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This week, I was honored to join Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmembers Joe Buscaino, and Nury Martinez, along with a delegation of Los Angeles officials in Washington D.C. for the annual Access Washington D.C. symposium on “Innovation, Transportation & Trade” organized by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier this year, I launched my Making Movies that Matter Youth Short Film Festival involving hundreds of young film makers from elementary, middle, and high school campuses throughout Council District 12 and the San Fernando Valley. Community College and undergraduate students are also encouraged to submit films. The Film Festival will culminate on May 19, 2016, with a juried competition and screening at the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) at California State University, Northridge.

Earlier this month as part of Mayor Eric Garcetti's Clean Streets initiative, the City of Los Angeles created CleanStat, a database of Los Angeles’s public streets. The Bureau of Sanitation drove through every street and alley in Los Angeles and gave each block a "cleanliness score" ranging from 1 to 3: Clean, Somewhat Clean, and Not Clean. Each street score is based on four factors: litter, weeds, bulky items and illegal dumping.

Captain Brian Pratt was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio until 1981 when he moved to Southern California. Captain Pratt joined the United States Marine Corps in 1982 and served four years of active duty in both California and Hawaii. Captain Pratt joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1988 and served as a police officer in Central, Southeast, and Rampart Areas as a patrol officer, Special Problems Unit officer, and Gang Enforcement Detail officer.

Councilmember Mitchell Englander is proud to commence the fourth class of the E12 Excellence in Public Service high school leadership development program to train and cultivate the next generation of young leaders in our community. This interdisciplinary program will teach students how to navigate the network of public agencies, facilitate collaborative coalition building, and master interpersonal skills to succeed at school and in the workplace.

On Tuesday, I was honored to stand with my colleague Councilmember Joe Buscaino, and my fellow Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Reserve Police Officers as we celebrated the month of April as National Volunteer Appreciation Month. The Los Angeles Police Reserves Corps is comprised of community members who volunteer their time to fulfill many of the roles handled by full-time sworn police officers.

This Tuesday, I joined Controller Ron Galperin to announce the completion of a citywide audit and the unveiling of a plan to hire civilian personnel to fill more than 400 jobs within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). LAPD is the third largest police department in the nation and is responsible for the safety and security of the City of Los Angeles. The LAPD receives the largest appropriation ($1.4 billion) of any department supported by the City’s General Fund, and the department spends the majority of its funding on sworn police officers.

On April 27th, the City Council Budget and Finance Committee will begin its hearings on the City's Fiscal Year 2016-17 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 week, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) testified before the Los Angeles City Council on the recently released Aliso Canyon Risk Assessment Report regarding the reliability of the power grid for summer 2016. This report was issued by the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, the California Independent System Operator, LADWP, and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) last month.

This Tuesday, I was proud to join the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112 (UFLAC), and the International Association of Fire Fighters to kick-off the 62nd Annual “Fill the Boot” Days to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Next week, Tuesday, April 26 through Thursday, April 28 are proclaimed as “Fill the Boot Days” throughout the City of Los Angeles.

Last Sunday, I was proud to co-sponsor the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council's 13th Annual Chatsworth Day of the Horse at Stoney Point Ranch. This fantastic event showcased the rich history and culture of our vibrant equestrian community. The Valley View Vaulters, Conejo Valley Riders, and numerous other groups performed riding demonstrations and horsemanship tutorials.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has just launched on its website a new webpage about Sunshine Canyon Landfill with a subpage about odor complaints and public nuisance violations associated with this facility. Available on these pages are links to various resources of interest to the local community, as well as the announcement of SCAQMD’s upcoming Town Hall meetings.

Today, I sent a letter to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) asking for official clarification with respect to the replacement of air filters related to the filtration systems installed by SoCal Gas and their contractors during the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak. I have asked CARB to specify what needs to be replaced:

This Monday, I was pleased to join the Department of Recreation and Parks, Bureau of Engineering and the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council to break ground on the cleanup of Chatsworth Park South. Historically, this park was a skeet shooting and trap range where lead shot and clay pigeons were used as targets. Beginning in 1978, a portion of the park was developed with a recreation center, parking lots, and other outdoor recreational amenities.

Last Friday, I submitted a motion requesting that the Fire Department (LAFD), with the assistance of the City Attorney's Office, report on the feasibility of utilizing drones to assess significant incidents to be used for information gathering. Drones have become increasingly common over recent years and, as the technology improves and becomes more affordable, the list of uses that individuals and corporations find for them grows.

The Customer Resource Center, which I requested the SoCal Gas Company open last November, in Porter Ranch is now by appointment only. This physical storefront which is ADA accessible and multilingual provides a one-stop portal of information for all members of the public. Southern California Gas Company Customer Resource Center appointments will be available:

This week, I was proud to join Los Angeles Police Department Devonshire Division’s Captain Brian Pratt to honor Nester Zepeda, a local hero on horseback. On Friday, March 25, Nester was riding his horse, Palomino, to the bank and to run errands around town. While enjoying a day with his horse, he witnessed a purse snatching at the Northridge Fashion Center and saw the suspect running from the location.

This Wednesday, I had the opportunity to join Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Chief Ralph Terrazas to observe the LAFD Airex 2016 Emergency Drill at the Los Angeles World Airport (LAX). Airex is a full scale simulated aircraft disaster drill designed to test the emergency response capabilities of our first responders.

This Wednesday, together with my colleague Councilmember Joe Buscaino, I co-authored a motion requesting the City Council approve and adopt a policy that would dedicate at least two-thirds of the City's share of future Local Return funding from the proposed Measure R2 ballot measure toward the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the City's streets that are in "D" and "F" condition.

This week, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, the California Independent System Operator, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Southern California Gas Company released the Aliso Canyon Risk Assessment Report regarding the reliability of the power grid for summer 2016. In the wake of the largest gas leak in US history, we are beginning to learn its far reaching affects for our region.

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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