First Term Report Serving the San Fernando Valley Communities of Canoga Park, Reseda, Tarzana, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.
2013 - 2017 1
From the Desk of
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield Each community that I am privileged to represent-- Canoga Park, Reseda, Tarzana, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills-- is a unique area with its own local culture, struggles and triumphs. It has been a pleasure to work closely with the people, organizations and leaders that work hard every day to make our communities even better. Together we have made great strides. We have built new parks, refurbished old ones, cleaned up streets, joined together to prevent crime, identified problems and work toward solutions. We have vetted new development proposals, passed the Warner Center 2035 plan, established the Reseda Rising initiative and started updating our community plans. Community leaders, volunteers and other stakeholders have made it possible. Thank you. I am especially grateful to my Community Action Teams members (BobCATs), neighborhood councilmembers, and neighborhood watch groups that partnered with me to advance new initiatives and bold ideas. And, I am extremely fortunate to have an amazing staff who not only goes above and beyond to do their jobs but who care passionately about the work and the communities they serve. Entering my second term, I am as committed as ever to make the West Valley and our City the best they can be. Though this booklet highlights the accomplishments we have made over the last four years, we continue to look forward on how we can invest in the future. Together we address the homelessness epidemic that has impacted the City from San Pedro to Northridge. We continue to make Los Angeles the greenest City in the nation and find creative ways to curb high energy costs. We continue to plan for the future creatively, tenaciously and optimistically. My top priority is to serve you. If I can be of help, answer questions or help find solutions to any issue, please reach out to me or my office. Your voice and your opinion are vital to writing the next great chapter for the San Fernando Valley and our whole City. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve.
Table of Contents Major Citywide Initiatives
Delivering for the West Valley
Greening the Valley
Protecting the Environment
Building 21st Century Digital, Physical and Transportation Infrastructure
Bringing City Hall to the West Valley
Protecting Civil and Human Rights
Addressing Domestic Violence
Promoting Emergency Preparedness
Jobs and Opportunities
Delivering for the Entertainment Industry
Supporting Arts and Culture in the West Valley
Celebrating Animals and Saving Lives
Planning for a Better Future
Delivering for You
Blumenfield Holiday Party
Blumenfield in the Community
Major Citywide Initiatives Raised minimum wage to $15/hour Nobody should work for wages that result in crushing poverty, especially when employed full time. Blumenfield brokered a gradual phase in for higher wages that helped make the initiative possible by allowing small businesses time to adjust, and nonprofit organizations a more feasible onramp for raises. The City’s action spurred the state to raise the wage statewide.
Sidewalk Repairs The City’s sidewalks finally are being repaired to improve safety and access for all people. Sidewalk repairs had been stymied until Blumenfield and the City Council resolved the legal ambiguity about repair liability through a creative “fix and release” approach and by settling a related lawsuit. Doing so enabled the Council to commit to a $1.4 billion repair program along with a long term solution that will ensure ongoing accessibility.
Addressing Homelessness Turning the tide on the crisis of homelessness is not easy in light of a housing shortage at all price points and with the complex health, mental health, and other needs of homeless individuals and families. Working with nonprofit providers and LA County, Blumenfield helped 24,000 people find homes and put Measure HHH on the ballot to triple the number of permanent supportive housing units. This along with a comprehensive homeless strategy, that was the product of countless stakeholder hearings, demonstrates the collective commitment to address homelessness.
Implemented Body Cameras at LAPD Public confidence in our police officers is crucial for public safety and body worn video provides valuable evidence for accountability – and fairness – in all police interactions with the public. Body cameras are part of Blumenfield’s effort to leverage technology for public benefit. The City Council authorized more than $57 million to issue body cameras to all officers on the street and manage the video evidence they gather.
Developed the Comprehensive Jobs Plan To make Los Angeles more business and job friendly, Blumenfield, as part of the Jobs Committee, put together a 35 point plan to stimulate economic and job growth in Los Angeles. From encouraging local hiring to providing incentives for startups to simplifying contracting, the plan is a multi-faceted effort to encourage investment in communities and jobs.
Improved Earthquake Preparedness Always a top priority for Blumenfield, he helped get mandatory retrofit programs to improve the resilience of certain types of buildings that can be severely damaged during earthquakes and also required that cell phone towers be built stronger to withstand an earthquake to ensure families and first responders can rely on cell phone towers for emergency communications. 4
Delivering for Canoga Park Canoga Park started as an agricultural area and grew rapidly into a thriving town. In 2005, Canoga Park was recognized with the "All-America City Award" from the National Civic League, the first time a City of Los Angeles community has earned this distinction. Canoga Park is often referred to as "an oasis in the Valley."
A New Skatepark for the West Valley In 2015, construction was completed on the new Lanark Skate Plaza in Canoga Park. Skateboard legend Tony Hawk and members of the Birdhouse Skateboards team joined Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and City leaders in Canoga Park to help the community inaugurate the brand new 14,000 sq. ft. street plaza style skatepark set among old-growth trees at Lanark Recreation Center. Blumenfield joined the world-famous skateboarder, the Birdhouse Team, and local youth, hopping onto his own vintage skateboard to try out the new park. “This is a great resource for our community,” said Blumenfield. “Growing up, I loved to skateboard, but we didn’t have anything like this. The Lanark Skate Plaza will be a great place for our kids to stay active, learn a sport, and do it in a way that is safe and fun.” Lanark Recreation Center was identified as a potential skate park site by the Department of Recreation and Tony Hawk joins Blumenfield to inaugurate the Lanark Skate Plaza. Skateboard Parks in 2008. Upon election to the City Council, in 2013 riders now have a 14,000 sq. ft. street plaza style skatepark at Lanark Recreation Blumenfield worked with Recreation and Parks to make Center, on June 19, 2015 (Photo by John McCoy Daily News) this a priority project for the West Valley. The new skate plaza, designed by New Line Skateparks and built by California Skateparks, was partially funded by a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
Grand Opening of Canoga Orange Line Pedestrian Access After several years of working closely with Metro and the Warner Center Association, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield led the grand opening of the new Canoga Orange Line Access walkway. “This new pedestrian connection shows that when Metro and Los Angeles work together, we deliver common sense solutions that help our community,” said Blumenfield. “The Orange Line is vitally important for the West Valley and I am very proud that we made it easier to use public transportation, connecting the entire city.”
Blumenfield with Gary Spivak from Metro and David Allison from the WCA, at the ribbon cutting at the Canoga Station, May 2016.
complicating the situation.
Before this project was completed, thousands of local residents had to walk over a ½ mile to the station, even though they could see the station from their balconies and windows. There was a gate blocking access to the bus station, surrounded by shrubbery and no TAP card reader or ticket vending, further
The connector is a prime example of how modest infrastructure improvements can make a big difference for many residents, employees, students, and consumers. 5
Delivering for Reseda “I know Reseda’s best days are ahead. With the launch of Reseda Rising we are opening a dynamic, multi-front initiative to leverage those incredible resources to create the Reseda we know it can, should, and soon will be.” -Councilmember Bob Blumenfield
Claim Back the Sidewalk Councilmember Blumenfield has been a proud partner of the “Claim Back the Sidewalks Program” which was initiated by the West Valley Community Police Advisory Board and the Reseda Neighborhood Council. It prioritizes neighborhood safety, including beautifying sidewalks for the Sherman Way business corridor as well as helping build a more productive line of communication between community groups and the LAPD.
Councilmember Blumenfield with Mayor Eric Garcetti touring Reseda on May 19th, 2014.
“Claim Back the Sidewalk” is about bringing everybody together with a stake in the well being of the community. Blumenfield has made it a goal not only to make the community’s sidewalks safe and clean, but to continue to build the infrastructure needed to ensure a beautiful community for years to come.
James C. Beyea Memorial Walk In April 2015, Blumenfield dedicated the James C. Beyea Memorial Walk along Crebs Ave. adjacent to the Aliso Creek Flood Control Channel. Blumenfield was joined at the dedication by the Los Angeles Police Department, Officer Beyea’s family and friends, and dozens of community members. Beyea, a native son of the San Fernando Valley, was less than a year into his job as an LAPD officer when he was tragically killed in the line of duty in June 1988. Blumenfield’s office supported the project, not just by facilitating the official naming and dedication, but also by partnering with the community in beautifying the site. Blumenfield presents Officer James C. Beyea’s mother, Cathy, with a
commemorative plaque at the dedication of the memorial walk in Reseda in memory of her son, on April 16, 201(Photo by David Crane, Daily News).
