Central Area Updates — July 2021

Mayor Eric Garcetti Launches Second Phase of NextGen Bus Plan

On June 28th, Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the second phase of the Metro NextGen Bus Plan, an ambitious strategy to boost ridership through faster, more reliable, and more frequent service as riders return to the system. The second phase brings hundreds of new bus trips, with a focus on additional mid-day bus service. It also streamlines eight Metro Rapid Lines with local transit operators, increases annual revenue service hours from 5.6 million to 6.5 million, and resumes front-door boarding after only allowing rear door boarding during the pandemic. 

Furthermore, Mayor Garcetti unveiled the plan’s newest dedicated bus lane. Once complete, it will run along a 1.7-mile segment of Alvarado Street between 7th Street and Sunset Boulevard, adding a bus priority lane in the peak direction from Monday through Friday during the morning and evening rush hours. After the third and final phase of the plan is implemented, there will be an overall increase in riders as residents will have easier access to buses. Additional information on the NextGen Bus Plan and upcoming public meetings can be found at metro.net/projects/nextgen/

Summer Lunch Program

The pandemic has exacerbated and revealed that many families with children have no consistent access to nutritious and wholesome meals, which has contributed to rising rates of obesity, as well as creating serious food insecurity. The Department of Parks and Recreation is stepping up again with its Summer Lunch Program. Children and youth ages 18 and under can receive a “grab and go” nutritious lunch and snack at 34 different locations. Learn more and find locations here.

July 2021 Community Relations Updates

Crenshaw/LAX Pin Contest Extended

High school students are encouraged to create artwork celebrating the unique character of their neighborhood and connection to the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project. The submission deadline has been extended. The artwork may be used to inspire the design of commemorative pins. Full details are available online.

Purple Line Extension

The project is hosting a series of meetings this month. City of Beverly Hills update meeting is July 7, from 12pm to 1pm. Each of these meetings use this recurring Zoom webinar link. Section 3 will host a presentation twice to discuss specific construction activities for the Westwood/UCLA Station. These meetings will take place July 14, from 12pm to 1pm and 6pm to 7pm. Each of these meetings use this recurring Zoom webinar link.

Public Safety Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee’s next meeting will be July 7, 2021, at 5pm. There’s no registration required to attend the meeting, and can be accessed here.

Regional Connector 

The Regional Connector Construction Relations team will provide an update on July 15, 2021 at 12pm to 1pm.  The meeting will be held online, via zoom using this link.  

Division 20 Construction Project

The Community Relations team will provide an update on construction activities on July 15, from 3:00pm to 3:30pm, and the meeting can be accessed online.

Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project 

The Community Relations team will present an update on July 29, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. There’s no registration required to attend the meeting, and can be accessed here.

Programing Updates:

Small Businesses Seeking to Work With Metro

MetroConnect is one part of Metro’s commitment to support small businesses in Los Angeles County. Workshops on how to do business with Metro are held monthly. More information is available here

Metro Service Council Meetings

Councils advise on planning and implementation of service within their area; make policy recommendations to the Metro Board; participate in quarterly meetings with the Metro Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Deputy CEO and management staff. Meetings are hosted online.

Seeking Bus Operators

Metro relies on an extensive team of bus operators to carry out our mission every day. We are currently looking to hire more than 500 bus operators. If you are 21 years old or older and interested in a career in transportation, consider applying today.

Mayor Garcetti Celebrates $25 Million Investment for Zero Emission Transportation Infrastructure and Technology

On June 29th, Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated a $25 million investment in the Wilmington and City of Long Beach area for Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure to help meet the zero emission transportation targets laid out in his Green New Deal and the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). The $25 million grant comes from a $200 million commitment from Electrify America’s California ZEV Investment program, a subsidiary of Volkswagen. The grant will help fund fast-charging technology, renewable energy storage, energy management infrastructure, and public charging depots. The investment plan was heard and received unanimous support by the California Air Resources Board at their June 24th Board Meeting.

