Two years ago, in the Ralph’s parking lot where the Sherman Oaks Homeowners’ Association (SOHA) was having their holiday toy drive, SOHA Board Member and honorary Mayor of Sherman Oaks Jules Feir walked over and handed me a thick manila envelope. Inside was documentation of a problem that he had been trying to solve for years: newsracks.
Across the city’s sidewalks, the once-vibrant newspaper industry had placed newsracks so that residents could grab their favorite papers. As the print news industry withered away, the papers’ unused newsracks became covered in graffiti and spilled over with trash, sullying our main business corridors. Jules wanted to find a way to get rid of them, once and for all.
Now, after years of sitting idle and in disrepair, the newsracks lining major commercial corridors from Ventura Blvd to Van Nuys Blvd are finally on their way out!
Newsracks on Ventura Blvd before being removed
Council District 4’s Sherman Oaks Field Deputy Ryan Ahari, Small Business Liaison Su Lee, and other staff members drove around the district and used Google Maps to identify unused newsracks, and submitted individual 311 requests for each location. Initially, the Bureau of Street Services couldn’t remove them - pandemic related staffing shortages and funding cuts prevented the department from being able to respond.
But now, thanks to a push from our team and more resources available at the department, the newsracks are slowly disappearing! All in all, our team flagged 50 newsracks for removal at 33 different locations including Ventura Blvd, Van Nuys Blvd, Burbank Blvd, and Sepulveda Blvd. To date, 60% of these have been removed and the Bureau of Street Services is working on removing the rest.
Sherman Oaks Field Deputy Ryan Ahari and SOHA Board Member Jules Feir
Most of the work that we end up talking about in our newsletter or social media has to do with the big issues we’re dealing with in our district and in LA: power outages, homelessness, housing costs. But our office tries to help constituents with issues both big and small. Navigating the city’s bureaucracy is time-consuming, and even simple things can take years to resolve. But we’re here to help.
If you are experiencing any issues in your neighborhood such as graffiti, illegal dumping, or street light problems please submit a service request by calling the city’s 311 hotline, or by filing a report using the 311 app, and reach out to our office at [email protected] or 213-473-7004 for further assistance.
Councilmember Nithya Raman
I. In The District — Welcoming New Members Of The Los Feliz BID, Partnering On A Cleanup In Sherman Oaks, Visiting The Tongva Taraxat Paxaavxa Conservancy, Kicking Off Our Spring Movies In The Park, Hosting A Neighborhood Support Day In Silver Lake
II. Upcoming Events — Free Organics Recycling Pail Pickup, LA River Cleanup, Earth Day Planting In Griffith Park
III. Resources & Forums — LAHD Renter Protections Webinar, MySafe:LA Wildfire Town Hall, Climate Equity LA Series, Disaster Assistance Survey, File A Claim For Pothole Repair, Restaurant Resiliency Grants
IV. Job Opportunities — Apply To Be A Summer CCAC Fellow, L.A.C.E.R. After School Programs Is Hiring
V. Construction & Closures — Killon Street Closure
VI. Other Helpful Links
WELCOMING NEW MEMBERS OF THE LOS FELIZ BID
I had the pleasure of welcoming new (and old!) members of the Los Feliz BID at Hollywood Blvd staple, Wacko Soap Plant, for an in-person gathering our office hosted last month. We discussed support for business owners experiencing commercial rent debt issues, building a more inclusive city contracting system for micro/small size businesses, and creating personal connections with business communities to listen in and brainstorm policy and program ideas.
PARTNERING ON A CLEANUP IN SHERMAN OAKS
Leslie Elkan, Encino resident and head of the Sherman Oaks Business Improvement District, reached out to our office to host an alley cleanup in Sherman Oaks earlier this month. Our office staff and the BID were joined by the Sherman Oaks Beautification Committee, CalTrans staff, and Tierra Del Sol for a day of hard work and community building!
Tierra Del Sol is a nonprofit organization that champions community inclusion for adults with developmental disabilities. Together, along with our other volunteers, our team removed graffiti and cleaned alleys near the Ventura Blvd and Van Nuys Blvd intersection.
Thank you Leslie for your leadership, and thank you to all the volunteers!
VISITING THE TONGVA TARAXAT PAXAAVXA CONSERVANCY
It was an honor to visit The Tongva Taraxat Paxaavxa Conservancy (TTPC) in Altadena – a Tongva-led non-profit. The TTPC directly addresses Gabrieleno/Tongva access to land, housing, and cultural space by collectively organizing within Tovaangar – the Tongva homelands – for the return of sites, objects, and lands in their ancestral territory.
The TTPC recently invited some local elected leaders and their staff for a site visit to their first land-return site and I was so grateful to join along with my planning team and spend time learning about their tribal history, traditions, and long-term vision for this and many other sites. We look forward to continuing working with and supporting the Tongva Conservancy!
