January 2019

Enjoy the Pan African Film Festival this February 7-18. This event is sponsored by the LA Department of Cultural Affairs, the LA County Arts Commission. The festival will screen Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace concert at Directors Guild of America on Opening Night, February 7

https://www.paff.org/

AMAZING GRACE (US)
Directed By: Sydney Pollack
Date: Thursday, February 7
Time: 6PM Red Carpet | 7:30 PM Screening
Location: Directors Guild of America, DGA Theater Complex, 7920 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90047

Synopsis: In 1972, Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul, brought producer Jerry Wexler, her backup singers, the Reverend James Cleveland, and the legendary Atlantic Records rhythm section to The New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, California, to record a gospel music double-album before an enthusiastic live audience. The album, “Amazing Grace”, went on to become the top-selling gospel record of all time, Aretha Franklin’s most successful album, and one of her most beloved works. Few realized that the sessions that produced the album “Amazing Grace” which are certainly among one of the most exciting musical events ever to take place in a church, had also been filmed. But, due to technical problems and conflicts over rights, the electrifying events had not been seen; until now!

January 28, 2019 Update

The Budget Advocates are extending the deadline on the City Services Survey. You can still complete it at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf1Q3Zt9lvuovYN0s_cbfIe5m_v-wjMyB61YASpv1IxqMAUXw/viewform

December 6, 2018

All Los Angeles residents are invited to take the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate City Services Survey to provide feedback on city services: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf1Q3Zt9lvuovYN0s_cbfIe5m_v-wjMyB61YASpv1IxqMAUXw/viewform

Our area  is seeking Budget Advocates. Budget Advocates do not need to be NC board members but they do need to be appointed as the Budget Rep for their council.

Note that anyone can attend Budget Advocate meetings – dates, locations and agendas are posted at NCBALA.com. If a potential nominee cannot attend that meeting, that does not preclude their running for the position – however, attendance at a majority of our meetings is important.

Working with the Budget Advocates is a great opportunity to have your voice heard by the City and to learn more about how Los Angeles’ government and its departments work. Here is some additional information about what Budget Advocates and Budget Representatives do: Budget Advocate Trifold.

There will be 36 of us to share the work so you will be joining a team not taking on the City single- handed.

And, if you have any questions or concerns about any of the above, please feel free to e-mail LizAmsden@hotmail.com, Co-chair, Budget Advocates.

thumbnail of NC-BR-BA roles

“This past summer was HOT! How hot? Daily temperatures were 17% hotter in the summer of 2018 when compared to the summer of 2017. This resulted in many customers using more water and electricity than they did a year ago, and, as a result, average residential electric bills were up 12% in August and September, while the average water bill went up 6% (June – September). This increase included the recent rate adjustments which took effect July 1st.” Reported LADWP CFO Ann Santilli in her Citywatch article: How Much Have LADWP Bills Really Increased?

Update January 23, 2019

You may have heard the great news that Los Angeles Unified has reached a tentative agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). This new contract provides a 6% salary increase for educators, adds new supports to schools, and maintains the fiscal solvency of the school district.

The agreement must be approved by members of the teachers’ union and the board of education.

Schools will be open tomorrow to welcome all of our students and educators back to the classroom.

 NR_Los Angeles Unified School District Agreement with UTLA_012219 REV

Los Angeles Unified School District Agreement with UTLA

Issue Los Angeles Unified Offer Agreement
Salary Raises 6% increase

– 3% in 2017-18

– 3% in 2018-19

6% increase

– 3% in 2017-18

– 3% in 2018-19

Nurses 176 in Elementary Schools

(2019-20)

Increase in nursing services in every school

150 (2019-20)

150 (2020-21)

Librarians 43 in Middle Schools

(2019-20)

Increase in library services in every secondary schools

41 (2019-20)

41 (2020-21)

Counselors 86 in Comprehensive High Schools (2019-20) In Secondary Schools

17 (2019-20)

0 (2020-21)

60 (2021-22)

Class Size Reduction -2 in Middle Schools

-2 in High Schools

-4 in the 90 Highest Need Schools

(75 Elementary and 15 middle schools)

39 Max for Secondary Math and English Classes

No over 35 in Grades 4-6

In Grade 4-12

-1 in 2019-20

-1 in 2020-21

-2 in 2021-22

 

Investment in Nurses, Librarians, Counselors and Class Size Reduction $130 Million $175 Million (2019-21)

$228 Million (2021-22)

Los Angeles Unified and UTLA have also agreed to work together through joint committees that would provide recommendations on:

  • Charter co-location.
  • Pay equity across adult, early education, Regional Occupational Centers/Regional Occupational Program.
  • English Learner Master Plan including American Sign Language.
  • Green space on campuses.

