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Neighborhoods First Newsletter -

March 2015 Sign Up For Updates

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March 2015

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the first CD11 "Neighborhoods First Newsletter"!

We're launching this newsletter to help spread the word about what's happening
on the Westside, and to celebrate the neighborhoods that make Los Angeles a Contact Our Office
great place to live, work and play. In addition to filling you in on the latest work
we are doing to make the City work better for you, this new monthly newsletter
will strive to offer news you can use, opportunities for you to connect and get Connect with Facebook
involved in your neighborhood, and ways for you to let me know what you think
about the pressing issues of the day.
Connect with Twitter
IN THIS ISSUE: We take a look at supporting small businesses, conserving water
in our neighborhoods, the plan to bring a "Great Street" to Mar Vista, protecting
affordable housing, Ice Bears at the LADWP and much more... but first, please Councilmember Mike…
read this month's Neighborhoods First Profile - a personal story about the
importance of thinking ahead and "aging in place" on the Westside.

You can find out more about me , meet your CD11 staff and see the latest Liked

videos and updates from the Westside on our website

at . And remember to like my Facebook page and follow me You and 371 other friends like this

on Twitter to always see the latest news about your neighborhood.


Tweets by ​@MikeBoninLA
Mike Bonin
Proud to have worked with @givingspirit &
assembled winter kits for homeless residents. Sign
up for the 2018 Homeless Count because every
Aging in Place on the Westside
resident, no matter where they live, matters
Mar Vista resident Sherri
Akers recently launched the
"Aging in Place Ad Hoc"
Committee on the Mar Vista
Community Council to focus
on issues facing the elderly
and their caregivers on the
Westside. Read our interview They Count Will You?
with Sherri below and visit The 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless …
the committee' website for
more helpful information and
resources . 4h

Please tell us about how you came to focus on aging in place on the Westside Embed View on Twitter

and your experience caring after your father.

Last July, my 86 year old Dad was released from the hospital to home hospice care
and my 91 year old stepmother was in a freak accident. Within six hours, we
needed to arrange to have 24/7 caregiving in place. We were totally unfamiliar
with options or resources and had no idea what was covered by insurance or
Medicare. Suddenly our parents were dependent on us and we were completely ill
equipped. Three months later, my Step-mother passed away. Dad was 36 miles
away and there is no one size fits all solution. Options range from co-housing,
24/7 caregivers, roommates, living with family and moving into a seniors
complex – and we were unfamiliar with all of them. Instinctively most of us want
to remain in our homes as we age. My Dad’s sudden need for caregiving made us
face the complications in that – both for him and for our family as we were
assisting him. By sharing our experience in social media I’ve begun connecting
with others and we are learning together. By 2030, 1 in 5 people will be 65 or
older and for the first time in history, people over 65 will outnumber children
under 5. We can’t all tackle this on our own – we need to create a community that
is prepared to support this changing demographic. Our experience convinced me
that I want to be part of that process.

What advice do you wish someone gave you as you started focusing more on
aging in place?
Be willing to challenge your assumptions. We began by thinking that the number
one priority was keeping Dad in his home where he was comfortable. He was
actually the one to realize that the top priority was being close to one another.
Having Dad move to a senior complex near my home eliminated an enormous
amount of stress and gave us the gift of enjoying our time together.

What kind of challenges can family members and friends expect as their loved
ones get older?
Begin the conversation long before you think you need to. Don’t assume that you
will be able to continue your career as long as you would like to. Families are
scattered – even with 24/7 caregiving or assisted living, there is still a demanding
role to managing that care and it is a challenge from a distance. There are
solutions that keep a loved one safe – but we also need to consider stimulation
and social engagement.

Tell me about the Mar Vista Community Council's Aging in Place Ad Hoc
In 1970, people retired at 65 and the life expectancy was 70. Now the average life
expectancy is 85, and plenty of us will live past 100. This changes our needs for
everything in city planning, policy and services. Our Aging in Place Committee
collaborates with all of the MVCC committees to ensure that issues and policies in
our community are viewed with specific attention to how they support our ability
to age in place in our community. The committee members represent a
tremendous amount of knowledge and diversity. We have members who are
seniors looking at their own needs, family caregivers for senior parents and
professionals in related professions.

