‘Ideas’ Could Spur More Affordable Housing

August 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles Councilman Gil Cedillo Tuesday proposed a series of ideas intended to boost the amount of affordable housing in Los Angeles, including allowing micro-apartments.

Cedillo introduced six motions aimed at quickening the pace at which affordable housing is built, pointed to a recent study that found the city needs 82,000 new units, which includes 57 percent that need to be affordable to people who are very-low and low-income.

This means that 10,250 units need to be built per year, with about half affordable, Cedillo said. However, city agencies in recent history have only been able to finance 1,200 affordable housing units annually during peak years, and are expected to only be able to finance about 500 units a year in the next five years, he said.

The six motions were introduced ahead of today’s Housing L.A. conference organized by the Building Industry Association of Southern California that includes panels on tackling the city’s “housing crisis,” and features Cedillo and Mayor Eric Garcetti as speakers.

In one motion, Cedillo is calling for a program that allows “micro- units” about 300 square feet to 500 square feet in size to be build in some parts of the city. Such units have a lower cost and could potentially be better for the environment, Cedillo’s motion said.

Another Cedillo motion calls for the city to look into preserving unapproved second units on single-family homes, also known as accessory dwelling units, and to research programs adopted in cities like Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Denver and Santa Cruz.

A third motion proposes to reducing the number of parking spaces developers are required to build if their projects is near public transit, suggesting that four parking spots be replaced with one shared parking space.

Cedillo also wants to identify city properties that can be used for building affordable housing, defer the payment of building fees and take steps to speed up the project approval process.

Cedillo Targets Funds to Slow Loss of Affordable Units

August 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

About $9 million in former redevelopment funds could be used to help keep rent and housing costs low for hundreds of residential units in the First City Council district represented by Gil Cedillo, who Tuesday asked his colleagues to support the plan.

More than 15,000 affordable units could be lost over the next five years due to the expiration of housing agreements that protect tenants living in affordable units, Cedillo said.

“So even if we build 10,000 new affordable units,” the city would still be short by about 5,000 units, he said.

“We can’t build our way out of this (housing) crisis,” and should also focus on preserving existing affordable housing, according to Cedillo.

His own district, which includes northeast Los Angeles, Chinatown, Westlake and Koreatown, could shed as many as 805 affordable units over the next three years, he said.

To keep these units affordable, Cedillo announced a plan Monday to subsidize some of these units using about $9 million available to his district through “excess bond proceeds” left over from the city’s former redevelopment agency.

The money will be used to persuade property owners to extend “housing covenants” that protect the affordability of units, even as “we commence upon our efforts to create a glut of housing in the city of Los Angeles so that we can put the pressure on to reduce the prices,” he said.

The proposal is expected to be discussed soon by the council’s Housing Committee, which Cedillo chairs.

Cedillo also said he hopes his district could set an example for other areas in the city, since a total of $84 million was made available citywide — divvied up among the city’s 15 council districts —when the former Community Redevelopment Agency was dissolved by the state in 2011.

Some funding from the redevelopment agency — which was tasked with improving “blighted” neighborhoods — was also used to ensure developers maintained a percentage of affordable units in their projects.

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, which has been pushing for more affordable housing preservation, said that while there are various tactics to get property owners to extend housing covenants, “the bottom line here for most of these units is we need money, we need money to preserve these units.”

Unlike affordable housing units that are subsidized with federal U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development dollars and come with protections against property owners evicting lower-income tenants, the redevelopment agency units “have no such protections,” Gross also noted.

“If the owner decides to get out of the units or get out of the program … when the restrictions are gone, it’s likely the tenants are gone as well,” he said.

Se Piden Fondos Para Mantener Viviendas Asequibles en Los Ángeles

August 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Alrededor de $9 millones en fondos de reurbanización antiguos podrían ser utilizados para ayudar a mantener los costos de alquiler y vivienda baja para cientos de unidades residenciales en el Primer Distrito representado por el Concejal Gil Cedillo, quien pidió el viernes a sus colegas apoyen el plan.