UTLA Strike Takes Its Toll: January 17, 2019

These past three days have been incredibly challenging for families and the principals, school employees, and volunteers working tirelessly to ensure kids are safe and properly served.

The impact of the UTLA strike further puts a strain on the district’s finances. The gross revenue lost for the three days of is estimated at $69.1 million based on attendance numbers reported.

Below is a chart that outlines the numbers:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

January 14

January 15

January 16

Attendance

*156,774

*171,480

*132,411

Breakfast Served

100,718

109,998

68,366

Bus Ridership

8,608

7,837

7,104

ADA Revenue Lost

*$22.8 million

*$21.7 million

*$24.6 million

*Numbers available at the time of reporting. Attendance needs to be validated for K-12 students only.

The Mayor reports that negotiations have rebegun on January 17.

Resources available to families include extended programming at recreation centers and libraries and free transportation.

More information about resources and services can be found at LAMayor.org/StudentsAndFamilies and by dialing 311.

Para más información sobre recursos y servicios, visite la página LAMayor.org/EstudiantesyFamilias o llame al 311.

 

MLK Celebration

The L.A. South Chamber of Commerce “King Week Celebration” honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin L. King Jr.

This year, our theme is “Keeping the Dream Alive, A Day of Service”. Our mission is to Engage, Educate, Empower, and Inspire Hope to build a better community.

Our goal is to collaborate with our members, and community partners to continue the work of Dr. Martin L. King Jr. by promoting entrepreneurship, financial literacy education, and advocating for social & economic justice.

January 19, 1-4pm at the Southbay Pavilion, 20700 Avalon Blvd, Carson, 90746

More info

#theycountwillyou Volunteer

This year, make a resolution that counts! The 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count will be the largest homeless census in the nation, and we need your help! Go to www.theycountwillyou.org and click “Sign Up” to volunteer with us.

The Count will take place January 22, 23, and 24, 2019. Whether it’s your first time joining the Count, or you’ve been volunteering with us since 2005, we encourage you to invite your friends and family to join you in this special effort. There are many ways to get involved.

Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council is the host for the 2019 Homeless Count for Harbor Gateway on January 23. We invite you to join us!

In our area the count will be happening on two days:

January 23: Homeless Count South of 120th, deployment site Harbor Gateway Community Center, 802 W Gardena Blvd, 90248 Harbor Gateway Community Center / Southbay Clubs.

January 24: Homeless Count North of 120th, deployment site Watts Labor Community Action Committee, 10950 S. Central Ave. LA 90059

We don’t have to accept homelessness as an unsolvable problem here in Los Angeles. With your help, we can end homelessness.

About the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA): The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is a joint powers authority of the city and county of Los Angeles, created in 1993 to address the problems of homelessness in Los Angeles County. LAHSA is the lead agency in the HUD-funded Los Angeles Continuum of Care, and coordinates and manages over $300 million annually in federal, state, county, and city funds for programs providing shelter, housing, and services to people experiencing homelessness. Learn more by visiting LAHSA’s website and accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

No Lobbyists Beyond This Point sign

Coalition to Preserve LA, a citywide organization of several thousand residents who advocate for transparent government, filed on January 14, 2019 a request with the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury to open a wide-ranging investigation into corruption in L.A. City Hall’s land-development approval process.

The Coalition is asking the panel to probe unusually large projects proposed or approved in Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley and South L.A. amidst unusual circumstances, including the seeking of, or receiving of, city approvals for exemptions from existing zoning laws, state environmental laws and local planning standards.

We urge the Los Angeles City Council PLUM Committee, which denies or approves major projects, to delay highly questionable projects before it in which large cash donations are being made to city officials, including a proposal scheduled for a City Hall hearing tomorrow, January 15 — the Crossroads triple-skyscraper in Hollywood.

We also urge the City’s Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) and the Los Angeles City Planning Commission to delay placing on the calendar the controversial Millennium towers (Hollywood Center), being proposed atop the Hollywood Earthquake Fault by the very developers who built San Francisco’s infamous Millennium skyscraper. That tower is now significantly tilting and is the subject of 80 lawsuits.

Our own investigation of pay-to-play shows that Crossroads and other projects ride through approvals on a river of cash donations, and wining and dining of officials including Councilmembers Jose Huizar and Curren Price who are under investigation — as well as officials not yet named in the investigation,” said Coalition to Preserve LA executive director Jill Stewart.

Huizar was stripped of his chairmanship of the PLUM Committee in November after his home and office were raided by the FBI. Now, PLUM member Curren Price has also been swept into the FBI probe, which is seeking information on possible bribery, extortion, money laundering and other crimes.

