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!
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.
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 Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!
Councilmember Huizar joined the community for a Pumpkin Patch Ribbon Cutting celebration of a $20 million improvement project on Soto Street & Mission Road – removing an outdated and dangerous bridge first built to carry trains in 1936 - with two at-grade-intersections, greenspace and a stainless steel butterfly art display, as well as a piece of the old bridge to honor the area’s historyRead more
Councilmember Huizar awarded $20,000 in academic scholarships to students from Roosevelt and Garfield before kickoff in one of the longest running high school football rivalries west of the Mississippi.Read more
Councilmembers Nury Martinez and José Huizar Lead Call for Stronger Action on Illegal Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
The City Council adopted the Martinez-Huizar motion to add new processes and restrictions to curb ill effects on communities from illegal and non-compliant Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.Read more
Councilmember Huizar led efforts to have the City of L.A. officially oppose the 710 Freeway Expansion through El Sereno and Northeast LA via freeway or tunnel, and he urges you to attend upcoming Metro meetings on the expansion plans and make sure your voice is heard.Read more
On Saturday, March 21, 12 volunteers from the El Sereno and NELA communities, Office of Councilmember Huizar and NELA Homeless Coalition/Recycled Resources were able to hand out lunches and survey 16 homeless individuals, three of which self-identify as veterans.Read more
Councilmember Huizar is thrilled to announce that the CD14 Utility Art Box Mural Project has come to El Sereno and surrounding communities in our largest installation yet! 22 drab utility boxes have been transformed into works of art along Huntington Dr, Valley Blvd, Alhambra Ave and Soto.Read more
Councilmember Huizar worked with El Sereno veterans to bring new $100,000 El Sereno Veterans Monument-flagpole to be named in honor of WWII Hero Guy GabaldonRead more
Councilmember Huizar joins with El Sereno veterans for groundbreaking of new $100,000 El Sereno Veterans MonumentRead more