As we jump into 2018, I look forward to reaching new goals and accomplishments in Council District 14 and the City of Los Angeles on your behalf. While we’re focused on this New Year and the work it brings, let's take a moment to reflect on the progress we made last year.
2017 brought its share of triumphs and challenges. We had some great victories in the areas of helping those experiencing homelessness, creating more affordable housing, updating our infrastructure and protecting our communities.
Last year, we led an effort to adopt the Linkage Fee, which will generate hundreds of millions of dollars from commercial and residential development fees in order to create a consistent City affordable housing funding source to build and protect affordable housing in these times when housing is skyrocketing. We also led the effort to regularly update our City’s 35 Community Plans, which reflect what type of development we want, or don’t want, in our communities. We created a “Know Your Renter's Rights” campaign to inform our rent-controlled tenants of their considerable rights as renters, and we offered up legislation to further protect them and all renters.
We continue to address homelessness, even as the figures rise, by opening up a hygiene center in Skid Row, introducing new homeless outreach teams, offering up City properties in CD14 for homeless and affordable housing, breaking ground on housing for the formerly homeless, and partnering with the County to ensure supportive services are attached to new Proposition HHH-funded housing, one of our main goals when I co-authored Proposition HHH, along with my colleague, Councilmember Harris-Dawson.
As the office that created the intensive C-3 homeless outreach program in Skid Row, which is the model used today for the entire Los Angeles County, I applaud my colleagues in the County, like Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who have done a lot to address homelessness. Still, more assistance is needed from the County – particularly to address mental health issues that an estimated third of our homeless population deal with. Many challenges lie ahead. My office remains committed to the work.
In 2017, we also took steps to create some strategic foresight on what our City should look like moving forward. The City Council adopted my Civic Center Master Plan, which will completely overhaul our drab Civic Center and bring new office space, much-needed housing, retail and commercial space to an underutilized area of our City.
We brought infrastructure improvements to Boyle Heights and El Sereno. We celebrated a big victory in killing the 710 Freeway tunnel option and securing funds for transportation improvements in El Sereno and Northeast LA. We celebrated the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s decision to reduce foul odor pollution in Boyle Heights from five animal rendering plants in and around Vernon. In DTLA, we fought for and celebrated the passing of AB390, which means no more unfair jaywalking tickets for safely crossing the street in Downtown and throughout the City.
I am honored to serve as your Councilmember and look forward to working with you in 2018 and making it a memorable and special year for you and all our City of Los Angeles residents!
Table of Contents
- City Council Adopts Linkage Fee Affordable Housing Plan Overseen by Huizar
- New Homeless Outreach Teams in CD14
- Homeless College Student Housing Coming to Boyle Heights
- Huizar Leads Historic Overhaul of City's Community Plan Updates
- City Adopts Huizar's Visionary Civic Center Master Plan
- Huizar, Mayor Open Skid Row ReFresh Spot
- First Round of HHH Funding Approved
- Housing Groundbreakings in Northeast LA and DTLA
- Know Your Renters Rights Campaign Ramps Up
- Huizar Utilizes CD14 City Property for Homeless/Affordable Housing
- $20 million Soto St. and Mission Rd. Upgrades
- Boyle Heights Eastside Access Phase II Improvements Kick Off
- Huizar Secures Park Funds for 6th St. PARC
- Broadway Facade Program Lights Up Historic Buildings
- Legalize Street Vending
- Victory for No 710
- Huizar's City of LA Resolution Becomes Law with Signing of AB390
- Huge Victory to "Get the Smell Out of Boyle Heights"
- Huizar-Bonin Motion Aims to Create 100% Zero-Emission Bus Fleet
- Night On Broadway 2017
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to support a Linkage Fee affordable housing ordinance, which will generate about $104 million annually through commercial and housing development fees to provide a consistent funding source to address the City’s affordable housing crisis.
