John S. Lee’s Inauguration & Swearing in Ceremony was held on Saturday 7th, 2019 at the beautiful Oakridge Estate 10-acre park in Northridge. It was a wonderful hot event and over 400 people showed up to support CD Twelve’s new Councilmember.
At last count, Lee, a Republican, was ahead of Democrat Loraine Lundquist, who has not conceded, by more than 1,300 votes. The seat was last held by Mitch Englander, who stepped down last year to take a private sector job.
Lundquist isn’t throwing in the towel yet, in part because of how the June 4 primary went down, according to Jesse Switzer, political consultant for her campaign. Lee initially led by 50 votes the following morning, but after the final certified tally, Lundquist topped him by nearly 440 votes.
The margin is wider this time, but Lundquist “wants to see every vote counted,” Switzer told LAist.
But the L.A. City Council didn’t wait that long, welcoming Lee to council chambers Wednesday as councilman-elect and congratulating him on his victory.
“I’m ready to come here and start the work,” Lee said before Council President Herb Wesson requested a couple rounds of applause.
Lee and Lundquist ran to finish out the term for Englander, who stepped down last year to take a job with a sports entertainment company. The primary election for a full-term leading District 12 will be held in March, along with several other council seats. Read more »
A Personal Statement from CD12 Councilmember Mitchell Englander
Serving on the Los Angeles City Council has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life and has gone way beyond a career. I truly love what I do and who I work with.
Recently, I was presented with an amazing opportunity in the private sector to work with some of the most brilliant and well-respected leaders in their industry. While I didn’t seek this out – sometimes tremendous opportunities find you.
Second only to my marriage to Jayne of 25 years and the pride of raising my two daughters, Lindsey and Lauren, serving as Councilmember for the area I grew up in will forever be one of my life’s most significant and gratifying experiences. Given the joy I have received in serving the people of the 12th Council District, it is with great difficulty that I am announcing that I am vacating my Council seat as of December 31, 2018.
Together, we’ve weathered horrific emergencies and tragedies from fires, to train collisions, the largest gas blow-out in U.S. history, and more. Throughout these crises, our community always came together – never running away from, but always toward danger in order to help each other. We became even stronger.
We have accomplished so much together to improve our community and the lives of all residents for generations to come. Together, we have rebuilt parks and opened new ones. In fact, it was just last week that we broke ground on our new Bloom Park in Porter Ranch. We have opened new pools, established at-risk-youth facilities, expanded hospitals, fought to protect our neighborhoods from overdevelopment, protected horse-keeping, created a first-of-its-kind rescue mission shelter for homeless families, opened new veterans’ housing, completed massive community improvements and created new programs like Making Movies that Matter, Clean Streets – Clean Starts, Neighborhoods FIRST, E12 Student Leadership Academy, the City’s first ever Great Street, and so much more.
As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I am so proud to have helped transform the Los Angeles Fire Department with the implementation of FireSTAT, which has improved response times, saving countless lives every day. We created new programs like our LAFD Fast Paramedic Response and Nurse Practitioner Unit (NPU), which completely revolutionized our fire department now and forever. We were also the largest police department to fully deploy on-body cameras to make sure we remain accountable to the public and to ensure our officers are even more protected. We have also eliminated our backlog for processing rape kits, a priority I set as mission critical.
This is only a fraction of what we have achieved together. The greatest gift has been working with the incredibly engaged and passionate people throughout the 12th District. My family and I are truly honored to have worked with thousands of volunteers who give selflessly to improve our neighborhoods and have forged lifelong relationships with so many.
I am also incredibly blessed to have worked with my fellow elected officials. While we didn’t always agree, I genuinely believe that each one of them has brought their own lifelong experiences to the table and will continue to fight hard for what they believe in. We’ve always shared a common goal – to leave the City and our community better than we found it. I will forever treasure the relationships I’ve shared with my colleagues and so many City staff over the last 15 years.
The most difficult part of this decision will be leaving my team that serves the 12th District every day. The staff of CD12 has been much more than just staff to my family and me. I consider each and every one of them family. I have been incredibly blessed with the best team in the entire City of Los Angeles. Their tremendous work on behalf of our constituents is unmatched, and their never-ending creative ideas and massive achievements are extraordinary. We have also been there for each other for so many milestones in our personal lives – celebrating weddings, funerals and newborns and so much more. My CD12 family will always be part of my family!
If I ever dreamed of fulfillment beyond what being a Councilmember has brought me, it would be to make a significant difference in many more lives and communities. This new endeavor will give me just that. The remarkable people I am joining are not only passionate about their work, they care deeply about improving lives in every community they work in – and they do. They have helped completely turn neighborhoods around, created tens of thousands of good paying jobs, invested significantly in community programs that make a difference, all while creating memories and bringing joy to millions of people throughout the world.
