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Blumenfield Announces Pilot Project to House Unsheltered Residents At Winnetka/101 Underpass

August 14

Focused effort underway to rehouse all the people living under 101 freeway

LOS ANGELES, CA- Bringing new resources to the effort to shelter people living in the Winnetka underpass beneath the 101 freeway, Councilmember Bob Blumenfeld today announced a new pilot project to house unsheltered residents at that encampment, in partnership with. the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). During the pilot, LAHSA will identify service needs and housing/shelter resources for each of the estimated 24 people currently living at this location.  This new infusion of outreach and services stems from the ongoing litigation and conversations with federal Judge David O. Carter. Finding it unsafe and unhealthy to live near freeways, Judge Carter has been facilitating an agreement between the City and County of Los Angeles to create new shelter beds for people living within 500 feet of freeways throughout the region. 

“I’m encouraged to see LAHSA focus attention on what it will take to house the people living in the Winnetka underpass both to give them somewhere better to be and to clear the underpass for pedestrians,” said Blumenfield.  “After many visits and conversations with homeless folks living in these areas, I know that some need substance abuse treatment and others just need a helping hand to get back to a safe home, so this pilot should help get each person the right mix of assistance to move on with their lives quickly.”

The Winnetka underpass is one of several freeway locations that LAHSA has prioritized for rapid rehousing efforts. 



June 30

LOS ANGELES, CA- Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced legislation to expand a unique program run by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) that would change how mental healthcare and homeless related calls for service are addressed. As Blumenfield continues to work with other local leaders to craft comprehensive city-wide public safety reforms, this measure aims to grow the Advanced Provider Response Unit (APRU) program and calls for a new partnership with County’s Public and Mental Health Departments to bring swift changes to how some non-violent and non-life threatening situations are handled, especially those involving the most vulnerable Angelenos. 

“We have begun conversations with advocates and community members to rethink traditional models for public safety but it’s critical to look at what programs we already have and see if we can bring more immediate change to our City,” said Blumenfield. “We send out too many sworn officers and full engine companies on calls that don’t need them because we simply don't have other specialized tools. Programs like the APRU can bridge the service gap because the status quo is not fair to our officers, firefighters and to those who desperately need help.”

In 2018, after Blumenfield helped secure funding through his committee’s Innovation Fund,  the LAFD launched the APRU program. Staffed with an LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic and an Advanced Provider (Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant), the APRU offers a vast array of resources outside of the traditional paramedic scope of practice. This program offers three services:

  • Mobile urgent care with on-scene treatment and release of low-acuity patients.
  • Comprehensive assessment of 911 ‘super-users’ and vulnerable patients who can be linked to follow-up non-emergency care and needed services.
  • On-scene medical clearance of mental health and intoxicated patients who can be transported directly to a mental health facility or sobering center, without burdening a local emergency room.

Currently the APRU has four teams strategically stationed throughout the City and is ripe for expansion of capacity and to include trained mental health and homeless service professionalsBuilding this program would relieve a massive burden placed on both the LAPD and LAFD who often are dispatched to non-violent calls simply because the City doesn’t have another service available 24/7 to address the needs of those who require assistance. For example in 2019, sworn LAPD officers were dispatched 20,598 times for calls involving mental illness and 15,544 for welfare checks, two types of situations that often do not require armed officers or full LAFD engine companies. In some dire situations an armed response may be required, but specialized services can address many specialized needs.

By charter, the County of Los Angeles handles almost all aspects of publicly funded mental and public health programs. But with issues like the growing homelessness epidemic, the reality is that often City entities have responded first to health-related matters such as mental health calls, injuries, and intoxication. The City of Los Angeles must think outside the box on how to make swift changes for the health and safety of the individuals who require appropriate assistance and to relieve the burden on the LAPD to respond to issues not requiring the presence of law enforcement.

While the City Council and local advocates discuss new ways to implement critical city-wide reforms, it’s also time to truly empower this unique program and immediately expand more affordable, efficient, and peaceful alternatives on how to handle non-violent calls or calls that involve an immediate life-threatening situation.  

Seconded by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Blumenfield’s motion specifically instructs LAFD, with the assistance of the City Administrative Officer (CAO), to present a plan to expand the Advanced Provider Response Units (APRU) from four to eleven, in order to cover more areas of the City and to respond to non-violent, non-criminal calls that would previously be responded to by the Police Department. It further calls on LAFD, with the assistance of the CAO, the County Department of Mental Health, the Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority and any other City or County departments that are appropriate, to report on the resources needed to integrate mental health and social work professionals into the LAFD’s APRUs, to respond to a greater volume and type of non-violent and non-criminal calls.


