DISTRICT 4 Newsletters
Responding to the August 1st COVID Rent Debt Repayment Deadline | 8/05/23
August 1st marked the deadline for repayment of all COVID rent debt accrued from March 1, 2020 through September 30th, 2021. My office has been working hard to ensure L.A. tenants know their rights and what resources are available to help them through this difficult time.
If you are a renter affected by the August 1st deadline, the City’s message to you is: do NOT self-evict. If you receive a notice, file a response within five business days, and reach out to the city for support by calling 866-557-7368. For a more detailed guide to your rights and protections as a renter or landlord, please visit our CD4 Renter Rights page.
For those of us who have worked on eviction prevention or homelessness prevention work, one of the most devastating parts of the work is that the people who need support the most, often don’t know about the resources available to them. However, thanks to the new pieces of tenant protection legislation that the City Council passed at the end of January, landlords now have to inform LAHD every time they file an eviction notice – providing the city access to previously unavailable information. This means that we have the opportunity to do more to target our resources to those people who are most at risk of losing their homes because of an inability to pay.
With the partnership of LAHD, the outreach workers that are employed by the Mayor’s Fund, and staff at the Family Source Centers, the City will be reaching out to people who are receiving these notices to let them know what this notification means for them, and ensure that they are aware of any resources that are available to them, whether it be case management, legal support and settlement money for back rent owed through the Eviction Defense Program running through Stay Housed LA, or – as soon as it is available – applications for the rent relief program funded through our first tranche of Measure ULA dollars.
This is the first time the City is coordinating on a proactive campaign to reach out to vulnerable tenants and ensure that both tenants and landlords have the resources they need. If we aim to solve our homelessness crisis, then this piece of the puzzle – protecting people in their homes— is non-negotiable. We *must* prevent people from falling into homelessness in the first place.
This week’s action is an important step forward in reshaping the machinery of the city toward keeping people housed and putting homelessness prevention at the core of our mission. I am proud to be working with the Mayor, our city departments, fellow councilmembers, and community partners on this effort.
I. Updates From City Hall — Developing a New Bike Path Along The LA River, Advancing The LA Zoo Vision Plan, Measure ULA Update, Providing Live Spanish Interpretation At Committee Meetings, Expanding Voting Rights In The State Of California
II. In The District — Celebrating The LA River At River Fest, Delivering Emergency Kits In Beachwood Canyon, Hosting Our First Neighborhood Support Day In Reseda, Enjoying Summer With A Movie In The Park, Advocating For Safer Streets, Visiting Our Valley Development Services Center
III. Upcoming Events — Back To School Drive, Silver Lake Jewish Festival, Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival, Disaster Preparedness Workshop, Neighborhood Support Day, Free Movie In The Park
IV. Resources and Forums — CES Tenant Clinics, Harvard-Westlake River Project City Planning Commission Meeting, Los Angeles Zoo Teen Council For Conservation
V. Construction & Closures — Laurel Terrace Dr Street Improvement
VI. Other Helpful Links
DEVELOPING A NEW BIKE PATH ALONG THE LA RIVER
On Wednesday, City Council voted to approve a $60 million contract with Metro for the design and construction of the Los Angeles River Valley Bike Path Project, which includes the development of approximately 13 miles of a new bike path and greenway!
This project also implements many of the goals laid out in the City’s Mobility 2035 Circulation Element of the General Plan, LADOT’s Strategic Plan, the 2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, the 2017 LA River Valley Bikeways and Greenways Feasibility Report, and last but not least, the County’s 2022 LA River Master Plan – in other words, a lot of reports! With a total outstanding bill of at least $185M, we need all the funding we can get, and we are so grateful to Metro for this $60M.
ADVANCING THE LOS ANGELES ZOO VISION PLAN
Council District 4 is lucky to be home to some of the City’s most iconic landmarks, including the Los Angeles Zoo, located in our very own Griffith Park. This week, City Council voted to approve the revised Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Zoo Vision Plan: Alternative 1.5. Alternative 1.5 takes the Zoo Vision Plan a long way towards addressing real environmental concerns by eliminating a planned multi-story parking garage, eliminating the planned Africa Area, which will preserve 6 acres with oak trees, and committing to measures that will reduce vehicle miles traveled by 10% by improving connections to the city’s public and active transportation networks. The Zoo has also committed to building a smaller visitor center, no longer located on the ridgeline and developed in line with other legislation across the city that seeks to preserve wildlife crossings, as well as minimizing blasting during construction.
