Category Archives: CD 3 Bob Blumenfield

Blumenfield committee takes on race-based taxi discrimination at LAX

Blumenfield committee takes on race-based taxi discrimination at LAX

Approve new penalties for refusal of service motivated by prejudice

LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today pushed Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to hold taxi drivers to new standards of accountability, as the Innovation, Grants, Technology, Commerce, and Trade Committee, which oversees the airport, approved new zero-tolerance rules for race-based taxi discrimination.

In October, Blumenfield called for an investigation and an action plan to eliminate instances of refusal of service by taxi drivers on the basis of race following an op-ed by ESPN commentator and former Major League Baseball player Doug Glanville. Glanville, who is African-American, described being refused service by a taxi driver at LAX who suggested that Glanville should “take the bus,” instead. An airport employee told Glanville that it was the third time she had witnessed a driver refuse service to a black passenger over the course of her shift.

“In this day and age it is unacceptable that anyone can be turned away at one of the busiest airports in the world because of the color of their skin,” said Blumenfield, who chairs the committee. “We need to ensure equity and accessibility in our transportation options and fair treatment for people of all backgrounds, races, and ethnicities.”

LAWA led an investigation in response to Blumenfield’s motion and confirmed fears that discrimination was occurring undetected. Los Angeles Airport Police sent undercover African-American plain clothes officers into the LAX central terminal area to conduct a “secret shopper” investigation. The task force approached 25 taxicab drivers to request service. Five of those requests were refused. LAWA gave these shocking results to their contracted taxi coordinator, Authorized Taxi Supervision (ATS), who increased penalties for trip refusals in response.

The committee today approved an amended the contract between LAWA and ATS that makes explicit new penalties and enforcement mechanisms designed to eliminate refusals of service motivated by prejudice, including immediate revocation of the driver’s permit to provide taxicab service at the airport. Additionally, ATS is now required to notify LAWA of all complaints and disciplinary actions taken.

“We can’t and won’t tolerate prejudice in any form and are committed to rooting it out wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head. Together with LAWA, the City is confronting the problem of race-based taxi discrimination head-on,” concluded Blumenfield.

The amended ATS contract is expected to be heard by the full City Council within the next few weeks.

L.A. Metro Joins San Fernando Valley Officials and Community Members to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Innovative Metro Orange Line

New Metro Transit Milestone

L.A. METRO JOINS SAN FERNANDO VALLEY OFFICIALS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO CELEBRATE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF INNOVATIVE METRO ORANGE LINE

  • In its first decade, the Orange Line has exceeded expectations to become one of the most successful BRT lines in the nation, with new improvements and amenities planned

image001            The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) yesterday joined a host of San Fernando Valley representatives, stakeholders, community members and others to officially celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Metro Orange Line, the most innovative Bus Rapid Transit line of its kind in Los Angeles County and the nation. New amenities, development and connecting transit services are now in the works to make Orange Line service even better for Metro customers.

Dubbed “The Valley’s New Shortcut” when it opened to the public on October 29, 2005, the Orange Line surpassed ridership expectations from the very first day of service to become one of the most heavily used and best performing bus lines on the Metro system.

Ridership has nearly doubled in the last decade, vaulting from approximately 16,000 average weekday boardings in November 2005 to more than 29,000 boardings in September 2015.

In total, the Orange Line has accommodated 74 million boarding passengers in the past decade, and its fast, frequent and reliable service has logged a 91 percent on-time performance record.  The bus line serves as a natural extension of the Metro Red Line in North Hollywood that connects Valley commuters to Downtown L.A. and beyond via Metro’s expanding rail system.

“As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Metro Rail this year, we also take note of the 10th anniversary of the Metro Orange Line. It is further evidence that Metro has galvanized a transit revolution here in Los Angeles County,” said Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair.  “With 10 years of service under our belt, we can confidently proclaim that the Orange Line has done exactly what it was intended to do: provide better mobility for the San Fernando Valley.  But we don’t intend to rest on our laurels. We are now planning improvements that will better serve our customers in the coming decade and beyond.”

Metro has steadily improved bus frequencies to meet demand and extended the line to serve more Valley communities.  Buses now operate every four minutes during peak rush hour periods.  Just three years ago, the Orange Line was extended an additional four miles north from Canoga Park to Chatsworth to create an 18-mile multi-modal transit connection at the Chatsworth Metrolink/Amtrak Station.  The busway’s pedestrian path/bikeway has grown in lockstep, and is now the longest transit-adjacent amenity of its kind in L.A. County.

“The San Fernando Valley is an economic and entertainment hub for our City, and the Orange line continues to play a pivotal role in connecting Angelenos from all corners of our region to the places they want and need to go,” said Eric Garcetti, Mayor of the City of Los Angeles and Metro Second Vice-Chair.  “By giving Angelenos more transportation options, we are working to ease traffic flow, cut air pollution and ultimately improve livability. Future Metro transit projects promise to further expand the reach of the Orange Line and create the robust, sustainable transit network that Valley commuters deserve.”