Construction Begins on Permanent West Valley Bridge Housing Site

June 06

A partnership between the City and County of Los Angeles, this will be the first permanent site west of the 405 and will serve local homeless Angelenos

CANOGA PARK,CA- Today construction and renovations began for the new permanent Bridge Housing site in the West Valley. In partnership with County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, this property in Canoga Park will be the City’s first permanent Bridge Housing site west of the 405.

“The COVID-19 emergency has amplified our homelessness crisis in ways we will only fully grasp in the years to come but we know our Bridge Housing site will serve as a critical tool in getting people the help they need,” said Councilmember Blumenfield. “Thanks to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl for partnering in this effort to get more permanent services in the West Valley because as we continue to face an unprecedented humanitarian and quality-of-life crisis, we need all the resources we can get.”




May 27

LOS ANGELES, CA- Today the Los Angeles City Council unanimously supported Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s measure to extend expiring conditional use permits (CUP) and cut other bureaucratic hurdles to help local businesses survive. The City of LA does not have unlimited resources to assist small businesses. However, following Councilmember Blumenfield’s lead, the City has now taken steps to eliminate some financial and regulatory burdens on local businesses affected by the Coronavirus COVID-19 Emergency Declaration.

“As the COVID-19 crisis continues to leave many of our small businesses vulnerable to closure, now is the time to cut the red tape and do everything we can to help empower our local restaurants so they can thrive” said Blumenfield. “Local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and during this emergency, I don't want to see Planning permits get in the way of these stores that are providing essential services.”

Blumenfield’s motion specifically calls to:

    • Extend all expiring conditional use permits for a period of 12 months after expiration of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Emergency Declaration
    • Suspend any requirement that a property owner or business provide additional parking in connection with a change of use in an existing structure
    • Suspend any condition requiring a property owner or business to provide off-site or valet parking

All of these actions have sunset clauses between 6 months and one year after the end of the Emergency Declaration. 






May 13

LA City Council calls on Congress to boost SNAP, crucial Federal food program previously known as food stamps

WEST SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA – On May 13, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution authored by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and seconded by Councilmember Monica Rodriguez to call upon Congress to make critical improvements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps, for struggling families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the several Federal aid programs rolled out to provide aid to businesses and families, Congress has taken no action to expand SNAP for those who are food insecure. 

“In LA and across the Country, food insecurity is one of the largest issues impacting families during the pandemic,” Blumenfield said. “Given rising unemployment rates and food bank data, there could be as many as 60 million people who don’t know when or where their next meal is coming from. It’s time for Congress to boost SNAP benefits, to call on the USDA to expand SNAP-eligible delivery options, and to urge the Federal government to increase access to SNAP for  particularly vulnerable groups.”

SNAP has proven to be one of the most effective Federal programs to mitigate hardships for low-income families. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), SNAP expenditures not only benefit food insecure families—these expenditures are also one of the most efficient methods to support an economy during a recession. With the passage of Blumenfield’s resolution, the City of Los Angeles specifically calls for Congress to boost the maximum benefit by 15%, double the minimum benefit to $30 a month, and allow EBT use on grocery delivery platforms benefitting local businesses. Every SNAP dollar spent in the local  economy contributes to the wages grocery workers and food producers depend upon to maintain operations.

"Councilmember Blumenfield and the Los Angeles City Council continue to show strong leadership in the face of the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the heartbreaking increases in food insecurity,” said Abby J. Leibman, President and CEO of  MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. “With the passage of Councilmember Blumenfield’s resolution today, Los Angeles raises its powerful voice to insist on a robust response by our Federal government to ease the pain of hunger for the millions of Americans who were struggling before the pandemic, and the millions more who now face barriers to accessing the food they need to feed themselves and their families with dignity."

Blumenfield has been working on the local level to support food-insecure families and struggling Angelenos. Recently he allocated over $100,000 from his discretionary funds to start an emergency nonprofit grant program to help 20 local nonprofits such as the West Valley food pantry and West Valley YMCA, but expanded support to programs like SNAP is essential to help struggling families get by.

“At the City level, we are doing everything we possibly can to help food insecure Angelenos—but our efforts pale in  comparison to what Congress can accomplish  by boosting SNAP,” Blumenfield said.

Councilmember Blumenfield is committed to helping families in need during the pandemic and he recently published a donation solicitation letter to encourage folks to donate to the 20 local nonprofit grant recipients from his emergency program.




