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Neighborhood Heroes: 2015 Year-End
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Year-End Special Edition: 2015 Neighborhood Heroes

Welcome to the Special Year-End Issue of Mike Bonin's "Neighborhoods First

Use this link to read this issue on our website or share it with your friends on
social media.
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IN THIS ISSUE: Mike wanted to do something a little different in this year-end
edition and focus on some of the unsung heroes who have worked so hard to
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make our neighborhoods great. We are spotlighting a series of "2015
Neighborhood Heroes" from various neighborhoods on the Westside. Find out
more about them below! Connect with Twitter
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As we look back on 2015, we thank the many unsung and under-appreciated
neighbors who work every day to make our neighborhoods a great place to live,
work and enjoy. In this special section, Mike has selected one "neighborhood
hero" from each neighborhood on the Westside. Find out who Mike decided to
recognize as a "2015 Neighborhood Hero" and read a personal message about each
honoree from Mike below.

Pacific Palisades: Flo Elfant
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Flo Elfant is part of the civic glue that holds Pacific Palisades together. She was a
founding member of the Pacific Palisades Community Council, back in 1973, and
served as the organization’s president from 1988-1990, has been president of the
regional PTA, and was the Pacific Palisades Citizen of the Year in 1989.
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The 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless …
But her passion and her defining issue is emergency preparedness. She is the
disaster preparedness chairperson for the PPCC, responsible for emergency
preparedness throughout the community. She developed major emergency
preparedness guides for the community – one for families, one for businesses, and
one for neighborhoods. She has educated generations of Palisadians about what Embed View on Twitter
to do in case of an earthquake, fire, or other emergency.

Flo has raised three children in Palisades, and nearly every story she tells relates
back to Pacific Palisades in an 'it's a small world' kind of way.

Bruce Jugan is all about finding solutions to neighborhood problems. A member
of the Board of Directors of the Brentwood Homeowners Association, Bruce is
passionate about his community, about bringing people together, and about
crafting common-sense solutions.

In 2006, Bruce hosted a neighborhood watch group in Kenter Canyon around
Bonhill Road. The group has become a force that binds that neighborhood, hosting
block parties, arranging neighborhood watch activities, and sharing info.

Bruce is particularly passionate about solving traffic problems. He was
instrumental in getting the City to install a left-turn signal at Sunset & Kenter
last year. Bruce is one of a handful of parents coming up with solutions to reduce
traffic impacts from Paul Revere Middle School, working with the principal and
others to promote carpooling, coordinate drop-offs, and better coordinate local
West Los Angeles: Mary Misono

Mary Misono is a legend in West LA, in Council District 11, and in Los Angeles.
Always friendly and ever helpful, seated at a big desk with a huge rolodex and her
electric typewriter, Mary retired last year after 54 years working for the various
people who represented this council district: Councilmembers Karl Rundberg,
Marvin Braude, Cindy Miscikowski, Bill Rosendahl and Mike.

Humble and self-effacing, Mary refused to let Mike give her a proper sendoff when
she retired, but her contributions are too significant to ignore, and too lasting to
forget. Generations of constituents, community leaders, and elected officials
would know to call Mary when they ran into a roadblock or needed someone with
the right contacts to cut some red tape. She was the voice and face of city
government to thousands of people.

Mary, whose family was sent to an internment camp in Arizona during World
War II, was also a special voice and connection for the large Japanese-American
community on the Westside.

Mar Vista: Sarah Auerswald

Sarah Auerswald is living proof that Moms can do it all.

A freelance writer, project manager, community activist, social media strategist,
and the mother of two tween boys in Mar Vista, Sarah started the Mar Vista Mom
blog in 2008, featuring information on Mar Vista people, businesses, and events.
In 2010, she also co-founded MomsLA , a group blog with more than 100 Mom
Bloggers from all over Los Angeles.

A few years, Sarah recognized that the growing small business in Mar Vista was
not organized and had no collective voice. She formed the Mar Vista Small
Business Association, which grew into the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce. In
that capacity, Sarah has been a strong voice for the Venice Boulevard Great
Streets program, has organized the “Make it Mar Vista” shopping days, and is an
all-around positive voice for her neighborhood.

Del Rey: Lazaro Trinidad

Lazaro Trinidad is a son of Del Rey who spends his time focused on the children of
Del Rey.

Laz began participating in the Mar Vista Family Center as a summer camper in
1998, and then as a member of the "By Youth, For Youth" leadership program.
Since then, he has consistently found time to give back to the neighborhood and
to the agency and the youth and families it serves.

After a few years of participating in street clean-ups, community meetings,
events, and after-school programs, Laz joined the MVFC staff while attending
college in 2006. As Youth Leadership Coordinator, Laz is responsible for training
youth in the community in leadership, education, personal growth and
community activism. During the summer, he serves as the center’s Camp Director,
supervising 110 children ages 5-12, and a staff of 25 camp counselors who have
been trained by him in MVFC's Shared Responsibility Curriculum Model. In
addition, he volunteers twice a week to offer exercise classes to community
members to promote health and wellness.

