Monday, January 31, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
We need to franchise recycling collection for commercial and multi-family units in the City to ensure that all Angelenos have the opportunity to recycle, that the trucks and work conditions used to process the recycling are safe, that rates are uniform and fair, and that we cut down on the amount of recyclable refuse that ends up in our landfills. Today’s report by Don’t Waste L.A., a coalition of 30 organizations, outlines these and other recommendations. I support the spirit of these efforts and as the Chair of Public Works, I will be looking to work on these recommendations, with the help of my colleagues and the Bureau of Sanitation, in the coming months. Los Angeles should lead the way on this issue and we will.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Contact: Rick Coca
(213) 473-7014 or email@example.com
Iconic businesses to become neighbors to the historic Orpheum Theatre on Broadway, contributing to the Bringing Back Broadway’s initiative’s revitalization effort, which is celebrating its third anniversary - Orpheum Theatre turns 85
LOS ANGELES (Jan. 25, 2011) – Two formerly vacant spaces in the historic Broadway corridor will soon house top-notch eateries designed by top designers, bringing fame, popularity and a foodie following from their respective coasts to Downtown L.A. while adding 50-75 jobs to the area.
The UMAMIcatessen, a new concept from the gastronomic experts behind the vastly popular Umami Burger restaurants dotted across L.A., will open at 852-854 S. Broadway. And hailing from New York City, Two Boots Pizza will premier at 828 S. Broadway.
“Thanks to a strong collaboration between property owner, entrepreneurs and the City, Bringing Back Broadway will soon celebrate the arrival of two new businesses that will bring as many as 75 jobs to Broadway,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar, who is spearheading the Bringing Back Broadway revitalization effort. “This collaboration between the private and public sector is a prime example of what the Bringing Back Broadway initiative is all about and one we hope to duplicate again and again.”
The UMAMIcatessen will incorporate a burger joint, bar, deli, dessert, as well as rotating concepts from some of America’s greatest chefs. The Broadway location will be the sixth Umami establishment and the largest among the company’s independent, locally-owned L.A. eateries. The downtown restaurant will be designed by SO/DA and will seat approximately 60-80 people. By operating 7 days a week until 2 a.m., this new restaurant will be a welcomed addition to Broadway’s nightlife. The ambitious plan came about after several months of discussions with property owner Steve Needleman and assistance from the Bringing Back Broadway initiative.
“We are thrilled to call Broadway home for our newest and biggest venture yet,” said Adam Fleishman, CEO of Umami Burger. “Downtown L.A. is a dynamic, rapidly changing area, and we can’t wait to turn a vacant, lifeless storefront into Downtown’s own unique Umami location as part of Bringing Back Broadway.”
In New York City, Two Boots Pizza’s flagship pizzerias have earned a wide and devoted following for their delicious blend of Italian and Cajun flavors, cornmeal-crusted pizza, over-stuffed po' boys, organic salads, plus calzones, strombolis and strombolinis. Downtown will join Echo Park as the only current Los Angeles locations for the popular eatery.
Phil Hartman, owner of Two Boots Pizza feels historic Broadway is a natural location for Two Boots Pizza because of the area’s similarities to the pizzaria’s New York roots.
“Two Boots loves Downtown L.A.!” said Hartman. “With its vintage theater district, amazing architecture and diverse and eclectic culture, we feel right at home here and are thrilled to be part of the Bringing Back Broadway effort. We're looking forward to creating amazing signage that harkens back to the area’s glory days and to creating a tribute pizza that celebrates Broadway’s glorious history.”
Every Two Boots branch is unique. Some have full-service dining, some have full bars, while others have live music. Like all the company’s locales, Two Boots Broadway will display the work of local artists. The restaurant design will feature a large viewing window into the kitchen where patrons can watch pizza dough being tossed and food being prepared for the eatery’s streetside service or delivery. Well-known architect George Kelly is spearheading the design.
Both additions to the street bode well for the future of revitalizing Broadway. Umami will add 35 to 50 jobs downtown. Two Boots Broadway is expected to create 15 to 25 jobs. The new restaurants will complement other revitalization at the southern anchor of the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, which is celebrating the third year of its 10-year plan.
