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SOHA Meeting May 18, 2022. Andy Ha

There was supposed to be a Mayoral candidate debate but only Karen Bass showed up because Rick Caruso had a prior engagement. A lot of people have dropped out. Basically a two person race now.

Board members gives quick introductions.

Senior Lead Officer Jose Saldana (In charge of southern portion of Sherman Oaks)

Generally, crime is slightly down from last year but property crime is slightly up. Gives some recommendations like not leaving valuables in cars and setting your property alarms. CD4 has launched the Ventura team for the homeless committee. He gives a number to call should a homeless related issue spring up: 818-394-0370.

SLO Mariana Romo (Northern portion of Sherman Oaks)

Grand Theft Auto down 39-40%. Car burglaries down about 9%. Gives recommendation to continue upward trend. May 15, City of LA reinforced code regarding cars being used as dwellings. LA DOT is going to be talking to RV owners and giving them homeless resources, etc. and continue investigation.

Erin Seinfeld (Update from the Mayor’s Office)

Last week, Mayor Garcetti announced phase 3 of emergency water conservation plan; requires LADWP customers to cut number of outdoor watering days from 3 to 2. Transition, with city council approval, will go into effect June 1st. Odd and even number street addresses LADWP consumers both have different days in which they can use the water.

Ryan Ahari (CD4 update)

Working on projects such as Bernie’s walk and getting a “Welcome to Sherman Oaks Sign.” Toured some sites. Hosted a CalTrans cleanup. Also hosting a composting demonstration at Sherman Oaks farmers market. Important because we have to start composting very soon. Worked to remove graffiti.

Congresswoman Bass (Mayoral Candidate)

Karen Bass gives a brief introduction and then Bob Anderson begins the QA session in earnest.

You have a lot of experience in the legislative branch but you have never operated a business. What makes you think you can be an effective mayor?

Actually not true. Karen Bass as started multiple non-profit corporations. One’s 30+ years old and the other is 10+. There were investors and the produced product was policy change. Also, when she was speaker of the house, she was managing the world’s 5th largest economy during the recession (California).

How are you going to get the homeless off out streets? What is your timeline? In order to obtain approval to provide housing for the homeless, organization must sequentially get permission from 5-7 city and county departments; how will you get rid of this unneeded bureaucracy? Thoughts on $800,000. unit to provide shelter for the homeless?

As for the $800,000 dollars price tag for a unit, it’s partly because all the red tape and the bureaucracy drives up the prices. The city and county need to work together and look at the homelessness issue as ending homelessness, that homelessness is not okay, as opposed to simply reducing it. State of Emergency for homelessness should be at the Federal level so we can bring in FEMA. Karen Bass’s policy is right now. She’s not going to wait until she becomes mayor. She’s in Congress and she’s already trying to do things to end the problem right now.

Some Attack-ads have been put out against you. What are your thoughts on attack ads. Also, there’s a question about negative news and free tuition from USC.

The point of attack ads was to lower poll numbers and Rick spend 30 million dollars and it hasn’t done that. Karen Bass was on USC’s faculty and there was a rule where if you work as faculty for 15 years you get to go for free. The rule had since changed but she got an offer to go to USC for free from other faculty members and she took it. She also denies giving money to USC.

Do you support the recall of George Gascon?

Last time, SOHA said that Karen Bass’s name was found on Gascon’s website stating that she was one of his supporters but she didn’t know that. They used her name without permission and he subsequently had it taken off. However, she does not support recalls in general. She does not agree with all his policies, but she believes it’s better or more practical to pressure them to alter their policies as opposed to just recalling them.

Do you agree or disagree with potential Supreme Court decision on Roe v Wade.

Passionately disagree.

Department of Building and Safety is continually plagued with corruption. How do you plan on dealing with it?

City officials need to be accountable. Wants to do a top to bottom review of city departments and procedures. There was a person on the Obama administration who, if Karen Bass won, said would volunteer to come here and do this top to bottom review. We need to treat it like an emergency so we can quickly bring change.

