A Matter of Life and Death

Far too many lives are cut short or changed forever by gun violence every day in America. On Wednesday, right as the City Council voted to study how guns used in crimes make it onto LA's streets, we heard the chilling reports about another fatal shooting, this one on UCLA's campus. As an editorial in today's Washington Post points out, the UCLA shooting marks the 186th U.S. school shooting since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook. That tragic number is outrageous and completely unacceptable. I hope you agree with me that we cannot sit back and endure the status quo any longer.  Continue reading

Memorial Day: Remembering the Brave

  For too many Americans, Memorial Day has become a day for barbecuing and beach trips – a day to shop for mattresses and appliances.  But by being here today, each of you is declaring that above all else, Memorial Day is about remembering. It is about our national memory.  Fortunately, throughout these United States, in bustling cities and in quiet towns, Americans are gathering this morning, as we do here, to remember and to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to our country so that all of us, and others throughout the world, might live in freedom. Continue reading

Investing in Our Communities

After three weeks of budget meetings, input from 44 city departments and 173 public comments, my City Council colleagues and I just approved an $8.76 billion city budget for Fiscal Year 2016-2017. This is the city's fifth consecutive budget that I've had the pleasure to oversee as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. Continue reading

We All Rescued the Mission

Two years ago, I stood with my City Council colleagues and local business owners in the charred ashes of a massive fire that brought down the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission's warehouse and emergency homeless shelter in North Hollywood. We were saddened by the loss, but undaunted by the task ahead of us. That day, we asked everyone in the San Fernando Valley and beyond to join us in a campaign to rescue the Rescue Mission.  Continue reading

Transforming Transportation in Our Valley

Over the past 25 years, Los Angeles has experienced a transit revolution. In 1990 we had no subway or light rail tracks. Now, we have 87 miles with 80 stations throughout LA County, including a bustling regional bus and rail hub in North Hollywood. We have more than 2,000 buses on our streets, including the Valley's own Orange Line, a dedicated bus rapid transit that takes tens of thousands of working people from the east to the west Valley (and vice versa) each day. This is all attributable to Metro's good work, along with the courage and will of County residents who demanded more public transit options at the ballot box. But it's clear that traffic still plagues our neighborhoods and our communities need to be more connected. Continue reading

A New Park for Van Nuys

It was all smiles this week when a dozen young children from Hazeltine Elementary helped me welcome Greenwood Square Park to Van Nuys. Not only was I proud to dedicate the city's newest public park, it is the first park in more than a decade to be created through a little-used provision of the state's Quimby Act.  Continue reading

Coming to the Rescue

In May 2014, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission's homeless shelter and warehouse burned in a tragic fire in District 2. Dozens of families were displaced and the Rescue Mission had to start from square one. My City Council colleagues and I quickly partnered with business leaders and hundreds of generous community members with one mission -- to "rescue the Rescue Mission." It became a rallying cry in the Valley and far beyond. People from across the city donated money and goods, and organized dozens of fundraisers and donation drives, all to get the Rescue Mission back on its feet. Continue reading

Lending a Hand

Homeless is an enormous and seemingly intractable crisis facing our city. It has left an undeniable impact on the livelihoods of individuals and families from the Harbor to the Valley. It has also touched countless families across the nation. As families fight every day to survive, the struggle to provide the basic necessities of a home, food and healthcare continues.  Continue reading

Creating Jobs for Los Angeles

  Los Angeles has come a long way since the dark days of the Great Recession. Our task is to make sure the city is doing what it can to stimulate job and economic growth in Los Angeles. Earlier this week, I joined Mayor Garcetti to discuss the progress our local economy has made creating jobs and what we as a city are doing to help.  Continue reading

Ensuring Safety for Our City

New forms of transportation are helpful to the public and popular with consumers. At the same time, implementing adequate safety standards, including fingerprint-based background checks, is essential for the Angelenos.New forms of transportation are helpful to the public and popular with consumers. At the same time, implementing adequate safety standards, including fingerprint-based background checks, is essential for the Angelenos.New forms of transportation are helpful to the public and popular with consumers. At the same time, implementing adequate safety standards, including fingerprint-based background checks, is essential for the Angelenos. Continue reading

Stepping Up to Fix Sidewalks

  After two years of concentrated work, community meetings and neighborhood input, this week I announced a final policy framework to repair every broken sidewalk in Los Angeles.After two years of concentrated work, community meetings and neighborhood input, this week I announced a final policy framework to repair every broken sidewalk in Los Angeles. Continue reading

Safe Streets, Safe Neighborhoods

Keeping our neighborhoods safe and livable have always been my top priorities as your Councilmember. Ensuring traffic safety is a huge part of that equation. From adding all-way stop signs on Valley Village's residential streets to installing rapid flashing beacon crosswalks in North Hollywood and traffic signals in Tujunga Village, Sun Valley and elsewhere; from redesigning LA's parking signs to urging Waze to help calm traffic by reconsidering the app's impact on small streets, I have focused much of my time and energy on traffic safety measures that will improve our neighborhoods. Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers deserve to feel safe on our public streets, just as homeowners and renters should feel secure living next to them. Continue reading

Bringing Customer Service to the Valley

The San Fernando Valley is a large, diverse and populous place. Our Valley makes up 260 square miles of Los Angeles County, and one in every five county residents lives in the Valley. Continue reading

Making Los Angeles Clean and Green

This week, I had the opportunity and pleasure of speaking to the joint board meeting of the Sierra Club in Studio City. It was a very interesting event, focusing on the group's Clean Energy agenda for 2016, which is an issue I have worked on for years. I'd like to share with you some of what I discussed with them, including LA's recent environmental successes. Continue reading

Creating Good Jobs in Our Communities

Our economy is strong and growing in Los Angeles, which is good news for local businesses, residents and the city as a whole. In July of last year, I took on the task of heading up the City Council's new Jobs Committee with the purpose of finding ways the city can help stimulate job creation and focus on community-driven economic development throughout Los Angeles. Although this committee is relatively new -- we've had six very fruitful meetings so far -- the topic is something I've been working on for years. Continue reading