The Truth About Shelters and Homeless Services

Homelessness is the biggest social issue facing Los Angeles and I am committed to finding sensible solutions to this crisis. While the crisis is regional, its impacts are felt in different ways in every Council District 2 neighborhood. Continue reading

New Health and Recreation Center Coming to North Hollywood

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of breaking ground on New Directions for Youth's (NDY) Health and Recreation Center in North Hollywood. This was a special event for me because I have long supported NDY's work with at-risk youth. For more than 43 years, NDY has transformed tens of thousands of young lives by creating a positive atmosphere for children in the San Fernando Valley. NDY serves 3,000 youth each year and has provided free services for a whopping 90,000 people in our communities.  Continue reading

Solving Homelessness Together

Last Thursday, I sponsored the East Valley Town Hall on Homelessness at Los Angeles Valley College in Valley Glen. More than 400 of my constituents came to discuss the defining issue of our time. Continue reading

2017 in Review

  Happy New Year! As we begin 2018, I'm happy to offer you this special edition of Our Valley News as a way to remember what made 2017 so special in our city. Continue reading

Update on Whitnall Off-Leash Dog Park Improvements

  Last fall, my office joined forces with dozens of community members to help North Hollywood’s Whitnall Off-Leash Dog Park win the Beneful Dream Dog Park competition. Together we succeeded due to a strong, united social media push by many North Hollywood residents, dog park users and my office. Continue reading

Trick-or-Treat: East Valley Halloween Guide

Halloween is here, and I trust you are busy getting your costume together, carving pumpkins, and decorating your home or apartment. Unless you plan on spending the night waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive, Halloween is the one night of the year you will see or accompany cute (and scary) little ghouls, goblins and superheros as they roam freely in your neighborhood. Continue reading

UPDATE: Harvard-Westlake Parking Structure Plans Suspended

On October 30, Harvard-Westlake made a tremendously important announcement: it is suspending its plans to build a parking structure on the west side of Coldwater Canyon Avenue, and will instead explore adding more parking capacity on campus. I want to thank the community for making its voice heard regarding the Coldwater project. I also appreciate that the school has listened to my concerns, and those of the community, and taken them seriously. The open discourse among the community, the city, the school and impacted neighbors highlights what makes our democratic process so great and important. Continue reading

Have a Plan, Be Prepared

  From the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, to the recent earthquakes in Mexico City and the Southland, it's clear that disaster can strike at any time. Our newspaper headlines, television screens and social media feeds are inundated with stories recounting the debilitating affects of Mother Nature's wrath and the rising human toll left in its wake. News of these natural disasters certainly may seem overwhelming, but it should also serve as a great motivator to counteract them, and the best way to do that is to get prepared. Continue reading

Update on the 170 Sound Walls

For more than four decades, the neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley adjacent to the 170 Freeway have been in desperate need of sound walls to minimize interference with their homes and lives. Continue reading

Bringing Hope to Houston

In the week since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeastern Texas, the tropical storm has a left trail of devastation in the region. So far, it has claimed nearly 50 lives, flooded 136,000 structures in Houston alone and displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the storm's wake. The rising waters turned familiar roads into rivers, and residents sought refuge in official and makeshift shelters. Continue reading

Finding Solutions to Homelessness

I don't have to tell you that Los Angeles is facing a homeless crisis greater than we've seen before. Economic dislocation from the Great Recession, a reduction of mental health services, the challenge of finding good jobs, along with the dearth of affordable housing in LA have made Southern California ground zero for the problem over the past few years. We understand the problem well as we see its manifestations each day, but our response has matured in recent months. This year, the City Council dedicated $176 million -- more funding than ever before -- to fight homelessness. And we are currently exploring the best ways to use that money, taking necessary steps toward mapping out permanent solutions. Continue reading

Back to School Safety

This week, hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District students returned to school, and in the coming weeks, nearly every young student in the city will be back in the classroom to kick off the new school year. As students get back to learning, I would like to remind parents, families and students to be safe and smart while making your way to school. Continue reading

The Olympics Are Coming Back to Los Angeles

Los Angeles just made history. Today, the City Council authorized a contract that will make Los Angeles the host city for the 2028 Summer Olympic Games. LA will be the first city in modern times to host the Summer Games on three occasions, most recently in 1984, a year still etched in the minds of anyone living in our great city at the time. Continue reading

Sidewalk Repair Just Got Easier

You might remember that, last year, the City Council launched LA's first-ever comprehensive sidewalk repair program. We pledged to invest more than $30 million a year and a total of $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to make all 11,000 miles of city sidewalks safe and accessible for everyone. The program, called Safe Sidewalks LA, is one of the biggest and boldest infrastructure projects in LA's history. Continue reading

Banking on Los Angeles

This week, we marked the beginning of a new fiscal year in the City of Los Angeles with a new City Council and a renewed vision to serve the people. We celebrated the many historic achievements in recent years, including better wages for Angelenos, getting on a path toward clean energy, leading the way in the region's transit revolution, making it easier to do business in LA and investing in our sidewalks. Continue reading