After working hand in hand with community advocates, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s initiative to unify environmental and law enforcement along the headwaters of the LA River unanimously passed the LA City Council. This program will establish a pilot program giving intrajurisdictional authority for the area to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). Currently the River is split between several jurisdictions which has led to a number of difficult to resolve environmental and quality-of-life issues. Blumenfield’s plan will cut the immense red tape and bureaucratic hurdles that currently exist around solving these issues and improve the environment and safety of the area. Rangers who regularly spend time on the river will be able to respond to any vandalism, illegal dumping, or problems in the area that discourage families from using the path; and will offer interpretive and recreational programming to encourage positive usage.
For the past few years, Blumenfield has worked closely with the LA River Walkers and Watchers, a group of Reseda neighbors committed to preserving the LA River bike path, on a number of quality-of-life issues.
To learn more about this effort, please click here.
Moving to ‘harden the target’ for buildings in the path of potential wildfires, Councilmember Blumenfield’s measure to expand fire-resistant building codes unanimously passed the Council’s critical Planning and Land Use Management Committee on December 3. Fire and emergency preparedness are priority issues for Blumenfield who recently served on the LA County Woolsey Fire After Action Task Force. The idea of making fire codes stronger was supported by the Task Force.
Currently dense population centers like Downtown LA and Hollywood have stronger building codes to withstand fires with treated wood or other building materials, and Blumenfield's proposal broadens where more resistant materials are required, especially in high fire risk areas such as the hills and other population centers of the San Fernando Valley.
Blumenfield’s motion specifically instructs the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) to prepare and present an ordinance to expand the building standards of Fire District 1 to include all areas within the City covered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Very High Fire Severity Zone and City’s High Wind Velocity Zone.
With this motion, Los Angeles has an opportunity to lead the state and the nation in protecting against the growing risk of wildfires. It will next be heard by the Public Safety Committee and then by the entire City Council.
In an effort to provide a cleaner and healthier work environment for LAPD officers, on December 10, the City Council approved a pilot program to install ultraviolet shoe sanitizer stations at all of the entry and exit points in LAPD Central Division Station. Councilmember Blumenfield's office worked with the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) to secure funding via the City's Innovation Fund that supports employee proposals for smart, cost-saving programs. According to LAPPL, officers have been contracting viruses and diseases at an alarming rate and a main contributor of the spike in illnesses is due to pathogens entering police facilities on the soles of an officer’s shoes.
This pilot program will utilize HealthySoleUV shoe sanitizers, which reportedly kill 99.9% of pathogens on the soles of shoes in eight seconds. HealthySole UV is the primary manufacturer of UV shoe sanitizers and were originally built for the medical industry and are being tried in law enforcement due to their effectiveness. By killing germs on their boots, the devices will keep officers healthy and on patrol while saving the City money in sick time.
Blumenfield, the Innovation Commission, and LAPPL secured $40,000 for the shoe sanitizer pilot program that will be implemented at five main entry points in LAPD’s Central Division. Once installed, all officers entering Central Division would stand on the UV shoe sanitizer for eight seconds to sterilize their shoes and effectively keep their workplace clean of germs.
If the pilot is proven to be effective, shoe sanitizers may one day become commonplace throughout all LAPD stations across the City of LA.
Despite rain showers, thousands of Angelenos came to CicLAvia- the Valley on historic Sherman Way. People from all around the region came to the West Valley to bike, walk, roller skate, skateboard and unicycle the five mile stretch of Sherman Way from Shoup Ave. in Canoga Park, through Winnetka, to Lindley Ave. in Reseda. This was the first CicLAvia in the West San Fernando Valley, and an event Councilmember Blumenfield has been pushing to host for several years.
“CicLAvia is a wonderful opportunity not only to have fun and experience our community in a different light, but tit can inspire us to think about how we can make it safer and more accessible to bike, skate or walk around our city when streets aren’t closed down,” said Blumenfield. “It is imperative to convert this energy into lasting change and continue to invest in proven ways to make our streets safe for everyone.”
Along the route, several of Blumenfield’s cultural, recreational and redevelopment efforts were highlighted. In Canoga Park, Blumenfield partnered with the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) to curate an informational installation on Blumenfield's proposed Madrid Theatre Cultural Hub (MaTCH), including capital improvements and a wide array of new arts programming at the Madrid Theatre and the former Clyde Porter Playhouse. Blumenfield recently rescued the Playhouse from being lost as a theater space by using former Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) funds. In addition to renderings of the upcoming improvements, this ‘pitstop’ included stickers and balloons for children and a “selfie wall.”
