Community News

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nearly 12,000 Firearms Removed from the Streets Since Program Began in

*LOS ANGELES* - Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that people will be
able to turn in firearms -- no questions asked -- in exchange for up to
$200 in Ralphs grocery cards at four Los Angeles locations on Saturday, May

"The tragedy in Santa Barbara reminded us of the horrors of gun violence,"
said Mayor Garcetti. "The Gun Buyback gives Angelenos the opportunity to
help make our city safer by taking these guns off the street so they don't
fall into the hands of criminals or children."

Mayor Garcetti also announced he has appointed Anne C. Tremblay as Director
of the Mayor's Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD).   She
has been serving as Interim Director since December and was previously an
assistant city attorney for the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney
where she supervised the Anti-Gang Section. Tremblay has conducted training
for GRYD staff and gang intervention workers on gang injunctions and the
gang injunction removal process.  She has also conducted training for the
GRYD contractor staff as part of their Summer Night Lights training.  Over
the last several years, she has also co-taught the training block on legal
liability at the Advancement Project's Los Angeles Violence Intervention
Training Academy for gang intervention workers.

The Gun Buyback is an initiative of GRYD and has taken nearly 12,000 guns
off the street.  The Buyback also involves LAPD and victim advocacy
organizations, faith-based groups, and other community organizations.

The amount exchanged per firearm will depend on its type -- up to $200 for
assault weapons as specified in the State of California and up to $100 for
handguns, rifles, and shotguns. The LAPD Gun Unit will be on site to
determine the types of firearms surrendered.

Media Partner KCAL9/KCBS 2 are joining numerous community groups in
spreading the word about the buyback.

People can surrender their firearms between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM on May 31st

Central Los Angeles
Los Angeles Sports Arena
3939 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90037

South Los Angeles
Park & Ride Parking Lot
1300 West Pacific Coast Highway
Wilmington, CA 90744

West Los Angeles
Parking Lot
2379 West Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018

Van Nuys Masonic Temple
14750 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA 91405

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014
The City budget is a crucial component of our municipal governance.The more you understand the budget and how it is put together and used, the easier it becomes to have an impact on issues and decisions that are important to Los Angeles. Knowledge is power.

That's why we hope to see you tonight -- Wednesday, February 26 -- when you are welcome to join Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin at "City Budget 101," from 6-8pm at Mar Vista Recreation Center (11430 Woodbine St., L.A. CA 90066). You can use this link to RSVP: . Hope to see you there!
Monday, Feb 03, 2014
The closure consists of a partial daytime lane reductions (three out of five lanes) and a full nighttime closure of northbound freeway lanes. Motorists are strongly advised to reduce delays, avoid driving or stay away from the area to help prevent multi-hour freeway delays. For more information please visit the Metro website by clicking on the link below.
Friday, Dec 13, 2013
The Los Angeles City Council has begun the process of addressing public health and regulatory issues posed by electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).

E-cigarette devices contain many chemicals, along with nicotine, including volatile organic compounds such as benzene and toulene; heavy metals such as nickel and arsenic; tobacco specific carcinogens; and carbon compounds such as formaldehyde and acrolein.
For too many people but especially the young, e-cigarettes are marketed in fruit flavors and understood as being without any health risks attached, and that could end up being hazardous or even calamitous, given all the many chemicals contained in electronic cigarette devices.
That’s why the Council approved an ordinance making the laws governing sales of e-cigarettes consistent with the rules and frameworks that govern the sales of traditional tobacco cigarettes. This ordinance was the result of a motion authored by Councilmember Koretz, who was particularly concerned about young people currently being able to easily purchase e-cigarettes – a trend that has been commented on by concerned school principals who know of students smoking e-cigarettes on their campuses.
The Koretz motion was seconded by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell; the legal language of the resultant ordinance was crafted by the City Attorney’s Office.
Councilmember Koretz said, “The City of Los Angeles is doing exactly the right thing, by creating a sound and logical regulatory framework for e-cigarette sales and use. I’m especially concerned that many people and businesses presently think it’s perfectly OK for young people to purchase and try e-cigarettes.
"Some people believe that e-cigarettes are a possible tool for cigarette smokers who want to wean themselves off of regular cigarettes, but that’s not applicable to young people for whom e-cigarettes are not a gateway off of regular cigarettes, but a potential gateway toward them.”

The same day the ordinance was approved, another e-cigarette-related motion was introduced in order to address usage-related issues. This motion by Koretz and O’Farrell (and seconded by Bernard Parks), which needs to go through the committee process before returning to the council for a vote, notes that “the prohibition of electronic smoking devices in areas where tobacco smoking is prohibited would protect youth from harmful health effects and exposure to the use of these products in places such as public parks, playgrounds, beaches, libraries.”
Councilmember Koretz said, “These motions help ensure consistency in governmental policy and practices, and offer reasonable protection for the sake of the public’s health and well-being.”

