DISTRICT 4 Newsletters
Say it loud, say it proud! | 6/21/23
Did you know that Los Angeles held the world’s first officially-permitted LGBTQIA+ Pride Parade in 1970?
Just one year after the Stonewall Rebellion in New York, community members in Los Angeles joined LGBTQ service organizations and interfaith leaders to organize a parade along Hollywood Boulevard to celebrate the queer community and to stand in resistance to a society that rejected them, who they loved, and how they expressed themselves.
Now, every June, cities across the world join in a collective celebration of Pride Month to uplift our LGBTQIA+ community. But this year, more than ever, celebrating love, joy, and resistance feels needed against the rise of hate incidents targeting LGBTQIA+ individuals, and especially trans women of color.
On Friday, I introduced a resolution for the City of Los Angeles to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community in condemning the recent hate incidents at Saticoy Elementary and the protests at the Glendale Unified School District Board meeting, and deepen our commitment to ensuring that the City is a welcoming, safe, and inclusive home for all LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming people to thrive. This legislation is just one step we’re taking to reaffirm our support of the vibrant queer community that our city is home to. Our commitment to advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community and the full spectrum of identities and gender expressions is unhesitating, unwavering, and unshakeable.
I was also thrilled to demonstrate this support at LA Pride this month with some of my queer and ally staff! We joined Equality California on their fabulous float, and thank them for their continued work to protect and uplift the community. Through Pride, and all the other wonderful and rebellious ways that we stand in solidarity with each other, we are reminded of the joyous beauty of defiance.
As allies, we can continue to hold space for queer joy while still doing the necessary work of addressing the discrimination, exclusion, and hate towards the LGBTQIA+ community in our homes, in our neighborhoods, and beyond. We remain determined to foster a safe and inclusive climate like that EVERYWHERE so that LGBTQIA+ youth and families can prosper.
We wish everyone a very happy Pride Month and extend a friendly reminder that the Council District 4 team serves with PRIDE!
I. Updates From City Hall — Making Los Angeles A Sanctuary City, Establishing A Democracy Voucher Program, Reducing The Cost Of Participating In Organics Recycling
II. In The District —Hosting Our Monthly Food Pantry At Garden Grove Elementary, Recognizing The LA Zoo Magnet
III. Upcoming Events — Senior Hygiene Drive, San Fernando Valley Pride March & Block Party, Free Movie In The Park
IV. Resources & Forums — Griffith Park Safety & Active Transportation Study, LA Zoo EIR Hearing, *New Date* Harvard-Westlake River Project Public Hearing, LA City Public Works Career Fair, Apply To Join The LA City Youth Council
V. Construction & Closures — Killion Street Closure
VI. Other Helpful Links
MAKING LOS ANGELES A SANCTUARY CITY
In March, I introduced legislation in partnership with Councilmembers Eunisses Hernandez and Hugo Soto-Martinez to draft an ordinance to establish the City of Los Angeles as a “Sanctuary City,” and last week it was unanimously adopted in Council!
While the City Council has previously passed a symbolic resolution declaring Los Angeles a “City of Sanctuary,” it has not yet codified sanctuary policies that were put into place by Mayor Garcetti’s executive directive into municipal law. Our motion instructs the City to draft an ordinance that would prohibit any City resources, property or personnel from being utilized for any federal immigration enforcement.
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, and I am so grateful for the opportunities this country has given me and my family. Immigrants make up the very fabric of this city. Prohibiting the use of City resources for federal immigration enforcement shouldn’t depend only on executive actions that could be overturned by a future Mayor or Police Chief. These are fundamental protections that will now be enshrined in our laws going forward.
ESTABLISHING A DEMOCRACY VOUCHER PROGRAM
This week, Council also adopted a motion I introduced with my colleagues Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Hugo Soto-Martínez, to direct the City to report back on establishing a Democracy Voucher program in Los Angeles. Such a program would empower all Angelenos, regardless of income or background, to have the opportunity to donate to candidates who reflect the interests of their community.
While the City of Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the country, an April 2022 report from LA for Democracy Vouchers cites that just 50% of dollars contributed to the 2020 municipal elections came from people who live in Los Angeles or from the City’s matching funds program and that majority white ZIP codes gave 2.6 times as much per person as ZIP codes with majority people of color. This data highlights the extent to which communities of color and low-income communities in Los Angeles are left out of the campaign financing process, often because they cannot afford to make a contribution. A recent updated report on the 2022 election showed that campaign donations overwhelmingly came once again from a few wealthy donors, people outside Los Angeles, and wealthier, whiter neighborhoods.
Though democracy vouchers will by no means solve these issues in one fell swoop, they will help create a more equitable campaign finance system that everyone can participate in. By making campaign financing accessible to all, the City can boost political engagement, diversify the donor pool, and ensure that candidates and officeholders are more representative of the electorate.
