Supervisor Kuehl will be hosting a virtual town hall this Saturday, May 16 at 11 am with Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Director of the County’s Department of Public Health, to answer your questions about LA County’s experience with the virus and the planned rollout for reopening businesses, services and recreation. The event will be live-streamed on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sjkuehl/ and if you have a question, you are encouraged to post it starting at 10:45 am Saturday morning.
As you know, the COVID19 pandemic is continuing to threaten our health as well as our economy. After a careful assessment of our local County conditions and adhering to Governor Newsom’s guidelines, the LA County Department of Public Health has begun to permit certain businesses and public places to reopen. It is of utmost important that businesses and members of the public follow this important public health guidance.
If you can’t join us for the virtual town hall, please stay up-to-date on how to protect your health and the health of your loved ones and your community. The following links may be helpful:
Anyone who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms can be tested for free at any one of 3 test sites set up in the San Fernando Valley.
Please see the link below to a LA City video on COVID-19 Mobile Drive-Up Testing. The video was customized for Our Valley Community by videographer Mark Hovater. Yesterday, Mark went to the only 3 locations for the San Fernando Valley (locations and addresses of each testing site are shown on the video). Please check out the video. It’s an easy process to get tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. Stay safe & well!
With support from the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, the Angeleno Card provides financial assistance for in-need households via no-fee prepaid cards provided by Mastercard’s City Possible network in amounts determined according to the following table:
Friday afternoon, President Trump signed the CARES Act – a $2 trillion economic rescue package that will provide relief to many groups affected by the coronavirus. This plan will offer assistance to tens of millions of American households affected by the coronavirus by providing stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes, different retirement account rules and more. To learn more, click here.
Information about state information and resources for residents seeking financial assistance due to COVID-19 here.
On Tuesday, Governor Newsom announced many financial institutions will provide relief for a vast majority of Californians during the COVID-19 crisis in the form of a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments and more. To learn more, click here.
Information about county resources for residents seeking help due to COVID-19 here.
LA Metro buses and trains are running on a reduced schedule. Latest schedule here. Passengers are asked to board/exit buses from the rear doors only.
Metrolink schedule and service reduced. Latest schedule here.
Information about city resources for residents seeking help due to COVID-19 here.
Emergency eviction moratorium extended to April 19, 2020.
8 rec centers are up and running as temporary shelter for unhoused residents. 5 more estimated to come online by the end of the weekend. Hope of the Valley is the nonprofit partner helping to operate the Granada Hills and Northridge Park Recreation Center, which are both
Mayor Garcetti issues “Safer at Home” emergency order – ordering all residents of the City of L.A. to stay inside their residences and immediately limit all non-essential movement. Coronavirus.LACity.org
El alcalde Garcetti anuncia la orden de emergencia “Más Protegidos en Casa”, ordenando a todos los residentes de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles que permanezcan dentro de sus residencias y limiten de inmediato las actividades que no son esenciales. Coronavirus.LACity.org
These are challenging days, and there will be more ahead. We’re doing all we can to help the nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers on the front lines of this crisis.
At the same time, I want to make sure that everyone in the San Fernando Valley gets the information and support they need. I’m especially concerned about our seniors and others who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
With these regular updates, we hope to keep you informed about how our communities are addressing this outbreak, the services available, and suggestions to help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe. If you have a specific question or concern, please click here to send an email for follow-up by my staff.
If anyplace knows how to handle a crisis, it’s the San Fernando Valley. We know that times can be hard, but we also know that challenges like these can bring out the very best in us. Let’s remember, we’re all in this together. — Bob Hertzberg
FIRST CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Los Angeles County Public Health Department has identified confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Northridge, Sherman Oaks and Encino. Officials reported a countywide total Monday of 94 cases, and of these, at least 15 likely due to community transmission. “We are seeing a significant increase in cases and evidence of community spread as more testing occurs,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “We are implementing more social distancing requirements and we expect everyone to do their part.” To see the breakdown of cases by city go to http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus
LEGISLATURE TO ADDRESS EMERGENCY FUNDING
Lawmakers met Monday to consider setting aside $500 million to address the COVID-19 state emergency. Funds are expected to be used to lease and activate two hospitals, provide hotel beds for people experiencing homelessness, support local government efforts to reduce spread of COVID-19 among the homeless, buy hospital and public health surge equipment, assist hospitals and nursing homes, clean child care facilities so they remain open; and fund teams to support seniors during isolation. The Legislature is also expected to consider a measure providing $100 million to help schools address the emergency.