Reseda Rising With the loss of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Blumenfield has worked to fill in the gap with his own ‘Reseda Rising’ initiative. He put together numerous stakeholder meetings and has kicked off a process that will revive Reseda, transform Sherman Way, and turn the derelict Reseda Theater into a Laemmle theater with affordable senior housing on an adjacent parcel. Additionally, he developed a partnership with the LA Kings and the city that will provide a first class hockey rink to benefit the local community.
New Sherman Way Medians In the spring of 2015, Blumenfield unveiled 10 radically improved medians along Sherman Way in the heart of Reseda. The improved medians are the result of a five-year collaboration between the City family and surrounding community, under the leadership of the late Nancy Sweeney and her husband, Walt. The new and attractive median corridor runs for more than 2/3 of a mile through downtown Reseda and features 15,500 square feet of new water-wise landscape planting, automated irrigation systems, and over 20 new median trees. 6
Delivering for Tarzana Tarzana was originally part of the San Fernando Mission, which was established in 1797 by Spanish settlers and missionaries. Tarzana is named after the unforgettable character "Tarzan of the Apes," and is a tribute to his even more unforgettable creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Tarzana Recreation Center Improvements Blumenfield has prioritized recreation parks and open space for healthy communities and kids throughout the West Valley. In Tarzana, Blumenfield has focused on much needed improvements to Tarzana Recreation Center. In February 2014, Blumenfield joined Tarzana Recreation Center staff, community members, and children from the Tarzana Recreation Center’s daycare facility to open a new playground. Blumenfield had led the October 2013 groundbreaking, and noted the incredible transformation that had occurred in just a few short months. “Projects like these illustrate how the City and community can come together to create a partnership to better our neighborhoods,” said Blumenfield. In May of 2015, Blumenfield also secured the installation of a needed bike rack at the park.
Blumenfield joins staff, community members, and children from the onsite daycare facility at the new Tarzana Recreation Center playground, on February 6, 2014.
Tree Planting on Ventura Blvd. In May 2017, 70 volunteers joined Councilmember Blumenfield, TreePeople, the Tarzana Neighborhood Council (TNC), LA Conservation Corps, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, the West Valley Warner Center Chamber of Commerce and City Plants to help renew the tree canopy on Ventura Blvd. 19 trees were planted along Ventura Boulevard. Ongoing maintenance and care will be provided by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. Blumenfield said, “Planting and maintaining trees are a great, costeffective way to invest in our community. They attract customers to our storefronts, beautify the area, reduce our carbon emissions and help us reduce the amount of electricity we use to keep our businesses and homes cool.” Blumenfield joins volunteers along Ventura Blvd. for an early morning tree planting.
Bringing Mayor Garcetti to Tarzana
Blumenfield brought Mayor Eric Garcetti to Tarzana to highlight the thriving Tarzana Village Walk and Business Improvement District.
Celebrating the Arts The San Fernando Valley is home to a thriving art community, which now has a home base in Tarzana at the San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center. Blumenfield participated in an oral history of Tarzana for a piece called “Historical Memories of Tarzana,” now housed at the center.
Jazz legend Arturo Sandoval performs a stirring rendition of “God Bless America” at Los Angeles City Hall, on January 22, 2015.
Blumenfield honored Jazz great and Tarzana resident, Arturo Sandoval, declaring March 24, 2015 “Arturo Sandoval Day” in Los Angeles. Sandoval, who grew up in Cuba before immigrating to the United States, is a Grammy-award winning trumpet player and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 7
Delivering for Winnetka Winnetka is a diverse and historic community located in the southwest corner of the San Fernando Valley. Founded in 1922, Winnetka is home to the Winnetka Bowl and was made famous by KGIL Radio's Sweet Dick Whittington who served as honorary Mayor and once persuaded officials in New Zealand to acquire the community as a new state.
Vanowen St. Bridge In March 2014, Blumenfield pushed for and succeeded in reopening the Vanowen Street Bridge. The bridge had been closed or under construction for three long years, and needed his leadership at City Hall to finally get it done. The north side of the bridge was closed on December 22, 2010 after a large hole was discovered on the bridge deck due to heavy rain and erosion. Project improvements created a safer and more attractive bridge and included: Blumenfield cuts the ribbon on 2 miles of uninterA) replacing and widening the existing bridge by approximately 11 feet on the rupted bikeway along the Los Angeles River in south side and 14 feet on the north; B) widening the roadway approaches to Winnetka, on August 28, 2014. match the new bridge width; C) replacing the existing barrier rails with architectural barrier railings; and D) installing new street lighting on the bridge and new traffic signals at the intersection of Mason Avenue and Vanowen Street.
Grand Opening of Homeless Senior Housing in Winnetka On November 17, 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and representatives from county and state agencies opened the new Winnetka Village Apartments, offering 94 units of housing for low income and homeless seniors. This development was a partnership with PATH, a non-profit aimed at eliminating homelessness, and Meta Housing, a developer with a long track record of social advocacy and building supportive and senior housing.
Winnetka Recreation Center Since his election, Blumenfield has been working to address issues at the Winnetka Recreation Center. In particular, homeowners adjacent to the recreation center reported problems with homeless encampments on their property due to lack of adequate demarcation of the parkâ€™s boundaries. Blumenfield responded to constituent concerns and worked to have a new, 10 foot high fence, completed in 2016, installed between the Above: Blumenfield is joined by local residents, recreation staff children from the onsite daycare facility to celebrate the park and homes on the other side to provide much needed peace of and fence installation on February 5, 2016. mind while respecting the parkâ€™s role as a central gathering place for the community.
Blumenfield Activates New Signal at Oso Ave. and Vanowen St. In January 2017, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield officially activated the new traffic lights at the intersection of Oso and Vanowen in Winnetka. This was a long sought after traffic improvement that many community members had requested. Blumenfield recognized these efforts and thanked key players from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the Bureau of Street Services who helped make this project happen. Located only two blocks from Fulbright Avenue Elementary School, this intersection is a key crossing point that is now much safer. 8
Delivering for Woodland Hills Woodland Hills is a diverse suburban community located in the southwest corner of the San Fernando Valley. Originally settled in the 1920’s by the land speculator, Victor Girard, it is today home to vibrant business and shopping districts along Ventura Blvd., and in the Warner Center. Woodland Hills is home to Pierce College, the Sagebrush Cantina, and the Motion Picture and Television Fund.
Blumenfield Transforms Lot Into Unique Costanso Fire Station Park In August 2015, Councilmember Blumenfield was joined by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), Costanso Street neighbors and West Valley residents to celebrate the opening of the new Costanso Fire Station 84 Park in Woodland Hills.
In a dedication ceremony, Blumenfield, LAFD officials, and community members honored the brave men and women who served the San Fernando Valley from the small firehouse at the corner of Canoga Ave. and Costanso St. for more than 60 years. Fire Station 84 operated at the corner of Canoga Ave. and Costanso St. from 1949 until being relocated to a new location in Warner Center in 2007. The vacant fire station remained unused and became blighted, overgrown with weeds and a place where
Blumenfield is joined by representatives from the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council as well as the Department of Recreation and Parks to help dedicate the new Costanso Fire Station 84 Park, on August 29, 2015.
illicit activity occurred. ln 2013, shortly after Blumenfield was elected to the Los Angeles City Council, he undertook a massive community outreach effort to determine the future use of the site and began working feverishly to transform the area. Blumenfield said, “After two years of hard work and community input, we have transformed what was a blighted piece of land into an incredible and unique neighborhood resource that makes the whole City proud.”
Warner Center 2035 Opening the door to visionary projects that truly reflect the community’s hopes, values and priorities, Blumenfield set the course for investment as the Los Angeles City Council gave its final approval to the Warner Center 2035 Specific Plan. The Warner Center 2035 plan was the result of 8 years of collaboration between the City and local stakeholders and represents an exciting opportunity for economic development and job creation in the West Valley. In taking it over the finish line, Blumenfield ensured that the plan would be the cleanest and greenest in the City. Warner Center is already becoming a magnet for new, green jobs—some 40,000 of them. It is a transit oriented plan, that embraces the LA River, with 30 million square feet of new non-residential space, and some 32 million square feet of new residential space. The plan will help make the West Valley a world class destination for investment. Blumenfield worked to secure guarantees that the Village at Westfield Topanga project would be completed prior to the end of 2015. The Village, a transit and pedestrian oriented project built in keeping the spirit of the plan, was completed ahead of schedule in September 2015. It has quickly become a popular destination. 9
Greening the Valley Grand Opening of the LA River and Aliso Creek Confluence Park In August 2016, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield hosted the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the brand new LA River and Aliso Creek Confluence Park in Reseda. For more than six years, Blumenfield shepherded this project. It has transformed a vacant lot into a beautiful two-acre park right on the LA River with onemile of walking paths, threequarter miles of bicycle lanes, and an amphitheater.