The idea of high-capacity buses running every few minutes on their own dedicated right-of-way and stopping at rail-like passenger stations was borrowed from similar BRT lines operating in Curitiba, Brazil.  L.A. County officials visited Curitiba in 1999 and later tailored the BRT concept to meet the L.A. region’s particular transit demands.

“From the first day the Orange Line opened, it was an immediate hit and helped relieve congestion on the 101 freeway,” said Sheila Kuehl, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Member. “This line is a custom-made transit solution that gives Valley residents a real alternative to sitting in traffic.”

Plans for the busway were originally conceived on the back of a napkin to be a “rail car on rubber wheels.” Public officials and transit planners envisioned high-capacity buses to run on the line.  The bold new “Metro Liner” articulated compressed natural gas bus built by North American Bus Industries was built expressly for the new service, and was a radical departure from the “breadbox” design of typical Metro buses.  Metro Liners were the most aerodynamic, technologically advanced transit vehicle ever placed into Metro service, and the first articulated transit bus to operate on local streets in more than 20 years.  Like Metro’s other BRT lines, Metro Liners contain a signal priority system that shortens the duration of red signals and lengthens green signals to help the buses more quickly traverse intersections.

Metro continues to look for new ways to improve service capacity.  In early October, Governor Brown signed new legislation that authorizes Metro to utilize double-articulated buses on the Metro Orange Line to significantly increase future capacity on the line.  This new legislation will allow Metro to continue the agency’s leadership role by utilizing new technology to provide transportation service.

A host of new amenities and services will improve parking capacity, safety, improve conditions for bicyclists and offer new residential, retail and commercial  opportunities for Valley commuters.

For example, next week Metro is planning to open a brand new nearly 200-space temporary park & ride facility, as well as off-street bicycle path on Chandler Boulevard between Vineland Boulevard and Fair Avenue near the North Hollywood Metro Red Line Station.  The lot is constructed by sustainable elements like special permeable paving and LED lighting.

In addition, the new bike path will connect the Chandler Bikeway to the Orange Line Bikeway, encouraging the continuation of multi-modal trips for bicycle commuters traveling east-west across the Valley.

“The construction of much needed additional parking and the closure of the bikeway gap near the North Hollywood Station really addresses two of the biggest challenges we face at this important Valley transit hub,” said Paul Krekorian, L.A. City Council Member and Metro Board Member. “These improvements will make it easier and safer to access North Hollywood Station, whether by foot, bicycle or car.”

Metro contractors are also now constructing an underground pedestrian passageway between the Metro Red Line and Metro Orange Line stations.  The passageway will provide safe, convenient and direct access between stations, eliminating the need to cross Lankershim Boulevard at street level.  Portals will be constructed between the Mezzanine level of the Metro Red Line Station and the Plaza level at the Metro Orange Line Station.  Escalator, stair and elevator access will be available from both ends of the passageway, and additional ticket vending machines will also be installed for added customer convenience.  The passageway should be completed in mid-2016.

Metro’s restored Lankershim Depot at the corner of Lankershim and Chandler Boulevards is now planned to house a coffee shop in spring 2016.  Additionally, Metro also plans to utilize space within the depot for a new Metro Bike Hub.  The Bike hub will provide customer service, bike repair and retail, as well as provide approximately 200 secure bike parking spaces on adjacent property.  Metro plans to start design work for the bike hub in 2016, with a possible opening in 2018.

As the eastern terminus of the Orange Line, North Hollywood is central to Metro’s future plans to create a thriving transit-oriented community that focuses on compact, walkable and bikeable places in a community context.  Metro owns four parcels encompassing nearly 16 acres of property at or near its transit stations.  Metro is now working closely with the community on development guidelines that will be provided to a future developer. Current concepts include building a high-density but vibrant, walkable and transit-friendly development for North Hollywood that could also include affordable housing, commercial and/or office space.

“Metro-owned property in North Hollywood is the single biggest opportunity we have on the Metro System to create a future thriving transit-oriented community,” said Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO. “Both Orange Line and Red Line customers as well as the surrounding community will benefit from new opportunities to live, work and play at this major hub.”

New bus services are also planned.  To coincide with the opening of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension on March 5, 2016, Metro now plans to launch a new pilot bus line: the North Hollywood to Pasadena Express. The service will operate from North Hollywood Orange Line and Red Line stations to Pasadena and will include six stops along the way.  The service will run every 15 minutes during weekday peak hours, every 30 minutes during weekday off-peak times and every 30 minutes on the weekends to better connect the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

Earlier this year, a new expanded bus service connecting the North Hollywood Station with Bob Hope Airport was launched.  The BurbankBus NoHo-Airport Route operates all-day, Monday through Friday, with buses departing North Hollywood Station every 15 minutes during morning and afternoon commute periods, every 20 minutes during the mid-day, and every 45 minutes in the late evening. This November, Metro is partnering with BurbankBus to extend this service during Thanksgiving weekend to include Saturday and Sunday.

Late last year, Metro introduced a new “Valley-Westside Express” that provides transit riders with a faster, easier way to travel between the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles. The express buses run nonstop during peak hours between the Sepulveda Metro Orange Line Station in Van Nuys and Westwood.  The service takes full advantage of the completed network of I-405 carpool lanes that now travel both north and south through the Sepulveda Pass.