GOVERNOR CALLS FOR HOME ISOLATION OF SENIORS
Governor Gavin Newsom has called for those who are 65 or older and those with chronic conditions to isolate in their homes as they face the greatest risk from COVID-19. He also requested that visitation of patients in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, senior and assisted living homes be for “end of life” only.
VALLEY MEAL SITES FOR SENIORS CLOSED, MEAL DISTRIBUTION STARTING
While meal sites are closed effective Monday, packaged and frozen meals will be distributed at sites for older adults at some locations. See here for a map with detailed plans for each meal site. The Congregate Meal Program at the ONEgeneration Senior Enrichment Center, Canoga Park Senior Center and the Owensmouth Gardens Dining Center will hand out meals from noon to 1 pm. Learn more by calling (213) 482-7252 or at https://aging.lacity.org/
LOS ANGELES PARKS CLOSING ALL SENIOR CITIZEN CENTERS
Senior citizen centers are closed at all Los Angeles parks and recreation facilities. Dining centers for older adults will be contacting participants to provide information regarding meal distribution at the dining centers. Home delivered meals will continue to be delivered. Older adults can contact the centers they participate at directly or reach the LA City Department of Aging at (213) 482-7252.
Starting Wednesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District will open family resource centers weekdays from 6 am to 6 pm. While locations and details are still being finalized, several will be in the San Fernando Valley, providing supervised places where children can learn, receive a meal, and engage with peers. Space will be limited, and the centers will carry out recommended public health measures, including social distancing, and checking the temperatures of children who attend. LAUSD will establish some grab and go locations for food distribution. For additional information go to www.lausd.net or call (213) 443-1300.
CA ATTORNEY GENERAL ISSUES PRICE-GOUGING ALERT
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has issued a price gouging alert. Under Penal Code Section 396, price gouging is illegal in all California communities during the declared state of emergency. California law prohibits charging a price that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price of an item before a state or local declaration of emergency. This law applies to those who sell food, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials, and gasoline. The law also applies to repair or reconstruction services, emergency cleanup services, transportation, freight and storage services, hotel accommodations, and rental housing. Exceptions to this prohibition exist if the price of labor, goods, or materials has increased for the business. You can report price gouging to the Attorney General’s office at (800) 952-5225 or https://oag.ca.gov/consumers. More information is available here.
MAYOR ISSUES MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS
Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered a moratorium on evictions of residential tenants who demonstrate an inability to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include loss of income due to a COVID-19 related workplace closure, child care expenditures due to school closures, health care expenses related to being ill with COVID-19 or caring for a household member who is ill with COVID-19, or reasonable expenditures that stem from government-ordered emergency measures. Tenants will have up to six months to repay any back due rent. Learn more at: https://www.lamayor.org/sites/g/files/wph446/f/article/files/Mayor%20Garcetti%20Emergency%20Order%20-%20March%2015%202020.pdf
STATE TAX FILING DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR CORONAVIRUS RELIEF
State Controller Betty Yee announced that individual taxpayers, partnerships and LLCs will now have until June 15 to file their tax returns and pay any taxes owed. Those who have quarterly estimated payments due on April 15 will now also have until Jun 15 to make those payments. Taxpayers filing under this extended deadline relief should note “Coronavirus” on top of the tax return. The Franchise Tax Board will also waive interest, late filing, and late penalty fees. Learn more at www.ftb.ca.gov.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, DISABILITY, AND PAID FAMILY LEAVE
The California Employment Development Department has developed guidelines for those who are ill, caring for sick family members, or whose job has been disrupted by the Coronavirus. The guidelines address quarantine-related reduction of hours, missing work due to school closure-related childcare needs, and work loss due to age/underlying health-related isolation, among others. Learn more at https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm
PROTECTING YOUR COMMUNITY AND THE ONES YOU LOVE
Everyone has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense things you learned as a kindergartner:
Washing hands with soap and water.
Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Follow guidance from public health officials.
It is also important that anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call their health care provider first before seeking medical care.
Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
REMEMBER, WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER
If you have a specific question or concern, please click here to send an email or call my office at (818) 901-5588. And please connect with me on Facebook and Twitter as my office continues to provide more information regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Bob Hertzberg Representing the San Fernando Valley, CA District 18
Census 2020 is around the corner. The results will determine not only our representation in Congress, but how more than $115 billion is spent every year on California schools, healthcare, housing, transportation, and other vital programs in our neighborhoods.
But we won’t get an accurate count in 2020 unless everyone participates.
Your 2020 Census invitation should arrive in your mailbox this month. To submit your responses online please use the user ID included in your mailing and submit responses at census.lacity.org.