Please visit f or more

information, research, articles and to read more about Sherri's story.

Breaking Ground on a New Emergency Shelter for Kids in Del Rey

On February 5, Mike participated in the ceremonial groundbreaking on the 1736

Family Crisis Center's new "Everychild Foundation Emergency Shelter and Youth
Program" in Del Rey.

The home will serve homeless and at-risk kids on the Westside and embrace the
comprehensive supportive services provided by 1736 Family Crisis Center. "This is
where hope will live," Mike said at the event. "I am phenomenally proud to have
been one of the many people who helped make it possible.

The project is funded and supported by a huge group of people and organizations,
including the City of LA (with tremendous support from Mike's predecessor, Bill
Rosendahl; the County of LA; the W.M. Keck Foundation; the Rotary Club of
Venice Playa Sunrise: the Rotary Club of Westchester; and most especially the
Everychild Foundation, which generously awarded a grant of $1 million.

A New Stop Sign for a Mar Vista Neighborhood

"One of my favorite parts of this job is getting to put neighborhoods first by
helping a city work crew improve a community on the Westside. On February 5, I
got to help an LADOT crew install a new four-way stop sign at Pacific and Wade
in Mar Vista. This will not only make it safer for pedestrians to walk in the area,
but it will prevent car accidents in this residential community." - Mike

"Downtown Mar Vista" was selected as one of the first 15 streets in the city to get
increased focus from Mayor Garcetti's "Great Streets Initiative," bringing a
coordinated approach from various City Agencies and Departments in an effort
to improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, foster economic growth,
promote sustainable environmental stewardship and encourage neighborhood

In January, Mike and Mayor Garcetti went door-to-door in Mar Vista to talk with
neighbors and local business owners about how to transform Venice Boulevard
into one of LA’s “Great Streets.” To figure out how to make Venice Boulevard a
truly Great Street, we need - as Mike likes to say - “to put neighborhoods first.”
That means the vision needs to come from you – not from bureaucrats, not from
consultants, not even from elected officials. We need to hear from you and there
are a number of other ways you can tell us what you think :

You can stop by the Mar Vista Community Council tent at the Farmers Market
any Sunday,
You can contact the new Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce
(, or
You can email my office at (include the subject “GREAT
STREETS” in your email).

Neighborhood Prosecutors

Mike made public safety a top priority during the budget process earlier this
year , and it is already making a difference in our neighborhoods. Mike and his
Council colleagues not only preserved the size of the Police Department and
increased funding by $22 million for the Los Angeles Fire Department, but they
added staff to the City Attorney's office for more neighborhood prosecutors to
improve quality of life, and to enforce voter-approved medical marijuana
regulations and crack down on rogue operators.

The City's Neighborhood Prosecutor Program brings together Deputy City

Attorneys and local neighborhood leaders to identify and tackle local public
safety priorities. Each neighborhood has its own distinct challenges, and this
neighborhood-focused approach to law enforcement is something I am very
proud to partner with our excellent City Attorney, Mike Feuer, in accomplishing
for Los Angeles. Read more about the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program

Mike Delivers Keynote Address at Brentwood Homeowners Association Annual


On February 19, Mike addressed hundreds of members of the Brentwood

Homeowners Association for the keynote address at the group's annual meeting
at University Synagogue. He unveiled a proposal to hold a charrette (or brown
bag brainstorming session) in May with community members and transportation
experts to address the terrible traffic gridlock on Sunset near the 405.

Representing more than 3,000 single family homes north of San Vicente, BHA is
one of the largest HOAs in the country and certainly one of the most active. They
are great partners, and Mike works with them on a range of issues, including
community improvements, local development and construction, traffic concerns,
utility installations, city service allocations and other issues.

New Left-Turn Signal in Westchester

Mike recently joined a crew from the Department of Transportation to help

install a new left-turn signal at Lincoln and Manchester in Westchester. The
installation is part of a $6 million citywide "Signal Improvement Construction
Program" that Mike was able to secure in last year's budget. The program focuses
on intersections where there is a history of accidents and this was the first
intersection that received an upgrade on the Westside (there are a total of 32
intersections throughout the city, including six in CD11).

