February 25, 2022

For years my staff and I have helped lead the West Valley's portion of the annual LAHSA Homeless Count and this week we resumed the effort that had been disrupted by COVID-19 last year.  You can’t fix what you can’t measure. These results help dictate how much/what type of resources we get to address homelessness, so this effort is critical.

We recently hit an important milestone in the West Valley as right now there are no people living in the 101 underpasses throughout the Third District. If you have been through an underpass recently you may have noticed new signs that prohibit encampments in these locations. With these signs up, we are now able to better enforce the §41.18 no encampment restrictions that became law last year. Enforcement will improve as workers and police receive additional training. Not too long ago, there were many unhoused people and tents, but the people have been given shelter and thus both their suffering and the local nuisance issues cause by encampments have been greatly reduced. This has been a longtime community goal, to provide better alternatives to people than sheltering under the 101 and impeding passage of a critical corridor. By creating those better alternatives, we are moving toward keeping these locations and other designated places clear and passable. 

I’m continuing to grow services and housing opportunities to build on the unprecedented resources and humane laws on the books that are helping keep major public rights of way clear. Our next step is creating more interim and permanent housing to bring people indoors, provide the services they need to stay off the street, and deliver solutions with urgency to address the crisis. Read more about my efforts and watch our Homeless Count recap.

As always feel free to send me questions and comments at [email protected] or call my district office at 818.774.4330.


Lifting Indoor Masking for Fully Vaccinated Customers and Workers

As of today, LA County Department of Public Health has modified the Health Officer Order to allow establishments, businesses, and venues verifying vaccination status to offer optional masking for fully vaccinated individuals. Businesses and other establishments are not required to stop masking and if they prefer, they can continue to require indoor masking for all customers and employees. More information can be found here.

In some places, masks are still required to be worn by everyone, 2 years of age and older, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status due to federal or state requirements: 

  • On public transportation,
  • In transportation hubs
  • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare and other youth settings
  • Healthcare settings, including long-term care settings
  • Correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers

Safer Streets in the West Valley

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to lower speed limits in key corridors. Thanks to a new law from Assemblymember Laura Friedman, California cities now have a limited ability to reduce speed limits on certain streets that are unsafe and where speed limits were recently increased. In the Third District, several streets will have a speed limit reduction including sections of Victory, Valley Circle, Vanowen, Reseda, Winnetka, Corbin and Lindley. With reckless speeding at an all-time high, this is truly needed. In the future, AB43 will give the City additional authority to reduce speed limits on other groups of streets. Read more about the new law here.

Blumenfield recently launched a Street Racing Task Force for more targeted enforcement in CD3 and he continues to push for more speed humps and other infrastructure solutions designed to deter speeding and organized racing. More needs to be done, but progress is happening. 

Join the EARTH Community Action Team (BobCAT)

Councilmember Blumenfield invites you to a virtual meeting on March 1st at 6pm to learn more about his new Community Action Team (BobCAT) called Each Action Restores The Habitat (E.A.R.T.H.). Blumenfield's goal is to create a network of active community leaders to help make the Third District a greener place. The BobCAT will be meeting regularly to share updates, workshop solutions, partner on projects, and receive support from the Councilmember and staff.  It is one of many BobCATs that Blumenfield has set up to focus on a particular issue or problem. Other BobCATs focus on Domestic Violence, Emergency Preparedness, Economic Development, and Homelessness.

Working as a team the E.A.R.T.H. BobCAT will help the Councilmember stay informed on local environmental issues. Additionally, the BobCAT will help the Council Office create guides to share with the public including step-by-step ways to help the environment. Like all BobCATs, they will be focused on, as the name implies, “community action.”   

For more information, please contact Tim Glick at [email protected].

LA Conservation Corps is Hiring

Councilmember Blumenfield’s partnership with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) continues to deliver results. Young Corpsmembers work hard each day to keep our communities clean and in 2021, Blumenfield’s dedicated LA Corps Team out of his District Office in Reseda collected 108,561 pounds of trash, removed over 1,735 illegally dumped items, and maintained 534 trees. If you see unmitigated greenery, excess trash, bulky items, etc, call 818.774.4330 or email [email protected] and we'll send a team out.  

LACC is hiring! This incredible organization is the largest urban conservation corps in the United States. From building parks to cleaning up communities, they offer wonderful opportunities, especially for at-risk young adults and students. Learn more here.

Join an LA100 Equity Strategies Community Meeting

In March 2021, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the groundbreaking Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (LA100), which found that LA can achieve reliable, 100% renewable power as early as 2035. To ensure a just and equitable transition to 100% clean energy in Los Angeles, LADWP is hosting virtual community meetings on February 26 and March 3 to gain feedback from customers and community members. Learn more and register here.

Closing Out Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, the Museum of the San Fernando Valley is hosting a Speaker Series this Saturday, February 26 highlighting the history of African Americans. As early as the 1920s, African Americans began coming to the San Fernando Valley. Redlining and racial covenants prevented Blacks from living in most Valley areas. Sign up for the presentation here.

Historic West Valley

This week's photo from the Los Angeles Public Library's archives is from the Valley Times on April 2, 1962. Pictured above is Topanga Canyon Blvd in Canoga Park being widened to accomodate population growth in the area. Learn more about this photo here.