Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 08, 2017 at 4:10 PM
Even before the launch of Neighborhoods FIRST throughout Council District 12, my office was looking for innovative ways to address the City's homelessness crisis. Last year, we launched a pilot project called "Clean Streets, Clean Starts" which was based on a simple idea to help individuals experiencing homelessness by involving them in the maintenance and improvement of our communities.
The first iteration of the program was comprised of 14 individuals who we enlisted to participate in community clean-ups while connecting them with job training, counseling, and other social support services. The results were life changing for the individuals involved and game changing for the City's fight against homelessness. Of the ten individuals who completed the program, five individuals achieved sobriety and all received job offers and housing.
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 08, 2017 at 4:08 PM
This week, the Los Angeles City Council finalized and passed an ordinanceregulating the production and distribution of marijuana for recreational use which was approved by voters last year.
With the full City Council collaborating on this legislation, my main goal was to ensure that it did not create a situation in which cannabis retailers or manufacturers could proliferate to the point that they take over commercial areas and change the character of neighborhoods.
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 08, 2017 at 4:06 PM
During a week when fire fighters and first responders from Los Angeles and beyond have been working non-stop to protect lives and property against the Skirball, Creek, Rye, and Thomas fires, it was only fitting that City Council recognize Karen Wagener. It was my honor to join my colleague Councilmember David Ryu and Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas in welcoming Karen to Council and celebrating her incredible career. She has devoted decades to supporting first responders through her work with the LAFD Foundation which is the major source of private support for LAFD providing funding for equipment, training, youth programs, and other services.
Karen served as the President of the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation since 2010. She also served as President of the Los Angeles Police Foundation for nine years developing that organization from a start-up into a multi-million dollar foundation. In these roles she has supported the critical functions of these department to help our first responders do the work that protects save lives.
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 08, 2017 at 4:05 PM
This week, I invited the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering to present plans for the renovation of the Granada Hills Pool. In recent years, the pool's age has caused more severe and frequent leaks which caused it to close during the recent summer swim season. The Department of Recreation and Parks was able to patch the pool this last summer to ensure that it will be able to open for the 2018 Summer season.
However, this patching is only a short term solution. In August of last year, I directed funds to the Bureau of Engineering to develop design and plans for an upgrade of the facility. The plans should be finalized by early Spring of next year with construction expected to begin after the summer swim season in Fall. Construction will continue through 2019 with the new facility opening to the public in time for the 2020 swim season.
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 01, 2017 at 4:02 PM
On Thursday, my office congratulated Eric Galloway, a former resident of the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, as he received a scholarship from the Granada Hills Rotary Club. This scholarship will allow Eric to attend the Friedman College of Locksmithing and help him reach his life goals of owning his own auto body shop, construction, or plumbing company.
Eric was also recently awarded the Above and Beyond Award from the Rescue Mission for his dedicated service at the shelter. Being involved in the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission has encouraged Eric to be more responsible, focused, and to continually strive for personal growth and education. He believes accountability leads to a positive and successful life.
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 01, 2017 at 3:58 PM
This week in Council, I had the opportunity to honor an extraordinary group of people from my district for developing and expanding the “Clean Streets Clean Starts” Program.
This incredible program was initially piloted through my office in partnership with multiple agencies and groups in my district including the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, the Northridge Sparkle Campaign (now the Northridge Beautification Foundation), the Northridge South Neighborhood Council, the Mayor’s Office, and the Department of Public Works.
Starting last year, my office applied for a Clean Streets Challenge Grant with an idea from the community for a program that would recruit homeless volunteers, partner with local beautification entities, and provide job skills, mentorship, personal and professional development, and payment in the form of gift cards, meals, bus tokens, and job materials to folks who needed a second chance.
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 01, 2017 at 3:56 PM
This week, I submitted a motion to eliminate the predatory practice of illegally renting out vehicles for the sole intent of utilizing the vehicle as a dwelling on Los Angeles city streets and public spaces. The motion asks the City Attorney and the Los Angeles Police Department to report back on the appropriate amendments to the Los Angeles Municipal Code that will enable the City of Los Angeles to prohibit this practice.
There are a growing number of vehicles being rented out for dwelling purposes on City streets throughout Los Angeles communities. “Landlords” are purchasing a variety of different vehicles such as motorhomes, panel trucks, vans, and sedans from Police impound lots, towing them back onto City streets, and renting them out on a nightly or monthly basis. Vehicles often do not have running water, a reliable source of power, and may lack a source for heating or cooling.
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 01, 2017 at 3:51 PM
This week, we were able to celebrate a major victory for the Neighborhoods FIRST Initiative. Seven, chronically homeless individuals took the first steps to accepting services and made the choice to enter the Coordinated Entry System for housing. They still have a long way to go but often times it is this first step that is the most difficult for individuals experiencing homelessness. What this shows is that persistent engagement and trust building can yield positive results for both the community and those living on the streets.
To maintain this momentum, we will continue our engagement of outreach and offering services to unsheltered individuals while enforcing sanitation codes to maintain the safety and livability of our neighborhoods. In the last couple weeks alone, our Neighborhoods FIRST Task Force completed 40 clean-ups and established contact with 85 individuals.
Posted by Councilmember Englander on November 22, 2017 at 3:49 PM
Today, I submitted a motion that directs the City's Economic and Workforce Development Department and its Information Technology Agency to report back on the best practices to protect our local small businesses from cyberattacks. I’ve also instructed them to assess the feasibility and estimated cost of offering cyber security training, and indentify possible funding sources, to ensure this training is available at all Business Source Centers citywide.
This follows the launch of L.A. CyberLab, where I joined Mayor Eric Garcetti in August to introduce a public-private partnership that disseminates information and intelligence based on analysis of more than one billion security-related events and over four million attempted intrusions into City networks per day last August. While large businesses may have the resources and capacity to swiftly adapt to cyber threats, small businesses may struggle, leaving themselves vulnerable to hacking.
Small businesses are engines of economic growth and a vital part of the local economy. In Los Angeles County, there are approximately 200,000 small businesses that provide about half of the 3.5 million private sector, local jobs.
Posted by Councilmember Englander on November 22, 2017 at 3:46 PM
I want to thank the Los Angeles Police Department Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement (HOPE) Team, the Bureau of Sanitation's Rapid Response team, the Department of Transportation, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, LA Family Housing, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, and everyone who has helped share insight into the resources and services needed to effectively begin solving the homelessness issue in Los Angeles. Their endless efforts and continued dedication to our community has made my Neighborhoods FIRST program a success.
Listening to the experience of the officers, City workers, volunteers, and community members that have been involved from day one has been absolutely key to understanding the facts on the ground and addressing homelessness throughout our City.
While our job is far from done, services, resources, and assistance given through my Neighborhoods FIRST program have positively impacted CD12 and my team will continue to collect information, look at opportunities to carve out partnerships, and make progress on the primary issue affecting livability in our neighborhoods today.