REDUCING THE COST OF PARTICIPATING IN ORGANICS RECYCLING
In April, I introduced a motion to help mitigate the financial impacts on commercial accounts participating in the City of Los Angeles’s organics recycling program, and on Friday it was adopted in Council! The goal of this legislation is to make sure that everyone in our city is set up for success in complying with what are now going to be mandatory composting requirements that the State has implemented via Senate Bill 1383.
SB 1383 aims to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% in 2025 and is a crucial step in combating climate change. Many people might not know it, but organics such as food waste, paper, yard clippings, and cardboard make up about half the contents of California landfills. And reducing the amount of organic waste diverted to landfills is one of the fastest methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere. But unless we are cautious about how the program is implemented, commercial establishments and apartment buildings risk facing significantly higher costs.
HOSTING OUR MONTHLY FOOD PANTRY AT GARDEN GROVE ELEMENTARY
Earlier this month, we hosted our final food pantry of the school year at Garden Grove Elementary School!
In partnership with POWER LA, Pathways LA, Hello Bello, Garden Grove Elementary School, and the CD4 Volunteer Corps, we provided families in the West Valley with access to FREE nutritious food like fresh fruits and veggies, salmon, chicken, beef, and a plentitude of pantry essentials. We also offered loads of other goods like vitamins, diapers, and sanitary essentials.
There aren’t many food pantries in the San Fernando Valley, much less the West Valley and let alone on a monthly basis. But our office has been on the ground month after month to provide the services needed to address food insecurity in the area, bridging the gap between community needs and sustainable solutions. With people driving in from all over the Valley for this food distribution, we were able to bring critical resources to the communities most in need— serving almost 100 families!
Thank you to the dedicated parent volunteers, Garden Grove Elementary School, Principal Araiza, Parent Center Organizer Rosario Chavez, the CD4 Volunteer Corps, and our amazing community partners who continue to support this necessary work with compassion and generosity.
RECOGNIZING THE OUTSTANDING LA ZOO MAGNET
Students and teachers from North Hollywood High School’s Zoo Magnet joined us in Council last week for a special presentation celebrating their achievement at being named the NUMBER ONE MAGNET SCHOOL IN THE NATION!
The Zoo Magnet is located in our very own Griffith Park and is one of only six high schools in the nation partnered with a working zoo. It encourages students interested in biological and zoological sciences by providing hands-on experience like working with Griffith Park Rangers, feeding flamingos, and caring for koalas at the LA Zoo! It is being recognized for its excellence in fostering community, diversity, and academic excellence.
We are so proud of the class valedictorians Jet Benitez, Stella Ferguson, and Michelle Nguyen, as well as Student Council Secretary Geraldine Perez and Senior Historian Diego Ruiz. I loved having you in Council and chatting with you about your college plans at Cornell, UC Davis, and UC Santa Barbara! I can’t wait to see the sustainable change you’ll continue to inspire.
SENIOR HYGIENE DRIVE | JUNE 24 | MORE INFO
Many seniors in our community struggle to afford basic personal hygiene products. Our office is partnering with the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council’s Human Services Committee to host a hygiene drive on Saturday, June 24 from 11AM to 2PM to help provide seniors with essential items.
Join us to help donate and collect the following items:
DATE: Saturday, June 24
TIME: 11AM to 2PM
LOCATION: Sherman Oaks East Valley Adult Center, 5056 Van Nuys Blvd
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY PRIDE MARCH & BLOCK PARTY | JUNE 24 | MORE INFO
The Office of Senator Caroline Menjivar in collaboration with the Office of Mayor Bass, invites you to a march for LGBTQ+ rights in the San Fernando Valley. This is an opportunity for us to come together as a community and show our support for the LGBTQ+ individuals who live, work, and play in the Valley.
The event will kick off with a lively march through the streets, where we’ll proudly display our colors and share our message of love and equality with the world. After the march, we’ll continue the festivities with a fabulous block party, featuring music, food, entertainment, art, and resource fair.
The march will start at the intersection of Van Nuys Blvd and Sherman Way at 12PM.
DATE: Saturday June 24
TIME: 12PM – 7PM
LOCATION: Van Nuys Blvd and Sherman Way / Van Nuys Civic Center
Click HERE to RSVP!
FREE MOVIE IN THE PARK | JUNE 24 | MORE INFO
In partnership with the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council and the Department of Rec and Parks, we’re pleased to announce another Movie Night on Saturday, January 24! Join us at the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park for a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy. The event begins at 6:00PM and the movie will start at dusk.