Lastly, a Koretz-O’Farrell resolution (Parks seconding) was introduced, urging the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assert authority over the ingredients in e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices. The motion support efforts by The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which has called on the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes to protect public health, including through further research on the contents and the setting of standards on such ingredients.
Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013

At a recent City Council meeting held in Van Nuys, Councilmember Koretz honored a wonderful organization, Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), as well as a key JVS program called "BankWorks."

For 82 years, JVS has been dedicated to doing something that sounds simple but is really quite challenging: providing opportunities for people to find jobs at all stages of their lives. Founded in response to the Great Depression, JVS has been working ever since to provide opportunities to those who face obstacles to entering the workforce. JVS opens its doors to all people regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, military service or religion. The JVS BankWorks program prepares job seekers for positions in the financial services industry. Through targeted job training, placement support and post-employment coaching, the eight-week intensive course prepares individuals with the necessary skills for success in the world of banking and finance. Councilmember Koretz saluted BankWorks for having celebrated its 40th graduating class and its 500th job placement with partner banks including Bank of America and Wells Fargo. BankWorks recently won the Project Collaboration Award at the 2013 Los Angeles Business Journal Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Award. With Career Resource Centers and Worksource Centers across Los Angeles, including in the Fifth Council District, JVS continues its long tradition of empowering individuals to achieve dignity and independence through gainful employment. JVS offers a wide range of programs that further the goal of workforce development, job training, job placement and mentoring for veterans and the disabled. JVS effortsinclude, a free online service that connects job seekers with employers, and HealthWorks, which partners with the American Red Cross to train individuals for entry level careers in the healthcare industry. Those on hand for the City Council ceremony included Claudia Finkle, Chief Operating Officer, JVS; Karo Jerejyan (Wells Fargo) and Samuel Ybarra (B of A), who are graduates of the BankWorks program; John Sotoodeh, Regional President for L.A. Metro/Orange County, Wells Fargo; and John Montes, Senior VP for Los Angeles East Region, Bank of America.

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013
November 1 is the celebratory kickoff for an exciting, indeed wonderful effort aimed at bringing new energy to Westwood Village.  Called ARTS ReSTORE LA:  WESTWOOD, it features a "retail popup" curated by the always-splendid Hammer Museum, and will gather and highlight artisans, designers and craftspeople at various locations -- several otherwise currently empty storefronts -- in Westwood Village, from November 1-24.  Many delights will ensue (including art, poetry, jazz, printing, pin pong, workshops, open forums, locally produced goods and crafts,and food), so for more information, please visit the website at
Friday, Oct 11, 2013

AIDS Walk Los Angeles 2013 is taking place this Sunday, October 13th, and it’s not too late to find out how to take part in this great event – just visit the website at Nor is it too early to figure out your transportation and parking plans for the day, because traffic that day is impacted by the huge numbers of people who flock to the parade route, and by the street closures that make the parade possible.

Since the inaugural AIDS Walk Los Angeles in 1985, this tremendous mechanism for good has drawn over a half-million participants while raising nearly $75 million. It is certainly one of our region’s most enjoyable and beneficial happenings. Here is information about transportation and parking that day, taken from the AIDS Walk Los Angeles website:

8:30 a.m. Sign-In

9 a.m. Aerobic Warm-Up led by Richard Simmons! 9:15 a.m. Opening Ceremony Begins

10 a.m. AIDS Walk Los Angeles Begins

Location: AIDS Walk Los Angeles will start and end in West Hollywood. Enter at Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard.

Length: 10 kilometers/6.2 miles

Click here for the AIDS Walk Los Angeles Venue Map!

Click here for the AIDS Walk Los Angeles Route Map!

Click here for AIDS Walk Los Angeles Street Closure Information!

Click here for AIDS Walk Los Angeles Parking and Transportation Information!

For Teams:

Click here for Team- specific Day of Event Planning

Thursday, Oct 10, 2013

The 2013 L.A. Congress of Neighborhood Councils is now in the history books.  On that Saturday, members of the city’s 95 certified neighborhood councils showed up in abundance at City Hall to learn from panelists and participate in workshops. The building was packed with neighborhood activists, who also got to meet with and hear from many elected officials, including Mayor Garcetti, City Attorney Feuer, Controller Galperin and members of the City Council. 

Councilmember Koretz congratulates all the neighborhood councils and their representatives, as well as EmpowerLA (the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment) and the many volunteers who together put on this vital event.

