Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced he is directing the Departments of Building & Safety and Planning to consolidate key functions to better integrate services to cut red tape and promote economic development.
“As Mayor of Los Angeles, I’m committed to cutting red tape and streamlining city government to increase economic development and job creation,” said Mayor Garcetti. "Strategically combining these services will improve the land use approval and building process, attract investment, and help to build a great city. We must raise expectations for a smooth and predictable entitlement process with straightforward zoning answers.”
Mayor Garcetti took office as a range of consolidation options were being discussed, including a complete merger of the two departments.
"We took a deep look at both departments, and now we're moving forward with reform that makes sense, instead of just combining departments for the sake of combining departments,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This initiative reflects recommendations from our residents, the business community, and experts hired to study the issue."
Mayor Garcetti has been working with city departments to develop recommendations for a joint report, to be released this week, which will include a series of development permit streamlining recommendations prepared by the Matrix Consulting Group. The report outlines recommendations for integrating and improving development review at the Departments of Building & Safety and Planning, as well as the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Engineering and the Fire Department.
Mayor Eric Garcetti today appointed Ken Ziffren to be his chief advisor on motion picture and television production. Ziffren will build on the foundation laid by Tom Sherak to help Mayor Garcetti strengthen our economy and middle class by increasing local production through expanded state incentives and cutting red tape at City Hall.
"Stopping runaway production is about protecting our middle class," Mayor Garcetti said. "Ken will be a powerful leader in our fight against other states that are taking our jobs, and he will be aggressive about streamlining government so red tape doesn't contribute to driving production away."
"This is a critical moment for our industry and our economy," Ziffren said. "If we don't fight back now, these jobs are going to be lost for good, and that would be a devastating blow to our middle class. This is about jobs for carpenters, electricians, makeup artists -- good jobs that leave enough over at the end of the month to save for retirement, save for the kids' college, and to spend in our neighborhoods."
Ziffren brings to Mayor Garcetti's office deep experience across the entertainment industry and in bringing together disparate parties to achieve common goals. He was key player in resolving a Writer's Guild strike and has represented the NFL in negotiating network television contracts.
Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the members of the Mayor’s Military Veteran Advisory Council (MVAC), which will have its first official meeting on February 27th at Los Angeles’ Bob Hope Patriotic Hall. The council, comprised of four Mayoral appointees and 3 City Council appointees, will advise Mayor Garcetti’s administration on issues affecting the military community. The MVAC will work to enhance the well-being of the Los Angeles veteran community by advising Mayor Garcetti and the City Council on emerging policies and programs.
“Serving those who have served our country is of utmost importance,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I look forward to working with the leaders on the Military Veteran Advisory Council to better coordinate local, state, and federal resources to enhance the quality of life of our veteran community, especially for those who need it most.”
The MVAC is an initiative of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, created by the Mayor to address the needs of veterans’ community in Los Angeles, home to the highest concentration of veterans in the country. The office is working to coordinate resources with a variety of stakeholders to support veterans in Los Angeles and seek strategies to mitigate the potential for long-term unemployment, instability and homelessness.
In conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, Mayor Garcetti has debuted a page on his website where veterans can learn about resources for housing, employment, medical, and mental health services as well as contact the Veterans’ Affairs coordinator with questions. The site is available at www.lamayor.org/vets.
Mayor Garcetti today appointed Peter Marx as the city's first Chief Innovation Technology Officer. A key part of Mayor Garcetti's back to basics agenda, Marx will oversee the implementation of new tools and technologies across L.A. city government better solve problems for residents and make City Hall work more efficiently and effectively. In addition, he will partner with L.A.'s growing tech industry to deploy innovative technology and promote local job creation.
Among his first projects will be improving MyLA311 for one stop customer service; revamping the City's scores of web sites to make them more useful and user-friendly; and capitalize on sharing and analyzing data to upgrade performance throughout City government in the same way LAPD's COMPSTAT system has been used to drive down crime.
"Incredibly talented, a force in the tech community, and an L.A. native to boot, Peter was my top choice from a very strong pool of applicants," said Mayor Garcetti. "I'm thrilled to have him on the team and look forward to working with him to better serve Angelenos and foster the already strong tech ecosystem here in the City of Angels. Harnessing technology is critical to the future of our economy and improving city services."
Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that his administration will partner with U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Dr. Lucile M. Jones to develop earthquake resilience strategies for Los Angeles.
Dr. Jones will work with Mayor Garcetti’s administration to develop recommendations to address the vulnerabilities of the city’s water delivery infrastructure including firefighting capability, communications infrastructure and private and government owned buildings in Los Angeles.
“As Mayor of Los Angeles, my first job is to protect the lives and property of our residents, and we must develop new strategies to prepare and to minimize losses from earthquakes,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I’m delighted that Dr. Lucy Jones, who is one of the world’s leading seismologists, will be partnering with me and leading our efforts to make Los Angeles safer and ready to respond to the 'Big One.’”