Second Chance Vests for the West LA Police Officers

Thanks to a generous donation by the Friends of West LA, with support from the
Century City Chamber of Commerce and JMB Realty, LAPD officers in West LA will
be better protected as they protect us. Mike and his colleague Paul Koretz joined
FOWLA to donate dozens of bullet-proof "second chance vests" at the West LA
Community Police Station on February 19.

Pali High Fall Athletics Champions Welcomed to City Hall

On January 20, Mike welcomed student athletes from Palisades Charter High
School to City Hall, where he hosted a special presentation in honor of the
exceptionally successful Fall athletics teams. This year, the Pali High Boy's Water
Polo, Girl's Cross Country, Girl's Volleyball and Girl's Tennis teams all took home
City Section Championships!

Wonder Women Tech Conference Comes to Playa Vista

The growing tech sector of our LA economy is exciting, inspiring, creative -- and,
sadly, lacking in women. That's why Mike and his staff worked with the City of
Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women to host the first ever "Wonder
Women Tech" conference in Playa Vista.

The free conference was held at The Hangar - Hercules Campus, and featured
engaging exhibits, speaker panels and a hackathon.
Find out more here:

Bay Foundation and LADWP Launch Energy and Water Conservation Program

As part of a Community Partnership Outreach grant from the Los Angeles

Department of Water and Power, The Bay Foundation has launched an online
public survey and the first of three Public Service Announcements to promote
energy and water conservation. The brief survey asks people about their views on
energy and water savings to help bring about awareness and change.

Check out the PSA here: , and

take the survey here:

Small Business Spotlight - Nominate Your Favorite Business Today

Each week, Mike will be celebrating local small businesses

on social media by profiling them in a “Small Business
Spotlight”. We would love to know what your favorite
business is, so we can promote it, and let the owners know
how much we value what they do.

You can make a nomination for the “Small Business Spotlight” at this link .

Meet the Westside's New Business Development Team

Last year, Mike announced a first-of-its-kind
partnership with a local Small Business Development
Center that allowed him to hire a Business
Development Advisor - a business concierge - who
provided one-on-one business counseling and helped
business owners cut through red tape in City Hall.
Mike's Small Business Development Advisor helped
dozens of Westside entrepreneurs launch their
businesses, expand their reach and create jobs in our
neighborhoods as they continued to thrive.

Earlier this month, Mike announced that he is

expanding his Business Development Advisor program! Instead of a single staffer
focused on creating jobs by supporting small businesses, he will have an entire
team working out of his offices on behalf of businesses on the Westside.

Find out more about the team and sign up for one-on-one counseling

Find out more about our March 17 Small Business Workshop and RSVP

Making it Easier to Get To and From LAX

Hundreds of folks turned out on February 19 and 21 to provide feedback on the

new ground transportation system being proposed for LAX. The new tram system,
transit hub, consolidated rental car center and connection to Metro will get
people into and out of LAX more easily, reducing congestion in the central
terminal and nearby neighborhoods. Find out more about all of it
at and see the boards that were on display at the
Getting Rid of the City's Foolish Business Tax

Last year, hundreds of small business owners responded to Mike's Small Business
Survey and overwhelmingly supported phasing out the City's gross receipts tax -
a bizarre system that taxes businesses based on the money they collect, not on
the profits they make.

Thankfully, that system is finally changing. Last month, Mike and his colleagues
voted to begin phasing out the gross receipts tax in Los Angeles, and the top tax
rate will be gradually reduced every year until 2018. Read more about the
Council's business tax reform here:

Planning and Development Reform - More Affordable Housing in Coastal


As the economy recovers and the pace of residential development continues to

speed up, Mike has grown increasingly concerned about the loss of
affordable housing - throughout the City of Los Angeles, but particularly in the
Coastal Zone and most particularly, in Venice.