Más de 15,000 unidades asequibles podrían perderse en los próximos cinco años debido a la expiración de los acuerdos de vivienda que protegen a los inquilinos que viven en unidades asequibles, dijo Cedillo.

“Así que incluso si construimos 10,000 nuevas unidades asequibles” la ciudad todavía estaría corta por 5,000 unidades”, aseveró.

“No podemos construir nuestras formas para salir de esta crisis (de vivienda)”, y debemos también enfocarnos en preservar las viviendas asequibles existentes, afirmó Cedillo.

Su propio distrito, que incluye al noreste de Los Ángeles, Chinatown, Westlake y Koreatown, podrían deshacerse de hasta un máximo de 805 unidades asequibles en los próximos tres años, dijo.

Para mantener estas unidades asequibles, Cedillo anunció un plan para subsidiar algunas de estas unidades utilizando los casi $9 millones de dólares disponibles para su distrito a través de “excesos de bonos provenientes” que sobraron de la previa agencia de reurbanización de la ciudad.

El dinero será utilizado para convencer a los dueños de propiedades para extender “los pactos de vivienda” que protegen la asequibilidad de las unidades, incluso cuando “comencemos en nuestros esfuerzos para crear un exceso de oferta de vivienda en la ciudad de Los Ángeles para que podamos poner presión en la reducción de los precios”, dijo.

Se espera que la propuesta sea discutida pronto por el Comité de Vivienda, que preside Cedillo.

Cedillo también dijo que espera que su distrito pueda ser un ejemplo para otras zonas de la ciudad, ya que un total de $84 millones están disponibles en toda la ciudad—divididos entre los 15 distritos concejales—después que la agencia de reurbanización de la ciudad anterior fue disuelta por el estado en 2011.

Algunos fondos de la agencia de reurbanización—que se encarga de mejorar barrios “arruinados”—también fueron utilizados para asegurar que desarrolladores mantuvieran un porcentaje de unidades asequibles en sus proyectos.

Larry Gross, director ejecutivo de la Coalición para la Supervivencia Económica, que ha estado presionando para la conservación de la vivienda más asequible, dijo que aunque hay varias tácticas para hacer que los propietarios extiendan los convenios de viviendas, “la conclusión aquí para la mayoría de estas unidades es que necesitamos dinero, necesitamos dinero para preservar estas unidades”.

A diferencia de las unidades de vivienda asequibles que son subsidiados con dinero federal de Estados Unidos del Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano y vienen con protecciones contra los propietarios que desalojen a los inquilinos de bajos ingresos, la agencia de reurbanización de unidades “no tiene tales protecciones”, añadió Gross.

“Si el propietario decide dejar las unidades o salir del programa… Cuando las restricciones se vayan, es probable que los inquilinos se vayan también”, dijo.

 

Special Olympics Athletes Help Open Lincoln Heights Summer Pool Program

June 11, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

The calendar may still say it’s spring, but at Downey Recreation Center in Lincoln Heights Monday, summer was in full swing with the start of the annual swim season and Operation Splash, a free summer swim program for low-income children and adults available at some City of Los Angeles public pools.

Lincoln Heights — a neighborhood on the city’s eastside — is one of several local hosts sites for next month’s 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles and on Monday some athletes competing in the Special Olympics were on hand to kickoff the free summer program.

Among them was Joshua Fontelera, a twenty-three-year-old athlete with autism who for the last 12 years has been a regular at city pools, taking full advantage of the city’s free swim programs. This summer he will be an alternate at the Special Olympics Games.

Children get ready to jump in the pool during the kick off event in Lincoln Heights. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

Children get ready to jump in the pool during the kick off event in Lincoln Heights. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

“I feel really good [being here] because I like to swim,” Fontelera told EGP as his mother proudly showed the gold medals he has won in past competitions. On Monday, he had the added job of leading the Pledge of Allegiance at the event.