KICKING OFF SPRING MOVIES IN THE PARK
It’s always such a joy getting to know constituents, especially when they’re as wonderful as the Jones family! Frank and Shamicka brought their little ones Hope and Chosen to watch “Minions: Rise of Gru” at our first spring movie night with the Studio City Neighborhood Council on Saturday. I loved chatting with them about our work, how we can best serve the community, and how we were able to successfully house everyone who had been living under the overpass near their home.
Everyone enjoyed the booths from the LA Public Library, Studio City Neighborhood Council, and LA Recreation and Parks (RAP) featuring activities, toys, and treats! Thank you to everyone who made this joyful evening possible, especially Abi Velasco for your incredible coordination, Adam Monick and Stephanie Estrada from RAP for grilling hot dogs for everyone to eat, and David Kohn and Gina Covello from Compass Realty for securing the licensing – can’t wait to see you all at the next Movie In The Park!
HOSTING A NEIGHBORHOOD SUPPORT DAY IN SILVER LAKE
Our office partnered with SELAH and the Silver Lake Community Church for this month’s Neighborhood Support Day, offering resources and services to our unhoused neighbors in the area. From the DMV providing IDs to the LA County Registrar’s Office giving people their birth certificates, LASAN offering hot showers, Good Karma giving away free clothes and toys, AND SO MANY MORE – thank you to all the organizations and individuals who spent the day with us to provide these invaluable resources.
If you’re interested in volunteering at our next Neighborhood Support Day, sign up for our CD4 Volunteer Corps newsletter HERE!
FREE ORGANICS RECYCLING PAIL PICKUP | APRIL 22 & 23 | MORE INFO
To make the transition to organics recycling easier, LA Sanitation and LA City Council District 4 are providing FREE dishwasher-safe countertop pails! To reserve a pail in advance click HERE!
Sherman Oaks (Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park, 14201 Huston St.)
Encino (Sepulveda Garden Center, 16633 Magnolia Blvd)
LA RIVER CLEANUP | APRIL 22 | MORE INFO
Friends of the LA River (FoLAR) is proud to host its 33rdAnnual Great LA River CleanUp, inviting everyone to ‘Earth with Us’ through art, education and stewardship, and celebrate the region’s 51-mile winding connective center in honor of Earth Day. The annual event has been updated to offer additional ways for people to activate their passion for the River: in addition to traditional River CleanUps, volunteers will also be able to participate in habitat restoration, nature walks, and river education activities.
For more information on the three site opportunities on Saturday, April 22, visit FOLAR’s website HERE!
EARTH DAY PLANTING IN GRIFFITH PARK | APRIL 22 | MORE INFO
Save the date! Our office has partnered with Friends of Griffith Park (FoGP) and the Department of Recreation and Parks for a morning of native tree planting in Griffith Park! Volunteers will join us as we put more native plants in the ground and do some maintenance around the area to clean up after the recent rains.
Mark the date and we hope to see you in Griffith Park for Earth Day – and every day!
DATE: Saturday, April 22
TIME: 8:30AM to 11:00AM
LOCATION: Bird Sanctuary, Griffith Park, 2900 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
LAHD Renter Protections Webinar | APRIL 19 & APRIL 26 | MORE INFO
Join the Los Angeles Housing Department at one of their weekly webinars in April as they provide an overview of the City’s new renter protections. This one-hour webinar will review the new requirements for landlords to post a Notice of Renters' Protections on all residential properties and to file all eviction notices with LAHD. The webinar will also provide information on the expansion of “Just Cause” eviction protections to all rental units in the City of Los Angeles, including units not subject to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO).
The webinars are intended for both renters and landlords and will be held via Zoom.
Click HERE to register!
MYSAFE:LA WILDFIRE TOWN HALL | APRIL 20 | MORE INFO
MySafe:LA is pleased to present this month’s Wildfire Town Hall meeting on Thursday, April 20th at 7PM. This month, MySafe:LA, the L.A. Fire Safe Council education and outreach organization will be sharing important tips related to this year’s “home hardening” options, including inexpensive things anyone can accomplish. They’ll also be discussing the creation of defensible space for your home.
Every month, MySafe:LA also shares the history of an important wildfire in California. This month, they’ll be discussing the Tubbs fire from 2017. At the time, it was the worst, most destructive fire in California’s history – they’ll share the story, important lessons learned, and be joined by a homeowner who survived the blaze, but lost everything in the process. Learn how his family recovered, and what you should know about surviving a wildfire that may impact your community.
