As millions of Angelenos have received COVID-19 vaccinations, I’m very grateful that those of us who are vaccinated are finally at a place where we can have a safe, event filled summer with friends, family and neighbors. If you are not vaccinated, please get vaccinated as soon as possible or you may face serious risks.
It’s so exciting to share that the Blumenfield July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza is happening!
Once again, it’s wonderful to be partnering with the Valley Cultural Foundation on this great annual tradition. On July 4, from 6-9:30pm, join me and thousands of Angelenos at Warner Center Park for live music, food from over 20 local restaurants, many unique local vendors, topped off with an incredible fireworks show. It’s one of the best displays in the region so please come out and have a wonderful time with us.
Also, every Sunday evening throughout the summer, come enjoy even more great live music events with the VCF’s free Concerts at Warner Park series. After the past year and half, we can all use some fun and as more summer events are announced, I’ll make sure to share them here and on my social media.
We should not take lightly how great an achievement this return to in person events is. The last eighteen months have been hard on all of us. So many families lost loved ones, folks continue to suffer from the long-term ramifications of COVID-19, and many holidays and special events were missed.
As we celebrate summer, let’s not forget those we have lost and suffered, and give thanks to the essential workers, health care workers, and scientists whose hard work made this return to normalcy possible.
Last week Councilmember Blumenfield joined friends from Providence Cedar Sinai Medical Center as the first completed public benefit project from their $540 million expansion was unveiled- a brand new traffic/pedestrian signal on Burbank Blvd., between Reseda Blvd. and the 101 freeway.
When they met with Blumenfield at the start of this project, these sorts of infrastructure improvements were not the only community partnerships that were agreed upon. Together with Tarzana Treatment Center, Providence and Blumenfield launched an innovative drug treatment/mental health program for unhoused Angelenos that continues to get the most vulnerable on the West Valley streets into life-saving services.
Many more improvements will be made around the hospital to improve traffic and pedestrian safety. Set to be completed in October of 2022, the new facilities are taking shape with more updates to come as other projects are completed.
More than any recent issue, Councilmember Blumenfield received the most calls and emails about the homeless situations around the Bowlero and Corbin underpass. He’s met with the people there several times during his regular homeless outreach, he continues to speak with law enforcement about various issues at those locations, and he continues to work with local homeless services providers to continue engaging with people experiencing homelessness (PEH) so they receive needed services. While providing more interim housing than ever, Blumenfield would need support for his proposals that would help address street maintenance issues around these sorts of encampments. Please read his recent editorial from the Valley Vantage about what is being done.
Last week, the City Council approved moving forward to draft an ordinance that will ban the sale of various flavored tobacco products, including vapes. A major hit to big tobacco, this effort was supported by a plethora of health advocates, clergy and community advocates. This move aims to stop the sale of tobacco products that are often advertised and targeted to youth like bubble gum and fruit flavored vapes and cigars. This would also include products like flavored liquid used in e-cigarettes that are often cited as teen’s first exposure to nicotine.
“I’m proud that we took this critical step toward further addressing this longstanding public health crisis,” said Blumenfield. “The evidence is clear, flavored tobacco has hooked many kids into nicotine addiction and for the health of future generations, it needs to stop.”
The traditional Shisha flavored tobacco that is smoked in Hookah lounges where only those 21 or older are permitted was not included in this ban. However, menthol flavoring, whether in cigarettes or vapes, was included in the ban.
Similar bans are already in place in nearby cities like West Hollywood and Long Beach.
If you have any questions, concerns, or are curious about what Cabin Communities are, come take a tour and see this facility for yourself. Set to open in just over a week, this is the second Cabin Community Councilmember Blumenfield and Hope of the Valley have opened in the Third Council District for unhoused people on West Valley streets.
Just go to this link to schedule a tour.
Recently Councilmember Blumenfield joined Diana Williams and the West Valley Chamber of Commerce to connect with local business owners about reopening the economy. Throughout the pandemic, Blumenfield worked with many small businesses and nonprofits to provide resources to those struggling. Resources included grants, utility and rent support, cutting red tape, and lifting onerous restrictions- but many are still hurting. As Los Angeles reopens, please shop local when you can and help continue to lift up and support the many unique stores and restaurants in the West Valley.
If you are a local business owner, please join Councilmember Blumenfield for a forum on the future of retail and restaurants. The panel will include Theodora Trindle, Planning and Development Manager for the Mayor's Office of Economic Development; John Saffell, owner of Nicola's Kitchen; Ryan Selvin from Westfield; and Celeste Ramos from Pacific Coast Regional- Small Business Development Center. Together, they'll discuss the reopening of the economy and various issues facing local businesses.
This week's photo from the Los Angeles Public Library's archives was taken in 1964 at the corner of Owensmouth and Sherman Way in Canoga Park where Warren Dorn, LA County Supervisor; Sharon Wolcott, Miss Canoga Park; and James Ross, president of the Canoga Park Camber of Commerce launched a beautification project.
Since Blumenfield became Chair of the City’s Public Works Committee, his goals have included getting Public Works back to pre-recession levels of resources and staffing and focusing on proactive measures to create and sustain a healthy urban tree canopy. This includes conducting a thorough tree inventory; increasing tree trimming, dead tree removal and root pruning to ensure safe sidewalks; and creating jobs for more Targeted Local Hire workers instead of contracting out work which is often less cost effective.