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013
The Los Angeles City Council has approved a motion by Councilmember Koretz, declaring April 4, 2013 to be “Ed Edelman Day in the City of Los Angeles,” in honor of one of the best public servants and governmental leaders in the history of Los Angeles.  April 4th is also the date of the 7pm screening of “The Passions and Politics of Ed Edelman,” a critically acclaimed new PBS documentary about Edelman, which will air that night on PBS SoCaL (formerly KOCE). 
Ed Edelman was the City Councilmember of our 5th Council District from 1965 through 1973 (after Roz Wyman, and before Zev Yaroslavsky).  In 1973 he was elected to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in 1973, where he served until his retirement from that body in 1994, after which he has stayed quite involved in crucial civic matters and social causes.
 As Councilmember Koretz notes, “Ed Edelman has been the embodiment of personal decency.  Throughout his amazing career of public service, he has always stayed a humble and gentle person – a principled leader, a dignified champion of progressive ideals and humane understandings, and a shrewd master of seeking and achieving consensus, tackling even the toughest of challenges with grace, warmth, and courage.”
Whether as a Councilmember or as a Supervisor, Ed Edelman was always considered extraordinarily dedicated and exemplary in serving his constituents.  He was also a great champion for countless essential causes, not all of them universally popular.  Such causes included protecting abused and neglected children; helping the disabled and the disadvantaged; shoring up health and mental health funding; speaking up for, and helping empower, the LBGT community, women and the urban Indian; and confronting the AIDS epidemic when too many others failed to do so.  He led the way in advocating for environmentalism and open space preservation, sheltering the homeless; and ensuring meaningful law enforcement accountability.  He also was a tremendous friend to all who love the arts, for he has played a vital role in shaping and boosting the cultural landscape of Southern California and the lives of its arts institutions.
During the City Council meeting at which “Ed Edelman Day,” was declared, Councilmember Koretz was joined by Ed Edelman’s wife, Mari Edelman.  (The former Councilmember and Supervisor was not able to attend, because of his health.)  Mari also produced, wrote and directed the new PBS documentary, which is narrated by Tom Brokaw. Mel Rogers, PBS SoCaL’s President and CEO, was among those who participated in the City Hall ceremony, which was held both to celebrate the grand career of Ed Edelman and to recognize the importance of this critically acclaimed PBS documentary about him, which Councilmember Koretz says, “will enlighten and inspire everyone who watches.”
Koretz concluded the City Hall ceremony by stating that “Ed Edelman's splendid life of leadership and public service has produced a splendid living legacy full of landmark institutions and endeavors that he helped initiate, foster, nourish, sustain or otherwise transform for the better. People everywhere will always be able to learn about, and benefit from, the life of Ed Edelman, due to the magnificent documentary film, “The Passions and Politics of Ed Edelman.  It tells a crucial story, because as we learn more about how progress has been achieved until now, we’re better able to forge the glorious and happy future that we all want for Los Angeles in years to come.”
The documentary will air on April 4th at 7pm, on PBS SoCaL (formerly KOCE) at Channel 50.1 (also on TW Cable at 68 or 16; Cox Cable at 10 or  29; Charter Cable at 10 or 15; DISH at 50, Direct TV at 50; Verizon FIOS at 8; and ATT U-Verse at 50.)  The film will also be aired on April 7th at 6:30 pm, on PBS OC, Challen 50.2 (and on TW Cable at 235; on Cox Cable at 810; on Charter at 314; and on Verizon FIOS at 470).  Or you can see it online, by visiting the following link: .
Friday, Mar 08, 2013

The following information has been provided by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to remind customers to reset their clocks and timers this weekend.

LOS ANGELES — With Daylight Saving Time beginning at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, 2013, LADWP reminds customers to turn clocks forward and reset lighting timers, programmable thermostats and sprinkler timers.

In the City of Los Angeles, outdoor watering is restricted to hours before 9:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. Customers should note the change in time and adjust their automatic sprinkler timers accordingly. With spring and summer approaching, and the accompanying warmer temperatures, LADWP encourages customers to be mindful of their water use, both indoors and outdoors.

LADWP also encourages customers to reset their lighting timers to turn on only after daylight hours and to remain lit only as long as necessary. Energy efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and long-life LED lights are recommended for installation wherever possible. CFL and LED lights may cost a little more at the outset, but they use less electricity, last longer and save customers money in the long run.

The time change presents a valuable opportunity for LADWP customers to review their energy and water routines at home and in the workplace to seek out efficiency opportunities. Efficiency can help customers better manage utility costs and save money. For efficiency tips, and information on the Department's many water and energy efficiency solutions, please visit

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