Reaching the Finish Line
As we do our best to complete this year’s legislative work, I’m proud to have dramatically slimmed down my own bill package in order to focus like a laser on the state’s, and the Valley’s, most pressing needs during the pandemic. There is of course so much that needs addressing as we confront wildfires, electricity blackouts, social trauma, unemployment, eviction threats, and of course all the enormous health impacts of COVID-19.
During these final days of its session, the Legislature is doing its best to try to address this unprecedented confluence of challenges. We’re working hard to correct the distressing unemployment insurance problems too many of our neighbors have endured, to provide the resources needed in the fight against so many wildfires, doing what’s needed to get our schools and businesses reopened as soon as it is safe, keeping our neighbors who rent in their homes, and so much more. I’m also very glad to see our Governor is supporting our efforts to end the unfair, unjust cash-bail system.
I promise to keep working 24/7 to stay focused on protecting your and your family’s health, strengthening our economic recovery, and making the Valley as safe and robust again as possible. Though the pandemic makes these goals more challenging than ever, I know we can achieve them, and appreciate your support in this effort.
As always, I appreciate hearing from you, and want to help you however my excellent staff and I can. If you need assistance, have a question, or even have some good news to share, please reach out to me on Facebook and Twitter, or send me an email. Your participation is a key part of the Valley’s overall success, and I want to know when our work together is making a difference. Thank you for continuing to connect, to shelter in place when necessary, and to staying committed to our goals. We are making a difference and progress together.
Stay safe and be well,
HEALTH AND SAFETY
UPDATE ON COVID-19 CASES IN THE VALLEY
The LA County Department of Public Health indicates there have been a total of 35,259 cases of Coronavirus in the San Fernando Valley. There have been 1,620 additional cases reported in the last week, which I’m happy to note is a steady decline from previous weeks. The neighborhoods of North Hollywood, Pacoima and Panorama City have had the most case increases in the last seven days.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that there are new updates available on COVID19.ca.gov, with a new color-coded system to help understand our current health data, and to help us learn how much closer we are to opening certain sectors throughout the state. LA County is now considered to be in a “purple” region, which means we still have a long way to go. We also have to maintain low infection and hospitalization numbers for at least three weeks before moving to a different tier. These updates offer a better breakdown of where we’re at with COVID-19, with data being added in real-time so our updates always stay current. The Governor also notes that county information may look to more stringent measures to keep people safe, so it’s always a good idea to check on those resources as well.
BLOOD DRIVE BENEFITTING CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Every month, the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) must receive 2,000 units of blood to meet the needs of patients. To help reach this goal, the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office of San Fernando has partnered-up with the hospital to host a blood drive. The drive will be held on Wednesday, September 9th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m at the parking lot on 1st and Maclay Ave. in San Fernando.
LADWP TO HELP COVER COSTS FOR FOOD LOST DUE TO POWER OUTAGES
I know that we’re doing what we can to conserve energy throughout this very hot and incredibly challenging summer. Unfortunately, my office received quite a few reports about the brief power outages happening throughout the Valley, and I know how frustrating and inconvenient those disruptive interruptions can be. Fortunately, LADWP is helping out by offering claim services if your fridge was out for too long, and you need to replace your groceries. Visit this site to fill out your claim, and please be sure to let me know how this process has worked for you.
“PROJECT ROOMKEY” GETS BOOST THANKS TO GRANTS FOR LOCAL HEALTHCARE FACILITIES
I am pleased that the Northeast Valley Health Corp., along with the Tarzana Treatment Center and the Center for Family Health and Education are receiving grants to assist with providing healthcare to individuals participating in Project Roomkey. Project Roomkey is a program implemented by the state to provide temporary housing to help protect the homeless from COVID-19. These grants come from a generous donation from Providence Southern California. This is the second donation from this organization during the pandemic, with the first being a $1 million donation to UCLA and USC medical centers to increase surge capacity.