About Metro
Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines, a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and it is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County.  Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is, literally, changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.

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LA Mayor Eric Garcetti speaking on yesterday’s event celebrating the 10 year anniversary on the opening of the Orange Line at the Sepulveda Orange Line Station with LA County Supervisor Sheila Kruel, LA City Council Nury Martinez and Bob Blumenfield looking on.

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.net, facebook.com/losangelesmetro, twitter.com/metrolosangeles and twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.

Blumenfield Cuts Ribbon at New Water-Wise Demonstration Garden in the West Valley

IMG_3632Blumenfield Cuts Ribbon at New Water-Wise Demonstration Garden in the West Valley

New landscaping at the West Valley Municipal Center and branch library will educate while conserving water. 

RESEDA, CA – As part of his ongoing work to “green the Valley,” Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today cut the ribbon on the new Blumenfield Water-Wise Demonstration Garden at the West Valley Municipal Center in Reseda. Prior to its completion the project had already saved several hundred thousand gallons of water.

The project, a partnership between Blumenfield’s office, the Department of General Services, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) and the Department of Recreation and Parks, replaced 20,000 square feet of thirsty lawn at the West Valley Municipal Center and neighboring West Valley Library with a variety of California friendly landscaping options.

In a recent year-to-year comparison, water use at the West Valley Municipal Center has plummeted by 84%, a savings of 361,000 gallons from March 2014 through March 2015, over the previous 12 months. It is expected that the new water-wise irrigation system will cut future water use by half, with estimated annual water savings for a project of this size totaling approximately 500,000 gallons.

“What was once a patch of ailing lawn is now a place for West Valley residents to admire, inspire, and enjoy,” said Blumenfield. “By replacing our thirsty lawns with California friendly landscaping, the City of Los Angeles is leading the way and educating Valley residents on the range of options for turf replacement, while saving the City water.”

The new garden showcases different styles and plant alternatives, including Mediterranean, California native, and southwest styles, which serve to guide and inform local residents in their efforts to remove thirsty turf, while lowering the City’s overall water use in a time of unprecedented drought conditions. Work was completed by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps who utilized the project as part of their job training initiative.

The West Valley Municipal Center houses Councilmember Blumenfield’s Reseda District Office, and locations for 5 City departments. The surrounding West Valley community has a high water use for turf on large single family residential lots but has had a relatively low participation in the turf rebate program. 

“The Department of General Services welcomed the opportunity to partner with Councilman Blumenfield and his office, the Los Angeles Public Library Department, the Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps to bring this demonstration project to the residents of the West Valley community,” said General Services Department General Manager Tony Royster.

“The Blumenfield Water-Wise Demonstration Garden serves as a model of what homeowners can achieve by swapping out their traditional grass lawns with California Friendly landscaping. With 50% of the city’s drinking water being used for outdoor irrigation, our goal is to whittle down that number, one lawn transformation at a time,” said Board of Water and Power Commissioner Jill Banks Barad.

The Los Angeles Public Library West Valley Regional branch is a project participant and has incorporated educational exhibits and programming to expand the outreach for the project, including hosting Blumenfield’s water-wise workshop this past summer.

“”We are thrilled that this beautiful water-wise garden surrounds the West Valley Regional Branch Library, and here, we will continue to do what we do best—serve as an educational resource for the community: hosting exhibits, learning opportunities and programs about the garden and other water conservation efforts to help Valley residents adopt best practices,” said City Librarian John F. Szabo.

“Councilmember Blumenfield’s leadership and vision for a beautiful and water-wise Los Angeles is evident in this project. Water conservation continues to be a priority of our City and we encourage residents to consider turf reduction as part of their home improvement projects,” said Michael A. Shull, General Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks

“The city as a whole, has a lot to be proud of. In August, Los Angeles met state water conservation goals by achieving a 17.4 percent reduction in water usage when compared to the same month in 2013. The Blumenfield Water-Wise Demonstration Garden helps to show, there is always an opportunity for us to conserve water, whether it’s on a large or small scale,” said Marty Adams, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager of the Water System.

Blumenfield has also taken similar steps at his Woodland Hills home, replacing 1,750 square feet of turf with California friendly landscaping.

As Vice-chair of the City’s Energy and Environment Committee, Blumenfield has been pushing the City to take innovative new approaches to beat the drought, including: convening a work-group of the City’s largest water and energy customers to work collaboratively to cut usage, instructing City Departments to utilize drought-tolerant landscaping for City facilities, ensuring Angelenos have access to cost-effective home water upgrades through Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, and adding environmentally friendly artificial turf to the menu of options available to Angelenos interested in replacing their parkways with low water alternatives.

Blumenfield Cuts Ribbon at Costanso Fire Station 84 Park

IMG_2723Blumenfield Cuts Ribbon at Costanso Fire Station 84 Park

New Woodland Hills park the result of extensive community outreach effort. 