DATE: Saturday, June 24
TIME: 6:00PM to 10PM
LOCATION: Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park, 14201 Huston St
GRIFFITH PARK SAFETY & ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION FEASIBILITY STUDY | MORE INFO
Last April, avid cyclist and community member Andrew Jelmert was killed by a driver on Crystal Springs Drive in our very own Griffith Park. His killing galvanized for us the need to double down on discussions we had begun with Griffith Park leadership and with renewed urgency, my team and I set in motion a plan to quickly implement safety improvements. We saw the first of these come to fruition last summer with the permanent closure of a stretch of Griffith Park Drive to automobiles.
In partnership with the Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP), we worked to bring on consulting firm Kimley-Horn to launch a Griffith Park Safety & Active Transportation Improvements Feasibility Study. Without any prior in-depth planning on building out an active transportation network and calming vehicle traffic on the interior roads of Crystal Springs Drive and Griffith Park Drive (both RAP roads) and Zoo Drive and Western Heritage Drive (both Department of Transportation roads), this study was needed to identify and prioritize improvements, give cost estimates, and design concept plans.
I am pleased to report that the study is now complete and available to read on our website, here! One important thing to note is that the first recommended improvement from the study, Phase 1 (which was the closure of a section of Griffith Park Drive to private vehicles), was initiated in June of last year and finalized with new gates and roadway treatments this spring.
I am excited about the changes ahead and working with all of you as we move forward together to improve the safety for everyone in Griffith Park and make sure our park roads are calmer and better suited to our beautiful park. Stay tuned for more updates as we work with RAP on the best path forward!
LA ZOO VISION PLAN & RECIRCULATED EIR HEARING | JUNE 28 | MORE INFO
The City of Los Angeles Public Works Department, Bureau of Engineering (BOE) has prepared a Revised Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens Vision Plan consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Focused sections of the Final EIR have been revised to incorporate Alternative 1.5 and address comments received in response to the Focused Recirculated EIR.
The LA Zoo Vision Plan and Revised Final EIR will be considered for recommendation for approval at an upcoming Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment Committee meeting, which is anticipated to occur on June 28, 2023.
You can find the official schedule and meeting agendas for the City Council and applicable Council Committees HERE.
*NEW DATE* HARVARD-WESTLAKE RIVER PROJECT PUBLIC HEARING | JULY 12 & AUG 24 | MORE INFO
In order to ensure adequate time for an in-depth review of the Final Environmental Impact Report documents for the Harvard-Westlake River Park Project by constituents, community stakeholders, and the council office, the Hearing Officer Public Hearing and City Planning Commission (CPC) meeting dates have been pushed back.
The Hearing Officer Public Hearing will now be held on July 12, 2023 at 9AM.
The CPC meeting date will now be held on August 24, 2023.
There remain multiple opportunities to share your thoughts on this Project. Comments received at the Hearing Officer Public Hearing will be summarized and provided to the CPC, who are the decision-makers for this case, in a staff report. The public can continue to submit comments at any time on any component of the Project, including on the entitlements or environmental review documents, including in writing at any point until the City Planning Commission meeting.
LA CITY PUBLIC WORKS CAREER FAIR | JUNE 29 | MORE INFO
Learn about the various careers in Public Works, Recreation & Parks, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Los Angeles Police Department, and other City of Los Angeles departments as well as how to apply and gain insightful information on City employment opportunities. Both full-time and part-time positions are available!
Come speak with staff to learn more about the positions you’re interested in, receive on-site assistance with an online application, and even take an employment exam.
DATE: Thursday June 29
TIME: 9AM to 3PM
LOCATION: 10200 Success Ave Los Angeles, CA 90002
Click HERE to register!
APPLY TO BE A MEMBER OF THE LA CITY YOUTH COUNCIL | NOW – JULY 23 | MORE INFO
The mission of the LA City Youth Council is to speak truth to power, identify bold solutions, and turn ideas into action to transform our communities in positive, lasting ways. The council seats 30 empowered youth from across the City who will serve a one-year term. During their term, members learn about the inner workings of local government, drive special community projects and civic events, and make policy and budget recommendations to elected and civic leaders of the City to improve the well-being, safety and achievement of young Angelenos.
Click HERE for more information and to apply!
Closure on Killion Street for Sidewalk Project
Date/Time: Construction began April 10 and will run through the end of Spring 2023 from 7AM to 3:30PM.
Location: Lane closure between Encino Avenue and Louise Avenue is scheduled from 9AM to 2PM
Details: The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is building sidewalks in coordination with the City of Los Angeles and local community to enhance pedestrian access on Killion Street in the community of Encino. Residents and businesses located near the freeway are advised to anticipate noise, vibrations, and dust associated with construction activities. The schedule is weather-permitting, and all dates and times are subject to change. Caltrans reminds motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert” and “Slow for the Cone Zone.”
Contact: Samantha Teves, (213) 793-9669
Services + Resources