May 162017
 
Mayor Garcetti Facilitates Affordable Housing

Photo courtesy of LA Mayor’s Office

 

Garcetti creates more affordable housing and protects thousands of Angelenos from eviction by enabling the City to legalize certain unpermitted housing units.

 

Mayor Garcetti signs Ordinance to legalize more Affordable Housing Units: Mayor Eric Garcetti today signed a new law that will create more affordable housing and protect thousands of Angelenos from eviction by enabling the City to legalize certain unpermitted housing units.

There are currently thousands of occupied units across Los Angeles that were not permitted properly when they were built. This ordinance creates a path to legalization for many of those units, allowing the City to ensure that they are safe and habitable, without displacing families from their homes.

“Too many Angelenos are already struggling to stay ahead of rising rents — and we must take action to protect our communities, and keep families in their homes,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This ordinance will improve the health and safety of our housing stock, add more units to the market, and bring us closer to meeting our affordable housing goals.”

The new ordinance will use existing State Density Bonus provisions to legalize the unapproved units, once they have passed all necessary health, safety, and habitability inspections. The City will permit the units in exchange for long-term commitments from landlords to keep them affordable.

“Passage of the Unapproved Dwelling Units Ordinance is a small but significant step to address affordability in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “Buildings zoned as multiple family, including apartments and duplexes, will now be be brought to code while ensuring health and safety requirements, adding to our housing stock. We are in a housing crisis and need to use every tool within reach to increase our affordable housing supply.”

“The UDU ordinance is a common-sense solution to increasing the City of Los Angeles’ affordable housing stock and protecting low- and moderate-income Angelenos doing their best to get by living in unapproved units at no fault of their own,” said Councilmember José Huizar, Chair of the City’s Planning Committee. “This ordinance will directly benefit and protect those residents and their families while increasing our available affordable housing stock for others.”

To give property owners time to pursue this new route to legalization, the Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) is developing a program that would defer certain code enforcement proceedings, while landlords bring their unpermitted units into compliance.

This new policy is just one piece of Mayor Garcetti’s strategy to solve the affordability crisis in Los Angeles. The Mayor has also called on the City Council to pass an Affordable Housing Linkage Fee — a fair, reasonable requirement that market-rate developers build affordable housing or contribute to the City’s affordable housing programs. This could add 1,000 new affordable housing units to the market every year-— about double the current rate of production.

Owners of multifamily buildings who have questions on how to pursue legalization of unapproved dwelling units can contact the Department of City Planning’s Priority Housing Project (PHP) program at (213) 202-5456 or dcpphp@lacity.org.

 

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May 122017
 
Mayor Garcetti Watches Over Owens Valley

Photo property of L.A. Mayor

 

Mayor Garcetti visits Owens Valley to monitor LADWP emergency flood control efforts

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti traveled to the Owens Valley to survey the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) emergency flood control preparations for what the utility expects will be a record snowmelt from the Eastern Sierras.

The trip comes after Mayor Garcetti declared a local State of Emergency to protect the lands and communities of the Owens Valley from flooding, as this year’s snowpack begins to melt.

“I declared this State of Emergency because we have a responsibility to protect Angelenos and the people of the Owens Valley,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We are acting as quickly and diligently as we can to address this potential threat, and I’m pleased by the progress we’re making.”

During his visit, the Mayor spoke with community members, met with LADWP workers involved in the flood control efforts, and toured key areas — including Mono Lake and Owens Lake — where the snowmelt is threatening communities and LADWP infrastructure.

This year’s snowpack in the Eastern Sierras is 241% above normal, and as spring goes on, LADWP expects the snowmelt to send up to 1 million acre-feet of runoff into the Owens Valley.

This runoff — nearly twice the amount of water that Angelenos use in a year — could damage local communities, hydroelectric power plants, and dust mitigation infrastructure in Owens Lake. Mayor Garcetti’s Emergency Declaration enables LADWP to act quickly in response to the threat.

 

 

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May 022017
 
Robin Coste Lewis Los Angeles Poet Laureate

Robin Coste Lewis, Los Angeles Poet Laureate

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti names

Robin Coste Lewis the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles

Award-winning poet is nationally recognized as a major figure of contemporary literature

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Robin Coste Lewis, winner of the National Book Award, is the new Poet Laureate of the City of Los Angeles.

As an official ambassador of L.A.’s arts community, Lewis will promote and celebrate the written word, and represent the city’s rich literary scene.

“Robin is a fearless writer whose lyricism reclaims history for people who feel forgotten, and gives voice to those who feel silenced,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Los Angeles is fortunate to be represented by such a powerful artist. She will push boundaries and challenge us to rethink our perspectives.”

The Los Angeles Poet Laureate Program is a collaboration between the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL). Its aim is to enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts in Los Angeles, and to engage Angelenos who have limited exposure to poetry and other forms of expressive writing.

“The role of the L.A. Poet Laureate is two-fold: first, to celebrate and curate an ever-widening cross-city appreciation for poetry of all kinds, from all cultures and nations; second, to celebrate the rich and diverse history of Los Angeles poetry,” said Lewis. “Poetry is high art, sure, but it is also an exceedingly accessible cultural game that anyone can play. From the elderly to prisoners, I try at all times to remind my students that the only difference between a great poet and a lousy one is practice. Poetry isn’t rocket science. It’s merely love.”

A native of Compton, Lewis is the author of the award-winning collection Voyage of the Sable Venus. She is a writer-in-residence and provost’s fellow at the University of Southern California. A finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, she has published poems in The New Yorker, The Best American Poetry, Lambda Literary Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond.

“We are thrilled to celebrate National Poetry Month with Robin named the official ambassador of Los Angeles’s vibrant poetry and literary culture,” said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. “We are so pleased she will promote the transformative qualities of poetry and the written word across all communities in our great city.”

Lewis has an MFA in creative writing from New York University, a master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, where she studied Sanskrit and comparative religious literature, and a PhD in poetry and visual studies from the University of Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles.

“Lewis’s poetry is both tender and arresting. She is an astute cultural critic, alert to the complexities of race and the black female voice,” said City Librarian John F. Szabo.

To select the new Poet Laureate, DCA convened a peer review panel of four professionals: a senior librarian from LAPL, the director of a local chapter of a national literary nonprofit organization, a City of Los Angeles Master Fellow in Poetry, and an award-winning poet from San Francisco.

Lewis will serve a two-year term as Poet Laureate, and will be awarded an annual grant of $10,000 from DCA.

