As our office has worked to expand shelter and services to move people indoors, we’ve also seen the need for a better response when someone is having a crisis on our streets. When people call for help in a non-violent emergency, we want specialized teams to be able to show up quickly and address the situation, improving outcomes and allowing LAPD to focus on violent and serious crime.
After much advocacy within the City, I’m excited to share that we’ve helped expand a CIRCLE team to cover the Los Feliz area to conduct unarmed response and proactive outreach to issues pertaining to homelessness.
CIRCLE stands for Crisis and Incident Response through Community-Led Engagement, and it serves as an alternative response to nonviolent incidents, including those involving people experiencing homelessness. If someone needs a wellbeing check or is causing a nonviolent disturbance, the CIRCLE Team can arrive quickly and help manage the situation.
The program has been underway in the Hollywood Area for a year now, and the teams have done a lot already. In the year after its activation in January 2022, the CIRCLE program responded to 4,479 diverted calls from 911 or the LAPD non-emergency line, along with thousands more incidents encountered in the field. Their presence provides a much-needed boost to LA's alternative crisis response resources.
The CIRCLE team is also able to help create more inviting spaces for all by maintaining common spaces and sidewalks clear of debris, and assisting with light trash pick-up –– including needle pick-up and disposal. CIRCLE team members will also work to interrupt negative behavior in the coverage areas including public urination/defecation, littering, and general noise disturbances.
Through our Office's outreach, businesses in the Los Feliz community have been introduced to the CIRCLE Team and how to contact them. If you'd like to reach the CIRCLE Team in Los Feliz, you can call the LAPD non-emergency line at 877-275-5273 and request the CIRCLE team directly.
In the few weeks that it's been active in the Los Feliz area, our team has personally witnessed the CIRCLE Team respond to calls in 15 minutes, de-escalate incidents, and connect individuals to needed medical and mental health services. It’s a true community-based crisis response — one that I am so grateful to finally have serving our district.
I. Updates From City Hall —Bringing Mental And Health Care Services To City-Funded Interim Housing Sites, Reducing The Cost Of Participating In Organics Recycling, Making Shelter Occupancy Data Publicly Available
II. In The District —Joining FOLAR’s Nature Walk, Celebrating The End Of Ramadan, Wrangling With History In Griffith Park, Commemorating The Armenian Genocide, Standing Up Against Sexual Violence For Denim Day
III. Upcoming Events — Organics Recycling Pail Giveaways, Community Mental Health Awareness Fair
IV. Resources & Forums — Los Angeles Region Small Business Summit, Metro Presents: Bike Month
V. Job Opportunities — Apply To Be A Summer CCAC Fellow, Rec & Parks Is Hiring Preschool Teachers
VI. Construction & Closures — Killon Street Closure
VII. Other Helpful Links
BRINGING MENTAL AND HEALTH CARE SERVICES TO CITY-FUNDED INTERIM HOUSING SITES
While the City of Los Angeles has made significant investments in interim housing programs in recent years, these sites are currently not equipped with on-site medical, mental, and behavioral health support for program participants. I introduced a motion earlier this month that seeks to close this gap in services by enabling Street Medicine teams to provide medical, mental, and behavioral health services at all City-funded interim housing sites.
Providing individuals at these sites a full spectrum of care is critical for easing the transition from living on the streets to interim housing. While I am hopeful that the County can provide more of these services in the coming years, the City must do everything we can to fill that gap in the short term and ensure that people are able to stay housed.
Read more in our press release HERE!
REDUCING THE COST OF PARTICIPATING IN ORGANICS RECYCLING
In 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1383 to address climate change via greenhouse gas emissions produced by trapped food waste in landfills. The bill aims to reduce organic waste disposal by 75% in 2025 and is a crucial step in combating climate change. Beginning January 1, 2024, all commercial and multi-family residential accounts without green bin service can be fined until they add the service.
