We Are Stronger Together
Moving forward towards better days, we at Pacoima Beautiful would like to take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate our partnerships. In particular, this month we want to send a shout out to:
- Roy + Patricia Disney Family Foundation
for operational support in order to continue to serve our communities.
Residents of the Northeast San Fernando Valley Take Part in a City-wide Task Force Advocating For Youth
Not enough youth programs exist in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and youth often experience barriers to participating in programs available. Longtime Pacoima Beautiful member Sofia Maldonado and youth leader Michelle Gutierrez were sworn in as Youth Development Task Force members on Friday, April 17. Pacoima Beautiful is a part of the Invest in Youth Coalition which calls for the City of Los Angeles to invest in an equitable Youth Development Department that will prioritize all youth. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez was instrumental in pushing the Invest In Youth agenda through City council (shout out to Monica Rodriguez).
Due to COVID-19, the first Task Force meeting was held via Zoom. This was the first time Sofia Maldonado used Zoom and is grateful to the Invest In Youth Coalition for providing the equipment and training to do so.
“Me apasiona crear conciencia sobre los problemas de justicia ambiental y social en la comunidad, particularmente educar a los jóvenes en la comunidad sobre las formas de involucrarse.” Sofia M.
“I see the importance of youth power and leadership and have been at the frontline of various social and political movements. I’m thankful to be part of the Task Force and to advocate for resources for my friends and youth in my community.” Michelle G.
During the virtual Task Force meeting, community members were given the opportunity to provide public comment. Carlos Regalado, YUTEP president, commented and stressed how the current coronavirus pandemic has added to the difficulty for youth from communities that lack essential resources to succeed in the “New Normal” of online education.
The bigger picture contextualized:
“Many of LA’s young people are considered disconnected (68k+ of them!) – meaning they are neither enrolled in school nor working -- placing them in vulnerable positions facing displacement from the city, incarceration, and at risk of becoming homeless.”
“The City has the resources to provide positive opportunities and help young people live up to their potential, however, the City’s spending on this has been minimal - a mere $60.3 million in 2017-18. Conversely, in the same year, Los Angeles spent $131 million on police overtime.” (Source: Investing In Youth)
Northeast San Fernando Valley Residents Seek To Stop Increased Noise and Air Pollution Over Their Communities
United under the banner of the Northeast San Fernando Valley for Clean Air, we voice our concerns of increased emissions and noise burden over communities in the Northeast San Fernando Valley by the proposed flight path changes North and Northeast from Hollywood/Burbank Airport and Van Nuys Airport. The groups involved make up a broad coalition of community organizations, agencies, and neighborhood councils with serious concerns about the proposed recommendations. On May 6, community members will have the ability to voice their opinion before the Task Force makes its final recommendations to the FAA, and we plan on participating in this virtual meeting.
February 19, the Southern San Fernando Valley Noise Task Force held a public hearing, community members were present and feel ample time was not given to study the impact or to consider other options that will not add more pollution to any community.
Our concerns about the Task Force recommendations include the planned virtual meeting on May 6. To start with, the technological divide in our communities makes using digital tools, like Zoom, to participate in meetings a real challenge. Next, our community members were not given enough time to review, analyze, and prepare comments addressing the recommendations made by the Task Force. Furthermore, there has been a lack of engagement of Northeast San Fernando Valley communities before a final vote takes place. The Task Force should hold a special hearing in the Northeast San Fernando Valley community to discuss proposed changes to Burbank Airport and Van Nuys Airport flight paths and give an opportunity for alternate solutions to be considered.
The issue is not only the inconvenience of noise pollution over our communities. The issue here is about protecting the quality of life for working people, especially children and those most vulnerable. We urge the Task Force to NOT recommend for flight traffic to be diverted North and East of the Burbank/Hollywood and Van Nuys airports.
For more information: Watch our Facebook Live Townhall.
Upcoming Department Announcements
Free Youth Summer Program at Pacoima Beautiful- Agua University is back, a 4-week summer program centered around water and environmental issues for middle and high school students in the San Fernando Valley. Contact dortiz@pacoimabeautiful or (818) 439-7539 (cell) for more information
Qualifying Families Can Get up to $8,000 back on Taxes
As our community continues to take appropriate measures to preserve health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak, we want to ensure people are still able to file their taxes for free online and claim their cash refund.
For the first time this year, all workers over age 18 who made less than $30,000 are eligible. Find out if you qualify, and learn where to get FREE tax prep services: https://caleitc4me.org/
For additional information please contact Celia Contreras.
A Complete Census Count Helps Our Communities Maintain Access To Health and Social Services
All across LA County, families are adjusting to the new reality of sheltering at home. In the midst of this national crisis, households have been receiving an invitation to complete their 2020 census form online, by mail or by phone. A successful census will help decide the funding LA County receives for healthcare and emergency services for the next 10 years.
Now is the time to come together and do our part to ensure our neighborhoods have access to health services that our families depend on. Have you made a plan to fill out your form yet?
Click here to make a plan to fill out your 2020 Census.
Our communities have a lot to gain by being counted. The census determines where we build hospitals, health clinics, and deploy emergency services. Filling your census form will take about ten minutes. The impacts, however, will last ten years!
We need everyone to be counted! Being counted helps ensure the best possible future for yourself, your children, and your family.
Wrapping up Construction for the Bradley Green Alley Project
Construction at the Bradley Green Alley in Pacoima is in its final stages, slated to open in May. While Stay-At-Home orders are still in place, once opened, residents nearby will be able to walk through the alley to reach destinations more quickly by foot (such as the supermarket nearby) and will be able to enjoy the newly planted trees and shrubs that line the corridor. The project construction, started back in September of last year, is converting a well-used pedestrian and automobile alley into a multi-benefit project; increasing open space, capturing and infiltrating polluted stormwater, adding to the tree canopy and providing a place of respite for passive recreation in the plaza.
Last week during construction, the engineering team installed the infiltration trench system that will have the capacity to infiltrate 5 acre-feet of water during an average rain year. They also placed the final layer of asphalt that will be painted over with natural colors in a design that evokes an arroyo wash. Additionally, a new shade structure will be placed within the Bradley Plaza Park along with wooden stumps and wood benches for residents to sit.
Pacoima Beautiful and our partners are excited to celebrate this project once it is fully completed, and once Stay-At-Home orders are lifted. Until then, we'll be reflecting on the amazing benefits that parks and trees provide for people, animals, and the environment.
This Year Marks The 50 Year Anniversary of Earth Day
Let us take a moment to recognize and celebrate Earth Day.
Before 1970, a factory could spew black clouds of toxic smoke into the air or dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream, and that was perfectly legal. They could not be taken to court to stop it.
How was that possible? Because there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act. There were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment.
In the Spring of 1970, Earth Day was created to force this issue onto the national agenda. (Source: EPA History)