DISTRICT 4 Newsletters
Enshrining Los Angeles’s ‘Sanctuary City’ policies into law and preparing for future storms | 3/09/23
I came to this country with my mother as an immigrant when I was six years old, arriving in the United States because we sought a better life. This country has afforded my family and I opportunities we could never have dreamed of, and I am so grateful to have been welcomed here with open arms.
But for many immigrants, that is not the case. In Los Angeles, where more than one in three residents is an immigrant, a significant number of these community members live in fear of being apprehended, detained, and deported by federal immigration authorities.
While the City took its first steps to formally protect this community in 2019 – in the wake of a presidential administration that actively sought to instill fear in those who came to this country to seek a better life – the result was an Executive Directive that lacked the permanence of a City law.
This week, along with my colleagues Councilmembers Eunisses Hernandez and Hugo Soto-Martinez, we gathered on the steps of City Hall to announce legislation that would establish Los Angeles as a “Sanctuary City.” What we’re proposing is an official ordinance to codify protections that would legally prevent any City resources, property, or personnel from being utilized for any federal immigration enforcement or to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in the execution of their duties connected to federal immigration enforcement.
Click the headline to read the LA Times coverage of our motion!
As elected officials, we must be vigilant about protecting our immigrant community members, who make up the very fabric of Los Angeles. Prohibiting the use of City resources for federal immigration enforcement shouldn’t depend solely on executive actions that could be overturned by a future Mayor or Police Chief. These are fundamental protections that should be enshrined in our laws going forward.
This legislation is long-overdue and I am so grateful to our incredible coalition of partners including the California Immigrant Policy Center, CARACEN-LA, the Translatin@ Coalition, and CHIRLA for their years of tireless work fighting for the rights of immigrants across this City for years. It is because of them that we are able to stand together today and push Los Angeles to be a model city for immigration policy.
Councilmember Nithya Raman
I. Updates From CD4 — Introducing Legislation To Improve Storm Event Response, Honoring Black History Month, Riding To CicLAvia With BikeLA, Hosting A Neighborhood Support Day, Unveiling The Refurbished Laurel Canyon Dog Park, Celebrating Cleveland High School’s Band & Drill Team
II. Upcoming Events — Free Organics Recycling Pail Pickup, CD4 Community Potluck, LA Zoo Family Nature Club, West San Fernando Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair
III. Resources Highlights — Funding For Storm Damage, Get Help Paying Your Natural Gas Bill, Free Tax Filing Resources, SoCal Gas Scholarship, Employment & Training For Older Adults
IV. Construction & Closures — Griffith Park Drive
V. Other Helpful Links
INTRODUCING LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE LADWP’S STORM RESPONSE
Following the powerful winter storm at the end of February, neighborhoods across Los Angeles experienced power outages lasting well over 48 hours. Being without power for an extended duration of time is deeply frustrating at the best of times, but particularly during an uncharacteristically cold and wet weekend.
I joined my colleague, Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky in formally calling on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to present a plan for improving their storm response, and ensuring that Angelenos are not left in the dark and without information during dangerous storm events. With two powerful storms hitting Los Angeles in just two months, anything less is unacceptable. This legislation builds on our motion after the previous set of storms, asking for better coordination between all city departments during an emergency, and better communication with the public.
And, in anticipation of this weekend’s rains, I want to remind you of a few ways you can stay safe and informed:
- Sign up for alerts on NotifyLA.org
- Heed all closures and directions from traffic officers
- Stay up to date with notifications from the Department of Transportation on Twitter @LADOTofficial and we’ll also keep you posted on @cd4losangeles.
- Report power outages or receive status updates on your outage by calling the LADWP emergency line at (800) 342-5397.
Please remember, if you spot a dangerous storm impact such as intense flooding, debris flow, or downed power lines, call or text 911 to report an emergency.
To request any non-emergency City services and to report any storm related damage, including blocked storm water drains, please call 311. You can also download the myLA311 app to easily create a service ticket from your phone.