 

 

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Apr 252017
 

Mayor Garcetti Protects Affordable Housing

 

Mayor Garcetti continues to tackle housing crisis with new law strengthening Rent Stabilization Ordinance

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti continues to aggressively address Los Angeles’s housing affordability crisis with a new law that strengthens enforcement of the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). The new legislation will preserve rent-stabilized units or require that new affordable housing units be built.

Landlords who tear down rent-controlled units under the state’s Ellis Act must now either replace them one-for-one with affordable units or ensure that 20% of new units are affordable — whichever number is higher.

This new law will also help prevent displacement of tenants by increasing regulation of both vacant and occupied rental units; requiring owners to re-start the Ellis process if withdrawn units are re-rented; tightening rules when units are demolished without necessary approvals; and requiring property owners to file annual reports.

It also expands relocation services for displaced tenants, and preserves RSO units by raising the threshold necessary to obtain an exemption for newly-built replacement units.

“We’re growing L.A.’s housing stock to meet our resident’s growing demand in every way possible — including strengthening our stock of rent stabilized housing. But we need to make sure that it is done in a way that’s fair to all Angelenos by protecting people from being priced out of communities where they have invested so much of their lives,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The law I signed today is a great step in the right direction.”

“As Chair of Housing, I’d like to thank Mayor Garcetti for his commitment to protect tenant rights and affordable housing,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “The City Council approved my Ellis Act amendments to the RSO, which will close loopholes used to evict tenants and remove affordable housing units off the market. By preserving affordable housing, we will ensure that Los Angeles is a livable City.”

“One of our goals, as elected leaders, must be addressing the loss of existing affordable housing to new, unaffordable development, and these amendments take an important step in that direction,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz.

“Preserving affordable housing is how we preserve the character and inclusivity of our neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Strengthening our rent control rules to better protect affordable housing is good for families throughout Los Angeles.”

“The City of Los Angeles must do everything in its power to protect our rent-controlled affordable housing stock,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “With every lost RSO unit, our friends, families and neighbors are potentially displaced and priced out of a difficult housing market. By strengthening these Ellis Act restrictions and RSO requirements, we are taking an important step forward in protecting Angelenos.”

Half of L.A. families live in an apartment covered by the RSO, which is designed to protect Angelenos from runaway rents and displacement from their neighborhoods.

In December 2015, Mayor Garcetti signed into law the Tenant Buyout Ordinance, which strengthened renters’ rights by ensuring that landlords inform residents of their relocation rights in the event of a tenant buyout. Previously, tenants could be offered a lump sum to vacate units, without a formal process to educate them about additional sums for relocation assistance to which they may have been entitled.

The ordinance required landlords to file buyout agreements with the City, so that staff can better monitor the process. It also permits renters to withdraw from the buyout agreement within 30 days.

While the City remains on track to meet Mayor Garcetti’s goal to build 100,000 new housing units by 2021, the Mayor is advancing additional policies to ensure equitable growth in the City’s housing supply, and is doubling down on the production and preservation of affordable housing developments dedicated to low-income Angelenos.

 

 

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Apr 242017
 
Mayor Garcetti’s 2017-2018 Budget And Vision For Los Angeles

Photo property of the City of Los Angeles

 

Mayor Garcetti proposes new budget that builds on first-term progress, and charts a course to L.A.’S future

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti today unveiled his proposed 2017-18 budget — a fiscally responsible spending plan that focuses on the City’s commitment to ending homelessness, builds on the Mayor’s efforts to improve basic services, and puts voter-approved Measure M and Proposition HHH funding for housing and transportation projects into action.

The $9.2 billion budget allocates more than $176 million toward housing and services for homeless Angelenos — a $38 million increase from last year’s investment — and $35 million to fix some of the City’s most broken streets, and make roads safer for Angelenos.

“Over the last four years, we have brought Los Angeles back to basics — now, it’s time to build on that progress and dream bigger for tomorrow,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This budget will enable us to continue bringing change that Angelenos can see and feel in their neighborhoods, while building the future that we have all imagined together.”

Last November, L.A. voters approved Measure M and Proposition HHH to invest billions of dollars in housing and supportive services for the most vulnerable, and transportation infrastructure to make L.A. more connected. Mayor Garcetti’s budget puts tens of millions of dollars of that funding directly to use this year.

More than $89 million of the $176 million allocated to fight homelessness is HHH funding, which will go toward new permanent supportive housing and service facilities for homeless Angelenos. And the $35 million for transportation will come from Measure M and California SB 1, a transportation package that will fund street repairs across the state.

The budget maintains a 5% reserve fund while advancing Mayor Garcetti’s Back to Basics agenda — including a $2 million increase to the City’s graffiti removal program, which will enable the City to respond to 90% of requests within 24 hours, and a doubling of the Girls Play L.A. initiative, which will improve gender equity in sports programming throughout Los Angeles.

Mayor Garcetti’s proposed budget includes funding for:

A Safe City
• 10,000 Sworn Police Officers
• LAPD Metro System Patrol
• LAPD Body-Worn Video Initiative
• LAPD Domestic Abuse Response Teams
• LAPD Pledge to Patrol Program ($1 Million)
• Firefighter Hiring ($10.5 Million)
• Fire Department Youth Program Coordinator
• New Fire Station Alerting System ($1 Million)
• Enhanced Cybersecurity Protection

A Prosperous City
• Community Plan Updates ($3.5 Million)
• Hire L.A.’s Youth & Summer Youth Program
• Day Labor Centers
• L.A.’s Best Expansion
• Proposition HHH Housing and Facilities ($89 Million)
• Outreach and Sanitation Crews ($36.8 Million)
• Sobering Center Emergency Resource Unit

A Livable & Sustainable City
• Vision Zero ($17 Million)
• Great Streets ($3.6 Million)
• DASH Expansion ($14 Million)
• Sidewalk Repair ($31 Million)
• 24-Hour Graffiti Removal ($2 Million)
• Girls Play L.A. Expansion
• Joint Use Agreements for Park Space
• Tree-Trimming ($7.1 Million)
• Purposeful Aging

A Well-Run City
• Innovation Fund
• Anytime-Anywhere City Employee Candidate Testing
• Asset Management ($1.8 Million)
• Network Improvement
• Procurement Reform
• Finance System Enhancement
• Reserve Fund Maintenance (5%)

Mayor Garcetti’s full proposed 2017-2018 budget is available here.

 

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Apr 072017
 

LA Mayor Supports 2nd Chances

 

Mayor Garcetti Partners in New Effort to Give Angelenos a Second Chance

Partnership with 70MillionJobs.com aims to increase employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated Angelenos.