Blumenfield with community leaders, government officials, and Cleveland High School Cheerleaders, cutting the ribbon on the new LA River and Aliso Creek Confluence Park in Reseda.
The quaint amphitheater is named after Nancy Sweeney, who passed away in 2014. Sweeney was a long time neighborhood advocate who created ‘Revitalize Reseda,’ a non-profit organization focused on community beautification. She was a dynamo who loved Reseda. Community members and City leaders rounded the podium as the event began. The Cleveland Charter High School Cheerleaders rallied the crowd leading to remarks from those who made this park possible, including Dr. Carol Armstrong from Mayor Garcetti’s River Works Team; Mike Shull, GM of the Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP); Sylvia Patsaouras, Parks Board President, RAP; Gina Fromer, State Director of the Trust for Public Land; and members of Sweeney‘s family. The park is directly on the LA River on Wilbur Ave at Kittridge St.
Replacing Old Turf with Enviro-friendly Greenery As part of his ongoing work to “Green the Valley,” Blumenfield has replaced some 20,000 square feet of thirsty lawn at the West Valley Municipal Center and neighboring West Valley Library with a demonstration garden featuring California-friendly landscaping options. “By replacing our thirsty lawns with Californiafriendly landscaping, the City of Los Angeles is leading the way and educating Valley residents on the range of options for turf replacement, while saving the City water,” said Blumenfield. Blumenfield began discussions on how best to reduce the Municipal Center’s water footprint shortly after taking office in July 2013.
Blumenfield meets with members of the LA Conservation Corps who are working on the Blumenfield Water Wise Demonstration Garden at the West Valley Municipal Center, on April 10, 2015.
Making the LA River a Great Resource The Los Angeles River forms in Canoga Park at the confluence of Bell Creek and the Arroyo Calabasas, and as an Assemblymember, Blumenfield was among the most vocal advocates of the River as a critical recreation and economic resource. As a Councilmember, Blumenfield has continued to deliver on that vision. In late 2014, Blumenfield travelled to Washington, D.C. to successfully lobby the White House and congressional leaders on behalf of Alternative 20, a proposal to restore 719 acres of river habitat in Los Angeles. Taking swift action before an important end-of-the-year deadline, Blumenfield secured City Council approval to allow the Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the City, to move forward on the Aliso Creek Confluence project. Blumenfield has worked to develop and build out the LA River Bikeway, introducing legislation to close the estimated 12 miles of gaps in the San Fernando Valley portion of the bikeway. In 2014, Blumenfield cut the ribbon on 2½ miles of uninterrupted bikeway along the LA River through Winnetka.
Blumenfield, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and City Engineer Carol Armstrong cross the Capitol rotunda in the midst of a day spent lobbying congressional leaders on behalf of Alternative 20, a proposal to restore 719 acres of river habitat in Los Angeles, on October 29, 2013.
Ensuring the Health and Beautification of the LA River In May 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield addressed the graduating class of the River Ambassador program. Organized by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority (MRCA), this program teaches young people about how to protect the river while also learning about its rich history, dating back long before channelizing in the mid-1900’s. Blumenfield is working with the MRCA on the Caballero Creek Park on the border of Tarzana and Reseda, offering the public an even closer look into the beauty of the LA River. In the budget he secured $750,000 to move forward on this project which will provide additional green space and river access. Blumenfield honors MRCA graduates and Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Joe Edmiston.
Fighting Drought with the DWP Water Conservation Unit Throughout the last few years, Angelenos have been asked to lower their water use and adjust their lifestyles to help reduce the impact of the drought. As part of his efforts, Councilmember Blumenfield went on a ride along with the DWP Water Conservation Unit to see firsthand how the West Valley has been taking advantage of City incentives altering water use and adapting to the current drought situation. The Water Conservation Unit serves as an educational wing of the DWP and helps residents through information and free conservation tools such as high pressure hose nozzles. 11
Blumenfield’s A/C Tune-Ups Saving Angelenos Money and Energy In the San Fernando Valley, air conditioning is a necessity, not a luxury. During the hottest months of the year, homeowners and businesses use significantly more electricity due to running their air conditioners more frequently and for longer periods of time. Unfortunately, many homes and businesses also have poorly maintained units and end up paying for wasteful usage. In response, Councilmember Blumenfield initiated a program to help ratepayers save money and energy through complementary diagnostic and maintenance services that will increase efficiency, extend the life of an A/C unit, and help lower electric bills. As of July 1, 2016, LADWP has implemented this program by providing both residential and commercial customers with the following services free-of-charge: air filter replacements, cleaning of outdoor coils, refrigerant charge check and adjustment, air flow check and adjustments as well as an incentive of up to $150 for the purchase and installation of a programmable thermostat with HVAC replacement. To learn more about this program go to www.ladwp.com/acopt.
Celebrating Earth Day Every April 22nd since 1970, Earth Day has served as an opportunity to reflect and support environmental conservation and has turned into an international celebration celebrated in over 190 countries. Councilmember Blumenfield’s joins many groups in the West Valley to help continue that tradition and help make Planet Earth greener and healthier. As an environmentally progressive legislator, Blumenfield regularly puts on events that make it easier for the West Valley to dispose of toxic materials. He has held several EWaste and Used Motor Oil drop off events in his office parking lot. With more than 550 participants, the Department of Sanitation collected over 29,000 lbs of electronic waste, 930 gallons of used motor oil, and 1 drum of oil filters. Holding these events not only gives residents a simple path to get rid of toxic materials, it also helps protect our water and environment from long term damage.
Blumenfield Leads Tree Planting on Sherman Way Councilmeber Blumenfield, and some of his ‘Reseda Rising’ partners, led a tree planting effort along Reseda’s ‘Great Street’ Sherman Way. He was joined by community members and local leaders including Wendy Butts, CEO of Los Angeles Conservation Corps; Fran Piazza, Reseda Neighborhood Council; and Carter Rubin, Program Manager for Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Program. This tree planting event was the first implementation event for the Sherman Way Conceptual Plan, developed through Blumenfield’s Reseda Rising initiative. Blumenfield said, “Planting and maintaining trees are a great, cost-effective way to invest in our community. They attract customers to our storefronts, beautify the area, reduce our carbon emissions and help us reduce the amount of electricity we use to keep our businesses and homes cool.” 12
Protecting the Environment City Energy Project Takes Leap for Conservation Councilmember Blumenfield joined Mayor Eric Garcetti to sign into law the City Energy Project. It was the culmination of two years of hard work designed to help make Los Angeles the greenest City in the nation. To target the highest users of electricity in a collaborative partnership, Blumenfield and City officials sat down with business leaders and our city’s largest consumers of water and energy and developed a plan, the City Energy Project, to improve their efficiency.
“Los Angeles has an opportunity to set the mark for how to be a green city and initiatives like the City Energy Project show that we are leading,” said Blumenfield. The City Energy Project will reduce Los Angeles’s overall energy and water use while saving businesses and taxpayer’s money. Half of the entire City's electricity demand comes from just 4% of its buildings, and improving efficiency in those buildings can make a big difference in the overall use and sustainability. The new ordinances will ensure that buildings 20,000-square-feet or larger will report their energy use and continuously bring down their emissions.
Zero Waste LA Councilmember Blumenfield is always trying to find ways to help deliver innovative solutions to make Los Angeles the cleanest and greenest city in the nation. Recently, the City Council adopted Zero Waste LA, revolutionizing the way Los Angeles handles solid waste, paving the way for Los Angeles to become the leader in innovative and environmentally friendly trash hauling. Zero Waste LA makes what was a convoluted and complicated waste hauling system into a franchise system where different haulers are responsible for unique geographic zones. For example, instead of separate trucks on separate schedules servicing multifamily housing and nearby restaurants, there will now be one truck at one time that will pick up the trash in a zone. This means there will be a reduction in traffic caused by sanitation trucks and there will be far less noise pollution for residents. It also means the City can more easily regulate and enforce environmental regulations.
Cool Pavement Launches in Canoga Park On May 20, 2017, Councilmember Blumenfield launched a new innovative program called ‘CoolPavement,’ coating streets to seal asphalt surfaces and lower surface temperatures through increased solar reflectivity. Joined by Kevin James, President of the Board of Public Works; Nazario Sauceda, Director of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS); Greg Spotts, Assistant Director of BSS; and Jeff Luzar, National Sales Director of GuardTop LLC, this was the first Cool Pavement treatment on a public street in the State of California. The pilot project begins at the intersection of Jordan and Hart streets in Canoga Park. 13
“The West Valley is the hottest area of Los Angeles and we need to do everything we can to reduce the heat island effect,” said Blumenfield. “While we can’t change the weather, we can fight the ‘heat island effect’ and actually help bring the temperature in our neighborhoods down.” BSS collaborated with Guard Top, developer of asphalt coating products, and have been testing this reflective material in parking lots around Los Angeles. The day following the launch, Greg Spotts from BSS reported that the street was already 10 degrees cooler than before the treatment. One news report found an even greater temperature difference.
