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April 2015 Neighborhoods First

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April 2015

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the April Issue of Mike Bonin's "Neighborhoods First Newsletter"!

IN THIS ISSUE: We take a look at an exciting new movie theater in Playa Vista, a
new way for the Mar Vista community to get engaged in the Great Streets project Contact Our Office
and a difficult choice being made in Brentwood. But first , please read our
"Neighborhoods First Profile" with the recipient of CD11's "Pioneer Woman"
honor for 2015, Shirin Laor-Raz Salemnia, an awesome Westside constituent who Connect with Facebook
has made tremendous contributions to advancing the status of women and girls
in LA through the promotion of education and involvement in STEM (Science,
Connect with Twitter
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.

You can find out more about Mike , meet your CD11 staff and see the latest
videos and updates from the Westside on our website Councilmember Mike…
at . And remember to like Mike's Facebook page and follow
him on Twitter to always see the latest news about your neighborhood.


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Shirin Laor-Raz Salemina and Getting Young Girls to Love

For the past 25 years, the
Commission on the Status of
Tweets by ​@MikeBoninLA
Women hosts a special Council
Mike Bonin
presentation recognizing "Pioneer @MikeBoninLA
Women" living in each Council
Proud to have worked with @givingspirit &
District. Councilmembers each assembled winter kits for homeless residents. Sign
choose a notable, inspiring or up for the 2018 Homeless Count because every
trail-blazing woman to be honored resident, no matter where they live, matters
during the presentation. This year,
Mike chose to honor not just a
game-changer, but a game-maker.

Shirin Laor-Raz Salemnia is the

founder and CEO of PlayWerks - an
interactive media company, as
well as the Founder of WhizGirls
They Count Will You?
Academy - a place where young
The 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless …
women engage in exciting projects
that help them acquire skills in the
areas of coding, entrepreneurship,
healthy balanced lifestyles (such
as fitness and eating) and more, while building confidence and growing as members of the Embed View on Twitter

She is actively involved in Women in Gaming, and she serves an Advisor to the LA
Film School Video Game Dept, The Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls in Tech, Girl Scouts,
and the White House Council of Women and Girls.

She has made Los Angeles a better place to live, hosting the first Hackathon for
Women and Girls in 2013 in collaboration with the White House Council of
Women and Girls, and she hosted the Kids Hack for LA event in collaboration
with Mayor Garcetti, the White House, and Will-I-Am’s “” Foundation.

"Shirin is doing the work that we know needs to be done to get young women
involved in the industry that will dominate our economy for generations to
come," Mike said during the presentation. "She is smart, innovative and
compassionate. She is an inspiration and I am phenomenally proud to have been
able to honor her at today's Council meeting."

We asked Shirin a few questions about her work to get young women involved in
technology and other S.T.E.M. disciplines - read the full interview HERE .

Mike at Work in Westchester

With the City Council in recess on March 13, Mike spent the morning with a crew
from LADOT in Westchester, re-striping a stop sign limit line at Kenyon and 80th
and installing a new street sign at the corner of McConnell and 80th.

Kudos to DOT staffers Fredrick Reed, Mike Ford, Drew Tolliffe, and Ron McCollum
for their great work, and to Danny Osztreicher and Nancy Aguilar of Mike's
Council staff for working every day to help him put neighborhoods first on the

Showtime! New Movie Theater Opens in Playa Vista

Mike and Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated the grand opening of

the Cinemark theaters in Playa Vista on March 11. The new multiplex will offer an
exceptionally comfortable and state-of-the-art entertainment experience, as well
as more than 100 new jobs for Playa Vista.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Cinemark!

Help Make Downtown Mar Vista a Truly Great Street

Venice Blvd will be one of the first streets in the city to receive special attention
through the Mayor's Great Streets initiative. In the near-term, we will begin to
change our streets with temporary treatments that could include things like
plazas and parklets. In the long-term, we will make permanent changes, such as
improvements to curbs, street lighting, street trees, and street furniture. But
before any of these improvements can happen, we need to know what your
priorities are for the corridor.

We've created a new photo survey to get your input about what you want to
see on Venice Blvd. in Mar Vista. Please take a quick few minutes to complete
the online survey by clicking here.

Input from neighborhoods will drive the direction of the improvements and I am
looking for members of the community to let me know how they would like to see
the street enhanced.

Giving Sawtelle Japantown the Recognition it Deserves

On March 29, Mike was joined by a HUGE crowd of West LA neighbors to install
new signs identifying the Sawtelle Japantown area of the Westside.