EDS: Photo attached

WOODLAND HILLS, CA – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today was joined by representatives from the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the United Fire Fighters of Los Angeles and a host of neighbors and community members to cut the ribbon at the new Costanso Fire Station 84 Park in Woodland Hills.

Fire Station 84 operated at the corner of Canoga Ave. and Costanso St. from 1949 until being relocated to a new location in Warner Center in 2007. The vacant fire station remained unused and became blighted, overgrown with weeds and a place where illicit activity occurred. ln 2013, Blumenfield, newly elected to the Los Angeles City Council, undertook a massive community outreach effort to determine the future use of the site, and began working feverishly to transform the area.

“Today, I’m proudly checking this park opening off my list of first term priorities,” said Blumenfield. “The neighborhood around the old Fire Station 84 is one of the oldest and most beautiful in the Valley, but after years of neglect, the property had fallen into disrepair. After two years of hard work and community input, we have transformed what was a blighted piece of land into an incredible neighborhood resource.”

“Old Fire Station 84 served the City of Los Angeles for nearly 50 years, and it is the Department of Recreation and Parks’ honor to be able to carry on its legacy with Costanso Fire Station 84 Park,” said Michael A. Shull, General Manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks. “Its creation involved a lot of input and help from the surrounding community, and we can’t wait for them to enjoy this great park for many years to come.”

“I’m thrilled to see that the site of former Fire Station 84 will continue to be of service to the community,” said Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph M. Terrazas. “The LAFD is an integral part of our City and as we continue to provide the highest level of service, we are also proud that our leaders and the community are vested in the history and traditions that make Los Angeles great. My thanks to Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and the entire community for their vision and commitment to this project.”

Through neighborhood canvassing, mailed surveys, and tabling at local businesses, over 500 responses were collected with an overwhelming consensus in favor of an open space use for the park. Blumenfield worked to ensure the community was engaged in every stage of the park’s construction, holding a community design meeting to inform Recreation and Parks of the community’s vision for the park, and even a contest to name the park. The final design honors the site’s former use as a fire station, while reflecting the community’s vision of a neighborhood park.

What we’ve accomplished from CD3 Bob Blumenfield

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield - Council District 3
Friend —
Today marks the completion of my second year as your Councilmember and the midway point of my first term in office. It has been a partnership, and I am grateful to you for helping make it possible. Together we have accomplished much, but many challenges remain.

Please take a look at my Mid-Term Report e-book at blumenfield.lacity.org/midterm. It outlines the accomplishments of the past two years and sets the course for an even greater future for the San Fernando Valley.

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Councilmember Bob Blumenfield
http://blumenfield.lacity.org/

P.S.: Join me this Independence Day for the annual July 4 Fireworks Extravaganza at Lou Bredlow Pavillion at Warner Ranch Park

With one of most spectacular fireworks display in Southern California, the July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza delights over 60,000 people every year with a free concert and 20-minute spectacular fireworks display. There will be local restaurants on hand along with arts and crafts vendors and local businesses promoting and selling their goods. The event takes place on July 4th of each year from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Come early!

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Warner Ranch Park is located at 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Parking is available for $20 in any of the Warner Center structures between Topanga and Canoga or Califa and Oxnard.

Councilmember Bob Blumenfield – Council District 3 · 19040 Vanowen St, Los Angeles, CA 91335, United States

The Blumenfield Buzz – June 2015

topThe Blumenfield Buzz- 6/23/2015
City Moves Forward With Blumenfield Broadband Plan

The Los Angeles City Council this month approved the release of a Request for Participants (RFP) to identify one or more providers to commit to deploying advanced wireline and wireless networks that can provide one gigabit broadband speed or more to residences and businesses. The RFP asks proposers to provide a free level of service, including free basic wireless services, and to complete build-out within the next five years.

The RFP was issued as part of CityLinkLA, the initiative first proposed by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to ensure that Los Angeles is among the most connected cities worldwide.

“In today’s digital age, Internet access is a necessity, not a luxury. Today however, too many Angelenos do not have access to broadband, while many businesses and residents pay higher prices for slower speeds when compared to other global cities,” said Blumenfield, who chairs the Council’s Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee. “Universal access to high-speed Internet is essential to the City’s future economic competitiveness, and will drive Los Angeles’s entertainment, tech and entrepreneurial activity. Free wireless Internet access will be a game changer in terms of helping to bridge the city’s digital divide.”

To meet the needs of Los Angeles residents and businesses, the City is seeking proposals for networks that deliver symmetrical speeds of one Gbps or higher and at prices comparable to similar services offered in other cities with gigabit service, such as Chattanooga, Tennessee and Austin, Texas. Additionally, proposers are asked to address the digital divide through provision of a level of free access to the Internet via wireless services, and free wireline services to targeted communities.image-2

Since Councilmember Blumenfield first introduced a measure to develop a citywide broadband and wireless network in July 2013, effectively establishing the initiative, City leaders have undertaken an extensive research process to arrive at this RFP. A Request for Information (RFI), issued in April 2014, collected feedback from potential bidders and the public provided clarity on necessary actions to take in creating a viable package. Efforts have also included studying deployment models developed by other municipalities and engaging every City department in identifying and mapping available City assets.

