Friday, January 14, 2011

CD 14 News - January 14, 2011

Dear Friends:

click here or read below for important updates in Council District 14, including reduced crime in your community, surplus food policies in the City, Vision workshops, keeping street service workers year-round, standing up for environmental justice, and much more.

* Crime Continues to Drop Citywide and in CD 14
* New Program to Support Small Businesses
* Highland Park ‘new York’ Plan Workshop
* Surplus Food Policy Update – Feeding Working Families
* Promoting Jobs & Economic Development in CD 14
* Fighting for Environmental Justice
* Supporting Street Service Repairs Year-Round
* “Our Downtown” El Sereno Vision Plan Workshop

Councilmember Jose Huizar-LAPD-Year End Crime Statistics

Crime Continues to Drop Citywide and in Council District 14

Our investment in public safety and focus on prevention programs like Summer Night Lights continues to pay off for the City of Los Angeles.Councilmember Huizar, who has been an outspoken advocate for a strong police force and gang-prevention programs, joined LAPD Chief Beck, Mayor Villaraigosa and other elected officials to announce that once again crime dropped Citywide in 2010.

Crime dropped in all Council District 14 police divisions. In the Northeast, Violent Crime is down 18% from 2009 and 27% from 2008. In Highland Park, where Summer Night Lights, a gang and violence prevention program, was launched in 2010, homicides dropped 60% and Violent Crime dropped nearly 30 %. In the Hollenbeck Division, Violent Crime was down about 7% as well as 6% at Central in 2010.

Citywide, Violent Crime was down 11% in 2010 and homicides dropped to 297, the first time since 1967 that Los Angeles has had fewer than 300 – a remarkable feat for a city of 4 million people. New York, in comparison, has about twice as many.

Enjoy the
slideshow and footage from the press conference held with Councilmember Jose Huizar, L.A.P.D. Chief Charlie Beck and other City Leaders.

New Program to Support Small Businesses

In a bid to increase the number of small business owners working on City projects, Councilmember Huizar joined Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilmember Alarcon and business leaders to announce the Business Inclusion Program. Los Angeles has more small businesses than any other city in the nation and is home to some of the most diverse small businesses in the world. The Business Inclusion Program requires all City departments to post all contracting opportunities that are subject to advertising on the City’s Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN). This will ensure equal and fair access to those contracts and allow the city to tap more fully into Los Angeles’ rich and diverse small business market. Businesses with City contracts are now required to use BAVN to outreach and negotiate with potential subcontractors, including minority and women-owned businesses.

As Chair of the Public Works Committee, Councilmember Huizar will help ensure the program meets its goals and that department heads are doing all they can do to meet benchmarks, which includes improving participation for Small Business Enterprises and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises.

Working Together on the ‘new York Vision Plan'

A workshop sponsored by Councilmember Huizar was held on York Blvd. to solicit community input and feedback for the new York Vision Plan, a community driven project to bring short-term and long-term improvements to York Boulevard in Highland Park. Held at The Glass Studio and done in conjunction with the Green L.A. Coalition, over a hundred people from the Highland Park community turned out to participate.

The evening workshop is just the latest effort of this unique, project to support York Boulevard.The new York Vision Plan kicked-off in September and involves the design and installation of creative, low-cost pedestrian improvements on York Boulevard, between Avenue 50 and Avenue 56. Councilmember Huizar brought the plan to the community with the Green L.A. Coalition working as the project’s facilitator. The goal is to identify a project to implement in the next two months, as well as other low-cost improvement projects to develop within the corridor.

Enjoy stories in
Eagle Rock Patch and the Arroyo Seco. You can also view the slideshow.

City Adopts New Surplus Food Policy

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to enact Councilmember Huizar’s groundbreaking surplus food policy for all City departments and elected offices last year. The new policy represents a historic step in eradicating hunger in the City of Los Angeles. By establishing a Surplus Food program, we will increase food donations to needy Angelenos, including a growing number of families and children. Working with non-profit partners like Hunger Action L.A. an the L.A. Regional Foodbank, Councilmember Huizar is working to establish a policy that can be expanded to the private sector. With more children and families joining the ranks of people in need of emergency food services, the goal is to make donating surplus food in the City of Los Angeles as common as recycling.