This pilot program has been expanded throughout the City for further performance tests.
Building 21st Century Digital, Physical and Transportation Infrastructure Local Families Given Free Computers and Wi-Fi from OurCycle LA On October 1, 2016, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield handed out 100 refurbished City computers to low income students in the West Valley. This was part of an initiative that Blumenfield helped start called OurCycle LA, repurposing old City computers to eliminate e-waste and bridge the digital divide. “Technology is essential for students to succeed in school and maximize opportunities,” said Blumenfield. “Financial limitations should never come between a student and their future that is why I am so proud we are all here today.” With the help of Uber and Worldwide Technologies, Wi-Fi hot spots were given to each student to ensure they could make the most out of this opportunity. The City also partnered with the nonprofit Human I-T, which took the computers, wiped all of the old data, uploaded software, and gave each student technical support. To date, OurCycle LA has helped hundreds of kids all over the City and will continue to make a tangible impact in young Angelenos lives.
Blumenfield, with a young Valley student and his mother, helping get their free refurbished computer to their car.
“In today’s world we must collectively do everything we can to give our children the necessary tools to succeed, and a computer that is connected to the internet is an important step in that direction,” stated Blumenfield. 14
Blumenfield Joins City and LAX Officials for Midfield Satellite Concourse Groundbreaking In February 2017, Councilmember Blumenfield joined Mayor Garcetti, LAX CEO Deborah Flint, Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners President Sean Burton, and Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Joe Buscaino to celebrate the groundbreaking of the $1.6 billion state-of-the-art Midfield Satellite Concourse. As chair of the airport committee, he helped usher through this important project. The concourse will be connected to Tom Bradley International Terminal and will add 750,000 sq ft. of new space for international travelers, including 12 new gates, and will accommodate the biggest airplanes in the world. Blumenfield with Mayor Garcetti, Councilmembers Bonin and Buscaino, President of the Board of Airport Commissioners Sean Burton and Commissioner Jeffrey Daar breaking ground on the new Midfield Satellite Concourse.
“I am thrilled to help break ground on a project that will help transform our airport into the stateof-the-art, environmentally friendly, amenity-filled, and beautiful facility it needs to be,” said Blumenfield. “The Midfield Satellite Concourse project will employ thousands and benefit millions.” The direct economic impact of the project will be big for Los Angeles, creating 6,000 new construction jobs with wages upwards of $300 million.
Fixing the Sidewalks in a Smarter Way The debate about the condition of sidewalks in Los Angeles is not about if there is a problem, it’s about how to fix the problem. In March 2016, the City Council took a major step forward to begin to fix and maintain sidewalks. Sidewalk repair has been deferred for a variety of reasons including pending litigation, liability ambiguity and the economic recession. This log jam was broken when Councilmember Blumenfield and the City Council settled a lawsuit and passed a new “fix and release” program. The City will spend at least $31 million every year for the next 30 years to fix damaged sidewalks with a 20 year warranty. But once that time frame ends, the responsibility for fixing sidewalks returns to the homeowner. This will bring Los Angeles in line with how most of California’s cities manage sidewalks. One of the innovative ideas that Blumenfield is fighting for is uti- An example of alternative sidewalk material- light, sturdy, and lizing alternative building materials for streets and sidewalks when with the ability to be removed for repairs. appropriate. Blumenfield authored several measures incorporating alternative materials for sidewalk repairs on City properties and to investigate their feasibility for use in the City as a whole. Some alternative materials appear no different than standard concrete. The real difference is long term stability, environmental sustainability, less cost and reduced need for maintenance over time. Some have a slight bend that allows tree roots to physically mold underneath and water to seep through to irrigate the land below. These are just a few advantages to help stretch taxpayer dollars for maximum sidewalk repairs. 15
Blumenfield Kicks Off $5 Billion Modernization Plan at LAX In February 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield, who chaired the committee that oversees the airport, addressed over 900 executives from local, national and international companies as he, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Mike Bonin, and the LAX leadership team kicked off the Blumenfield addressed over 900 executives from local, national and international companies at an industry forum on the LAX $5 billion Landslide plan. Access Modernization Program (LAMP). LAX needs to build a world-class transportation system and this program puts us on the pathway to make that happen. It is one of the largest construction programs in the history of the City of Los Angeles. As one of the largest economic generators for the entire City of Los Angeles, the changes at the airport have a direct impact ion Valley residents. LAMP consists of four primary components: an Automated People Mover system, a Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility, two Intermodal Transportation Facilities, as well as roadway improvements to enhance access to other facilities. LAMP is designed to relieve traffic congestion within the Central Terminal Area and on surrounding streets, improve access options and the overall airport guest experience for travelers, and connect to Metro’s light rail system.
Blumenfield Leads Effort to Allow Safe Use of Uber/Lyft at LAX As Chair of the committee that oversees the airports, Councilmember Blumenfield held exhaustive hearings on whether to allow Uber and Lyft at the airport and ultimately advanced a successful plan to permit them in such a way that would ensure safety, reduce congestion, and help consumers. “Angelenos and visitors to our city have been using services like Uber and Lyft to get to and from the airport in a manner that is unregulated, unmonitored, and inconvenient. Our challenge has been to meet the demands of a changing marketplace to ensure safety, transparency, and accessibility,” said Blumenfield. Blumenfield made a series of passenger safety and accountability recommendations that shaped the final agreement. 16
Addressing Homelessness The Comprehensive Homeless Strategy The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) conducted their annual homeless count, with Councilmember Blumenfield and his staff leading the effort in the West Valley for the past few years. In 2017 their results concluded there was an 20% increase in the number of homeless city wide with a 4% jump in the Valley, but there was a marked decrease of 16% in the 3rd Council District.
The Mayor and Council have now approved a multi-tiered holistic program to target homelessness in a new way, starting with improving how the City, County, and nonprofits coordinate their efforts.
Team Blumenfield before heading out to volunteer as part of the 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. Blumenfield’s Reseda office was used as a deployment site for the Count in the West Valley.
In the fiscal year 2017-18 budget, the City is investing $131 million, targeting factors that lead people to homelessness including mental health and addiction, as well as building affordable housing and support services. With the passage of Measure HHH in November 2016, this budget includes $89 million for permanent supportive housing and facilities for service providers. In November 2016, Blumenfield cut the ribbon on the Winnetka Village with 94 apartment for homeless seniors.
RV’s on Deering Ave. just north of the LA River.
Blumenfield with LA Family Housing doing homeless outreach on September 9th 2016.
A homeless encampment on Eton and Vanowen in Canoga Park.
Some of the Core Elements in the Comprehensive Strategy Growing the Coordinated Entry System (CES) For efficiency, it is important to understand what types of services the homeless population is utilizing and be able to track people living on the street. The CES is operating in all of Los Angeles County and coordinates our government with over 100 different providers. By continuing to update and improve this system, homeless individuals can receive personalized services tailored to their needs to help ensure a brighter future.
‘Housing First’ is an approach that swiftly provides homeless individuals with permanent shelter and then provides essential services. This initiative focuses on helping the most vulnerable individuals on the street in the most efficient way possible. Research has shown that this is a cost effective way to break the cycle for those who are chronically homeless.
This program is different from ‘Housing First’ because it is meant for individuals who recently fell into homelessness and need temporary assistance. It has individualized and flexible services including rental and employment assistance and can be used for individuals or families.
Measure HHH In November 2016, Los Angeles voters approved Measure HHH, a $1.2 billion bond targeting new construction of permanent supportive housing for homeless Angelenos. This will work in tandem with the County’s Measure H, which will finance programs such as addiction treatment, job training, education, as well as supportive services for domestic violence victims, vulnerable youth and homeless families. Homelessness has become an emergency and this enormous investment of new strategies and resources is an unprecedented step to curb and eradicate homelessness on the streets of Los Angeles.
Fighting Crime in the West Valley Funding Law Enforcement One of the biggest concerns in the West Valley, based on Councilmember Blumenfield’s annual community budget survey, is public safety, with 70% of respondents stating that funding police and firefighters is one of their top priorities. In the Budget and Finance Committee hearings, Blumenfield discussed a wide array of issues with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck regarding the budget. Overall, LAPD’s budget for FY 2017-18 is $2.7 billion, a $100 million increase from the previous year. This includes $21.6 million to continue the sworn hiring plan to maintain a force of 10,000 officers, $8.7 million Councilmember Blumenfield joined by Budget Chair Paul Krekorian, and Councilmember Nury for body cameras that help protect officers and the pub- Martinez in committee. lic, and funding for a new Commander for LAPD’s homeless efforts. Every year Blumenfield has fought for increased LAPD and LAFD funding.
