Welcome to the May 2019 issue of Mike Bonin’s Neighborhoods First Newsletter!
IN THIS ISSUE: The City Council approves a budget that focuses on core city services, public safety, combating homelessness, and protecting the environment... Westside neighborhood council elections are this weekend... Our neighborhoods see more #WestsideFastForward improvements… An evacuation drill to prepare for potential fires in the Santa Monica Mountains... pedestrian safety improvements, street resurfacing, and park improvements... and a whole lot more... but first, please read this month’s Neighborhoods First Profile about Marcus Gladney, a neighbor who has been lighting up Venice and promoting cycling safety with the Venice Electric Light Parade.
You can find out more about Mike, meet your CD11 staff and see the latest videos and updates from the Westside on our website at www.11thdistrict.com. And remember to like Mike's Facebook page to see the latest news about your neighborhood.
Marcus Gladney and the Venice Light Parade
Marcus Gladney is the founder of the Venice Light Parade, a unique, weekly bike ride experience that is designed to promote bike safety and community engagement. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Marcus has lived on the Westside for the past four years and fell in love with the Venice boardwalk, which he says is his favorite place to hang out on a hot, sunny weekend.
On any given Sunday, onlookers can spot Marcus usually alongside large crowds riding colorfully-lit bikes and wearing equally colorful costumes, hats, masks riding from Windward Plaza, up to Santa Monica Boulevard, and down Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Known by many names (including the “Slow Ride by the Beach Side” and “Sunday’s at Sunset”), the Venice Light Parade is a family-friendly event complete with music and a diverse group of people who enjoy building community through biking.
We asked Marcus a few questions about the Venice Light Parade and his love for the Venice community. Check out the interview below to learn more.
Q: What is the Electric Light Parade?
A: The Venice Electric Light Parade is a kid-friendly community LED bicycle ride that takes place every Sunday evening. There’s bikes, lights, music and lots of LOVE. I started doing the parade in November of 2015, after meeting Sebastian the “Light Man” of Venice. I witnessed him selling his LED bike wheel lights to everyone from celebrities to locals, and that’s when I got the idea to organize an event to showcase the lights and to promote bike safety for bicyclists at night.
Q: What do you enjoy most about Venice?
A: The diverse collective of people I get to meet every time I'm on the boardwalk or on my daily bicycle ride North on the Bike Path. Venice Beach is a place where everyone is welcome.
Q: Why is bike safety important to you?
A: Growing up in Kansas City, I was not exposed to bicycling until I came to Venice. I had never seen a ghost bike (white bike, chained to a light post) and thought it was apart of Venice culture until I learned that it was a memorial for someone who’d passed in a biking accident. After seeing more than a few of these ghosts bikes, I was inspired to promote bike safety, especially for people riding their bikes at night.
Q: The parade is building community. What do you hope that the people who join the parade take from the experience?
A: People come from everywhere to join the Parade because it is based on safe cycling at night and COMMUNITY. I hope that they leave with a better sense of LOVE and RESPECT for everyone no matter how displaced they may be at this moment in time. In 2015, the parade started with 3 people and now on any given Sunday, there are upwards of 200 people. I never know who is going to show up!
Find out more about the Venice Light Parade on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VeniceElectricLightParade/.
2019-20 Los Angeles City Budget Highlights
The City Council approved a budget for the coming fiscal year on May 24, focusing strongly on core city services, public safety, protecting the environment, and combating homelessness. As a member of the council’s Budget & Finance Committee, Mike is proud to have shaped a fiscally responsible budget that addresses the needs of our neighborhoods and reflects our values.
“This is a strong budget that helps achieve my priorities of moving Los Angeles forward, doing good, and gettings done for our neighborhoods,” Mike said. “It reflects the restoration of city services that were cut during the recession -- while simultaneously investing in solving some of the great challenges facing Los Angeles.”
Highlights of the $10.6 billion budget, for the fiscal year starting July 1, include:
Streets upgrades, with $200 million invested in street improvement repairs, $150 million set aside for pavement preservation, $25 million dedicated to starting repairs on the most severely damaged streets in LA, and $3 million reserved for alley paving.
$42 million for sidewalk repair.
$27 million for new traffic signals and flashing pedestrian beacons.
More funding for full-time traffic control officers to ease congestion at gridlocked intersections.
An expansion of the city’s speed hump program, which Mike successfully revived in a previous budget process.
Additional money for tree-trimming.
Expansion of recreational programming including senior and youth recreation programs, and universal play facilities.
Restored funding for graffiti removal and community clean-ups.
Adds funding for cultural programming and facilities, including the citywide mural program.
Provides funding in the Fire Department for various programs including enhanced Basic Life Support ambulance service, fire inspections, youth development, and mental health assistance.
Funds provided for police overtime to cover expenses for special events, such as weekend crowd control at our beaches in CD11.
Adds funding in the Office of the City Attorney for neighborhood prosecutors.
Funding to protect and expand our urban forest -- $25 million in funding for the Urban Forestry Division of the Bureau of Street Services for tree planting, maintenance, and care, including a Chief Forest Officer to develop long-term and proactive care strategies for the City’s urban forest. $2 million dollars was also approved for a Citywide street tree inventory and the development of an urban forestry management plan.
The budget allocates additional funding for tree trimming, dedicates money to move forward with the city’s Urban Forestry Master Plan, as well as a tree inventory in our neighborhoods.
Funding for a new Climate Emergency Commission - a committee that will be tasked with determining LA’s highest priorities to combat climate change and mobilizing city departments to protect our neighborhoods from the changing climate.
Funding for the Office of Petroleum and Natural Gas Administration and Safety to support the office’s ongoing work and to better protect public safety near oil and gas wells in LA.
Resources to continue updating Community Plans in Westside communities.
Resources for the Planning Department to focus on affordable housing policies, including strengthening Mello Act protections for affordable housing in the coastal zone.
Funding for enforcement of new Short-Term Rental regulations.
Funding for a wildlife corridor study.
