On December 13, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield co-hosted his fourth Homeless Connect Day of the year in Reseda. Although the West Valley has fewer homeless compared to all other areas of the City of Los Angeles, Blumenfield continues to fight for more resources to address homelessness and to ensure the Valley’s homeless are offered services and assistance they need to get off the street. He recognizes that this is both a humanitarian issue and a critical quality of life issue throughout the community. Homeless Connect Days are an efficient way to directly link people experiencing homelessness with specialized social services, such as addiction intervention, job assistance, housing support, and basic needs like free haircuts.
“Each time I have hosted a Homeless Connect Day, more than 100 homeless people have come to seek help, and most of them turn out to be West Valley natives,” said Blumenfield.
Homeless Connect Days started because LA Family Housing recognized the importance of bringing services to people where they actually were living, rather that assuming they would come to a central location where the services were being offered. Getting into different neighborhoods allows the service providers to meet the homeless where they are to determine how they could best be helped.
As leaders in homelessness outreach, Blumenfield and his staff have hosted a dozen Homeless Connect Days since he took office, and they continue to recruit volunteers, food donors, and coordinate with venues such as Our Redeemer Church in Winnetka. After seeing the fantastic work Blumenfield’s office has done for Homeless Connect Days, other offices such as State Senator Henry Stern’s have reached out to Team Blumenfield to co-host, learn, and partner up on this important venture.
Homeless Connect Days are just one of the tools Blumenfield uses to address homelessness in the West Valley. In addition to his legislative efforts focused on the issue (please click here to learn more), Blumenfield uses his District Office as a major deployment site for the LAHSA Homeless Count that takes place each year. Over the past few years, Blumenfield and his staff have stepped up to do their part in the Homeless Count and have hosted hundreds of volunteers from his West Valley District office.
“We count every year because we need to have accurate statistics about the homeless epidemic throughout Los Angeles County,” said Blumenfield. “To solve any problem you need to be able to measure it and measure progress.”
The upcoming Homeless Count will be held on the evening of January 22, 2019. To learn more and join Blumenfield, his staff and many volunteers on this important day click here.
Recently, Councilmember Blumenfield and the City Council approved an ordinance to regulate Short Term Rental (STR) platforms like AirBnB. STRs are currently illegal in Los Angeles, yet they are still operating throughout the City. The goal of these regulations is to craft rules that allow folks to make needed income by renting extra rooms in their homes while shutting down de facto hotels in residential areas and illegal conversions of needed long term housing.
The STR regulations will become effective on July 1, 2019 and include the following rules:
On December 10, Councilmember Blumenfield joined BizFed as part of its Leadership roundtable series and he highlighted many of the efforts of the City Council initiatives which have improved the economic vitality of Los Angeles.
“I appreciate your enthusiasm in discussing the many ways the City Council has helped our business community grow high-wage jobs, such as procurement reform and increased investment in Los Angeles,” said Blumenfield.
BizFed is an alliance of over 170 business groups that together employ more than 3.5 million people in the region. Their advocacy efforts are focused on building a robust economy for job creation.
You may have noticed that Lime e-scooters have popped up in Woodland Hills. Lime has received a conditional permit from the LA Department of Transportation, and has deployed about 100 scooters at various locations in Woodland Hills. They have also deployed scooters in Encino, some of which are likely to make their way to Tarzana.
Scooters can be a great option for short trips, and allow people to avoid using a car to get to neighborhood destinations. In the Warner Center, for example, scooters can make it easier for office workers to run lunchtime errands, and for people to get from the Orange Line to jobs or the mall.
In other parts of the LA area, there have been problems with scooters that are improperly parked. Under the City's rules, between 7 am and 10 pm, Lime (and other companies) must move scooters within 2 hours of being notified that they are improperly parked. Also these scooters should be removed from the streets at night for re-charging and maintenance. Scooters should be parked on paved surfaces, and must leave at least 3 feet of clearance for those using wheelchairs. To report an improperly parked scooter, text or call Lime at 1.888.546.3345, or the number printed on the scooter. It helps to include the scooter number, which can be found under the QR code. Soon, you will be able to report scooter issues via the MyLA311 app, but for now you must contact the scooter company or call my office for assistance.
The City continues to invest unprecedented resources and proffer new strategies to help address homelessness. One of the most important tools the City has is LAPD HOPE Rapid Response Team. Consisting of LAPD, Sanitation and service providers, this team goes out into communities to offer homeless services, clean sidewalks and dispose of hazardous materials.