HONORING BLACK HISTORY MONTH
In honor of Black History Month, our office partnered with Black In The Valley – a resource hub for Black businesses, cultural events and general information for the Black community in the San Fernando Valley – as well as our friends at Council Districts 2 and 12 to host a Black Business Celebration Mixer at the wonderful Mardi Gras Tuesday in Sherman Oaks! We were joined by over 60 businesses across the Valley (22 from CD4 alone!) for an evening of food, drink, and information sharing.
This night was especially meaningful to me as we hosted an all-female, all Black panel with four incredible women – Shania Accius, Co-Founder of Black In The Valley, Sonya Blake, CEO of The Valley Economic Alliance, Carolyn Hull, General Manager of the Los Angeles Economic Workforce and Development Department, and Capri Maddox, Executive Director of the LA Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department. It was inspiring to hear these experts share their understanding of challenges facing Black entrepreneurs in Los Angeles and how the City can help.
As a City, it is our job to invest in our communities and one of the most powerful tools we have for doing so is by procuring services from local businesses. The City of Los Angeles spends $4.5 billion annually on procurement, presenting us with a unique opportunity to ensure we are leveraging those dollars strategically, contracting from more women-owned, minority-owned, and small and local businesses. That’s why I’ve focused so much of my work on procurement reform, and I pledge to continue working to provide more support for minority-owned businesses to thrive, forging a truly inclusive local economy here in Los Angeles.
RIDING TO CICLAVIA WITH BIKELA
The weather cleared up for a crisp morning bike ride to CicLAvia in the Valley! Joined by my Transportation Deputy, Mehment Berker, Executive Director of Bike LA, Eli Kaufman, and President of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, DJ Frank, we made our way down bike lanes and neighborhood streets with safe crossings to the Reseda hub of CicLAvia.
My team and I were also excited to announce – and ride on! – our enhanced protected bike lanes on White Oak Avenue from Victory north to Saticoy. By protecting certain curbside sections, biking in Reseda and Lake Balboa is now a safer experience for all.
HOSTING A NEIGHBORHOOD SUPPORT DAY IN HOLLYWOOD
We hosted our second monthly Neighborhood Support Day of the year, this time at the Durant Library in Hollywood. Despite the cold and pouring rain, we were able to connect over 60 of our neighbors experiencing homelessness with services and a warm meal.
Thank you to the LA County Clerk and Registrar-Recorder’s office, the Department of Social Services, the LA City Attorney’s Office, the LA Department of Aging, LA Animal Services, Pharmacy 989 and the Department of Public Health, WorkSource, Good Karma LA, LA Sanitation, Ascencia, LAHSA, The Center, Urban Alchemy’s CIRCLE Team, Tarzana Treatment Center, Turning Point, Council District 13, and most importantly the the Los Angeles Public Library, who were essential to the day’s success!
My office hosts Neighborhood Support Days across the district once a month, joining with partner organizations to provide critical services and a warm meal for those who need it. If you’re interested in volunteering for one of these events, we’d love to have you! You can sign up to receive our CD4 Volunteer Corps newsletter here.
UNVEILING THE REFURBISHED LAUREL CANYON DOG PARK
I was so happy to be joined by CD4’s furriest residents a few weeks ago, as we unveiled the new pergola, dog-wash station, and accessible seating area at the Laurel Canyon dog park – the oldest off leash dog park in Los Angeles! This project was made possible by our partners at the LA Parks Foundation and from City National Bank, bringing together the public and the private sector to maintain one of our beautiful community resources. I want to especially thank Debra Vrana from City National Bank for spearheading this partnership!
We were also joined by LA Parks Foundation’s Executive Director Carolyn Ramsay, and her pup Bruno, who became the City’s newest official after marking his territory right on the podium and getting an inaugural dog wash!
CELEBRATING THE CLEVELAND HIGH SCHOOL BAND AND DRILL TEAM
We had some very special guests join us in Council in February! Making the trek all the way from Reseda, all 53 members of the Cleveland Charter High School Band & Drill Team spent the morning at City Hall, where I was so thrilled to present them with a certificate for their outstanding achievements. In December last year, this group of young musicians and artists won first place in their division at the LA Schools competition AND earned the highest score among all divisions districtwide!
I want to thank Cameron Yasserman, Band Director, for teaching his students grace, perseverance, and several new instruments! And to the students themselves: thank you for being vocal and enthusiastic representatives of District 4, and bringing so much love and attention to the Valley. Congratulations Cleveland Cavaliers!
