As we mark the two year anniversary of the first COVID-19 Los Angeles Safer at Home order, I’d like to reflect on the incredible resilience in our community as well as the unbearable heartache that many families have faced. In March 2020 we experienced unprecedented restrictions, and the closure of schools and businesses. We upended our lives to reduce risks as hospitals became overrun. And two years later, I’m still in awe of our doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who saved lives in our community.
I’ll never forget the first cases at Providence Tarzana, advice from the doctors and nurses, and how we mobilized my Emergency Preparedness Community Action Team (BobCAT) to get PPE to local hospitals and senior homes. As your Councilmember, I tried to help with everything I could, including distributing tens of thousands of masks and setting up testing sites in Warner Center at Anthem and at Pierce College (which later administered 80,000 vaccines). The City Council took many steps to help businesses survive and keep people housed, including our $50M small business grant program, broad renter protections, and cutting red tape to help local restaurants. I will continue to examine the City's COVID-19 policies to determine which should be continued and which can be relaxed.
We must remain vigilant and try to keep each other safe, but there are signs of hope. Cases locally have been declining due to vaccinations and masks. We are on the road to recovery. Public health requirements have eased, but private businesses can continue to ask that folks wear a mask indoors or show proof of vaccination.
As always feel free to send me questions and comments at [email protected] or call my district office at 818.774.4330.
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously supported Blumenfield’s efforts to launch a large-scale pilot program providing free menstrual hygiene products in 30 city restrooms beginning in April. The ‘Menstrual Products Program’ (MPP) pilot will make hygiene products readily available in public facilities to reduce the financial burden for women and step towards hygiene equity. Women in the United States face economic disparities and inequities compared to their male counterparts, including the costs associated with basic hygiene such as menstrual care. There is little choice but to spend on average $150 to $300 a year on menstrual hygiene products.
Whether for a young woman who finds herself in an unexpected situation or for a person who cannot afford to purchase supplies, Blumenfield hopes this motion will help remove the stigma some associate with menstruation and provide hygiene products to those who need them.
The 30 restrooms in which as part of this pilot are located at key public libraries including:
On April 6 at 2pm, the Upper Los Angeles River Watershed Area Steering Committee (ULAR WASC) will meet to decide which projects will receive funding in their 2022-23 Stormwater Investment Plan. That Plan is funded by Measure W, a special property tax we all pay to clean and capture stormwater. One project being considered is the LA River Green Infrastructure Project. This $31.8 million project will add bioswales and tree wells to create landscaping and shade while diverting rain from storm drains in every neighborhood along the Los Angeles River in the West Valley--on Independence Avenue in Canoga Park, on Winnetka Avenue in Winnetka, at Wilbur/Victory on the border of Reseda and Tarzana; next to Reseda Park; and on White Oak in Encino. It will also include less visible underground structures to divert some polluted water runoff to the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in the Sepulveda Basin for treatment and use. In short, the project will reduce localized flooding, green the community, create beautiful outdoor spaces, and remove pollutants from the LA River. If approved for funding, design work could begin as early as 2023 and construction could begin in 2025. But we need your help to ensure that your tax dollars are spent on this local project.
There are two ways you can show your support for this project:
Renters and landlords who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 can still receive financial assistance from the State. The State of California’s “Housing is Key” Rent Relief Program will end its application period on March 31 at 5pm. The program provides free financial assistance to renters who need help with unpaid rent or utilities due to COVID-19. Apply online or call (833) 430-2122.
Over the weekend family, friends, and community members gathered at Warner Ranch Park to celebrate the life of Nora Ross. Blumenfield was honored to speak at the Celebration of Life to share wonderful memories, and in Council he adjourned in her memory.
Blumenfield is truly grateful for Nora and all of the incredible work she has done as the CEO of the Valley Cultural Foundation and before that, at the Canoga Park-West Hills Chamber of Commerce. Without Nora’s fortitude, her persistence to innovate and push boundaries, her no-nonsense approach to networking and outreach, her determination to make sure everything proceeds according to plan, and even her willingness to sleep in her office behind the sound stage to make sure that chairs and equipment are delivered on time, Warner Center Park, the home of Valley Cultural Foundation, would be just another park. She touched the lives of countless Angelenos, particularly in the West San Fernando Valley, and Nora will be greatly missed.
