Happy Holidays to everyone, and it was especially nice to see to the many community members who braved the cold weather who attended my outdoor holiday gathering/donations drive. The generosity of West Valley residents is unmatched and I extend my heartfelt thanks to all who donated items to those in need. Your non-perishable dry or canned goods will go directly to food insecure families thanks to our amazing local partner food banks- West Valley Food Pantry, Canoga Park Senior Citizen Center, and ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center. The donated new socks and gently used jackets and blankets will benefit our unsheltered neighbors. And, like previous years we will distribute the many donated toys to local nonprofits including Guadalupe Center, Kids Cancer Connection, NEW Economics for Women, El Salvador Foundation, Nueva Vision, and Family Resource Center. Lastly, the holiday cheer you helped spread while we were together continues to reverberate and lift our collective spirits.
As the holiday season continues, I know many of you are excited to celebrate with family and friends, but we must continue do so safely and remember that the COVID-19 virus is still around and the Omicron variant is lurking. Learn more about keeping safe and preventing spread here. Thank you for doing your part and helping reduce the risk of COVID-19 for family, friends, and everyone in the community.
Blumenfield is continuing his efforts to expand housing and shelter opportunities, and has been helping lead the City to adopt humane, constitutional laws that allow for encampment restrictions along certain critical corridors. Progress has been intensely slow, but over the past year there have been more transitional housing opportunities than people on CD3 streets (according to the last LAHSA Homeless Count in 2020) and on December 1, “41.18” ‘no encampment zones’ took effect at three key locations. The underpasses at Corbin and De Soto as well as the area surrounding Winnetka Park are now officially off-limits to encampments. The other 23 locations approved for 41.18 designation will follow shortly.
The goal is to move people indoors and onto a path toward permanent housing, targeting outreach teams at these specific locations so they can better connect with each person. This focus is key as we want people to really hear, trust, and understand both how life changing housing opportunities can be and how serious we are about keeping certain critical corridors free of encampments. Blumenfield and his team, along with several service providers, have talked with people at these locations over the course of the year and have been offering shelter to people at the 101 freeway locations repeatedly since the first ‘cabin communities’ opened in June. Please read his recent editorial from the Valley Vantage for more details.
Blumenfield is proud to congratulate the LA River Walkers and Watchers and the Reseda Neighborhood Council on each receiving $2,500 grants from the Beautify LA Grant Program. This grant program was created to support the efforts of community-based groups to enhance public spaces throughout Los Angeles. A total of 52 applications were received and The LA River Walkers and Watchers and Reseda NC successfully pitched their ideas to the Board of Public Works. The focus of the LA River Walkers and Watchers is the LA River Bike Path along the headwaters and the Reseda Neighborhood Council is the Valerio Street Pocket Park. Blumenfield thanks these two organizations for their commitment to improving the quality of life for residents of the West Valley.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is urging customers to stay vigilant with their water conservation as the State of California and the region are facing a severe water shortage. LADWP receives much of its water supply from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) which recently declared a regional drought emergency.
Blumenfield encourages residents and businesses to take advantage of several LADWP programs offering rebates and incentive programs that encourage water use efficiency. Incentives include a $400 high-efficiency clothes washer rebate, a $3-per-square-foot turf replacement rebate for residential and commercial customers, and technical assistance program incentive of up to $2 million for commercial customers to perform customized water saving improvements at their facilities. Visit www.ladwp.com/save for more information.
For the last 6 years, Team Blumenfield has led the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count in the West Valley and Blumenfield’s district office in Reseda has served as the hub for volunteers. Between Tuesday, January 25th to Thursday, January 27th, 2022, thousands of community members across the greater Los Angeles area will be counting their neighbors experiencing homelessness. The Count, which is mandated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is among our most important tools in addressing the homeless crisis as it creates the foundation necessary to build and target solutions. It helps determine the need, measure progress and focus delivery of services to where they’re needed most.
Team Blumenfield continues to help lead this effort and ensure that LAHSA has the most up to date numbers on the homelessness issue in the West Valley. If you are interested in volunteering and joining the count, please register here.
As you may have noticed, Caltrans is continuing demolition work to replace the concrete median barrier on the 101 between De Soto Ave and Winnetka Avenue in Woodland Hills. Motorists should expect delays and are strongly advised to avoid the area and use alternate routes.
Night work are as follows:
Blumenfield, along with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, joined NewFilmmakers LA in recognizing aspiring youth filmmakers from the West Valley and other parts of the City. Blumenfield has been a proud supporter of NewFilmmakers LA and their commitment to providing students with experience of working behind the scenes in the entertainment industry.
This week's photo from the Los Angeles Public Library's archives is from the Valley Times on December 18, 1962. Taken in Tarzana, holiday decorations are hung along Ventura Boulevard between Mecca and Wilbur Avenue. Learn more about this photo here.