PICK UP A FREE ORGANICS RECYCLING PAIL | MARCH 11 & 25 | MORE INFO
To make the transition to organics recycling easier, LA Sanitation and LA City Council District 4 are providing FREE dishwasher-safe countertop pails! For more information and to RSVP, visit cd4.lacity.gov/events and to reserve a pail in advance click HERE!
Encino (Location to be announced)
- Saturday, March 11th, 11AM to 1PM
Los Feliz (Los Feliz Branch Library)
- Saturday, March 25th, 10AM to 12PM
JOIN US FOR CD4’S FIRST COMMUNITY POTLUCK | MORE INFO
We are excited to ring in Spring this month with our first ever Community Potluck! In addition to our regular Neighborhood Support Days, our community potluck will serve as another opportunity to join us in our work to provide compassionate and multi-faceted solutions to homelessness. It’s also scheduled on a weekend to accommodate any volunteers who can’t normally attend weekday events!
Our first potluck will be held on Saturday, March 25th from 12:30PM – 4PM in Hollywood. We’re asking volunteers to donate and collect items to build hygiene kits including, toothbrushes, toothpaste, new underwear and socks, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, and more, as well as non-perishable snacks to make to-go sack lunches. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring a ready-to-eat dish to share over a communal lunch!
DATE: Saturday, March 25th
TIME: 12:30PM to 4PM
LOCATION: Provided upon RSVP
We hope to see you there — especially with your favorite dish, board game, or craft! RSVP HERE to join us!
EXPLORE THE LA ZOO WITH FAMILY NATURE CLUB | MARCH 25 | MORE INFO
Family Nature Club is back – and, in partnership with L.A. Department of Recreation & Parks, we’re exploring beyond the Zoo! Join the Los Angeles Zoo for FREE nature play on the last Saturday of every month, from 9AM to 10:30AM.
Family Nature Club participants will spend the morning enjoying loosely structured outdoor play – exploring nature through art and building, observation and imagination. Families, caregivers, and children of all ages are welcome. No registration is required. Family Nature Club is facilitated by L.A. Zoo Learning & Engagement staff.
PREPARE FOR AN EMERGENCY AT THE WEST VALLEY DISASTER PREPAREDNESS FAIR | MORE INFO
Join our office and partners across the City for a Disaster Preparedness Fair on Saturday, March 25 from 9AM to 3PM. Gather information and resources to best prepare for an emergency or disaster, ranging from severe weather events to earthquakes. Hear first-hand from community responders, organizations & providers.
DATE: Saturday, March 26
TIME: 9AM to 3PM
LOCATION: Pierce College, 20498 Victory Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA, 91306
FUNDING FOR STORM DAMAGE | MORE INFO
The Jewish Free Loan Association is here to help you or someone you know with a 0% interest, no fee loan of up to $15,000 for storm damage caused by the recent weather events that have struck Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties.
Loans can be used for:
- Temporary housing
- Emergency clothing/food needs
- Emergency home repair
- Car repair
- Medical expenses
- Other flood-related losses
Borrow up to $7,500 with one guarantor and up to $15,000 with two guarantors. JFLA is not a bank, so their loans have no fees of any kind and offer manageable monthly payments.
Please click here to learn more and see if you qualify. Borrowers must have steady income, be residents of Los Angeles, Ventura, or Santa Barbara counties, and cannot have a current loan with JFLA.
GET HELP PAYING YOUR NATURAL GAS BILL | MORE INFO
If you’re having difficulty paying your natural gas bill, the Gas Assistance Fund (GAF) may be able to provide you, or someone you know, with a one-time grant for the amount of the gas bill, not to exceed $400.00. Those facing certain financial hardships may be eligible for extra grant funding. Make an appointment with your local agency to see what your household may qualify for.
The Gas Assistance Fund is a joint effort of SoCalGas and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. United Way works with non-profit organizations throughout their service territory to manage the program.
How to Apply:
To apply for GAF assistance, please contact the non-profit organization in your area. Click HERE to find your local non-profit.
You can also call 1-877-238-0092 for more information.