Targeting Gang Violence Councilmember Bob Blumenfield pushed to get a report from the Police Department (LAPD), with the assistance of the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD), updating the community on gang violence in the West San Fernando Valley. In recent years, the City has pioneered new efforts to address gang violence and intervene to give youth alternatives to gang life. However, very limited resources were allocated to the West Valley. Some of the findings iof the report he asked for showed that violent gang-related crime went up from 177 in 2014, to 288 in 2015, and leveled out at 289 in 2016. The report offered comprehensive and in-depth analysis on what types of crimes these gangs engage in, as well as information on intervention efforts and examples of the challenges and successes that the LAPD and GRYD have had in addressing gang crime in the West Valley. The report led to Blumenfield successfully securing an additional $250,000 for the RALS program and getting Reseda Park transformed into a CLASS A park. This transformation results in manty more gang prevention programs. Blumenfield with cadets at Summer Night Lights, a community program undertaken by Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Prevention (GRYD).
Advocating Lock It, Hide It, Keep It Since he joined the City Council in 2013, Bob Blumenfield has partnered with the LAPD and members of the San Fernando Valley’s business community to promote the “Lock It, Hide It, Keep It” campaign to inform residents and shoppers about steps they can take to keep themselves and their belongings safe.
Park your vehicle in well lit areas. Preferably where there is a high volume of pedestrian traffic.
Turn your wheels sharply to one side to prevent your vehicle from being towed by a thief.
Lock your car even if you are going for a quick stop at a local convenience store or mini mall.
Do not leave anything inside your car, place valuables in the trunk of your car or leave the items at home. 18
ACE– More Tools to Combat Crime The ACE Program (Administrative Citation Enforcement) is a new and innovative alternative method of enforcement for minor violations. For certain non-violent/low level offences, a ticket is issued rather than criminal citation or arrest. For example, drinking in public, illegal use of fireworks, and obstructing sidewalks can be enforced through this program. This allows officers to spend more time pursuing higher level crimes and patrolling the streets. It enable officers to do something in situations that might otherwise not warrant an arrest.
Bringing Communities and Police Together National Night Out Every year, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield celebrates National Night Out with police and community members. Over 30 years ago, National Night Out was created to foster better relationships between law enforcement and the community through events such as BBQ’s, outdoor movies, and parties in the park. Today, events are held in all 50 states in more than 16,000 communities. In Reseda, Blumenfield has co-hosted several outdoor film screenings in Randall Simmons Park with the LAPD West Valley Division. In Canoga Park, Blumenfield has honored the Guadalupe Community Center for their outstanding work helping kids in the West Valley, and the LAPD Topanga Division for keeping streets safe and building closer ties with the community.
Blumenfield with members of the LAPD Topanga Division including Captain Vernon and Sergeant Stokes, with kids from the Guadalupe Community Center on August 2nd 2016 at National Night Out.
Partnerships for Public Safety
Blumenfield meeting with Commander Todd Chamberlain, the head of LAPD’s homeless effort.
Blumenfield with Captain Ramirez at the West Valley Station at their community open house.
Strong partnerships between the LAPD and community members are key to public safety and Councilmember Blumenfield works tirelessly to bring parties together to make our neighborhoods better.
Important Resources Police Non-Emergency
LAPD Topanga Station
LAPD West Valley Station
(818) 374-7611 19
Bringing City Hall to the West Valley Councilmember Blumenfield's Homeless Townhall Draws Large Crowd In September 2016, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield led a panel of experts to discuss the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. The crowd of over 200 packed into the Canoga Park Senior Center to listen and find out about homelessness throughout the city, what local leaders are doing about it, and what we in the community can do. “I put this event together because I wanted you to hear from leaders who are at the forefront of addressing our City’s homeless situation and offer the community an Blumenfield leads his Homeless Town Hall in Canoga Park with leaders from opportunity to engage with those leaders,” said Blumenthe city, county, law enforcement and nonprofits. field. “This is an issue of humanity, public safety, and public health, and we must make sure that we do everything we can to tackle it with sufficient and appropriate services and strategies.” This panel featured Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), LA Family Housing, LAPD’s Homeless Team, LA City Attorney, Office of LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles.
Councilmember Blumenfield Convenes Town Hall with New Director of the Department of City Planning Vince Bertoni In April 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield welcomed Vince Bertoni, then the new Director of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning (LADCP), to the West Valley. They discussed pressing issues and fielded questions from the audience. A few of the topics discussed were community plans, development impacts, and how state land use legislation affects development. Also highlighted was LADCP’s Re:Code LA effort, an initiative focused on revising LA’s aging zoning code. Blumenfield said, “The Department of City Planning plays a lead role in the development and character of the Valley and I’m grateful that Vince enthusiastically engages with our community.” Blumenfield and Vince Bertoni, new Director of the LA Department of City Planning.
The event served as an opportunity to introduce Bertoni to residents and gave a forum for the LADCP to share ideas and new initiatives regarding planning across the city and specifically the West Valley.
DWP General Manager Marcie Edwards accepted an invitation from Councilmember Blumenfield to address community concerns at a DWP Town Hall in the West Valley. More than 500 people attended.
LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds addresses a packed house of Valley residents, on January 22, 2015 at Blumenfield’s Transportation Town Hall. 20
Anti-Crime Efforts Featured at Public Safety Town Hall In April 2017, Councilmember Blumenfield led a Public Safety Town Hall with LAPD’s top brass in the West Valley. Joined by Deputy Chief for the Valley John A. Sherman, Captains Maureen Ryan and Paul Vernon from the Topanga Division, Captain Natalie Cortez and Lt. Todd Hankel from the West Valley Division, and Captain Andy Neiman with Valley Traffic Division, Blumenfield updated the community on crime, prevention and discussed ways residents can help combat criminal activity. “Over the last few years crime has ticked up and it is vital that community members, LAPD, and elected officials come together, work with the same set of facts, and ensure that our neighborhoods are safe,” said Blu- Left to right: Captain Paul Vernon, LAPD Topanga Division; Captain Maureen Ryan, LAPD Topange Division; Captain Natalie Cortez, LAPD menfield. West Valley Division; Captain Andy Neiman, LAPD Valley Traffic Division; Councilmember Blumenfield; and Deputy Chief for the Valley John A. Sherman
To see read the responses to all of the audience submitted questions, please go to http:// blumenfield.lacity.org/public_safety_town_hall_questions_and_answers.
Blumenfield Hosts Building and Safety Town Hall In April 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield welcomed officials from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) for his latest “Bringing City Hall to You” Town Hall discussion in Woodland Hills. They discussed a wide array of topics including code enforcement, permitting and inspections, and nuisance abatement. “It is important that every resident knows what each city department does and how they can help,” said Blumenfield. “Events like this bridge the gaps between City Hall and West Valley constituents.” Blumenfield convenes these meetings with key Depart- Blumenfield at the Town Hall with LADBS Executive Officer Frank ments and City officials based on the interests and con- Bush, Eric Jakeman, Kim Arthur, and Luke Zamperini. cerns of his constituents. In June, Frank Bush was appointed Interim General Manager of the Department.
Protecting Civil and Human Rights Strengthening the Los Angeles-Israel Relationship Councilmember Blumenfield has been a leader on issues of critical concern to the Jewish community for many years. Since joining the City Council, Blumenfield established the LAIsrael Taskforce, fostering investment, business development and research opportunities in clean technology, water resources, solar energy, and environmental technologies. It is also designed to promote the exchange of ideas, innovation and mutual benefits. The Task Force members represent the Israeli government, Israeli companies, Southern California business and education communities, non-profits, the Department of Water and Power and the City of Los Angeles. It has produced and promoted projects and ideas that help Los Angeles save money and our environment. In May 2016, Blumenfield led a discussion at the Milken Institute's Global Conference on the partnership between CaliforBlumenfield with Consul General of Israel Sam Grundwerg. nia and Israel and focused on Financial Innovation Labs in Israel. The distinguished panel, including former California State Treasurer Kathleen Brown and Consul General of Israel David Siegel, also discussed ideas and paths for California and Israel to lead on a variety of issues including food security, green energy, and health.
Blumenfield leading discussion on the partnership between California and Israel at the Milken Institute, May 2016.
Blumenfield secured a unanimous vote in the City Council to stand in solidarity against anti-Semitism and strengthen AB 2844, a State bill that would prohibit California from participating in contracts with businesses who violate discrimination laws by supporting the BDS movement.
