September Newsletter: Autumn, holidays and the end of the year!

I can't believe how quickly this year has passed! As families across the Sixth are boxing up their skeleton and witch costumes, I wanted to take a moment to give you an update on some of our work this month and other events fast approaching.

I'm proud of the collaboration between residents, businesses and my office to improve the quality of life locally. Whether its reporting blight in the neighborhood or working with my office to get resources to kids, our community is getting stronger every day!

Cleaning our sidewalks and streets

Bulky items and blight on our streets and sidewalks are problems not only in the Sixth but throughout Los Angeles. Unfortunately, because of the high demand to clean up our neighborhoods, too often, our residents wait a long time before the City addresses their concerns.

This is unacceptable and I'm excited to announce that my office has acquired our very own sanitation pick-up truck! This truck will enable my staff to respond more quickly to these requests and ensure that our residents are receiving the services that they need.

In addition, I was able to transfer and secure funding for local organizations that clean up graffiti and trash on our streets such as  the Northeast Valley and Sun Valley Graffiti Busters.

It is my hope that this work will make our streets more pedestrian-friendly and beautiful!

First Annual "Love of Reading" Book Drive!

Countless children across the world have had their lives changed by magical books such as The Giving Tree  or The Lorax. As a proud mom and former school board member, I know the importance of promoting literacy and a love of reading. That's why I am celebrating November with a book drive in honor of National Family Literacy Month!

From November 5-30, please bring your new or gently used books to any of my offices and we will donate them to the LAPD Little Libraries where children, whose families are utilizing services at our local police stations are welcome to borrow books for any period of time.

Supporting our LA River

Over the past year, my staff and I have been working with Councilmember O'Farrell and former Councilman Ed Reyes to raise awareness of the LA River and to increase its local access and use for Sixth District residents.

Please take a moment to view this fun video we produced for River Day, see a photo from my office's kayaking trip in our Sepulveda Basin section of the River or take a peak at our  LA River clean up where we cleaned over 1,300 pounds of trash from the river!

Sun Valley Neighborhood Pride Day

I believe that to make a real difference in the Sixth, I have to do more than talk about change, we have to take action. My staff and I have to work with local leaders, get our hands dirty and embody the community spirit that we promote from City Hall.

That's why I rolled up my sleeves and got to work at Sun Valley Neighborhood Pride Day. Together with an overwhelming crowd of volunteers and my staff, we helped beautify the home of American Veteran John Doyle. This was a fantastic event that we developed with the Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council and LA Neighborhood Housing Services, I look forward to seeing what work we can do next year.

The Opening of Athens New Facility

As a proud Sun Valley resident, I know the complicated and difficult relationship we have had with trash facilities. And after much collaboration, my colleague Councilman Krekorian and I visited the new Athens enclosed facility in Sun Valley.

Their new $50 million, 80,000 square-foot, solar-powered, state-of-the-art facility is the first in the nation and was developed after many  local meetings and conversations with residents and leaders. Athens is redefining the status quo for business in Sun Valley and changing what residents can expect from their industrial neighbors. This is a great improvement over the original site and it is due to our partnership. When our community works together, there is no end to what we can do.

Our VICE Unit and the New Captain of the LAPD Foothill Division!

Residents that live near Sepulveda, Lankershim and San Fernando Road are too familiar with the sex trafficking crimes and problems in our District. Since taking office, I've worked with LAPD and the Foothill Division to rehabilitate the young women and children and arrest the sex predators trafficking these young victims.

It's been wonderful to see firsthand the difference our collaboration has made in our community. This year alone, Foothill has arrested 26 pimps, averaging 3 pimp arrests a month!  This success is not possible without the dedicated men and women that are a part of our VICE unit. That's why I was so proud to bring Sergeant Scott Murray and his team to City Council to recognize their work every day to change and improve the lives of countless victims. What a fantastic team!

I also wanted to give a special recognition to the new Captain of the LAPD Foothill Division, Captain Ernest Eskridge and congratulate their former Captain, Commander Sean Malinowski. Thank you for your work and congratulations on your new positions!

New Stop Sign in Arleta

If you live near Dorrington Ave you may have noticed the newest addition to the neighborhood. For months, I've been working with local residents and City Departments to install a stop sign at the intersection of Dorrington Ave and Dorrington Place and I was very pleased to see it installed just a few weeks ago!

Please continue to let me know if my office and I can help your neighborhoods in any way!

In and around Van Nuys

100th Anniversary of Van Nuys High School

From Marilyn Monroe to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Van Nuys High School has been home to numerous stars and integral to our culture and landscape in Van Nuys.

That's why I was so pleased to recognize Van Nuys High School on their 100th anniversary. Today Van Nuys is leading LAUSD with the highest AP scores and the highest AP test pass rate. Congratulations on a wonderful history and an exciting future!

Bringing International Flights to VNY

For the more than 100 businesses located in the Van Nuys Airport, bringing international flights to the San Fernando Valley could be difficult. Without customs agents at VNY, businesses were forced to divert their international flights to LAX and then to VNY, wasting fuel and increasing emissions.