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti launched a partnership with 70MillionJobs.com, the first online job board to match formerly incarcerated individuals seeking work with employers interested in hiring qualified applicants of all backgrounds.

“People who have served time and are returning home deserve an opportunity to make a fresh start, prove themselves in the workforce, and earn a good living for themselves and their families,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This platform will help transform lives by opening up connections to employers who are willing to give qualified applicants a second chance.”

As part of a three-month pilot program with the Mayor’s Office, the site will allow Los Angeles employers to post a limitless number of jobs. In turn, job seekers will receive text notifications about new opportunities and can upload video resumes that are forwarded directly to employers. Most of the applicants enrolled during the pilot period will be affiliated with community-based organizations in the L.A. area and have received job readiness training.

About one in four adults in California has an arrest or conviction record, which creates significant barriers to employment. According to a recent study, up to 80% of Los Angeles employers are unwilling to hire formerly incarcerated individuals. Research has also shown that providing employment opportunities to formerly incarcerated individuals is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce recidivism and make communities safer. The state’s average recidivism rate is 65 percent, but for individuals who secure jobs shortly after release, it drops to as low as 3%.

Removing barriers to employment is one of Mayor Garcetti’s top priorities. In April 2016, the Mayor signed an Equitable Workforce Executive Directive, instructing City departments to prioritize L.A.’s most underemployed communities — including veterans, the formerly incarcerated, and disconnected youth — in the hiring of about 5,000 new workers over the next three years.

The Mayor’s Office of Reentry has also partnered with Caltrans to employ more than 1,300 formerly incarcerated people over the next three years. And last year, Mayor Garcetti formed a Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity — an alliance of private and public sector employers committed to providing opportunities for the formerly incarcerated and others who have been historically excluded from upwardly-mobile jobs.

“Unemployment and recidivism are huge challenges that ruin lives, families and cities like Los Angeles,” said Richard Bronson, co-founder and CEO of 70MillionJobs.com. “This pilot program represents an effective partnership of government, non-profit and for-profit businesses, committed to short circuit the pernicious cycle of recidivism.”

70MillionJobs.com, the City of Los Angeles and all partner employers comply with all City and State laws pertaining to the use of criminal records in hiring. To post a job, go to 70MillionJobs.com. For more information, contact info@70MillionJobs.com.

 

 

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Mar 222017
 
Los Angeles Supports Immigrant Communities

Mayor Garcetti signing Executive Directive 20
Photo courtesy of L.A. Mayor’s Office

Mayor Garcetti leads more than 60 mayors in ‘Cities’ Day of Immigration Action’

Los Angeles coordinates nationwide, bipartisan effort to inform and empower immigrant communities

Mayor Eric Garcetti today led the first-ever Cities’ Day of Immigration Action, an effort by mayors in more than 60 cities to mobilize law enforcement, faith leaders, legal advocates, and community organizations in affirming the indispensable role of immigrants in American life, and connecting people with the resources they need to protect themselves and their families.

“Immigration is at the heart of the American story, because people from everywhere have made immeasurable contributions to the diversity, ingenuity, and cultural richness that defines who we are. That is especially true in Los Angeles, and people who have made a home here deserve all of the resources and protection their City can provide,” said Mayor Garcetti, who chairs and founded the United States Conference of Mayors Latino Alliance. “No one in Los Angeles should live in fear of being taken from their home, or separated from their family. I will never stop fighting to protect all Angelenos, and making sure they are given the support they need and deserve.”

In Los Angeles, the Cities’ Day of Immigration Action was highlighted by Mayor Garcetti signing the twentieth executive directive of his administration. The directive, “Standing with Immigrants: A City of Safety, Refuge, and Opportunity for All,” ensures that L.A.’s public servants stay focused on protecting people, serving communities, and saving lives — not inquiring about immigration status or engaging in federal civil immigration enforcement.

The directive expands existing LAPD policies on immigration enforcement to Airport police, Port police and firefighters — and prohibits all city employees from using public facilities or resources to assist or cooperate with federal civil immigration enforcement. It also requires that every city facility and service be made available to all Angelenos without regard to citizenship or immigration status, and orders protections on the confidentiality of information submitted by residents who enroll in city programs and services, unless required by law.

Los Angeles also hosted citywide legal clinics, “Know Your Rights” workshops, and training sessions throughout the day — giving Angelenos a chance to ask questions, and get answers, about immigration processing. Mayor Garcetti met with pro bono legal service providers at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and hosted a ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop at the Dolores Mission with immigration advocates, law enforcement officials, and faith and community leaders.

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has issued a Community Resource Guide for immigrant Angelenos — which includes comprehensive know-your-rights information and resources, including contact information for legal service providers and community organizations. The guide can be found at LAMayor.org/KnowYourRights.

Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti said on Instagram: “We are reminding our immigrant communities: We see you. We support you. You are welcome here. And we will do everything in our power to keep you safe.”

Anything L.A.’s comment: Hats off to City of Los Angeles and its Leaders for putting human rights, first!

For more information about the Cities’ Day of Immigration Action in Los Angeles, please visit LAMayor.org/Immigrants. To see the list of more than 60 Mayors and cities participating in 32 states across America, go to http://www.usmayors.org/mayors-stand-for-all/immigration/.

 

 

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Mar 082017
 
L.A. Congratulates Mayor Garcetti On His Re-Election

Mayor Garcetti Re-Elected! Photo property of the Mayor’s office.

Los Angeles 42nd Mayor Eric Garcetti won the Tuesday (03/07/2017) election by a landslide! Not all votes have been counted yet, but those that have been indicate that our Mayor won over 80% of the vote, leaving other contenders in the dust and setting a new Los Angeles mayoral popularity record.

Just like the president of the United States, the city mayor serves a 4 year term. Because of the upcoming change in the electoral calendar – beginning in 2020 all elections: federal, state and city will take place at the same time – Mayor Garcetti’s new term will last longer than usual: five and half years.

(Some members of Los Angeles City government, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Controller Ron Galperin and Councilman Bob Blumenfield have been re-elected virtually without opposition. Most of other local politicians faced newcomers vying for their seats, still it is expected that the majority will retain their offices.)

Like the majority of Angelenos, Mayor Eric Garcetti is a liberal democrat. Even so, he faced some criticism from democrats for his less than forceful stance against the immigration policies of President Trump and for not declaring Los Angeles a “sanctuary city”. The overwhelming majority of Angelenos however appreciate Mayor Garcetti’s numerous achievements in the areas of economy, affordable housing, his efforts to combat homelessness and improving mass transportation.

