On February 18 the City Council passed Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s motion formally requesting funding for his initiative, the Homeless Housing and Recovery Project (HHRP) into the City’s grant application. HHRP is a collaborative pilot program between Providence Tarzana Medical Center and Tarzana Treatment Center that Blumenfield helped initiate, which helps to get homeless folks in emergency rooms needed housing and treatment for both their physical and drug or mental health issues
This program has yielded positive results since its inception early last year; out of the 555 patients screened, 165 were connected to mental health services, 136 obtained emergency housing, and 49 now have a permanent address. Building on this success, additional funds can continue this effort to treat individuals entering emergency rooms who may be more likely to accept help because of the trauma that brought them to the ER.
Blumenfield’s motion requests $422,628 in grant funds from the State’s fund Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) and comes at a critical time. Without additional funds, the pilot program with West Valley hospitals may be discontinued on June 30.
There is no one size fits all solution to the homelessness epidemic and this is one of many ways Councilmember Blumenfield is working to get homeless folks off the street. Read more about Blumenfield’s efforts to reduce homelessness on his website. If you are interested in getting more involved, consider joining Blumenfield’s BobCAT (Community Action Team) on Homelessness.
In a continued effort to decrease traffic congestion at LAX, the Los Angeles City Council passed a measure authored by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield on February 18 to explore the feasibility of giving public transit users priority entry at security checkpoints at LAX. This measure seeks to encourage the use of public transit options at LAX, including the Metro rail and buses, the LAX Flyaway Bus, municipal transit providers, and/or privately operated, scheduled bus services.
"For passengers at LAX, traffic congestion and long TSA lines are a real nuisance," said Councilmember Blumenfield. "What better incentive is there at LAX than getting to cut the long security lines? It's a win-win for passengers and a good opportunity to encourage ridership on the Flyaway bus and upcoming Crenshaw LAX rail line."
Blumenfield’s measure mirrors the Massachusetts Port Authority’s “Ticket to Skip” Program, which began in May 2019 where passengers arriving at Logan International Airport via public transit have priority access to the airport’s security lines. This program has already yielded positive results, such as doubling ridership on the Logan Express.
Blumenfield’s measure requests Los Angeles World Airports to report back to the City Council on the feasibility of creating such a program in Los Angeles. Blumenfield strongly supports public transit incentives that help pave the way for reducing traffic congestion and decreasing the City’s carbon footprint. Click here to read the full motion.
On February 25, Councilmember Blumenfield stopped by to see the West Valley's first high visibility, flashing pedestrian crosswalk on Winnetka Ave. at Lanark St., officially called a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB).
As a reminder, drivers must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk even if there isn’t a flashing light system like this. In September 2018, a 75 year old man was killed at the intersection where the RRFB has now been installed, demonstrating that safety measures like this are needed on higher speed streets.
On February 19, Councilmember Blumenfield sponsored ‘LA for Good,’ an intersectional discussion on the rise of hate crimes in Los Angeles organized by the Anti-Defamation League. This event brought together a coalition of 25 diverse organizations such as 30 Years After, CHIRLA, Asians in LA, HIAS, Equality California, and many more for a panel conversation on constructive dialogue, exploration of common ground, and joint community projects to combat hate.
Blumenfield recognizes when a hate crime occurs against a community in another state, another country, or in our very own backyard, the impact on our neighbors is just as visceral. An attack against someone based on their race, religious or sexual orientation is an attempt to intimidate a whole group of people.
As reports of hate crimes continue to rise in LA for the fourth year in a row, including acts of anti-Semitism up 60%, Blumenfield believes the community must stand in solidarity and find meaningful ways to build a culture of acceptance and love rather than hate and bigotry. To learn how you can make a difference please visit the ADL’s website.
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 1962 at The Reseda Drive-In Theater, located at Reseda Blvd and Vanowen St. This theater opened in 1949 and played host for the location of Peter Bogdanovich's movie Targets, starring Boris Karloff. Although the theater is no longer standing, it played an important cultural role in the history of Reseda. To learn more about this photo and use the digital photo archive, click the link here.