Operation Splash —which runs from June to August — is a Kaiser Permanente program run in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and LA84 Foundation, a legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games.

“Operation Splash gives money to the pools so we can come here,” said Fontelera, adding that being in the pool is the “best therapy.”

Kaiser has given the L.A. Dept. of Recreation and Parks Aquatics Division a $240,000 grant to promote physical activity; another $85,000 was awarded by LA84 to help cover program costs at 34 public pools across the city.

“Last week we opened seven pools and on June 13, all 34 pools will be open,” recreation and parks General Manager Michael Shull said.

Lea este artículo en Español: Atletas de las Olimpiadas Especiales Inauguran Programa de Natación

The grants will pay for free swim lessons for 6,000 low-income children and adults, 780 Junior Lifeguard Training scholarships for youth ages 10-17 and for “Rethink Your Drink Campaign” ads to increase awareness about the link between sugary beverages and obesity.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4,000 people die from drowning each year: It is one of the leading unintentional but preventable causes of deaths in the U.S.

About 60% of African American children and 70% of Latino children don’t know how to swim, according to the USA Swimming Foundation.

Many people go to local pools and beaches to cool off during the summer, so it’s important to ensure that everyone is safe and learns to swim, said Gabriela Tovar, manager of grants and programs for LA84.

“With programs like ours, we hope to make changes to these statistics,” Tovar said, explaining LA84 has been funding city of L.A. programs “to provide swim lessons as well as introduce youth to swim team, dive, synchronized swimming and water polo” for 30 years.

Mothers like Fontini Revivo say the free programs are extremely important for all children, bit especially those with disabilities.

Not everyone can afford to have a pool at home, nor do they have the skills needed to teach children with disabilities, she said.

Revivo’s 14-year-old daughter Ariel will compete this summer at the Special Olympics in the free-style swimming category. “It is fabulous to have my daughter in the [free swim] programs because she doesn’t get to participate in a lot of regular activities,” the proud mother told EGP.

“Now the facility will be able to accommodate children with special needs” like her daughter, she said.

Ariel said she loves swimming because it gives her the chance “to be alone” and to at the same time “work with a team.”

On Monday, Councilman Gil Cedillo (CD-1) recalled going to the public pool while growing up on the eastside. “Back in my day, I think it was a quarter or a nickel to go into the pool at Costello” Recreation Center, he said. “For young people, it’s an incredible place to put all their energy, positively and constructively,” he said.

Joshua Fontelera, 23, proudly wears medals he has won in past competitions during Operation Splash kick-off event Monday. (EGP Photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

Joshua Fontelera, 23, proudly wears medals he has won in past competitions during Operation Splash kick-off event Monday. (EGP Photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

There are still plenty of scholarships available for free lessons, according to Patricia Delgado,principal recreation supervisor I of the Aquatics Division with the Dept. of Recreation and Parks. “Registration will be conducted on June 14, 2015 at 10 am [at each pool site], sponsorships are available on a first come, first serve basis.”

Operation Splash is part of Kaiser Permamente’s Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) program, focused on reducing obesity in the community by encouraging more safe physical activity and healthy, affordable food.

The Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports competition for people with intellectual disabilities, will be held this year in the Los Angeles area from July 25 to Aug. 2.

 

East and Northeast L.A. area Operation Splash Public Pools:

Lincoln Heights: Downey Pool, 1775 N. Spring St., (323) 304-0828

Glassell Park Recreation Center: 3707 Verdugo Rd., (323) 226-1670

Highland Park Recreation Center: 6150 Piedmont Ave, (323) 226-1669

Eagle Rock: Yosemite Recreation Center, 1840 Yosemite Dr., (323) 226-1668

Boyle Heights: Pecan Pool, 120 S. Gless St., (323) 526-3042 and Roosevelt High School, 456 S. Matthews St., (213) 485-7391

East Los Angeles: Costello Recreation Center, 3121 E. Olympic Blvd. (323) 526-3073

El Sereno: Richard Alatorre Indoor pool, 4721 Klamath St., (323) 276-3042

 

For more information visit: www.laparks.org or call (323) 906-7953.