Record Level of Spending to Combat Homelessness
Programs and initiatives to combat and prevent homelessness were funded at $457 million - far more than LA has ever invested in combating homelessness before. This includes funding for permanent housing, safe parking sites, temporary housing (such as Bridge Home facilities), cleanups, and services and outreach to those experiencing homelessness.
A total of $281 million generated by Proposition HHH is also allocated in this budget, which will fund the creation of more than 2,000 units of affordable and/or Permanent Supportive Housing in 27 different projects throughout the city.
$2 million for additional services, including showers, toilets, and trash bins, in addition to funding more quick and nimble housing options like Shared Housing.
Mike also secured $1 million to increase the funding for the LA RISE program, which will allow job placement services to be located at Bridge to Home sites throughout the city.
Additional resources to help seniors experiencing homelessness.
A Budget with Heart
$3 million for an eviction prevention program to help prevent tenants from falling into homelessness.
The budget provides funding for the city’s Civil and Human Rights Commission, which will help expand protection people in LA from harassment and discrimination.
Funding for the Department of Cannabis Regulation’s Social Equity Program, which will provide assistance to the people most severely impacted by the war on drugs, so they will be able to benefit from legalized cannabis in LA.
A record $409 million - or 6.22% of the general fund - for our Reserve Fund, protecting the city's credit rating and making sure we are prepared for economic uncertainty.
$114 million for the budget stabilization fund, which is being funded at its highest level since the fund was created in 2011.
You can find out more about the 2019-20 budget at http://openbudget.lacity.org/#!/year/default.
Mandeville Canyon Emergency Preparedness Meeting and Evacuation Drill
On Sunday, May 19, first responders and emergency management agencies partnered with Mike’s office and residents of Mandeville Canyon for a large-scale wildfire evacuation drill and safety fair. Hundreds of households participated in a vital exercise that will help us better protect life and safety for neighbors in and around the long, winding canyon roads.
Los Angeles Fire Department, City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, Los Angeles Police Department and other participating agencies are now working to produce an after-action report, which they will share with local HOAs and residents, outlining lessons learned, strengths and vulnerabilities, and additional steps that need to be taken to improve protocols and procedures.
Thank you to everyone who participated and especially to the neighborhood associations that helped coordinate the effort. Special kudos to Teri Redman Kahn, the lead community organizer behind the effort, as well as to John Binder, Tracy Trivas, Kathleen Durbin, Larry Watts, Whitney Fried, Thomas Howard, and Michael Leslie for their input and assistance.
Signal Added at Culver/Slauson Intersection in Del Rey
We made progress on an important part of Mike’s Westside Fast Forward initiative this month, adding a new traffic signal to an intersection in Del Rey that will make it safer and easier for neighbors to get around the neighborhood.
On the morning of May 1, Mike and a handful of Del Rey neighbors celebrated the installation of a new traffic signal, curb ramps, and crosswalks at Culver Boulevard and Slauson Avenue in Del Rey.
The intersection has been the site of tragedy, and Mike was joined at the installation event by the family of Natalia Aguilar, who lost her life two years ago after a motorist hit her while she was crossing the street from the bus stop. Natalia’s daughter Norma flipped the switch to turn on the new signal - one of dozens of new signals Mike is having installed as part of his Westside Fast Forward initiative.
Thank you to LADOT Official, the Del Rey Neighborhood Council, Mar Vista Family Center, Los Angeles Walks and the neighbors who advocated for this signal and worked with Mike and his office to get it done for the neighborhood.
Venice Beach Detail Gets New ATVs in Time for Summer Beach Season
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Los Angeles Police Department officers began patrolling the beach with a new fleet of ATVs, electric fat-tire sand bikes and quads.
The new patrol vehicles for the Los Angeles Police Department's Venice Beach Task Force were purchased at the direction of Chief Michel Moore as a safer alternative to the department’s regular vehicles, which had run over and caused serious injuries to beachgoers in recent years. Mike worked with LAPD leaders and Mayor Garcetti’s office for years to secure the funding needed to purchase the new equipment and he is excited to see it in use as the summer beach season begins.
Hands Across the Sand
Volunteers flocked to Dockweiler Beach in Playa del Rey this month for a “Hands Across the Sand” beach cleanup day. The event, sponsored by the Surfrider Foundation Los Angeles and Surfrider South Bay Chapter included a cleanup, fun games, and educational activities for kids to enjoy, as well as a demonstration where neighbors joined hands along the shoreline to call for replacing all dirty and dangerous fossil fuels with 100% renewable energy.
Thank you to the Surfrider Foundation and Surfrider South Bay Chapter for hosting this great community event!
Living Room Chat in Westchester
Mike was happy to join neighbors in Westchester this month for a great living room chat focused on how we can reduce homelessness in LA. The evening conversation was hosted by Rachel Sunday, one of the founders of a nonprofit organization called “Power of a Shower,” which provides showers to people experiencing homelessness. Thank you, Rachel, for welcoming Mike and your neighbors into your home to have this important conversation about how we can confront the urgent crisis of homelessness on our streets.
Metro Bike Share Stations Installed
Metro Bike share stations are popping up all over the Westside and giving people more alternatives to move around the neighborhood more safely and conveniently.
Two new Metro Los Angeles Smart Bikeshare stations were installed in Mar Vista this month! Crews installed new Smart Bike stations at the Mar Vista Recreation Center (Woodbine Street and McGlaughlin Avenue) and at the corner Inglewood Boulevard and Braddock Drive, which will offer people more convenient options to get around the neighborhood! Expanding transit options for neighbors is the central focus of Mike’s #WestsideFastForward initiative and he is excited to see these new bike share stations installed.
Santa Monica Civic Association Meeting
Mike was welcomed by a great crowd at the annual meeting of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association this month, where he talked about public safety, emergency preparedness, and road repair.
Santa Monica Canyon is located within L. A. City and is bordered by the City of Santa Monica, the ocean, and Chautauqua Dr./Sunset Bl. SMCCA was incorporated in 1946 and is one of the oldest community organizations in the state, and Mike is happy to work with neighbors involved in SMCCA to move Los Angeles forward, do good, and get things done for our neighborhoods.