Much of the credit for the welcomed new additions goes to property owner Steve Needleman, owner of Anjac Fashion Buildings and the historic Orpheum Theatre, who recruited both businesses and worked out deals and long-term agreements to make them viable.
“My belief is that the best way to build your own community is to bring in that unique type of tenant who will complement existing businesses and attract residents and visitors alike to the historic area,” Needleman said. “Economics cannot be the driving force behind these deals; at times, you have to be willing to take a risk, make incredible deals and forge long-term partnerships.”
The fully restored historic Orpheum Theatre is turning 85 years old this year and is the centerpiece of Broadway’s south-end revitalization, which also includes the iconic Eastern Columbia Building and the recently renovated Blackstone Building, both former department stores adapted for residential use above the commercial ground floor. The Broadway Bar was one of the first night-life establishments in the area.
Needleman credits Bringing Back Broadway for providing critical assistance with these projects and with others in the pipeline.
“When we were facing obstacles with City departments, both on the Umami project and with the upcoming renovation of the Singer Sewing Machine Building, Councilmember Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway Executive Director stepped in and worked directly with us, cutting red tape and getting the answers and responses we needed in order to allow these job-creating projects to move forward,” Needleman said. “The partnership for revitalization and the problem-solving, can-do spirit in the City that each of these projects benefited from never existed before Bringing Back Broadway.”
Needleman’s Anjac Fashion Buildings is providing offices on the ground floor of the historic Wurlitzer Building on Broadway for downtown publication BlogDowntown in a space that also features a community center. Anjac is also in preparation to reactivate the long-vacant Singer Sewing Machine building at 808 S. Broadway into unique, live/work style lofts that will include about 2,700 square feet of living space and 3,500 square feet of work area on each floor. Renovations on this project are planned to begin this summer.
“Steve Needleman sets the pace – and the example – for other Broadway property owners,” Councilmember Huizar said. “Bringing this plan to fruition in the historic district was no small feat and what Steve is doing should be considered a model for other owners on the street. But the City must also use this as model and continue the collaboration that made this happen. Solving problems for businesses on Broadway takes out-of-the-box thinking and leadership.”
Launched in January of 2008, key components of the multi-faceted Bringing Back Broadway initiative include a major streetscape and infrastructure improvement plan; the introduction of modern streetcar service in Downtown; reactivation of historic theater venues; support for entertainment and cultural activities; implementation of historic preservation, urban design and lighting guidelines and a Broadway historic sign district.
Considering there is approximately 15 to 20 percent ground-floor vacancy rates on Broadway and more than one-million square feet of empty space on the upper floors, a major component of the plan is economic development opportunities and job creation. With the world-famous Clifton’s Cafeteria set to undergo a major renovation and expansion, which will bring 100 jobs downtown, and now the opening of these two new restaurants in underused retail space, Broadway is beginning to see much-needed improvement.
UMAMIcatessen and Two Boots Broadway are expecting approximately 18 months of renovation, tenant improvement, construction and design before their grand openings.
“Bringing Back Broadway is a 10-year plan that has already seen enormous success, and this is another example that we are beginning to see the seeds of progress begin to sprout,” Councilmember Huizar said. “As we celebrate the third year of success of Bringing Back Broadway, we look to a bright future for this important and historic street.”
Friday, January 21, 2011
The legislation will focus primarily on the communities of Boyle Heights, Pacoima and Wilmington. As someone who grew up in Boyle Heights and lives there today with my wife and four children, I am very concerned about the effects the surrounding industrial sites have on the air that my children, and my neighbors’ children, breath.
The Clean Up Green Up legislation represents the work of dedicated community activists and elected officials to create a new generation of Environmental Justice, where instead of fighting some proposed industrial use site or expansion of an existing one, we want to work with existing businesses to create incentives and standards that lead to greener, cleaner and more sustainable communities.
We also want to encourage new, green industries that bring green jobs, with the long-term goal of creating healthier communities where our children can be successful and thrive.
Enjoy the slideshow from the event. You can also view coverage in LAist, CBS and Eastern Group Publications.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
This new program will be implemented largely through the City’s online business platform, the Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN), and will include benchmarks to increase business participation for small, minority, and, for the first time, service-disabled Veteran owned businesses. It will also require that all City contracts subject to advertisement be listed online at the BAVN.
