Santa Monica Airport
Last week Bill joined Rep. Jane Harman and Marty Rubin with Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution on a walking tour of Mar Vista at the outskirts of Santa Monica Airport. The Councilman and Congresswoman met with neighbors to hear their concerns about Santa Monica Airport and talked about local, state, and federal efforts to deal with the problem.
I was a real eye-opener to witness firsthand how often the big business jets fly in and hear the jets as they blasted their engines at the end of the runway before takeoffs.
The Councilman and Congresswoman talked about Assemblyman Ted Lieu's bill, AB 2501, which would require Santa Monica Airport to monitor the taxi and idle times of jets and planes flying out of the airport. This bill would help provide the needed data to determine the air quality impact of such idling.
I think the neighbors who came out for the tour were very appreciative of Bill and Jane's visit. Many of them said they were glad to finally see coordination at the local, state, and federal level to address their concerns about Santa Monica Airport
-Len NguyenField Deputy (Mar Vista, Palms, West LA)
Since taking office, I have held eight "Town Hall" meetings on specific issues, such as crime, vending on Venice Beach, noise and air pollution from Santa Monica airport, and other topics.
These meetings are a hallmark of my governing style: bring everyone in room, have an honest and transparent discussion, seek as much consensus as possible, and then make a fair decision.
We did that again this week in Del Rey. Rumors had been flying around the neighborhood for weeks over different ideas to improve service and facilities at Culver-Slauson Park. Much of the information was false, and many in the community were concerned. We held a meeting at Marina del Rey Middle School. The community turned out in force. City officials were present to present accurate information. All sides were heard.
The result is this: Recreation & Parks has identified funding to improve and expand facilities at the park; I have committed to fight for more money for youth programs in this year's budget; Recreation & Parks will continue to manage Culver-Slauson Park.
Additionally, Recreation & Parks and my office will form a Culver-Slauson Park Advisory Board. It will include representatives of the all segments of the community: park neighbors, community activists, parents, coaches, the Del Rey Neighborhood Council, and representatives of the Mar Vista Family Center. Going forward, we will find ways for everyone to work together and put our children first.
This week, LA Weekly
devotes a serious chunk of newsprint to profiling more than 100 "LA People.
" They spotlight people throughout the region, focusing on all walks of life: cops, politicians, artists, surfers, bakers, labor leaders, museum curators, filmmakers, and gang intervention specialists.
I'm happy to report that they profiled Bill
, in a very flattering article that can be read here
. He is among distinguished company, including Mayor Villaraigosa
, Police Chief Bratton
, Robin Kramer
(the mayor's chief of staff), Cecilia Estolano
(the new head of the CRA), Gail Goldberg
(the new head of the Department of Planning), Karen Sisson
, (the mayor's budget director), world-reknowned muralist Judy Baca
(a Venice resident and creative director of SPARC
), LA Times columnist Steve Lopez
, KTLA's Hal Fishman
, labor leader Julie Butcher
, and actor/surfer John Philbin
(he's a friend of mine, so please forgive the plug).-Mike Bonin, Chief of Staff
Public Hearings on Proposed DWP Rate Hike
Last fall, the City Council selected the Barrington Wellesley Group, Inc. (BWG) to perform an independent audit of the Department of Water and Power’s (DWP) revenue requirements. According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City’s neighborhood councils and DWP, an independent revenue requirements audit must be conducted before DWP can raise rates.
This Saturday, April 22, 2006, BWG will present the findings of their revenue requirements audit to the public. Additionally, DWP will present their proposed water and power rate actions. This presentation will be followed by an open question and answer period.
The details are:
When: 1:30pm, Saturday, April 22
Where: John Ferraro Building
111 N. Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA
I encourage you to attend this meeting in order to receive the most up-to-date information regarding this matter.
Today, I asked the City Council to adjourn in memory of 20 year-old Felipe D. Sandoval-Flores, a Marine Corps lance corporal from our city who died April 2 when a 7-ton truck he was were in overturned in a flash flood near Al Asad, west of Baghdad. He was assigned to the 1st Marine Logistics Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, at Camp Pendleton.
As a veteran of the United States Army during the Vietnam era sensitive to the fact that this war is killing and maiming tens of thousands of our sisters and brothers, I intend to ask my colleagues to convene in the memory of one of our fallen heroes every time a son or daughter of Los Angeles County falls in the line of duty.
My thoughts and prayers are today with the family and friends of young Felipe D. Sandoval-Flores.
THANK YOU, ROCKY
Let me send out a big "Thank You" to City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and his staff for their support in the Lincoln Place mediations, which begin later this week.
The City Attorney's office has been a great help in preparing for the negotiations. The mediator, Peter Robinson of the highly regarded Straus Institute for Conflict Resolution, does not come cheap. With all parties agreeing to divide the cost, someone in the City government needed to step up to the plate and foot the City's share of the tab. Rocky's office was quick to do so, and we are all very grateful.
Lincoln Place Update
Some very positive news to report: Lincoln Place mediations are on track.
A few weeks, ago, Bill announced that Peter Robinson of the Straus Institute for Conflict Resolution at Pepperdine had agreed to convene the mediations and help bring tenants, owners and other parties back to the table and choose a mediator. Well, Robinson did such a great job that everyone drafted him into service to be the actual mediator.