Vera Davis Center Improvements
Venice’s Vera Davis Mcclendon Youth and Family Center is finally being renovated!
Mike secured funds for the long-sought improvements, which include structural repairs, new windows, floors and carpeting, interior and exterior painting, a new kitchen, new lighting, HVAC, ADA-accessible restrooms, landscaping, and decorative fencing.
When renovations are complete this fall, the building, which was the original Venice library, will continue as a treasured community resource. It will be the home of the Latino Resource Organization, Inc. and the Helper Foundation.
LRO provides social services for families, youth and seniors, including access to Cal-Fresh, Covered California, immigration services, legal services and more. H.E.L.P.E.R. is a model at-risk youth service program that provides job training, gang intervention, youth development services and a lot more.
“I am More Than My Disability” at DCRC in Mar Vista
On May 17, the Disability Community Rights Center hosted an engaging event to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month at the DCRC headquarters in Mar Vista. Neighbors attending the “I am more than my Disability” event enjoyed an evening filled with live poetry and musical performances, as well as interactive self-esteem boosting activities. Thank you to the DCRC and MOA Wellness Center for organizing this meaningful and uplifting neighborhood event.
Meeting With Students in Del Rey
Mike had a great time talking with the students from Central High School at Mar Vista Gardens in Del Rey this month. Students in this class are organizers with Students Not Suspects, a campaign to keep kids safe and eliminate random searches on LAUSD campuses. After meeting with the students, Mike voiced his support for their effort to end random searches at LAUSD schools, which demoralize and humiliate students, and interfere with their education.
Thank you to the students from Central High School and all who are working to make the #StudentsNotSuspects effort to reform how we keep kids safe in school a reality.
Knowlton Street Upgrades in Westchester
A new stop sign and a fresh coat of paint are making a Westchester neighborhood safer for neighbors. Earlier this month, a crew from LADOT upgraded a stop sign at Knowlton Street and Kittyhawk Avenue in Westchester, also adding new red paint to a nearby curb to prevent parked cars from blocking visibility at the intersection.
These safety improvements came at the request of nearby neighbors and Mike’s staff was happy to help make sure this neighborhood safety upgrade happened quickly.
Thank you to the neighbors and the LADOT crew who helped Mike #GetThingsDone on the Westside!
Dirt Piles removed along Culver Boulevard
Unsightly and unsafe dirt piles along Culver Boulevard (north of Jefferson Boulevard in the Ballona Wetlands) in Playa del Rey were removed this month, thanks to the quick work of a crew from the Bureau of Sanitation. A series of large and illegally-dumped dirt piles were seeping into the road on Culver Boulevard, making it difficult for drivers to navigate around them, and Mike’s office worked with LA Sanitation to make sure the dirt piles were moved quickly. Thanks to LA Sanitation for pitching in to help keep our neighborhood roadways clean and safe!
Homelessness Townhall in West LA
Solving the homeless crisis in Los Angeles is an all hands on deck endeavor that begins with conversations to discuss solutions!
On May 21, the West LA Sawtelle Neighborhood Council held a community forum at the West LA Municipal Building for a conversation about the state of homelessness on the Westside. Representatives from Mike’s office, the Office of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, LAHSA, St. Joseph’s Center, and neighborhoods leaders participated in a panel discussion to answer questions from community members about the work being done to combat homelessness.
Thank you to everyone who attended this important and informational community conversation.
Westside Parent Neighborhood School Annual Springfest Fundraiser
The Westside Parent Neighborhood School (WPNS) hosted its annual Springfest fundraiser this month to raise money for the play-based learning center. Hundreds of students, teachers, and parents came out for the carnival in Playa Vista, where there were games, cake walks, face painting, a cookie decorating activity, and of course, lots of delicious food! Mike was thrilled to attend the community event and to present certificates of recognition to the event organizers, Katie Clarke, and Lonnie Foisett.
RUNWAY Groundbreaking in Playa Vista
Mike was excited to be part of a community groundbreaking celebration for a new pedestrian-only area at RUNWAY at Playa Vista this month!
Once complete, a 1,000-foot segment of Runway Road and part of Town Center Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic and will become walkable public space, including lots of outdoor seating, new common area amenities, landscaping, and other aesthetic improvements. RUNWAY is seeking to create a pedestrian environment that is safer for families and visitors to enjoy.
The project broke ground on May 9 and is expected to be completed by October.
Streets Repaved in Westchester
Mike is grateful to our partners at the Bureau of Street Services for their work resurfacing Saran Drive (from Manchester Avenue to Talbert Street) in Westchester this month.
Working together, we are making LA streets safe, mobile and sustainable. #gettingthingsdone
Fire Service Day in Pacific Palisades
The Los Angeles Fire Department celebrated “Fire Service Day” in LA this month, where local fire stations hosted open houses where neighbors could visit, take tours, and get to know more about the first responders who keep our communities safe. Mike was glad to spend part of the day at LAFD Station 69 in Pacific Palisades, where he helped announce that neighbor Bruce Schwartz was named Station 69’s Honorary Fire Chief for this 2019!
Thank you to the first responders who hosted fun and informational open houses throughout the Westside!
Oakwood Park Improvement Meetings in Venice
Exciting news - the Department of Recreation and Parks is getting ready to make improvements to Venice’s Oakwood Recreation Center, and they want to hear from you!
In late May, Rec and Parks staff kicked off a series of community meetings at the Oakwood Recreation Center (767 California Ave) to discuss potential improvements that could be made to the neighborhood park.
Additional meetings will be held on Thursday, June 20 and Wednesday, July 3. Neighbors are invited to stop by one of these upcoming meetings to share their vision for the future of this great neighborhood park.
Teacher EDDY Awards in Westchester
Mike was excited to join a room full of teachers and their friends and families on May 14 at the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce's annual Teacher Eddy Awards, celebrating teachers of the year from local schools and colleges. Mike was happy to be at the event to say thank you to all the amazing educators who have inspired students and changed lives.