The policy was overseen by Councilmember José Huizar, as the Chair of the City’s Planning Committee at four meetings beginning in June with the support of community organizations, such as the Coalition for a Just LA, and Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“With today’s vote, the City of Los Angeles is telling Angelenos when it comes to much-needed affordable housing ‘we hear your concerns, we see your concerns and we are stepping up to address your concerns,’” said Councilmember Huizar. “The City has long-needed its own funding source to ensure that our residents and families who have lived in Los Angeles all their lives, can continue to call the City that they love home. Our primary goal is to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to keep people in their homes and protect affordable housing covenants set to expire, as well as to build new affordable homes for workers and families. It’s been my honor to craft this policy along with my colleagues on the City’s Planning Committee, and I applaud the City Council, as well as the Coalition for a Just LA and Mayor Garcetti for their support.”
Affordable housing funding in the City of Los Angeles has declined dramatically, from $100 million in 2010 to $26 million in 2014. Before today, the City had no permanent funding source for affordable housing, due to federal cuts and the dissolution of the CRA. The Trump/Republican Tax Bill will remove the few remaining resources, and is likely to destroy the tax credits that are used to finance affordable housing. Los Angeles is the only large city in California without a permanent affordable housing funding source.
The City estimates the Linkage Fee, as adopted, will generate about $104 million annually, producing and protecting thousands of affordable housing units throughout the City.
Serving El Sereno, Northeast LA, DTLA and Boyle Heights
Councilmember Huizar worked with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to bring new intensive Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTS) to CD14 to serve those experiencing homelessness. These teams will operate on the successful street-level C3 outreach program model created in Skid Row by Councilmember Huizar, working with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
MDTs in CD14 are being coordinated by The People Concern, overseeing four new MDTs to be deployed in DTLA, Echo Park/Westlake, Hollywood, and Northeast LA. Another service organization, Exodus Recovery, will run the MDT for NELA, including El Sereno and the area in and around LAC+USC Medical Center in Boyle Heights.
The new teams include a mental health worker, substance abuse counselor, case manager, medical provider and a peer with lived experience. More resources are needed from County partners to address the mental-health crisis in Los Angeles with a third of our homeless population living with mental health illnesses. This is a key step forward, but we need more resources and immediate response teams for those experiencing mental health crises.
Huizar also calls for homeless-youth service provider, Jovenes, Inc., to receive additional City land to expand their much-needed services in Boyle Heights
In 2017, Councilmember Huizar announced that a vacant City-owned property on 4th Street in Boyle Heights will be transformed by Jovenes Inc. to house formerly homeless college students. One in five community college students in Los Angeles is reportedly experiencing homelessness, and the 2017 Homeless Count found a 64% increase in youth homelessness.
“Jovenes, Inc. is one of our premiere homeless service partners in Boyle Heights serving one of the most vulnerable populations imaginable – our youth,” said Councilmember Huizar. “It is imperative that the City assist them to give kids hope and a future that they might not have otherwise. Education is one of this country’s great equalizers, and this 4th Street location and the College Success Initiative is going to be a place of inspiration – where, with the excellent support services that Jovenes Inc. and its partners provide, youth have the opportunity to go to college, have a place to call home, and succeed.”
The City Council also later approved legislation by Councilmember Huizar to secure additional City property on Pleasant Ave. in Boyle Heights and donate it to Jovenes Inc., whose main campus is on Pleasant. Both the 4th Street action and Pleasant Avenue donation will allow Jovenes Inc. to better serve the youth in their program.
The Los Angeles City Council took a historic vote in 2017, approving a plan by Councilmember José Huizar to provide a funding mechanism for the approximately $12.55 million needed annually to dramatically increase updates of the City’s 35 Community Plans – critical development guidelines for all neighborhoods throughout the City.