As Chair of the Public Works Committee, I will help ensure goals are met by holding our department managers accountable for the benchmarks set out for them under the Business Inclusion Program.
Monday, January 17, 2011
More than 200 people recently attended a walking tour of several historic sites located on or near Boyle Avenue, as well as a presentation releasing preliminary results of one of the largest surveys ever undertaken in the nation. Here is the podcast and footage of my welcoming remarks.
During the survey of Boyle Heights, we identified two potential Historic Districts (Boyle Avenue and Mt. Pleasant) and 33 individual buildings in Boyle Heights as potentially historic. The walking tour featured more than a dozen sites, including five on Boyle Avenue where docents offered tour-goers a glimpse into the long and varied history of Boyle Heights, including the “Max Factor home.” The house represents a microcosm of Boyle Heights’ diverse history, having seen homeowners of Jewish, Japanese and Latino descent through the years.
I want to personally thank all of those who helped make the event a success: the Puente Learning Center; the Los Angeles Planning Department’s Office of Historic Resources; the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles; the Boyle Heights Historical Society; the Los Angeles Conservancy; the Getty Foundation; the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California; the Breed Street Shul; Keiro Senior Healthcare; the International Institute; ELACC; Hollenbeck Palms; the Alba Family; a crew of Cal Poly Pomona students and other volunteers.
Enjoy the slideshow of the event.
I join others today across America in pausing to reflect on one of our greatest civil rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King. His life and example continue to be an inspiration to us all. And his words ring just as true now as when they were said during the turbulent times in which he lived.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Please 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
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, HelpFeedLA.org, 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.
Friday, January 7, 2011
Councilmember Huizar Introduces Motion to Keep Street Service Workers Working Year Round to Fill Potholes and Pave Streets Using Special Funds
Certain job functions within the Bureau of Street Services, not all of which correspond exactly to worker classifications, are completely funded by special funds such as federal stimulus dollars. One such example is pothole repair, which is a key service in any year but certainly a priority following the worst storm in memory. Other functions are nearly entirely paid for by special funds or could easily be.
PRESENTED BY: _________________________
JOSE HUIZAR, Councilmember, 14th District
SECONDED BY: __________________________
ERIC GARCETTI, Councilmember, 13th District
Homicides dropped below 300 for the first time in decades and our City is the safest it has been since 1952. I want to thank Chief Beck and all the men and women of the LAPD for the sacrifices they make each and every day to protect us and make our city safer.
Special recognition to Captain Anita Ortega, Captain William Murphy and Captain Todd Chamberlain and their officers for their work in Council District 14. Crime continues to drop in all divisions in our district.
I also want to thank all those working in intervention and prevention programs. Gang crime in our city dropped 11% in 2010. Programs like our highly successful Summer Night Lights program are having an impact. Since 2008, gang crime has dropped 40% in the areas around the parks that offer the program. In the area around Highland Park Recreation Center, where the program was offered for the first time in 2010, gang crime fell 68%.
Despite a tough economy, we are making headway against crime in the City of Los Angeles. Let’s continue the fight in 2011.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
With our City’s new Surplus Food policy in place, creating a cultural shift in getting people to think about donating surplus food is as important as any policy we create.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
With the recent rains causing road damage, we’ll have 50 crews working throughout the City filling potholes on Saturday and Sunday, but we need your help to ensure that the Bureau of Street Services knows where the potholes are located.
The expanded crews will work to fill 10,000 to 15,000 potholes throughout the City this weekend.
So if you see a pothole, call 311 and let them know where it is located.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Simply remove all ornaments, decorations, tinsels and stand from the tree, and then place it inside the green waste bin for regular pick-up on collection day. If your Christmas tree is too big to cut and place it inside the green waste bin, simply place the tree next to your green waste bin.
If you live in a multifamily building, place your Christmas tree at the curbside on the day of collection by the Bureau of Sanitation.
Recycling Christmas trees prevents hundreds of thousands of trees from ending up in our landfills. All collected Christmas trees will be recycled into compost and mulch, which helps the environment while making our city greener.
Please visit the Bureau of Sanitation website at http://www.ci.la.ca.us/san/tree-recycle.htm for more information on Christmas Tree Recycling.