Here is an in-depth report on the Surplus Food program courtesy of National Public Radio.As part of Councilmember Huizar’s legislation, a website,, was established and City of Los Angeles 311 operators now refer callers to local food banks to donate or receive emergency food services.

Promoting Jobs & Economic Development

Councilmember José Huizar had held and participated in a number of local events to promote job growth and economic development in CD 14.These include the Job Fair & Business Expo, helping bring 100 jobs downtown at Clifton’s Cafeteria as part of Bringing Back Broadway, the Grand opening of Mama Churro y Mas and the launch of the “Shop El Sereno Campaign” and assisting bringing YMI Jeans to Boyle Heights.

Enjoy the
collection from these events.

Councilmember Huizar Continues to Lead Environmental Justice Fight

Working with the City Attorney’s Office, Councilmember José Huizar continues to lead an environmental justice fight against a concrete-recycling facility operating illegally for years in Boyle Heights without proper permits.A California Court has denied the appeal of Shamrock Base Corporation, which for decades has generated tons of dust and other pollutants in Boyle Heights. The appeal court’s recent decision means that the City of Los Angeles is one step closer to significantly curtailing or shutting down the operation, located on Mission Road, and scoring a victory for Boyle Heights’ residents. The City of Los Angeles took action against Shamrock after Councilmember Huizar called on the City to close the company down for illegally doing business in an area that is not zoned for industrial use such as rock and cement recycling.

Boyle Heights’ residents also joined with surrounding communities to block an effort to build a massive power plant in the City of Vernon. Councilmember Huizar supported that effort and successfully introduced legislation that officially laid out the City of Los Angeles’ opposition to that power plant, which research showed would lead to three to 11 additional deaths per year in the surrounding communities of the proposed site. A judge eventually ruled against the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s plan to sell pollution credits to the proposed Vernon Power Plant, as well as other hazardous waste facilities. Plans for the proposed plant were withdrawn by Vernon officials in 2009.

Click here for the press release.

Keeping Street Service Workers Year-Round

Councilmember Huizar joined City Leaders to call for restoring critical street services and ending work furloughs in the Bureau of Street Services that are specially funded, which are not part of the City’s General Fund and therefore do not affect the City’s budget deficit. The Councilmember introduced legislation instructing the City Administrative Office to report to Council on options for exempting certain classifications within the Bureau of Street Services that are fully or near fully paid for by special funds or can be covered among various non-General Fund sources.These funds include federal ARRA dollars, Measure R dollars, Gas Tax money, the wastewater fund in the case of street sweepers and more.

The function of filling potholes is fully reimbursable, for example, though we only have a few employees who work on this activity exclusively. Filling potholes, resurfacing streets and removing tree limbs from our roadways are a core City service and the City needs to explore all possible options to keep these services as fully funded as possible. Despite the success of Operation Pothole, there is
more work to be done to continue this service year-round.

Read the
Daily News story and enjoy the footage from the announcement. Click here for the motion.

“Our Downtown” El Sereno Vision Plan Workshop

Councilmember Huizar joined residents, business owners and community stakeholders in El Sereno for the first workshop of the Our Downtown El Sereno Vision Plan Workshop.Held at Barrio Action Youth & Family Center, located on the 2nd floor of the Council District 14 El Sereno Office, the Our Downtown Vision Plan involves the design and installation of creative, low-cost pedestrian improvements on designated sections of Huntington Drive. The program is part of Councilmember Huizar’s plan to revitalize main corridors of Council District 14. Huntington Drive has seen about $1.3 million in streetscape, crosswalk, sidedwalk, façade and monument improvements. About 70 people participated in the workshop to begin selecting which improvements are to be built.

Enjoy the
slideshow from the event.