The LAX Coastal Chamber also recognized some amazing education advocates at the event, including Michele Cooley-Strickland, Matthew Swanlund, and Stephanie Younger.
Kudos to the LAX Coastal Chamber Education Committee, especially Lori Sarlo, Gwen Vuchsas and Christina Davis, for their work putting together this great celebration of the people we rely on to educate future generations.
Chautauqua Repaved in Pacific Palisades
Heavily-used Chautauqua Boulevard, which connects downtown Pacific Palisades with the beach, PCH and Santa Monica Canyon, got repaved this month!
Thanks to the great crews from City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services for their quick and excellent work on this priority corridor for the community — and to the wonderful traffic control officers who kept things moving while the two-day project was underway. The repaving project was completed in a weekend to minimize the impact on commuters, and thanks to terrific coordination by our city departments, new lane markings were added to the newly paved streets just days after the repaving work was complete.
Thanks to the city crews helping to #GetThingsDone on the Westside!
Celebrating Teachers at the Wave Awards
Mike was happy to attend the 2019 Wave Awards in Venice on May 9.
The annual event is hosted by the Venice Chamber of Commerce’s Educational committee and honors some of the magnificent teachers who provide their students with opportunities to grow and thrive. Mike was thrilled to give opening remarks at the event and to personally voice his appreciation for the teachers and leaders who make Los Angeles a great place to live, work, and enjoy.
Congratulations to all of the deserving honorees, including Solange Kamgaing (Ecole Claire Fontaine), Sarah Galvan (Beethoven Elementary School), Ling Zhu (Broadway Elementary School), Casey Fichtner (Richland Avenue Elementary School), Eva Cervantes-Zapien (Short Avenue Elementary School), Ruben Gonzalez (Walgrove Elementary School), Jessica Dunn (Westminster Elementary School), Stacye Harvey (Mark Twain Middle School), Mary Ruth Greene (Venice High School), Stephen John Roth (Venice Skills Center), Shane Basye (Boys and Girls Club of Venice), Rachel Lash (Neighborhood Youth Association), Jacinto Astiazaran (Venice Arts), and Kendelle Milton (Venice Community Housing).
Cafe 50’s Celebrates 30 Years in West LA
Mike stopped by Cafe 50's this month to join neighbors as they celebrated 30 years in business for the fun and delicious diner in West LA! Whether it’s for breakfast or for burgers and milkshakes, the 50s-themed diner is a community favorite and Mike is grateful for the three decades of service the restaurant has given the West LA neighborhood.
Living Room Chat in Del Rey
Mike attended a great living room chat with neighbors in Del Rey this month, where he got to answer questions from neighbors about improving street safety and addressing the housing crisis in LA. Thank you to Del Rey residents Chelsea Lee Byers and Austin Cyr for opening their home for a lively discussion. Living room chats are a phenomenal way for Mike to hear directly from neighbors, and the participation of hosts and guests at each living room chat helps to make our neighborhoods better places to live, work, and enjoy!
Ocean View Street Resurfacing
An important neighborhood street in Mar Vista was resurfaced this month, thanks to a city crew from the Bureau of Street Service. The crew was out in Mar Vista to add a fresh coat of asphalt to Ocean View Avenue (between Palms Boulevard and Charnock Road), giving neighbors and their guests a smooth ride around the neighborhood. Thank you to the crews who help #GetThingsDone on the Westside!
Upper Riviera Homeowners Association Meeting
Mike joined neighbors in the Upper Riviera area of Pacific Palisades on May 7 for the annual meeting of the Upper Riviera Homeowners Association. Mike spoke to a full room about public safety and public works, the more than $60 million Mike has secured for first responders and emergency resources on the Westside over the past few years, which are helping the Los Angeles Fire Department keep people and property safe in our neighborhoods.
Special thanks to Moira Shourie and Rajath Shourie for hosting this great community meeting.
MOA Wellness Center's Children's Art Competition Comes to West LA Municipal Center
The MOA Wellness Center hosted its annual Children Arts Contest at the West LA Municipal building on May 29.
More than 20 children from elementary schools throughout the Westside participated in an “earth” themed art contest to celebrate and bring awareness to the importance of preserving and protecting our natural resources. Congratulations to the contest winners, Remy Watson from Beethoven ES (Kindergarten), Isabella Mia Eudave from Beethoven Elementary School (3rd grade), and Jasmine Luis from Short Elementary School (4th grade).
Thank you to Ron Kato for organizing this great event!
20th Annual Muscle Beach Memorial Day at Venice Beach
Monday was the 20th annual Muscle Beach Memorial Day competition! This is the first year that the competition added a wheelchair group to be more inclusive of people who are differently abled.
The following day, the City of LA began a complete renovation of the Muscle Beach gym and stage - all new equipment, new fences, new giant rolling doors, and mats are coming soon.
Congratulations to all who participated in the annual competition!
Miriam’s House Pre-Mother’s Day Brunch in Del Rey
Mike was glad to spend time this month with the incredible folks from Miriam's House — a wonderful home in Del Rey that provides recovery for women and a safe haven for their children.
Miriam’s House helps heal fractured families, making sure that women escaping addiction, homelessness, the criminal justice society or other trauma can rebuild their lives while maintaining and nurturing their families.
It was a privilege to join their 4th annual pre-Mother’s Day brunch, and honor Miriam's House Alumni of the Year - Jamie Marie Fox and Miriam's House Woman of the Year - Erica Fisher.
LAPD Hosts Open House at West LA Station
The Los Angeles Police Department is celebrating its 150th Birthday this month with special community open houses at police stations throughout Los Angeles. Neighbors in West LA got their chance to meet the women and men who keep LA safe and to learn more about LAPD's history at fun and engaging exhibits at the community open house held at the West LAPD Station on May 29. Thank you to the police officers who work with communities every day to make Los Angeles a great place to live, work and enjoy!
