Friday, February 26, 2010

9 O'Clock Players present Charlotte's Web

The 9 O'Clock Players Theatre for Children (1367 N. St. Andrews Place) will present Charlotte's Web beginning Sunday, February 28. Tickets are a suggested $12 donation and the funds raised will provide transportation for thousands of children who will experience theater through this program. Additional community performances will be held on on March 7, 11, 20, 21, 27, and 28.

The 9 O'Clock Players was founded in 1929 as an auxiliary of the Assistance League of Southern California and operates Theatre for Children, one of the oldest continuously performing theaters for children west of the Mississippi.

More information about the show and the organization is available on the 9 O'Clock Players website.

Janette Sadik-Khan Visit

On Thursday, March 18, New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan will speak at Occidental College beginning at 7:30 p.m. as part of the LA Street Summit 2010. Khan has been a visionary in transforming New York City into a more people-friendly area. Click here to watch a short video detailing her work.

Los Angeles Street Summit

On March 20, the Los Angeles Street Summit 2010: Biking, Walking and More will be held at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (400 W. Washington Blvd.) from 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

The Summit will include more than three dozen workshops and panels addressing issues important to all Angelenos, ranging from pragmatic how-to workshops (e.g. how to establish a bike sharing program at a school) to the policy-oriented discussions of how we can design more people-welcoming streets.

For more information or to register, please visit

Spay/Neuter vouchers available

Actors and Others for Animals is offering Los Angeles County residents vouchers to have your cat spayed or neutered. The organization chose to limit its program to cats to draw attention to the fact that nearly twice the number of cats than dogs are euthanized in our local shelters each year.

More details are available at the Actors and Others for Animals website. Those seeking vouchers must register at online by March 9, 2010, and complete the surgery by April 20, 2010. Surgeries must be performed at one of the 10 participating veterinary clinics.

Only 400 vouchers are available for this program, so be sure to register!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Statement on the budget from the Council floor

Here is what I said yesterday on the Council floor regarding the city budget and layoffs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Korean Churches for Community Development and Asian Real Estate Association of America Greater Los Angeles Area host a Foreclosure Prevention Fair

On Saturday, February 27, the Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) and the Asian Real Estate Association of America of the Greater Los Angeles Area (AREAA GLA) are hosting a Foreclosure Prevention Fair. This is a free event, although space is limited and reservations are recommended.

Workshop topics include understanding the foreclosure process, how to apply for loan modification, short sale options, and the new Obama Loan Modification Programs. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved counselors will be available to assist concerned homeowners. Those seeking assistance should bring their most recent mortgage statement and a copy 2008 or 2009 tax return

For additional information or to register, please contact Juno Han at (213) 985-1500, x204, or More information is also available at

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lemon Grove Recreation Center new 10 piece exercise equipment set

On Saturday, February 27, my office and the Department of Recreation and Parks will host a dedication ceremony for the new 10-piece exercise equipment set at the Lemon Grove Recreation Center (4959 Lemon Grove Avenue) at 12:00 p.m.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided, and all are welcomed to try the new equipment.

For more information, contact the East Hollywood Field Deputy Aida Alvarado at 323-957-4500 or by email:

Donate to the 2010 City of Los Angeles Pet Food Drive

Today's tough economy is making it difficult for Los Angeles animal shelters to meet the needs of the growing number of pets that enter the system each day. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, donations for shelter dogs and cats are less than 10 percent of what they were before the recession.

We are holding a Pet Food Drive to alleviate the growing effects of the recession on Los Angeles’s shelter animals. The 2010 City of

Los Angeles Pet Food Drive will take place from February 15 to March 15, and I hope you will consider donating one or more bags of dog or cat food. All pet food items will go to local animal shelters and contributions are tax deductible.

You can make your donation by:

  • Ordering online and having the items sent director to the Garcetti Hollywood Field Office (5500 Hollywood Blvd., 4th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90028)
  • Contacting us for a pickup at 323/957-4500 or 818/644-7900
  • Bringing food items to the Garcetti Satellite Field Office at the Glassell Park Senior and Community Center (3750 Verdugo Road) or Garcetti Hollywood Field Office (5500 Hollywood Blvd., 4th Floor)

For more information please, contact my office at 323/957-4500.

First Annual Echo Park block party

Come to the first annual Echo Park block party and Office & Community Center grand opening on Saturday, February 27, at 1574 Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue. The event starts at 11:00 a.m. with the formal program beginning at noon.

