L.A. Salutes Our Veterans

Every November, our country honors the veterans of our armed services — men and women whose devotion to duty has made possible the freedoms we enjoy. November 11 was originally observed as Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I, when the guns fell silent at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.  Since 1954, we have observed the occasion as Veterans Day, honoring all the men and women of our armed services.  For many years, it has been my privilege to lead the City Council’s Salute to Veterans. I initiated a tradition of the Councilmembers naming a Veteran of the Year in each district, recognizing one individual as a representative of the many whose contribution to our community has extended beyond their service in our country’s uniform. Continue reading

From The Streets To a Tiny Home To Permanent Housing

The magnitude of the homelessness crisis here in Los Angeles and across the nation can often seem overwhelming. The persistence of the challenges, and the barriers to what seem to be common sense solutions, can easily lead both the housed and the unhoused in our community to lose hope. Continue reading

Electric Buses Come to the Valley

This month, Metro finalized the conversion of the entire Orange Line (now known as the G Line) to zero-emission electric buses, achieving a goal that I initiated five years ago. Approximately 40 zero-emission Metro Liner buses now operate on the 18-mile dedicated busway between North Hollywood and Chatsworth. The new buses are cleaner for the atmosphere and quieter for the neighborhood, and they can be recharged at multiple points along the line to keep the buses running day and night, seven days a week. Continue reading

The Second Council District Achieves Interim Housing Goal

On September 21, the Whitsett West tiny home community opened its doors to serve as interim housing for those experiencing homelessness in my district.  It is the third tiny homes village I have opened this year in my district (out of only seven in the entire city).  With the completion of Whitsett West, together with our two previous cabin communities and two “Bridge Home” sites, we have now built enough bridge housing to accommodate 100 percent of the people who were living unsheltered on the streets of the Second District as of the last homeless count. Continue reading

Council Adopts 100% Clean Energy By 2035

On September 1, the Los Angeles City Council took the historic step of requiring that 100 percent of the city’s electricity come from clean, zero-carbon energy by 2035. Through a motion I introduced with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power — the largest municipally-owned utility in the country — will lead the nation in this ambitious and game-changing commitment to sustainable energy. Continue reading

A Safe and Healthy New School Year

Last month, LAUSD welcomed more than 450,000 students to their campuses for the first time in almost a year and half. Continue reading

Defeating the Delta Variant

The return of our children to school should be an occasion for celebration, but as we begin the new school year, we cannot ignore the resurgence of Covid-19 here in Los Angeles.  We should all be vigilant in ensuring the safety of all children, as well as that of our teachers and school personnel.   Continue reading

LA 100 - Our City's Progress to 100% Clean Energy by 2035

Five years ago, I initiated Los Angeles’ conversion to a 100 percent carbon-free electrical grid. But it was much more than just setting a goal. In response to my motion, co-authored by Councilmember Bonin, LADWP began an effort unprecedented in the nation to create a genuine blueprint to eliminate fossil fuels and achieve 100 percent clean energy. With the active engagement of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a committed community task force representing environmental organizations, business, labor and ratepayer advocates, the LA100 plan was born. Los Angeles is now on a clear trajectory to achieve the 100 percent clean energy future that no other major city has accomplished, and to do it in a way that ensures grid reliability, cost efficiency and massive job creation. Continue reading

L.A. Enacts New Limits on Homeless Encampments

For years, Los Angeles has struggled to meet the needs of our unhoused population while also protecting the rights of all members of the public to use public property, including safe and unobstructed sidewalks. Here in Council District 2, over the last 14 months alone, we have created interim housing to accommodate 800 people -- enough to shelter every person who was living unsheltered on the streets in my District as of the last count. We also created the city’s first homeless services navigation center, making counseling, hygiene, job referral, housing placement, and storage readily accessible to people experiencing homelessness. Continue reading

Grappling with a historic budget deficit

Just a year ago, the City's financial health was the strongest it had been in more than a decade. But then the COVID pandemic hit, causing not only devastating loss of lives and livelihoods, but also the worst budget catastrophe Los Angeles has ever seen. Continue reading

Giving Thanks

From my family to you and yours, Happy Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving 2020, like so many other special events this year, will be a very different kind of celebration.  Most of us will be scaling down and enjoying a considerably smaller gathering, in order to keep our friends and community safer during one of the most dangerous periods of the pandemic.  Although this celebration may seem different, Thanksgiving still offers us the opportunity to consider all that we have to be grateful for, even in difficult times. Continue reading

Honoring our Veterans in 2020

Several years ago I created the City Council's annual "Veterans of the Year" ceremony to commemorate Veterans Day. Every year, we have honored and highlighted one veteran from each council district who has served our country and our community with honor and distinction. The proud families and friends of our Veterans of the Year fill the Council Chambers as Councilmembers describe their honorees extraordinary service. The ceremony is always one of the high points of the year at City Hall. Continue reading

Fighting Back Against Corruption at City Hall

The recent indictment and arrest of Councilmember Jose Huizar by the Department of Justice was an important step in addressing a horrendous and disgusting breach of the public's trust. Two months ago, I was among the first city officials to demand Mr. Huizar's resignation from office. But as the legal process proceeds, and regardless of what happens to Mr. Huizar, City Hall needs to take much bolder steps to get to the root of corruption and hold accountable anyone who attempts to profit from it. Continue reading

Reflections On Our City

In the past week, America yet again has been forced to confront the pernicious racial injustice that is our nation's ugly original sin.  Like all Americans, I was outraged by the horrific image of a so-called law enforcement officer in Minnesota callously and cruelly murdering George Floyd.  That officer's knee pressing down on the neck of an African-American man, face down on the street, handcuffed and unarmed, helpless and begging for his life, was the very symbol of the kind of abuse of power and injustice and oppression that too many have suffered for far too long.   Continue reading

Remembering Heroes

For too many Americans, Memorial Day has become a day for barbecuing and beach trips - a day to shop for mattresses and appliances.  This year, our commitment to staying safer at home gives us an opportunity to focus on the real purpose of Memorial Day:  to remember and to honor the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country so that all of us, and others throughout the world, might live in freedom. Continue reading