This week’s vote is a milestone in a longer journey that will require much more additional public outreach as detailed design plans for the new Zoo take shape. I also want to encourage the public to keep in mind that this is a conceptual plan – not a design document – and that the Zoo has committed to continued community engagement once the project enters the Design Development phase. Together, we can build a better, more innovative Zoo with an emphasis on wildlife and environmental conservation.
I come to this work with a real love for the environment. Growing up, my family did not spend much time outdoors, or go camping – it was simply not part of my family’s culture. So my love of the environment really stemmed from visits to my local zoo and local aquarium. Now, when I take my kids to the zoo, and I look at who is there week after week, I see incredible diversity in the people visiting. For so many of these children, as it was for me, I know the zoo is their pathway to loving nature and to learning about conservation. To me, that is a space that is worth lifting up, one worth investing in to make it state of the art, and one that Angelenos truly deserve. I am hopeful about this plan and how it can take us in that direction.
MEASURE ULA UPDATES TO SUPPORT RENT DEBT RELIEF
Earlier this year, I presented a motion alongside Councilmember Hernandez directing the City’s Housing Department (LAHD) to create an implementation plan for Measure ULA that should include foundational program guidelines aligned with the voter-approved measure, staffing plans needed to successfully implement this work, strategies for continued engagement with community groups, a plan on how to collect revenue, and a plan to set up the Measure ULA Citizens Oversight Committee.
I’m proud that this week the Housing and Homelessness Committee, the committee I chair, unanimously approved the Measure ULA Interim Program Guidelines and FY 23-24 Expenditure Plan with my added amendments for the following prioritized programs: short-term rental assistance, tenant outreach and education, protections from tenant harassment, and eviction defense and prevention. This item will now move on to the Budget and Finance Committee before coming to the full Council for a final vote. Unlocking these funds is an important step to ensure tenants in need have access to these resources at this critical time as the first deadline for COVID rent debt repayment has passed.
PROVIDING LIVE SPANISH INTERPRETATION AT COMMITTEE MEETINGS
This week, City Council launched live Spanish interpretation services for both virtual and in-person City Council Committee meetings! Pursuant to a motion I introduced last year, we are finally giving the estimated 35% of City of LA households that speak Spanish at home a more equal voice in their City government.
Until now, the lack of interpretation available for Council Committee Meetings has left members of the public on their own to piece together discussions and votes that may have drastic impacts on their lives, while also impacting elected officials like myself, who are often deprived of the chance to hear and consider these opinions in weighing these decisions. This week, we have finally taken a long-overdue step to ensure equitable participation in the democratic process.
EXPANDING VOTING RIGHTS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
This week, I introduced a resolution, co-presented by my colleagues Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Eunisses Hernandez, in support of California Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4 (ACA 4), which would lift voting restrictions for people serving in State or federal prison and allow them to cast their vote despite their conviction.
As of April 2023, there are over 93,000 incarcerated people in the state of California. ACA 4, introduced by California State Assemblymember Isaac Bryan, seeks to remove part of the state constitution that specifically disqualifies people serving in a state or federal prison from voting, thereby authorizing an otherwise qualified elector to vote.
The current provisions not only disproportionately disenfranchises communities of color, but they have stripped thousands of parents of their right to to participate in school board races and other local elections that have a significant impact on the lives and wellbeing of their children. Calling this a democratic system when it fails to give voice to thousands of Californians – and Angelenos – is unacceptable. We must ensure that everyone has the opportunity to vote on the policies, laws, and representatives that affect them and their communities.
CELEBRATING THE LA RIVER AT RIVER FEST
Before I ran for City Council, I frequently visited the LA River to conduct outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness. As I worked to support individuals in accessing shelter and housing, I was awed by the wildlife and peaceful pathways that connect diverse neighborhoods of our beautiful city.
Since our first days in office, we’ve supported the work of Friends of the LA River and it was an honor to join them at their second annual River Fest – a joyous evening filled with local artists, live music, outdoor film screenings, and food trucks. With almost 19 miles of LA River in Council District 4, I am so grateful for our close partnership and will continue to work together to make the river an accessible, verdant refuge for all Angelenos.