The San Pedro Bay Ports, the nation’s busiest port complex, currently serves a fleet of more than 18,000 drayage trucks. The shift to zero-emission technologies at the Port is a result of Los Angeles’ bold commitments in the Clean Air Action Plan, including a pledge to obtain 100% zero-emission cargo handling equipment by 2030 and see 100% zero-emission trucks coming into and out of the port by 2035.

Mayor Garcetti Celebrates New Leadership at Three City Departments

On June 30th, Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated the confirmation of three new department leaders: Barbara Romero as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation (LASAN), Abigail Marquez as the first General Manager of the Community Investment for Families Department (CIFD), and Lisa Salazar as Interim Executive Director of the Youth Development Department (YDD).

As Executive Director of LASAN, Romero will oversee the operations of essential public service programs such as waste collection, wastewater treatment, public right-of-way management, and the implementation of new green infrastructure. She will replace acting General Manager Traci Minamide on July 5, 2021.

As General Manager of CIFD, Marquez will work closely with the Mayor and City Council to establish poverty-reduction goals for the City and play an active role in implementing homelessness prevention programs. Also, Marquez will oversee the implementation of L.A.’s Guaranteed Basic Income pilot and implement the Children’s Savings Account program, OpportunityLA, which will support 35,000 first-graders annually across the region.

Effective July 1st, Salazar will serve as Interim Executive Director of the Youth Development Department (YDD), where she will oversee a new department that will coordinate with City departments, regional agencies, community organizations, and youth leaders to develop a long-term citywide youth development strategic plan. Furthermore, she will monitor the use of resources allocated toward young Angelenos, serve as the central information hub on youth services in the City, and help elevate the voices of youth in local government and City operations.

Worker’s Rights: StepForward LA

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs collaborated with Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic (LIJC) students to create an informational flyer about immigrant workers’ rights in the City of Los Angeles. The flyer reminds constituents that if they work in the City of Los Angeles, it is important to know that they have rights and protections, regardless of their immigration status. Find the flyer in English and Spanish below.

For more information about worker’s rights, please visit: https://stepforward.lacity.org/workers_rights

July 6 LA Optimized Accelerator Academy

Join us for the launch of LA Optimized Accelerator Academy on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. It is the perfect place to gain expert advice on marketing and growing your business in the digital marketplace. There will be live Q&A sessions featuring Facebook + Instagram, Google, and Yelp. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

DCR Still Needs Your Help to SPARK a Conversation Around Cannabis in the Community

On April 20, 2021, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) launched SPARK, a multifaceted community and stakeholder engagement program that allows community members and stakeholders to share input with DCR. Generally broken down into five key phases, the program is currently in the Collecting Feedback phase.

Since the launch of SPARK, DCR has been engaging with members of the community through a variety of methods, including virtual events, written feedback, surveys and other resources, all of which can be accessed in the SPARK Virtual Meeting Room. To start the SPARK initiative, DCR hosted eight (8) SPARK Sessions which focused on different topics including licensing and regulation, the Social Equity Program, corporate social responsibility, and community impact. 

Although the SPARK Sessions have ended, DCR still needs your help to better advise the City of Los Angeles on cannabis laws, policies and programs. DCR has added two NEW SPARK SURVEYS to the Virtual Meeting Room alongside the two current SPARK Surveys. These NEW surveys focus on Licensing, Regulation, and the Social Equity Program or Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Impact. These SPARK Surveys and the two original surveys will now be available through Friday, July 16, 2021. 

Along with the SPARK Surveys, the SPARK COMMENT BOX will be available through Friday, July 16, 2021. The SPARK Comment Box allows anyone to provide feedback on ‘all things cannabis’ in the community. Community participation is vital to responsible and equitable development and implementation of cannabis policy in the City of Los Angeles. 

Enter the SPARK Virtual Meeting Room from the DCR website, take a SPARK Survey, leave a comment in the SPARK Comment Box, or watch past SPARK Sessions.