"Installing these signs does more than identify one the most special
neighborhoods in Los Angeles - it recognizes and honors the multi-generational
Japanese-American community that has always found a home in the Sawtelle
area," Mike said.

Japanese-Americans began arriving in Los Angeles in the 1890s, with many

fleeing anti-Asian persecution in San Francisco. The Sawtelle area became an
ideal home for working Japanese-Americans who were unable to live in nearby
restricted communities like Bel-Air, Brentwood and Westwood. In the 1920s,
cultural, community and religious organizations such as the Japanese Institute
of Sawtelle, West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple and United Methodist Church
formed to support the growing Japanese-American community. Sawtelle existed
as a separate city until 1922, when it was annexed to the City of Los Angeles.

The “Sawtelle Japantown” name was selected after a grassroots effort by West LA
community leaders, who formed the "Sawtelle Japantown Association" last year
to help organize the community renaming campaign.

See more photos from the community sign unveiling event here.

The Stop Heard Round the Westside

The ongoing conversation about the Bundy/Mayfield intersection in Brentwood

demonstrates the sometimes-challenging balance we must strike between
protecting pedestrian safety and reducing traffic congestion in neighborhoods.
This issue has been intensely debated among neighbors in Brentwood and Mike is
currently weighing their input and working with LADOT to find a solution
that strikes this delicate balance.

Mike launched an online survey and is encouraging everyone who lives in and
commutes through the area to take a moment to let him know what you think.

Take the survey


The ParkMe App and Electric Parking Lot: Parking in Venice is Getting Easier
Parking is getting easier in Venice thanks to a new smartphone app and a project
to pave over a dirt lot on Electric Avenue.

1. The ParkMe app now works in Venice! "ParkMe is one tool in a growing
toolbox of technology-driven projects that make parking easier in L.A.,"
Mike said. "I'm excited to see ParkMe help people find spots in Venice, which
will save drivers a headache and will reduce traffic in neighborhoods when
people no longer need to circle the block looking for a spot."
2. The Electric Avenue parking lot is getting a needed makeover! The dirt
parking lot near Electric Avenue and Abbot Kinney is being repaved and
lights, parking meters and landscaping is being installed. "This project will
pave the dirt lot and add landscaping and lighting, making the parking lot
safer and more welcoming for guests and customers at local businesses,"
Mike said. "Since this work will require major construction, there will be
times when vehicle and pedestrian access may be restricted for safety
reason or when concrete or asphalt needs to dry. I have instructed my staff
to work with the contractor to ensure we engage businesses and residents
to provide as much access for vehicles and pedestrians as possible while
construction is underway."

Access 11 "Pop Up" Office Hours in Westchester

On March 11, Mike hosted "Pop Up" office hours at the Westchester Farmers
Market, chatting with dozens of neighbors about ways to improve Westchester.

"You shouldn't need to go downtown to meet with your local representative,"

Mike said. "I'm grateful for the people who are willing to take a break from their
shopping to talk about improving our neighborhoods."

Progress at Potrero

We are getting closer every day to finally building and opening the Potrero park
in the Pacific Palisades.

Potrero Canyon, a 48 acre site acquired by the City in 1964, has a long history of
landslides and instability. The ongoing project to turn the Canyon into a park will
stabilize the canyon walls, supporting the properties at the top of the canyon and
creating a natural place for people to enjoy. There will be a variety of ways for
people to enjoy Potrero: a path is planned from Temescal Canyon Road to the
mouth of Potrero Canyon above PCH to provide access from the beach side of the
park; and a path is planned from Alma Real entrance of Palisades Recreation
Center to provide access from the community of Pacific Palisades. Additionally, a
hybrid pedestrian/bike bridge over PCH between the beach bike path and the
path from Potrero Canyon to the intersection of Temescal Canyon Road and PCH
is in the preliminary planning stages.

The project is currently in the final design stage and the final plans and request
for contractors to construct the park are scheduled to be released late this year.

New Housing for the Homeless on the Westside

The real solution to homelessness is housing -- and March 5 was a good day for
building housing for our homeless neighbors. Mike and neighborhood partners
broke ground on the new Gateway Apartments in Del Rey and got to celebrate the
construction of 20 new units of permanent supportive housing for homeless and
chronically homeless people on the Westside. The project is being developed in
partnership between the Venice Community Housing Corporation and Hollywood
Community Housing Corporation, and St. Joseph Center will provide case
management services for all residents once the apartments open in 2016.