The latest and overwhelming electoral victory of Mayor Garcetti might serve him well beyond Los Angeles, too. Being re-elected in a landslide will help ensure his future on California’s – and perhaps even, national – political scene.

Anything L.A. Magazine congratulates Mayor Garcetti on his SPECTACULAR re-election victory! Good for the Mayor! Good for Los Angeles! Angelenos look forward to five and half more years of prosperity, safety and DEMOCRACY in Los Angeles.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Feb 092017
 
Mayor Garcetti On Immigrants’ Contribution To L.A. Economy

Photo courtesy of L.A. Mayor’s office

New Study Details Immigrant Community’s Powerful Impact on L.A. Economy

 

New research unveiled details the powerful impact that immigrants have on a surging L.A. economy that is experiencing historic job growth, attracting new investment, and bringing more economic opportunity to communities across the City and County of Los Angeles.

Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined by Councilmember Gil Cedillo, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Gary Toebben, and representatives of the organization New American Economy to release the study, entitled “New Americans in Los Angeles.” Among the findings: foreign-born residents in Los Angeles County contributed $232.9 billion to the County’s GDP in 2014; immigrants in the City of Los Angeles accounted for 53.6 percent of the City’s self-employed workers that year, generating $3.5 billion in income; and foreign-born residents of L.A. contributed $6.9 billion in federal taxes, and $3.2 billion in state and local taxes in 2014.

“Immigration is at the heart of L.A.’s story, and this report shows the numbers behind what we see and feel in our city every day: People from all over the world are a driving force in an economic resurgence that has seen us create 146,000 new jobs and register 170,000 businesses over the last three years,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “L.A. became one of the world’s great cities by embracing immigration and diversity, and we’ll continue supporting anyone who wants to work hard and invest in our future — no matter who they are, where they come from, or what language they speak.”

The research underscores the importance of the programs put in place by Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), which he launched in 2013 shortly after taking office. Over the last three-and-a-half years, MOIA has provided nearly 100,000 Angelenos with a wide variety of services that include helping permanent legal residents navigate the naturalization process; partnering with the Mexican Consulate to offer cost-free financial literacy education to small business owners; and working with local partners to help immigrants get access to the banking system and apply for microloans.

“The New Americans in Los Angeles report proves what we’ve been saying for decades, that immigrants have played a vital role and continue to shape the present and future of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who chairs the City Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Immigrant Affairs. “It is important that we tell our truths in order to offset the political rhetoric that aims to discredit our communities. Immigrants are the future of our great City and will always be welcomed in the City of Angels.”

“From entertainment to innovation to education and small business, our economy is stronger and our communities are better because immigrants are a part of them,” said Gary Toebben, president & CEO, L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. “Today, we are grateful to NAE for working with us to assemble this informative, insightful report that highlights key data for L.A. and serves as a valuable resource in addressing the economic impact of L.A. area immigrants.”

“Immigration helps power the American economy,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of New American Economy. “L.A.’s immigrants not only power key local sectors like construction and transportation, but also start businesses that create jobs up and down the state of California

Read full report here.

About New American Economy
New American Economy (NAE) brings together more than 500 Republican, Democratic and Independent mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms that will help create jobs for Americans today. NAE members include mayors of more than 35 million people nationwide and business leaders of companies that generate more than $1.5 trillion and employ more than 4 million people across all sectors of the economy, from Agriculture to Aerospace, Hospitality to High Tech and Media to Manufacturing. NAE members understand that immigration is essential to maintaining the productive, diverse and flexible workforce that America needs to ensure prosperity over the coming generations. Learn more at www.NewAmericanEconomy.org.

Mayor Garcetti accomplished a lot during his term and had positive impact on Los Angeles. His dedication was recognized by President Obama as well. Keep this article – and the many others! – in mind when the Los Angeles mayoral election begins on May 16th 2017.

 

 

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Feb 082017
 

Winners of Great Streets Challenge

Mayor Garcetti announces winners of Great Streets Challenge

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the winners of the Great Streets Challenge, a program that will award a total of $2 million to community-driven initiatives to re-imagine Los Angeles’ iconic commercial corridors. The seven selected projects span from Panorama City to Watts, and from the Westside to Boyle Heights.

“Our streets belong to the people who use them every day, and the Great Streets Challenge empowers Angelenos to reimagine public spaces in their own neighborhoods,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “These grants will allow community groups to bring a vision to life — transforming streets across Los Angeles into vibrant, walkable spaces that reflect the unique character of their communities.”

Each community partner will receive up to $13,000 for community outreach, and will be supported by technical consultants and City staff in implementing transportation, economic, and cultural projects.

Four of the Challenge Grant projects will create temporary pop-up projects, while the other three will use the funds to make permanent street improvements.

“These grants will not only enhance the quality of our neighborhoods, but will also spur our local economy by increasing foot traffic along our busiest boulevards,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson, Jr. who represents the 10th Council District. “The long-term benefits of these projects will not only provide for the residents of the tenth council district, but will serve Angelenos citywide for years to come.”

The City received 37 applications from 99 partner organizations. An external panel selected the winning teams based on the strength of their community outreach strategy, and alignment with the City’s health, mobility, and economic development goals.

Six of the seven project areas fall outside of the 15 Great Streets corridors announced in 2014 — a first for the Great Streets Challenge.

“I am thrilled the Mayor selected Robertson Boulevard as a recipient of the Great Streets Challenge grant, ” said Councilmember Paul Koretz of the 5th District. “I’ve been working with the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council to come up with creative ways to turn this major north/south thoroughfare into a safer, more walkable, artistic and vibrant center for everyone. The grant money will allow us to further our goals of creating, attracting, and providing more community access, reducing commercial vacancies, improving parking while enhancing safety for those by car, foot, transit or bike.”

The Great Streets Challenge builds on a series of neighborhood enhancement projects launched in recent months by Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative. Most recently, Mayor Garcetti unveiled safety improvements along a stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard.

View the full list of winners here.

About the Great Streets Initiative
Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the Great Streets Initiative in October 2013 to transform streets across the city into more vibrant public spaces. A Great Street is a street that serves as the center of a neighborhood, where people can walk, meet, learn, and play on a daily basis. The Great Streets Initiative’s goals include improving safety and access, increasing economic activity, and encouraging community engagement. For more information, including a full list of Great Streets corridors and programs, visit www.LAGreatStreets.org.

