On September 4, the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve Councilmember Blumenfield’s ordinance that will improve peace officers’ ability to prevent trespassing in regions called Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (Zones) that are at risk to ignite during a brush fire. It will allow a peace officer to tell trespassers in these zones to leave. Until now the City’s fire code required a sign to be posted every 600 feet before a peace officer could give notice to persons that they need to leave. Meeting these posting requirements for the entire Zone would be unrealistic to commit to, especially in remote areas of the City at risk for brush fires.
"From Eagle Rock to the Santa Monica Mountains, we've had two local fires within the last week alone. High Fire Severity Zones are at constant risk of burning and the last thing I want to see is anyone harmed or killed, especially when it could have been prevented,” said Blumenfield. “Thanks to Councilwoman Rodriguez for seconding a motion and ushering it through the Public Safety Committee and City Attorney Feuer for helping forge this idea. With climate change the year-long fire season is our new reality and we need to do everything we can to make sure that we are implementing policies that help keep people safe."
The new law applies to any and all trespassers. Individuals removed from the restricted Zone will be connected to outreach and housing services if needed. The Mayor has highlighted how enforcement will be stepped up depending on fire probability. To read the motion, ordinance,and learn more, click here.
Joined by members of Sebastian Montero’s family and friends, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield unveiled the first new memorial street sign to remember bicyclists who died in traffic crashes while warning drivers of the importance of sharing the road. This program stemmed from a conversation between Blumenfield and LAPD Senior Lead Officer Duke Dao about a similar program on state highways for traffic victims.
This inaugural sign memorializes Sebastian Montero, a 15 year old killed on April 1, 2018, after a car crashed into him while he was riding his bike with a friend. The ceremony was held exactly 18 months after his death at the same time of the crash.
His mother, Ms. Montero said, “My son’s life was taken by someone who was driving too fast because he wanted to get to where he was going just a few seconds faster. And it’s not just his life that was destroyed. It’s my life, my husband’s life and the lives of so many of his friends- for a few seconds saved.”
According to LAPD, last year there were ten bike fatalities in the San Fernando Valley with 461 traffic collisions that involved bicyclists. So far in 2019, there have been four bike fatalities in the Valley and almost 300 collisions.
Recently LADOT and Vision Zero rolled out a similar program to remember victims of traffic fatalities by installing ‘rainbow halos’ at the sites of fatal traffic crashes in partnership with victims' families and the group SoCal Families for Safe Streets. People who want to honor a loved one killed in a traffic crash in the City of Los Angeles with a city-installed memorial should visit their web page to learn how to request a Roadside Memorial Sign or Rainbow Halo.
With all of the buildings going up in the Warner Center who is making sure we don't get overwhelmed by congestion and other negative impacts? The Warner Center 2035 Plan mandates that developers pay into a fund that is expected to help fund more that $180 million worth of mitigation and it is the Warner Center Plan Implementation Board (WC 2035 PIB) that is charged with working with the community to prioritize needed improvements.
Last November, Councilmember Blumenfield formally convened the WC 2035 PIB to help bring needed infrastructure and aesthetic improvements to Warner Center. The goal of this advisory body is to help make the Warner Center a vibrant Transit Oriented District based upon sustainability, community connectedness, aesthetics, accessible public transit, and a safe and friendly pedestrian environment.
The PIB consists of nine appointed local stakeholders including Freddy Carillo, Rick Gable, Corinne Ho, Sheppard Kaufman, Alexander Rakul, John Walker, Esq. who are led by Paul Lawler, President, Molly Unger, Vice President, and Joyce Fletcher, Secretary. The Board was designed to include people who also serve as representatives on the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council, the Canoga Park Neighborhood Council, the Woodland Hills Home Owners Association, the Warner Center Association, the West Valley Warner Center Chamber of Commerce, and many other community organizations so that its work would be connected to stakeholder organizations.
The PIB has been discussing recommendations for the first year work program which will identify improvements and projects to start soon.
The next step for the PIB is launching of the Neighborhood Protection Program (NPP) which will be focused on identifying and finding creative solutions to the Plan’s impacts such as increased traffic in the neighborhoods that surround Warner Center’s borders. The NPP Subcommittee will begin meeting later this year, and stakeholder and neighborhood engagement is encouraged.
