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This week, I am pleased to announce that the City Council unanimously passed my motion to allow for the donation of a surplus ambulance to the California Emergency Mobile Patrol (CEMP). Based in the San Fernando Valley, CEMP is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that provides emergency response for the City of Los Angeles. CEMP is trained and ready for a variety of missions, including search and rescue, command post, and evacuation.
On Tuesday, the winners of the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department’s “Home as Your Kit” Video Contest were honored at City Hall. Sponsored by the Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation and SOS Survival Products, the winning video will be used to promote preparedness on social media.
Last weekend members of the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council, volunteers from the World Vision Church, and members of my staff conducted a neighborhood cleanup along Rinaldi Street. On Saturday morning the group descended on Rinaldi Street, picking up trash, sweeping pine needles from the sidewalks and gutters, and performing weed abatement.
This week, the E12 students visited the Bureau of Sanitation's West Valley Headquarters in Northridge to learn about the City's Solid Resource Program, collecting, cleaning and recycling solid and liquid waste generated by residential, commercial and industrial users in the City of Los Angeles. Through the City's Zero Waste program, the Bureau of Sanitation recycles and diverts over 76% of the solid waste collected from going to landfills. While the City has a highly successful recycling program, the students also learned about the challenges to combating scavengers and strategies in how to discourage scavenging.
This week, the changes I initiated to the City's Special Events Ordinance were unanimously approved by the City Council. There are a number of events that occur citywide that only require parking on the public street, but the previous version of the Special Events Ordinance only provided the ability for organizers to obtain permits for events that require a full street closure. The changes that were approved now allow for a permit to be issued for the reservation of on-street parking for special events.
Yesterday, my office held a “CD12 District Challenge.” This interoffice competition was designed to proactively go into the community to identify quality of life issues that need to be addressed. Our staff found over 500 items to fix throughout the district from abandoned shopping carts, hanging tree limbs, broken curbs and damaged street signs.
This week, the E12 students visited the LAPD Devonshire Station of the Los Angeles Police Department and The Center for Visual Communication (Viscom). At the Devonshire Station, The students learned the organizational structure of the LAPD and the various functions of the station, including the different roles of detectives, senior lead officers, captains and the watch commander. In the roll call room, the students experienced a mock COMPSTAT session and learned how resources are strategically deployed based on crime needs/trends.
This week, I was proud to speak at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce's Innovation and technology Council on FIRESTAT LA and the integration of technology into our City's public safety departments.
It is my honor to welcome Karine Philips, the new neighborhood prosecutor for LAPD's Topanga Division to our community. Philips, a native of Moscow, is fluent in Russian and Armenian. Raised in Los Feliz, she graduated from the University of Southern California and then earned a degree from the USC Gould School of Law.
As of January 1, 2014, the Plastic Bag Ban went into effect throughout the City of Los Angeles. On July 1 the second phase of the plastic bag ban will go into effect. Councilmember Mitchell Englander in conjunction with the Los Angeles Department of Sanitation is giving away reusable bags at our Community Service Center. Single-use carryout plastic bags will no longer be available at small markets and groceries. Paper bags are available for 10 cents each. To avoid this fee, shoppers are encouraged to bring and use their reusable bags when making trips to the grocery store.
Last week, my office was proud to launch our second annual “Excellence in Public Service” Leadership Development Program! Fifteen local high school students were selected to participate in this interdisciplinary program teaching students how to solve real-world community problems by integrating field study and academic research while leveraging technology to develop public policy solutions. Students will also learn how to navigate the network of public agencies, facilitate collaborative coalition building, and master interpersonal skills to succeed in the workplace.
Today I was honored to have the two-time Grammy Award winning artist Johnny Rivers at Los Angeles City Hall to proclaim June 13, 2014 as Johnny Rivers Day throughout the City of Los Angeles in honor of this great artist and the first ever benefit concert for New Horizons! New Horizons is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with special needs reach their potential and fulfill their dreams. Founded in 1954 by eight parents whose children had developmental disabilities, it has evolved to provide services and support each year to nearly 1,000 individuals and social/recreational services to nearly 3,000 individuals throughout the greater San Fernando Valley.
This Wednesday, the Council voted unanimously to approve my initiative (CF 14-0422) to upgrade the City’s Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) system. While our ATSAC system is being upgraded, through my effort (CF 13-0486), the City is taking advantage of the current technology to enhance our public safety efforts
Persistent phone scammers are deceiving Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) customers into paying non-existent water and power bills with threats of immediate service shut off. Don’t fall victim to phone scammers posing as LADWP “collection” personnel. LADWP employees will NEVER ask for personal payment information over the telephone. They will never ask you to purchase pre-paid cash cards from a convenience store to pay your utility bill.
I am so proud of my amazing staff and their recognition by the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce. They received the Award of Excellence at the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce Gala on June 6, 2014. The award reflects on the merits of our staff at CD 12 and their "can-do" attitude sharing expertise, knowledge and resources with the community. It is a pleasure working with the Greater San Fernando valley Chamber of Commerce and we look forward to a long partnership.
On Thursday, June 5, over 45 representatives from the ten neighborhood councils from Council District 12 took part in what has become a much-anticipated tradition in the North West San Fernando Valley – the Council District 12 Conversations with Councils.
Designed to provide the enthusiastic CD12 neighborhood council membership the opportunity to expand their repertoire of information regarding departments that comprise the City of Los Angeles, the two featured departments at this session were the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) and the Bureau of Street Services (BSS).
In January of 2013, Councilmember Joe Buscaino and I jointly introduced a City Council motion aimed at rehabilitating a backlog of 8,200 miles of City streets that had fallen into complete disrepair. We sought to have an honest conversation about how decades of neglect and diminishing funding sources had led to an infrastructure problem in desperate need of a solution.
This Wednesday, I submitted a motion directing the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) to report on the feasibility of implementing a program similar to Houston's Emergency Telehealth and Navigation (ETHAN) Project which utilizes emergency room physicians and technology to evaluate patients in the field and help them access healthcare more efficiently than using an ambulance as transport in non-emergency situations, as well as report on what resources would be needed to create a similar program in the City of Los Angeles.
Today, my office was proud to host our second Department of Water and Power Service Day for Council District 12 residents. During this special DWP Customer Service Day for CD 12 community members had the opportunity to meet with a team of 12 specialists including: 3 service center members to assist the customers directly, 3 billing specialists to analyze the bills, as well as 3 members of the DWP leadership who oversaw the process. The group was led by Julie Naslund, Utility Service Manager for their Customer Service Centers. Community members came in to resolve a broad spectrum of issues from fluctuating bills to solar rebates.
This Tuesday, I was proud to join Mayor Eric Garcetti for the announcement of the 15 Great Streets throughout the City of Los Angeles beginning with our own Reseda Boulevard between Plummer Street and Parthenia Avenue. What makes a Great Street? It’s more than just the physical infrastructure, street, bike lanes and tree lined sidewalks. A strong and vibrant community cannot be accomplished without its people.