—-

Twitter @jackieguzman

jgarcia@egpnews.com

Ground Broken On New Veteran Housing Project

May 21, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Just in time for Memorial Day, ground was broken on the site of a new project to house homeless veterans in Northeast Los Angeles.

The Marmion Way Apartments, located adjacent to the Heritage Square Gold Line Station in Cypress Park, will house 24 homeless veterans with special needs and 24 low-income families, with preference being given to the families of veterans.

“This is a very concrete way to bring our veterans home,” said Councilman Gil Cedillo (CD-1) last Friday morning during the groundbreaking ceremony for the project being built in his district.

The recent homeless count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found 2,991 homeless veterans, including 218 female veterans, living on the streets of Los Angeles. Of those, 203, including three of the female vets, live in the first district, which encompasses part of Northeast Los Angeles, Chinatown, University Park and MacArthur Park.

Councilman Gil Cedillo (CD-1) stated that 24 veterans and 24 low-income families will have housing by 2016 in Cypress Park. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

Councilman Gil Cedillo (CD-1) stated that 24 veterans and 24 low-income families will have housing by 2016 in Cypress Park. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

Also at Friday’s ceremony were the various partners working to bring the housing project to fruition: Affording housing developer Palm Communities; social service provider PATH Ventures; the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Los Angeles Housing Department.

Once built, the Marmion Way housing project, with subterranean parking, will include social service programs to support residents gain financial stability and to maintain their health. PATH Ventures, which will oversee the social service element, will offer a variety of literacy and skill building programs, such as computer training, adult education, money management. They will also provide nutrition and wellness programs, after-school programs, individual counseling and case management.

Veterans will have access to job training, veteran-specific legal assistance and healthcare services provide by the VA.

“When we build this, we will see less encampments. When we fill up the units, we will see less homeless,” said Cedillo, referring to growing number of homeless encampments in the city. “This is the solution,” Cedillo told the crowd of about at the event.

PATH Ventures Executive Director Amy Anderson told EGP they will use government subsidies to pay for the services being offered.

“Homeless veterans as a priority,” she said.

It was a sentiment echoed by Cedillo who said he has a bias for the men and women who place their lives on the line “to protect our quality of life.” They deserve “the very best that we have to offer for all their service and their commitment” from our government and the private sector, the councilman said.

The Marmion Way Apartments will be located at 3500 Marmion Way and are expected to open in October 2016.

A larger housing project planned for the first district in Highland Park is awaiting a judge’s approval, according to Cedillo. If approved, the 60-unit development will include housing for low-income families and veterans.

The controversial Highland Park Transit Village project, which would be built on two large public lots adjacent to the Gold Line stations in Highland Park, has been in the works for years. Residents and local businesses have complained the projects are too dense for the area, and will add to local traffic congestion and reduce parking in the area.

“A group of local residents challenged the adequacy of the city’s environmental review and at this point, a final ruling by the judge is pending,” explained Cedillo’s Senior Planning Deputy Gerald G. Gubatan.

The city favors building housing adjacent to transportation corridors, including rail lines.

Let’s Clean Up the Place

April 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

You don’t have to tell most Angelenos that the city of Los Angeles is getting dirtier and dirtier; they can see it every time they step outside.

The trash that litters street curbs and alleys is shameful, but it didn’t get there by itself.

Mayor Erick Garcetti has set aside $9.1 millions for the Clean Streets Initiative, and that’s a good start. But will it be enough? Not likely.

Especially since the Bureau of Sanitation has been given four years to install the 5,000 new trashcans called for in the clean streets plan.

That’s right, it will take four years for all the trashcans to be in place!

The city, with only 1,000 trash cans today, already lags far behind most other big cities in this area and taking four years will likely result in the city just keeping up with what is now a quickly worsening condition. EGP believes the mayor should speed up the trashcan roll out time frame.

