Last week my staff and I were joined by dozens of community volunteers who gathered out of my district office and hundreds more who launched from other locations to go out at night and participate in the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s (LAHSA) Homeless Count. Together we drove up and down every street in the West Valley to count the homeless folks living in the area, because unless we measure the problem every year, we cannot truly know the success of our programs and policies to get people off the street.
Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to the 2020 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Homeless Count. We had a great turnout from folks who wanted to make a difference in the community and I thank each one of you for your assistance.
Addressing homelessness is one of my top priorities as your Councilmember. To learn more about my related initiatives, such as Safe Parking LA and our effort to help homeless people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction, please click here.
In response to the Barrington Plaza Fire, Blumenfield co-introduced a motion with Councilmember Mike Bonin to combat future fires by requiring sprinkler systems to be installed in older high-rise residential buildings. An exemption has been in place for decades allowing over 50 older residential buildings not to require sprinkler systems in its apartments. For too long, this exemption has threatened the lives of residents and of first responders.
This motion is the latest of Blumenfield's efforts to address fire safety and disaster preparedness in Los Angeles. In March 2020, Blumenfield's ordinance to require the installation of automatic sprinklers in existing townhouses undergoing large alterations will take effect, and Blumenfield also paved the way to mandate that developers use more fire-resistant building materials and practices.
With a now year-round fire season, the West Valley is increasingly prone to fires regardless of the cause and this legislation closes a critical loophole which has left our older buildings vulnerable. To learn more, click here
Important Update on Bothwell Ranch
On January 28, the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) approved the Bothwell family’s request to postpone the discussion about the historic designation of the Valley’s last commercial orange grove for 60 days. This delay is legally their prerogative. Councilmember Blumenfield will use this time to continue working with the family, the neighboring community, and other stakeholders to see if a plan can be developed for the future of this site that both preserves its critical history and allows the family to sell or develop its property. Once the historic designation discussion is held in PLUM, it will go to the full City Council for final approval.
Late last year the Cultural Heritage Commission agreed with Blumenfield that this 13 acre sliver of San Fernando Valley history was deserving of preservation. Their approval was a major hurdle. “Just because it is poised to earn protected status, doesn't mean that there won't be development. Rather, it ensures that there are guidelines so whatever may be built acknowledges the history of the site, and ideally also embraces the incredible groves,” Blumenfield said.
Blumenfield’s hope remains that at the end of the day, there is some sort of public access so the community can share in the Valley's history at the Bothwell Ranch. It is a unique time capsule and is the last remaining vestige of the rich commercial, agricultural origins of the Valley.
If you feel passionate about saving the Bothwell Ranch, please email [email protected] so he can keep you up-to-date as this effort moves forward. And, he encourages you to get involved with others who may want to find a creative alternative for the Bothwell family to pursue other than selling the land off for development. Such alternatives may very well require the investment of local stakeholders to make them into a reality. There should be a path forward that can preserve the integrity of this orange oasis that all might find acceptable.
On MLK Day, Blumenfield Remembers Reverend Martin Luther King Jr and His Dream
In memory of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Councilmember Blumenfield joined the African American Leadership Organization for their annual MLK Day Community Breakfast. Blumenfield joined Robert Winn, Yodit Abraha, Marlene Roulette and the staff of the Boys & Girls Club of San Fernando Valley (Official) in celebrating the spirit of unity.
Blumenfield remembered the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., celebrated all the activists who sacrificed everything for our civil rights, and recognized the countless leaders who were inspired by them to create a more just world. From the city’s homelessness emergency to the continued rise in racism and anti-Semitism locally and across the nation, Blumenfield believes it is imperative for leaders from Washington to Los Angeles to stand up and speak out. While the long Arc of history bends toward justice as MLK said, it takes all of us to pull it toward justice to make that happen.
Blumenfield and Community Assemble for Homelessness BoBCAT
On January 27, Councilmember Blumenfield and his staff organized the latest meeting of his Community Action Team (BobCAT) on Homelessness. Blumenfield gave opening remarks to the BobCAT, made up of community stakeholders vested in addressing homelessness in the West Valley.
During the meeting, Blumenfield introduced Emily Kantrim, regional manager for Safe Parking LA, who provided updates on the program and its reach. Safe Parking LA converts parking lots into overnight parking locations for homeless folks living out of their cars. Rather than parking in residential areas or unsafe commercial and industrial zones, Safe Parking LA provides individuals with greater sense of safety and security so they can get the sleep they need. With improved sleep, homeless folks can concentrate better in the day and have a greater chance at picking themselves up from their dire situation. Click here for a video about Blumenfield's Safe Parking Lot.
Blumenfield also introduced Jenna Hauss, Director of One Generation Senior Center based in Reseda. Jenna works closely with seniors who have or are close to falling into homelessness and has created a number of programs to assist seniors during their most troubling times. An ounce of prevention, as the proverbial saying goes, is worth a pound of cure.