"Twenty units is just a drop in the bucket for what we need to address
homelessness in Los Angeles, but I am phenomenally proud to see progress being
made toward real, sustainable solutions to getting people off the street and into
housing," Mike said. "Other projects in my district are being built by PATH -
Making it Home and 1736 Family Crisis Center, and I am determined to find more
opportunities to build affordable and permanent supportive housing in CD11. I
am really grateful to VCHC, HCHC, St. Joe's, LA City, LA County, and all the
funders for making this happen -- and to the Del Rey Neighborhood Council for
its support!"

Hike with Mike

Of all of the "Access 11" events Mike has hosted as a Councilmember, "Hikes With
Mike" are always the most memorable. The combination of community and
beautiful scenery make these neighborhood hikes a great experience for
everyone who participates.

"While I love hosting other Access 11 events, such as 'Open Office Hours' at
Farmers Markets and going door-to-door to hear directly from constituents,
going on a hike with neighbors allows me to combine three of my favorite things
- exercise, talking about ways to improve our neighborhoods, and enjoying the
magnificent outdoors the Westside has to offer," Mike said.

More than 40 neighbors met Mike and his staff at Temescal Canyon on Saturday,
March 28 and the group hiked through the canyon, getting to know each other
and talking about ways to improve the Westside along the way.

Slow Down! Playa del Rey Neighbors Rally for Safer Streets

Fed up with speeding cars threatening safety their community, neighbors in

Playa del Rey have formed an informal group to look for ways to prevent
dangerous speeding. Mike and his staff are collaborating with the group, which is
going by "Playa del Rey Neighbors for Safer Streets," to work with the entire
community to find solutions. Find out more on the "Safer Streets" Facebook
page and sign up here for more updates:
Happy in Del Rey!

(click the image to see a video promoting the event)

Del Rey Neighborhood Council is hosting a community dialogue on April 25 to

talk about happiness, health and wellness in Del Rey. The event will feature a
presentation by Sande Hart, the Chief Compassionate Officer of Compassionate
CA, which will take a look at how we can make our neighborhoods better places to
live. All Del Rey residents and stakeholders are invited to attend on April 25, from
3pm - 6pm at Del Rey Square (11976 Culver Blvd.). Find out more on the Del Rey
Neighborhood Council website .

Neighbors interested in attending should take a moment to complete the Del Rey
Neighborhood Council Health and Wellness survey
at .

Pothole Blitz and Street Repaving on the Westside

The City's Bureau of Street Services worked hard on the Westside in March,
conducting a pothole blitz and a series of street repaving projects that repaired
rundown streets in CD11 neighborhoods. The pothole blitz - where the Bureau of
Street Services repaired high-priority potholes identified by local Neighborhood
Councils - fixed problem spots in West LA, Brentwood, Mar Vista and Venice. The
Bureau also repaved entire stretches of street off Bundy Drive in in Brentwood,
including Bonny Lane, Banff Lane, Greenrock Avenue, Halliday Street and
Octagon Street.
ADA Roast Raises $600,000 for Diabetes Research and Treatment

On March 19, Mike found himself in the hot seat at the 18th Annual American
Diabetes Association Political Roast. The event, which featured roasts by Council
President Herb Wesson and County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, as well as personal
appeals from young people living with diabetes, raised a staggering $600,000 for
the American Diabetes Association.

Small Business Spotlights for March

Week of March 1: Summit Ski and Cycle Repair, Westchester

Week of March 8: Gift Garden, Pacific Palisades

Week of March 16: Herald Hill, Venice

Week of March 22: Country Mart Shoe Repair, Brentwood

Have a favorite business you want to nominate to be featured in Mike's Small

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

New Metro CEO

Congratulations to Phillip Washington, who Mike and his colleagues on the Metro
Board appointed as the new CEO of Metro in March.

"I'm looking forward to working with Phillip to create the modern, world class
transportation system L.A. deserves, " Mike said. "I'm eager to work with him on
so many projects and ideas, including connecting rail to LAX, improving the
passenger experience on our buses and trains, promoting active transportation,
and potentially super-sizing the possibilities for our transit future with another
ballot measure."

New Parking Signs Hope to Simplify Parking in LA

Ever find a parking spot only to be stymied by a baffling array of parking signs
that leave you feeling unclear on whether or not you can park safely or get your
car towed away? Thanks to Mike, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation
and Councilmember Paul Krekorian, LADOT will be doing a pilot program, trying
out different approach. The pilot program will be focused on a few blocks in
downtown, so LADOT staff can closely monitor it, but if it goes well, expect to see
simplified graphic signs on the Westside soon!