Senior Fraud Awareness Day
The City Council recognized Senior Fraud Awareness Day and Older Americans Month on May 15 with a special presentation hosted by Mike and his colleague Paul Koretz. At the presentation, Mike was happy to honor Adrienne Omansky and the Stop Senior Scams Acting Program - a troupe who helps inform their colleagues about scams with fun and information skits and performances.
Thank you, Adrienne and the troupe for your amazing, educational and inspirational work!
Herbalife Triathalon Coming to the Westside this Sunday
The Herbalife Triathlon is coming to Los Angeles this Sunday, June 2, and there will be a series of street closures throughout the city to make room for runners and cyclists as they journey from Venice, through the heart of Los Angeles, to the finish line downtown.
Please be advised that Venice Boulevard, from the beach to the 405 freeway will be closed in the early morning on Sunday, and is expected to be completely reopened by 9 am.
LADOT will open roads as quickly and as safely as possible.
Please click here to see the full list of street closure locations.
Venice Bridge Housing Update: PATH to Operate Facility, Judge Denies Attempt to Block Construction
Mike was excited to announce this month that the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has selected People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) to manage and operate the bridge housing facility set to open in Venice this summer.
PATH - Making it Home, one of the nation’s most successful and respected homeless service providers, will be the lead operator of the site and will work with the Venice-based Safe Place for Youth (S.P.Y), which will also provide services at the temporary facility, which will provide 100 beds for adults and 54 beds for youth.
Mike is thrilled to be moving forward with such an excellent team. PATH and SPY are highly regarded service providers with a history of success, years of experience in the community, and a great track record of working with neighbors. I am confident they will make Bridge Home Venice a success.
Find out more at https://11thdistrict.com/news/path-to-operate-bridge-housing-in-venice/.
In other news regarding the bridge housing site in Venice, this month, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge denied a request for an injunction that would have halted the planned bridge housing in Venice.
The decision allows the temporary housing facility to move forward with construction, and Mike looks forward to this project joining the other bridge housing projects throughout Los Angeles and in his district — bridge housing for homeless veterans in Brentwood (which is under construction), and bridge housing for homeless youth in Mar Vista (which opened earlier this year).
Homeless Counts Show Rising Populations of Unhosed Neighbors Statewide
According to the most recent point-in-time counts of homeless people throughout California, homelessness is up 17% in San Francisco, 31% in Santa Clara County, 43% in Alameda County and Orange County, and 64% in Kern County. The Los Angeles County numbers will be released later today. While we have a natural and understandable tendency to view homelessness through the prism of our own neighborhoods, this is not just a Westside issue or a City of LA issue - the numbers from around California show that this is a state and national crisis.
You can find out more about the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority 2019 Count Results when they are released at https://www.lahsa.org/homeless-count/.
VNC Votes to Support Thatcher Yard Project
Thanks to Venice neighbors, we’re one step closer to getting more people off of the street and into homes!
On May 21, the Venice Neighborhood Council voted in favor of 98 units of homeless and affordable housing at the city-owned former maintenance yard on Thatcher Avenue in the Oxford Triangle! The Thomas Safran and Associates housing project will be family and senior-focused and will provide supportive services for those that live in the housing development.
This is a huge win for the Venice community. BIG thanks to VNC, to Oxford Triangle neighbors, and to everyone who voiced support.
What is LA (and Neighborhoods on the Westside) Doing to End Homelessness?
Homelessness is a complex, nationwide crisis, and Los Angeles is tackling it. Click here to find out more about the wide variety of solutions LA is using to help end the crisis in our neighborhoods in the informational video.
You can also learn more about the variety of solutions being offered in neighborhoods throughout the Westside in this video.
Updated App Makes LAnow Shuttle Service Even Easier to Use
The Westside’s new on-demand shuttle service is getting even easier to use. On May 24, LADOT unveiled a package of upgrades to the LAnow app to make the service more convenient and enjoyable for riders.
Thanks to the update, the LAnow service area now includes hundreds of pick up/drop off locations that the app will intuitively select as the nearest and best pickup/drop off point, based on the rider’s origin and destination address. Riders will now receive a text message when their driver arrives for more seamless service experience. Additionally, the LAnow coverage area has been expanded to the tip of Del Rey, adding service for hundreds of employees, as well as to local restaurants and shops.
Westside Fast Forward: VA/Purple Line Station Community Engagement Events
The subway is finally coming to the Westside!
This month, the Metro Board of Directors approved the last major contract needed to build the Purple Line subway extension to the Westside, a significant step for the region’s most anticipated rail project in a generation.
The VA Purple Line extension is one of the mass transit projects being championed by Mike’s Westside Fast Forward initiative, and it will bring fast, reliable transit to the VA Hospital, Brentwood, and West LA.
Next month, LA Metro will be on site at the Brentwood and West LA Farmers Market to engage with neighbors about opportunities for improving how people get to and from the future Westwood/VA Station. See details for the upcoming events, below. Please drop by the Metro booth while you shop to provide input on your ideas for improving how people can reach the future train station.
West LA Farmers Market
1633 Purdue Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Sunday, June 9th
9:00 am -2:00 pm
Brentwood Farmers Market
741 S Gretna Green Way, Brentwood, California 90049
Sunday, June 16, 2019
8:00 am-2:00 pm
To find out more information about the VA Purple line extension, please visit https://www.metro.net/projects/westside/.
LAnow Offering FREE Rides to Westside Neighborhood Council Elections
Neighbors in Mar Vista, Del Rey and Venice will have a free way to get to the polls for neighborhood council elections on June 2.
This Sunday, LAnow, the on-demand shuttle service on the Westside will offer free rides to Neighborhood Council elections in Del Rey, Venice, and Mar Vista. From 9:30 AM- 6:00 PM, neighbors can use the LAnow app and input the promotion code VOTELANOW to receive a free ride to the neighborhood council voting sites.
Westside Fast Forward: New Traffic Signals Coming Soon
Mike’s Westside Fast Forward initiative is a package of neighborhood traffic improvements and mass transit system upgrades designed to expand the options people have to get around their neighborhoods and to reduce traffic congestion in Los Angeles.