The City’s 35 Community Plans lay out guidelines for what can and cannot be built in any given neighborhood. This helps determine the different types of housing that can be developed, the jobs that can be supported in a community and other key quality-of-life measures. While 29 of the City’s 35 community plans have not been updated in 15 or more years, the new plan by Councilmember Huizar as the Chair of the City’s Planning Committee requires by ordinance that they are updated every six years.
“Our Community Plans affect scores of communities, each as distinct and vital as the next, and we must require that these plans are regularly updated to allow stakeholders to weigh in on what they want their communities to look like,” said Councilmember Huizar. “The days of updating our Community Plans every 15 years or more are over. There are few cities in the U.S. that are as dynamic a metropolis as Los Angeles, and it is absolutely imperative that we update our community plans with ample stakeholder input regularly and consistently so that we can consider in a thoughtful and deliberate manner how our Los Angeles’ neighborhoods grow and evolve now and in the future.”
In 2017, the Los Angeles City Council approved Councilmember Huizar’s historic Civic Center Master Plan in a unanimous (12-0) vote. The plan will completely redesign and re-imagine our City of Los Angeles Civic Center area over a 15-year period.
It will bring 1.2 million square feet of City office space, more than 1 million square feet of much-needed housing, along with commercial and retail space, as well as cultural and plaza space. It will turn our outdated Civic Center into a 24-hour active environment and features paseos and an open-public design that connects to several DTLA communities.
As part of the Master Plan, the current Parker Center site will be fully developed. The original Parker Center design literally turned its back to the Little Tokyo community and with this vote, the City envisions a new Civic Center that is open, inviting and accessible to all of Downtown Los Angeles.
"The Civic Center Master Plan provides an exciting blueprint for the future of Los Angeles that will open up City Hall and the Civic Center to increased public interaction through paseos and open space intermingled with multi-use City towers that will provide ample space to more efficiently do the City’s business, while also providing for other uses, such as retail, residential and restaurants," said Councilmember Huizar. “A major goal of the Civic Center Master Plan will also allow us to reconnect our City’s Center with neighboring communities, such as Little Tokyo, El Pueblo, the Historic Core, Chinatown, the Arts District and our City’s Central Business Districts.”
Councilmember Huizar, Mayor Garcetti, Councilmembers Harris-Dawson, and Price, joined with the Skid Row Community Improvement Coalition to open the ReFresh Spot, a personal hygiene center in Skid Row. The facility provides public toilets, showers and laundry services as wells as supportive and community engagement services to the residents of Skid Row. The ReFresh Spot is located at 557-559 Crocker Street, a City-owned property scheduled for development as permanent supportive housing by the Weingart Center.
The center is open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings. As staffing increases, the hygiene station will be open 24/7. The project will be managed by Homeless Healthcare Los Angeles with assistance from Goodwill Industries, Social Model Recovery Systems, and We Team Security Services.
City Council approved more than $86 million in funding for Measure HHH-financed projects to provide housing and facilities for those experiencing homelessness in the City of Los Angeles.
The 2017 Homeless Count's 20% jump proves what we have all seen with our own eyes: our homeless population is expanding. To make a real dent in this issue, we need to not only increase the supply of Supportive Housing, but we also need to increase the speed at which we supply it.
HHH was always intended to prioritize Supportive Housing, and the funding approved today is a small but significant step forward in that effort. In all, more than $73 million was approved to fund nine projects and 615 units, and more than $12 million was approved to fund six facilities to assist those experiencing homelessness.
In December, the first HHH-funded project broke ground.
Councilmember Huizar and Mayor Garcetti opened T. Bailey Manor, a permanent supportive housing project in Glassell Park for people with developmental disabilities as well as formerly homeless individuals, including veterans. On-site supportive services will be provided by Housing Works California, Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center and Women Organizing Resources Knowledge Services.
