Giving Voice to Victims of Sexual Violence

Rarely do we hear the voices of the victims of sexual violence.  When a women is raped or assaulted too often we never hear her story. Last Friday, I led a group of 22 women in giving voice to one victim.  Many of us have heard the story of the sexual assault out of Stanford University that led to the six month jail sentence and probation to the perpetrator, Brock Turner.  During sentencing, the victim “Emily Doe” prepared a statement that gave a vivid picture of her experience, and the impact the assault has had on her life since.  Her words are a powerful reminder of the devastating nature of sexual assault.  I chose to bring together women from Peace Over Violence, Planned Parenthood, the Commission on the Status of Women, as well as women leaders inside City Hall to read Emily Doe’s statement – word for word. My goal was to remind my colleagues, and the public, that we must take sexual violence seriously.  We must take every measure available to us to protect our women and girls from this type of violence.  I encourage you to read Emily Doe’s statement, or watch the video of our presentation on my Facebook Page. Leaders from throughout California are taking steps to ensure that perpetrators of this type of assault are not let off as leniently as Brock Turner was.  Assembly Member Evan Low introduced AB2888 to prohibit probation as a sentence in these cases, and last week I called on my colleagues to endorse that legislation. We must remain ever vigilant in our fight against sexual violence that targets women, children, and other vulnerable people in our community.

Bringing Filming Back to L.A.

As the Chair of the City Council’s Entertainment & Facilities Committee, I work closely with FilmLA on issues throughout the City. It is a priority for me, and the City Council, to bring more filming back to Los Angeles.  This is good for our economy, not just the many people who work directly in the film industry, but also all of those who work in ancillary professions that prosper when filming occurs nearby.  The local catering company or dry cleaner benefit as much as someone who operates the camera equipment when filming happens in LA.  This keeps families together, and helps build our economy in our community.  At a recent Committee meeting, FilmLA reported good news.  They report that 5 television series have relocated back to California, including American Horror Story, Mistresses, Secrets & Lies, Scream Queens and VEEP.  In fact, they report that there’s been an 11.4% increase in “shoot days” for the film industry over last year.  The average shooting cost for a feature film or TV series ranges from $100,000 to $300,000 per day.  That’s actual dollars that each production spends on wages, groceries, hotel rooms, gas, building supplies, props, payroll, etc. For every tax credit dollar approved under California’s Film and Television Tax Credit program, at least $1.13 in tax revenue will be returned to the state and local governments. When it comes to helping every-day people in Los Angeles, FilmLA reports a $659 million payroll for the “below-the-line-cast and crew.”  That is good for Los Angeles families. I will continue to advocate for bringing more filming back to the City of Los Angeles, and to the Sixth District.

Ready for Women Fellowship 2016

As part of my Ready for Women Initiative, we have developed a summer long fellowship program that will inspire and develop the next generation of female political leaders.  We will train young women to carry their existing leadership skills into the public sector and to public office.  Apply today!  The deadline for applications is June 1st.

Inspiring Our Next Women Leaders

You can’t be what you can’t see – and that’s why we need more women in elected office at all levels of government. As the only woman currently serving on the Los Angeles City Council, we are headed in the wrong direction. Over the past month, I’ve been speaking out about the importance of women stepping up and supporting each other as they seek elective office. Last week I spoke at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Women’s Summit on a panel with Congresswoman Judy Chu, Dan Schnur, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, moderated by LA84 Foundation’s Renata Simril, about the importance of women running for office. Earlier in April I spoke atMount Saint Mary University’s “Ready to Run” conference, encouraging young women to consider a career in politics. We need more women running for office.

Women's History Month 2016

To celebrate Women’s History Month, I’ve led the Council in recognizing some of the great women leaders in our City.   Last week we honored women from throughout the City who are “Pioneer Women” and help make our City a wonderful place to live. This effort was led by the City’s Commission on the Status of Women. For CD6, I honored Ciera Payton from “Michael’s Daughter.”  Continue reading

Pot Shops

Angelenos voted in 2013 to limit the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City.  Yet hundreds of pot shops kept popping up, especially in our neighborhoods.  I've been working with the City Attorney's office and LAPD, and since I took office, we've closed or are currently investigating over 90 pot shops that aren't Prop D compliant in our communities.  Last week, I led the City Council in adopting an ordinance that prohibits the City from continuing to collect sales taxes from shops operating outside the ordinance.  In fact, we're stopping the City from even issuing business tax certificates, which used to give people the impression the business was legal.  We will continue to make sure any dispensaries in CD6 are operating within the rules voters adopted under Prop D. Follow our progress on closures and investigations with this map.

Human Trafficking Awareness Month

I'm committed to shining a light on human trafficking in the San Fernando Valley.  Pimps who sell our girls and women should be on notice that the LAPD Operations-Valley Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force, I helped create, is cracking down on all human trafficking.  They're going to target "Johns" that support this criminal enterprise, and the pimps who profit from it.  On January 21st I joined the Task Force on a sting that resulted in the arrest of at least three dangerous pimps who were operating multiple brothels in CD6.  We will continue to take these criminals off of our streets. Continue reading

Fixing Sidewalks

Sidewalks throughout the City of Los Angeles need to be repaired, and we're getting started in CD6!  In December I kicked off a district wide sidewalk repair program.  The City has plans to fix sidewalks, but I know that in our district, we can't wait.  I've identified discretionary funding to get this program started with some of the worst sidewalk locations in CD6.  Starting in Arleta, we'll repair about 100 sidewalk locations this year alone throughout the district! Continue reading

Reaching the Panorama City Community Through Apartment Manager Meetings

Too often, our residents don’t realize that my office and City departments can help with everyday concerns. From scheduling bulky item picks to reporting illegal marijuana shops, my office can be a resource to residents. Continue reading