April 10

For Immediate Release-

April 10, 2020

Contact: Jake Flynn, 213.473.7003, cell- 310.663.3770





WEST SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA – In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many local nonprofits are struggling to serve vulnerable communities in the West Valley. To support those in need, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield announced he will direct $100,000 from his office’s discretionary funds towards establishing emergency grants for local nonprofits so they can continue their vital services, such as food pantries, senior programs, and homelessness services.  He will also share grant applications with other public and private sector potential donors to generate additional resources.  This is above and beyond the tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of critical supplies and food he has been donating from his BobCAT (Community Action Team) emergency warehouses.


To accelerate the rollout of these funds, Blumenfield has selected the first four nonprofits to receive $10,000 nonprofit emergency grants. These nonprofits are:

  • West Valley Food Pantry (Local Food Pantry based in Woodland Hills serving unprecedented number of hungry clients during COVID-19)
  • West Valley YMCA (Local YMCA in Reseda opening showers to homeless individuals during pandemic, running clothing drive and blood drive)
  • Guadalupe Center (Catholic Charities organization based in Canoga Park providing food, ESL, tutoring, thrift store and recreational classes)
  • ONEgeneration (Senior Enrichment Center based in Reseda providing food and programming for seniors throughout the West Valley)

“This is a tough time for the West Valley,” said Blumenfield. “Many families cannot afford groceries and are going to their local food pantry for the first time. But nonprofits are hurting too and are already struggling to get services to their clients. Nonprofits in the West Valley need support now more than ever and that is why I am proud to have directed $40,000 to four outstanding organizations helping folks in need. I’ve worked very closely with these organizations for years and know that each one of them does critical work for our community.”


In addition to the four organizations that each received $10,000, Blumenfeld is offering grant opportunities up to $10,000 to more nonprofits addressing the needs of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonprofit leaders interested in learning more and applying for these grants, please fill out this simple form. Also, Blumenfield will share these grant applications with other public and private sector donors in an effort to generate additional resources for these important non-profits.


“I encourage additional nonprofits in need to reach out so we can continue ‘helping the helpers’ of the West Valley.”


To continue supporting nonprofits, Blumenfield also created a survey that prospective donors and volunteers may fill out to get connected with local West Valley nonprofits. To complete a survey and learn where help is needed, please go here. To have your organization added to the list of organizations seeking volunteers or specific supplies, write to [email protected]


For more information about the organizations receiving the first round of grants and where the money will go, please check out this video.




In Effort to Stem Coronavirus Spread, Blumenfield Reminds Workers and Employers that Paid Sick Leave is Required in LA

March 12

Workers who are ill should stay home and not fear lost wages

LOS ANGELES, CA – Concerned that workers may not be aware of their rights, and local employers may not be aware of City requirements for paid sick leave, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today reminded the community that the City Council passed a law to protect workers who need time off due to illness.

“From washing your hands thoroughly to covering your mouth when coughing, there are many things we can do to help protect ourselves during a pandemic but the reality is that people are going to get sick and they shouldn’t fear losing their jobs,” said Blumenfield. “I am proud to have helped lead the effort to secure paid sick leave and it is critical for the wellbeing of our city that people use it when needed so we can slow the escalation of transmission.”


Blumenfield's Free Feminine Hygiene Products Proposal Advanced By City Council

February 05

LOS ANGELES – In an ongoing effort to provide free hygiene products, reduce ‘Period Poverty’ and improve fairness for women in LA, the Los Angeles City Council passed a measure authored by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to report on the feasibility of providing these products for free in all restrooms in City-owned facilities. 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.

Women have little choice but to spend on average $150 to $300 a year on feminine hygiene products, USA Today reports, making girls and women of child bearing age choose between buying needed hygiene products, food, or other essentials. Promoting hygiene, wellness, and public health, Councilmember Blumenfield introduced this motion to make products readily available in public facilities to reduce the financial burden for women and provide a modicum of hygiene equity.

“It’s time to end the stigma around periods and menstrual health that has kept policymakers dragging their feet,” Blumenfield said. “Providing feminine hygiene products at no cost in City-owned facilities should be just as normal as providing toilet paper or soap.”


Councilmember Blumenfield Launches Effort to Divest City Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels and Shift Investments Towards Green, Progressive Companies

December 11

LOS ANGELES,CA - Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced legislation to authorize a comprehensive review of city civilian pension investments and craft a plan to divest from companies perpetuating and expanding the effects of climate change.


“It’s time to look into our collective financial health and, for the sake of future Angelenos, ensure that we no longer invest in companies that are literally killing our world,” said Blumenfield. “As the second largest city in the nation, it’s imperative that we lead by example and show the world that you can have profitable investments without embracing climate change enablers.”


Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System (LACERS) has invested more than $100 million in oil companies, many of which have shown no interest in moving towards renewable energy. Consistent with the City's commitment to combating climate change, the City has a responsibility to divest LACERS pension holdings from fossil fuel companies that are unwilling to turn away from the production of oil. It is time for the leadership of Los Angeles to divest from oil companies that are actively contributing to the global problem of climate change and subjecting Los Angeles to unnecessary risk.


Importantly, climate change is not only a global environmental threat it presents a significant financial risk to shareholders of the companies that perpetuate it. From financial losses because of extreme weather to asset re-pricing as the global economy moves towards a low-carbon economy, investments in fossil fuel companies pose a climate-transition risk that may endanger the financial vitality of LACERS investments.


Some major cities such as San Francisco have already initiated a coordinated effort to divest their pension funds from fossil fuel companies. On October 10, 2018 the board of the $25.5 billion San Francisco Employees Retirement System (SFERS) voted to divest its shares in seven fossil fuel companies because they posed the highest climate transition risk according the SFERS’ Climate Transition Risk Framework that is based on 1) Fossil Fuel Reserves, 2) Operational Emissions, 3) Climate Policy Approach, and 4) Financial Health.


In Los Angeles 'fire season' has become a year-round event forcing evacuations of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the region, burning communities down to their foundations, and leaving municipal governments with billions of dollars in damages. According to NASA, the five warmest years on record have taken place since 2010. With much of the excess heat being absorbed by the oceans, global oceans have warmed by half a degree and the sea level rose eight inches in the last 100 years. Fires are burning longer and moving faster than ever before, coastal cities are faced with unprecedented storms and flooding, and hurricanes continue to devastate major populations centers like Houston, through the Gulf of Mexico, and up the eastern seaboard.


Blumenfield’s motion specially directs LACERS and city departments to report on:


·         Recommendations on the feasibility for the LACERS Board to adopt a similar Climate Transition Risk Framework to SFERS’ to identify investments in fossil fuel companies that pose an environmental and financial risk;


·         Options to create a climate-change watch list that will report the riskiest investments in fossil fuel companies and develop a strategy to engage with the respective companies to reduce their oil and gas reserves and increase their efforts to move towards renewables and address climate change;


·         A plan to divest from uncooperative fossil fuel companies and appropriately reinvest capital;


·         A watch list to identify other LACERS investments such as in tobacco and firearm companies that contradict the City Council’s official positions and goal to provide a healthy and secure future for Angelenos.


Blumenfield’s motion will soon be heard in the Budget and Finance Committee in which he is a member. It was seconded by Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Mitch O’Farrell and Marqueece Harris-Dawson.




Councilmember Blumenfield's Bold New Pilot Program to Clean Up LA River Passes Council Unanimously

December 10

Blumenfield establishes enforcement and outreach partnership pilot program with MRCA for LA River in the West Valley 

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s initiative to revolutionize environmental and law enforcement along the headwaters of the LA River unanimously passed the LA City Council. This program will establish a pilot program giving authority for the area to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). Currently the River is a confluence of jurisdictions which has led to a number of difficult to resolve environmental and quality-of-life issues. Blumenfield’s plan will cut the immense red tape and bureaucratic hurdles that currently exist around solving these issues and improve the environment and safety of the area.  Rangers who regularly spend time on the river will be able to respond to any vandalism, illegal dumping, or problems in the area that discourage families from using the path.

“After years of finger pointing and lack of action, we will finally have one tested, competent and trusted governmental agency in the MRCA to handle the complex issues facing the LA River in the West Valley,” said Blumenfield. “This isn’t going to be easy but we needed to do something bold to help resolve these humanitarian and environmental issues.”

“As a community, we’re very excited about this pilot program, because it’ll address many of the challenges we’ve faced on an ongoing basis over the last four years,” said Evelyn Aleman, co-founder of the L.A. River Walkers and Watchers. “We're grateful to the councilmember for his bold leadership and collaboration toward finding short and long-term solutions to an issue that affects our community’s ecosystem and will impact others as the bike path is extended across a 51-mile stretch. It is our hope that this program becomes a part of the L.A. River masterplan."

For the past few years, Blumenfield has worked closely with the LA River Walkers and Watchers, a group of Reseda neighbors committed to preserving the LA River bike path, on a number of quality-of-life issues. On clean up walks together they commonly find needles in shrubs and along the bike path, soiled clothes, fires, vandalized structures, drugs stashed under bridges, as well as people on drugs sprawled out and completely blocking the paths and parks. Recently, drug and gang activity appear to have increased in the river area, resulting in at least one homicide. Additionally, downstream bacteria levels can reach unsafe heights if waste enter the river at the headwaters.


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