The LA Sanitation Data Center does a fantastic job compiling data on how the West Valley stacks up in cleanup efforts compared to the rest of the City. The report shows West Valley has some of the lowest rates of Homeless Encampment Service Requests and Illegal Dumping Service Requests in all of Los Angeles. For Example in October, LASAN received about 72 service requests to clean encampments in Blumenfield’s district compared to over 1,000 in Council District’s 9 and 14 in Downtown and South LA. But those statistics have not deterred Blumenfield from fighting and securing more resources for the West Valley as the impact of homelessness is felt in every neighborhood and the impact on the quality of life is signifigant.
Earlier this year, Blumenfield allocated $100,000 in discretionary funds towards additional cleanup efforts. This resulted in the West Valley seeing an increase in service for clean ups and dumping removal.
“It is important to increase the cleanup crews not only to sanitize and keep streets and sidewalks clean and prevent hazards from entering the LA River and our watershed, but to also connect folks with services and give them a help up,” said Blumenfield.
In the aftermath of the Tree of Life Massacre as well as local hate crimes on the rise, the Jewish community of Los Angeles came together in solidarity to celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of light. Councilmember Blumenfield lit the menorah with his family and took the time to recognize the pain and suffering the Jewish community endured this year. Hanukkah falls during the darkest time of the year and serves as a reminder that we can blot out the darkness with a ray of hope. There were also many local celebrations throughout the West Valley and City Hall including the annual Chabad City Hall event where the historic Katowitz Menorah is lit.
This week’s Team Blumenfield Local Business Spotlight is Hansen’s Cakes in Tarzana. Located at 18432 Ventura Blvd, Hansen’s Cakes is a 7th generation family owned bakery that has been baking wonderful cakes and desserts for the people of Los Angeles since 1920. Patrick Hansen, the owner of Hansen’s Cakes, takes his family business very seriously:
“Baking is an art, cake is a creation,” said Mr. Hansen.
Hansen’s Cakes in Tarzana donates a portion of their sales to local high schools in need. They also donate their incredible confections to community events and generously gave to Blumenfield’s annual Holiday Open House Toy Drive.
Hansen’s Cakes in the West Valley has been the bakery countless Angelenos have turned to for anniversaries, birthdays, and many other important milestone celebrations. In addition to the Tarzana location, they are also have shops in Beverly Hills and Miracle Mile.
If you know a business that would like to be featured, please contact our Communications Deputy [email protected].
“GOLIATH” ID# A1824123- Goliath is only 3 years and he is a big love bug! He loves when you pet him -- listen to his joyful purrs! Goliath is a big talker too. He is living in the shelter's community cat room and is getting along very nicely with all his roommates. Handsome Goliath's name also fits him because he is a big boy - lots to cuddle all comfy! Goliath needs to be an indoor only cat, so he can stay safe always.
"Juniper” ID # A1829282- Juniper is a puppy only 4 months, with a very sweet nature. She weighs just 7 pounds now, so we think she will still be little, about 15 pounds, when she finishes growing. Juniper is looking for a home where she can find out that humans are nice!
Juniper will need quiet home and patience at the start. If you can help this his very sweet puppy, little Juniper will become your very loyal companion, because she will know it was you who gave her a chance and lots of love!
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 CD 3 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/.
Blumenfield and his staff have been going around the district to distribute all the toys collected at their annual Holiday Open House to children and organizations throughout the West Valley. This includes wonderful organizations like El Centro de Amistad, Canoga Park Early Education Center, Buonora Child Development Centers, Haven Hills, and Winnetka Park Childcare Center. Thanks for all they do for families and children in our community and for helping spreading holiday cheer. Below, Blumenfield joins the Winnetka Chamber of Commerce to help hand out toys especially for children with visual impairments.
Blumenfield helped celebrate the holidays at the Tarzana Community and Cultural Center’s Snowflake Festival. He said, “It was special to help ring in the holiday season with so many friends and along with the beautiful day in the West Valley, there was a hill of real snow for sledding. Thanks to Claire Bloom and the entire board of the Tarzana Community & Cultural Center, West Valley Warner Center Chamber of Commerce, and Jon Tsuchiyama for all the succulents and beautiful landscaping.”
Thanks to MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger for having Team Blumenfield at their Hanukkah Happy Hour in their inspiring 'This is Hunger' exhibition center. MAZON is a national anti-hunger advocacy organization that was inspired by Jewish values and ideals to safeguard vulnerable populations facing food insecurity.