Last week, city restricted water to 2 days a week. Time and again, the city promises to collects water but it may be too late. What do you think are viable solutions?

We need to expand recycling and rainwater capture. We also need to support drought resistant landscaping but we need to do it right/better to last time. It really works if it is done correctly.

LA City has been complicit in supporting all state bills that end single family neighborhoods and end local control. Will you push back?

Yes. Karen Bass believes that in order to address issues is that Sacramento and the cities need to work together. We need neighborhood specific solutions as well. Planning departments can be an obstacle to community input. Sacramento has a way of doing that too. Karen Bass would ensure to better utilize LA’s political and economic power that is currently dormant.

Numerous candidates for different offices wants to defund the police. What is your position?

Karen Bass won’t defund the police or reduce the number of them. There is an uptick in crime right now.

There was a Fox11 debate where the candidates were asked whether they would feel safe walking through LA to which every one of them said yes, they would feel safe. It’s legitimately not safe and the person who posed the question is a 6’3 male who wouldn’t feel safe walking through LA. He asks Karen Bass to expound on her previous answer.

She notes that the question was asking her whether she felt safe in her neighborhood and she does feel safe there though she certainly recognizes that not all Angelinos have such a luxury and it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

There is a large money spend regarding the unhoused population but we need to start caring about the taxpayers as well, mothers who just want to walk their kids to school, etc. What will you do that will be different?

Crime has increased and we need to address this by increased police presence on the street to counter that. We need to get police officers who are stuck behind a desk and replace them with civilians so they can be out in the streets. At the same time, we’ll also hire more police officers. Karen Bass also recognizes that not everyone will like a larger police presence but says that the difference that she brings to the table is transparency and honesty. Basically her response is to improve the police department.

There was a miscommunication in the question. Karen thought she was just addressing crime instead of the claim where the majority of crime that occurs is homelessness related.

We need to get people off the streets with outreach workers. We need a new model. Some people won’t leave the streets. We need to do it now.

We’ve been hearing this for years now but they’re not getting off the street. What is the hard choice that Karen Bass is going to do in her first 100 days of office to get these people the street?

We need to avoid the issue of getting these people off the street but the homeless end up on somebody else’s street. Ultimately it’s a very complex issue and Karen Bass talks about drug abuse, mental health and hospitals, etc. Karen Bass says she does not have an ego and that she isn’t going to solve everything by herself but she, as mayor, she will get the city and the county to work together, instead of just running around with their heads off, and solve the problem.

Last question is about Metro and their bad practices and lack of transparency and community involvement.

Karen Bass says that she will pressure Metro and ensure that there will be more community involvement. Her starting non-profits were to address problems exactly like this. She might appoint a deputy major to address the issues in the Valley but she would get input from all these various organizations to see what they need in this deputy major.

Karen Bass gives a closing statement. Says she is doing this because she really wants to because she likes congress. She old enough and isn’t trying to move up the political ladder any more, which suggests that she isn’t corruptible.

SOHA September 2022 9-21-22 Community Meeting:

Kiara Backstrom.

President of SOHA Matt and VP Bob Anderson introduce themselves and other members on the board then call the meeting into order:

Senior Lead Officers give their reports:

OFFICER Saldana (South of Sherman Oaks)

· Break ins and burglaries on Ventura Blvd. west of Van Nuys toward Sepulveda

· Hot prowl reported

Officer Roma (Northern part of Sherman Oaks)

· Crime up 30%

· Property crime up 4%

· Concerns of burglary and long wait times on phone calls

· 8772755273 – phone number for the police station

Andy Solomon: Neighborhood Prosecutor for the City Attorney

· Ventura and Stern concerns

· Working with CD4 and LAPD

· Making more progress

· Trying to prevent the negative attention that the city has been getting

· Communicating with businesses on Ventura

· [email protected]

Eliza Schwarz Field Deputy:

· Womens wellness workshop

· October 22nd or 23rd 1:30 – 3:30

· Free women’s self-defense class – location TBD

Ryan Ahari Sherman Oaks Field Deputy for Council member:

· Partnering with neighborhood council

· Event on October 29th at the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park at 5:30

· Department of Transportation speed hump application open

· Homeless count numbers CD4 saw unsheltered homeless go down 4%

· Went up 163% sheltered homeless

Maria – committee report

· State housing bills

· Local concerns about rezoning

· Overlays : 5-7 story apartment buildings in single family housing neighborhoods

· Want housing placed in commercial areas

· Want to move the overlays

Bob Anderson – Metro Sepulveda Corridor Project Updates

· Issues with metro communicating with the public

· Don’t consider affordability

· Every metro project grossly over budget

· Misses poorer communities in LA

· Avoiding affordable railways

· Denying the wishes of neighborhoods and businesses

· Attempting to communicate with metro

Larry Slade Chair of SOHA Homelessness Committee

· Members of the committee working on fostering cooperation of law enforcement to enforce maximum permissible enforcement by law against homelessness encroachments

· Cultivate relationships with new businesses

· Social media presence – Next Door and Facebook

· Fundraising and private security to provide extra pressure for a safe residency

Candidates for LA County 3rd District Supervisor Bob Hertzberg and Lindsay Horvath:

· Questions on Homelessness impact on business owners ; division of responsibility on the city for tackling the mental health/homeless issue

· Bob: moral crisis, public safety and health risks. City council did an ordinance

· Regional approach – no legal obligation – small cities should tackle the issues on their own not depend on LA county to do it on its own – separation of powers

· Lindsay: identify the issues and then solve them, get people off the streets and connect them to housing and care for health, mental health, or drug issues

· Street teams to connect individuals to get them help with service, housing, and systems of care

· Housing options for everyone – affordable housing to prevent more homelessness

· Every homeless person has a story we can’t assume that they all have the same issue

· Question on LA Homeless Service Authority budget $800 million – motion report generated – should lahsa be reformed or reorganized

· Lindsay – wants lahsa reformed – lahsa has to exist because it is a court decision

· Want service providers and people with homeless experience to have a say in how lahsa should be reformed

· Hold elected officials accountable – stop finger counting

· Bob – wants to look regionally – coordinate with the state but cities must tackle issues county wide

· Question on senate bill 1338 – December 1st 2024 deadline to implement – How will they support people in need?

· Bob – agrees to set up a plan, put money into mental health, transitional housing. – communicate with the governor and create a pilot project

· Lindsay – wants action immediately, working with the sheriff’s department to place people into care rather than placing them in jail

· Question on La ordinance 41.18 roles on fixing this

· Lindsay – supports local control but wants people to be protected amongst communities – county needs to deliver care for people on the streets

· Bob – agrees with 41.18, people need to be protected first and homelessness need to stay out of school and business zones – inconvenience, wants people off the streets as fast as possible

· Questions on transportation – metro decision – as supervisor what will you do to fix the metro decision that affects this community?

· Bob: management issues, metro doesn’t consider costs, wants communities questions answered, focusing on management

· Lindsay: gather community support and stop spending money on alignments that don’t help the community, wants to save time and money and bring awareness to whats going on in the Sepulveda line

·
Question: parking criteria and housing development, no mass transit system in the valley – what do you propose for transit issues in the valley?

· Bob: develop more parking, make more changes as we evolve

· Lindsay: expand and improve bus lines – reliable transportation, more stops, shady stops, and benches, improve safety, provide more services like dash line and city bikes, encourage public transportation

· Question: what will you do to improve safety in working with the Sheriff’s department?

· Bob: stop pointing fingers and work with one another

· Lindsay: wants accountability in the sheriff’s department work together to make sure law enforcement has the resources to make the community safer yet wants to tackle the issues within the sheriff’s department that have hurt people, working with sheriff Luna to do this – liability trust fund

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