DISTRICT 4 Newsletters
Are you ready for an emergency?
This past week, many of us have been glued to the news as we try to make sense of the wildfires that have wiped out the town of Lahaina, becoming one of the worst natural disasters in Hawaii’s history. The devastating aftermath of the fires has left thousands without homes and taken with it a treasure trove of history.
These tragic events serve as a sobering reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness and response. Council District 4, which spans the flats to the hillsides and the valleys, is particularly susceptible to wildfire and I know that many of us are thinking what can I do here in Los Angeles to be prepared, so that I can keep myself safe, my family safe, and my community safe.
I want to make sure that Council District 4 residents feel empowered to respond and be prepared, and to help prepare their neighbors for what we hope will never happen, but fear may happen here in Los Angeles. To that end, my team and I walked the streets of Beachwood a few weeks ago and knocked on over 300 doors to provide residents with resources including an emergency go-bag. And last weekend, we followed up with a disaster preparedness workshop in partnership with LAFD, who led us through critical training including how to shut off your gas, use a fire extinguisher, conduct CPR, and stop-the-bleed with a tourniquet.
I’m hopeful that after our training, many of you now feel comfortable with your new skills and prepared to help your neighborhood in the event of a natural disaster. If you were unable to make it, we will be hosting a second workshop with LAFD on Saturday, August 26 from 10am-12pm, this time in Reseda. I hope to see you there!
The National Weather Service has also issued a rare tropical storm warning for Southern California this weekend, with Hurricane Hilary expected to touch down Monday. City departments are on high alert and repair crews are standing by, ready to respond to damage done to roads and power lines. To help City of Los Angeles residents prepare for rainstorm needs, the Los Angeles Fire Department is also providing free ready-to-fill sandbags at all Neighborhood Fire Stations. To find your local station, click here. Please make sure to sign up for alerts on NotifyLA.org—and 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.
Lastly, if you are looking for ways to help the victims affected by the fires in Maui, you can find a comprehensive list of resources here.
Wishing you a peaceful end of summer,
- I. Updates From City Hall — Implementing Land Redistribution & Reparations, Declaring The Hollywood Sikh Temple A Cultural-Historical Building, Taking Action Against Party Houses
- II. In The District — Equipping CD4 Students For A Return To Campus, Connecting With Los Feliz Residents At A Backyard Chat, Bidding Farewell To Our CCAC Fellows
- III. Upcoming Events — Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival, Reseda Emergency Preparedness Workshop, Free Movie In The Park
- IV. Resources and Forums — Forest Lawn Dr. Active Transportation & Traffic Safety Survey, RAMP Webinar For Small Businesses, Harvard-Westlake River Project City Planning Commission Meeting, Mural Works Request For Ideas
- V. Construction & Closures — Laurel Terrace Dr Street Improvement
- VI. Other Helpful Links
IMPLEMENTING LAND REDISTRIBUTION & REPARATIONS
Last week, City Council voted to adopt a motion I introduced along with my colleagues Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and former Councilmember Mike Bonin, to direct city departments to identify mechanisms to return surplus and underutilized public lands to historically marginalized communities for their use and benefit.
In the City of Los Angeles – and across the nation – a history of exclusionary policies like redlining, urban renewal, restrictive housing covenants, predatory lending, and the commodification of land, have legally and economically prevented many communities of color from living in integrated and well resourced neighborhoods. In recent years, municipalities have taken steps to implement land reparations and redistribution to redress these practices as part of their core racial justice initiatives.
I was so proud to present this motion late last year following the leaked tapes to reaffirm the City’s commitment to racial justice and inclusion, and work towards restoring faith in City government. With this legislation, we are acknowledging the central role that land plays in reversing decades of segregation and displacement, and moving forward to return land to Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities.
DECLARING THE HOLLYWOOD SIKH TEMPLE A CULTURAL-HISTORICAL BUILDING
I’m proud to announce that the Hollywood Sikh Temple has officially been designated a Historic-Cultural Monument! Located in Los Feliz, this temple was the first Sikh temple to open in the United States since India’s independence in 1947. This is thanks to Dr. Amarjit Singh Marwah, the first President of the Cultural Heritage Commission, who generously donated the building in 1969.