I will be staying on in my position as Councilmember until the end of this year and will remain laser-focused on continuing to represent my district as I have always done. My family and I will also remain deeply involved in all of our non-profit partnerships and volunteer programs for years to come.
It is with tremendous gratitude that my family and I thank you for giving us this opportunity to accomplish so much together over the past decade.
This week, Council District 12 received the results for the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. The results show that our Neighborhoods FIRST strategy is working with a reduction of homelessness by almost 20% within Council District 12.
By funding both increased outreach services and code enforcement, our all-hands-on-deck approach is turning the tide by reducing the total number of individuals experiencing homelessness on our streets. This crisis is far from resolved, but Neighborhoods FIRST provides a blueprint for how we can help those living on our streets while protecting the health and safety of neighborhoods.
The 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count surveyed 700 homeless individuals living within Council District 12. This is a reduction from 869 in 2017 and a peak of 906 in 2016.
Neighborhoods FIRST began in late 2016 with the Clean Streets Clean Starts Initiative which paired individuals experiencing homelessness with job skills training through a neighborhood beautification program. In exchange for attending regular neighborhood clean ups, participants received drug treatment, job training, food gift cards, and access to housing. The program model has since spread to communities across Los Angeles.
In 2017, Councilmember Mitchell Englander began directing office resources to fund additional deployments for LAPD HOPE teams and LA Sanitation workers. These teams work jointly with homeless outreach services to ensure that encampments don’t threaten public health and that individuals living on the street are given the option of immediate shelter and access to LAHSA’s Coordinated Entry System.
Additionally, Neighborhoods FIRST has involved launching public-private partnerships with the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission including fund raising for two mobile shower units to provide approximately 1500 showers per month per unit along with outreach services, Donuts & Donations drives to support the Mission, and the 250LA Project to engage local small businesses in supporting homeless services.
The full 2018 Greater Homeless Count is available on the LAHSA website.
This week, Councilmember Mitchell Englander joined LADWP Chief Operating Officer Marty Adams, LADWP Chief Sustainability Officer Nancy Sutley, Los Angeles County Business Coalition President Mary Leslie, Actor/Environmental Activists Ed Begley Jr. and Matt Walsh, and students from Porter Ranch Community School to introduce legislation calling for LADWP to explore options to install “floating solar” panels on Los Angeles reservoirs.
Floating solar is an emerging and extremely efficient form of renewable clean energy. By covering the surface of reservoirs, floating solar conserves water by reducing evaporation and prevents harmful algae growth by blocking sunlight. Additionally, there is no land costs associated with the installation and there is greater efficiency of output due to the cooling effect of water.
Los Angeles reservoirs provide hundreds of acres of local surface area that can be used as a platform for capturing solar energy. The initial pilot calls for approximately 11.6 MegaWatts of solar installation on DWP reservoirs. That is enough energy to power approximately 3,190 homes per year and the offset 15.9 million lbs. of CO2 emissions per year or the equivalent of removing 1,567, cars from the road. LADWP estimates that Los Angeles Reservoirs have an achievable potential of 53 MW which translates to the electrical use of 21,000 homes annually or the equivalent of taking 10,320 cars off the road.
According to the State Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), retail sellers and publicly owned utilities are required to procure 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030.
Los Angeles is in a unique position to lead the country in the adoption of clean, renewable energy. With our geography, our climate, and our city-owned and operated utility, we have all the ingredients necessary to push for the wide-use and adoption of solar energy. By co-locating these panels on city-owned reservoirs, we eliminate the land-use cost and impacts of traditional solar panels.
On Thursday, the City Council unanimously passed the fiscal year 2017/18 Budget. As Chair of the Public Safety Committee and Vice Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, I am most pleased with the resources that were provided to our sworn police officers and fire fighters in order to increase the City’s ability to keep our residents safe and to protect our communities.
For LAPD, we increased the number of police officers on patrol through a civilianization process that added back necessary crime solving support services, including technicians to staff our DNA, latent fingerprint and firearm units – helping to increase the solve rate for property crimes in addition to homicides while returning officers to the streets. We also accelerated the final phase of detention officer hiring to return police officers working in the jails back to patrol functions. Technology and equipment needs were also funded – including a replacement of the non-emergency phone systems at four Valley stations. Perhaps most significantly, we were able to reduce the overtime and pension burden of the Metro Transit Contract.
In the Fire Department, we increased fire fighter hiring and added Read more »
For residents who wish to relocate, the SoCal Gas Company is providing free, temporary housing accommodations, including locations that can accommodate residents with disabilities and people with access and functional needs. For residents with pets, the SoCal Gas Company has arranged pet-friendly locations. To receive temporary housing accommodations, call 404-497-6808.
