We’ve all heard about the hateful, racist, language used by Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, Kevin de Leon, as well as labor leader Ron Herrera in a recorded meeting. It felt like I was punched in the gut. I was not only shocked, disgusted and appalled, I was heartbroken. These are people with whom I’ve worked, and I expected better.
This is an incredibly sad chapter for ALL Angelenos, regardless of ethnicity, and I say this as an elected leader, as a member of a multiethnic family, and as a parent. We have a duty to represent all of the people of this great city. That means we must govern in a way that uplifts the highest ideals of the City, State and Nation. For those who break the public's trust, it’s imperative to hold them accountable.
At the heart of this scandal are hurting communities. The bigoted comments that were made about so many of the communities that make our city special are inexcusable. To everyone in pain following these attacks, I promise that I will continue working to build bridges and help bring our city together. I am committed to holding colleagues accountable and serving the people of the West San Fernando Valley and all of Los Angeles with respect, inclusivity and integrity. I will try to turn this horrible incident into an opportunity to build racial and ethnic coalitions. We should all oppose hate.
As of this writing, only Nury Martinez has resigned from the City Council. I introduced a motion to begin the process of censure which is one of very few options the Council has to officially address this behavior by colleagues. In the days ahead, there will be more pain and eventually, healing. I hope Cedillo and de Leon follow Martinez in resigning because it is a critical step to ultimately building the public trust again.
The City Council approved a $50k reward motion introduced by Councilmember Blumenfield for any information related to the murder of Woodland Hills resident, Ok Ja Kim. On August 2, 2022, 81 year old Ms. Kim was the victim of a home invasion and brutally murdered. Blumenfield joined members of the LAPD and the family of Ms. Kim at a press conference asking the public to send any information or surveillance footage from nearby residences from that evening to detectives working on the case.
Ms. Kim was a beloved mother and grandmother who immigrated to the United States from Korea in 1972. She and her husband established a dry cleaning business in Studio City and served their community for nearly two decades. She was a selfless care-giver, serving as the primary caretaker of her husband up until the final months before his passing in 2021. Ms. Kim was a culinary master who was passionate about different cultures, enjoyed traveling, and was an active member of her congregation. Her life was stolen too soon and Blumenfield urges anyone with information to please contact Detective II Sharon Kim at 818-374-1925 or [email protected]. Also, this week Blumenfield formally adjourned the City Council in Ms. Kim’s memory.
Councilmember Blumenfield worked directly with community members to find solutions to improve and maintain the Greenbriar median in Tarzana. With their input, Blumenfield allocated $15k in discretionary funding for to Urban Forestry landscape crews to enhance the median.
Based on suggestions from constituents for additional upkeep in major pedestrian thoroughfares, Councilmember Blumenfield instructed LA Conservation Corps to provide additional maintenance throughout the district. Improving the quality of life for residents is a priority of Blumenfield and he will continue to everything he can to beautify and keep West Valley streets clean. If you see overgrown vegetation, excess trash, bulky items, graffiti, etc, call 818.774.4330 or email [email protected].
The Biden-Harris Administration is providing up to $20,000 in student loan debt relief for eligible borrowers. The application is simple and free, and can be found at: https://studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application.
Online applications for the Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher) Waiting List Lottery are now open. The Section 8 Program offers housing assistance to individuals and families by paying a portion of their rent to private property owners. Any income-eligible family or individual can apply and someone in your household must have legal residency, even if the legal resident is a minor child.
Individuals and families can apply online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, during the two week application period using a smartphone, computer, or other mobile device with Internet access. No applications will be accepted in-person or by mail or email. For those without a smartphone or Internet-enabled computer or device, free access to computers and the Internet is available at your local Los Angeles City library. Online applications will be accepted until 5 PM on Sunday, October 30, 2022. Click here for more information.
Celebrating the diversity in the West San Fernando Valley, Councilmember Blumenfield joined Pierce College's Armenian Student Association in learning and honoring their rich and vibrant culture.
Councilmember Blumenfield joined a rally in Woodland Hills in support of the brave women in Iran as they fight for their most basic rights. No one should have to fear retaliation or death for making choices about how they express themselves. He stands with them and all Iranians in the fight for freedom against the totalitarian Iranian regime.
Councilmember Blumenfield celebrated Pierce College's 75th Anniversary and grand opening of the Advanced Automotive Technology Building. Pierce is one of the most respected community colleges and transfer institutions in CA and this addition will provide more opportunities in growing fields.
This week's photo from the Los Angeles Public Library's archives is from the Valley Times Collection taken in 1963 of the new student union at Pierce College. The campus center was one of four new buildings constructed at a cost of $2 million provided by funds from a 1960 bond issue. Learn more about the photo here.