Blumenfield Hosts 'Out of Iran & Out of the Closet' On February 21, 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield and Jewish Queer International (JQI) hosted ‘Out of Iran & Out of the Closet,' a panel discussion on the LGBTQ experience in Iran. “The coming out process is for the parents just as much as it is for their children and, as we heard, it can be extremely difficult for a family to come to terms with and support their LGBT child,” said Blumenfield. “We must continue to foster a community of equality and acceptance and advance an open dialogue.” 22
West Valley Welcomes Special Olympics In July 2015, Los Angeles welcomed more than 7,000 athletes from 170 nations for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games—the largest sporting event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Summer Olympics. Proving once again that Councilmember Blumenfield’s West Valley constituents are extremely generous with their time, energy, and spirit, not one, but four communities and their chambers of commerce stepped up to the plate to serve as host towns—welcoming the world’s Special Olympics athletes into West Valley neighborhoods as they compete on the global stage. Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister to President John Blumenfield presents medals to winning athletes competing in equestrian F. Kennedy, the first Games were held in 1968 in Chicago. events at the 2015 Special Olympics Summer World Games. Since that time, the Special Olympics have grown into the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4.4 million athletes.
Blumenfield, staff, and interns join Special Olympics athletes at the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg at SWAT Officer Randal D. Simmons Park in Reseda, on July 23, 2015.
Blumenfield has a long history of advocacy on behalf of persons living with intellectual disabilities. As Chair of the California State Assembly’s Budget Committee from 2009 -2013, Blumenfield worked to protect service providers from painful budget cuts and co-sponsored the landmark “self-determination” bill that gave families more control over their loved ones’ treatment decisions. Also, Blumenfield led the effort to allow certain nonprofits, including many that serve the intellectually or developmentally disabled, extra time to adjust budgets to citywide increases in the minimum wage.
Blumenfield Secures Zero-Tolerance Policy for Taxi Discrimination In February 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield held taxi drivers to new standards of accountability, as Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved new zero-tolerance rules for race-based taxi discrimination. The previous October, Blumenfield called for an investigation and an action plan to eliminate instances of refusal of service by taxi drivers on the basis of race following an op-ed by ESPN commentator and former Major League Baseball player Doug Glanville. Glanville, who is African-American, described being refused service by a taxi driver at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) who suggested that Glanville should “take the bus,” instead. An airport employee told Glanville that it was the third time she had witnessed a driver refuse service to a black passenger over the course of her shift. “It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone who travels to our City is treated with equity and fairness regardless of the color of their skin," said Blumenfield. “In this day and age, in our City, we must stand against prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination.” Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) led an investigation in response to Blumenfield’s motion and confirmed fears that discrimination was occurring undetected. Los Angeles Airport Police sent undercover African-American plain clothes officers into the LAX central terminal area to conduct a “secret shopper” investigation. The task force approached 25 taxicab drivers to request service. Five of those requests were refused. LAWA gave these shocking results to their contracted taxi coordinator, Authorized Taxi Supervision (ATS), who increased penalties for trip refusals in response. Blumenfield instructed LAWA to continue doing regular sting operations and to enforce the new standards. 23
Addressing Domestic Violence Ensuring Funding for Domestic Violence Services After being sworn in as Councilmember, one of Blumenfield’s first City motions was to push City departments to examine city coordination on domestic violence. He has continued to push for better funding and collaboration on these issues ever since. As a member of the City Budget Committee, he helped to creatively bridge the financial gap for Domestic Violence shelters when federal funding was cut. He continues to push for full inclusion of solutions to domestic violence as part of the City’s homelessness strategy. Then Assemblymember Blumenfield, joined by 27 other state legislators, protested an effort by the by the Schwarzenegger administration to impose retroactive funding cuts on nonprofit organizations that assist domestic violence victims. In a letter to the State Department of Public Health, Blumenfield and a bipartisan group of Senators and Assemblymembers blasted the Schwarzenegger administration’s attempt to deny payment retroactively to organizations that provided services under contract with the state through its Domestic Violence Program. Calling the action illegal, the legislators urged the Department to honor state contracts that were in place.
Blumenfield Convenes Domestic Violence Summit During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield hosted a Domestic Violence Summits at his district office in Reseda. City Controller Ron Galperin gave the keynote message focusing on his audit of City services related to domestic violence during the 2016 summit. “Throughout my career, I have looked for ways to help victims of domestic violence and facilitate its prevention,” said Blumenfield. Other speakers included, Arlene Alpert, Chair of Blumenfield leading his Domestic Violence Summit with City Controller Ron Galperin to his right. Blumenfield’s Domestic Violence Community Action Team; Karen Rosenthal, Senior Director of Shelter Services for Jewish Family Service; Christine Jerrian, Domestic Violence Programs and Services Director for Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Iliana Tavera, Executive Director of Haven Hills. Some of the related legislative actions Blumenfield has shepherded include authoring AB2483 as an Assemblymember, which was signed into law by the Governor, helping stalking victims get the privacy protections provided by the Safe at Home program to victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault. Just before the summit, Blumenfield introduced a new motion that would instruct City Departments to put domestic violence information on a sticker with a universal hotline number in all municipal buildings. If you would like to join Blumenfield Community Action Team on domestic violence please contact Lyn Shaw at 818-773-3770 or at Lyn.Shaw@lacity.org. 24
Haven Hills Honors Blumenfield For His Work to Combat Domestic Violence In May 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield was honored by Haven Hills with their prestigious Betty Fisher Award for all of the work he has done to combat domestic violence and human trafficking. For 35 years, Haven Hills has provided shelter, safety, and support to victims of domestic violence, inspiring change and empowering survivors. Blumenfield has led legislation and solutions to combat domestic violence at both the State and Local levels. In 2012, then Assemblymember Blumenfield authored AB 2466, which authorizes law enforcement to freeze and seize assets of individuals accused of human trafficking so that the funds remain available for victim restitution upon potential conviction. Also in 2012, Bob authored AB 2483, helping stalking victims get the privacy protections provided by the Safe at Home program to victims of domestic abuse or sexual asBlumenfield receiving the Betty Fisher Legacy Award at Haven Hillsâ€™ sault. Evening of Hope 2016.
Promoting Emergency Preparedness Making the West Valley Safer and More Prepared As an aide to Congressman Howard Berman during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, Blumenfield was responsible for helping secure more than $14 billion in relief for the San Fernando Valley. Since that time, Blumenfield has been committed to the work of emergency preparedness.
lBumenfield hosting first Annual BICEPP Nexis Southern California Emergency Managers Conference on September 15, 2016 .
As a Councilmember, Blumenfield has worked on a series of measures to enhance Los Angelesâ€™s resilience ahead of the next major earthquake, including strengthening communications networks and ensuring that homeowners have access to low cost PACE financing mechanisms for seismic retrofits.
The VPREP Task Force he started in the Assembly has expanded into the Emergency Preparedness Community Action Team. The Emergency Preparedness BobCAT, which now has permanent office space at the West Valley Municipal Center, works to ensure that Valley communities are ready to respond in the event of a disaster and to quickly return to normal and get the local economy moving again. Nathan Wolfstein, chair of the BobCAT, regularly brings in experts, government officials, and residents for conferences and discussions on how to be better prepared personally and as a city.
Jobs and Opportunities Reseda is Rising “Reseda Rising” is Councilmember Blumenfield’s multi-front initiative to reinvest in the community and help Reseda attain its former glory as a center for entertainment and small business. Recognizing the challenges presented by the dissolution of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in 2011, Blumenfield launched this initiative to develop a shared community vision for Reseda and to support the commercial activity that will make Reseda once again into a destination for commerce, art and culture. What were derelict buildings, and are now vacant lots, one day will become quality retail for the community, apartments for residents, and a family-friendly attraction bringing people to Sherman Way, Reseda’s “Great Street.”
Future of the Reseda Theater In June 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield secured a unanimous vote to pursue an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Laemmle Theaters and Thomas Safran and Associates (TSA) to redevelop the old Reseda Theater. The TSA/ Laemmle team was selected via a Request for Proposal (RFP) that Blumenfield ensured would specifically seek an entertainment use for the historic site, consistent with the community’s vision. Their plan proposes to incorporate a new Laemmle multi-plex with new affordable senior housing. Blumenfield ensured that as part of the plan the old marquee will be restored, welcoming a new generation of movie goers.
Reseda Town Center and Hockey Rink
The old Reseda Theater sign and marquee.
Another project in the works, the new Reseda Town Center, is envisioned to be developed, inpart, as a public-private partnership on Sherman Way.