“CityLinkLA was created to deliver the high-speed, high-quality and affordable Internet that Angelenos need and deserve. Our goal is to see that all Los Angeles neighborhoods have equal access to advanced communications networks, allowing residents and businesses to take full advantage of Internet capabilities. We have set a course for the City’s technological future. We’re looking for providers that share our vision and are ready to invest now,” concluded Blumenfield.

Special Notice Regarding District Office Construction

Due to ongoing construction at the West Valley Municipal Center, Councilmember Blumenfield’s District Office staff may be temporarily relocated to City Hall or another City Building. If you are unable to reach any District Office staff, please call Councilmember Blumenfield’s City Hall office at (213) 473-7003.

Special Olympics Comes to the West Valley

In just a few short weeks, Los Angeles will welcome more than 7,000 athletes from 170 nations for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. This will be the largest sporting event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister to President John F. Kennedy, the first Games were held in 1968 in Chicago. In that time, the Special Olympics has grown into the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.4 million athletes. This year is the first time the Special Olympics have been held in the United States since the 1999 Games in Raleigh, North Carolina and a chance to display the best of our city to the world.

image-1Proving once again that Councilmember Blumenfield’s West Valley constituents are extremely generous of their time, energy, and spirit, not one, but 4 communities and their chambers of commerce have stepped up to the plate to serve as host towns. They will be welcoming the world’s athletes in to West Valley neighborhoods as they compete on the global stage: the communities of Woodland Hills, Tarzana, and Reseda, along with the West Valley-Warner Center Chamber of Commerce will be welcoming the Greek delegation to the World Games, while the community of Winnetka will host the delegation from Venezuela.

How to get involved:
  • Support your local host town! West Valley communities have stepped up to the plate to host nation delegations to the World Games, but they need your help to make this an amazing experience for the athletes. It takes $100 to host one athlete during one day, or $300 for all three days. Donate now to support your local host town of Winnetka, or Woodland Hills, Tarzana, and Reseda.
  • Join Councilmember Blumenfield at a local torch run! The West Valley will host two torch runs in the lead-up to the Games: on July 22 in Warner Center, and July 23 in Reseda.
  • Become a volunteer! Apply now as a volunteer to be a part of the biggest global sports event to hit LA since the 1984 Olympic Games. The Special Olympics are seeking volunteers with big hearts, big smiles and a big commitment to the mission – Special Olympics. Whatever your interest, talent or background, there are volunteer opportunities for you! To find the role that’s right for you click here.

The City of Los Angeles is the greatest city in the world because of the contributions made by everyday people throughout Los Angeles. This summer, let’s show the world the best of Los Angeles as we play host to the Special Olympics Summer World Games.

Blumenfield Tackles Crumbling Sidewalks at Special Committee Hearing

image-5On June 1, in a special joint hearing of the Council’s Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee, of which Councilmember Blumenfield is a member, the City Council took first steps toward bringing City sidewalks into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and making them passable and safe for all Angelenos.

With an estimated 10,750 miles of sidewalks, there are substantial challenges in the development and implementation of a citywide sidewalk repair program. Bureau of Street Services has previously estimated that 40% of the system or 4,620 miles is in disrepair

Recommendations currently being considered by the Council include:

  • The City will inspect all City sidewalks.
  • For damaged sidewalks at residential locations, the City would repair the sidewalk at the City’s expense, but thereafter responsibility for future repairs would be assigned to the adjacent property owner (“Fix and Release”).
  • For undamaged sidewalks at residential locations, the City would immediately assign responsibility for future repairs to the adjacent property owner.
  • For sidewalks in any condition that are adjacent to commercial properties and to the property of other governmental entities, the City would assign responsibility for those sidewalks to the adjacent property owners.

“Even before I started my work at the City Council, I was working to find ways to improve our neighborhood sidewalks, and I’m pleased that we are finally making progress,” said Blumenfield. “For too long, LA neighborhoods have been strangled by broken, buckled, impassible, and dangerous sidewalks that have threatened safety and jeopardized economic activity due to decades of neglect.”

Earlier this year, Blumenfield played a role in pushing the City to resolve ongoing litigation that had previously hampered efforts to comprehensively address our sidewalk infrastructure. In settling, the City made a $1.4 billion commitment to sidewalk repairs and pedestrian improvements, the first $31 million of which are included in the recently passed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The June hearing was just the beginning of a longer conversation about how best to address the City’s sidewalks. Several field hearings will be held throughout Los Angeles to follow up on the Council discussion.

Please feel free to attend the hearing in the San Fernando Valley on Thursday, July 30, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Van Nuys City Hall: 14410 Sylvan Street Van Nuys, CA 91401.

Blumenfield has previously pushed the City to take creative and innovative approaches to fixing Los Angeles’s broken sidewalks, including use of alternative materials that will allow for enhanced groundwater recharge and are less prone to buckling, as well as ways property owners can partner with the City to address sidewalks adjacent to their property, similar to the City’s successful 50/50 program.