Also in 2017, Councilmember Huizar and his Bringing Back Broadway Initiative celebrated the groundbreaking for Perla, the first residential high-rise built in the Historic Core in over a century. Perla will offer 7,000 square feet of ground retail and 450 condo units designed for first-time homebuyers. This project shows that Broadway isn’t only a destination for visitors, but it’s also a great place to live! For more information on the project, visit perlaonbroadway.com.
Councilmember Huizar, along with community non-profit organizations such as Inner City Struggle, Casa 0101 and Self-Help Graphics and Art, announced a stepped campaign with paid walkers to inform Boyle Heights renters of their rights under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). Under RSO, which applies to multi-unit buildings built before 1978, landlords are not legally able to raise rents more than 3% each year, as well as other restrictions in place to protect affordable units.
In Boyle Heights, 75% of the residents are renters, with 88% of those living in 16,000 RSO units. The Know Your Rent Control Rights campaign is a door-to-door campaign and collaboration among Councilmember Huizar, the non-profits above, as well as ELACC, Union De Vecinos, Comité de La Esperanza, Proyecto Pastoral, El Centro De Ayuda, LA Voice, and the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council.
Through Councilmember Huizar's Know Your Rights campaign, about 10,000 residents in Boyle Heights have been contacted. The remaining units are expected to be reached in the coming months. Councilmember Huizar hopes this campaign will become a city-wide effort.
Share the flyer below with anyone who may live in a rent-controlled unit and let us know if you support the Know Your Rent Control Rights Campaign!
In 2017, the Los Angeles City Council also approved moving forward with several motions by Councilmember Huizar aimed at protecting renters from harassing landlords and property owners as well as other motions created to protect the City's affordable housing stock.
The Los Angeles City Council approved a plan by Councilmember Huizar to develop four City properties in CD14 for homeless and affordable housing development. Three of the properties are in Boyle Heights - two at parking lots located at 318 N. Breed Street and 249 N. Chicago Street, which will be developed for affordable housing, while also retaining public parking.
The third is a "triangle" shaped property being transferred to Jovenes Inc., on Pleasant Avenue, to allow the non-profit to better serve homeless youth on the same block as their headquarters. In October, Councilmember Huizar, along with Jovenes Inc., announced a new housing development in Boyle Heights for formerly homeless college students.
A fourth city property is located in Eagle Rock at a vacant lot at the intersection of Genevieve Avenue and Monte Bonito Drive. The City will put out a notice for Request for Proposals (RFPs) to develop the Eagle Rock site as an affordable home-ownership opportunity, with a size and scope consistent with the existing neighborhood.
Councilmember Huizar joined El Sereno, Rose Hills and Hillside Village community members to celebrate the Grand Opening of the $20 million Soto Street Mission Road Improvement Project with a Ribbon Cutting and Pumpkin Patch!
The first phase of the project involved a painstaking removal of the old Soto Street Bridge, which was originally designed as a rail line in the 1930s. It was converted into an automobile-only bridge in the 1960s, but its design created dangerous blind crossings and entrance and exit points in and around the bridge.
The reconfigured street has greatly increased safety by creating an at-grade design with two signalized intersections. One is at Mission Road and Soto Street at Supreme Court, and the other at Huntington North and Huntington South at Radium Drive to provide major north-south through traffic movement. Along with public art by Artist Michael Amescua, planted trees and ground cover, the new space is a welcomed sight in the community.
The upgrade is one of three major improvements totaling more than $40 million coming to the Soto Street Corridor in the next few years. To learn about all the improvements, click here!
Councilmember José Huizar joined with community members, Board of Public Works Commissioner Kevin James, and the City’s Bureau of Street Services Director Nazario Sauceda to break ground on the latest upgrade for Boyle Heights, the $3.9 million Phase II of the Eastside Access Project along residential streets that feed into Metro’s Gold Line Light Rail Station on East 1st Street.
The project will bring pedestrian improvements on north-south linkage streets to 1st Street. These improvements include 40,000 square-feet of sidewalk repair, new bus benches, trees and bus stop lighting at key intersections on Boyle Avenue, State Street, St. Louis Street and Soto Street, between Cesar Chavez Avenue and 4th Street.