As part of his Westside Fast Forward initiative, Mike is excited to announce that LADOT will be installing three new traffic signals next month in West LA, Venice, and in Del Rey. The new signals will make it safer and easier for neighbors to get around their neighborhood.
To find out more about the WestsideFastForward, visit http://11thdistrict.com/westsidefastforward.
NextGen Bus Study Update
We are reimagining how the bus system works in LA.
LA Metro’s Next Gen Bus Study is a comprehensive outreach engagement project to get input on LA’s bus system and to propose ways the system can be more relevant to how people use it today.
So far, Metro has hosted 20 NextGen public workshops throughout Los Angeles with nearly 1,000 participants offering valuable feedback about the future of the bus system. The workshops have revealed common themes in input received from neighbors, including, equity-related considerations, connectivity to other transit, route scheduling, and safety and security.
The Draft Bus Service Plan is slated to be released in late summer/early fall of this year, and the draft document will propose updated bus routes and schedule options based on the feedback received at community events. For more information about the NextGen Bus Study, please visit https://www.metro.net/projects/nextgen/.
Mike Works to Expand Ban of Monsanto’s Roundup
Monsanto's Roundup is a dangerous herbicide that the World Health Organization's International Agency for the Research on Cancer deems a probable cancer-causing carcinogen.
A few years ago, Mike worked with neighbors to win a victory for public health by getting the city's Recreation and Parks Department to voluntarily agree not to use Roundup near playgrounds, dog parks or recreation areas. Now, Mike is seeking to go further to protect public health.
This month, Mike proposed legislation that would formally and completely prohibit the use of Roundup at all city parks and facilities. We cannot allow these dangerous chemicals from jeopardizing the health and safety of people in our neighborhoods, and I appreciate the partnership of Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino in introducing this important legislation.
Mike Asks Governor Newsom for Action to Protect Playa del Rey from Gas Storage Field Disaster
Mike sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom this month, strongly urging the State of California to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of halting operations at Southern California Gas Company’s Playa del Rey gas storage facility.
The facility operates directly adjacent to Mike's constituents’ homes and businesses in Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Del Rey, and Westchester. In recent years, residents have expressed concerns to the city about odors, oily mist, oil field rigs and equipment left idle at sites for long periods of time, a lack of information on operations, possibly unpermitted well maintenance activities, and hillside soil erosion. As recently as January of this year, we have had multiple incidents related to this facility including a 10-minute geyser of sediment and natural gas that was released when a capped well was disturbed during construction activities in Marina del Rey.
In early 2018, the California Council on Science & Technology (CCST) called on the State of California to initiate a cost-benefit analysis on the feasibility of long-term natural gas storage in California. That report further warned that the Playa del Rey facility is of particular concern - more so than even Aliso Canyon - to the health and safety of populations surrounding the site. Further, CCST stated that the Playa del Rey facility does not store or withdraw a significant amount of gas - providing only 1% of the total across California.
The recommendation from the Council on Science and Technology is clear - the State should commission a cost-benefit analysis including full consideration of risks associated with loss-of-containment from this facility. In his May 14 letter, Mike asked for Governor Newsom's support for the cost-benefit analysis to be launched as soon as possible.
LADWP Launches Shared Solar Program
Recognizing that a large segment of the city’s population is unable to benefit from solar power, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power launched a new community solar program this month that is designed to improve solar equity for renters and to expand geographic diversity of solar projects in Los Angeles.
The program will bring the economic and environmental benefits of this clean sustainable resource to customers who live in multifamily buildings and cannot participate in traditional solar programs. To broaden the geographic equity of local solar projects, the solar power will come in part from new projects built by LADWP in areas identified as having a lack of installed solar. These include economically disadvantaged communities as well as those designated by the city as “Clean Up Green Up” neighborhoods—Pacoima-Sun Valley in the East San Fernando Valley, Boyle Heights near downtown, and Wilmington in the Harbor area.
Shared Solar is part of LADWP’s umbrella of Community Solar Programs. LADWP launched the first Community Solar Program in February 2017—the pilot Solar Rooftop Program (SRP)—which also prioritizes customers who reside in areas of low solar penetration. Under this program, customers receive a fixed payment from LADWP to lease their roof space for a solar system that LADWP installs at no cost to the homeowner. Participating customers receive an annual $360 check for the year for 20 years. Currently, 43 homes have been approved for the Solar Rooftop Program, representing about a total of 110 kilowatts of new clean solar energy for customers who couldn’t install solar on their own. LADWP is also developing a pilot Virtual Net Energy Metering Program (VNEM) as part of community solar. A VNEM program enables customers in multifamily housing to receive a credit on their bill for solar that is installed on their building.
Find out more about the Shared Solar Program on LADWP's website here.
LAX Moves Forward with Modernization After Agreement with Airport Neighbors
This month Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) announced that it's moving forward with the Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project (ATMP), which will modernize airport terminals, remove the noisy remote gates that currently impact neighbors in Playa del Rey, improve safety on the LAX North Runways without expanding them or moving them closer to homes in the surrounding neighborhoods, and put in place new transportation infrastructure to help reduce traffic and congestion in and around the airport. This project is made possible through a groundbreaking agreement that Mike brokered in 2016 between LAX officials and the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (ARSAC), representatives of neighbors in Westchester and Playa Del Rey, that stopped LAX expansion and ended a decade of contention and litigation to pave the way for finally modernizing the airport.
As part of that agreement, LAWA has also moved forward on other projects that are great for the neighborhood, such as finally connecting the Metro train to LAX via an Automated People Mover, building a Consolidated Rental Car Center that will reduce traffic and pollution caused by rental car shuttles, and a community-developed plan for the 340-acres of empty space north of LAX that will include ball fields, athletic facilities, a dog park, neighborhood-serving retail, passive green space, and office space.
Mike also submitted comments to the ATMP Notice of Preparation, supporting community requests for even more improvements to the roadway systems that will help to further reduce traffic and gridlock in and around LAX.