In his annual budget survey, Blumenfield asked Valley residents what funding sources the City should use to meet its sidewalk obligation. As the process moves forward, Blumenfield hopes to hear from West Valley communities about this important City issue. In particular, if there is a City sidewalk that needs urgent attention send an e-mail to councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org with the sidewalk’s location: “By gathering more data about where the most urgent need is, we can make the most of our City investment,” concluded Blumenfield.

Celebrate Independence Day With Councilmember Bob Blumenfield in Woodland Hills

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For more information, visit blumenfield.lacity.org/july4.

This July 4th, celebrate Independence Day at the annual Fireworks Extravaganza in Warner Center Park, presented by Councilmember Blumenfield, Keyes Automotive, and the Valley Cultural Center. 

With one of most spectacular fireworks displays in Southern California, the July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza delights over 60,000 people every year with a free concert and 20-minute spectacular fireworks display. In June, Blumenfield honored the Valley Cultural Center for 40 years of providing great programming like the annual fireworks show for Valley residents.

There will be over 15 local restaurants on hand along with arts and crafts vendors and local businesses promoting and selling their goods. This year, like every year, the event will be held at the Lou Bradlow Pavilion in Warner Ranch Park. The fun gets started at 6:00 p.m. and goes until 9:30 p.m. Come early!

Parking is available for $20 in any of the Warner Center structures between Topanga and Canoga or Califa and Oxnard.

Blumenfield Casts Historic Vote for Local Minimum Wage

On May 19, the Los Angeles City Council took historic action, voting to increase the citywide minimum wage as part of an ongoing effort to combat poverty in Los Angeles.

The final motion incorporates several policy suggestions raised by Blumenfield in the months since Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed increasing the City’s minimum wage.

Following the vote, Blumenfield made the following statement:

“President Kennedy famously proclaimed that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats,’ and today, through a thoughtful, deliberative process, we’ve created a policy that will give Angelenos the raise in wages they need and deserve, while lifting the economic and spiritual tide of our City, including for our most vulnerable populations.

The Citywide Minimum Wage is among the most consequential policy decisions enacted by this Council in years, and as with any major policy, it is crucial that it be crafted in a way that is thoughtful and deliberative to ensure that we achieve our goal of lifting Angelenos out of poverty.

To that end, I have been an advocate of an increase that would consider the position of non-profits that serve our most vulnerable populations, including children, seniors, and the developmentally disabled, especially those that rely on federal and state dollars reimbursement rates.

Similarly, I have been adamant that in order to guarantee the success of any increased wage, steps must be taken to monitor its impacts on jobs and earnings and there must be an opportunity to consider any policy, schedule, or other adjustments needed based on that data. I am pleased that the proposal approved today accomplishes these goals.

Today the City Council, under the leadership of Council President Wesson and Chairman Price, has taken bold action, and through a robust debate has done so in a way that will ensure the broadest possible benefit to the economy.

For more from Councilmember Blumenfield on the minimum wage, see his previous letter to the members of the Economic Development Committee, posted hereThe ordinance and schedule of increases can be viewed here.

On Patrol and in the Air with LAPD Air Support Division

On the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, Blumenfield joined LAPD Air Support Division to tour their facilities, and show appreciation for the work they do everyday keeping Valley communities safe before joining them for a 2.5 hour patrol of Valley communities.

ASD began with one helicopter in 1956. Today, ASD is the largest municipal airborne law enforcement operation in the world. Based out of the City’s Piper Tech facility, ASD utilizes the largest rooftop helipad in the nation, if not the world, to serve as the LAPD’s eyes in the sky.

Water-Wise Workshop in the West Valley

Residents heard from LADWP officials about tips on how they can save water and beat the drought.

LADWP will pay you to replace your lawn with California friendly landscaping. The Ca$h in Your Lawn rebate is now $3.75 per square foot.

Last summer, Blumenfield replaced 1,750 sq. ft. of turf at his Woodland Hills home with California friendly plants. This past fall, Blumenfield broke ground on the Water-Wise Demonstration Garden, replacing some 20,000 sq. ft. of thirsty turf at the West Valley Municipal Center and neighboring and West Valley Library with a variety of California friendly landscaping options. The West Valley Municipal Center houses Blumenfield’s Reseda District Office. 

In October, Blumenfield introduced legislation that would create new standard for environmentally friendly artificial turf so that it can be more responsibly added to the menu of options available to Angelenos interested in replacing their parkways with low water alternatives.

Celebrating Innovation in Los Angeles

Councilmember Blumenfield was joined by his colleagues, Councilmember Nury Martinez and Councilmember Mitch Englander, to celebrate the hardworking, dedicated City employees who submitted the first round of proposals selected as part of the City’s Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund looks to City employees and commissioners to crowdsource new ideas to make government more efficient, responsive, and transparent.

Blumenfield, who chairs the Council’s Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee, had previously joined Mayor Eric Garcetti and Controller Ron Galperin to announce the launch of the fund this March.

