Assessing the challenges and potential for the City of Los Angeles and Council District 11, which he represents, Councilman Bill Rosendahl was the keynote speaker at the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce “State of the City” address at the Westin Hotel near LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) Wednesday, November 15th.
The 11th District includes the communities of Westchester, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey Venice, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and Playa Vista.
Rosendahl’s speech, titled “Seizing the Moment” touched on:
— the controversial issue of Century Boulevard Corridor hotel workers asking for a living wage increase commensurate with other hotel workers;
— the proposed northern runways realignment at LAX;
— mass transit;
— city infrastructure;
— affordable housing; and
— environmental protection.
Rosendahl strongly supports the increased living wage for the hotel workers — which was initially approved by the Los Angeles City Council in an 11-to-three vote Wednesday, November 15th — but some meeting attendees who represent hotel business interests opposed his support of the issue.
During a question and answer period, Rosendahl was told by opponents to the living wage increase that the hotels are not under city contract and should not have to adhere to this ordinance.
Cleaning up the alleys and the general appearance of Century Boulevard would attract more visitors and bring more business to hotels, according to Rosendahl.
Keeping a level playing field for the hotel workers, working together and building morale is good business and also promotes a sense of consciousness and justice, stated Rosendahl.
LAX — Rosendahl said he is categorically opposed to moving the northern runways at LAX, and that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials would have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that safety issues require moving the northern runways.
Over the next two years, LAX officials, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, ARSAC (Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion) and neighbors will be working with Rosendahl to encourage regionalization among the airports, with airlines spreading out their air traffic to include Ontario International Airport and the Palmdale Airport.
“I’ll never waiver from regionalization and won’t accept expansion,” Rosendahl said.
LAX, Ontario International and Palmdale Airport are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
The environmentally-friendly restoration of Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX is also another project that Rosendahl is strongly supporting.
An estimated $700 million is planned to renovate Tom Bradley International Terminal, utilizing environmentally-friendly and less-energy-wasting components.
An environmental architect has been hired by Los Angeles World Airports officials, said Rosendahl.
MASS TRANSIT— At the end of September, Rosendahl was present at the groundbreaking of the Exposition Light Rail Line, which is to connect downtown Los Angeles with Culver City via the Exposition Boulevard corridor.
The 9.6-mile line is fully funded and under construction by the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, said Rosendahl.
The next step in this process is to extend the Exposition Line from Culver City to Santa Monica, and the Construction Authority is in the process of hiring an environmental consultant to prepare an EIR (environmental impact report) for this second phase, said Rosendahl.
As this second phase moves forward, Rosendahl said it is crucial that plans for a future connection to the Green Line intersecting with the Expo Line occur at this juncture, and that $250,000 in funding has already been approved unanimously by the City Council for that connection.
The connection would provide direct rail access to LAX from Santa Monica and West Los Angeles, Rosendahl said.
Another goal of Rosendahl is a “subway to the sea,” which would extend the Wilshire Boulevard Red Line subway to Santa Monica, a 13-mile segment expected to cost approximately $4 million.
Palmdale seriously needs a light rail line to make it easier to get there for air travel, and Ontario International Airport is ready right now to accept more air travel passengers and cargo, stated Rosendahl.
CITY INFRASTRUCTURE — Fixing the “broken urban planning process that has resulted in uncontrolled growth and insisting on genuine smart growth that encourages mixed-use, local jobs, affordable housing and accessible transportation for workers” is another of Rosendahl’s visions.
Rosendahl explained that new development must go hand-in-hand with infrastructure improvements, and he wants development fees to improve traffic and the environment.
The plight of the homeless lacking a permanent place to stay, as well as the mentally ill who are also on the streets and thrown in with the homeless without being classified as being mentally ill, is something that Rosendahl says cannot continue.
“We can’t criminalize these homeless individuals; they need a place to stay and health services,” and the fact that they are being pushed out into other neighborhoods, including Venice, is unacceptable, said Rosendahl.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING — Rosendahl said he is working with state legislators to amend the Ellis Act, which he claims gives developers and landlords a series of legal loopholes to unjustly evict tenants.
He has called for a moratorium on condominium conversions.
Conversions of condominiums is causing a decreasing supply of affordable housing, and Rosendahl said he is fighting to prevent the loss of thousands of affordable rental units, and is working to get more affordable housing by insisting on affordable housing components in all major developments in the 11th District.
Finding ways to build and rehabilitate affordable housing along with local developers and nonprofit development organizations in the 11th District is crucial, according to Rosendahl.
LAPD AND AIRPORT POLICE — Both the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) and the Airport Police serve Westchester, and Rosendahl commended both for the hard work they have done.
Both violent and property crime are down because the Airport Police and LAPD have partnered with the community in keeping crime down, Rosendahl said.
ENVIRONMENT — The 11th District is “the environmental district,” says Rosendahl, citing beaches, mountains, wetlands, ocean and open space which need to be preserved and protected.
Rosendahl’s environmental agenda is:
— to promote improved air quality and eliminate pollution in Santa Monica Bay;
— create new park spaces and recreational opportunities;
— implement city policies to use alternative fuels and alternative transportation;
— create city policies to protect groundwater; and
— promote traffic studies with synchronized lights and left-turn signals and other measures.
“Global warming is global warming, and we need to get our act together as a nation,” Rosendahl said.
California is the 12th-largest carbon emitter on the planet and Los Angeles County is the largest polluter, with its ports and vehicles, said Rosendahl.
The Department of Water and Power is committed to bring 20 percent of the energy from clean places, he said.