The Hollywood Sikh Temple is a home to many, and I encourage you to stop in and experience the warmth of this welcoming haven (and one of the best Indian meals in Los Angeles!). In a City that values its rich cultural diversity and aims to protect the vibrant history of our communities, the Hollywood Sikh Temple continues to uplift service, compassion, community, and inclusivity.
Thank you to all the leaders and members of the congregation who joined us in Council last week. We extend a deep gratitude to the Temple for its many years of service to the community by opening its doors to all who care to enter.
TAKING ACTION AGAINST PARTY HOUSES
This week the Los Angeles City Attorney sued a company that offers luxury “party houses” for short-term rentals. City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto sued the Nightfall Group and its owner, Mokhtar Jabli, alleging that police have been called more than 250 times in the last two years because of problems at houses that the business rents out in the Hollywood area alone.
Last year, my office developed and passed a motion for multiple departments to adopt a comprehensive enforcement strategy – identifying illegal listings, citing violators, and creating a dedicated unit to do the work. And more recently, I co-presented a motion with Councilmembers Blumenfield, McOsker and Yaroslavsky to place more power in the hands of residents to address illegal rentals – developing a private right of action for neighbors and creating a better system to allow residents to report violations.
I am so heartened to see the City finally taking action to crack down on these illegal party houses. This is a HUGE step in our ongoing efforts to stabilize and protect our neighborhoods – ensuring we are safeguarding valuable housing for those who need it most.
EQUIPPING CD4 STUDENTS FOR A RETURN TO CAMPUS
This week, students across the City headed back to campus! From donation drives to backpack giveaways, my team was in the field to ensure everyone was prepared for the upcoming year.
Two weeks ago, we partnered with the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council to host a donation drive for school supplies. Thank you to everyone who donated backpacks, notebooks, pencils, glue sticks, crayons and more!
On Thursday, we jumped right back into the classroom at Garden Grove Elementary School to provide backpacks to students who still needed them. I want to extend a special thank you to LA Care and the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital for their incredible donation of supplies, Principal Arauz and the incredible Parent Center staff for organizing, and my team for helping coordinate and ensuring everyone has a great start to the new year!
MEETING WITH LOS FELIZ RESIDENTS AT A BACKYARD CHAT
My team and I met with residents of the Los Feliz Towers apartment complex last weekend for a backyard chat and ice cream social! I shared our latest updates on homelessness – housing everyone at formerly large encampments on Berendo St, Rodney Dr, and along the river bike path – transportation improvements, moving forward with the LA Zoo’s EIR plan, and more. It was great to hear from residents directly about some of the traffic safety issues they are facing along Los Feliz Blvd, and my office will be reaching out to LADOT and continuing to work with neighbors to find implementable solutions.
Extending a special thank you to our constituents for hosting us!
BIDDING FAREWELL TO OUR CCAC FELLOWS
This week, we bid farewell to our amazing California Climate Action Corps Fellows, Claudia and Stephen, who have been with our office for the past year, going out into the community to educate and share resources on environmental justice and wildfire preparedness. We are particularly lucky, because out of the 110 fellows across the state, our office was the ONLY elected office to serve as a host site!
When Claudia and Stephen first joined, I remember that they said that they wanted to hand out 10,000 organics recycling pails. That sounded absolutely insane to me and just about everyone in our office, but as of Monday, they handed out *over 10,000* organics recycling pails across the district alongside CD4 staff, our UCLA College Corps and summer fellows, and almost 100 unique volunteers.
During their time with our office, Claudia and Stephen knocked on thousands of doors and tabled at over 50 different locations, presenting about organics recycling to neighborhood councils, homeowners associations, and other stakeholder groups across the district. They hosted four organics recycling town halls, organized go-bag distribution and emergency preparedness training in high fire severity zones in the district, and they co-wrote motions that our office introduced relating to organics recycling and wildfire safety. They consistently went above and beyond what was asked of them, and their time with us will have a lasting impact on the district and the city.