DATE: Thursday, April 20
TIME: 7PM to 8:30PM
ZOOM LINK: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83474789217
CLIMATE EQUITY LA SERIES: COMMUNITY-DRIVEN CLIMATE RESILIENCE | APRIL 27 | MORE INFO
The City of Los Angeles Climate Emergency Mobilization Office (CEMO) invites you to join the Climate Equity LA Series on Community-Driven Climate Resilience, on Thursday, April 27, 6:00 - 8:00 pm. This event will highlight the work of community experts and organizers in developing solutions for extreme heat in Los Angeles that are shaped and driven by community priorities, including mutual aid networks, local resilience surveying, and participatory heat mapping.
Click HERE to register!
DISASTER ASSISTANCE SURVEY | MORE INFO
We’ve seen unusually high levels of rainfall this winter, with rainstorms saturating hillsides and resulting in damage Citywide. In order to advocate for State/Federal disaster assistance on behalf of residents, the LA County Office of Emergency Management is conducting a survey of all County residents (including those within the City of Los Angeles) to submit information on their property damages resulting from the February and March 2023 storms. The information collected will help County officials understand the extent of local impacts, and possibly make a case for assistance from other levels of government.
Click HERE to report major damages and complete the survey.
*The survey is not an application for financial assistance, nor does it indicate that assistance is now or will become available.
Residents should immediately communicate with their homeowner’s insurance entity regarding property impacts from the storm. Additionally, further inquiries and complaints can be made to the California Department of Insurance. Claims for damages that residents believe are a result of an action of the City can be filed via the Office of the City Clerk. Claims for damages as a result of an action of the County can be filed via the Board of Supervisors Executive Office.
FILE A CLAIM FOR POTHOLE REPAIR | MORE INFO
Have you paid out of pocket to repair pothole-related damage? You are eligible for reimbursement! The city of Los Angeles is answerable for all potholes on streets within its boundaries – Angelenos who have already paid out of pocket to repair pothole-related damage can file a claim for assistance on the city clerk’s website.
You can also report a pothole by calling the city’s 311 hotline or by filing a report using the 311 app. Repairs can also be requested on the 311 website.
APPLY FOR A SOCAL GAS RESTAURANT RESILIENCY GRANT | MORE INFO
SoCalGas has partnered with the California Restaurant Foundation for the 3rd consecutive year in support of the Restaurant Resilience program to provide $5,000 grants to independently-owned restaurants.
Grants will be available to all California-based restaurant owners located in the SoCalGas’s service areas that have less than five units and less than $3 million in revenue. Priority will be given to restaurants who have yet to receive a grant; however, previous recipients are encouraged to re-apply.
Click HERE for more information and to apply!
APPLY TO BE A SUMMER CALIFORNIA CLIMATE CORPS FELLOW | MORE INFO
CD4 looking for summer California Climate Action Corps Fellows! In June 2023, California Volunteers, in partnership with Bay Area Community Resources, will launch the California Climate Action Corps 2023 Summer Fellowship, placing 80 Fellows with Host Partners throughout the state, principally in underserved communities. Fellows will serve 300+ hours over a two-month term to mobilize their communities through climate volunteer engagement, climate action and education projects focused on urban greening, organic waste and edible food recovery, and wildfire resiliency. The Fellowship comes with a $5,300 living allowance, and a $1,375 Segal Education Award.
CD4 will be hosting two Summer Fellows, and the time to apply is now! More information, including how to apply, can be found here. If you do apply and want to serve with CD4, please email [email protected] once you’ve submitted, so we can flag your application!
L.A.C.E.R. AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS IS HIRING | MORE INFO
The L.A.C.E.R. Afterschool Programs provide middle and high school students with free opportunities in the arts, academics, and athletics every day after school. Located in eight Los Angeles public schools, the program serves over 1,080 students every day with a team of instructors, artists, coaches, and volunteers. The services L.A.C.E.R. provides make all the difference for the families we serve; 84% are economically disadvantaged; they do not have access to the high-quality programming L.A.C.E.R. specializes in, such as visual and performing arts, math and English tutoring, college and career prep, and organized sports for girls and boys.
To be a part of the L.A.C.E.R. Afterschool Programs Staff and impact the lives of thousands of students in Los Angeles, visit our jobs page HERE!
To stay up to date on closures, follow @LADOTofficial on Twitter, and check out their updates page.
Closure on Killon Street for Sidewalk Project
Date/Time: Construction began April 10 and will run through the end of Spring 2023 from 7AM to 3:30PM.
Location: Lane closure between Encino Avenue and Louise Avenue is scheduled from 9AM to 2PM
Details: The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is building sidewalks in coordination with the City of Los Angeles and local community to enhance pedestrian access on Killion Street in the community of Encino. Residents and businesses located near the freeway are advised to anticipate noise, vibrations, and dust associated with construction activities. The schedule is weather-permitting, and all dates and times are subject to change. Caltrans reminds motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert” and “Slow for the Cone Zone.”
Contact: Samantha Teves, (213) 793-9669
Services + Resources