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This week I cast the lone no vote on the proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage increase. My reasons for this vote are not arbitrary and cannot be reduced to simple soundbites. Everyone can agree that there is genuine poverty in the City of Los Angeles, but the solution requires a studied, multi-pronged effort to remedy. There is no minimum wage increase that can be high enough to stem the tide of job loss or reduced working hours that will result from a remedy that puts the complete burden on the backs of business.

This week, the City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Budget. As Vice-Chair of the City’s Budget and Finance Committee, I see the City’s budget process not only as a way to fund critical city services, but also as a way to deliver on the priorities that are so essential to our communities.

This Wednesday, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) testified in response to my April motion on strategies to increase outreach efforts on the Turf Replacement program to better establish this program throughout all parts of the City.

This Wednesday, together with Councilmember Mike Bonin, I introduced a motion requesting the City Administrative Officer, Chief Legislative Analyst, and the Department of Transportation study the current and future needs of the City's Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) System and report with recommendations on necessary traffic system upgrades and improvements.

Last Friday, as Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I approved and accepted on behalf of the City, $900,000 in grant funding for six non-profit advocacy groups working with the Domestic Abuse Response Team programs (DART). DARTs pair victim advocacy agency professionals with the Los Angeles Police Department Officers who respond to the scene of domestic violence incidents to provide supportive services.

Last month, Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Chief Ralph Terrazas formally presented his strategic plan to the Los Angeles Fire Department and city officials. Composed through a collaborative effort between department staff, city leaders, and the community to insure that the LAFD remains a leader in public safety, the plan is the first of its kind. Its purpose is simple: to create a more-efficient, more-responsive LAFD.

On Tuesday, May 12, the Los Angeles City Cultural Heritage Commission moved to approve the inclusion of the Chatsworth Nature Preserve in the list of the City's Historic-Cultural Monuments. Council District 12 has a very long history of protecting and preserving the former Chatsworth Reservoir, having sought and received designation of the property as the only Nature Preserve in the City of Los Angeles.

This month, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Devonshire Division unveiled its new Business Watch website. The website, designed exclusively for local business owners, requires owners to register on the secure site to receive up-to-date information about recent crimes including details on how to protect your business.

Today, the Public Safety Committee heard my motion asking the Los Angeles Fire Department to provide analysis on the feasibility of requiring backup cameras and right turn cameras on newly purchased fire apparatus and the cost of installing these types of safety devices on apparatus currently in the fleet.

Today, I was proud to join Mayor Eric Garcetti, Council President Herb Wesson, Councilmember Joe Buscaino, City Attorney Mike Feuer, and City Controller Ron Galperin to officially commemorate 2015 Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month throughout the City of Los Angeles.

On April 28, the City Council Budget and Finance Committee began its hearings on the City's 2015/2016 Budget. Every year, the Mayor proposes the budget, which is the annual overarching spending plan for the City. The Budget and Finance Committee examines every dollar and every item in the proposed budget and develops recommendations for the City Council to vote on.

This Monday, more than 200 firefighters responded by ground and air to a 40-acre brush fire in Granada Hills on the 12300 block of Highwater Road. Thank you to all the hard working men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles Police Department, California Highway Patrol, our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members and the many others who jumped into action to put out this fire in 90 minutes saving homes and lives in the Granada Hills community.

One hundred years ago today, between 800,000 and 1.5 million Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks were exiled and killed by the Ottoman government. On April 24, 1915 Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. Today, we commemorate the centennial of this event and pledge to never forget.

This Tuesday, together with Los Angeles Department of Water and Power General Manager Marcie Edwards and the Metropolitan Water District, I was proud to unveil new drought tolerant landscaping at my home in Granada Hills as an example for all Angelenos to follow to conserve water. It is critically important that all Angelenos make a conscious effort to save our most precious resource in every aspect of our daily lives, from fixing leaks to replacing turf to turning off the sink while brushing your teeth, every drop matters.

On Monday, I was proud to celebrate with the Granada Hills Charter High School Academic Decathlon Team. Over 30,000 hours of studying paid off for Granada Hills Charter High School this past weekend when they took home their fourth national title in five years from the U.S. National Academic Decathlon in Anaheim. Granada Hills Charter took the coveted national championship after a grueling three-day competition accruing 53,592 points out of a possible 60,000.

This week, the last of eleven West Hills community medallions were installed much to the delight of not only the architects of the project, the West Hills Neighborhood Council (WHNC) and their passionate membership, but also the residents of the West Valley community.

Last Sunday, I was honored to join our Equestrian Community for a trail ride from Stoney Point Ranch into the Chatsworth foothills. Equestrian Trails International, Corral 54 organized the ride route which featured sweeping vistas of the San Fernando Valley. Protecting and preserving the equestrian way of life is a priority for me. We are blessed to have such a community in District Twelve.

Councilmember Englander is asking for your input on a new park that will be built in the community of Porter Ranch. This new, 50 acre park will be located between Mason Avenue and Porter Ranch Drive just south of the Porter Ranch Community School campus.

The National Park Service (NPS) has made available the Rim of the Valley Draft Special Resource Study and Environmental Assessment to you for review and comment. The NPS initiated this special resource study in 2010 and published preliminary management alternatives in late 2012. This study report reflects initial community involvement and input into the planning process.

This Tuesday, I introduced a motion requesting the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) increase outreach efforts on the Turf Replacement program to better establish this program throughout all parts of the City. Additionally, the motion requests LADWP make billing and water consumption data available to vendors, with customer authorization, to expedite the processing of rebates and allow easy evaluation of a customer's water conservation savings.

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City Hall Office: 200 N. Spring St., Room 405 | Los Angeles, CA 90012 | Phone: (213) 473-7012 - Fax: (213) 473-6925
Community Service Center: 9207 Oakdale Ave., Suite 200 | Chatsworth, CA 91311 | Phone: (818) 882-1212 - Fax: (818) 701-5254