Also named in the FBI investigation was Garcetti’s former Deputy Mayor Ray Chan, a controversial figure whose son landed an internship with lobbyists for Millennium towers, proposed atop the Hollywood Earthquake Fault. Chan told an interviewer with The Planning Report that in Los Angeles, “developers are the customer.”

How far will developers go in L.A.?

The Coalition to Preserve LA has been the subject of an intimidation attempt by Councilman Curren Price’s wife Del Richardson, whose company works closely with developers to remove tenants to make way for gentrification projects.

Del Richardson’s attorney, Clifton Albright, in 2018 threatened the Coalition in writing if it continued to criticize Richardson for pressuring Latino families to move out of an 80-unit community that stands in the way of the Crossroads skyscrapers.

Albright demanded that “Preserve L.A. cease and desist from further publishing and making similar assertions that place Del Richardson Associates in a false light.”

But in fact, Stewart notes, “The Coalition is protected under freedom of speech and California’s anti-SLAPP laws, to unmask the behavior of public figures such as Price’s wife as it fights for equitable housing, non-corrupt planning and government transparency.”

PLUM Committee member Price’s wife, Richardson, moved her operations inside the historic apartment complex of 80 Latino families who have lived there for decades, obtained their phone numbers without their permission, and pressured them to accept as little as $800 as “cash for keys.”

Under the state Ellis Act, the families are due at least $8,000 each for relocation.

Los Angeles Tenants Union verified that Crossroads tenants were forced to sign cash-for-keys agreements in English, even if English was not their first language; were not informed of their Ellis Act rights; and were followed by a Del Richardson employee as tenants walked to a tenant-organizing meeting.

The historic Latino community that would be wiped out by Crossroads, known as the Las Palmas Courtyard Apartments, has thrived for decades, and its multi-generational families have pushed back against gangs.

Yet their community was dismissed by Garcetti-appointed City Planning Commissioner Marc Mitchell in a racially toned criticism as “a dormant area of Hollywood — and it doesn’t need to be.”

From 2013 through 2016 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and his staff held multiple private meetings with Morton La Kretz, founder of Crossroads Management; Crossroads executive Linda Duttenhaver, Crossroads Management attorney, Jerry Neuman; Harridge executive David Schwartzman and developer lobbyist Kyndra Casper.

During that period, Crossroads developers showered key Councilmembers and Garcetti with $16,500 in campaign cash — and far more in lobbying wining and dining, according to city records obtained by the Coalition.

On Saturday, the story of the expanding FBI investigation into pay-to-play was broken by a Georgetown University professor on Twitter. Seamus Hughes named nine high-ranking current and former Los Angeles officials under investigation in a growing “pay-to-play” corruption probe of land deals. They include City Councilman Jose Huizar; Eric Garcetti’s recently retired Deputy Mayor Raymond Chan, City Councilman Curren Price; Board of Public Works Commissioner Joel Jacinto and his wife Ave Jacintino; Huizar’s Planning Director Shawn Kuk and Huizar’s former Special Assistant George Esparza.

Esparza lashed out at Jose Huizar in the Los Angeles Times today, saying that he quit as Huizar’s assistant a year ago after Huizar “wielded his political power in ways in which, while he apparently had normalized, I did not feel aligned with how I wanted to live my political and personal life … so I got out before I became collateral damage, and I took steps to protect myself.”

Numerous projects are surrounded by controversy and pay-to-play issues, and a few of those projects are:
– Bunker Hill Hotel, the proposed tallest building on the West Coast;
– the $2 billion City Hall Office Tower spearheaded by Huizar to provide questionable high-end luxury offices to city workers on the current site of Parker Center;
– proposed Warner Center luxury housing projects that include zero affordable housing;
– the NoHo West mall and luxury housing development, whose towering digital billboards will shine through curtains of homes up to a quarter-mile away.
– a 26-floor skyscraper on the site of Amoeba Records that would spew extensive pollutants into L.A. but is being called by L.A. officials “a sustainable community” to ease and speed up its approvals.

Image Credit

ShakeAlertLA app screenshots

The Mayor just announced the launch of ShakeAlertLA, the first publicly available earthquake early warning mobile app in America. The app is available for download for iPhone and Android right now.

The ShakeAlertLA app can provide you with critical seconds of warning that an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent. Alerts are issued when an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or larger is detected by a regional sensor network and shaking is expected to be felt in the Los Angeles area.

Getting a few seconds heads-up can make a big difference if you need to pull to the side of the road, get out of an elevator, or drop, cover, and hold on. Download the app now!

Watch this video of the Mayor announcing ShakeAlertLA app on Facebook:

the Mayor announcing ShakeAlertLA app on Facebook

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