Yesterday, the proposed City budget for FY 2023-2024 passed the Budget, Finance and Innovation (BFI) Committee! It was the first budget that I’ve ushered through as Chair, and it will be heard by the full City Council next week, on May 18. Although there were a number of controversial issues and expenditures, it passed unanimously with a 5-0 vote.
Over the past few weeks, we heard more than 7 hours of public comment, met with practically all city department heads, asked countless questions and formulated ways to balance competing priorities and values. It was a Herculean task. We evaluated Mayor Karen Bass’ proposed budget with a fine tooth comb and made sure to bolster all of her top priorities — priorities I share. We also figured out a creative way to insure that her that her $250 Million ‘Inside Safe’ homelessness initiative could be implemented in both and expeditious and accountable manner. The budget includes over $1.3 billion for homelessness efforts, more than $3.5 billion for funding for LAPD and LAFD, as well as expanded unarmed alternative crisis response teams, improved infrastructure, active transportation and so much more.
I tried to bring focus and financial common sense to the process. Especially given that we had more needs than revenues, I pushed departments to reorganize their funding rather than simply ask for more positions. I made sure that performance metrics and equity considerations were used to make funding decisions.
I’m grateful to Mayor Bass and my colleagues for their partnership during this process. Our budget reflects the priorities and goals we share and I look forward to continuing this work throughout the year.
Councilmember Blumenfield renamed Linnet St outside of Portola Middle School after legendary educational advocate and teachers’ union founder, Bill Lambert. Bill’s career in education started in 1955 as an elementary school teacher. As an Associate Executive Director of the LA Teachers’ Association, he went on to grow the organization before becoming an instrumental organizer of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) in 1971. Bill dedicated the next 35 years to advocating for teachers, students, and support staff as Director of Governmental Affairs for UTLA.
Blumenfield was joined by the Lambert family, current and former Valley elected leaders, and community members in celebrating Bill who spent a lifetime fighting for better wages, work conditions, and expanded benefits for local teachers and support staff. Watch a recap of the event here.
Earlier this week, over 130 unhoused folks from Council District 3 received services at the Inside Safe Housing Fair. Many folks were in transitional housing and were able to get the necessary documents such as IDs and social security cards needed for permanent housing. They were able to view apartments and were also connected to health and employment support. Councilmember Blumenfield thanked Mayor Bass, LA Family Housing, Hope the Mission, LAHSA, and partners at the County and State for their partnership and commitment to getting folks permanently housed.
Earlier this week, the City Council approved Councilmember Blumenfield’s resolution to make the area around 5416 Comerico Way and 5400 Alhama Drive off-limits to encampments. This particular area had become a magnet for crime with the Los Angeles Police Department reporting, documenting, and responding to a number of serious incidents. Due to the ongoing public health and safety concerns, Blumenfield put forward this resolution to be effective for a period of one year.
Folks at these encampments have been offered housing and health services for months and will continue to be offered assistance. 41.18 is not intended to solve homelessness. Rather, its purpose is to ensure that certain sensitive use public spaces are passable and usable for all.
Upgrading local streets throughout the West San Fernando Valley has been a long-standing priority of Councilmember Blumenfield. At his request, over 70 trees were trimmed and maintained on Lindley Ave in Tarzana by the tree surgeons of StreetsLA’s Urban Forestry Division. To request tree maintenance on your block, please email [email protected].
Councilmember Blumenfield wishes a Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who work tirelessly and sacrifice so much for their families.
A few weeks ago, Team Blumenfield lost our friend and my District Director, Michael Owens. The past few weeks have been incredibly hard for Michael's family, friends, and all of us on Team Blumenfield. On June 1st, come celebrate Michael's life and the lasting impact he had on so many. More details to follow.
Over 242 pets received wellness and hygiene services at the Pet Wellness Fair at Winnetka Rec Center. Councilmember Blumenfield thanked the Michelson Found Animals Foundation for their partnership and dedication to keeping West Valley furry friends happy and healthy. Watch a recap of the event here.
The leaders and scouts of Troop 229 and Troop 642 met with Councilmember Blumenfield who was happy to help the scouts complete their ranks and share the importance of engaging with community members to help identify and solve issues.
Photo Credit: Jay Ross
In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, Councilmember Blumenfield joined the West Valley Warner Center Chamber of Commerce at the 2nd annual Valley Asian Cultural Festival at Pierce College to celebrate the diverse and vibrant cultures that make up our community. The day was filled with delicious food, music, art, performances and more.
Councilmember Blumenfield recognized the new and outgoing members of the Winnetka Chamber of Commerce.
Taken on March 9, 1960, this week's photo is from the Valley Times Collection of local and state officials reviewing the progress of the new additions to the 101 Ventura Freeway.