September 12, 2022

Last Thursday, the first round of data from LAHSA’s latest Homeless Count was announced and it highlights progress as well as challenges. Based on these preliminary numbers, homelessness has barely increased city-wide (1.7%), but in the West Valley, specifically in John Lee’s and my districts, the unsheltered homeless population has increased by about 300 people in each of our areas. 

On the positive side, we have seen a 200% increase in people being sheltered in CD3 (meaning people who are no longer on the street, but are in temporary/interim housing where they have access to case workers and services). This is because we were able to quickly utilize state/federal funding opportunities to build cabin communities, Bridge Housing, hotel conversions and more. In the coming months, several new Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)/Affordable sites will open in the third district and more hotel conversions are underway. But, even more housing and services of all kinds are desperately needed. It’s not about PSH vs transitional housing or mental health care vs homeless outreach—we need more of everything but we have to be strategic—we can’t just throw money at the problem. Also, to achieve progress we need to be more efficient in cutting through red tape with better accountability and oversight.

It is extremely discouraging to see the homeless count numbers in CD3 still rise during a period of unprecedented investment in shelter/housing and services. While I’m very grateful to all the LAHSA workers and service providers who, day in and day out, work with my team to bring people indoors, I am also frustrated with the overall system.

Homelessness continues to be the most critical issue facing our region. My team and I are committed to staying focused on housing, growing our network of assistance and finding out where our systems can be more efficient. Read more about my thoughts on the 2022 Homeless Count results here and, as always, please reach out if you have any questions on this issue at [email protected].


Breaking Ground on the Reseda Ice Rink

Years in the making, some may have seen fences going up and construction trailers on the south side of Sherman Way near Lindley Ave. That's because after hard work and building partnerships, ground has finally been broken on the Reseda Ice Rink! 

Team Blumenfield will be organizing a community groundbreaking celebration this fall to memorialize this huge step. Look out for updates about an exciting event coming soon.

More Traffic Safety Improvements in Warner Center

Over the past few weeks, several new traffic and pedestrian improvements were completed in Warner Center. Under the Warner Center 2035 Plan, developers pay impact fees to help fund more than $180 million worth of specific transportation improvements identified in the Plan. The Warner Center Plan Implementation Board (WC 2035 PIB), which consists of community stakeholders in coordination with Team Blumenfield, is charged with helping to prioritize these projects, which are aimed at making the Warner Center a vibrant Transit Oriented District based upon sustainability, community connectedness, aesthetics, accessible public transit, and a safe and friendly pedestrian environment.

The WC 2035 PIB worked with Blumenfield and various City departments to prioritize those measures that, based on safety and collision information, were most necessary and impactful. Just recently, traffic safety improvements were added to the following intersections including:

  • Protected left turn phases at De Soto Ave and Oxnard St
  • Protected left turn phases and 3 new continental crosswalks at Burbank Blvd and Canoga Ave
  • Protected left and right turn phases and a new continental crosswalk at Burbank Blvd and De Soto Ave

LACC Enhancing the West Valley

Through district funding, Councilmember Blumenfield has a dedicated team from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps LACC to supplement the work of the LA Sanitation Department. Corpsmembers are committed to improving the quality of life in our communities by maintaining trees, picking up bulky items, clearing overgrown vegetation, and more. Blumenfield is proud to work closely with the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC) to help clean up the community.

New COVID-19 Boosters Now Available

Recently, the CDC recommended everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, including all primary series doses and boosters for their age group. The updated COVID-19 booster provides protection against the original strain, as well as the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. This update to the booster will help your immune system fight off a wider range of variants. Click here to see if you are eligible for a booster and click here to find a location near you.

Participate in the LA Bioblitz Challenge

Join the LA BioBlitz Challenge September 1-30 to photograph and map animals, insects and plants found in your neighborhood, local parks, off of hiking trails, and in other natural areas.

The LA BioBlitz Challenge is an exciting collaboration between the Los Angeles Public Library’s Neighborhood Science Initiative and LA Sanitation and Environment’s Biodiversity Program to learn more about the native animals, plants and ecosystems in Los Angeles. Learn more about the challenge here.

Around Town

Councilmember Blumenfield congratulated Valley Traffic Division's Officers of the Year and thanked VTD's Advisory Board for their volunteerism and support of the community.

During the latest heatwave, Team Blumenfield was out in the field delivering water to our cooling center and joined caseworkers to offer services and water to our unhoused community. Councilmember Blumenfield thanks his MDT team for being out in field to assess unsheltered people’s needs and make referrals to needed services.

To mark the temporary closure of the Madrid before construction begins, Councilmember Blumenfield joined City leaders, community members and local performers for one last performance by the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale. Watch a recap of the event here.

Councilmember Blumenfield joined civic leaders and community members at the 64th annual Fernando Awards. Congrats to CD3 appointee to the Community Forest Advisory Committee and this year's winner, Jane Skeeter, and finalists Steve Fazio, Kathleen Sterling, Sharon Udkoff, and Team Blumenfield Alum, Kevin Tamaki. The awards recognize community service and volunteering, and past winners include Dale Surowitz, Martin Cooper, Lee Kanon Alpert, Gloria Pollack, Rickey Gelb, and many other remarkable Valley folks.

Historic West Valley

This week's photo from the Los Angeles Public Library's archives is from the Valley Times taken on August 24, 1964 of the opening of shopping center, Topanga Plaza. Over the years, it has had other names, including Westfield Shoppingtown Topanga, and most recently, Westfield Topanga.