“The Eastside Access Project Phase II allows us to bring streetscape improvements onto residential streets with direct input from the local community,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “For decades Boyle Heights did not receive its fair share of public infrastructure improvement dollars. Since taking office, we have worked with our partners to change that dynamic and are bringing sizable public investment to Boyle Heights to improve our public spaces, streets, sidewalks, buildings and parks and make them safer and more accessible for the people of Boyle Heights.”
Eastside Access Phase I continues and has brought $12 million in improvements along First Street. Phase II’s enhancements will benefit residents, transit riders, and several schools in the area. Funding for the Eastside Access Phase II Project is provided through an ATP grant submitted to the state by the Bureau of Street Services. Construction on Eastside Access Phase II is expected to continue through summer 2018.
Read more here.
Councilmember Huizar and the Bureau of Engineering held two community meetings in Boyle Heights and the Arts District to present the final designs for the 6th Street PARC. Councilmember Huizar also announced his commitment to securing $6 million in additional funds to pay for design elements the community supports, including splash pads, adult fitness zones, soccer fields, basketball courts, dog parks, and more. Councilmember Huizar has helped bring tens of millions of dollars in street improvements around the bridge to allow easier community access to the bridge and park space.
On the Arts District side, Huizar worked with state officials to move up $2.5 million in Active Transportation Program funds for design on street improvements from fiscal year 2019-20 to fiscal year 2017-18. Huizar has also worked to increase the park’s budget, size and scope from a modest $5 million to its current $29 million.
On the Boyle Heights side, Councilmember Huizar has helped bring tens of millions of dollars in street improvements around the bridge to allow easier community access from Pico Gardens and other areas around Boyle Heights.
Councilmember José Huizar and his Bringing Back Broadway initiative provided major “classic lighting” upgrades along historic Broadway through a $750,000 federal Community Development Block Grant. The program was implemented for Huizar by the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI), and lighting designer Tom Ruzika.
Broadway is one of the most important streets in the City of L.A. and Councilmember Huizar's Bringing Back Broadway (BBB) initiative’s 10-year effort to revitalize the historic corridor has been a tremendous success. BBB’s goals include providing economic development and business assistance; encourage historic preservation; stimulate reactivation of Broadway's 12 historic theaters and underutilized commercial buildings; and increase transit and development options by bringing a streetcar back to DTLA.
While 2017 saw the City Council take a critical vote to decriminalize Street Vending in the age of an overaggressive federal government, with Councilmember Huizar requesting additional protections later in the year, the City has yet to approve an ordinance.
Councilmember Huizar co-introduced a motion with Councilmember Curren Price in 2013, calling for a legal street-vending program in the City of Los Angeles. Let’s hope that 2018 brings with it an ordinance that allows hardworking vendors the opportunity to come out of the shadows and into a regulated system that benefits us all.
Check out KTLA's story here.
Community & Transportation Improvement Victory for El Sereno, NELA
Councilmember Huizar is incredibly proud to have led the City of Los Angeles in staking its opposition to the 710 tunnel on the City Council and working with Mayor Garcetti and Supervisor Solis to make sure our communities, especially neighborhoods like El Sereno, that have been the most heavily impacted, receive their fair share of significant dollars in the years ahead.
Through an amended motion at an LA County Metro meeting, El Sereno, NELA, City of LA and East LA will receive much-needed funds for 21st Century transportation improvements in our communities.
Thank you to all our community advocates from CD14 who helped us turn the tide and come away with a great victory!
Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 390 into law! No more unfair jaywalking tickets for safely crossing the street in Downtown and throughout the City.
Councilmember Huizar, one of the City’s biggest complete streets champions, issued a resolution in 2016 calling on the state to end the unfair and outdated law on the books that local law enforcement used to target pedestrians safely utilizing our crosswalks.