In Reseda, Blumenfield shared planned transportation and recreation projects that are part of his Reseda Rising initiative, including partnering with the Los Angeles Kings with hockey activities at the soon-to-be Reseda Ice Rink, the Sherman Way Great Streets streetscape project, and the Reseda Boulevard Complete Street project, which represent a combined $50 million in investments of public and private funds in neighborhood improvements.
Blumenfield engaged the 11:11 A Creative Collective and sponsored a full day of music performances including a set from West Valley native Angelo Moore and his group Dr. Maddvibe and the Missin Links. Moore is also known as the lead singer and saxophone player for the legendary band Fishbone.
To find out more about Blumenfield’s transportation and multi-modal infrastructure projects please go to his website at blumenfield.lacity.org/transportation_infrastructure_improvements and learn about the upcoming Reseda Blvd. Street Improvement Project.
Watch a recap of the event from LA THIS WEEK here.
Thank you to everyone who came out to my annual Holiday Open House! Your generosity is inspiring and together we collected hundreds of donations for underprivileged kids in the West Valley and goods for the homeless.
Team Blumenfield is incredibly grateful to Mike from RB Towing in Reseda and Los Angeles Fire Department Station 73 for coming by with truckloads of toys, and to all the restaurants who donated their time and food including Safir Mediterranean Cuisine, Nicola's Kitchen, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, and Johnny Pacific. Also, special thanks to the alumni of Louisville High School whose art is displayed throughout my office and the Gary Mendell Trio for your incredible music all evening long.
Since the party my staff and I have been delivering donations throughout the West Valley to incredible organizations that are doing life changing work.
Watch a recap of the event from LA THIS WEEK here. Thank you again for your generosity and wish you and yours a very happy holidays.
On December 6, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution to declare LA as a 'Welcoming City' for refugees in response to President Trump’s latest executive order authorizing states and local municipalities to deny refugees resettlement. Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield and Mitch O’Farrell introduced this resolution and mobilized refugee activists from organizations including HIAS, ADL, SALEF, IRC, IILA, and many more to stand in solidarity with the LA City Council.
“Trump’s latest executive order is unconscionable,” Councilmember Bob Blumenfield said. “In the middle of the largest refugee crisis in recorded history, our President has issued an order allowing states and local municipalities to close their doors on refugees. LA is a world-class city that thrives from its diversity, and prides itself on welcoming all people--especially those fleeing from persecution.”
Councilmember Blumenfield has a history of defending refugees throughout his career in public service. When Blumenfield worked for Congressman Howard Berman, he helped to secure Temporary Protective Status for Central American families fleeing wars and seeking refuge in the US.
Read more here.
Mark Volunteer for LAHSA's Homeless Count on Jan 21, 2020
The 2020 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) annual Homeless Count is right around the corner. On Tuesday, January 21nd, please join me and my team at our District Office in Reseda from 8:00pm-11:00pm to literally count the homeless in our community and thereby help ensure that the West Valley gets its fair share of resources to address homelessness.
For the past few years, my office has served as the main deployment site for the West Valley night of the annual count. Essentially, we meet in the evening and dispatch in teams to go around our community and count how many homeless people we see and where they are located. Groups from all around the City give that information to LAHSA to compile a thorough report which will help dictate where resources are allocated. They supplement with professional counters and statistical projections. For anyone who wants to help us address homelessness this is an easy and an incredibly impactful way to do so.
If you can't make it to Reseda, there are many other community Counts throughout the region. Click this link to find out more: www.theycountwillyou.org.
Sign up today here.
Warner Center 2035 Board Launches Improvements
Marking the first milestone to prioritize local infrastructure improvements, the Warner Center 2035 Plan Implementation Board (WC 2035 PIB), recommended moving forward with several traffic safety projects in the area. Ten intersections are slated for improvements, and LADOT is now working on design and budget to get them done.
The need for these improvements was brought into sharp focus when a local employer gave public testimony at the mid-August meeting about safety concerns at the intersection of Variel Avenue and Oxnard Street. This location was included in the work program, and the Board and Councilmember Blumenfield asked LADOT to look into interim measures that could be done right away while design and construction of the future four-way stoplight were pending. LADOT was very responsive to these requests. Within two-weeks LADOT submitted a work order for larger stop signs, reflective red striping, and bollards for each side of the four-way intersection; installation was completed in September (see photos).
The WC 2035 PIB will launch the Neighborhood Protection Program subcommittee (NPP) in January, 2020. The NPP will focus on identifying and finding creative solutions to any unanticipated Plan impacts, for example if there is increased traffic in the neighborhoods that surround Warner Center’s borders.
The PIB adopted their first-year work program in April for $1.9 million dollars with input from the community in meetings that are noticed under the Brown Act and open to the public. The WC 2035 PIB meets on an every-other-month basis and will next meet in January. PIB agendas and more information about the PIB are posted on Blumenfield’s website.
Historic West Valley: Reseda During the Holidays (1962)
Team Blumenfield is partnering with the Los Angeles Public Library's (LAPL) photo archive for a segment highlighting historic photos of the West Valley. This week's photo was taken in 1962 on Sherman Way during the Holidays and features massive banners that stretched across the street and invited folks to participate in holiday cheer. The West Valley continues to hold onto its festive spirit today. To learn more about this photo and use the digital photo archive, click the link here.
VIDEO- Blumenfield Converted District Office Lot into Safe Parking for Homeless
Many Angelenos literally cannot afford to live in this City and have turned to sleeping in their cars rather than on the street. Living in their car is no easy feat. These folks are constantly moving from one lot to the next, being kicked out, threatened, and intimidated by passerbyers. Frustrated with this situation in the West Valley, Councilmember Blumenfield partnered with Safe Parking LA to convert his District Office parking lot and the neighboring library lot into a secure overnight space for folks to park theirs cars and get the rest they need.
Many patrons work full time jobs, and some are even enrolled in college programs. To learn more, watch the video here or click on the image below.
Equipped with a bathroom and overnight security, Blumenfield's safe parking lot is helping those in need sleep at night so they can get back on their feet.
While this isn't the solution to ending homelessness, its the least we can do to prevent folks from sleeping on the ground. If you have a parking lot and want to join Safe Parking LA, visit their website to learn more about the application process.
LAPD Cyber Literacy Program
If you’re craving fresh, tasty sushi at a reasonable price, look no further than Roll Roll, located at the corner of Corbin Ave. and Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana. Chef Sang Kyu Shin spent years perfecting the art of sushi making, and in 2012, he brought his culinary skills to the West Valley where he opened Roll Roll. Expect to find a variety of basic to specialty sushi rolls to fit everyone’s pallet and pocketbook. Roll Roll also offers delicious appetizers, seafood-inspired salads, and traditional Japanese entrees such as beef and chicken teriyaki, ramen noodles, and yakisoba. The restaurant’s interior is clean and comfortable, but if you prefer to take-out, simply order online and your order will be ready for pick-up in a matter of minutes. There are dozens upon dozens of sushi restaurants along Ventura Blvd., but Roll Roll is definitely worth a try.
19657 ½ Ventura Blvd. at Corbin Ave, Tarzana Ave
Following the Reseda Charter High School Regents winning their title as City Section Division 1 Football Champions, Blumenfield brought the entire Regents football team to Van Nuys City Hall to recognize them for their immense talents, leadership, and dedication to football. Reseda has now captured its third City crown after having won the 2A Division in 1986 and the 3A Division in 1995. Blumenfield thanks Reseda's incredible coach Joel Shaffer and one of their biggest fans, the General Manager of Building and Safety Frank Bush who attended the championship game.
To celebrate VICA on their 70th anniversary, Blumenfield joined his colleagues at Van Nuys City Hall to honor their commitment to serving the business community of the West Valley.
Blumenfield dropped off toys at ABC 7's annual Sparks of Love Annual Toy Drive at Westfield Topanga.
Blumenfield partnered with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and the Warner Center Association to lead the first-ever tour for consulates to attract foreign investment to the West Valley. He is making sure the world is looking to invest in the West Valley.
This tour brought together the consul generals of Japan, Israel, Switzerland, the deputy consul general of Bangladesh, and key trade and investment consulars from the United Kingdom, Mexico, Malaysia, and Greece. This group represents countries that created approximately 200,000 jobs across several thousand foreign firms in Southern California in 2018. Last year in the Los Angeles area, foreign firms paid over $15,200,000 in wages for local employees.
On December 9, Blumenfield came out to celebrate the holiday season festivities at LAPD Topanga's CPAB Holiday Open House with LAPD Police Chief Moore.
The Board of Public Works gathered West Valley residents for a special town hall meeting for the community. The meeting took place at the Lyn Shaw Hilfenhaus Community Room in Blumenfield's Reseda District Office on December 11 and gave constituents an opportunity to voice their concerns and learn about exciting updates such as on the Sidewalk Repair Program and Clean Streets LA. Blumenfield gave opening remarks before introducing the President of the Board of Public Works Kevin James.
To increase bicyclist safety, Blumenfield joined Operation Firefly on December 11 to hand out free bike lights at the Orange Line metro station on Sherman Way and Canoga Ave.