Laz also helps supports his family and is actively engaged in his younger
brother’s education.

Venice: Liz Crosson

One of the strongest voices for clean water in Los Angeles lives in Venice. Liz
Crosson was executive director of LA Waterkeeper, the environmental and water
quality watchdog agency, from 2010-2015.

Liz joined LA Waterkeeper after being intimately involved with their litigation
and enforcement program as an associate attorney with Lawyers for Clean Water,
Inc. She gained environmental advocacy experience working for several non-
profits in Oregon and California. She’s been involved in community outreach and
organizing, organizational development, and environmental litigation striving to
protect water quality, endangered species, and coastal and forest ecosystems.
During her tenure as executive director, LA Waterkeeper helped improve water
conservation in LA through their "Go Dirty for the Drought" pledge campaign,
won a major victory in the U.S. Supreme Court that protects millions of people
living near and visiting Los Angeles rivers and beaches from the harmful effects
of water pollution, and hosted fun engagement events like the "Stand-Up For
Clean Water" paddleboard race and community beach cleanups on Dockweiler

Liz has an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley where she studied
Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. She also has an M.S. in
Biology/Environmental Education and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School
with an emphasis in environmental law.

Here’ some really good news about Liz – just a few months ago, Mayor Eric
Garcetti lured her away from Waterkeeper to be his Water Policy Advisor.

Playa del Rey: Nora MacLellan

Nora MacLellan is, well, sort of amazing. She is a tireless volunteer who rolls up
her sleeves, gets her hands dirty, and gets things done.

For nearly four years, Nora has been a virtually full-time volunteer for Vision to
Learn, an amazing nonprofit that provides free eye exams and free eyeglasses to
elementary school children, transforming young lives and dramatically
improving academic performance. She serves as outreach coordinator for the
organization, and she volunteers so often, most people think she is paid staff.

On top of that, Nora is a member of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester
Playa, and is very active with the Westchester Rotary Club, which does an annual
home makeover, and last year conducted major renovations to the Westchester
Senior Center. She is also a regular volunteer at community clean-ups, where you
can find her with rake, shovel, trash bag, or paint brush in hand. Nora is also a
strong watchdog for the Playa del Rey neighborhoods in the shadow of LAX, and
has been a consistent voice calling for a dog park on the LAX Northside property.

Westchester: Scott Carni
Scott Carni is a big bear of a guy with a huge heart, a love for his neighborhood,
and a passion for making his local parks the best they can be.

A resident of Westchester for 50 years, Scott has served on the local Park Advisory
Board for more than 10 years, and is its current president. He has spearheaded an
amazing renovation of the 22-acre Westchester Park, enhancing enjoyment and
public safety through a series of projects including a new and very popular 9700
square-foot skate plaza, a new sea-themed children's playground, new tennis
courts, a new scoreboard, new lighting, installation of security cameras, drought-
tolerant landscaping, pool improvements and a redesigned park entry.

The father of two boys, Scott also served as Youth Organizations representative
on the Neighborhood Council on Westchester/Playa for four years. He has also
been active in a number of community organizations, including the One West
Bluffs Steering Committee, the Community Plan Update Committee, AYSO, various
YMCA programs, Little League and Youth Lacrosse.

Playa Vista: Glenda Silva

Playa Vista is an emerging community in Los Angeles. full of up and coming
young professionals. One resident to keep an eye on is Glenda Silva. A former
resident of Mar Vista who now lives in Playa Vista, Glenda has been handling
community outreach for the Exposition Line Construction Authority, which is
building the light rail that will open to West LA and Santa Monica this spring.
Glenda has done a top-notch job engaging with neighbors around the project,
fielding complaints and resolving concerns. She also has a passion for a public
service, volunteering her time as a member of the Transportation Commission for
the city.
Find Out More About the City Council's Work to Put Neighborhoods First
2015 was an exciting and productive year for some of Mike's legislative priorities.
In the past year, Mike and his colleagues on the City Council raised the minimum
wage , approved a game-changing transportation plan , allowed ride-sharing
companies like Lyft to pick people up from LAX , and protected Santa Monica Bay .
There is a lot of important progress to make in the year ahead, including work on
homelessness , an effort to regulate short-term rentals and the adoption of a plan
to fix LA's broken sidewalks- make sure to read our monthly newsletter in the
new year to keep up-to-date on these important neighborhood priorities.

Parking Reform: Mike Introduces Seven Motions to Fix Parking in LA

Parking in Los Angeles could become smarter and more fair, thanks to a series of
seven motions Mike authored and submitted to the Council on December 8.

The package of motions, which builds on the work recently completed by the Los
Angeles Parking Reform Working Group (LAPRWG), seeks to dramatically change
how parking is managed in Los Angeles, expanding programs that rely on
performance-based pricing and reducing the number of street-sweeping tickets
issued to Angelenos.