 

 

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Jan 302017
 

Los Angeles Against Travel Ban

President Trump’s executive order on immigration which bans the entrance to the United States by travelers from majority-Muslim countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 120 days has caused a wave of unrests throughout the country. Protests have erupted at all major airports. Americans are outraged. A Federal Judge in New York blocked a part of the executive order. Several city mayors addressed the crowds in support of fair treatment of Muslims. Thousands of attorneys are exploring the executive order’s compliance with the law (and the Constitution!). American actors during last night’s SAG Awards have spoken against the discriminatory travel ban.

Shockingly the countries from which the 9/11 terrorists have come (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon) are NOT on the banned, Muslim countries’ list.

A few glimpses we gathered from TV news:

  • An older Jewish gentleman said: “Every time I hear Muslim, I hear Jew” (a reference to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany).
  • A 5 year old boy from Iran was detained at a Houston airport for 4 hours before being reunited with his mother. Clearly, a story of successful extreme vetting of “Islamic terrorist”.
  • A Muslim immigrant from the Middle East waiting at the airport for 24 hours for the arrival of his aunt who has been detained put it best, in spite of his poor English. Having explained that he came to America as a refugee, received political asylum and became a citizen since, said: “I came here for freedom. I EXPECT FREEDOM.”

Los Angeles city leaders have taken a position on the travel ban and religious discrimination, too.

 

MAYOR GARCETTI: “Los Angeles Will Always Be a Place of Refuge”

“Los Angeles will always be a place of refuge, where the most vulnerable people fleeing war, or religious or political oppression, can find a safe and welcoming home. Congress outlawed the banning of immigrants by nationality more than 50 years ago, because we have long known that it does not make us safer. It only fans the flames of hatred that those who wish us harm seek to spread.

I am closely monitoring the situation at LAX and staying in close touch with locally based officials in the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and other partner agencies.

I understand that some Angelenos are planning to express their support for immigrants by demonstrating at the airport. There is power in standing strong for our values — but we must remain calm, and act lawfully and peacefully so LAX can continue to operate smoothly and our passengers stay safe. My commitment is to do everything in my power to make certain that any travelers entering our city have the resources and support they need to feel secure and accepted in L.A.”

 

Statement from Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer on the Detainee Situation at LAX

“I went to LAX last night because I wanted to secure the release of the detainees. I also wanted very direct answers to basic questions:

  • Was the federal government complying with a court order that prevented it from deporting people in this situation?
  • How many people were being detained?

It was a very frustrating and complex night because federal officials were unable and unwilling to provide any information. I was there for hours last night. Since that time, I’ve been working with lawyers, not only in my office but throughout the country to get a focus on what’s happening, and to determine how best to stand up for the values on which this country is based.

This is an extraordinary thing. It’s at a US airport. It’s an airport in our city. There’s been a lot of action since last night. Courts around the country have issued orders. The question last night was could the federal authorities remove someone who had landed. The answer from one court was no. Today, two more courts said no. And another court said you can’t detain people in this situation either. So today we’ve been focused on assuring those that have been detained at LAX, I believe unlawfully, are released. And more to come as we try to figure out in this country, at this key moment, do we stand up for the basic liberties that make this country distinctive.

On the one hand, the sweep of this order is outrageous. Secondly, it was timed to be released right before the weekend. Third, officials at the airport were clearly confused and lacking direction from the federal government in Washington on what to do. So for those who are saying this is a minor inconvenience don’t understand the facts on the ground

The order itself is far too sweeping and the implementation has been unconstitutional, in my view. People in this country – we’re talking about lawful permanent residents who are returning to this country or coming here for the first time to be united with family. They have rights! They were lawfully granted authority to come to this country and now that authority has been blocked. Here in Los Angeles, we stand up for uniting families. We stand up for giving people their basic rights. We need to prevent this from having a further negative effect on our community.

I believe this order will not stand. I believe this implementation will not be allowed to move forward. There are courts around the country poised to handle

There are some very serious concerns to be taken into account:

  • Are people of each religion being treated equally? Members of the Muslim community are being treated differently than people that are Christian or Jewish or others. And that’s not appropriate in my view.
  • Second, people have basic due process rights to have their causes heard. They aren’t able to be detained for no reason.

There are multiple reasons based on equal protection clause of the Constitution, the First Amendment, the due process clause that I think call into serious question the legality of this order.”

*

LATEST UPDATE: On Monday 01/30/17 an attack on a mosque in Quebec killed 6 and injured 20, five are in critical condition. Clearly, extremists approve of President Trump’s treatment of Muslims and the travel ban. Terrorists are likely to retaliate.

Americans are urging President Trump to study American history and the American Constitution. Most of his actions so far threaten the founding principles of our Country….

Vatican issued an appeal asking Christians and Muslims to unite in prayer.

 

 

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Jan 262017
 

American Flag

“An open, welcoming, and compassionate spirit is not just an ideal that we try to live up to – it’s part of the American character. Those are our values in Los Angeles, and we intend to preserve them no matter what happens in Washington, D.C.

The safety and well-being of everyone who lives, works in, and visits L.A. will always be our number-one priority. The idea that we do not cooperate with the federal government is simply at odds with the facts. We regularly cooperate with immigration authorities – particularly in cases that involve serious crimes – and always comply with constitutional detainer requests.

What we don’t do is ask local police officers to enforce federal immigration laws – and that’s an official LAPD policy that has been enforced for nearly 40 years. That is for everyone’s good, because trust between police and the people they serve is absolutely essential to effective law enforcement. Everyone in L.A. should feel safe stepping forward if they have witnessed a crime or been victimized themselves – and immigration status shouldn’t interfere with the cooperation and partnership we need to keep our neighborhoods safe.

Splitting up families and cutting funding to any city – especially Los Angeles, where 40% of the nation’s goods enter the U.S. at our port, and more than 80 million passengers traveled through our airport last year – puts the personal safety and economic health of our entire nation at risk. It is not the way forward for the United States.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti

 

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Jan 192017
 
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama makes a point during a National Security Council meeting he convened on Counter-ISIL, at the State Department in Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Mayor Garcetti on President Obama’s Final Day in Office

“I have cherished memories of huddling in the Iowa snow with other early believers in a message of hope and change, knocking on doors in Des Moines to talk to people about a charismatic young senator from Illinois, and celebrating an Election Night that will live as one of the most transformative chapters in the story of our republic.

There was just something about Barack Obama that lit a spark in the American people, and spoke to the nation we aspired to be. As candidate and President, he inspired an entire generation of young people to engage in the civic process and take ownership of their country for the first time.