The event is coordinated by the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) with support from Betty Plasencia Elementary School, Clifford St. Elementary School, Rev. David Farley of the United Methodist Church, Echo Park Chamber of Commerce, Echo Park Improvement Association, Echo Park Library Community Group, Echo Park Security Association, Edendale Library Friends Society (ELFS), Elysian Heights Elementary School, Episcopal Cathedral Center of St. Paul, Foursquare Church/Angelus Temple, Historic Filipinotown Chamber of Commerce, Judy Donovan, Edendale Library, Lisa Palombi, Echo Park Library, Logan St. Elementary School Mayberry St. Elementary School, Positive Energy Group and Rosemont Elementary School.

Please consider bringing your used, old or broken digital cameras, lap tops, cell phones, iPODs, GPS and ink cartridges which GEPENC will collect for Student International Travel Experiences (SITE).

Elysian Heights Elementary snow day fundraiser

*** NOTE: Due to expected rain, organizers have rescheduled this again event for March 13.

Join students and families of Elysian Heights Elementary School (1562 Baxter Street) on Saturday, February 27, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. for a day of fun in the snow!

There will be sled rides, hot chocolate, snow cones, pizza, tostadas and a raffle to win gift certificates to local businesses.

Admission is free, with ticket prices for sled rides starting at $2.00 and food, games and craft tickets ranging from just $0.50 to $3.00.

**In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled to March 6, 2010. **

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood Council meeting tonight

The Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood Council will meet tonight beginning at 6 p.m. at Dickerson Employee Services (1918 Riverside Drive). The agenda includes discussion of the upcoming neighborhood council elections.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Collaborative effort seeks to improve public schools

This morning I joined California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, Mayor Villaraigosa, LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia, and other education, business, labor, and community leaders in signing the L.A. Compact, an unprecedented commitment to support initiatives that will better prepare our students for college and the 21st century workplace.

In the next three to six months, the organizations working through the L.A. Compact will be primarily focused on collaborative, coordinated efforts to advocate for state and federal funding, supporting the School Choice resolution, and promoting increased accountability through the School Report Card to help identify schools that need extra assistance to ensure their students meet their academic potential.
For our city to succeed, we need our students to succeed. An effective and thriving public school system is crucial to Los Angeles's future.

City Employee Spotlight: Senior Lead Officer Brenda Ramirez

Senior Lead Officer Brenda Ramirez is a 16-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. She has worked in the Rampart, Foothill, Hollenbeck and Hollywood communities and with a range of specialized units including gang, narcotics, and bike details.

As a senior lead officer, Ms. Ramirez works closely with the community to address their concerns and to collaborate on efforts to prevent and solve crime. Her commitment to our neighborhoods is demonstrated by her responsiveness and engagement in activities ranging from community clean-ups to fostering partnerships between the LAPD and local organizations.

When not on duty, Officer Ramirez enjoys spending time with her family, including her two gorgeous children.

American Jewish Committee hosts "Rekindling the Bond"

On Thursday, February 25, the American Jewish Committee and the LA African American Jewish Connection (LAAAJC) is hosting "Rekindling the Bond - Reflect, Respond, Renew" at the California African American Museum (600 Exposition Park) at 6:00 p.m.

The event will include complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cocktail reception, testimonials from Freedom Riders and civil rights activists, and private docent tours of the museum including the exhibits After 1968 and An Idea Called Tomorrow-2.

The LAAAJC was formed by AJC, First AME, Brotherhood Crusade, CORE-CA Congress of Racial Equality of California, SCLC, LA Urban League and Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

RSVP here or call 310-228-8080, x332. For more information, contact Elise Woodson at or 213-744-2024.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

CD 13 Welcomes new preschool!

This month, Hollywood's Blessed Sacrament Church opened a new preschool on the grounds of this historic church and adjacent to its Jesuit-sponsored Elementary School. Classes are offered for children ages 3 to 5 years-old.

The preschool will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is designed to keep its students engaged in activities that will foster social skills and encourage emotional growth. The school will also offer breakfast and lunch as well as snack twice per day along with sensory tables, and a safe and supervised bike trail complete with tricycles and scooters.

Tuition is paid on a per-month basis and financial assistance is available to those who qualify. In additional, there is a one-time annual fee to cover supplies, books, snacks and other items.