It really frustrates us when we see city employees who daily pass by dumped couches, TVs and furniture, but the dumped items remain because city employs have not been specifically directed to report the dumped items either by phone or on their Ipads, which many employees now have.

Now, the Mayor’s initiative, modeled on a program started in Councilman Gil Cedillo’s first district, calls for the sanitation department to deploy a strike team to conduct targeted clean ups in areas of heavy dumping; it’s about time.

The initiative also calls for the city to develop a data-driven system to measure street cleanliness, or on the flip side, the dirtiest streets by the end of the year.

We hope city workers will get on board and take time to volunteer on strike teams in our neighborhoods.

That includes police officers who too often look away when someone litters, seeing it as a low-priority crime. The accumulation of trash created by these seemingly unimportant actions, have an expensive and detrimental impact on quality of life in neighborhoods already suffering from overcrowding, lack of open space and other dwindling resources. It’s been well documented that neglect and trash are too often precursors to crime in low-income areas.

The city should also prohibit residents from leaving their trashcans on the street after collection day.

Los Angeles residents also need to do their part, and we don’t mean by complaining. Take the time to call the city’s 311 number if you have a bulky item to be picked, or to report when items have been illegally dumped in your neighborhood. The city should step up outreach to explain the program to residents.

And in case you think you are off the hook because you don’t live in the city of Los Angeles, think again. Most cities have similar programs and residents should take full advantage of them and become active in keeping their neighborhoods clean. In unincorporated areas of the county, the number to call is 211.

So now, let’s all get together and clean up the place.

Concejo de Los Ángeles Pide Protección Para Inquilinos

April 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

El Concejo Municipal de Los Ángeles ordenó reportes el miércoles sobre dos propuestas encaminadas a proteger a los inquilinos de la ciudad de ser desalojados injustamente de las 650,000 unidades de rentas controladas, incluyendo un informe que pondría más presión sobre los propietarios para mantener las propiedades adecuadamente.

El concejo encargó al personal municipal que informe sobre una medida que requeriría que propietarios de unidades de alquiler controlado reporten cualquier cambio sobre las tarifas de renta, y otra que reforzaría la ejecución de la aplicación del código en las propiedades para asegurarse de que los propietarios están haciendo las reparaciones necesarias.

El concejal Gil Cedillo (CD-1) impulsó las medidas, diciendo que están diseñadas para asegurarse de que “nuestros inquilinos ya no tendrán que vivir en condiciones de calidad inferior aquí en la ciudad de Los Ángeles” y monitorear las tasas de alquiler para disuadir a los propietarios de elevarlas ilegalmente en un esfuerzo por desalojar a los inquilinos.

Cedillo dijo que alrededor del 60 por ciento de los residentes de la ciudad son los inquilinos, con el número creciendo a 75 por ciento en su propio distrito en las áreas del noreste de Los Ángeles y Chinatown.

Los informes fueron ordenados mientras cientos de inquilinos de bajos ingresos y su defensores se reunieron en Los Ángeles City Hall para pedir protección, con algunos diciendo que la cantidad de viviendas asequibles en la ciudad se ha reducido, pero ha habido un aumento en el abuso por los dueños que están desalojando incorrectamente a inquilinos.

Mike Dennis del Este de Los Ángeles Community Corporation, dijo que las medidas que se consideraron el miércoles son “pasos muy importantes … pero acciones más agresivas se deben tomar para hacer frente a la crisis de la vivienda, sin demora, porque la crisis de la vivienda es real y es devastadora en vecindarios de clase trabajadora”.

Dennis dijo que su grupo también ha pedido a los líderes de la ciudad que se encarguen de la Ley Ellis, una ley estatal que permite a propietarios a desalojar a los inquilinos con el fin de hacer trabajos de renovación, el cual sirve como un incentivo para que los propietarios permitan que sus propiedades se deterioren.

Una vez que los residentes se salgan de las propiedades de alquiler controlado, estas se convierten en propiedades a precio de mercado, bajo el programa de control de renta de la ciudad.

