Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have encouraged folks to do all they can to stop the spread of this deadly virus. With thousands of lives lost in the West Valley, we must continue to encourage vaccination and remove barriers to vaccine accessibility. This year I helped secure the City’s second largest vaccination sites in my district at Pierce College, and enabled pop-up and mobile vaccine deliveries. Despite readily available free vaccines, with the entire medical community advocating for them, some folks are still hesitant. Now, with the Delta variant and potentially more serious strains, it’s more important than ever to use every tool to increase vaccinations — including mandatory vaccine requirements to access critical public places. It’s time to stop needless deaths, costly hospitalizations, and the drag on the local economy.
Vaccine mandates in other countries and cities like New York have demonstrated that requiring proof of vaccination in public spaces and private establishments can help push the vaccine hesitant to finally accept the inoculation. The only way to end this public health emergency is by getting every eligible person vaccinated. We cannot afford to go backwards.
The City Attorney has drafted an ordinance that would require proof of vaccination, or a 72 hour negative COVID test if claiming an exemption, to enter businesses where food or beverages are served, gyms, entertainment and recreation venues, and personal care facilities. There are a number of questions around enforcement that need answers and I will keep working with my colleagues on that until the final vote next week and via ‘clean-up’ legislation afterwards. Also, while the need for this is urgent, it needs to be temporary and lifted once the crises abates and the infringement/inconvenience is no longer worth the health benefits because we have either achieved herd immunity or found other ways to get the virus under control.
I also encourage eligible residents to schedule booster doses. Following the CDC’s recommendation, the following groups of people who received the second of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago are eligible:
Thank you to the millions of Angelenos who've already done the right thing, but for those who haven't, please do so for the sake of the health of our community.
This month, with the resumption of CARE+ cleanups after a year and a half hiatus due to COVID, Councilmember Blumenfield has been pushing City partners to conduct limited comprehensive clean ups at some of the largest encampments in the West Valley. Recently, he was able to get the area outside the Target in Woodland Hills cleaned and this week crews cleaned the Corbin underpass. Team Blumenfield and service providers have been connecting with all the unhoused individuals and conducting outreach there for months.
The Corbin underpass is included in Blumenfield’s recent resolution to make all CD3 underpasses off-limits to encampments. Most currently do not have encampments, but it’s crucial to avoid simply moving encampments from one underpass to another. These critical corridors should be free from encampments for both the health and safety of the surrounding community and for the folks who have encamped there. With the recent passage of the revised 41.18 law, which he co-authored, councilmembers can now make certain eligible streets and sidewalks ‘off limits’ to encampment. Eligible areas include those within 500 feet of sensitive use areas like schools and daycares, critical underpasses, and areas that have resulted in documented crime problems. Also, areas within 1000 feet of homeless shelters/housing are eligible. The resolution he submitted is currently pending a vote by the City Council. Check out the attached map to see the eligible locations in his first 41.18 resolution.
While the City still does not have enough housing for all of its homeless residents, over the past 18 months, Blumenfield has led the effort to create more beds in CD3 than people who were homeless according to 2020 homeless count. This is important because he wants to make sure that anyone who is living in these areas is given a legitimate shelter or housing option before that area is made off-limits. Due to many federal court cases, if the City isn’t extremely careful and meticulous in how it restricts encampments, even these limited new tools could easily be taken away by another lawsuit.
By week’s end the entire Corbin underpass will be cleaned. Until the CD3 specific resolution is passed by the City Council to make it a no-encampment zone, you may still see tents, belongings and outreach workers there. When the resolution passes he will update you here as well as on his social media accounts and newsletter. If you have any questions, please reach out to Team Blumenfield by calling 818.774.4330 or by sending an email to [email protected].
The Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance (NCSA) and the Climate Emergency Mobilization Office are launching Cool Blocks, a neighbor-to-neighbor organizing effort that aims to reduce your block's carbon footprint, adopt water stewardship practices, prepare for disasters, and improve the quality of life in your neighborhood.
The NCSA hopes to recruit 200 Cool Block leaders. Team leaders will host neighborhood meetings via Zoom over the course of five months and each leader will receive full training, coaching and support. For more information on how to get involved, please contact [email protected], call 323-660-2780, or visit the NCSA or Cool Blocks online.
This Tuesday, October 5 at 1pm, a Scoring Committee will be discussing the proposed LA River Green Infrastructure Project. This initiative will improve water quality as well as increase local water supply and enhance existing bike lanes. Blumenfield encourages West Valley residents to support this project and submit comments to [email protected] by October 4th at 5 PM with the subject line: "Public Comment: Upper LA River 10/5/2021". This regional Enhanced Watershed Management Program Project led by the City of Los Angeles would create a regional multi-benefit dry weather project in the Upper Los Angeles River Watershed.
Join the LADWP for a hands-on workshop to learn how to remove turf, install sustainable landscaping, and capture rainwater. Blumenfield transformed his home and office’s front lawns and they look great. This two day workshop is happening in Reseda on October 2 and October 9 from 9am-1pm. For more information and to register, please click here.
It’s time to clean out those drawers full of utensils and condiments. From now through October 29, LA Sanitation & Environment’s City Facilities Recycling Program (CFRP) is collecting sealed, unused takeout utensils packs and condiment packets, items that many of us receive with takeout and delivery meals, but do not use. Help to keep them out of the landfill by donating them to the West Valley District Yard located at 8840 Vanalden Avenue in Northridge from 9am - 4pm Monday through Friday. Donated items will be given to St. Francis Center for their meal services.
Over the course of the next several weeks, the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission will continue to discuss the proposed draft map. The Commission is continuing to accept written testimony so if you haven’t done so already, please submit your comments and concerns to [email protected] or join a virtual meeting.
Blumenfield recently toured the Bell Creek Apartments project in Canoga Park which will bring 80 more permanent supportive housing/affordable units to the West Valley. Thanks to Meta Housing and Western Housing for partnering with Blumenfield on this project. More updates on this site and other PSH projects to come.
Blumenfield at the 7th annual Inspirational Women of the San Fernando Valley Event organized by the United Chambers of Commerce. Congratulations to the honorees: Nora Ross, Carolyn Rose, Natalie Cortez, Mona Curry, Waltona Manion, and Pegi Matsuda. Blumenfield was honored to recognize the amazing work of these truly inspirational women who bring their knowledge, skills, expertise, and passion to bear for the benefit of our great City.
This week's photo from the Los Angeles Public Library's archives is from the Valley Times on March 10, 1956. Members of the Woodland Avenue Elementary PTA join students in planting trees during Plant a Tree Week. Learn more about this photo here.