As 2013 comes to an end, I wanted to take a moment to share and reflect on all that we have accomplished in the last 12 months in the 15th Council District. It is not always an easy task, given the needs of our residents and making due with reduced money and resources, but we always strive to maximize our strengths and opportunities. With that said, here are some key moments from 2013. I look forward to the challenges we will identify and overcome and the many successes we will share in 2014. -Councilman Joe Buscaino
NEW/IMPROVED NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS: OPENING OF THE JANET SHOUR POCKET PARK IN HARBOR GATEWAY, OPENING OF THE DRUM BARRACKS PARK IN WILMINGTON, $2.2 MILLION RENOVATION OF THE HARBOR SPORTS COMPLEX IN HARBOR CITY, DOUBLED THE PARKING AT FIELD OF DREAMS IN SAN PEDRO AND THE RENOVATION OF THE HIGHLANDS BASKETBALL COURTS IN SAN PEDRO
LEADING THE CITY COUNCIL'S APPROVAL OF MAJOR JOB CREATING PROJECTS IN THE 15TH COUNCIL DISTRICT: SCIG PROJECT AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES, JORDAN DOWNS REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN WATTS AND THE ALTASEA URBAN MARINE RESEARCH FACILITY AT THE PORT OF LOS ANGELES
SELECTION OF WAYNE RATKOVICH AND HIS LA WATERFRONT ALLIANCE AS THE MASTER DEVELOPER FOR THE NEW PORTS O' CALL
DELIVERY OF SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC WORKS SERVICES: STREET PAVING, TREE TRIMMING, BULKY ITEM PICKUPS AND POTHOLE REPAIRS
APPOINTMENTS TO THE BOARDS OF NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES, CALIFORNIA LEAGUE OF CITIES AND THE SOUTH COAST AQMD
SUCCESSFUL COUNCIL DISTRICT 15 COMMUNITY EVENTS: SWEARING IN AND LITTLY ITALY STREET FAIR IN WATTS, SAN PEDRO SHRED: FESTIVAL OF SKATE, BUSCAINO BLOCK PARY & SPAGHETTI DINNER, FREE NIGHT AT THE AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC, VETERANS APPRECIATION FESTIVAL AT THE BATTLESHIP IOWA AND THE HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING
LAUNCH OF NEW LA15TH COUNCIL DISTRICT WEBSITE
SUCCESSFUL RE-ELECTION AS YOUR COUNCILMAN AND RALLYING DISTRICT SUPPORT OF MAYOR GARCETTI'S ELECTION
As many of you many know, Councilman Buscaino is working hard with Councilman Mitchell Englander on a plan to fix Los Angeles' broken streets. About a third of city streets are so badly damaged, they can no longer be fixed using low-cost maintenance techniques like slurry sealing and resurfacing, and must undergo complete reconstruction, which can be as much as $2.5 million per mile. To complicate matters, the primary source of funding for street maintenance - gas tax - is decreasing every year, due to the fact that motorists are driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, and purchasing fewer gallons of gasoline.
The cost to repair these badly damaged streets is an estimated $3 billion. While that's a lot of money, Los Angeles vehicle owners are already paying $750 every year in maintenance, increased fuel consumption and depreciation due to the poor quality of our streets.
After extensive community outreach, Councilman Buscaino and Councilman Englander presented the Council with an update, and requested an extensive, detailed report from the Chief Legislative Analyst and City Administrative Officer with 24 specific requests for information, that were based upon comments and suggestions received from the public.
These fell into three broad categories:
Scope of the Proposal:
-Multi-modal transit, Complete Streets, Great Streets, Green Streets, Alternative paving materials, feasibility of including sidewalks and alleys
How to fund the Proposal:
-Gas tax, vehicle registration fees, waste hauling franchise fee, developer agreements, federal and state grants
Ways to Increase Efficiency and Cut Costs:
-Implementation plan, maintenance plan, citizen's oversight committee, right-of-way coordination software, reduce street cuts The Public Works Committee will hold public hearings on the report, which is expected to be complete in early November. For a complete list of the information requested, Click Here.
During the summer of 2013, under the direction of Councilman Buscaino's Planning Director Alison Becker, the 15th Council District office created the Watts Community Studio, a participatory economic development and planning project aimed at learning more about Watts from the people who live and/or own businesses in the community.
Councilman Buscaino believes that involving residents in the decision-making process for their neighborhood will help produce programs, projects and policies that will successfully improve their quality of life.
The Watts Community Studio’s final report offers recommendations for supporting residents and businesses in Watts as they build towards the future. A major component of the research was obtaining approximately 750 surveys from the neighborhood and including the young people of Watts in the research process. The results of the survey and various other analyses are included in the Full Report.