President Obama has led America with wisdom, integrity, compassion, and grace. I am privileged to call him a friend, honored to have served on his Climate Change Task Force, and grateful that he has been such an extraordinary ally to Los Angeles during his time in the White House. The Obama Administration has been a steady partner with our city, making investments and providing guidance that will leave a lasting legacy in L.A. His leadership has helped us expand our transportation network, house more homeless veterans than any other city, invest in young people who need a second chance to complete their education or enter the workforce, develop new technologies that will deliver the next generation of manufacturing jobs, begin to bring the L.A. River back to life, strengthen relationships between police officers and the communities they serve, preserve our natural heritage by declaring a national monument in the San Gabriel Mountains, and make L.A. the only city in the nation with two Promise Zones. These are powerful achievements that testify to remarkable progress, and speak to what can be accomplished when we unite behind unyielding hope and a fierce determination to bring change.

The Obama presidency will be remembered not just because it represented a landmark moment in our history, but because you can’t listen to the President and First Lady without feeling an abiding love for this country. They inspired us to believe again in the power of government as a force for good — and over the past eight years reminded us why we have to look out for the poor, speak up for the defenseless, and take a stand for working people and Americans who for too long have lacked basic necessities like quality health care they can afford. Angelenos and people throughout our nation and world owe President Obama a huge debt of gratitude — and though his leadership will be missed, we will forever treasure his friendship and look forward to seeing what the next chapter will bring.”

Anything L.A. Magazine joins L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti with its appreciation of Obama’s presidency. Thank you President Obama for a job well done!

According to Gallup, President Obama’s approval rating is well above the average 52%. These are the top-rated U.S. Presidents:
Bill Clinton 66%
Ronald Reagan 63%
Barack Obama 57%

 

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Jan 042017
 
LADWP Customer Bill of Rights

Mayor Garcetti, LADWP Board President Mel Levine and LADWP General Manager David Wright unveil LADWP Customer Bill of Rights. Photo courtesy of L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti

Mayor Eric Garcetti doubled down on his commitment to improving customer service at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) by introducing the first ever LADWP Customer Bill of Rights.

The landmark document — unveiled today by Mayor Garcetti, LADWP Board President Mel Levine and LADWP General Manager David Wright — will formalize service standards for the utility, and promise safe, sustainable and reliable water and power service for all LADWP customers.

“Reliable, affordable, and accountable service from LADWP is not a privilege — it is a right that belongs to every Angeleno who relies on our utility,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The LADWP Customer Bill of Rights is a promise that we will never stop working to improve the customer experience, and a commitment to delivering the service all ratepayers should be able to expect — and always deserve.”

The LADWP Customer Bill of Rights makes four core commitments to LADWP customers: timely, clear and consistent customer service; reliable, safe and sustainable power; reliable and high-quality water; and a collaborative approach to implementing customer programs like rebates and incentives.

Each core commitment contains details about LADWP’s service philosophy in that area, as well as specific, measurable service standards. For example, the document promises customers that call wait times will not exceed three minutes on average, and that all questions sent via email will receive a response within 24 hours, or one business day.

The Bill of Rights also includes language that holds LADWP accountable if the utility fails to deliver adequate service. If a request to open a new residential account is not processed within one business day, for example, LADWP will waive the connection fee. And if LADWP takes longer than 10 days after the final inspection to process a new business service connection of 200 amps or less, that business will receive a $25 credit.

In addition, the document includes concrete commitments to making LADWP’s water and power service more sustainable.

“Residents and customers want the lights to come on, water to come out of the faucet, good customer service, and they want this at a fair cost,” said Councilmember Nury Martinez, who chairs the City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee. “Those are my minimum expectations. The Customer Bill of Rights will help ensure this quality of service for all Los Angeles residents.”

Mel Levine, President of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, said, “LADWP’s most important responsibility is to all Angelenos and the communities it serves. The Customer Bill of Rights shows how seriously committed LADWP is to being the world-class utility and customer service provider that Los Angeles deserves.”

The Customer Bill of Rights is part of a broader effort by Mayor Garcetti to improve customer service at LADWP — an effort he has pushed aggressively since taking office in 2013. When Mayor Garcetti appointed David Wright as LADWP General Manager in August 2016, he directed Wright to make developing the Bill of Rights one of his first tasks.

“The Customer Bill of Rights reaffirms our commitment to our customers to provide excellent customer service through reliable water and power service, and accurate and timely billing,” Wright said. “This governs our work and service philosophy at LADWP.”

The Bill of Rights was presented to the LADWP Board of Commissioners.

For more information, and to view the full text of the LADWP Customer Bill of Rights, visit www.ladwp.com/customerbillofrights.

To download the Bill of Rights graphic, visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99292716@N06/31239635324/in/dateposted/

 

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Dec 302016
 

New Los Angeles Renters’ Protections

Mayor Eric Garcetti took another step toward curbing L.A.’s housing affordability crisis, signing into law the Tenant Buyout Ordinance — a key addition to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), which is designed to protect Angelenos from runaway rents and displacement from their neighborhoods.

Half of L.A. families live in an apartment covered by the RSO. The ordinance will strengthen renters’ rights by ensuring that landlords inform residents of their relocation rights in the event of a tenant buyout. Previously, tenants could be offered a lump sum to vacate units, without a formal process to educate them about additional sums for relocation assistance to which they may have been entitled.

The new ordinance requires landlords to file buyout agreements with the City, so that staff can better monitor the process. It also permits renters to withdraw from the buyout agreement within 30 days.

“Every tenant in Los Angeles should understand their rights, especially in a tight housing market, and landlords should know their responsibilities,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The RSO is the most powerful tool we have to keep families and neighborhoods together, and this ordinance will help protect vulnerable populations — like senior citizens and immigrants — from displacement. As we work to build new affordable housing, we also must make sure that residents know about protections that are already in place.”

“As Chair of the Housing Committee, I am proud to add another layer of protection for tenants with the Tenant Buyout Notification Program amendment to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance,” said Housing Committee Chair Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who was key in ensuring the ordinance’s passage. “This program requires landlords to inform tenants of their RSO rights before executing a buyout agreement, giving them full disclosure of their rights and protections under the RSO.”

“As I’ve been dealing with a crisis in my district where more than 150 seniors are threatened with evictions, it is clear that it is more important than ever that all tenants fully understand their rights when their landlord wants to move them out of their apartments,” said Housing Committee Vice-Chair Councilmember Paul Koretz.

