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Huizar Calls Out State for Unbelievably Slow Response to Exide Cleanup

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.

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April 2018 Recap

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 TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

José

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March 2018 In Review

In March, we introduced legislation to create a Youth Development Strategy to help our kids across the entire City – the motion  which I co-introduced with Councilmembers Rodriguez and Buscaino, asks for, among other things, the creation of a department, commission or office dedicated solely to assisting our youth with targeted services, jobs and opportunities to succeed. Our youth are our greatest resource and we must put them first.

We also broke ground on a historic monument honoring the millions of Mexican nationals, including my father, who served in the Bracero Program, a US work program that assisted the US to meet work-shortage needs from 1942 and 1964.

And our efforts to address the City’s homelessness crisis continue as the City Council approved a full report to my motion calling for a triage-like response equal to the scale of the crisis in Skid Row – where more than 2,000 individuals sleep on the streets unsheltered nightly – the largest such encampment in the nation.

Read my call to action here.

While housing from Measure HHH is being built, those experiencing homelessness need shelter now. The City Council also approved my El Pueblo shelter motion, establishing trailers along with support services to house our homeless population around El Pueblo at a City-owned parking lot.

We need similar emergency programming and housing implemented in Skid Row and throughout the entire City. I am thankful that a motion by two colleagues that I work with closely on homeless issues, Councilmembers Bonin and Harris-Dawson, will also study an emergency housing plan in all neighborhoods throughout the City.

While CD14 is home to the most supportive housing units for homeless individuals in the City, I was proud to join my colleagues in pledging at least 222 units of permanent supportive housing every three years in each council district. Measure HHH, which I co-authored, ensures that we pay for homeless supportive housing together, and the 222 pledge ensures that we all build housing together throughout the City – including areas with little to no such housing currently.

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 TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

José

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