This week the City Council gave final approval to a balanced $13 billion budget that addresses the homelessness crisis and invests further in public safety, unarmed crisis response teams, climate change efforts and infrastructure. It is a budget that balances the need for mayoral expediency with the need for transparency and accountability. It is a budget that maintains a strong reserve, over 10%, to insure the City’s fiscal health. As Chair of the Budget, Finance and Innovation Committee, I also fought to make sure the Valley got its fair share of funding and that many of the district specific needs of our area were addressed. Some specific and local items I helped secure funding for included:
While we don’t have enough funds to do all that we would like to do, I am proud that this budget reflects our urgent needs and focuses appropriate resources on top priorities.
This week a METRO bus driver was viciously stabbed during an altercation with a passenger off Topanga Canyon Blvd. This sort of senseless violence reverberates through our community and makes people feel unsafe. Councilmember Blumenfield is very grateful to the LAPD for their quick work to identify the attacker and make an arrest, and to the LAFD personnel whose quick life saving actions to render immediate medical attention and transport the victim to a nearby hospital facilitated his immediate care. The suspect is, horrifyingly, a local 17 year old teenager.
Metro’s bus operators head out every day to serve the people of this City and this County, providing essential transportation services to hundreds of thousands of daily passengers. No public servant should ever have to face the brutality we saw that night. Councilmember Blumenfield’s heart goes out to the bus driver, his family, and Metro colleagues at this incredibly difficult time. Although the driver’s family has asked for privacy as his condition remains critical, they have expressed that the community’s concern and support is appreciated.
On May 20, Councilmember Blumenfield joined LADOT crews as they installed "Slow Street" traffic-calming measures in Canoga Park. Created during a period of COVID-related shutdowns, the Slow Streets program suggests lowered speed limits up to 15 mph and installs traffic calming measures such as entrance islands, roundabouts and median islands to make neighborhood streets safer, and more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.
The Canoga Park Slow Streets are in the area bounded by Saticoy, Canoga, Valerio, and Topanga Canyon. Councilmember Blumenfield supports programs like this that improve safety and the quality of life for residents of the West Valley. If you are interested in Slow Streets for your neighborhood, please visit the LADOT Slow Streets website, or contact his District Office at 818.774.4330.
The City and Mayor Karen Bass have been searching for under-utilized City owned property to explore for greatly needed affordable housing development, and in many areas the City’s LADOT parking lots have been seen as potential sites to consider. Earlier this week, Council discussed a motion to remove a 2019 requirement, established between LADOT and LA Housing Department, that would require replacement parking and/or a parking replacement "fee" if a LADOT lot is used for housing. As the City continues looking at City-owned parcels to develop additional housing sites, Councilmember Blumenfield introduced an amendment to require replacement parking for the Reseda parking lots if any were to be proposed for development.
The lots in Reseda have been under active consideration for several years as a potential housing site, however during multiple community meetings Blumenfield promised the community that replacement parking would be mandatory if housing were to be constructed on any one of these sites. His amendment ensures that this commitment will not be affected by the Council’s latest action. This was also important because the availability of these parking lots was a consideration in the recent approval of the Reseda Boulevard Complete Street Project.
The Woodlands, the latest interim housing site for unhoused families, is opening soon in the West Valley. Councilmember Blumenfield joined County Supervisor Horvath and service provider, Hope the Mission, at the ribbon cutting and tour of this 100 unit, 400 bed facility.
What used to be a hotel with a history of problematic issues will soon be home to families with children who've been struggling to make ends meet. Neighbors are invited to an open house to see the newest accommodations on May 27th. Sign up at hopethemission.org/tourwoodlands
Join Councilmember Blumenfield at the 31st Annual Memorial Day Parade this Monday, May 29 in Canoga Park to remember all of the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This is the first parade since Covid. Click here for parade route information.
Join Councilmember Blumenfield, the Owens Family, and Michael’s colleagues and friends to celebrate the life of Michael Owens. For many years, Michael was Blumenfield’s District Director, a friend and an integral member of Team Blumenfield. From ensuring a better future for people with disabilities, to being a lifelong advocate for LGBTQ rights, to devoting his life to helping those who need it most, Michael made a tremendous impact on our community as well as everyone who was lucky enough to call him a friend. RSVP here.
Bring home forever love, smiles, purrs and wags -- come adopt a shelter pet. Dogs and cats adopted from LA Animal Services join their new families already spayed or neutered, vaccinated, licensed, and microchipped, and adopters receive a VCA Healthy Start Certificate, which provides up to $250 of follow up veterinary care within the first 14 days of adoption. In addition, canine companions adopted from LA Animal Services are also eligible for free dog training classes at the Paws for Life K9 Rescue People & Pet Innovation Center in Mission Hills. Contact [email protected] for more details.
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.
LACI is looking for game changing startups to join their Incubation Programs. LACI helps founders incubate their tech, build their dream technology, accelerate sales, and pilot their technology. Qualifying participants will also have access to $50K in funding for pilot development and deployment, up to $160K in business services, and may be eligible for LACI Impact and Debt Funding. Apply here by June 23.
The entertainment industry does not exist without writers- they deserve basic workplace protections, fair residual compensation and more. Councilmember Blumenfield was happy to drop off donuts and water and march with members of Writers Guild of America West on the picket line at Radford Studio Center.
Councilmember Blumenfield was honored to recognize the 2023 National Academic Decathlon Champions from El Camino Real Charter High School. El Camino boasts 15 regional and 13 state titles, and have tied the record for most national wins with 9 titles. Blumenfield and the entire West SFV community are so proud of their dedication, hard work and achievements.
Councilmember Blumenfield was happy to provide bus transportation and welcome some of his younger constituents from Village Charter Academy to City Hall where they learned about the history of Los Angeles, meet with local government officials and workers, and gained valuable leadership skills.
Taken in 1937, this week's photo is from the Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection of a sign in front of the rooftop dome of Girard encouraging travelers to visit Topanga Canyon on a "scenic mountain drive, state highway, easy grade, 13 miles to the ocean."