On November 29, Councilmember Blumenfield rung in the season with his annual Holiday Open House and Toy Drive. Several hundred residents and friends joined him at his District Office in Reseda to donate toys for kids in need and supplies for organizations who assist the homeless. They also celebrated with holiday music, food and cheer.
“It is especially important during the holiday season to think about how we can help and bring joy to folks who are struggling,” said Blumenfield. “By giving toys to kids who need a smile or providing food to someone who is hungry, or toiletries, blankets and other things to someone who is struggling, we can help spread holiday cheer.”
Over the next few weeks, Team Blumenfield will be going to schools, community organizations and shelters to distribute toys and goods to local people in need including at the Guadalupe Center in Canoga Park, the West Valley Food Pantry, the Boys and Girls Club of the West Valley, and the LAFD’s ‘Spark of Love’ program.
Blumenfield thanks Safir Mediterranean Cuisine, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Hansens Tarzana, and in Woodland Hills for offering amazing food, and Lawrence Lebo Entertainment for fantastic holiday tunes.
Blumenfield with community member including Felica Paust and her parents, Lucie Bolopsky, Diana Williams, Ronen Saruri, Florine Goodman, Tess Reyes-Dunn, Jeanette Capaldi,Ted Cotter, Sandy Rosenholz and Heather Blake. Photo Credit: Mark Haberman.
Blumenfield with Mark for R.B. Towing in Reseda and the firefighters from F.S. 73 as they dropped off truckloads of toys for underprivileged West Valley kids.
On November 15, Councilmember Blumenfield hosted a community open house to introduce residents to the proposed Reseda Blvd. Street Improvement Project which will bring much needed infrastructure upgrades to the West Valley. The City has allocated over $17 million for the upgrades on Reseda Blvd. alone. Blumenfield has secured an additional $3 million in funding for the Sherman Way Great Street project.
“During the past decade, over 50 people have been killed or severely injured while traveling on Reseda Blvd.,” said Blumenfield. “About half of these people were walking or riding a bike. That is unacceptable and we must take every step we can to make these streets safe, more efficient, and accessible for all.”
Dozens of community members learned about the proposals and chimed in about what should be done. The discussions included increasing accessibility for persons with disabilities, adding new left-turn signals and safer crosswalks, implementing more bus boarding islands, closing the dangerous bike lane gap in between Vanowen and Valerio, and improving Metro transit connections, additional landscaping and shade-providing tree canopy, and a proposed bike route along Hart Street and Etiwanda Avenue.
“As we plan to make traffic safer, we have an opportunity to also make the valley greener,” Blumenfield added. “One of the best ways to conserve resources is to develop rainwater runoff filters that go directly into the soil to water our trees.”
At the open house, community members spoke with subject matter experts on various portions of both proposals to gain a better understanding of how this initiative fits into the bigger picture of improving mobility in the Valley.
Both projects would also improve access to community destinations such as 14 senior centers, 11 public schools, 12 service-oriented businesses and 4 parks. The improvements will benefit tens of thousands of Angelenos every day who use these streets to drive, take transit, walk or bike to work, school, shops, parks and other destinations.
The City Council recently passed regulations concerning Street Vending in Los Angeles. Though the City had been working on creating a regulatory framework for the past few years, a recent state bill (SB 946) severely limited our ability to enact crucial local control measures and legalize it starting January 1st. We needed to act quickly to ensure that sensible regulations within the scope of the state imposed limitations were on the books that both legitimized micro-entrepreneurs and maintained order, safety and cleanliness of our sidewalks. Rules that don’t cause issues at popular sites and parks around Los Angeles. It is also vital that the new regulations are enforceable and that compliance does not overburden the vendors.
Essentially the new law creates rules about where vendors can safely locate; including restrictions on where they can vend such as the Hollywood Bowl, Venice Beach or the Walk of Fame. If vendors are selling goods where they are not allowed, they will be subject to fines from the Department of Street Services. Over the next year, a new city-wide permitting process will be established that will allow vendors to reserve specific locations. There are still many issues to be solidified, such as the cost of permits and fines, but I am proud that Los Angeles will no longer be the only major American city without legal Street Vending.
Thanks to Councilmembers Curren D. Price, Jr. and Mitch O'Farrell for their shared leadership on shepherding this issue. Over the past few months we have held several joint committees meetings so we could have regulations by the beginning of next year.
Our ‘Local Business’ spotlight is Copier Headquarters located in Woodland Hills. Copier Headquarters opened in 1998 in Tarzana, moved to Westlake Village in 2001, and back to the West Valley five years ago. For the past 20 years, Copier Headquarters has offered excellent office support to businesses throughout the West Valley and many other communities. From routine maintenance, to copier and laser printer assistance to specialized IT service requests, Copier Headquarters has provided important services to countless businesses in need of technical support.
When asked how working in the West Valley has helped their business, their controller Tom Chacko said that the community “offers us an incredible opportunity for growth. With its large infrastructure of business establishments and unique client base we have opened up numerous business channels and new client relationships that would have never existed from our former location in southern Ventura County.”
In addition to serving the business community, Copier Headquarters gives back to non-profits such as Operation Gratitude—an organization whose mission is to send a care package to every American who serves. Operation Gratitude has sent over 2 million care packages and plans to deliver another 20,000 care packages to deployed troops this holiday season. Copier Headquarters is a shining example of how a business can help our economy grow while giving back to those in need of recognition. Blumenfield also attended their recent 20th anniversary celebration.
If you know a business that would like to be featured, please contact our Communications Deputy[email protected].
Blumenfield with Copier CEO Dan Strull at their 20th Anniversary party.
"BINX" (ID# A1822881) is delightfully sociable and sweet! Always friendly and curious, Binx comes right up to greet you when you stop by his shelter cage and visit him. Binx is 3 years, already neutered, and ready to go fill your holidays and your home for years to come with his love, playfulness and lots of pets and cuddles! Please, Binx needs to stay indoors only, so he can be safe always!
"MAX" (ID# A1758003), a 3-year-old Terrier who is so handsome and people-loving that you can't help but join in his big bright happy smiles. Max is 30 pounds, active and playful. He enjoys walks with you, and walks well on his leash. Come adopt Max and let this super friendly and cheerful cutie light up your life!
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/.
On November 14, Councilmember Blumenfield joined the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition (LACBC) to give away bike lights that they had purchased for riders in the West Valley as part of an Operation Firefly event. LACBC regularly hosts these events around the region to promote safe biking. Blumenfield has helped organize them near the West Valley’s busiest bikeways, especially along the Orange Line. Above Blumenfield is with his son Obi and Zach Rynew, Communications and Volunteer Coordinator, LACBC.
Councilmember Blumenfield declared November 28 ‘spcaLA Day’ in the City of Los Angeles in recognition of their 141 years of service to the welfare of animals throughout the region. This pioneering organization was originally chartered to end the abuse of “buggy” horses and expanded to include cases of child abuse. They continue to offer dynamic programming to enrich the lives of underserved residents such as at-risk youth and domestic violence survivors. Today they even have official ‘humane officers’ who are appointed by the state to investigate cases of animal cruelty. Below, meet Mitzi! She joined the council celebration and will be adoptable next week.