Councilmember Huizar’s DTLA Forward initiative has brought other progressive transportation solutions to DTLA and this is the latest. Thanks to all our partners, particularly our downtown stakeholders and Los Angeles Walks, who helped us fight for this change. AB390 went into effect on January 1, 2018.
In a major community victory, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Governing Board unanimously adopted Rule Proposal 415 (RP415), which will greatly reduce foul odor pollution in Boyle Heights from five animal rendering plants in and around Vernon!
In October, Councilmember Huizar requested representatives of the AQMD come to a meeting in Boyle Heights at Resurrection Church so that Huizar, Monsignor Moretta and residents could voice their displeasure and the need for change regarding the horrible smell that comes out of the rendering plants.
The rule change was first proposed several years ago, but stalled for two years. Councilmember Huizar alerted the media about the proposal’s delay, the upcoming meetings and the unfair environmental treatment that Boyle Heights has endured for decades.
With the affirmative vote by the AQMD, RP415 sets new operational standards to reduce odors and provide immediate relief. Part of AQMD’s proposal includes permanently enclosing these facilities in the next two to four years.
Councilmember Huizar is glad the added publicity and public support for this rule change will have positive results for Boyle Heights and the surrounding communities who have been affected by the odor for decades. Thank you Resurrection Church, community members and all the organizations who have fought for this change for years!
The City’s Transportation Committee approved a motion by Councilmembers Huizar and Bonin, which establishes a goal and implementation steps to transition City of Los Angeles bus fleet to 100% Zero Emissions by 2030 or earlier. Cleaning up our buses will mean cleaner air, smoother rides and less fossil fuel use. Next, we must pass this at City Council!
For more on this story, read Streetsblog LA.
A moment of great pride for Councilmember Huizar and the Huizar family as his wife, Richelle, was appointed recently by Mayor Garcetti to the City’s Commission on the Status of Women.
Night On Broadway 2017 was a great success and our 2018 event on Jan. 27th celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Bringing Back Broadway. Check out the incredible lineup here!
Councilmember Huizar and his wife Richelle joined the El Sereno community at the annual 4th of July Concert and Fireworks Show.
Councilmember Huizar, along with muralist Eloy Torrez, MCLA, & several art advocates, including actor Edward James Olmos, came together to celebrate the newly restored Pope of Broadway mural!
The 18th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival was a big success! Thanks for coming out.
Joined by his wife Richelle, Councilmember Huizar hosted his 14th Annual Adelante Awards in June, recognizing top students from Council District 14 elementary, middle and high schools. Click here to view the 2017 photos.
Councilmember Huizar hosted the first Boyle Heights Youth Festival - organized by youth, for youth!
Councilmember Huizar's Northeast Office partnered with Recycled Resources to host a Sleeping Bad Drive for those experiencing homelessness. Our 2018 Sleeping Bag Drive is Sunday, January 14.
Councilmember Huizar and his wife Richelle were happy to help 15-year-old Isabel Peinado find a space on the corner of 4th and Camulos St. to bring Los Angeles' newest mural to Boyle Heights. Her mural depicts 16 groundbreaking women from all backgrounds and walks of life. Watch the unveiling here (starts at 36:55)
Councilmember Huizar, his wife Richelle, his daughter Aviana and son Simon celebrated the holidays at El Sereno's Annual Winter Jubilee.
Councilmember Huizar, Mayor Garcetti and others celebrated the grand reopening of Angels Flight. The shortest railway in America has served as a Los Angeles landmark since 1901.
Councilmember Huizar celebrated his birthday at the 71st Annual East LA Mexican Independence Day Parade.
El Sereno community members volunteered throughout the year to beautify their neighborhood. This photo was after a clean up along Huntington Drive.
Councilmember Huizar provided $825,000 to help longtime eastside arts advocates Self Help Graphics purchase their Boyle Heights home.