The Mello Act is a state law, adopted over 30 years ago, that is supposed to
preserve, replace, and develop low-income and affordable housing in the Coastal
Zone. For the past 15 years, the City has been implementing the Mello Act through
a set of interim guidelines. The only way that we can make sure the City is
following the Mello Act the way it was intended is to finally get an ordinance on
the books implementing the Mello Act, and in the meantime, to make sure that
the City is doing everything it possibly can to follow the rules that we do have.

Accordingly, Mike introduced a motion last month intended to just that: to direct
the City to take steps it should have taken over a decade ago by replacing the
interim Mello Act provisions with a permanent ordinance; to get clear, on-the-
record answers about how or whether the City has been complying with the
guidelines, and to figure out what more the City can do to protect affordable
housing in the Coastal Zone, including by requiring rigorous third-party
financial analysis of applications covered by the Mello Act.

Read Mike's Mello Act motion


Conserving Water in Los Angeles

With California still in a historic drought, Mike and his colleague Felipe Fuentes
introduced two initiatives to combat drought and steer residents and LADWP into
rethinking their use of water. The Councilmembers called on LADWP to: explore
expanding its tiered-pricing system for water; help residents establish
reasonable “water budgets” for their households; better measure outdoor water
use; and further promote sustainable and drought-tolerant landscaping. They
also called for LADWP and the City to stop watering turf lawns at City properties
while they wait to be replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping. Find out more

Looking for Innovative Ways to Fund Improvements in Venice

Seeking to reverse a chronic lack of investment in parking, affordable housing

and transportation infrastructure in the Venice area, Mike is proposing to take
advantage of a new state law that would allow a portion of property taxes from
Venice to be spent only on Venice projects.

Mike introduced a motion to the City Council that calls for the City to begin the
process of creating an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) in
Venice. Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts, which were created by a bill
signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last year, allow for tax increments to
finance specific public capital improvements in defined areas. The districts do
not levy new taxes, but rather allow for needed improvements to be made by
dedicating future tax increments to the projects.

“Venice is in dire need of more parking, improved transportation infrastructure,

and a lot more affordable housing,” said Bonin. “An Enhanced Infrastructure
Financing District could create a revenue stream to fund those long-neglected
neighborhood priorities. And it could do it without raising taxes.”

Find out more about the motion


Internships Available!

We are looking for creative and energetic interns to serve at our City Hall, West
LA and Westchester offices. Those selected will work closely with the professional
staff of the elected office in one or a number of areas including public policy,
land use and planning, communication, transportation issues, research, and
community outreach efforts. Each internship offers an enriching experience for
students and other candidates looking for hands-on experience in local city
government. Find out more and apply at:

Helpful Links

Contact Us - Submit a comment, question or concern, using our helpful

website form.
Maps and Directions - Visit us in one of our two district offices, or downtown
at City Hall.
Request City Services - Have a pothole that needs to be filled or a tree that
needs to be trimmed? Submit a service request directly to the city.
Sign Up for Updates - You are already signed up if you received this email,
but are all of your friends? Forward this message, or share this link with your
neighbors so they can get the latest news about their neighborhood as well.

Community Calendar - Attend a Community Event at Your Local Library!

Find out more about just some of the great neighborhood events at some of the
many libraries around the Westside. CLICK ON THE LINK TO EACH LIBRARIES'

Have an event you would like listed? Email to

submit events.

Westchester Library
Story time - Held on
Wednesdays, from
10:15am - 11am. Join
them for stories, songs,
rhymes and more. Lasts
about 30 minutes,
followed by 15 minutes
of playtime.
Baby Story Time - Held
on Mondays, from
10:15am -10:50am. For
children 18 months and
under and their caregiver. Lasts about 20 minutes, followed by 15 minutes
of playtime.
Computer Basics Class - Noon on Thursday, March 5 and Thursday, March
26. Free introductory class for those just starting to learn more about

