Homelessness in Los Angeles County continues to increase despite funding from Measures H and HHH. I’m proud to say that our council had actively worked to engage in a dialogue with both the City and County, as well as stakeholders and service providers, to approve projects that will work toward a solution to the crisis. These include approving permanent supportive housing on the site of the old WestLA Animal Shelter on Bundy and Missouri, a safe-park program behind the Municipal Building on Corinth, and BridgeHousing at the Armory on Federal and Wilshire. Of course, homelessness stems from many causes, and I will continue to remind the City and County that while these stop-gap measures are desperately needed, they are just that – temporary, stop-gap measures. We need to make sure that we do as much as possible to prevent the slide into homelessness as much as possible, including supporting a living wage for all those living in the city, enforcing the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, encouraging developers to add new units subject to the RSO and building more affordable housing, and demanding that the City and County add funds to outreach positions to canvas encampments to identify what services are needed by these individuals.
Fortunately, there is very little bodily injury crime in the West LA/Sawtelle District. Unfortunately, property theft remains a problem, particularly theft from cars.
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The Neighborhood Council has come a long way in outreach and efforts at social media. There is still work to be done in engaging the community itself, including business owners and residents, in what the Council does, and how it can work with the City Council to continue to improve the West LA/Sawtelle District. The Neighborhood Council’s website can be found here.
Everyone living or working within the bounds of the District knows that new buildings are going up all the time – both for housing and businesses. There is no denying that Sawtelle has become a new “go-to” spot in the last decade, which has impacted the housing in the area, increased traffic, and made parking a challenge. Added to this is the addition of the Expo Line, which makes it easier for those not living in the District to come and experience what those of us who live here are fortunate enough to have at our doorstep. The City is encouraging high density development in the those areas identified as a “Transit Area Communities” guidelines for which can be found here. There is no doubt that this dense development will change how the District looks, but it is up to use to make sure it doesn’t change how the district feels. Developers seek our Council’s approval to take to City Planning – we can and should – tell them what we need from them to keep the character of our community, including additional parking, traffic mitigation, safety measures for pedestrians, contributions to neighborhood schools and publicly accessible green spaces. When we ask, many develops are very receptive to trying to meet our needs. The minutes of our council meetings are publicly available, and it is evident that we are pushing developers to give back to the community in exchange for the privilege to bring their developments to Sawtelle.
Stoner Park is the park in our District and an important part of our community. The Council sponsors movies in the park every summer, which are free and open to the public. What you might not know is that Stoner has an extensive range of community activities, including swimming lessons. Information about programs at Stoner Park can be found here.