For additional information visit the Blessed Sacrament Church website or call Angelica Jimenez at 323-467-4177.

Ride to Arrest Cancer

Come and join the Los Angeles Police Department on March 13 in an event to fight cancer!

The Ride to Arrest Cancer starts at the Valley Traffic Division (7870 Nolan Place., Panorama City) and stops at various police divisions along the routes. Participants will have the option of riding the 15-mile Infraction Route, the 25-mile Misdemeanor Route or the 50-mile Felony Route.

The bike ride will end at the Valley Traffic Division where participants are invited to a BBQ lunch, Health & Wellness Fair and an opportunity to speak with officers from the Air Support Division, the LAPD SWAT Team, Recruitment and K-9 Units.

Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. and the ride starts at 8:00 a.m.

There is a $25 pre-registration fee, and a $30 registration fee on the day of the event. Kids under 12 years of age can register for $15.

For more information or to register, visit The Ride to Arrest Cancer website.

Atwater Village Meet Your Neighbor Night

Join Atwater Village residents for Meet Your Neighbor Night!

On February 21, Friends of Glenfeliz Elementary (FOG) will host this event to benefit Glenfeliz Kids, a new after school program. Mingle with neighbors while enjoying a night of wine tasting at 55 Degree Wine (3111 Glendale Blvd.).

An admission price of $18 will cover a flight of 3 wines selected for FOG, and 50% of the proceeds will benefit Glenfeliz Kids.

February Events at the Hollywood/Wilshire YMCA

There are many activities and events scheduled this month at the Hollywood/Wilshire YMCA. Here are just a few:

Take a Hike

February 13, 2010

Enjoy Big Santa Anita Loop with its great views, lush, shady woods and 50-foot high Sturtevant falls. Enjoy an easy/medium 6-mile round trip with a maximum time of 4 hours. Dogs are welcome. Meet at the REI parking lot in Santa Anita at 9:00 a.m.

Please email or call 213-639-7547 for more information.

Open House

February 17, 2010

Try Aerobics, Gravity, Yoga and Studio Cycling classes all day long and a receive a 7-day pass to try the Y! Refreshments will be served from 9:00 a.m. –11: 30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Visit the YMCA website for class times.

Email or call 213-639-7547 for more info.

Red Cross Blood Drive

February 17, 2010

Help others in need from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. This is open to everyone.

Sign up at the Red Cross website.

Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing

February 23, 2010

Find out exactly what percentage of your body is lean mass versus fat! Testing runs from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Email or call 213-639-7569 for more info.

$45 members, $49 for non-members

Global Green USA's 7th Annual Pre-Oscar Party is March 3

Global Green's 7th Pre-Oscar party will be held on Wednesday, March 3. Proceeds will benefit Global Green USA and its national initiatives to fight climate change by creating healthy green homes, schools, and communities.

The evening will including special performances by Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, Mia Maestro, and others to be announced. Hosts include Orlando Bloom, James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron, and Salma Hayek.

The party is at the Avalon Hollywood (1735 Vine Street). More information and tickets are available here:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Atwater Village Chamber hosts A Night on Casitas

The Atwater Village Business Community is sponsoring A Night on Casitas on February 23 at the Atwater Playhouse (3191 Casitas Avenue) starting at 6:30 p.m.

Appetizers and refreshments will be provided by Revo Cafe and Patricia Aleman.

For more information, visit the Atwater Village Chamber website or contact the Chamber at
323-251-5967 or

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Join my Echo Park clean up!

On Saturday, February 27, my office will host our first beautification day of the year in Echo Park. We need your participation, enthusiasm and action as we make our neighborhood a little cleaner and brighter.

Interested volunteers should meet at the Walgreen's parking lot in Echo Park (northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue) at 8:45 a.m. for refreshments and instructions followed by 2 hours clean up.

If you have any questions, contact Alejandra Marroquin at 323-957-4500 or

Great Backyard Bird Count 2010

On February 14, celebrate Valentine's Day with the Echo Park Lake Bird Team. Come explore the natural environment of Los Angeles and discovering birds that live in our own backyard.

Those who are interested should meet at the Echo Park Lake Boathouse (Echo Park Avenue and Laguna Avenue) at 9:00 a.m.

For more information, contact Judy Raskin at 323-663-6767 or You can also visit the Bird Count website.