JOBS AND ECONOMY
CITY ANNOUNCES NEW TEMPORARY STREET CLOSURES IN SAN FERNANDO
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, indoor services at many businesses have as you know been suspended. To assist local outlets that may be struggling due to these restrictions, the City of San Fernando has temporarily closed a portion of San Fernando Rd. between Maclay Ave. and Brand Blvd. to allow businesses to provide outdoor services while complying with social distancing guidelines. This closure will last through December 2020, and all participating businesses and customers must comply with social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO HIRING JUNIOR CADETS
If you’re a college student interested in a career in law enforcement, the City of San Fernando’s Junior Cadet Program is now taking applications. This paid, part-time civilian position will allow you to continue your classes, while gaining knowledge and practical experience in local law enforcement. It’s more important than ever to get all of our communities involved and represented within these kinds of agencies, so I encourage you to look into this opportunity if you think it’s the right fit for your future.
WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN EXPANDS WORK IN LA
World Central Kitchen (WCK) is an international non-profit organization that provides free nutritious meals to communities struck by natural and economic disasters. Since the beginning of COVID-19, I am grateful that WCK has been working in partnership with local restaurants to deliver high-quality food to vulnerable communities across the county, and has been helping our beloved restaurants, struggling industry workers, local farmers and farm workers, and so many others. To date, WCK has served over 3 million meals in LA County alone, and there are now plans to expand operations. Click here to learn more, and to find out how you can get involved and volunteer. This is just one non-profit that’s working hard to help us in the Valley, and I urge you to consider reaching out to whichever groups that you would like to assist in addressing the challenges we are facing.
LA PUBLIC LIBRARY OFFERING FREE ONLINE HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA PROGRAM
The Los Angeles Public Library is well known for providing valuable tutoring, literacy and other educational resources. The library now offers a free, flexible online high school diploma program called Career Online High School, which not only features 24/7 access to classes and specialized training for ten in-demand industries, but also resume and cover letter assistance to help you attain employment post-graduation. The program is for adults 19 years or older, you must live in Los Angeles, and documented citizenship is not required.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR DISTANCE LEARNING
As kids are getting back to school and adjusting to distance learning, many parents, including some members of my staff, are still working to create a productive educational environment. But it’s important to know that you’re definitely not alone. The West Valley Boys & Girls Club can provide a full-day (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) of in-person distance learning support, supervision and engaging recreational programs for students in 1st through 8th grade. Daily health screenings, social distancing, mask wearing and other COVID guidelines will continue to be followed closely.
PERFECT STRANGERS NONPROFIT EXPANDS TO LA
Perfect Strangers is a national nonprofit dedicated to providing free delivery of groceries, meals, medications and supplies to those with a high risk of contracting COVID-19. Organizers just recently announced their latest expansion into Los Angeles. Largely done in response to a high level of volunteer interest and increasing need in the community, this expansion will allow Perfect Strangers to give emergency food assistance across the Valley to those in need, and help ensure that no one goes hungry. Please click here to request a delivery, and click here for information regarding volunteer opportunities.
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE OFFERS PROGRAM TO HELP NEW PARENTS
The Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles has just started a new program for expecting parents in North Hollywood. The program is called “Raising Baby,” and it’s a free virtual service that connects expectant parents to guidance, support, and educational resources. Parents can sign up as early as their second trimester, and can continue until their baby is three years old. There are even options to join group meetings of 8-10 families, schedule consultations with a licensed clinician, and even access to a parenting coach. Visit their website, email RaisingBaby@jfsla.org, or call (310) 272-7878 to learn more.
PERCIVAL THE PEACOCK RETURNS
Years ago, residents regularly encountered a lone peacock wandering the streets of Sherman Oaks. His frequent appearances earned him a Facebook fan-base, as well as a name: Percival, or Percy for short. Percy was spotted for just a few months—that is, until now. As the coronavirus forced entire neighborhoods to shelter in place, Percival the Peacock has returned, delighting and enchanting everyone who sees him. Percy’s popularity is once again on the rise, with the LA Times having recently published a piece to help share his story. If you frequent Sherman Oaks, we wish you the best in catching a glimpse of this celebrity!
REMEMBER, WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER
Thanks so much for all you are doing to help put an end to the pandemic. I always appreciate hearing from you and any feedback you might wish to share. If you have a specific question or concern, please click here to send me an email or call my office at (818) 901-5588. You’re also invited to share your own stories and experiences, so please feel free to connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.