For information regarding students and attendance inquiries, contact your child’s home school and their administrator. For Porter Ranch Community School, call (818) 709-7100. For Castlebay Lane Charter School, call (818) 360-1908. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – Northwest Local District will also have information regarding this issue, go to www.lausd.net.
This Monday, I join the Bureau of Engineering and the Department of Transportation to cut the ribbon on several new improvements to the intersection of Balboa Boulevard and San Fernando Road. Improvements to the intersection include the constructed two left turn lanes, a new dedicated lane for traffic heading south onto Balboa Blvd. and a new street light and traffic signal.
In 2007, we identified several projects along this Balboa Blvd corridor as being critical to mobility in Council District 12. The stretch of Balboa Boulevard between the 118 Freeway and Foothill Blvd is one of the most congested in the Valley during peak hours, with over 20,000 commuters passing through it daily.
This intersection serves as an alternative for commuters traveling to and from the Santa Clarita Valley, but we feel increased impacts when there is an incident on the freeway, or during long periods of heavy freeway construction.
Thank you to the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering and Department of Transportation for helping to make these improvements a reality. These improvements will have a tremendous impact on the quality of life of local residents.
–Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District
Temperatures reached over 100 degrees in the San Fernando Valley last week before cooling off. More heat waves will come this summer, so be ready!
During extreme heat, the City opens up hundreds of facilities to be utilized as cooling centers, including Senior Citizen Centers, most Recreation and Parks facilities, and City Libraries. They offer residents cold water, and a place to rest indoors in the air-conditioning. For more information on where all the cooling centers are located, call 3-1-1 or click here.
Drink plenty of water: If you plan to be outdoors, take precautions to protect yourself from the sun and heat. Avoid the sun from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm when the sun’s burning rays are most intense. Reduce physical activity. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and light- colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes. Avoid hot, heavy meals and alcohol. Drink Gatorade or other non-caffeinated drinks with electrolytes. If you do not have air-conditioning, visit one of the City’s public pools or go to a public park to sit in the shade. Go to a shopping mall. You do not need to purchase anything, and there are plenty of places to sit.
Be Aware of Symptoms of Dehydration and Heat Stroke: Symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps and increased thirst. To learn more, click here.
Never Leave Pets or Kids Unattended in a Vehicle: Leaving a child or a pet in a closed vehicle on a hot or sunny day, even with the windows cracked, can be fatal. On hot or sunny days, the temperature inside a car can be 50 degrees hotter than outside.
This Wednesday, Councilmember Mitchell Englander joined Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds, Los Angeles Police Department’s Captain Philip Fontanetta, and hit-and-run victim and founder of Finish the Ride Damian Kevitt to announce the implementation of a hit-and-run alert system throughout the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed my motion to direct the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to work with the City’s Emergency Management Department and the Department of Transportation to implement a hit-and-run mass notification system in the City of Los Angeles using existing technology platforms such as Nixle, Twitter, and Facebook.
Councilmember Englander thanked Councilmember Joe Buscaino for submitting companion legislation, also unanimously passed in Council on Wednesday, directing the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to offer a standing reward for the apprehension and conviction of those guilty of committing a hit-and-run crime.
Los Angeles and its surrounding communities are in the grips of a hit-and-run epidemic. The LAPD records approximately 20,000 hit-and-runs each year. Nearly half of all vehicle crashes in the City of Los Angeles are hit-and-runs, compared with the national average of 11 percent. Last year, there were 27 fatalities and 144 severe injuries due to hit-and-run crimes. On average LAPD was only able to solve 20% of the cases. Hit and run crimes are especially difficult to solve because often there is little or no evidence and no witnesses.
Currently, the State is considering the Yellow Alert System, which would broadcast similar information on hit-and-run crimes. The Yellow Alert models the Medina Alert system implemented in the State of Colorado. Similar to the Amber Alert system, the alert will be issued for a specific hit and run incident to the public on highway signs and through the media. Last week, the Los Angeles City Council passed Councilmember Englander’s resolution to support California State Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s Assembly Bill 8 which would authorize law enforcement agencies to issue a “Yellow Alert” if a person has been killed or seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident and there is a reliable description of the vehicle.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Mitchell Englander, and US Geological Survey seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones hosted a community meeting to provide residents the opportunity to learn more about “Resilience by Design,” Mayor Garcetti’s plan to improve our City’s infrastructure and ensure public safety and preparedness in the event of an earthquake or other disaster.
Over 350 community stakeholders showed up at the Greig Smith LAPD Devonshire PALS Youth Center to learn how the City is preparing and how to prepare their families for the next major disaster. Dr. Jones provided attendees with an overview of the Mayor’s Resilience by Design report, which outlined the City’s greatest vulnerabilities from earthquakes and provides specific recommendations for the City to undertake in order to respond effectively in the aftermath of an earthquake and better prepare for a major seismic event. Click here to read the full report.