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!
Throughout the summer, the Independent Shakespeare Co. will also be partnering with the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition to support our unhoused community members. On Saturday, August 19th at 6PM you can join SELAH organizers before the performance to put together hygiene kits to be distributed to our neighbors, while learning what you can do to build relationships and support those in our community experiencing homelessness.
Admission is FREE! Click HERE for a full calendar!
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS WORKSHOP WITH LAFD | AUGUST 26 | MORE INFO
If you missed last week’s Disaster Preparedness in Beachwood, don’t worry – we’re hosting another one! Join us on Saturday, August 26th from 10AM to 12PM in Reseda for an in-person emergency preparedness information session related to earthquakes & extreme heat. We will be joined by the LAFD Disaster Preparedness unit who will lead a gas shut-off demonstration, fire extinguisher training, tourniquet training, and hands-only CPR training. We encourage you to sign up for this workshop, and bring your neighbors and friends!
- DATE: Saturday, August 26th
- TIME: 10AM to 12PM
- LOCATION: Bertrand Avenue Elementary School, 7021 Bertrand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 91335
Click HERE to sign up!
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.
- DATE: Saturday, August 26
- TIME: 6PM to 10PM
- LOCATION: Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park, 14201 Huston St
FOREST LAWN DRIVE ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION & TRAFFIC SAFETY SURVEY | MORE INFO
Our office, along with the Department of Transportation (LADOT), has proposed a safety improvement project on Forest Lawn Dr in coordination with scheduled street repaving. The project aims to enhance safety for all users by reconfiguring the roadway, adding physical barriers to the existing bike lanes, and promoting calmer and more orderly driving behavior. The project will address the current high levels of biking activity adjacent to fast-moving vehicles traveling to and from the 134 freeway.
The city is currently doing outreach and data collection and intends to finalize the design this fall, but we need your input! Click HERE to fill out LADOT’s online survey!
RAMP WEBINAR FOR SMALL BUSINESSES | MORE INFO
The City of Los Angeles is proud to introduce RAMP to the Southern California Business Community. RAMP, or the Regional Alliance Marketplace for Procurement, provides a one-stop hub for small businesses to more easily and efficiently find and pursue business opportunities across Southern California. Join RAMP for a webinar and learn how your business can benefit from the program!
For more details and to start pursuing contract opportunities, register HERE.
Registrants are encouraged to review the following FAQs in advance of the webinar HERE.
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.
The City Planning Commission Meeting – the next step in deliberation on the project – will be held in-person at Van Nuys City Hall and virtually on August 24, 2023.
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.
Our office has issued recommended conditions of approval to the City Planning Commission to address a number of key issues raised by the community. Our recommended conditions aim to maximize public access to the new facilities by not only community organizations but also individual members of the public; increase the preservation of green and open space, improve the streetscape with safer pedestrian and ADA-compliant access and keep construction, noise, and traffic impacts to a minimum. Our office also recommends a number of key sustainability improvements to ensure the facility’s structures are carbon-free and that the school install a natural grass field instead of artificial turf, or artificial turf that is free of PFAS.
Our letter to the City Planning Commission can be read in its entirety here. Harvard-Westlake’s letter to CPC agreeing to comply with our requests can be found here. We look forward to the City Planning Commission’s decision and the drafting of a Letter of Determination by the Planning Department that will set the final parameters for the project.
MURAL WORKS REQUEST FOR IDEAS | MORE INFO
Are you an artist? The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is initiating a Request for Ideas process (RFI) for individual muralists or teams to submit their ideas for new, socially engaging, mural projects, while supporting the advancement of young apprentices in the trade. DCA is seeking mural concepts that are centered around social justice, notable cultural figures, or important histories relating to a specific neighborhood.
The deadline to apply is Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at 11:59pm. Applications must be submitted online via Slideroom.
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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Services + Resources
- Food Pantry Locator — Get connected to food resources near you.
- 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 a list of local shelters.
- Gas Assistance Fund – The Gas Assistance Fund (GAF) offers a one-time grant to help customers pay their natural gas bills.
- 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.