 

L.A. to Take ‘Hot Spot’ Approach to Trash

March 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to begin creating a citywide approach to cleaning up trash and picking up couches, televisions and other bulky items illegally abandoned on streets.

City officials spent the past six months studying the issue, which included examining how other major cities such as San Francisco, New York City and Washington, D.C., handle abandoned waste.

City officials presented a proposal to the City Council that calls for a more proactive approach to tackling illegal dumping and trash-strewn streets, including deploying a team to scout for trash to pick-up and using data to target “hotspots” of abandoned trash.

The Public Works Commission would also have a greater role in managing the proposed trash pick-up and street clean-up program.

The proposal also calls for adding more trash cans to the streets. There are currently about 1,000 trash receptacles around the city, officials said.

The approach differs from the city’s current reliance on a complaint-based system in which residents are expected to dial 311 to report bulky items discarded on the streets. The strategy has fallen short, with some Angelenos not even aware of the existence of a telephone hotline for making complaints, officials said.

City Administrative Office Miguel Santana said it could take several more weeks to develop a plan for carrying out the new strategy. The costs have not been determined, but the hope is to find special funds and sources other than just the general fund, Santana said.

The latest strategy for tackling abandoned trash builds on efforts in City Councilman Gil Cedillo’s northeast Los Angeles district that he says has led to more than 2,500 tons of trash being cleaned up during the last 18 months.

Trash was cleared out of 286 alleys, and at least three dozen clean-up events were organized throughout his district, Cedillo said.

“This problem is one of the most vexing problems that we have in the city,” said Cedillo, who decided to make trash clean-up a priority after seeing refuse and abandoned bulky items cluttering up the district’s streets while he campaigned for a seat on City Council.

“It’s so important for us to have a clean city,” he said. “This large urban area … we’re more dense (than many other cities) and as a result we have more trash. What we don’t have is the infrastructure” that other cities have for tackling abandoned trash pickup.

The council also approved a motion by Cedillo and fellow council members, Joe Buscaino and Mike Bonin, that orders staff to produce reports on adding more trash cans, regulating illegal dumping, creating a public awareness campaign and targeting “chronic illegal dumping” in South Los Angeles, Watts and the Harbor area.

Mayor Eric Garcetti allocated $5 million this year toward cleaning up trash, after several years in which abandoned trash pick-up programs had been scaled back.

The city lost about 250 sanitation employees in recent years, and the cost of cleaning up abandoned trash has traditionally cost about $12 million, according to Sanitation Bureau Executive Director Enrique Zaldivar.

Judge Blocks Start of Immigration Actions

February 19, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Shouting “Shame on you” and “Si se puede” (Yes, we can), immigrant rights activists, elected officials and union leaders rallied outside Los Angeles City Hall Tuesday to decry a federal judge’s ruling putting the president’s executive immigration orders on hold.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas issued a ruling stalling President Obama’s executive orders, which would protect an estimated 4 million to 5 million immigrants living in the country illegally from deportation.

Hanen’s ruling was made in response to a lawsuit filed by 26 states to try to permanently stop the president’s orders.

Lea este artículo en Español: Juez Paraliza el Comienzo de la Acción Ejecutiva

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it would delay implementation of the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program until further notice, putting the application process that was to have started Wednesday temporarily on hold. However, applications from people who qualify under the original DACA guidelines issued in 2012 will still be accepted.

“You know better, you are a judge, not the president,” Los Angeles Councilman Gil Cedillo said during the press conference at City Hall. He said it’s been well established that the president’s actions are “within his powers.”

Cedillo said Hanen and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott should review “what part of legal” they don’t understand. “Shame on you for failing to recognize the laws and this president. You should not engage in partisan politics,” Cedillo said.

The DACA expansion, which was set to start Wednesday, removes the 30-year age limit, allowing immigrants who came to the U.S. before Jan. 1, 2010, and were 16 or younger when they arrived, to apply for relief from deportation and authorization to work in the country legally.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 330.000 undocumented immigrants would benefit from the expansion.