Did you know…
Los Angeles County is the hardest-to-count in the country.
It is estimated that the City of Los Angeles receives billions every year in federal funding.
Census data helps drive funding for programs like Medi-Cal, Title 1 grants, Special Education grants, SNAP (food stamps), Head Start, the repair and construction of highways, bridges, roads, and more.
For the first time since obtaining statehood in 1850, California missed an opportunity to gain a seat in Congress after the 2010 Census by an estimated 13,000 individuals.
A declaration of a state of emergency is a preparedness measure. It authorizes government agencies to mobilize resources quickly to respond to any noted threat. For this reason, while there are still only a few known active coronavirus cases in California, Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti have declared an official state of emergency for both the State of California and the City of Los Angeles, to allocate the resources necessary to preparing for and preventing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Please visit these links to learn what the City of Los Angeles is doing with regard to coronavirus, and to read the declarations from the Mayor and the Governor.
Penalties have increased for illegal dumping. Dumping waste, materials, packaging, and equipment on L.A. streets, sidewalks, and alleys or in public bins is a crime and is subject to increased fines or criminal prosecution.
The City is cracking down on those who trash our sidewalks and streets. Penalties for violations under City and/or State law are punishable from a $200 fine up to as much as $25,000 and/or jail time.
Surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the City. Footage from these and private business cameras is being used as evidence in pursuing criminal cases against illegal dumpers.
Undercover and uniformed officers have been deployed in an effort to catch illegal dumping in real-time.
Citizen Reporting: the MyLA311 app has been updated to make it easier for witnesses of illegal dumping with evidence or first-hand information to report it to the City for investigation.
When a big earthquake hits your area, your house might fly off its foundation and collapse if:
Built before 1980
Has a crawl space and/or a cripple wall
It’s never been retrofitted before
The good news is that this year the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is offering as much as $3,000 each to 4,400 California homeowners to help pay for retrofitting their places.
There are an estimated 1.2 million homes across the state that could be vulnerable, according to the CEA. Considering it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in fixes, and years out of your house if your home is thrown off of its foundation, the program might be worth looking into.
Election “Day” is so 2016. Californians have been voting by mail since the beginning of this month, and in L.A. and Orange Counties, voting in-person starts Saturday morning, when the first round of centralized “vote centers” will open.
Most neighborhood polling places are going away, so your old voting spot may no longer be there. Instead, you’ll probably have to travel a bit farther to a new vote center.
The first group of these centers is open for 11 days beginning this weekend. The rest open on Feb. 29th, through election day.
You can go to any location in the county where you’re registered — and you don’t need to bring a mail-in ballot to surrender if you decide to vote in-person.
HOW to vote is also different in 2020:
In L.A. County, most in-person voters will use a new ballot marking machine that prints a paper ballot. If you’d rather vote on paper at your kitchen table, you have until Tuesday, Feb. 25 to request a vote-by-mail ballot.
WILL THESE CHANGES LEAVE SOME VOTERS BEHIND?
New research is painting a troubling picture about whether Angelenos know about the new vote centers, spelled out in a 2016 law called the Voter’s Choice Act.
On Thursday, the USC Price-Schwarzenegger Institute published results from its California Issues Poll showing just over 37% of likely voters in the 15 counties implementing Voter’s Choice Act changes in 2020 were aware that where and how to cast ballots was changing.
In Los Angeles, 62.2% either didn’t know about the changes or couldn’t answer the question. In contrast, over half of respondents (51%) in Orange County knew about the changes.
🚨 HOLIDAY SERVICE REMINDER 🚨 – Due to the holiday, LA Sanitation offices will be closed on Wednesday December 25th. There will be no bin collection service on Christmas Day. If your collection day is normally on Wednesday, your bins will be serviced Thursday. If your collection day is Thursday, your bins will be serviced Friday. If your bins are usually serviced on Friday, collection will be pushed to Saturday. Sanitation will resume their standard collection schedule on Monday – December, 30th and Tuesday – December, 31st.
In addition, your bin collection services may be impacted during heavy rain, if it’s deemed too dangerous to attempt collections on your street/neighborhood. Collections will be completed as soon as streets are dry enough and safe to travel. Thanks for your patience! Please visit their website at www.lacitysan.org/holidayschedule for information about other holidays. Although the LA Sanitation offices will be closed on December 25th, their Customer Care Center is available to assist you twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year at 1-800-773-2489. Also, Marketing will have limited access to their social accounts during the holidays. Please call their call center with any questions you may have about their programs and services. We wish you a safe, healthy, and sustainable holiday season!