The Canoga Park Neighborhood Council is encouraging all interested community members to apply for open board positions. Neighborhood Councils are advisory bodies elected by those who live, work, or own property or a business in the community that a Council represents, and they donate their time and service as volunteers to make their neighborhoods better.
Bring home forever love, smiles, purrs and wags -- come adopt a shelter pet. This weekend on Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27, LA Animal Services is teaming up with North Shore Animal League America for Tour for Life 2022 – the world’s largest national cooperative, life-saving pet adoption event – in partnership with Rachael Ray® Nutrish®. Adoption fees for dogs will be $51 and $75 for puppies (not including license).
You can view the wonderful pets who are ready to meet you and are available for adoption in our Centers by going to laanimalservices.com/adopt.
Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of LA (JBBBSLA) proudly highlights an exceptional mentoring match in their new series, The Big Story. When Jeremy and Kymani were introduced in 2018, the two hit it off immediately, sharing similar interests including a love of animals, the outdoors, and Dodger baseball! As Kymani enters his pre-teen years, Jeremy has proven to be a grounding presence, steady and patient, and Kymani has thrived in the relationship. Matches like Kymani and Jeremy showcase the power of mentoring. To learn more about what it means to be a Big, visit https://www.jbbbsla.org/mentorship/#volunteer
Last week, Blumenfield joined local representatives from all over the country at the League of Cities Congressional Conference in Washington, DC. While in DC, Blumenfield met and heard from federal representatives who highlighted opportunities to leverage federal funding to improve transportation and infrastructure projects.
Blumenfield joined the Persian-Angeleno community at MTO Shahmaghsoudi in Reseda to celebrate Nowruz. The San Fernando Valley is home to our City's largest and most vibrant Persian communities and Blumenfield always loves partnering with MTO.
This week, Blumenfield was welcomed by the Warner Center Association to discuss the many projects and efforts he is leading in the downtown of the West San Fernando Valley. From COVID Recovery, to legislation to help local businesses, to new residential and commercial properties, Blumenfield enjoyed speaking with Warner Center’s business leaders.
The American Red Cross, in partnership with Westfield Topanga, will be hosting a blood drive on Sunday, April 3 from 8am to 4pm at the Rose Goldwater Community Center at the northeast corner of Westfield Topanga. Schedule your appointment at redcrossblood.org.
With the Academy Awards coming up this Sunday, this week's photo highlights the incredible Motion Picture Television Home located in the West Valley.
Conceived by Mary Pickford a century ago, the Motion Picture Television Fund was established to offer a wide range of assistance, housing and health care to those in need within the entertainment industry. After first putting collection buckets out at studios, Ms. Pickford’s Payroll Pledge Program paved the way for higher earners to put a half percent of their paycheck into a relief fund. Through massive industry changes such as the transition to ‘talkies,’ the Depression and corporate mergers that left many underemployed or without work, the MPTF was always assisting industry professionals while also working for institutional change.
This photo from 1941 shows Ms. Pickford with shovel in hand alongside the then-President of the MPTF Jean Hersholt, Loretta Young and other supporters breaking ground for what would become their permanent home in Woodland Hills. Ms. Pickford, Ms. Young, and Mr. Hersholt were Academy Award winners themselves and Mr. Hersholt became the namesake for the Academy’s humanitarian award. Last year, that honorary Academy Award deservingly went to our friends at the MPTF.
Over the years, the campus grew and every step of the way they continued to go above and beyond for their residents and those in need. Throughout the pandemic, the amazing doctors, nurses, administrators and staff did incredible work serving their hundreds of residents. Blumenfield was proud to deliver PPE and needed goods to them during the pandemic and always enjoys partnering with the MPTF on various efforts.