield organized his 2nd annual 'Shred-It' event, in collaboration with LA Sanitation and a local shredding company, to offer residents an opportunity to safely get rid of sensitive papers for free.
Blumenfield stated, "Everyone has that stack of sensitive papers laying around that they eventually want to shred, and I hope this free event motivated people to finally do it."
More than one hundred constituents came by to take advantage of the shredding truck. Stay on the lookout for next year's Shred-It Event coming Fall 2020.
In Council Presentation for New Filmmakers LA Mentorship Program, Blumenfield Celebrates Local Film Students
In his ongoing collaboration with NewFilmmakers LA (NFMLA), Councilmember Blumenfield led a special council presentation to recognize local students and the ‘CineSessions’ mentorship program. CineSessions is an on-set student mentorship film program where high school students have access to free, one-on-one, training in areas such as cinematography, sound and lighting from NFMLA mentors.
“This program is a great way to gain experience in this high competitive industry and to show the next generation of filmmakers what goes in to every aspect of making a film or tv show,” said Blumenfield.
NFMLA has collaborated with high schools and students including Canoga Park High School, Hollywood High School, Helen Bernstein High School and more.
Blumenfield also thanked Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s for his work in helping with recruitment outreach for this program as well as his support of NewFilmmaker’s LA programs throughout the year.
Celebrate Veterans Day with Councilmember Blumenfield
Please join Councilmember Blumenfield on Monday at 11:11am for the 16th annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade. This year’s parade, led by Grand Marshall LAPD Operations Valley Bureau Deputy Chief Jorge Rodriguez, will begin at the corner of Laurel Canyon Blvd. and San Fernando Mission Blvd, proceed down Laurel Canyon Blvd, culminating with a carnival at Ritchie Valens Recreation center. More details here.
Let’s honor the brave men and women who have risked everything to keep us safe and protect our nation. Hope to see everyone there!
CicLAvia is Coming to the West Valley!
Get Ready for CicLAvia with Metro's Bike Safety Classes!
Metro BEST Bike 1 - Back to Basics
LA Conservation Corps: Cleanups in Action
The LA Conservation Corps is working hard to make a difference in the West Valley. One of their recent projects was servicing a request on Darby Ave. from Valerio St. See below for before and after photos. Blumenfield has embedded the Corps into his office and set aside special funding from his budget to make their local work possible.
Low Cost Spay and Neuters for your Pets Available through Pierce College
As part of “Clinical Procedures in Animal Care” Dr. Jennifer Adelini, DVM of Pierce College will be performing free spay or neuter surgeries per week throughout Fall Semester. Appointments are available for cats and dogs between ages 6 months to 4 years old. Cats of any weight are welcome, as well as dogs weighing 10-60 lbs. Vaccinations, microchip placement, heartworm and viral testing are also offered. Please contact veterinary technology instructional assistant Angela Killips, RVT at [email protected] with any questions or to schedule your pet.
Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal
If you ever encountered a homeless person and wanted to help them, you can do so online.
LA County runs Los Angeles Homelessness Outreach Portal (LAHop), an online resource designed to streamline services to people experiencing homelessness. Residents are encouraged to fill out an outreach request if they encounter a homeless person needing help, struggling physically, or mentally.
This platform will not get someone off the streets immediately but it does get trained staff from the county to come out and directly offer services. It also helps get invaluable data on the homeless emergency in different, unique communities, so officials can better allocate resources. Users are encouraged to be as specific as possible about the well-being of the homeless person in their request forms, as homeless persons with more serious medical and mental health needs may be prioritized to the top of the list for outreach workers. Also, having a name and phone number for the homeless person is more helpful than just referring to someone on the street.
To start a request, please visit this link.
airbnb Complaint Portal
As the City and short term rental platforms finalize regulations, airbnb has asked Team Blumenfield to share this link to their anonymous neighbor complaint portal. Most folks who use short term rental platforms are responsible hosts but it’s vital to report issues so airbnb can help. Whether parties, trash, noise, or something else, airbnb wants to know so they can address any nuisances or problems.
The City also has a hotline and portal with information about home sharing-
Hotline: (213) 267-7788
Update on Sidewalk Repair Program
The Sidewalk Repair Program is a cost-sharing program between the City and a private property owner willing to hire a contractor to repair the sidewalk adjacent to their property. The maximum contribution from the City is $10,000. Bureau of Engineering is going to reopen the sidewalk repair rebate program for a very limited time until they expend the remaining funding they have budgeted for the program. To learn more details about the program and how to apply, click here.
West Valley Animal Shelter Pets of the Week
Bring home forever love, smiles, purrs and wags -- come adopt a shelter pet today! Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, bunnies, all sizes, types and fur lengths, from playful youngsters to gentle, loving seniors -- they are waiting for you at your local Animal Shelter! Come fall in love at the West Valley (L.A. city) Animal Shelter at 20655 Plummer St., Chatsworth, (818) 756-9325. See all the L.A. City Shelter animals at http://www.laanimalservices.com/.
Historic West Valley: Grand Opening of Reseda High School
Team Blumenfield is partnering with the Los Angeles Public Library’s (LAPL) photo archive for a new segment to highlight historic photos of the West Valley. This week's photo was taken in 1955 at the grand opening of Reseda High School, the first school in LA to be built after World War II. To learn more about this photo and use the digital photo archive, click the link here.
On October 25, Blumenfield received a delegation from Nagoya, Japan to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Los Angeles-Nagoya Sister City relationship, and to discuss new ways to address bullying and social media safety.
On November 2, Blumenfield came out to the Canoga Park Women’s Club 19th annual Veterans Day Luncheon, which was organized by Membership Chair Cary Bird. The members of the Women’s Club work hard every year to put on a luncheon for over 150 guests from across the Valley and to honor the Veterans of this Country.
Blumenfield was proud to secure $125,000 for each of the West Valley’s two Police Activity Leagues (PAL) in the LAPD West Valley Division and LAPD Topanga Police. PALs provides youth crime prevention activities, including educational experiences and sports to local kids and aims to grow a bond between youth and peace officers.
On October 27, Blumenfield joined the Zoroastrian Cultural Center of Los Angeles for the unveiling of their Cyrus the Great statue.
The West Valley Family YMCA hosted an awards dinner celebrating volunteers in the community and the spirit of volunteerism. The YMCA graciously awarded Councilmember Blumenfeld with the inaugural George Williams award named the public service legacy of the founder of the YMCA.
Blumenfield joined the West Valley community for LAPD Topanga Station’s Open House and Pancake Breakfast, featuring vintage patrol vehicles, public safety resources, and a free breakfast.
On November 3, Councilmember Blumenfield participated in Canoga Park’s 19th Annual Dia de Los Muertos festival. Many residents in our community celebrate Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) to honor the souls of the dead who return to visit their surviving families.
Blumenfield thanked County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office, organizers from Canoga Park-West Hills Chamber, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Canoga Improvement Association, Canoga Park Neighborhood Council and many other individuals for their hard work putting together the festival. He is always a partner to this event and his staff helps provide services and funding.