News from District 14
This month, we adopted the City's $9.9 billion budget, providing more funding to address our homelessness crisis, creating more temporary emergency shelter and funding more encampment cleanup teams. Meanwhile, the State has nearly $9 billion in surplus funds and I joined our Mayor, County and State elected officials demanding more funding from the state to address our homelessness crisis. While we’re doing more than ever before on the City and County level, it's time for the State to treat homelessness like the moral crisis it is.
On a local level, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released their 2018 Homeless Count, which showed people experiencing homelessness declined 5% in the City and 3% in the County. While this is good news, the overall population is way too high still and challenges remain, even neighborhood by neighborhood. But we’re doing better overall as a City/County and our efforts are starting to take hold.
The fight continues to protect families and our children from contaminated soil from the Exide Technologies debacle. In May, I issued legislation calling on Barbara Lee, the Director of the State's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), to come before the City’s Planning & Land Use Management Committee, which I chair, to explain the agency’s incredibly slow cleanup efforts. It is unacceptable that only 270 parcels of the initial 2,500 most contaminated sites identified by the DTSC have been cleaned and I will continue to fight against this environmental injustice.
In May, we also celebrated an amazing amount of community improvements completed and underway throughout CD14. In El Sereno, we are improving Soto Street, Eastern Avenue and Alhambra Avenue with great community support and participation. In Boyle Heights, we broke ground on safety improvements to protect children and families walking around Breed Street Elementary, Sheridan Street Elementary and the Soto Street Corridor. In Northeast LA, we joined students from San Pascual Elementary to celebrate improvements at San Pascual Park, and had a blast with dog lovers for a groundbreaking on the new Eagle Rock Rec Center’s Dog Park. And in, DTLA’s Fashion District, we cut the ribbon on $2 million in street improvements, part of our DTLA FWD initiative. Finally, I introduced legislation to completely overhaul construction traffic management in our city. Pedestrians, bicyclists and commuters need real-time and up-to-the-minute info on street and sidewalk closures due to construction, filming and other uses. My motion will create a real-time, online citywide site where Angelenos can check for new construction closure notices.
Please read below for more details on some of the things we’re working on. As always, please contact my office with any questions, comments or concerns. And please follow me on social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
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Councilmember Huizar issued legislation via a motion Friday calling on the Director of the State of California’s Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) to come before Huizar’s City Planning Committee to explain the agency’s incredibly slow response to the largest toxic cleanup in state history related to violations by Exide Technologies in Vernon. Exide, a battery recycling center, which polluted Boyle Heights and surrounding communities with lead and other contaminants for decades, was allowed by the DTSC to operate without a full permit for more than 30 years.Read More Share
This month, we worked to finally move forward with two key issues the City has been grappling with for some time: home sharing and sidewalk vending. In my Planning Committee, we approved a framework for home-sharing for primary residences that will close down bad operators and cap use at 120 days, with the opportunity for good operators to extend beyond that. The item now goes to the City Council.
And five years after Councilmember Curren Price and I first proposed legalizing sidewalk vending, an ordinance is finally being prepared. The City Council approved our plan to bring vendors out of the shadows and regulate an industry that is entrenched in our City culture and underground economy.
Also happy to note that Mayor Garcetti signed three key homeless housing ordinances that my office led the effort to implement on the City Council to help bring down homeless housing costs while allowing us to approve, build or convert, potential housing sites, quicker.
While we implement our housing programs, the City has more than 6,000 requests for encampment cleanups. Three districts, including CD14, make up the majority of those requests. In November, I introduced a motion requesting more Clean Streets and HOPE crews to the areas that need it most. An extra team has been assigned to cover CD14, CD13 and CD9 but we need more and I will ask for more funding in the City's budget.
During my time in office, I have prioritized major streetscape “Complete Streets” renovations throughout CD14 to improve pedestrian, bicyclists, public-transit and auto use, so our thoroughfares are safe and accessible, but are also destinations for our local community. That work continues in El Sereno, Little Tokyo and Eagle Rock.
In Boyle Heights, we celebrated the opening of a new Housing Department Office that is available to all, including RSO renters who need to ask questions or file complaints. We also reflect on a pretty remarkable accomplishment we met this month. Our first for any Council Office door-to-door “Know Your Rent Control Rights” campaign in Boyle Heights, resulted in walkers making contact with residents in about 15,000 units. Knowledge is Power.
And on Earth Day, we celebrated our earlier efforts to help LA become No. 1 in Solar Power, our Kite Festival at Ascot Hills Park, and cleanups in Boyle Heights and El Sereno. And we continue to fight to protect our local environment in Eagle Rock and Boyle Heights in battles against gas-burning expansion in Glendale, and to limit contamination from Exide Technologies for Boyle Heights.
Please read below for more details on some of the things we’re working on, often with your friends and neighbors (and maybe even you!). As always, please contact my office with any questions, comments or concerns. And please follow me on social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
JoséRead More Share