For Council District 14 and our work on behalf of the entire City, October (with a touch of November!) was about profound change. In my office’s day-to-day work on your behalf, our goal is to move the community service needle forward in whatever we can and this month’s work is a great reflection of that.
We took a huge step forward in securing about $100 million annually to protect and build affordable housing throughout the City, we ramped up efforts on our door-to-door campaign to inform renters in rent-controlled units of their significant protections against displacement, and we assisted homeless college students find a home in the near future.
We celebrated a victory against unfair jay-walking tickets at crosswalks, new roadway and façade lighting improvements on two of the District’s oldest streets: Soto and Broadway, with more coming for Soto. And we took a huge step forward in protecting our communities against odor pollution from animal rendering plants, as well as protecting our largely immigrant street vending community from undue harm from the federal government.
I thank you as always for the opportunity to allow my staff and me to do our best to move the community service needle forward on your behalf, in whatever way we can – each and every day.
In This Issue:
- Huizar Committee Takes Historic Vote on Affordable Housing
- Know Your Renters Rights Campaign Ramps Up
- $20 Million Soto/Mission El Sereno Upgrade - Millions More on the Way
- Op-Ed: We Are in a Mental Health Crisis
- Homeless College Student Housing Coming to Boyle Heights
- Broadway Facade Program Lights Up Historic Buildings
- Huizar City of LA Resolution Becomes Law with Signing of AB390
- Huge Victory to ‘Get the Smell Out of Boyle Heights’
- City Should Provide Affordable Units for Artists
- City/County Agree On Supportive Services for HHH Projects
- Protecting Immigrant Street Vendors
- Councilmember Joins KCRW 'There Goes The Neighborhood' Panel
- Housing, Homelessness, Street Vending: Huizar on Spectrum's In Focus
- DTLA Hotel Study - Marked Improvement with Room for More
- Huizar Motion Aims to Create 100% Zero-Emission Bus Fleet
- Around CD14
The City’s Planning Committee, led by its Chair, Councilmember Huizar, advanced the Linkage Fee development ordinance with a historic vote on Oct. 10. This legislation will provide more than $100 million annually to address the City's affordable housing crisis. The money created from the linkage fee will be used to protect existing affordable housing covenants and affordable housing units, in addition to building new affordable homes so that all Angelenos have a place to live.
"Today’s vote cannot be understated – it represents a critical step if the City of Los Angeles truly wants to address our affordable housing crisis head-on,” said Councilmember José Huizar after the vote. “Our goals for this linkage fee ordinance are to get at homelessness before it has a chance – to use the hundreds of millions of dollars the ordinance will generate 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. I am confident that the action from my Committee will win support from my colleagues on the City Council and that we will finally enact this incredibly necessary legislation.”
The Linkage Fee ordinance will head to City Council for a vote soon!
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 6,400 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!
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. Special thanks to the Bureau of Engineering, Department of Transportation, CalTrans, and all our construction partners for their excellent work.
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 Huizar wrote a guest op-ed in LA Downtown News about the mental health crisis in DTLA & the steps needed to take to fix it. He believes that unless we put resources toward the long-term care of those suffering from mental illness and the prevention of a mental health crisis, the police will remain our first responders. Letting mental illness deteriorate into a crisis means we’ll keep treating it like a crime, instead of the healthcare issue that it is.
Huizar also calls for homeless-youth service provider, Jovenes, Inc., to receive additional City land to expand their much-needed services in Boyle Heights
Councilmember Huizar, along with Jovenes, Inc., announced that a vacant City-owned property in Boyle Heights will be transformed by Jovenes 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.
Also this month, a City committee approved Councilmember Huizar’s motion to help Jovenes serve even more homeless youth by recommending that Jovenes develop City-owned property adjacent to their Pleasant Ave headquarters to allow them to create a wider campus of services - great news for an outstanding community partner!
“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.”
Councilmember José Huizar and his Bringing Back Broadway initiative hosted a tour Monday night of nine historic buildings along Broadway – once the entertainment and retail capital of Los Angeles – to highlight Bringing Back Broadway’s recently completed Broadway Façade Lighting Program.
The program provided major “classic lighting” upgrades through a $750,000 federal Community Development Block Grant and was implemented for Huizar by the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI), and lighting designer Tom Ruzika who led Monday evening’s tour.