Dr. Marc Eckstein, with the support of Councilmember Mitchell Englander, brought forward the concept of a nurse practitioner unit for the LAFD. The new unit will provide efficient and effective health services to vulnerable Angelenos while freeing up valuable resources for immediate, life-threatening emergencies.

Mark Nakata found a new way to bring Los Angeles into the 21st century by suggesting the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering utilize 3D printing technology to produce architectural models that will save many hours of staff time.

Sandip Soni, Arment Kamyshyan and Ken Husting conceived of the “Can I Park Here Now” idea that will simplify parking signs that have been known to confuse and confound drivers throughout the city.

The Controller’s office, under the leadership of Controller Ron Galperin and Deputy Controller Vijay Singhal came up with a proposal to create a mobile app to allow City employees to access their paycheck information from the palm of their hand. Currently that vital information is only accessible from a desktop, a major hassle for the many City employees who are not assigned a computer.

Delilah and Alejandro Puche, a husband and wife team, both City employees, submitted the idea for online police reporting. As it turns out, the types of reports that could be handled online take a lot of time for our officers to process, time that could be better spent on crime prevention.

Michael Sailor submitted a very cool idea to bring unarmed air vehicles to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Castaic Power Plant. Currently, it takes 5-7 people 3-4 hours to complete an inspection. Michael’s idea will allow the department to buy widely available quadcopters to inspect facilities and insulators on power poles, and ultimately increase safety: protecting inspectors from hazards such as steep terrain, rattlesnakes, and extreme heat.

Have an idea of how the City of Los Angeles could do things better, faster, or cheaper? Keep those innovative ideas coming at innovate.lacity.org!

Around town…

Blumenfield, pictured here with his daughter Nia (left), son Obi (right) and friend Jasmin (center), rides in the Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade, on May 25, 2015.

Blumenfield joined the Tarzana Neighborhood Council to recognize the winners of the 4th annual Earth Day poster contest, on May 26, 2015.

As CicLAvia was held in Pasadena last month, Blumenfield joined his family for a ride on the LA River Bike Path through Canoga Park and Winnetka, on May 31, 2015.

 

Upcoming Events

West Valley Division Presents
END OF WATCH MEMORIAL WALL AND MOVIE NIGHT

Join LAPD and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to honor our heroes, and for a special screening of Night at the Museum

WHEN:
Friday, June 26
6:00 pm
Screening starts at 8:30 pm
WHERE:
West Valley Division
19020 Vanowen St
Reseda, CA 91335
West Valley Division Presents

West Valley Tours: Open House

WHEN:
Saturday, June 27
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
WHERE:
West Valley Division
19020 Vanowen St
Reseda, CA 91335
Valley Jewish Community Center

CASINO NIGHT

WHEN:
Saturday, July 11
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
WHERE:
Monterey at Encino
16821 Burbank Blvd
Encino, CA 91436
Los Angeles Public Library

Summer Lunch at the Library!

WHEN:
Every weekday from June 8 to July 31
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
WHERE:
Canoga Park Branch
20939 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, 91303

El Ministerio de Salud de La Iglesia Sta. Catalina de Siena La Feria Annual de Salud:

The Health Ministry of St. Catherine of Siena Church
Annual Health Fair
WHEN:
Sunday, July 12
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
WHERE:
La Iglesia Sta. Catalina de Siena
18115 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335
Law Enforcement Torch Run

Final Leg for Special Olympics

WHEN:
Thursday, July 23
10:30 am
WHERE:
Randal D. Simmons Park
6731 Wilbur Ave.
Reseda, CA 91335

This is not a comprehensive calendar. You can list your own event by heading to blumenfield.lacity.org/events and clicking “host your own event.”

Blumenfield & Tony Hawk to Cut Ribbon on New Skatepark for the West Valley, Tomorrow!

tony-hawk-bcn-fotos-skate-espectacularBlumenfield & Tony Hawk to Cut Ribbon on New Skatepark for the West Valley

CANOGA PARK, CA – Tony Hawk and members of the Birdhouse Skateboards team will join Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and City leaders on-site to help the community inaugurate the Lanark Skate Plaza: a brand new 14,000 sq. ft. street plaza style skatepark set among old-growth trees at Lanark Recreation Center in Canoga Park.

A pro demo by Hawk and the Birdhouse Skateboards team will follow the grand-opening ceremony and ribbon cutting.

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks has been working with local youth on a skatepark since 2011. The new skate plaza is the first in the West San Fernando Valley and was partially funded by a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.

WHAT: Skatepark ribbon cutting, grand-opening and pro demo with Tony Hawk.
WHO: Bob Blumenfield, Councilmember

Mike Shull, General Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks

Tony Hawk, Professional Skateboarder

Birdhouse Skateboards Team Members

WHEN: Friday, June 19, 2015

2:00 pm

WHERE: Lanark Recreation Center

21816 Lanark St

Canoga Park, CA 91304

Media Availability on Plan to Deploy Gigabit Broadband Network Across Los Angeles

PLAN TO DEPLOY GIGABIT BROADBAND NETWORK ACROSS LOS ANGELES, INCLUDING FREE WIRELESS ACCESS, SET TO CROSS MAJOR MILESTONE

City Council to Vote on CityLinkLA Request for Participants

LOS ANGELES – CityLinkLA, the city-led initiative to bring world-class, high-speed Internet access to all residents and businesses in the City of Los Angeles, will cross a major milestone as the Council votes to release a Request for Participants (RFP) to identify one or more providers to commit to deploying advanced communications networks citywide. The RFP calls for completion within five years of networks that will provide symmetrical one gigabit download/upload speeds or more to all residences and businesses and provide free wireless. Initiative leaders and supporters will host a media briefing via conference call to deliver the details of the RFP following the City Council vote.