The WC 2035 PIB meets on a quarterly basis and all meetings are open to everyone and publicly noticed; the Board next meets in November. For future WC 2035 PIB agendas are more information about the PIB, please use this link on Blumenfield’s website.
Too often, because it is the County government that is charged with providing addiction and mental health services, the City does not engage with service providers. However, Blumenfield recognized that these issues are inextricably related to homelessness and was happy to welcome recovery professionals brought together by Tarzana Treatment Centers's Dr. Jose Salazar and Nyabingi Kuti for their "Forum on Medications for Addiction Treatment and Homelessness" at City Hall.
Solutions for these complex problems require collaboration and that is why Blumenfield recently partnered with staff from Providence Medical Centers and Tarzana Treatment Center (TTC) to create a program that helps drug addicted and mentally ill homeless people get off the streets and turn their lives around. This program trains patient navigators in the ER’s to be prepared to connect with homeless persons who enter facilities when they are at rock bottom. In collaboration with TTC, this program offers first rate treatment combined with transitional housing, job networking, and eventually permanent supportive housing. This program is showing encouraging results with about 40% of people with Substance Abuse issues accepting some kind of treatment. This is a far greater success rate than when outreach workers approach people on the street. To learn more abt this effort, and many of his other homelessness initiatives, please click here.
At the forum, Blumenfield and others also learned how to administer Narcan, a life-saving medication that can prevent someone from dying from an overdose. Blumenfield is committed to learning more about drug addiction services, tools to help those in need, and collaborating with more medical professionals to save lives and give people a new start.
As your Councilmember, I believe that government must be about empowering people.
Government must be interactive with leaders, actively listening and seeking feedback from the community. Just as the City of Los Angeles relies on numerous commissions of appointees to help it govern, I have created and rely on my own. Community Action Teams, BobCATs for short. A single district in Los Angeles is more populous than 99% of cities in America.
I know first-hand how transformative the experience of programs which provide youth real opportunities, and a platform for leadership can be for an individual. Having your voice heard is a powerful thing. My time as a youth journalist with Children’s Express gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I want young people to be an integral part of my team, helping shape policy and develop projects. Youth BobCAT members have all the same responsibilities as adult BobCAT members.
The Youth BobCAT is a means for you to learn about the functions of government as well as have first-hand experience contributing to the City’s future. This is not an internship where young people work and learn in the office along with my staff. This is an opportunity to help lead on projects and activities of the Youth BobCAT. This BobCAT relies on the ingenuity and proactive enthusiasm you bring as that is what shapes it.
The first Youth BobCAT starts this October and is free to join or leave at any time. There will be periodic meetings set around your schedule. Please contact Cameron Gil at [email protected] or 213-473-7003 to join.
On Saturday, September 7th at 6:00pm, bring your friends and family to Hero Night: my summer sidewalk officer hours featuring the City's heroes, our first responders.
Feel free to come with questions for me, then take a picture by a fire engine or disaster command station and enjoy free BBQ grilled by firefighters.
Then at 8:00pm, join me for a free screening of Incredibles 2 right in the park.
Please RSVP today, share on social media, and prepare to join in on the fun.
The 4th annual Blumenfield #ResedaRising Art Walk is right around the corner. Please join me and the 11:11 A Creative Collective on Saturday, September 21 from 5pm-10pm at Sherman Way and Lindley Ave. and enjoy some local art, music and diverse cuisines. This unique event brings thousands of Angelenos to the West Valley and it’s special to help make this celebration come to life.
RSVP here TODAY
There are so many great local restaurants in the West Valley, each with their own story that contribute to make the West Valley the best community in LA. I enjoy visiting amazing local restaurants like The Brothers Sushi to meet the owners, learn how to help them as their elected representative and celebrate their culinary accomplishments. Thank you Mark Okuda for welcoming me back to your restaurant, The Brothers Sushi. If you are looking for high-quality sushi rolls, this is an excellent choice. Located off of Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills, The Brothers Sushi is worth a visit. Be sure to visit their website here.
The Brothers Sushi
21418 Ventura Blvd,
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
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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/.