While strategizing about how to best serve the community, and turning over every rock to find the resources to do it, Councilmember Blumenfield found Proposition K funds that were put aside in the 1990’s specifically for an ice rink. However, the funds were not sufficient to build out a first class rink. Consequently, Blumenfield sought out and has partnered with the Los Angeles Kings to develop a proposal to build and operate the rink. This will leverage the Prop K funds and create a unique recreational center for the Valley. Much of the property for this projects is former CRA-owned property which makes the process complicated, the opportunities time-limited, and the revitalization possibilities all the more important.
Blumenfield Promotes Business Opportunities at the TRADE X-Trade Connect Conference Councilmember Blumenfield has participated in the Valley Economic Alliance and the Valley International Trade Association Trade X-Trade Connects, a conference on manufacturing in the global market using economically and environmentally sustainable methods. As a featured speaker, Blumenfield spoke on the role of government in manufacturing, the importance of keeping pace with technological advances, and publicprivate sector partnerships, which are vital for the economic interest of Los Angeles.
“Increasing exports by even a small percentage can have a dramatically positive impact on our local economy,” said Blumenfield.
Village at Topanga Opens Doors for New Retail, Entertainment Venue in In September 2015, Blumenfield joined Westfield Co-CEO Peter Lowy, neighborhood council members, City workers who helped with permitting approvals and construction, and thousands more community members to celebrate the opening of the new Village at Westfield Topanga, a $350 million shopping destination for the West San Fernando Valley. Following his election to the City Council, Councilmember Blumenfield worked with Westfield to finalize a financial partnership that allowed the social and economic benefits of The Village to be realized today, rather than being deferred years or decades down the line. As part of the conditions of that agreement, Westfield guaranteed The Village’s opening in 2015. It is already proving to be an important and loved amenity for the community. The Village project generated 2,000 construction jobs and is anticipated to create more than 2,000 permanent jobs. Overall, The Village means an additional $458 million in economic output for the San Fernando Valley's regional economy over the next 25 years.
Blumenfield speaks at the gala opening of the new Village at Westfield Topanga.
West Valley Business Expo Brings Resources to Small Businesses In October 2016, business owners from across the West Valley came to Councilmember Blumenfield’s West Valley Business Expo. Throughout the morning, there were experts in business planning, social media marketing, and networking that discussed ways to help entrepreneurs build their businesses and brands. “I am proud to offer this forum for local business owners to come together, connect, and find new avenues to grow your businesses,” said Blumenfield. “It is important that we tell the whole region that the West Blumenfield welcoming local business leaders to his West Valley BusiValley is open for business and that we support the entrepreneurs and ness Expo. job creators that are making it happen.” For this event, Blumenfield partnered with a variety of organizations including Westfield Topanga, West Valley-Warner Center Chamber of Commerce, Canoga Park-West Hills Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC), America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and the Tarzana and Reseda Neighborhood Councils. 27
Delivering for the Entertainment Industry “California is home to the nation’s top studios, networks, and creators of American entertainment and culture, and many of the people who work above and below the line call the San Fernando Valley their home. Keeping entertainment jobs in filming, production and post production here in Los Angeles is essential to the local economy and nurturing the creative forces that make our city a top destination for tourism and culture.” -Councilmember Bob Blumenfield
Leader for Filming Tax Credits in California As a member of the State Assembly and Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield was a coauthor for a State tax credit for filming. The State tax credits have generated results with pilots, features, and other productions opting to film locally.
Competing with incentives from other States and Cities, the Tax Credit has kept industry in California which has resulted in retaining and increasing high paying jobs and benefitted the State and local economy. $230 million in credits for Fiscal year 15/16 were estimated to generate $1.7 billion in spending, including $659 million in belowthe-line wages in California. As a result of the expanded tax credit program, five TV series have relocated to or started production in California. These include American Horror Story; Secrets and Lies; and Scream Queens. The benefit to the local economy via increased sales and services to the production companies results in an increase in local job opportunities.
Advocate on the California Film Commission Appointed in 2010 by the Speaker of the Assembly, Blumenfield served as a member of the California Film Commission for over 5 years. Blumenfield has been a longtime advocate for entertainment industry jobs. While on the Commission, Blumenfield was able to oversee the drafting and adoption of regulations for the expanded Tax Credit. Blumenfield coauthored and was a major advocate of AB 2026, which extended California’s $100 million tax credit to qualified productions through 2017. In addition, he continues his advocacy with major and independent studios for local pro- Blumenfield and California Film Commission members who worked on the California Film duction and job creation. Blumenfield has & TV Credit Program, from left to right: Thom Davis, Los Angeles City Controller Wendy also been a strong proponent of intellectual property rights, having co-authored bills such as SB 550 and having worked for Congressman Howard Berman on such issues for many years.
CityWide Film Task Force As a standing member of the CityWide Film Task Force addressing issues faced by the industry and working on solutions, Blumenfield introduced a Motion instructing the Department of Transportation to use a film friendly green paint for LA’s bike lanes. Ensuring that local neighborhoods can provide the “look and feel” to represent a variety of locations helps keep filming in Los Angeles.
Promoting the San Fernando Valley as a Location for Filming The West Valley is home to many iconic film locations, including scenes from Karate Kid, Boogie Nights, Ray Donovan, Silicon Valley, Lethal Weapon and many other films, commercials and TV productions. In August 2016, Blumenfield coordinated a tour of sites and streets in his West San Fernando Valley district for location scouts to highlight some of the lesser known spots that can substitute for a variety of neighborhoods in film. Filming in neighborhoods, such as Canoga Park or Winnetka, helps support local businesses and also provides additional income to homeowners or property owners. Blumenfield joins Guy Langman of FilmLA in leading location scouts on a tour of the The West Valley is also home to two production studios, Remmet and West Valley. Dream Magic, and Columbia College Hollywood. These facilities ensure that individuals have access to educational and real-time filming.
Making the San Fernando Valley a Great Place to Live for Current and Former Industry Professionals With safe, strong communities, good schools, and housing of all types, the West San Fernando Valley is an ideal place to live for people who work in the entertainment industry. The West Valley is home to over 3000 above and below the line talent and their families. Blumenfield’s district also is home to the Wasserman Campus of the Motion Picture Television Fund, a comprehensive service organization including health care and assisted living. He has a long history of meeting with their residents, staff, and management and works to resolve issues and help them improve their campus.
Supporting Arts and Cultural Organizations
Blumenfield presents a Certificate of Recognition to Dream Magic Studios commending their work in the
In addition to film and TV, Blumenfield is a strong supporter of music and art programs through local organizations including the Valley Cultural Center, Tarzana Cultural Center, and many others. In June 2016, Blumenfield partnered with the 11:11 Collective, Reseda Neighborhood Council, and other organizations to bring a night of art to Sherman Way. Blumenfield features the work of local artists in rotating shows at the West Valley MuniciBlumenfield with Larry Laboe and supporters of NewFilmmakpal Building where his district office is located. ers LA, a non profit dedicated to showcasing works from emerging artists. He also played a critical role in funding CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center when he was the State Assembly Budget Chair.
Blumenfield Unveils New Film Friendly Bike Lines Councilmember Blumenfield works hard to find creative ways to make Los Angeles the most film friendly City in the world because the entertainment industry generates thousands of jobs and millions for the local economy. But one issue that has persisted concerns the green pavement markings used for bike lanes which can create problems for filming because the color is too close to the shade used for “green screens.” The issue is complicated because using the wrong green can make a previously desirable street for filming undesirable, sending jobs to other cities and countries. At the same time, high visibility bike lanes are very helpful to improve safety for cyclists and prevent 29
collisions and federal regulations limit the shades of green that can be used on biked lanes. It is also difficult because bike lane colors involve many more variables than regular paint, including luminosity. Because Blumenfield believed that there must be a compromise color, he didn’t accept the impasse that had developed between the film industry and the City on what constitutes an acceptable green colored bike lane. Starting with a motion he introduced, Blumenfield’s team has been meeting regularly with the Board of Public Works President Kevin James, representatives from the Mayor’s office, LA Department of Transportation, Screen Actors Guild, Motion Picture Association of America and FilmLA to reach consensus on a color. Blumenfield unveiled Blumenfield at the new green bike lane with Jeff Jacobberger, legislative deputy a solution that uses a new shade of green paint that and former chair of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee. meets federal requirements and is accepted to both bicycle advocacy groups and filmmakers. The placement of green bike lanes is decided on a case by case basis taking into account various factors. This consensus color will enable more green bike lanes to be installed without disturbing filming. “This is a common sense solution that I am pleased to have shepherded,” said Blumenfield. “As an advocate for both safe bicycling and local filmmaking, this is a win-win for our City.”