“The newly adopted Tenant Buyout Ordinance is an important new tool in our efforts to ensure that tenants in Rent-Stabilized (RSO) buildings are fully informed of their rights to remain in their homes and are not coerced into accepting buy-out or ‘cash for keys’ offers,” said Rushmore Cervantes, General Manager of the Housing and Community Investment Development of the City of Los Angeles. “In a time when affordable housing units are scarce, the new ordinance is designed to ensure that tenants can make informed decisions and have the opportunity to seek advice before voluntarily relinquishing their rent-stabilized unit.”

The new ordinance builds upon Mayor Garcetti’s comprehensive plan to strengthen the RSO, which includes strategies to increase awareness of renters’ rights and better enforce existing regulations. Earlier this year, Mayor Garcetti launched an RSO awareness campaign, “Home for Renters.” The campaign reaches out to L.A.’s most vulnerable neighborhoods with thousands of public transit advertisements, door-hangers, informational pamphlets, and online resources that make detailed information about the RSO accessible to both tenants and landlords. The effort was developed by the Housing and Community Investment Department of Los Angeles (HCIDLA) in partnership with Mayor Garcetti’s Innovation Team, which focuses on data-driven projects, and is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Last year, Mayor Garcetti also announced a new online property database, which helps the public easily identify properties that are subject to the RSO. The City Council and HCIDLA are also advancing a new city-wide rent registry, which will help the City proactively enforce regulations on allowable rent increases. To stem the loss of RSO units as the City expands its housing stock, the City is also implementing new State law that requires the replacement of affordable RSO units in new developments.

While the City remains on track to meet Mayor Garcetti’s goal to build 100,000 new housing units by 2021, the Mayor is advancing additional policies to ensure equitable growth in the City’s housing supply, and is doubling down on the production and preservation of affordable housing developments dedicated to low-income Angelenos.

 

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Dec 102016
 

2016 Mayor’s Cup Winners

Mayor Garcetti announces winner of 2016 Mayor’s Cup

Team from Cal State Los Angeles takes top prize for small business development resource center

Small Business Strong is the winner of the 2016 Mayor’s Cup, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today. The team — comprised of undergraduates from Cal State Los Angeles — took top honors for its idea for a traveling small business resource center, which could deliver mentorship opportunities and pathways to capital to underserved, underrepresented, and under-connected small business owners.

The Mayor’s Cup is a competition for young entrepreneurs at L.A. universities to pitch innovative solutions for tackling the city’s biggest challenges. Competitors were asked to develop ideas to address one of two issues: growing L.A.’s economy and civic engagement in neighborhoods. More than 100 teams applied, with the top five competing in the finals.

“The future of entrepreneurial innovation is right here in Los Angeles, and Small Business Strong and the other competitors show that our colleges and universities are full of creative people with ideas that can change lives,” said Mayor Garcetti. “What’s special about the Mayor’s Cup is that we can harness their imagination and skill to achieve something we all believe in — making local government work better for all Angelenos.”

Small Business Strong claimed a $25,000 prize and will work with the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team for eight weeks to prototype their idea.
The other four finalists were:

  • BIN-LA: Website which complements the L.A. Business Portal to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs to investors in the Greater Los Angeles area.
  • Hygiea: Waste management “Internet of Things” platform outfitting trash cans with sensors and real-time data to provide fill data feedback and suggest efficient routes.
  • Pangaea: Comprehensive professional resource bank with a focus on Black and Latino-owned small- and medium-sized businesses with enhanced search functionality and crowdsourcing.
  • The L.A. Skill-Builders Initiative: Web platform to cultivate entrepreneurial ecosystem by bridging the skills gap between manufacturers and the labor force (including community colleges).

Finalists pitched their proposals to a panel of judges, including: Troy Carter of Atom Factory; Jennifer Lopez of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space; Brian Lee of The Honest Company and LegalZoom; William Pomerantz of Virgin Galactic; and Diana Trujillo of NASA.

“The Mayor’s Cup is an exciting program that brings together government and entrepreneurs in a way to explore how technology can make the city more efficient and productive,” said David Belasco, Co-Director and Adjunct Professor at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “We believe that this competition will bring unique ideas to improve the lives of Angelenos.”

The Mayor’s Cup was supported by the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation, LA City Partners, USC Marshall School of Business, The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at California State University- Los Angeles, the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University, and Cross Campus.

Key partners in this year-long effort include the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business, USC Marshall School of Business, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at California State University- Los Angeles, the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University, Startup UCLA, FuturizeX at UCLA, LA City Partners, Cross Campus, the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, Mitú Network, AmplifyLA, Hacker Fund, Make in LA, LADWP La Kretz Innovation Campus, Hexlab MakerSpace, Nava College Prep Academy, Swipe Out Hunger, LegalZoom, Bixel Exchange, Indie Desk, Startup DTLA, Two Bit Circus, Crush Industries.

 

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Nov 252016
 
Mayor Garcetti During 2016 Turkey Trot

Mayor Garcetti during the annual Turkey Trot to benefit the Midnight Mission. Photo property of Mayor Garcetti

In his Thanksgiving message L.A. Mayor Garcetti urges Angelenos in the aftermath of the divisive presidential election to move on and focus our strength on the community. (Incidentally, living in a State and a City managed by wise leaders is yet another reason to be grateful….)

The Mayor’s suggestions?

  • Take part in the Welcome Home Project. Los Angeles works hard to provide affordable housing that will relieve the current housing AND homelessness crisis.
    Mayor Garcetti reminds us that homeless people are not faceless statistics; they are people very much like us who have fallen on hard times and with some support can become productive, self-sufficient and successful. Welcoming them into the neighborhood with compassion and care baskets. Read more
  • Volunteer to help at Immigrant Resource Fairs and help immigrants learn about available options and resources. Those who qualify may be helped in their quest for citizenship. Those concerned about the welfare of their children should know the city’s position on ensuring safety of all its residents. Los Angeles is – and has always been – a city of immigrants. Help them find a way to assimilate and prosper. Read more
  • Hire wisely! If you own a business that’s looking for new employees consider hiring youth or a veteran. The city has special programs to help you get started. The youth needs experience. The veterans need a way to resume life as civilians.
    Read more about Hire LA’s Youth.
    Read more about Hiring Veterans, 10,000 Strong.
  • Support gender equity at the leadership level! Los Angeles has already made strides and currently has achieved 50 / 50 gender equality on city’s boards and commissions. Let’s make sure the equality continues.
    Women are invited to participate in workshops and mentorship programs hosted by Mayor Garcetti and First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland, the Young Women’s Assembly in March 2017. Read more
  • Fight climate change with the help of the City! Did you know that as a homeowner you can request up to seven shade tress (and everything else needed to grow them!) from the City, free? More shade trees means less AC and less global warming… Read more about Free Trees

Changing the world or influencing politics of a country is beyond the scope of an individual. Affecting positive change at the local level – right at home! – is doable. And guess what, the “world” starts in our own backyard…. Our example may become contagious.

 

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Nov 152016
 

Los Angeles On Mass Deportations

On Monday November 11th 2016 Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Garcetti clarified Los Angeles position on the upcoming changes in federal immigration law enforcement.

In spite of President Elect Trump’s plans for mass deportations of illegal immigrants, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck assured that LAPD will stick with Special Order 40. Special Order 40 – in effect since 1979 and signed back then by Chief Daryl Gates – prohibits Los Angeles Police Department from enforcing immigration law.

Speaking to Los Angeles Times, Chief Charlie Beck said: “We are not going to engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status. We are not going to work in conjunction with Homeland Security on deportation efforts. That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”

L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti confirmed Los Angeles’ commitment to Special Order 40.
Speaking to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, the Mayor said: “Our law enforcement officers and LAPD don’t go around asking people for their papers, nor should they. That’s not the role of local law enforcement.”

 

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Nov 052016
 
Ontario International Airport Is Now Under Local Control

Photo property of L.A. Mayor’s Office

Mayor Garcetti announces transfer of Ontario International Airport to local control

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti joined federal, state and local leaders from across Southern California on November 2nd 2016 to announce that ownership of Ontario International Airport (ONT) has officially transferred from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA).

The announcement comes after years of negotiation between the Cities of Los Angeles and Ontario, and collaboration with elected and community leaders across the region. Mayor Garcetti announced the ownership transfer alongside Sen. Dianne Feinstein, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, OIAA President and Ontario Councilmember Alan D. Wapner, and a distinguished group of state and local leaders.

Mayor Garcetti — who has made regional collaboration a top priority for his administration — celebrated the milestone as a significant step forward for regional air travel, improving air quality, and connectivity across Southern California.

“Southern California is more than just a group of cities and communities — we are one region, and there’s no limit to what we can accomplish when we work together,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I have supported this transfer of Ontario International Airport to local control since I came into office, because nothing is more important than doing what’s right for the travelers, workers, and neighborhood residents who want improved air travel, better connectivity, and local oversight. I’m pleased by the cooperation and partnership that brought us to this day, and proud to celebrate this incredible milestone.”

The transfer process began on August 6, 2015, with the announcement that the cities of Los Angeles and Ontario had agreed to a settlement of litigation over management of ONT. The settlement included terms to allow the transfer of ownership of ONT to the OIAA subject to approvals by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, Los Angeles City Council, Ontario City Council, the OIAA, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Final approvals by all parties were obtained early this year. Since then, all stakeholders have worked cooperatively in collaboration with the FAA to complete the transaction.

Alan D. Wapner, OIAA president and Ontario city council member, heralded the transfer as a major step forward in regional cooperation that will help ensure Southern California has the sufficient airport capacity to meet the growing demand for air service.
“The OIAA is honored and proud to assume control and operation of ONT on behalf of the coalition of counties and cities that supported local control for ONT over a number of years,” said Wapner. “We are grateful to Mayor Garcetti and LAWA CEO Deborah Flint for their commitment to airport regionalization that has made this historic day a reality.”

“Transferring Ontario International Airport was a historic process requiring tremendous cooperation, teamwork and collaboration,” said LAWA Executive Director Deborah Flint. “I’m proud of the work that was done by ONT staff, the OIAA and FAA officials, and am grateful to all of the airport staff, airlines, tenants, local businesses, community leaders, and travelers who have supported ONT while under LAWA’s care for nearly 50 years.”

OIAA CEO Kelly J. Fredericks said, “Although a relative newcomer to the ONT transfer process, I have been afforded a front row and behind the scenes view of the efforts made to make this historic transaction take place. Never in my career have I seen such collaboration and cooperation by so many people, all with a single goal of returning ONT to local control.”

About Los Angeles World Airports
Los Angeles World Airports is a self-supporting department of the City of Los Angeles, governed by a seven-member Board of Airport Commissioners. The Board is comprised of public-spirited business and civic leaders appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. Policies of the commission are carried out by a staff of nearly 3,500 administrative, technical, and law-enforcement employees, who operate and maintain airports and aviation-related property in the LAWA system: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Van Nuys Airport (VNY) general aviation and Palmdale aviation-related property.

About Ontario International Airport
ONT is located in the Inland Empire, approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a medium-hub, full-service airport with direct commercial jet service to 15 major U.S. cities and connecting service to many domestic and international destinations. There are approximately 62 daily departures offered by 8 air carriers. For more information about ONT, please visit www.flyOntario.com.

About the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA)
The OIAA was formed in August 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport’s four-county catchment area. OIAA Commissioners are Ontario Council Member Alan D. Wapner (President), Ontario Council Member Jim W. Bowman, San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman, Retired Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge (Vice President) and Orange County Business Council President and CEO Lucy Dunn (Secretary).

 

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Oct 232016
 

One Year Later: Mayor Garcetti On Aliso Canyon Disaster

STATEMENT: Mayor Garcetti on one-year anniversary and task force report on Aliso Canyon disaster

 

The federal Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety, led by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), released its findings on the causes and effects of the Aliso Canyon gas leak and the measures needed to prevent another disaster.

Mayor Garcetti released the following statement in response to the findings and to mark the coming one-year anniversary of the discovery of the massive leak on Oct. 23, 2015:

“Protecting the health of our communities, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and moving toward a clean energy future — these goals are central to the vision of a 21st century city. The Aliso Canyon disaster displaced a community and caused health impacts for many residents, and woke the nation to the danger and environmental harm of natural gas leaks. We can’t let it happen again. I am grateful to the Obama Administration’s Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Safety for recommendations that will help protect public health and the environment.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the disaster, we stand fast against the reopening of this facility until it meets all of the State’s criteria for safe operation, and repeat the call for SoCal Gas to underwrite a comprehensive, independent, long-term health study of the impacted communities. This disaster strengthened my conviction that Los Angeles needs to move toward a future free of fossil fuels, and we are committed to helping Porter Ranch and the surrounding area, which bore the brunt of this disaster, become a clean energy model for our region, the state and the world.” — Mayor Eric Garcetti

The Mayor and City Council last month directed L.A. Department of Water and Power to start planning for a transition to a 100 percent renewable energy supply. DWP also is planning solar and energy storage pilot projects in Porter Ranch to begin moving the community closer to the vision of a net zero energy neighborhood weaned from reliance on harmful fossil fuels.

 

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