DELIVERING EMERGENCY KITS IN BEACHWOOD CANYON
My team and I kicked off our annual #ReadyCD4 campaign last month with our first event in Beachwood Canyon! This neighborhood has one of the highest concentrations of apartments in a High Fire Hazard Severity Zone in Council District 4, so we put together emergency kits equipped with flashlights, whistles, and critical resources to ensure residents are prepared in case of an emergency. With MySafe:LA at our side, we knocked on over 300 doors in the area, speaking with neighbors about their preparedness plans and any other issues they may be facing.
Protecting our community and preserving the beautiful and beloved resources of Council District 4 starts with education and engagement! If we missed you this weekend, be sure to join us on 8/12 for a Disaster Preparedness Workshop, where LAFD will lead a fire extinguisher training, tourniquet training, hands-only CPR training, and more. You can find details in our upcoming events section below!
HOSTING OUR FIRST NEIGHBORHOOD SUPPORT DAY IN RESEDA
This summer, we partnered with LA Family Housing to bring our first Neighborhood Support Day to Reseda. We provided free meals, showers, and access to the organizations that connect individuals with essential resources like birth certificates, IDs, library cards, hygiene products, mental and physical health services.
Together, we supported over 50 individuals on their path into housing. Our Neighborhood Support Days are a critical part of the work we do to address the immediate AND long-term needs of those experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. Our next Neighborhood Support Day will be held at the Silver Lake Community Church on August 23rd and we’d love to see you there!
ENJOYING SUMMER WITH A MOVIE IN THE PARK
July’s movie in the park with the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council took us straight to Greece with a screening of Mamma Mia! My kids particularly enjoyed the bubble blowing and pizza, and it was so great to see so many families taking advantage of the long summer night. Be sure to join us at our final movie night of the summer on Saturday, August 26th! You can find more details under our “Upcoming Events” section.
ADVOCATING FOR SAFER STREETS
Last week, I joined Assemblymember Laura Friedman, LADOT, and community advocates in support of Assembly Bill 645, which would pilot a speed camera system in the City of Los Angeles, urgently addressing increased traffic violence on our streets.
Earlier this year, 13-year-old Joshua Mora lost his leg after being struck by a vehicle while crossing at a crosswalk on his way to get a haircut after school. I had the opportunity to talk to Joshua and his family about the struggles they’ve been facing and the need for effective solutions so preventable tragedies like this don’t happen again.
AB 645 gives us the opportunity to add another tool to our traffic calming toolbox by piloting a speed camera program aimed at alleviating traffic violence in our neighborhoods. Studies show that speed cameras can reduce crashes on urban streets by 54% and speed cameras in New York City reduced speeding in school zones by up to 63%.
AB 645 would allow us to install speed camera systems in school zones, on high-injury streets, and in areas with a history of speed racing where the fines will be reasonable and reduced for those of less means. Through consistent and fair measures focused on harm reduction— not punishment— we can make our streets safer for all.
VISITING OUR VALLEY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES CENTER
Last week, my team and I visited one of the City’s Development Services Center at the Marvin Braude Building in Van Nuys. It was a great opportunity to see how various departments, including City Planning, Bureau of Engineering, and Building and Safety, consult on projects at the public counter day in and day out. We observed what happens during applicant consultations, how plan check approvals work, and the process to issue permits.
Our team also took the opportunity to make a pit stop upstairs to talk to City Planning’s Community Plan Update Teams and to visit with our South Valley project planners, which includes staff who review cases under the jurisdiction of the Mulholland Specific Plan and the Ventura-Cahuenga Specific Plan. CD4 has the vast majority of Ventura Boulevard and LA’s hillside communities, and we learned about how complex some of their cases can be!
We commend our thoughtful and efficient public servants who support our efforts to build much needed housing and create jobs in the City of Los Angeles!
BACK TO SCHOOL DRIVE | AUGUST 5 | MORE INFO
We’re partnering with the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council to host a back to school drive this Saturday, August 6th. Stop by between 11AM to 2PM to drop off new school supplies for students headed back to class this month! We are asking for donations of new school supplies and new or gently-used backpacks.