Supporting Arts and Culture in the West Valley Leading the Reseda Art Walk On the evening of June 4th, 2016, thousands of people came out to the first Reseda Rising Art Walk. Even more people came out for the second one in 2017. This event, organized by the 11:11 Art Collective, is part of Councilmember Blumenfield’s “Reseda Rising,” a multi-front initiative to reinvest in the community and find ways to return Reseda to its former glory as a center for entertainment and small business.
The event stretched several blocks on Sherman Way and featured local artists, musicians, food trucks and craft beer from breweries in the San Fernando Valley. There was live painting, art installations and eclectic pieces up and down the street. Some of the exhibits were on vacant lots that Blumenfield is trying to repurpose to help revitalize Reseda. “This event strikes the core of what we are trying to do in Reseda, to make our community a hub for entertainment and culture,” said Blumenfield. “It’s great to see so many people coming out to Sherman Way, our Great Street, and enjoying themselves with their friends and family.” 30
Community Celebrates 4 Years of Blumenfield Community Bike Ride In 2017, Councilmember Blumenfield led his 4th annual Community Bike Ride throughout the West Valley. This event has become a staple in the community bringing together families, law enforcement, and the bike community to start the year off healthy and learn about all the things the City is doing to make Los Angeles more bike-friendly. In In 2017, Blumenfield celebrated the riders previous years the ride also engaged the communiBlumenfield leading risers along the LA who had rode since the beginning. River. ty on ways they can help the West Valley and City. For example in 2016, Blumenfield brought the riders together for a Reseda Rising visioning workshop and gathered input toward the development of a concept plan for Sherman Way from Lindley to Wilbur.
Celebrating Animals and Saving Lives Finding Foster Homes for Animals Over 4th of July Just before the July 4th holiday, Councilmember Blumenfield brought representatives from the West Valley Animal Shelter into City Council to discuss the importance of foster homes for animals. Blumenfield and his family have fostered dogs in the past so he spoke with firsthand experience. Dogs and cats are often frightened by fireworks, and many animals run away from home simply to try and escape the noise. Though most of these animals are reunited with their owners, overcrowding in shelters, even temporarily, may cause animals to be put down simply and sadly due to lack of space. Following the presentation, city employees and others volunteered to provide temporary homes for shelter pets to ensure available space for incoming lost pets. A total of 400 animals were adopted and 160 were fostered from LA animal shelters.
Blumenfield encourages fostering of kittens from the West Valley Animal Shelter.
Blumenfield Honors LAX PUPS Therapy Dogs In November 2015, Councilmember Blumenfield honored 20 therapy dogs and their handlers as part of LAXâ€™s Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program and recognized the special program for providing travelers with a calm and exceptional travel experience. The PUP program, launched in April 2013, was created to help reduce travel anxiety for guests waiting at boarding gates. Since the programâ€™s inception, it has grown to 40 PUP volBlumenfield with volunteers, Councilmember Paul Koretz and some furry friends. unteers. Heidi Huebner, Director of the PUP Program, has been instrumental in paving the way for other airports and helped 31 airports nationwide and four in Canada start a therapy program. 31
Planning for a Better Future Blumenfield Leads City Planning 101 in the West Valley Few things stir more emotion than decisions about development in our neighborhoods, and Councilmember Blumenfield wants all of the communities in the West Valley to have all of the information needed to get involved and shape the future pf Los Angeles. That’s why on June 17th, 2017, Blumenfield hosted Craig Weber from the Department of City Planning (DCP) for a “Planning 101” forum to help local residents understand how land use decisions are made. Mr. Weber shared his insights, expertise and helped start the conversation around the Southwest Valley Plans. “I organized this event because I want to make sure that community members and stakeholders know how this complex process works and have the tools to be better and more successful community advocates,” said Blumenfield. “We who live in the West Valley love our communities and the updating of the plans must reflect our collective values, priorities, and vision. Every step of the way West Valley residents must have an opportunity to stand up and make their voices heard.”
Bringing Community Together for Commity Plan Updates Throughout summer 2017, Blumenfield and the Department of City Planning (DCP) began the conversation with community members and stakeholders about the City’s update to the Community Plans for the West Valley. These meeting will happen all over the City but Blumenfield fought for the West Valley to be the first. These conversations inform and drive how the City balances needed growth with necessary protections for single family home neighborhoods.
Reimagine Ventura Boulevard Late in 2016, Councilmember Blumenfield worked to secure funding to allow for a study of new parking configurations and safety upgrades along Ventura Boulevard between Sale and Royer Avenues. This whole effort is called "Re-Imagining Ventura Boulevard.” The idea for these upgrades came from the engaged stakeholders and the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council, and the Councilmember is excited to take their ideas and work to make them a reality. If successful, the idea of creating a main street here for Woodland Hills could really take off and involve further improvements. After months of community meetings and growing community interest two alternatives have been chosen as feasible options to start realizing the potential of Ventura Boulevard. They have many overlapping features including: diagonal parking, new traffic signals, new street trees, and additional crosswalks to name a few. 32
Delivering for You Working with Neighborhood Councils Councilmember Blumenfieldâ€™s top priority is to serve his constituents. Knowing and understanding the issues facing each corner of the district and City are vital to developing new policies and making the City better for everyone. On the front line are the neighborhood councils. Blumenfield works closely with each neighborhood council to help fix problems large and small. At every session of each neighborhood council meeting, a member of Team Blumenfield is there to listen, engage, update the community and answer questions people might have. ď Ž
Meeting with the Woodland Hills Neighborhood Council.
Blumenfield with members of the Reseda Neighborhood Council at his Bike Ride.
Blumenfield with the Canoga Park Neighborhood Council in May.
Blumenfield addressing Winnetka members of the Winnetka Neighborhood Council .
Blumenfield swearing in and meeting with the Tarzana Neighborhood Council .
Blumenfield Holiday Party Kicking off every holiday season, Councilmember Blumenfield hosts his annual community holiday party at his district office in Reseda. Guests bring toys for underprivileged children and offer supplies for homeless residents such as canned goods, blankets, and socks. Because of the generosity of all the guests, kids from the Guadalupe Center, Boys and Girls Club of the West Valley, and many local organizations are able to have a more Blumenfield with West Valley residents at his joyous holiday season. Also, Blumenfield 2016 holiday party. delivers truckloads of donated food and necessities to West Valley Food Pantry, Lutheran Social Services of Southern California and other groups helping fight homelessness in the Valley. Blumenfield with volunteers dropping off donated food to the West Valley Food Pantry. 33
Blumenfield in the Community Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Leonis Adobe Museum
Leading Community Clean-Ups
Blumenfield with volunteers at Canoga Park Library before neighborhood clean up organized by his Beautification Community Action Team. Blumenfield joins a local church group in celebration of their Annual Environmental Cleanup Campaign.
In May, with other elected officials and neighborhood leaders celebrating this special museum.
Memorial Day Annual Canoga Park Parade
Rally in the Valley Robotics Challenge
Pictured with Art Sherman, WWII Veteran and founder of Wings Over Wendyâ€™s.
ONEgenerationâ€“ Senior Symposium
Students from Stanley Mosk Elementary, Hart Street Elementary and Canoga Park Elementary embrace #STEAM education .
Standing Up to Support Recognition of Armenian Genocide
Blumenfield with Carol Zimring at the 2016 ONEgeneration Senior Symposium.
Blumenfield proudly marched with Mayor Garcetti, Congressman Adam Schiff, City Attorney Feuer, other elected officials, and thousands of Angelenos to support the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. 34
Supporting Bike Safety
Supporting the San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade
Blumenfield joined the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to support bike safety by handing out free bike lights to West Valley riders.
More than a decade ago, Blumenfield helped found the San Fernando Valley’s Veterans Day parade and in 2016 it was bigger than ever. He looks forward to continuing to help support this parade and celebrate and thank all veterans.
Celebrating 100 Years of Reseda Elementary School
Feeding the Homeless Thanksgiving Dinner
In 2016, Blumenfield celebrated the 100th anniversary of Reseda Elementary school and had the opportunity to speak with some future leaders.
Blumenfield joined volunteers at the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission to help serve Thanksgiving dinner to those in need.
Women’s March LA
Magnolia Science Academy's Community Festival
Blumenfield family walking with thousands of Angelenos in the LA Women’s March, standing up for equal rights and fighting against injustice.
In 2016, Blumenfield joined students from the Magnolia Academy to encourage everyone, especially newly eligible people, to register to vote. 35
“There is no higher honor than to serve. Contact me for help with any city service or issue.”
City Hall Office
200 N. Spring Street, Room 415
19040 Vanowen Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Reseda, CA 91335
Phone: (213) 473-7003
Phone: (818) 774-4330
Canoga Park ● Reseda Tarzana ● Winnetka Woodland Hills 36
Published on Nov 15, 2017
In 2013, Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield took office represent West San Fernando Valley communities on the Los Angeles City C...