For more information on the LAX Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project, please visit https://www.lawa.org/atmp.
Action Taken to Address Aircraft Noise in the Palisades
This month the LAX Community Noise Roundtable took action to address the excessive airplane noise in the Palisades coming from a flight path located off of the Pacific Coast.
The committee, which was formed to explore ways to reduce aircraft noise, sent a formal letter to the Federal Aviation Administration asking that the flight path causing excessive noise in Pacific Palisades be moved slightly southwest in an effort to limit aircraft noise exposure to residents living in coastal communities. Importantly, the committee’s request would NOT shift the noise to another neighborhood, but instead identifies a solution that will benefit the entire Westside.
Thanks to the LAX Community Noise Roundtable for your work to keep our communities safe and free of excessive noise.
Standing Up for Affordable Housing in Venice
Mike took a stand with neighbors in Venice and with affordable housing activists throughout Los Angeles this month, as he opposed an attempt by the owner of the Ellison Apartments in Venice to convert rent-controlled apartments into a hotel.
For years, tenants of the Ellison have waged a battle with a property owner who has tried to force them out of their homes while he attempted to operate the building as an unregulated, unlicensed hotel. The City stood with residents and to combat those efforts. The owner then sought permission to legally convert the building into a hotel, and the Zoning Administrator said no. Undaunted, the owner then appealed that decision to the West LA Area Planning Commission. Mike strongly urged the commission to oppose this appeal and to stand with residents and support affordable rental housing in Venice, and on May 15, the commission did just that.
After hearing testimony from neighbors, the West LA Area Planning Commission unanimously denied an appeal that would have allowed the owner of the Ellison Apartments to convert rent-controlled apartments into a hotel.
Thank you to the neighbors and affordable housing activists who showed up to the hearing to ask the commission to save this vital affordable housing in Venice. This is a big win for the neighborhood.
Community Plan Update Meetings Scheduled
The Westside Planning Team has been collecting input from community stakeholders since the summer of 2018. After reviewing and synthesizing this information, the planning team is now ready to report back on what they’ve heard from our communities.
What do you love about your neighborhood? What needs improvement? What are your neighborhood's housing and transportation and open space needs? What types of stores and services are missing?
Those are the types of questions our city planners have been asking as they update our community plans, which guides planning and development in our neighborhoods.
During the upcoming summer, the team will be hosting a series of Community Workshops, which will include one workshop within each of the four community plan areas. Please note that information shared at each meeting will be specific to that community plan area.
At each workshop, the team will report on what they’ve heard so far, and hopes to receive additional feedback and ideas, and is inviting all neighbors and stakeholders to attend the workshop that takes place within their respective community plan area. The format will be open house style so feel free to stop by anytime throughout the meeting. You can find the date and location of each workshop below.
Tuesday, June 18; 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Henry Medina Parking Enforcement Facility
11214 West Exposition Boulevard
Mar Vista/Del Rey/Palms
Saturday, June 22; 10 am - 12 pm
Windward School Gym
11350 Palms Boulevard
Westchester/Playa del Rey
Monday, June 24; 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Westchester Senior Center
8740 Lincoln Boulevard
Wednesday, July 10; 7 pm - 9 pm
Mark Twain Middle School Cafeteria
2224 Walgrove Avenue
Protecting Affordable Housing in the Coastal Zone
It’s time to put some real teeth in city rules that are supposed to protect affordable housing in the coastal zone.
Mike is working with affordable housing activists to close gaping loopholes in the city’s implementation of a state law called the Mello Act, which is supposed to protect and promote affordable housing near the coast, and this month, Mike testified before our planning committee on behalf of a motion directing city departments to tighten the rules that protect existing affordable housing, and add provisions to create even more.
Enacting a permanent and tough Mello Act ordinance in LA will protect affordable housing where it is desperately needed, and Mike is eager for his legislation to advance so the ordinance can finally and formally be adopted by the city.
Tourism Master Plan Survey
Los Angeles is home to hundreds of world-renowned destination sites for tourists and locals to enjoy and the city’s Department of Convention and Tourism is conducting a survey to better understand the community experience and identify how we can protect, improve, and enhance tourism opportunities in LA.
This survey is a great opportunity for residents to help LA improve its tourist experience while creating more viable economic opportunities for those living in the city. Please complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LATMPCSE.
“Right to Counsel” Motion Advances
Los Angeles is taking steps to protect renters from rogue landlords.
This month, the Housing Committee approved a motion Mike introduced with Councilmember Paul Koretz to create a “right to counsel” ordinance that would give tenants access to information and representation when faced with landlord harassment, evictions, and other tenant-related issues.
The motion specifically directs the Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) to develop recommendations for a program that will address unfair tenant/landlord relations and a report back to the City Council within 120 days. A similar law was approved by voters in San Francisco in June, and if approved in LA, it could help renters legally fight back against unfair treatment by landlords, and help Los Angeles maintain the affordable housing stock the city so desperately needs.
Try Out the New LA City Council Comment Portal
We are making it easier to share your opinions about city issues - without needing to come downtown.
This month, the City Clerk’s office launched a new online Council Comment Portal, which allows people to submit official public comments about proposed city legislation through a website, instead of having to attend meetings.
This is a great tool to engage more neighbors in local government, and Mike is excited that we can offer more ways for people to be heard.
Find out more details about the Clerk’s new Council Comment portal at https://cityclerk.lacity.org/publiccomment/.
Tens of Thousands of Children Risk Eviction Under New Federal Housing Policy
Tens of thousands of children - many here in Los Angeles - could be heartlessly evicted from public housing under a new policy proposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Under the rule proposed this month, support would be cut off for 25,000 families who now receive public aid and are of "mixed" status (which means that at least one member of the family is undocumented while the others are citizens or legal residents). These families already pay higher rents to account for their mixed status, and thousands of families in Los Angeles would be forced out of their homes if this rule moves forward.