Blumenfield is proud that his BobCAT on Homelessness is connecting West Valley residents to homelessness solutions at the local levels. To learn more about how Blumenfield is addressing homelessness in the West Valley, please click here.
Blumenfield Opens Connecting Warner Center Workshop, Innovative Program to Address Transportation Needs
With all of the growth allowed by the Warner Center 2035 Plan, the City will need to be more innovative in mobility options to prevent traffic nightmares. Councilmember Blumenfield, the Mayor’s Office, and the Warner Center Association recently organized Connecting Warner Center, a workshop to discuss microtransit options, automated vehicles, and many other exciting initiatives that can help free up traffic congestion. Blumenfield welcomed various City Departments and community stakeholders, including the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the Warner Center Woodland Hills Neighborhood Council, and the Warner Center Transit Management Organization, Warner Connects.
“As we prepare for the future with the Warner Center 2035 Plan, addressing transit gaps in the area is our logical next step," said Blumenfield. "Warner Center is the downtown for the West San Fernando Valley and is home to about 18,000 Angelenos and 50,000 employees. We need to find better and more innovative ways to connect residents and businesses with more transit options. The Metro Warner Center Shuttle that I helped establish two years ago was a good start."
By gathering input from various community stakeholders on how to reduce traffic while building capacity in the area, Blumenfield is making sure everyone is present in this important discussion about Warner Center’s future.
Team Blumenfield has been at the forefront of implementing the Warner Center 2035 Plan and in 2018 established the Plan Implementation Board to guarantee community leaders have a voice in its actualization. To learn more about this board and the exciting discussions taking place, click here.
Local Business Spotlight: Beers N Wings Sports Bar & Grill
If you're looking for a fun spot to hangout and enjoy excellent food and beverages with friends and family, Beers N Wings Sports Bar & Grill in Winnetka is your kind of place. With high definition big-screen TVs lining the walls, Arbi and his staff offer an extensive menu of appetizers, salads, burgers, pizzas, wraps, sandwiches, tacos, desserts, and, yes, wings, from mild, sweet teriyaki to burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth "nuclear buffalo." And check out their wide selection of craft and draft beers, wines, and soft drinks. Die-hard sports fans and non-sports enthusiasts rejoice; you all have a reason to celebrate at Beers N Wings!
210141 Roscoe Blvd, Winnetka CA 91306
Make your Opinion Count about Safe Sidewalks LA
The Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) for the Sidewalk Repair Program is now available for public review and comment. If you would like a hard copy, it can be found for review at these locations. The electronic copies are available as well here.
The Sidewalk Repair Program wants your feedback! Comments may be submitted via this link or by email at [email protected] with “SRP DEIR” in the subject line. Please be sure to submit your comments before Monday, February 24, 2020 to make sure your opinion is heard.
Brand New Voting System Rolling Out Soon for LA
On March, the LA County Registrar will roll out its new voting system which for the first time allows voters to cast a ballot in-person at any vote center in the County. Vote centers will be more accessible than ever before and allow folks to come in and submit their ballot at any point during 11 days. To learn more about LA's new voting system, be sure to visit LA County Registrar's Website here.
Metro to Hold Community Workshops for NextGen Bus Plan
Metro is holding two public workshops in the Valley to listen to your thoughts and concerns about the future of LA's Metro bus system. According to the NextGen Bus Plan, Metro promises to run heavily-used lines more frequently throughout the day and into the evening and to pay for this by reducing portions of lines with low ridership.Read more about the NextGen Bus Plan here.
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Marvin Braude Constituent Center
6262 Van Nuys Blvd,
Van Nuys, CA 91401
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Rose Goldwater Community Center
21710 Vanowen St,
Canoga Park, CA 91303
LA Conservation Corps: Cleanups in Action:
The LA Conservation Corps is working hard to make a difference in the West Valley. One of their recent projects was servicing a request at the corner of Cantlay St and Darbey Ave. Blumenfield has provided space for the Corps in his West Valley office to encourage the inclusion of local young people on projects in the district and he set aside special funding from his budget to make their local work possible. Together they have been doing cleanups through the District.
Be Prepared for the Mass Notification Evacuation Exercise on Feb 1, 2020
West Valley Animal Shelter Pets of the Week
Historic West Valley: First High-Rise in Warner Center
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 1981 and shows a patch of farmland next to the first high-rise in what is now Warner Center. To learn more about this photo and use the digital photo archive, click the link here.
Blumenfield joins West Valley community leaders at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Tarzana Sinai-Cedars on 18133 Ventura Blvd.
Blumenfield provided a bus to Nestle Ave Charter Elementary School in Tarzana so 65 students could go on a field trip to Calabasas High School/MET Theater Production. To learn how to request bus transportation from Councilmember Blumenfield for your nonprofit, school or senior organization in the West Valley, click here.
As part of LASan's Shade LA Tree Planting initiative, new trees were planted on Reseda Blvd between the 101 and Orange Line.
Blumenfield joined the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization for their annual State of the Valley.