A few photos from the Bradley Tower this morning

Opening of Youth Policy Institute Hollywood Family Source Center

Tomorrow, come celebrate the opening of the Youth Policy Institute's (YPI) Hollywood Family Source Center (5500 Hollywood Boulevard). The ribbon cutting will be at 2:00 p.m. followed by an open house from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

There will be delicious food donated by ¡LoterĂ­a!, and a chance to see a useful and reliable center that helps to lift families and individuals out of poverty.

YPI was originally founded in 1983 as part of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Fund in Washington, DC, and moved to Los Angeles in 1996. YPI strives to lift low-income families out of poverty by offering education and training resources with after school programs, job training, early childhood education, physical education, ESL, computer literacy, charter schools and college preparation.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Women's History Month celebration

Come and celebrate Women's History Month on March 11, 2010 at the Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture (514 South Spring Street) at 6:30 p.m.

Pieces from the Museum's Permanent Collection by Latina artists will be featured at the event.

Admission is free, but please RSVP by calling 213-626-7600 or emailing

Latina breast cancer survivors research study needs participants

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Latina Task Force of Partnered for Progress are seeking participants for a research study on breast cancer care. Latinas who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are 6 months to 10 years after being diagnosed are needed for the project.

Volunteers will be asked to participate in a focus group where they will talk about their experiences with other breast cancer survivors. The focus group will last no more than 2 hours, and participants will receive a $50 Target gift card at the conclusion of the event.

To learn more about this program, call Jenifer at 1-877-303-1131.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Haitian Relief-LA Echo Park Concert

On February 14, 2010, Haitian Relief LA will host a concert at Echo Park Lake from 11:oo a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Come and celebrate Valentine's Day by lending a hand to those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Enjoy food from Tigeorge's Chicken and Project Plus Gourmet Sandwiches while listening to music and spoken word artists. Read poetry and look at art native to Haiti and watch the documentary film The Road to Fondwa.

For more information, visit Haitian Relief LA's website.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Free income tax preparation

Free income tax preparation services are available for individuals and families with incomes under $50,000 per year at the Oakwood Family Resource Center (3910 Oakwood Ave.) from February 6 through April 15, 2010.

Learn more about:

  • Qualifying for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit
  • Getting your refund faster through electronic filing
  • Getting your refund direct deposited into your bank account.
Appointments are required. Call 877-335-3482 to make an appointment.

Los Angeles Police Department town hall meeting - March 10

On March 10, the Los Angeles Police Department will hold a town hall meeting at Santa Monica Boulevard Charter School (1022 N. Van Ness Ave.) to discuss ways to make positive and long lasting changes to the community.

The meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and members of the LAPD Hollywood Division will be available to speak with community members.

For more information, contact:

  • LAPD Community Relations, 213-485-4316
  • Senior Lead Office Julie Nony, 213-793-0706
  • Senior Lead Office Brenda Ramirez, 213-793-0711

La Mirada Park event

On Saturday, February 6, from noon to 2 p.m., my office and the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles will host an event to discuss plans for a new pocket park at La Mirada and Serrano.

All are invited to review design plans for the new park. Refreshments will be served and there will be art projects for kids.

*In case of rain, the event will be held at Serrano Convalescent Home (5400 Fountain Ave) next to the park property.

Town Hall Meeting for Seniors

On Saturday, February 6, Congresswoman Diane E. Watson is hosting a town hall meeting for seniors who live in the 33rd Congressional District. The meeting will be held at Friendship Auditorium (3201 Riverside Dr.) just south of the entrance to Griffith Park.

For more information call 323-965-1422.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Get LA short film competition

This morning I helped launch Get L.A., a short film competition that celebrates the city, the lifestyle, and the state of mind that we call Los Angeles.

The competition is coordinated by Los Angeles Magazine and L.A. Works, a non-profit organization dedicated to recruiting volunteers to help our community.

Two winners will be selected -- one by a panel of judges and one by an online audience vote. Prizes include coverage by Los Angeles Magazine and a meeting with a studio executive.

I wanted to get involved with this project because I’m hoping that it gives people a chance to really connect to our city—not just simply say what they love or hate, but what they want to see changed and how they want to engage.

I'm looking forward to seeing the creative, innovative ways that filmmakers at all levels and all walks of life communicate what it means to "Get L.A."

For more information or to enter the competition, check out the Los Angeles Magazine website.