Mike proposed legislation with his colleagues Nury Martinez and Gilbert Cedillo to have the City of Los Angeles formally oppose this harmful and heartless HUD policy. Los Angeles cannot stand idly by as the federal government finds more and more ways to divide families, harm children, demonize immigrants and increase homelessness.
Developer Donation Ban Advanced by City Council
The City Council advanced a campaign finance reform measure this month that seeks to ban campaign contributions from developers proposing projects in Los Angeles. Mike, along with his colleagues Nury Martinez, Paul Krekorian, Paul Koretz, Joe Buscaino and David Ryu introduced the legislation in January, and after a lengthy discussion on May 22, the council voted to have the city attorney draft ordinances for the council to consider.
Though Mike believes a more comprehensive solution to campaign finance issues in Los Angeles is a full clean money public financing program, he is encouraged by this important step toward election reform in LA.
Arianne Garcia Named District Director and Deputy Chief of Staff
Mike is excited to announce the hiring of Arianne Garcia as his new District Director and a co-Deputy Chief of Staff.
Arianne's experience will allow her to guide the district staff in a way that engages neighbors and empowers communities to participate with local government. Adrinne's career has been dedicated to organizing and lifting up those who need and voice, and she has served as the District Director for State Assemblywoman Christina Garcia as well as a political consultant. Prior to joining Mike’s office, Arianne led City Controller Ron Galperin's External Affairs Department, which she built from the ground up to improve how the Controller's office connects with constituents. Her political, organizing, communications, and management experience will help Mike connect with and engage neighborhoods on the Westside and we're very excited to have her on board.
Elaina Houser Joins Team Bonin as Legislative Director
This month, Mike was happy to announce that Elaina Houser has joined the Council District 11 team as Mike’s new Legislative Director.
Elaina comes to the Westside from Washington, DC, where she served as the Legislative Director for Congressman Bill Pascrell and staffed him on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. She previously worked for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Senator Al Franken. Elaina also has campaign experience, having served as the North-Central Ohio Regional “Get Out the Vote” Lead for the campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012, and more recently helped out with GOTV Operations for Representative Katie Hill’s 2016 campaign for Congress. Elaina graduated from American University, with a degree in Communications, Law, Economics, and Government.
Jason Douglas Hired as Planning Deputy
Mike added another new member to his team this month, hiring Jason Douglas to serve as Planning Deputy. Jason will work alongside Mike, Mike’s Senior Planner Len Nguyen, and neighbors on the Westside to put neighborhoods first in the planning process and ensure communities have a say in how they grow into the future.
Prior to joining Mike's team as a Senior Planning Deputy, Jason Douglas served as a planner for the Department of City Planning and a school facilities planning consultant with PlaceWorks, Inc. His volunteer record ranges from community capacity building, youth development, to English language learning. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California with a Dual Master's Degree in Planning and Public Policy with a focus on Sustainable Development. His current passions center on Environmental Justice, Sustainability, and Resiliency as it relates to urban planning and land use policy. When not working on the Westside, Jason is an avid explorer, music enthusiast, and is always searching for the perfect cup of coffee!
Check out just some of the exciting events happening on the Westside in the next month.
- NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL ELECTIONS
- Sunday, June 2 (click a link below to find out more about your local election)
- LAFD Station 62 Open House
- Saturday, June 2
- Fire Station 62
- 11970 W. Venice Boulevard, Mar Vista, CA. 90066
- Mar Vista Gardens Community Day
- Saturday, June 8, 2019, 10 AM - 6 PM
- Mar Vista Gardens
- 11965 Allin St, Culver City, CA 90230
- Health, Wellness, and Safety Fair
- Saturday, June 8, 9 AM- 1 PM
- Pacific Division
- 12312 Culver Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
- Westchester Playa Neighborhood Council's Senior Health and Wellness Fair
- Saturday, June 8,
- Westchester Senior Center
- 8740 Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90045
- The Brentwood Run/ Block Party
- Sunday, June 9, 2019, 7:30 AM- 2:00 PM
- San Vicente Boulevard and Barrington Avenue
- Brentwood, CA. 94513
- Wilshire Subway Information Booth at the West LA Farmers Market
- 1633 Purdue Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025
- Sunday, June 9; 9:00 am -2:00 pm
- Darkoski Presents Tessellate Opening Reception
- Runway Playa Vista
- Saturday, June 15, 2019, 6-10PM
- Wilshire Subway Information Booth at the Brentwood Farmers Market
- 741 S Gretna Green Way, Brentwood, California 90049
- Sunday, June 16, 2019; 8:00 am-2:00 pm
- Kentwood Players presents PIPPIN
- May 17- June 22, 2019 (various times)
- Westchester Playhouse
- 8301 Hindry Ave. Los Angeles, CA. 90045
- West LA Community Plan Update Meeting
- Tuesday, June 18; 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
- Henry Medina Parking Enforcement Facility
- 11214 West Exposition Boulevard
- Mar Vista/Del Rey/Palms Community Plan Update Meetin
- Saturday, June 22; 10 am - 12 pm
- Windward School Gym
- 11350 Palms Boulevard
- Westchester/Playa del Rey Community Plan Update Meetin
- Monday, June 24; 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
- Westchester Senior Center
- 8740 Lincoln Boulevard
- LA Sanitation Open House
- Saturday, June 29,2019, 9 AM - 1:30 PM
- Stoner Avenue Elementary School
- 11735 Braddock Dr. Culver City, CA 90230
Time to Vote! Election Day Coming Soon
An important school funding measure will be decided on Tuesday, June 4. Neighbors from throughout Los Angeles will be asked to vote on a parcel tax that would provide funding to “retain/attract quality teachers; reduce class sizes; provide counseling/nursing/library services, arts, music, science, math, preschool, vocational/career education, safe/well-maintained schools, adequate instructional materials/supplies; and support disadvantaged/homeless students.” Measure EE would levy a $0.16 per square foot tax on building improvements for the next 12 years and would provide exemptions to paying the tax for seniors and people with certain disabilities.
You can find your polling place and more election information at https://lavote.net/locator.