SILVER LAKE JEWISH FESTIVAL | AUGUST 6 | MORE INFO
Celebrate summer at the Silver Lake Jewish Festival this Saturday, August 6th from 3 to 7PM! Hosted by Jewish Silver Lake and co-sponsored by our office, the second annual festival will feature live music, food, cultural crafts, a kids zone, and an adult zone.
GRIFFITH PARK SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL | AUG 9 – SEP 3 | MORE INFO
Grab your lawn chair or blanket and head to the Old Zoo in Griffith Park for the Independent Shakespeare Co.’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The show runs August 9 – September 3, featuring live music, and more than a few surprises!
And, throughout the summer, the Independent Shakespeare Co. has an exciting number of special events to level-up your Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival experience. From dress-up nights, to family workshops, to pre-show conversations with the directors, it’s a chance to celebrate our 20th season of Shakespeare Set Free with a lil’ somethin’ extra.
Admission is FREE! Click HERE for a full calendar!
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS WORKSHOP WITH LAFD AND MYSAFE:LA | AUGUST 12 | MORE INFO
Join us for a Disaster Preparedness Workshop on Saturday, August 12th from 10AM to 12PM. Our very own LAFD Disaster Preparedness unit will provide attendees with general brush clearance and emergency preparedness information. LAFD instructors will lead a fire extinguisher training, tourniquet training, and hands-only CPR training. We will also have a gas shut-off demonstration. We encourage you to sign up for this workshop, and bring your neighbors and friends!
FREE MOVIE IN THE PARK | AUGUST 26 | MORE INFO
In partnership with the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council and the Department of Rec and Parks, we’re pleased to present our final Movie Night of the summer on Saturday, August 26. Join us at the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park for a screening of The Super Mario Bros. Movie! The event begins at 6:00PM and the movie will start at dusk.
FREE TENANTS RIGHTS CLINIC | MORE INFO
Every Saturday at 10AM, the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) hosts a Tenants’ Rights Zoom Clinic, with one-on-one counseling by volunteer Tenants’ Rights Attorneys. If you have questions regarding advice on evictions, rent control, getting repairs, maintenance, or need help with rent, an eviction notice, or landlord harassment, this clinic can help.
Click HERE to register for an upcoming clinic.
HARVARD-WESTLAKE RIVER PROJECT CITY PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING | AUG 24 | MORE INFO
We appreciate how engaged Studio City residents and other local stakeholders have been around the proposed Harvard-Westlake River Park Project. Thank you for meeting with the council office in the past year to share your priorities, concerns, and recommendations.
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 were pushed back at our Office’s request.
The CPC meeting will now be held in-person at Van Nuys City Hall and virtually 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.
LOS ANGELES ZOO TEEN COUNCIL FOR CONSERVATION | MORE INFO
The LA Zoo is launching its second cohort of the L.A. Zoo Teen Council for Conservation to unite youth and create pathways towards a future centered on conservation solutions in Los Angeles. This program will serve diverse Angelenos highlighting their strengths as leaders and advocates, building skills in conservation and community building, and empowering youth to enact change in themselves, at the Zoo, and in their communities. The Teen Council for Conservation will focus on issues surrounding conservation, social and environmental justice and climate, with the specific focus determined by the members each year.
The L.A. Zoo Teen Council for Conservation program is intended to provide young Angelenos with direct engagement and learning experiences to benefit their educational paths and life journeys. Based on the varied socioeconomic status of youth within the City of Los Angeles, the Zoo Department will offer an educational stipend of $300 per month over 9 months to participants of the Council.
The application process opens on August 7th with applications due by August 25th at 11:59pm. Click HERE for more info!
Laurel Terrace Drive Street Improvement
DATE/TIME: August 7 through August 20 | 6AM – 6PM *dates are approximate*
LOCATION: Laurel Terrace Dr from Laurel Canyon Blvd to Ventura Blvd.
DETAILS: The first phase will require preparation of the existing roadway by cold milling the street Monday, August 7, 2023 through Monday, August 14, 2023. The final phase will require paving of the existing roadway and resurfacing the street Saturday, August 19, 202 and Sunday, August, 20, 2023. While the project is in progress, “Temporary No Parking Signs” will be posted on the street. The signs will be posted at least 24 hours before the actual work begins to provide notice to residents and business owners.
CONTACT: (818) 756-8651
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