WHAT:

Media briefing via conference call

WHERE:

Conference line: 1-415-655-0003

Access code: 292 730 683

WHEN:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Noon – 12:30 p.m. PT

WHO:

Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield

Peter Marx, Chief Technology Officer, City of Los Angeles

Ted Ross, Interim General Manager, Information Technology Agency

WHY:

In today’s digital age, access to the Internet is a necessity, not a luxury. Yet as many as 30 percent of City of Los Angeles residents do not have access to broadband or cannot afford it while many businesses and residents pay higher prices for slower speeds when compared to other global cities.

Universal access to high-speed Internet is essential to the City’s future, and will drive Los Angeles’ entertainment, tech and entrepreneurial activity into the economy of the future. In addition, bridging the digital divide with free wireless service will be invaluable to preparing Los Angeles for the 21st century, ultimately ensuring a smarter, more connected, more livable and safer Los Angeles.

RSVP:

To confirm attendance of the conference call, please email CityLinkLA@lacity.org

PRESS RELEASE: Blumenfield Pushes Approval of Film & TV Tax Credit Program

Blumenfield Pushes Approval of Film & TV Tax Credit Program

California Film Commission Moves Forward Critical Guidelines

LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember and California Film Commission Member Bob Blumenfield joined his colleagues on the Commission as they approved a set of emergency draft regulations for the expanded and improved California Film & TV Tax Credit Program. The approval comes in time to get the program up and running in time to accept applications for the network TV season in May.

“As one of the primary economic engines of the San Fernando Valley and surrounding region, the film industry has provided untold numbers of Angelenos with well-paying jobs, both above and below the line, for generations” said Councilmember Blumenfield. “As the media landscape shifts, it’s critical that we take action to protect those jobs, and the families they support, throughout the Valley and Los Angeles, and across the state.”

The expansion of California Film & TV Tax Credit Program is the result of the California Film & Television Job Retention and Promotion Act, which was signed in to law by Governor Jerry Brown at a Los Angeles press conference last September. The program more than triples available tax credits to $330 million for California film and television productions.

“Already we’ve seen an uptick of production in the West San Fernando Valley. Today’s action by the commission will help ensure the program’s continued success,” concluded Blumenfield.

Appointed to the California Film Commission in 2011, Councilmember Blumenfield has been a longtime advocate for entertainment industry jobs. Blumenfield coauthored and was a major advocate of AB 2026, which extended California’s existing $100 million tax credit to qualified productions through 2017. He has also been a strong proponent of intellectual property rights.

Pending final approval of the draft regulations, the California Film Commission will be able to begin distributing the funds starting July 1.

PRESS RELEASE: Blumenfield Secures Support for Earthquake Resiliency Financing Program

Blumenfield Secures Support for Earthquake Resiliency

Financing Program

Council approves motion to include seismic upgrades in PACE program

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles City Council today took necessary action to include seismic retrofits in the state’s successful Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE allows property owners to finance specific upgrades through an assessment on their property taxes. The move is designed to give property owners a practical tool to help finance the costs of necessary retrofits that will enhance our city’s resiliency in the event of a major earthquake.

“For Los Angeles, the question is not ‘if’ but rather ‘when’ we will face our next major earthquake,” said Councilmember Blumenfield. “It is crucial that state and local governments work collaboratively with property owners to help them manage retrofit costs, because the costs of inaction are too great.”

In December, Mayor Eric Garcetti and his Science Advisor for Seismic Safety, USGS Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones released a series of recommendations to enhance Los Angeles’s earthquake resiliency. Among the recommendations made by Dr. Jones and her team of technical experts is mandatory retrofit of Los Angeles’s approximately 16,000 soft-first story buildings. Soft story buildings are wood frame buildings where the first floor has large openings, for example tuck-under parking, garage doors, and retail display windows.

Los Angeles lost 49,000 housing units in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, two-thirds of which were soft-first story buildings.

“Without such a tool, compliance would be financially out of reach for many property owners. It’s important that we add PACE financing to the toolbox ahead of the passage of a retrofit mandate,” concluded Blumenfield.

As an Assemblymember, Blumenfield authored and passed the legislation that expanded the PACE program for energy conservation and added new provisions for water efficiency upgrades. He also was a strong proponent of the 2011 legislation that added seismic retrofits to the program. Last year, as a Councilmember, Blumenfield successfully pushed for City participation in PACE’s water and energy financing programs. Today’s action to make Los Angeles a participant in the related seismic PACE programs is a logical extension of his work.