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.
Councilmember Huizar's Broadway Facade Lighting Program transformed the Bradbury Building (304 S Broadway), Million Dollar Theater (307 S Broadway), David Gray Building (353 S Broadway), Bunmiller (430 S Broadway), Fallas Parades (449 S Broadway), Broadway Arcade (540 S Broadway), Clifton's (648 S Broadway), Eastern Columbia (849 S Broadway) and Sparkle Factory (908 S Broadway). Special thanks to the City's Housing + Community Investment Department and HUD.
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 goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
For more on AB390, check out Downtown News.
In a major community victory, on Nov. 3, 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!
Councilmember Huizar introduced a motion instructing the Housing and Community Investment Department, along with the City Attorney, to report back on the feasibility of an artists' affordable housing program and the steps required to establish one. The motion is directed toward assisting artists in the Arts District and beyond.
This month, the City Council passed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the County and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to establish roles and align resources needed to develop permanent supportive housing. This action approves the MOU where the County promises to provide support services for the housing that HHH will build.
It’s a promise Councilmember Huizar made during the campaign for HHH and ensures those experiencing homelessness will have services, as well as housing.
As the City prepares to hear the Street Vending ordinance first proposed by Councilmembers Huizar and Price, Councilmember Huizar introduced two motions in October to close loopholes and decriminalize City codes aimed at "peddling food from a pushcart" and street vending in City parks.
In February, the City Council voted to decriminalize street vending to protect the mainly immigrant vending workforce from unfair criminal targeting from the federal government. Huizar’s subsequent motions introduced in October are meant to create consistency with the City Council’s stated goals.
We need a regulated street vending ordinance in the City of Los Angeles and this country desperately needs comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship!
Councilmember Huizar appeared on KCRW's “There Goes The Neighborhood” radio series, with host Saul Gonzalez, to discuss the City’s affordability crisis and ways to address displacement and gentrification. Listen to the show here.
Housing, Homelessness, Street Vending: Huizar on Spectrum's In Focus
Councilmember Huizar appeared on Spectrum's In Focus California to discuss solutions to the City’s and CD 14’s affordable housing crisis that he is working on. Watch the segment here.
The conversation continued with Huizar discussing the need for a street vending ordinance, and more mental health services for those experiencing homelessness in DTLA.
Councilmember Huizar released a Downtown Los Angeles Hotel Market Study for hotels serving the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), which needs more hotels to effectively compete with other U.S. Convention Center Cities. The study shows marked improvement in the number of hotel rooms added, or slated to be added soon, within three-quarters of a mile to the LACC. Still, the study points out, Los Angeles lags behind other major cities and more rooms are needed. Read the full report here.
For more info, check out this LA Times article.
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.
CicLAvia was back where it all started in Downtown LA. This year's ride kicked off on 7th and Broadway, the heart of Councilmember Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative. Councilmember Huizar was proud to support this great event, test ride our upcoming Main & Spring FWRD upgrades, and enjoyed riding his bike from DTLA to Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights and back.
Celebrating Los Angeles Dodgers & City of Los Angeles legend Tommy Lasorda’s 90th birthday in City Council! Congratulations to Tommy and the Dodgers on their World Series run. We’ll be back next year. Go Dodgers!
Councilmember Huizar was proud to participate in this year's of AIDS Walk Los Angeles. Raising awareness and more resources to fight AIDS are key and this event helps us get that much closer. We still have a lot of work to do. Let’s keep fighting!
Councilmember Huizar & his El Sereno staff were more than happy to welcome The Military Vehicle Preservation Association‘s Route 66 convoy, which made a stop in El Sereno. The Convoy was traveling along Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica with over 40 military vehicles!
Welcome to Boyle Heights, Dia de los Puercos! The restaurant, owned by Guillermo Pinon and Chef Rick, is located inside the Ramirez Beverage Center on Olympic Blvd. Stop by and try their delicious “Comida Chicana.”
Councilmember Huizar would like to thank everyone who came out to the 18th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival, one of the largest free music festivals in Los Angeles. All proceeds from the festival go to the Eagle Rock Center's after-school programs.
Thanks to all who attended the York Blvd. Community Cleanup, with special thanks to the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, the Highland Park Runners and Cafe de Leche!