Playa Vista Library

Chess Club - Held on Wednesdays, from 4:15pm - 5:15pm, ages 6-12. For
kids to learn and play chess as taught by a master chess player.
Conversation with Author Yaja Boren, Holocaust Survivor - Saturday,
March 14, 3pm. Yaja Boren is the author of her memoir "We Only Have Each
Other," and her novel "There are No Strangers." Ms. Boren is a holocaust
survivor of five concentration camps including Aushwitz. She now lives in
Playa Vista, and contributes to our local community. Hear her recall the
history of holocaust survival, and learn about her life philosophy of love
and kindness.
Venice-Abbot Kinney Memorial Library
Adult Yoga - Wednesdays, 12:30pm. Bring a mat & get ready to breathe.
Open to all levels!
STAR Reader Story Time - Tuesdays at noon. (STAR --Story Telling and
Reading) Storytelling to children either one-on-one or in small groups.
Children earn a free book after 3 visits.
Chess Club - Held on Thursdays, and starts at 4:15pm, for ages 6-15. For
kids and teens to learn and play chess. The club is taught by a master chess

Mar Vista Library

Toddler and Pre-School Story Time - Wednesdays at 11am. Toddlers and
preschoolers can join us for a fun storytime full of rhymes, fingerplays and
picture books!
Seuss-a-Mania! - Saturday, March 7, 2pm - 3pm. Celebrate a silly Seuss day!
Join in the fun with your favorite characters, from the "Cat in the Hat" to
"Sam I Am!" Enjoy crafts, songs, stories and more!
Irish Poetry with Joe Prami - Saturday, March 14, 2pm. Joe Praml, a former
London-based stage actor, will read from a selection of Irish poetry to
celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

West Los Angeles Regional Library

NAMI Peer-to-Peer Support Group - Wednesday, March 4 and Wednesday,
March 18, 6pm to 7:30pm. NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a recovery support group
for adults living with mental illness in which people learn from each
other's experiences, share coping strategies, and offer each other
encouragement, empathy, and community. PRIOR
REQUIRED . To register or to ask questions, please contact Ms. Andrea
Pulcini at (310) 872-7944 or by email

Donald Bruce Kaufmann Brentwood Library

UCLA Gluck String Quartet in Recital - Thursday, March 5, 6:30pm. The
acclaimed UCLA Gluck String Quartet, funded by a grant from the Maxwell
H. Gluck Foundation, returns to the Brentwood Branch for a FREE classical
recital. Composed of two violinists, a violist, and a cellist respectively, the
group is known to " musical versatility while feeding off the energy
from each other and the audience."
USC and the Making of Los Angeles - Thursdays in March at 1pm. A six
part lecture series by Dr. John G. (Tom) Tomlinson, Jr. Using the life of John
R. Haynes (1853-1937) L.A. physician-millionaire-philanthropist and the
development of USC, Dr. Tomlinson tracks the growth of L.A. from a dusty
town of 12,000 in 1880 to an international metropolis approaching
1,000,000 in 1932 when the city hosted the Olympic Games. We will explore
Los Angeles as a place of tuberculosis sanatoria, citrus orchards, oil fields,
aqueducts, film sets, airports, and diverse and international peoples. Each
class is 1.5 hours long. Registration is Required. Email or
call (213) 740-7122

Pacific Palisades Library

College Scholarship Support Group - Wednesday, March 11, 6pm. As soon
as you learn where you'll be attending college, you'll need to figure out how
to pay for it all. Ideally, the time to start hunting for college scholarships is
the summer between your junior and senior year of high school. Learn
about the scholarship application process from C2 Education's Jacob
Kantor. He'll explain how to find scholarships, when to apply and how to
avoid scams.
Poetry, Spoken Word & Hip Hop Workshop - Mondays, March 16 & 23,
Tuesday, March 31, Mondays April 6 & 13 from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. Los
Angeles Public Library & Urban Word LA is offering a FREE poetry, spoken
word and hip-hop workshop for teens, 13-19. Led byTedX Poet, Rachel Kann,
the five-week workshop will be an opportunity for teens to take their
poetry to the next level. Participants will also have the chance to enter the
Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate contest. The winner will also win a book
deal to publish their first book of poems! Kann has performed her work
from Royce Hall to San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts. She is a James
Kirkwood Award for Fiction recipient.

Find out more about events at your local library at

Thank you for reading the March issue of Mike Bonin's Neighborhoods
First Newsletter.

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