Progress Made Toward Improving Code and Condition Compliance

On March 24, the Council's Planning, Land Use and Management Committee
approved Mike's motion to "beef up" code and condition compliance in our
Planning Department, so the City can better hold developers to the promises the
make neighborhoods.

Read the Los Angeles Times coverage of our progress


Community Input Hears on Minimum Wage Continue - Westside Meeting on

Thursday, April 2

Last Fall, Mike and his colleagues Curren Price Jr., Nury Martinez and Gil Cedillo
co-authored a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles. The Council's
Economic Development Committee began hearings on the motion last week,
and Mike sent a letter to the Committee to voice his opinion about the need for
higher wages in Los Angeles .

The Committee is hosting meetings around the city to gather input from people
and they will be on the Westside this Thursday at 6pm at the Museum of
Tolerance (9786 W. Pico Blvd.). RSVP to attend the meeting
Council Acts to Curb Proliferation of Mansionization in LA

On March 25, the City Council took action to curb the proliferation of
“mansionization” in Los Angeles. The Council directed the Planning Department
to begin revising citywide rules, known as the Baseline Mansionization
Ordinance (BMO), which govern the amount of residential floor area that can be
developed on a single-family lot. At the same time, the Council recommended
immediate - but temporary - restrictions in certain specific neighborhoods
throughout Los Angeles, including Mar Vista, the Kentwood section of
Westchester, and parts of Venice east of Lincoln Boulevard.

These temporary restrictions will more stringently limit the size of houses built
in the specified neighborhoods for 45 days. At the end of that 45-day period, the
City Council would consider whether to extend the ICO to a maximum of 2 years
while the permanent citywide rules are being written.

Mike launched an online survey to ask for your input on the proposed Interim
Control Ordinance, which you can find by clicking here .

"This is a very controversial item, and I’ve heard from many of you on both sides
of this issue," Mike said. "On the one hand, long-time residents and homeowners
who cherish and value their neighborhoods are upset when existing houses are
demolished to make way for large structures, often out of proportion with the
rest of the block and out of sync with the neighborhood’s character. On the other
hand, some property owners feel such rules diminish their property values by
preventing them from building suitable homes for their growing families or by
restricting their investment or their right to build as they see fit on their
property. I hope that everyone who feels strongly about this issue will take the
time to complete the quick survey and let me know what they think."

Power From Water Pipes?

Mike recently introduced a motion to the City Council asking the LADWP to
explore a pilot project for in-pipe hydropower systems, which are used in
Portland and Riverside and could offer sustainable electricity without any
negative environmental impact .

"We have a unique opportunity to explore this technology as LADWP prepares to

upgrade and replace aging pipes and water infrastructure and I want us to do all
we can to seize these opportunities." Mike said. "We need to look at every possible
opportunity to harness clean, renewable energy from every possible source.
Innovation, collaboration and leadership are the only ways we are going to solve
the climate crisis."

Smart Government at Work! Green Streets Motion Approved by Council

A note from Mike about a recent motion approved by the Council: "My colleague
Felipe Fuentes, working with TreePeople and Los Angeles Waterkeeper and other
environmental groups and leaders, proposed the best piece of legislation I have
seen since taking office. I was proud to second his motion and support his
proposal to create a program to prioritize 'Green Streets,' adapting our public
streets and related infrastructure to capture the rain instead of sending it out to
sea. When the ordinance takes effect, billions of gallons of rainwater will begin
to be added to current water supplies."
Read more about the motion on Tree People's website.

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!

Find out what's happening in your community in the April Westside Events
Calendar !

Westside Minimum Wage Community Hearing

Thursday, April 2, 6pm - 9pm
Museum of Tolerance
9786 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Great Streets Open House

Monday, April 20, 6pm - 8pm
Mar Vista Branch Library
12006 Venice Blvd.
Mar Vista, CA 90066

Ballona Creek Cleanup

Saturday, April 25, 9am - 12pm
Meet at Centinela Avenue at Milton Street

"Bike With Mike" Family Bike Ride

Saturday, May 2, 9am
Mar Vista (RSVP for details)

Have an event you would like listed? Email to

submit events.

Before You Go...

...a personal note from Mike

"My Mom, Mary Beth Bonin, is celebrating her birthday this month, on April 19.
She read me 'Green Eggs & Ham' when I was a kid, pushed me to study hard when
I was in high school, and saved me from a few scrapes best forgotten. She is
beautiful warm, loving, dedicated to her family, always supportive - and she
makes the best meatballs known to mankind. I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday!"
Thank you for reading the April issue of Mike Bonin's Neighborhoods
First Newsletter.

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