The filing period for the 2015 Los Angeles city election ended Wednesday.
Incumbents Paul Krekorian, Herb Wesson, and Mitch Englander are the only candidates to have qualified for the ballot in their council districts.
Two possible candidates had initially filed to run against Englander, who represents the northwest San Fernando Valley.
Candidates had to file petitions with at least 500 valid signatures from voters in their districts and pay a $300 filing fee by 5 p.m. to qualify for the March 3 ballot, according to City Clerk Holly Wolcott. The filing fee is waived for candidates filing petitions with at least 1,000 signatures.
The offices being contested are the City Council seats for Districts 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14; the District 1, 3, 5 and 7 seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and seats 1, 3, 5 and 7 on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees.
The list of candidates will not be complete until the Office of the City Clerk concludes verifying signatures.
The Sixth District, which includes Van Nuys and surrounding neighborhoods, could have a rematch of last year’s special election. Councilwoman Nury Martinez has qualified for the ballot, while former Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez filed her petition Wednesday. Martinez defeated Montanez, 55 percent to 45 percent, in the special election to replace Rep. Tony Cardenas.
The Fourth District City Council seat being vacated by Councilman Tom LaBonge, who is barred from running for re-election because of term limits, has the most candidates to have qualified for the ballot, seven, including Carolyn Ramsay, a former chief of staff for LaBonge; Joan Pelico, the chief of staff for Councilman Paul Koretz; former Assemblyman Wally Knox; and Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees member Steve Veres.
Five candidates have filed petitions to run for the Eighth District seat held by Councilman Bernard Parks, who is barred from seeking re-election because of term limits. Robert L. Cole Jr., a member of the Los Angeles County Citizens’ Economy & Efficiency Commission, and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, a community coalition director, have qualified for the ballot, according to the Office of the City Clerk.
Councilman Jose Huizar and former Supervisor Gloria Molina have both qualified for the ballot in the 14th District. Six other candidates have filed to run.
This week, Council District 12 Councilmember Mitchell Englander voted to support a comprehensive analysis of the impact and effectiveness of Ordinance #181127, which temporarily reduced the internet-based business tax rate.
In March of 2010, the City Council and Mayor approved Ordinance #181127 (CF 09-1914) to reduce business tax rates for internet-based businesses. The intent of this action was to create jobs by reducing the cost of locating or expanding a business within the city, and to retain these extremely mobile businesses in the City. This effort to target internet-based businesses, as well as other desirable business categories, was the result of extensive discussions and analyses both in City Hall and in the business community where various business tax reforms were considered, including extension of the business tax holiday, freezing the current tax base, and possibly eliminating the gross receipts tax.
The reduction in the City’s internet-based business tax rate that was enacted in 2010 is set to expire, since the tax-rate reduction is only effective through 2014. This pending ‘sunset date’ will allow the City to measure its effectiveness before taking the next steps. The City is now at the decision point whether to continue this reduction or further modify it.
To ensure that the City’s policymakers have comprehensive information regarding the impact of this prior Council action, City staff should immediately begin an analysis of the past five years of data, as well as tax year’s preceding this period, to determine the true impact to businesses and the local economy of this tax reduction.
Eliminating the business tax for one industry is the first step toward eliminating the business tax entirely throughout the City of Los Angeles. Councilmember Englander remains committed to ensuring that the City of Los Angeles continuously works to be more business-friendly and reduce taxes for businesses in every industry.
This week, we revealed our new interactive district map on the Council District 12 website. Council District 12 is now the first and only website in the City of Los Angeles to host and interactive Arc GIS map.
With this map, you can view the location of City facilities including police and fire stations, libraries, and schools, as well as, community organizations and the location of CD12 “Businesses of the Month.”
Arc GIS is a geographic information system (GIS) for working with maps and geographic information. It is used for creating and using maps; compiling geographic data; analyzing mapped information; sharing and discovering geographic information; and managing geographic information in a database.
The system provides an infrastructure for making maps and geographic information available throughout an organization, across a community, and openly on the Web.
Last week, GHNNC was proud to join Councilmember Mitchell Englander, community members, and stakeholders in activating the new traffic signal at the Knollwood Plaza.
The Balboa Blvd-Knollwood Plaza Driveway project added a traffic signal and vehicle entrance/exit to the Knollwood Shopping Center. Secondary work added new curb and access ramps that will provide safe passage to the center for pedestrians. The project’s undertaking is unique in that the local community and business owners of the Knollwood Plaza were instrumental in achieving its success. Without their support, this project would not have come to fruition.