Update on Redistricting
Now that the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission (LACCRC) has approved their map for presentation to the City Council, you may be hearing more about the layout of my and other districts. With contentious votes, (often 15-6) several districts, including my CD3, were radically changed from their current configurations. While some inequities were resolved, such as putting all of Koreatown into one district, others were created. One Councilmember could represent a completely new area where none of the people that voted last year reside.
The Commission’s final map removes Reseda, Winnetka and Canoga Park from CD3 and replaces them with Encino, Sherman Oaks and Valley Glen. While I would be happy to add these wonderful communities to CD3, I hate the idea of losing the amazing communities of Reseda, Winnetka and Canoga Park — especially since I have made revitalization of these areas a cornerstone of my work with over $100 million in investments in Reseda and more than $50 million in Canoga Park. Also I have formed deep personal and professional relationships with the constituents of these areas. The Commission also removed Pierce College and a portion of the Warner Center from CD3 and put them in the newly drawn district to the north. I have received many emails and comments about these particular changes, as well as the overall divisions and splitting of communities in the commission proposal.
What I or other Councilmembers wanted was clearly not a driving factor in the LACCRC process. While I appointed one of the 21 commissioners, he was not tasked with designing a district that I wanted. The task is not to enable Councilmembers to choose their constituents, it is to ensure that districts are made up of equal populations and communities of interest as envisioned by the Voting Rights Act (VRA). With the Commission’s role ending, it’s now up to the Council to decide whether the newly drawn districts comply with the VRA and whether they should be altered to better reflect communities of interest. They could be radically changed again, so do not despair if you have been removed from CD3 and do not rejoice if you have been placed into CD3 (obviously I think CD3 is the best place to be). The process is not complete.
This week Council President Nury Martinez acted to create an ad hoc committee to review the Commission’s map and explore potential changes. No members have been appointed as of this writing (though I’ve asked to serve), but because the map must be approved by the Council by the end of the year, the timeline is tight. Your voice will be important in this process, so please stay tuned.
It is my honor to serve the San Fernando Valley, and if you have questions about this process or any issue please reach out to me or my staff by calling 818.774.4330 or by sending an email to [email protected].
Last week, three pieces of Councilmember Blumenfield’s legislation aimed to help the homeless crisis in the West Valley overwhelmingly passed in the City Council. These efforts involved the following:
To learn more about each of the endeavors, please read his recent blog post.
This week a new ordinance passed that Councilmember Blumenfield helped shepherd to regulate ‘donation bins’ that are placed on private property and inadvertently attract massive amounts of garbage and mislead well-intentioned donors. The issue came to light after businesses on Sherman Way in Winnetka complained bins were placed at their locations without their permission. Team Blumenfield soon discovered that Winnetka was not the only community where these unauthorized bins had been left and poorly maintained.
“There are some legitimate nonprofits that operate these bins but far too many were placed unknowingly by for-profit companies and they have become nuisances in our community,” said Blumenfield. “These things are heavy and incredibly hard to remove and it's been unfair to local business owners and our communities who often have to deal with the ramifications.”
‘Donation’ bins often are owned by for-profit companies and are found everywhere from next to gas stations, on public-rights-of-way and in grocery store parking lots. Often constituents, as well as the business owners of the property they are on, call Blumenfield’s office to ask for help to get rid of them. Sometimes they have been sitting there for years and the company that placed them there aren’t reachable or refuse to remove them.
Until now there have been practically no regulations on who can place them where, who is in charge of cleanliness etc. This new law remedies this by outlining that the property owners must have a permit from the city to host a bin and represent a non-profit. You can find more of the specific regulations here.
Starting today, October 29, the City of Los Angeles is accepting applications to the Basic Income Guaranteed: Los Angeles Economic Assistance Pilot program. The largest guaranteed income pilot in America aimed at confronting poverty, this program will provide approximately 3,000 individuals with $1,000 per month for 12 months. Participants can use the money however they see fit to meet their needs. For more information and eligibility requirements, please visit bigleap.lacity.org Deadline to apply is Sunday, November 7th at 11:59 PM.
Applications are now open. Small businesses can apply for $5K grants to help with the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis. The City’s $25 million Comeback Checks Program will assist 5,000 local businesses throughout LA so make sure to go to ComeBackChecksLA.com to learn more and apply by November 2nd.
This month Team Blumenfield launched a new partnership with Pierce College to provide a paid internship for a student to work in his Reseda District Office. In partnership with the college's Career Center and Umoja Community, Blumenfield has hired Kekeli Gbewonyo to work part time for four months to learn about constituent services and city operations. Kekeli is a graduate of Cleveland High School and first year student at Pierce. Formerly a volunteer at the West Valley Branch Library, Kekeli brings firsthand knowledge of the West San Fernando Valley community needs and great enthusiasm to learn about public service. Pierce College staff asked Blumenfield to consider creating paid internship opportunities for students who cannot afford to work for free in order to gain valuable experience. This position is funded with City funds allocated to Blumenfield's office and is already proving to be a win-win.
This week's photo from the Los Angeles Public Library's archives is from the Valley Times on August 17, 1959. Taken at the Woodland Hills Fall Festival, community members gather for some fun to benefit local youth and service clubs. This weekend, join the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Chamber for activities, costume parade, and tons of fun at their annual Fall Family Festival. Learn more about this photo here.