On behalf of the Garcetti administration, Dr. Jones will consult with other technical experts. She will also convene public meetings in Los Angeles over the next few months and additional discussions with businesses, property owners and other stakeholders.
Every LAPD Bureau Experiences Drops; Homicides Lowest Since 1966; Part I Crimes Lower than 1956
Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that crime statistics for 2013 show the lowest number of homicides since 1966 and the lowest number of Part I crimes since 1956 – with the lowest per capita Part I crime rate since 1949, the year before the Korean War. Every LAPD bureau experienced a reduction in crime last year.
“I’m proud of these statistics, but it’s what’s behind the numbers that’s truly important – the streets that have been reclaimed, the parks that are once again open to our kids, the lives that have been saved,” Mayor Garcetti said. “Despite millions more people and a very changed world, it’s an incredible testament to the officers of the LAPD and the people of Los Angeles that crime is down to 1950s levels. It’s because of a commitment to fight gangs, smart and data-driven policing, intervention and prevention, and because LAPD now works with communities, not against them.”
“As Mayor, I will never be satisfied when it comes to public safety, and I will keep fighting to push crime down in every L.A. neighborhood,” Garcetti said.
In 2013, the total number of citywide Part 1 crimes was 100,521, a decrease of 5.2%. Citywide violent crime was down 12% and gang crime decreased 17.6%. More statistics are available in the attached document.
Mayor Garcetti also announced today the appointment of Eileen Decker as permanent Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety.
"Eileen Decker's experience in helping guide these historic drops in crime, as well as her aggressive commitment to fire department reform, emergency preparedness and homeland security made her the clear choice," Mayor Garcetti said.
View statistics on the historic drop in crime below:
Mayor Eric Garcetti today issued an Executive Directive establishing an Open Data initiative in the City of Los Angeles. Garcetti directed all City departments to collect data that they generate and prepare it for posting on a city website, which will go live in early 2014.
Mayor Garcetti said, "This Executive Directive empowers Angelenos to participate in their government with greater understanding and impact and promotes a culture of data sharing and cooperation among City departments. I look forward to launching LA's Open Data portal in early 2014 to promote transparency in government and give Angelenos a new way to help us solve our toughest challenges."
Continue to read the full text of Mayor Garcetti's Executive Directive:
Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that Anheuser-Busch earned a $2.3 million credit through a new city program that incentivizes industrial customers to reduce their waste water output, and he called on other L.A. businesses to participate.
“I want to bring L.A. back to basics, and it simply doesn’t make sense for the city to charge businesses for more than they use,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We are crediting Anheuser-Busch $2.3 million for reducing their wastewater output, which conserves water, helps our environment, and reduces the burden on our city’s infrastructure.”
“Developing programs like these is part of the Bureau of Sanitation's creative approach to customer service. We continuously seek sustainable measures that also meet the needs of the public,” said Board of Public Works Commissioner Monica Rodriguez.
When industrial customers connect to the city sewer system, they pay fees based on a projected amount of wastewater they will discharge into the system. Previously, if customers discharged less, their fees would not be affected. With this new program, if that amount is less than projected, the customer may receive a credit that can be applied to future bills.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced today that 817 firearms were taken off the street during the city's Gun Buyback December 14th.
In total, 387 handguns, 268 rifles, 131 shotguns, and 31 assault weapons were collected at three locations citywide--in Central L.A., Wilmington, and Van Nuys.
"The Buybacks are about taking guns off the street where they could fall into the hands of criminals or our children," Mayor Garcetti said.
An initiative of the Mayor's Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office, the Gun Buyback program -- which has taken almost 12,000 guns off the street since its inception in 2009 -- also involves LAPD and victim advocacy organizations, faith-based groups, and other community organizations.
In exchange for surrendering weapons, participants in the Gun Buyback receive a Ralphs pre-paid card. The amount per firearm is dependent on its type, up to $200 for assault weapons as specified by the State of California, and up to $100 for handguns, rifles, and shotguns. The LAPD Gun Unit determines the type and classification of the firearm surrendered.
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that people will be able to turn in firearms -- no questions asked -- in exchange for up to $200 in Ralphs grocery cards at three Los Angeles locations on Saturday, December 14.
"The goal is to take these guns off the street and make sure they don't fall into the hands of criminals or children," Mayor Garcetti said.
An initiative of the Mayor's Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office, the gun buyback program -- which has taken more than 11,000 guns off the street -- also involves LAPD and victim advocacy organizations, faith-based groups, and other community organizations.
The amount exchanged per firearm will depend on its type -- up to $200 for assault weapons as specified in the State of California and up to $100 for handguns, rifles, and shotguns. The LAPD Gun Unit will be on site to determine the types of firearms surrendered.
This year, for the first time, a statewide buyback is taking place. Other cities holding buybacks on December 14th include Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco.