Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I want Angelenos to view surplus food the same way they view recycling.
With nearly 1 million Los Angeles County residents needing emergency food services amid increasing demand due to a tough economy, the time is now for the City of Los Angeles to ensure that we are doing all we can to make sure good, consumable food ends up on plates and not in dumpsters.
Part of my legislation also called for our Information Technology Agency to implement a database of food banks and pantries, which is now available through the City’s 311 service. The City’s CRA is working with Hunger Action L.A. on literature to give to restaurants and businesses telling them about how they can donate their surplus food. I’d like to see a campaign developed where we create signs that businesses can put in their windows saying they are proud participants of this worthy program.
Special thanks to all those who showed their support for this action, including Councilmember Paul Koretz, who seconded my motion; Hunger Action Los Angeles; the City's Information Technology Agency; Union Rescue Mission; The Los Angeles Regional Foodbank; Jewish Family Services SOVA Community Food & Resource Program; Mazon; The Jewish Federation, Food Finders and others.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Perhaps most importantly, the Mt. Washington Weather Station will ensure that when a Red Flag warning is issued for the area, residents should heed those warnings. I want to give special thanks to all the partners who collaborated on this project: the Los Angeles City and County fire officials, who worked together to get the system operational; the National Weather Service; and Mt. Washington community members such as Chris Howard and Arline De Sanctis, who made their voices heard on this very important issue.
Click here to see up-to-the-minute weather updates for the Mt. Washington RAWS location. Below is footage of from the press conference highlighting the City’s first weather station in Mt Washington.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Today was another positive step forward in my plan to create a mini-civic center for Boyle Heights. After just four months of work, we celebrated the completion of the Benjamin Franklin Branch Library Beautification Project at the Southeast corner of First and Chicago.
My main purpose for the beautification project was to tear down a large fortress-like iron fence that previously surrounded the library, which sent the wrong message to our community. Libraries need to be inviting, particularly to our young people.
The fence said: “Keep out,” and was not at all fitting with the overall improvements on the other three corners of that intersection, which include the new Hollenbeck Police Station; a beautiful pocket-park in honor of Mr. Boyle Heights, the late-great Ross Valencia, and my Boyle Heights District Office housed in the Chicago Building, which is currently being renovated.
I am working on making the Chicago Building a one-stop civic service center for Boyle Heights constituents and hope to house city departments and non-profits there, as well as my office, so people can take care of all their needs in one place.
I want to thank the CRA for today’s $175,000 library improvements, which also included landscaping plants that match those at the Hollenbeck Police Station, as well as a new concrete walk way for better public access, new library signs to better identify the library, new bike racks, more lighting improvements for safety, trees and a new irrigation system for beautification.
Click here to listen to a KPCC report on today’s event.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Happy 4th of July!
Eagle Rock 4th of July Concert and Fireworks Show
o Sunday, July 4th @ Eagle Rock Park, 1100 Eagle Vista Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90041
o Concert begins at 4 p.m.
Friday, July 2, 2010
As part of my work on more transparent government, I introduced a motion calling for all of our proprietary departments — the Department of Water & Power (DWP), the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Port of Los Angeles (Harbor Department) — to put their budgets online. You can click here for the motion as well as see it on the City home page (fourth item from the top under Los Angeles Highlights).
In these tough economic times it is critical that our departments share budgetary information with stakeholders so we can all have a robust conversation about priorities and resource allocation, particularly with DWP asking for a 4% to 6% water increase. This comes on top of a 4.5% power increase after a particularly contentious battle with the DWP.
I am pleased to announce that the Harbor Department and the DWP have already put their budgets on the news section of the City home page. I expect LAWA to soon follow suit.
First to call for “Ratepayers' Advocate”
I was also the first Councilperson to call for the creation of an outside, independent official to review DWP proposals for water and power increases in order to create more transparency and to help reduce the chances of unnecessary rate increases. The idea has caught on and is now being referred to as a Ratepayers' Advocate. This position would be modeled after the Fire Department's Independent Assessor, which I helped create, and would be led by an expert in water and energy issues. I am working with my colleagues to determine how best to structure this position and plan to place a measure before voters in next March's elections to make it a reality.