The official mediations will begin at the end of next week. At the table will be representatives of: the Lincoln Place Tenants Association; AIMCO, the owners of the property; various preservationist groups; the Venice Community Coalition; the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council; the Venice Community Housing Corporation; and the City of Los Angeles.
Bill's objective in the mediations is to find a way to stop any more evictions, bring back the tenants evicted in December, and protect the community's interests and the community's right to an open, public process for any proposed future developments on the site.
-Mike Bonin, Chief of Staff
Doing Our Part
As the following article from the Lookout News states, reaction to my insistence that the Westside share its burden of the responsibility for solving the problem of homelessness has been swift. But I am firm on this issue. This is the moral test of our time. We cannot allow human beings to sleep in the streets, to suffer alone, to live in the cold shadows of a neglectful society. We must all do our part. I will continue to exercise leadership on this issue.Lookout News: Officials Launch Campaign to End Homelessness
April 7 -- If an ambitious 10-year plan to end homelessness in Los Angeles County is to succeed, Angelenos must stop being NIMBYs and government officials must roll up their sleeves and get to work.
To read the full article, click here.
More on Homelessness
While we don't want this blog to focus just on a single issue, this morning's LA Times reports on another important development in the fight to combat homelessness:"Los Angeles County officials are trying to determine whether any of 14 small drop-in centers for homeless people can be converted to the five regional facilities being established as the county attempts to move services for transients out of downtown."The facilities are in communities across Los Angeles County, including Pasadena, Long Beach, North Hollywood, El Monte, Santa Monica, Venice, West Covina and Glendale. While the use of existing centers might be more politically palatable to local communities, officials acknowledged that the facilities would have to be dramatically expanded to house both shelter beds and a variety of social services."
For the rest of the story, click here:
Solving the Crisis of Homelessness
I have said many times that one of our greatest moral tests is how we address the crisis of homelessness in our city. I am glad that we are finally beginning to see some progress.
There are between 80,000 and 90,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County, more than a third of them chronically homeless.
This morning, the Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan
to spend $100 million to create five centers across the county that will provide temporary shelter and social services for homeless people. I applaud county officials for taking this action. It is a bold, positive and encouraging move.
Finding locations for such centers will be difficult. But I am committed to working with the County and with communities to locate these centers. Homelessness has many faces and requires many solutions, but certainly one solution is the construction of permanent housing with supportive social services.
We will report more progress on homelessness tomorrow. At 10:30 a.m., I will be at the Midnight Mission with a number of colleagues and homeless service providers as Bring LA. Home
launches its 10-year campaign to end homelessness in Los Angeles. We'll have more on the press conference and the campaign to end homelessness on this website.
Welcome to my new website!
When I ran for City Council, I promised a new era of open, accessible, responsive government. Through my Constituent Bill of Rights
and my weekly office hours
, I have tried to make that promise real. Today, we start to fulfill that promise online as well. I am proud to unveil a new, user-friendly and interactive website.
Since I took office July 1, we have had a basic shell of a website. Our new website has a whole lot more:Hot Topics
We are going to keep this webpage fresh and lively, with constantly updated information and content. Located at the top of my home page, this section will link you to the latest news from District 11 or the City of Los Angeles.Blog
I am leaping into the 21st Century with a web log (blog, for short). A popular form of internet communication, this online journal will allow me to share with you my views on the issues that come before the council or my various committees, allow me to share with you an interesting article I read, link you to an important document, or tell you about something or someone exciting in the 11th District. I won't be the only blogger on the site, though. Members of my council staff
will occasionally post items of interest, sharing with you the projects and issues they work on.Empowerment Congress Info
The 11th District Empowerment Congress
is coming! Since I was a candidate, I wanted to form a representative assembly of my constituents to help me think about and lobby on certain issues. Applications
are available to join the Empowerment Congress.Service Request Forms
You can now use our website to request help
getting a pothole filled, getting your tree trimmed, or getting other key city services.Resources
We now have an extensive online guide
that gives you contact information for services offered by the City of Los Angeles and other agencies. We also have a Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ) section, giving you information and tips of how to navigate the bureaucracy and get city services.Library
Our online library
, which is still under construction, will include archives of all my motions, resolutions, important letters, speeches, and news clips.LA CityView
You can now watch Channel 35 online, through a portal on our website. You'll be able to watch council and commission meetings from anywhere you have a high-speed connection.Virtual Town Hall
One of my goals is to always make sure more and more people are drawn into the process. Since taking office, I have held numerous Town Hall forums on various issues throughout the district. You can look forward to many more. At the same time, we are going to start using "Virtual Town Hall
", a new technology that allows people with conflicting opinions to engage in discussion in a lively online forum. For instance, when a controversial issue, such as inclusionary zoning or DWP rate hikes, comes before the council, we will open a Virtual Town Hall and allow everyone to weigh in with their views.Issues
We have updated and expanded the "Issues
" section of our website, giving you a detailed look at my agenda and accomplishments since taking office.Managed Subscriptions
While I am constantly complimented on our email blasts, we always look to do better. Now, we offer a subscription management tool
, allowing you to choose which type of news you want to get from me. Interested in just planning or transportation news? Just public safety news? Or do you want to hear about everything? You can choose.And a lot more...
We have more in store for the website in the coming weeks and months, too. I hope you find the new site helpful and useful. If you encounter any problems, find any broken links, or have any suggestions for improvements or new features, please email Safiya Jones, my communications deputy, at firstname.lastname@example.org