In April, I introduced legislation that seeks to lessen the financial burden commercial and multi-family residential customers will face when enforcement of organics recycling participation begins. With this motion, we are hoping to put a system in place to reduce the financial burden on hundreds of thousands of commercial account holders and reward compliance.
MAKING SHELTER OCCUPANCY DATA PUBLICLY AVAILABLE
Last month, I introduced a motion to make shelter occupancy data publicly available on a daily basis. As the City continues to make investments in interim housing and shelter sites, City employees and the public have a continuing need to access and understand the availability of shelter beds.
Where and when shelter beds are available can often mean the difference between life and death for someone living on the streets. Making this data publicly available on a daily basis would permit people experiencing homelessness and their case managers to research which shelter options are most readily available, while providing a clear assessment of possible wait times and eligibility requirements that need to be met. With freely accessible information available to all Angelenos, open beds or rooms could be filled more quickly, allowing the entire homeless services system in Los Angeles to operate with a higher degree of efficiency.
JOINING FOLAR’S NATURE WALK
This “Earth Month,” I had the pleasure of joining Friends of the LA River (FoLAR) on a gorgeous Saturday morning for their 33rd annual river clean-up and “Earth With Us” celebration! We met at the Sunnynook River Park for a nature walk, followed by a demonstration on how to create your own water filtration system using recycled water bottles.
Just in 2022, FoLAR clean-ups removed over 50,000 pounds of trash from the LA River and their monthly Habitat Restoration Days helped restore and remove invasive species from 95 acres of land. My office allocated a small grant to FoLAR to help them continue this invaluable work!
CELEBRATING THE END OF RAMADAN
I was humbled to join the IMAN Cultural Center’s annual Interfaith Festival of Unity last week, along with Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky, and break fast with community members at a beautiful Iftar dinner. This past month, Muslims observed Ramadan, Christians observed Lent, and Jewish residents celebrated Passover – all at the same time! By bringing us all together, the IMAN Cultural Center allowed us the opportunity to engage in conversation, exchange views, and most importantly set the stage for continuing to advocate for a framework for social justice, a culture free from violence, and a vision of a more peaceful City.
Thank you so much to IMAN President and Founder Dr. Sadegh Namazikhah, and all of the other organizers for making this Iftar possible and bringing us together in honor of Ramadan.
I also want to note that for the first time in City history, in partnership with the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the City of Los Angeles lit up City Hall and the Sixth Street Bridge in green to commemorate the first week of Ramadan! I’m also proud that not only did the City Council pass my resolution in observance of Ramadan for the second year in a row, the City was once again lit up in green during Eid al-Fitr.
WRANGLING WITH HISTORY IN GRIFFITH PARK
Like so many of our sacred spaces here in the City of Los Angeles, Griffith Park contains a history that is at once awesome and complicated.
A few weeks ago, I was honored to join Dr. Sigrid Toye, Kathy Masaoka, Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition President Kyoko Nancy Oda, and several other community leaders to unveil an educational sign at Griffith Park to bring awareness to some of this complicated history.
From February 1942 to July 1943, Griffith Park was home to a U.S. Army-operated internment camp that housed Japanese, German and Italian Americans. Some people were detained for one night and some for several months, but no matter the length of their stay, the course of their lives was changed forever. They were betrayed by the country they had chosen to call home.
For the first time, the park is publicly recognizing this history with the installation of an educational sign in Travel Town to bring awareness to the site and honor the memory of those who were interned.
Sigrid, whose father was arrested the night after the attacks on Pearl Harbor and held at the Griffith Park internment camp, and Kathy, whose grandfather was also interned at the camp, shared their moving stories about their families’ history and the impact these injustices have had on them and the greater community.
The three of us bonded over the immigrant experience and the hope that a problematic past can still give way to a more just, educated, and equitable future.