But this year, we've changed all of that. Working in partnership with leaders at the Los Angeles World Airports, we at Council passed an item that brings US Customs agents to VNY and allows international business to take place right here in the Valley.

18th Annual Health Fair

This month, my office and I assisted in the Children's Community School's 18th Annual Van Nuys Health Fair and Family Festival. Once a year, local groups and health organizations join together to bring dental and health screenings and other resources and information to the residents of the Sixth District and all of Van Nuys.

This year, I was proud to join the staff and parents at the Children's Community School as well as provide flu shots for our local families. Thank you to everyone that helped to make this event a success!

Mid-Valley Family YMCA Gala Chair

One of the best parts of my job is working with the many individuals and groups that care so much for our community and our children. This month, I joined the Mid-Valley Family YMCA as the chair of their 11th Annual Gala Fundraiser.

Held at the Van Nuys Airport, it was a great pleasure to join the many volunteers that provide after-school activities for our children and resources for our community members in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. I also want to offer a special congratulations and thank you to Craig Walker with Castle & Cooke Aviation for their recognition at the event and for all you have done for the Mid-Valley Y! We're so proud to have you as part of our Valley family!

75th Anniversary of Fire Station 39

Since 1937, Fire Station 39 has served our community well. More than a beautiful building, "The Hub" is the oldest active fire station in the City and has served as a home and office for some of our bravest in Los Angeles! Growing up in the Valley, I've always admired this building and am happy to congratulate Van Nuys and LAFD on its 75th anniversary!

But as Los Angeles has grown, so has the entire Valley and our community has outgrown the narrow street that houses Fire Station 39. To help improve response times and offer our Valley firefighters important upgrades to their equipment, LAFD is moving to a new building after extensive studies. I will continue to update you on these important changes to our public safety and well being, but please know that preserving this beautiful, historic building is a priority for me.

Business Thriving and Investing in the Sixth District

Business Tour of the Sixth District

This month, I welcomed Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Sixth and introduced him to some of our local businesses and leaders that are bringing jobs home and improving our local quality of life.

I brought the Mayor to some of our largest employers: Anheuser-Busch, Orly Inc., and Clay Lacy Aviation at the Van Nuys Airport.

In addition, we also visited the recently expanded La Brea Bakery facility as well as the training center for the Plumbers and Fitters Local 761. While I believe we must encourage new businesses to come to the Sixth, with these facilities training our workforce and investing in our communities, the Sixth District is recovering jobs that long ago left our region. From beverages to nail polish, it all happens in the Sixth!

Supporting Businesses from City Hall

I believe that as the City supports local workers, we must make it easier for businesses creating jobs and those individuals that want to start their own businesses. That's why I introduced a motion requesting an update on the Business Inclusion Program.

By updating the Council on the status of this program, not only will we find out how to better support local, small businesses owned by women, veterans, and people of color but we can develop solutions within City Hall to make it easier on local business owners.

Business Highlights: Orly Inc.

Beyond their fantastic product, Orly has been a wonderful part of our business community in the San Fernando Valley. Recently, I had the pleasure of working with this company on their recent facility expansion. With its home in the Sixth District, Orly has invested in new beauty products behind nail polish and remains a wonderful neighbor and an innovative leader in their field.

Business Highlights: La Brea Bakery

The Sixth District is the proud home to La Brea Bakery (Aryzta Foods) and it has been wonderful to work with this business leader in our neighborhood. But soon, this artisan bakery will open its recently expanded facility and it was my pleasure to help shepherd them through the process so that they can bring in those new jobs faster.

This expansion of their facility will allow La Brea to meet the great demand for their products while maintaining their quality baking practices. I'm excited to continue our work and encourage you to learn more about La Brea Bakery and their delicious products!

From City Hall to the Sixth

Foreclosure Registry Audit

As Sixth District residents know well, too often, foreclosed homes attract trash, blight and other problems for our neighborhoods. To help local residents and local groups address these problems, I led the Audits committee in demanding that the City take action and regularly update the foreclosed home registry following the failures presented by City Controller Ron Galperin's audit.

It is my hope that this action will result in an improvement to the Foreclosure Registry and make it a resource to neighborhoods looking to improve their quality of life and safety near their homes.

Chamber of Commerce Dinner

I always enjoy speaking with business owners in Los Angeles and recently, I was proud to join the Century City Chamber of Commerce Women's Business Council's Women of Achievement event as their keynote speaker. Thank you to the Chamber for the chance to discuss my work in the business community and to speak about how women in business and in politics can work together to create more opportunities for everyone!

Violence Against Women Act Anniversary

September marks the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act. I had the pleasure of welcoming both CSUN's Strength United and the Northridge Hospital's Center for Assault Treatment Services (CATS). Thank you to both of these local programs for doing their part to support victims of violence and create a brighter future for their families.

Latinas in the Arts Celebration

As part of Latino Heritage Month, I hosted Latina artists from across the City and recognized them along with  international recording artist and icon Sheila E. More than a star, Sheila E has helped abused and abandoned children by using music to cope. With Trio Ellas as entertainment for the event, it was a great opportunity to bring together these Latina leaders from our City!