“Parking in Los Angeles is a uniquely universal frustration for residents in
neighborhoods, customers shopping at local businesses and visitors experiencing
Los Angeles for the first time,” Mike said. “Far too often, people in Los Angeles
feel like the price of parking tickets and the way they are issued is a symbol of a
government that is on their backs instead of on their sides. We can do better and
this series of motions will help reform the way we think about parking in LA.”

Find out more about each of the seven motions

Super High Speed Internet Coming to LA?
Faster internet speeds could soon be coming to Los Angeles, thanks to some of
exciting news announced in December. Both AT&T and Google announced in the
last month that each company has plans to build the infrastructure necessary to
offer gigabit internet service to customers in Los Angeles. AT&T is planning on
bringing GigaPower fiber broadband to Los Angeles, as well as low-cost Internet
subscriptions to low income homes, while Google has declared that it is exploring
adding LA to the growing list of cities with "Google Fiber" service. Both AT&T's
GigaPower and Google Fiber will require significant investments in Los Angeles’s
virtual infrastructure, and both will provide Angelenos with high-speed and
often low-cost Internet access.

Going Solar in LA is Getting Easier

It is getting easier to generate power on your rooftop, thanks to a streamlined
solar program announced by Mayor Garcetti on December 17. The new program,
which is the result of close collaboration between the Department of Building
and Safety (LADBS) and the Department of Water and Power (LADWP), revamps
the local solar program through three major improvements: an online,
automated permitting system for solar installations; a more precise, time-saving
automated permit notification system between LADBS and LADWP; and a
streamlined process for issuing rebates and getting solar panels interconnected
and energized.

Previously, these steps involved a complex process requiring multiple
communications between customers and both City departments — causing delays
and increased costs, but the new, streamlined process will help make it easier
and cheaper to go solar.

Find out more
LAPD Adding More Mental Health Response Teams

On December 15, City officials announced that the City and County are moving
forward with something Mike has been urging for nearly a year - efforts to
improve response to incidents involving mental illness. During last year's budget
deliberations, Mike grilled LAPD Chief Beck about our need to dramatically
increase the number of SMART teams, which pair LAPD officers with L.A. County
mental health professionals to allow for a more thorough and compassionate
response to incidents involving mental illness. Chief Beck promised he would
assign as many officers as possible to match the number of county mental health
professionals assigned. Mike immediately began working with Supervisor Sheila
Kuehl to take the Chief up on his commitment. With the added strong leadership
of Mayor Eric Garcetti and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the LAPD and the
County have now announced they are doubling the number of SMART teams.

Winter Shelter Donation Drive Provides Supplies for Homeless on the Westside

For the past decade, Westside residents have donated clothing and toiletries to
help the Westside Emergency Winter Shelter offer people living on the street a
refuge from harsh winter weather. This year, Mike hosted his annual Donation
Drive to help provide needed supplies for the winter shelter, and thanks to the
generosity of people throughout the Westside, Mike and his staff delivered
three full truckloads to the 160-bed shelter . Thank you to everyone who
contributed to Mike's 2015 Donation Drive!
December Small Business Spotlights
Local small businesses provide more than jobs for people on the Westside - they
are part of what makes neighborhoods great. Each week, Mike chooses a local
Mom and Pop business to feature on social media in his " Small Business
Spotlight ."

Sweet Crush Ice Bar, Brentwood

Ink Ink Tattoo Parlor, Venice

Primo's Donuts, West LA
Do you 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.

'Tis the Season! Mike joined neighbors at a series of community holiday
celebrations, volunteer activities and toy drives throughout the Westside during
the past month. Check out some photos from just some of the events below.

Venice Canals Boat Parade, December 13

Brentwood Festivus Walk, December 5
LAPD Pacific Division Winter Wonderland Toy Giveaway, December 12

Giving Spirit "Homeless Survival Kit" Assembly Event, December 12

LAPD Pacific Area Booster's Muscle Beach Toy Giveaway, December 8

Annual Playa del Rey Toy and Animal Shelter Supply Drive, December 5
Annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting, December 4

Voice of the Canals Holiday Bridge Lighting, December 6

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.
Exciting news! Mike has been nominated by Los Angeles Streetsblog for the 2015
"Streetsie" award for Elected Official of the Year . Streetsblog offers definitive
coverage of transportation and livability issues in Los Angeles, and they noted
Mike's work on Mobility 2035, parking reform, Great Streets, ending pedestrian
stings, and connecting rail to LAX in their nomination of Mike. As Mike prepares
for a year where he will be advocating for a transportation ballot measure,
celebrating the opening of the Expo Line to the Westside, beginning to eliminate
traffic fatalities by implementing Vision Zero, and fighting for a smart and fair
sidewalk repair program, this is a particular honor. Please
official-of-the-year/ to vote for Mike or any one of the other great nominees.

Thank you for reading the Special Year-End issue of Mike Bonin's
Neighborhoods First Newsletter.

For more about Mike and Council District 11, please
v i s i t

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