Thank you to the Rec & Parks team Tracy James, Jimmy Kim, and Stephanie Smith, Linda Barth, John Esaki and the Japanese American Museum, the LA Breakfast Club, and the Griffith J. Griffith Charitable Trust for helping to make this educated future a reality.
COMMEMORATING THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
April 24th marked the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and I was honored to be invited to speak at the annual Armenian Genocide Rally and Commemoration, hosted by the Armenian Genocide Committee (AGC).
Between 1915 and 1923, more than 1.5 million Armenians were systematically massacred and deported from their ancestral lands by the Ottoman Empire. The survivors faced unspeakable horrors and hardships, but demonstrated remarkable resilience and courage. They rebuilt their lives and communities in cities like Los Angeles, finding refuge here to preserve their rich culture and heritage.
At this event, where I spoke along with Congressman Adam Schiff and Council President Paul Krekorian, speakers all underscored that this violence is not just in the past, but in the present. The blockade in Artsakh by Azerbaijan is an ongoing humanitarian crisis that demands immediate and stronger action from the US.
STANDING UP AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE FOR DENIM DAY
Last week, I stood with Peace Over Violence and my cohort of female leaders on the City Council to say that sexual violence isn’t just a women’s rights issue, it’s a human rights issue. As we marked the 24th annual Denim Day – the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, I shared my ongoing commitment to using all of the tools available at the City to address this important issue.
FREE ORGANICS RECYCLING PAIL PICKUP | MAY| MORE INFO
In April, our office handed out 1,855 FREE dishwasher-safe countertop pails! If you haven't picked one up, be sure to stop by one of our upcoming giveaways below. To reserve a pail in advance click HERE! And if you're interested in volunteering with us to distribute kitchen countertop pails door-to-door, please sign up HERE.
Reseda (ONEGeneration, 18255 Victory Blvd)
Studio City (Studio City Farmers Market, 2052 Ventura Pl)
Reseda (Reseda Park, corner of Kittridge & Etiwanda)
COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS FAIR | MAY 6
Join the ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center in Reseda for a community mental health awareness fair on Saturday, May 6 from 10AM to 2PM. There will be free activities for families, workshops and presentations, and access to community resources.
DATE: Saturday, May 6, 2023
TIME: 10AM to 2PM
LOCATION: ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center, 7400 Victory Boulevard Van Nuys, CA 91406
LOS ANGELES REGION SMALL BUSINESS SUMMIT | MAY 3 | MORE INFO
In celebration of National Small Business Week, the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the City's Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD), and the Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity will be hosting their first Los Angeles Region Small Business Summit on Wednesday May 3, 2023, from 9:00AM to 2PM. The in-person event will be held at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, School of Culinary Arts at 400 W. Washington Blvd.
The event will focus on helping small businesses recover, grow, and thrive beyond the challenges that they currently face. This celebration will include remarks from County and City representatives, panel discussions, a resource expo, on-site services, and much more! Click HERE for up-to-date event details.
METRO PRESENTS: BIKE MONTH
Bike Month is a special time to celebrate biking in Los Angeles County. Bikes are a sustainable, healthy and integral part of making Los Angeles a greener place to live and Metro Bike Share is glad to be a part of that. Join in celebrating Bike Month however you can!
Get a 30-Day Pass for just $1! Use code BIKEMONTH23 in the app and online.
Valid 5/1-5/31 for both Full Fare and Reduced Fare 30-Day Passes. Redeem online, in the app or at taptogo.net/metrobikeshare.
APPLY TO BE A SUMMER CALIFORNIA CLIMATE CORPS FELLOW
Our CD4 California Climate Action Corps Fellows Stephen and Claudia with Governor Gavin Newsom and Dolores Huerta at a CCAC summit last weekend!
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!
THE DEPARTMENT OF REC & PARKS IS HIRING PRESCHOOL TEACHERS
The Department of Recreation and Parks is seeking qualified preschool teachers! To apply, please email your resume to [email protected] with the subject line "CHILD CARE."
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
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