*These funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and eligible customers can apply until the funds are depleted.
FREE TAX FILING RESOURCES | MORE INFO
Did you know that information on tax credits, a free credit calculator, and more is available on the CalEITC4Me website? Check out these great, free resources and learn more about claiming your tax credits at CalEITC4Me.org
APPLY FOR A SOCAL GAS SCHOLARSHIP | MORE INFO
The SoCalGas Scholarship Program encourages students to pursue higher education and supports their academic endeavors. This year, up to $315,000 will be awarded to students attending four-year university, community college or trade school. Applications are being accepted from now until March 15, 2023.
For more information and to apply, click HERE.
EMPLOYMENT & TRAINING FOR LOWER INCOME OR UNHOUSED OLDER ADULTS | MORE INFO
Subsidized Training Program for Low-Income Older Adults
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) provides an opportunity for unemployed seniors to return to the competitive job market through work experience and job training programs. SCSEP provides subsidized, temporary, part-time, community service work-based training for low-income persons age 55 or older who are unemployed and trying to re-enter the job market. Through this program, older workers have access to on-the-job training as well as employment assistance available through local WorkSource Centers.
- 55 years of age and older
- Resident of the City of Los Angeles
- Unemployed at the time of enrollment and during participation in the program
- Must meet federal low-income guidelines
Enrollment slots are limited and application does not guarantee enrollment.
The Department is currently accepting applications. To apply, please contact the Los Angeles Department of Aging at 213-482-7252.
Subsidized Training Program for Unhoused Older Adults
The Older Worker Employement Program (OWEP) provides part-time, on-the-job training for homeless and at-risk-of-homelessness eligible older adults. The goal of the program is to identify and recruit homeless older adults to place them in training opportunities, connect them to various social services, and help them transition into unsubsidized employment.
- 55 years of age and older
- Must be homeless or at-risk-of homelessness
- Unemployed at the time of enrollment and during participation in the program
- Must enroll in WIOA/CalJobs
- Must meet federal low-income guidelines
For more information about this program, please contact the Los Angeles Department of Aging at 213-482-7252.
LOS FELIZ & GRIFFITH PARK
Griffith Park Drive
Date/Time: Wednesday, March 8 – Friday, March 10, between the hours of 6:30AM to 3:30PM
Location: Griffith Park Drive from the Composting area down to Travel Town Museum
Details: The Park Services Office has been advised by Commercial Paving that they will begin road re-striping on Griffith Park Drive Wednesday, March 8th through Friday, March 10th. During this time no vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be permitted on Griffith Park Drive from the Composting area down to Travel Town Museum. All vehicles, pedestrians and bicycle traffic will need to go around via Zoo Drive and Crystal Springs Drive to Griffith Park Drive.
Contact: Park Services Office, (323) 661-9465
- Sign Up For Updates — Newsletter, Small Business Newsletter, Volunteer Corps Updates
- Get In Touch
- Grant Requests
- Certificate Requests
- Scheduling Requests
- Transportation & Traffic Safety Requests
- Job Openings
- CD4 Renter Rights Guide
Services + Resources
- Food Pantry Locator — Get connected to food resources near you.
- City of LA Vaccine Info Hub — Sign up to get your COVID vaccine today!
- At-Home COVID Vaccinations — Request an in-home vaccination against COVID-19.
- StayHoused LA — Workshops and resources to help renters stay in their homes.
- MyLA311 — Submit a request for services including graffiti removal, pothole repair, and bulky-item pickup.
- LA-HOP Homeless Outreach Portal — Assist or self-input an outreach request from the LA Homeless Services Authority to unhoused residents.
- LA City Sanitation — Submit a service request for metal/household appliance disposal.
- MyChildCarePlan — Free resource website for childcare providers and families listing every licensed provider in California.
- Adopt or Foster A Shelter Pet— Find pets for adoption and s
- NotifyLA — Sign up to receive urgent notifications about local emergencies by phone, email, and/or text message.
- LAFD Alerts – Sign up for alerts on fires and evacuations in your area.
- LADWP Outage Info — Sign up for outage alerts in your area.
- StreetsLA Street Sweeping — Register for notifications about sweeping in your neighborhoods