Pro-immigrant rights groups, supporters and immigrant families gathered at L.A. City Hall Tuesday to express discontent with a Texas court decision halting executive actions on immigration.  (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

Pro-immigrant rights groups, supporters and immigrant families gathered at L.A. City Hall Tuesday to express discontent with a Texas court decision halting executive actions on immigration. (EGP photo by Jacqueline Garcia)

“We are really going to fight for our dreams, we are not giving up,” said Erica, who said expanding DACA would have allowed her to get in to the medical field.

The second part of the executive action, known as the Deferred Action for Parents Arrival (DAPA) —estimated to begin in May—also provides deportation relief and work authorization to parents of U.S. citizens or legal residents who have been in the country since 2010.

Norma Torres is undocumented and told EGP she was shocked by the judge’s action. She said she personally would have benefitted from DAPA, and she’s committed to keep fighting to make it happen.

“This is just an obstacle,” she said.

Representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union noted that the judge did not rule on the states’ assertion that the president’s immigration actions were unconstitutional. The judge only issued an injunction blocking their implementation while the lawsuit was pending.

“The decision is very narrow, holding only that the federal government may have failed to follow procedural requirements before implementing” the orders, according to Cecilia Wang, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

On Tuesday, the White House announced it plans to appeal the ruling. It will be heard by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

“It doesn’t matter if it goes all the way to the Supreme Court,” said Angelica Salas, director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles, “We know that history is on our side. We know the law is on our side.”

She called on parents who will benefit because of a child’s legal status, to get them to register to vote if they are 17 or older.

“Have them vote for you, [in 2016] so that Republicans understand that they cannot attack our families,” she said.

In the meantime, pro-immigrant rights groups said people eligible for legal status under either of the orders should continue to prepare to apply. Make sure you have all the right documents, said Martha Arevalos, executive director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN).

The 26 states that are party to the lawsuit are Republican strongholds. The plaintiffs claim Obama’s executive action “violates the United States Constitution and federal law, circumvents the will of the American people and affront families and people who follow the laws to legally migrate.”

Legislators from those states have tried to block implementation in Congress with amendments to the appropriations bill to fund the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) said she is confident that the Texas decision will not stand, “But if the Republican leadership in Washington truly believes this court case will go their way in the end, they should stop holding hostage the funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. There are only four legislative days left before funding runs out.”

Texas Gov. Abbott hailed the judge’s action.

“We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the president’s attempt to bypass the will of the American people was successfully checked today,” Abbott said.

Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, said he was still confident the immigration orders would be ultimately upheld.

“Round one is in. But one round doesn’t make a fight,” Becerra said. “Immigrant families are accustomed to the tough fight. We’ll get up tomorrow, push hard, stay strong and put our faith in the Constitution. Mark my words: The human spirit will prevail.”

Information from City News Service was used in this report.

—-

Twitter @jackieguzman

jgarcia@egpnews.com

New Traffic Signal at Busy Intersection in Lincoln Heights

February 12, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

A new traffic light installed at the intersection of North Broadway and Hancock in Lincoln Heights will make the area safer for pedestrians, Los Angeles Councilman Gil Cedillo said Monday.

(Office of Councilmember Gil Cedillo)

(Office of Councilmember Gil Cedillo)

The councilman was joined by a group of students from Gates Street School and local seniors for Monday’s installation ceremony.

According to Los Angeles police, 11 serious injury accidents involving vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians have occurred at the intersection during the last five years.

A traffic study of the area found that over 5,000 vehicles travel through that intersection daily. “Children and senior are one of our most vulnerable members of our community and should feel safe when they walk our streets,” Cedillo said in a news release. “This newly installed traffic signal light will assist in providing the necessary measures for pedestrians to cross the street in a safe manner,” he said.

Lea este artículo en Español: Nueva Señal de Transito es Instalada en Lincoln Heights

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