Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra Concedes AD39 Race to Patty Lopez



Patty Lopez, a mostly unknown candidate from San Fernando, has defeated incumbent Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), according to the official election results released Monday.

Patty Lopez

Lopez led by 182 votes on election night and won by 467 votes with provisional and mail-in ballots counted. Bocanegra said he will not ask for a recount.

“While the vote tally is incredibly close, it is clear that my opponent will be victorious by the narrowest of margins,” he said. “Although many residents and community leaders throughout the 39th Assembly District have urged me to undertake a recount, I do not want to put the state — and particularly the residents of the northeast San Fernando Valley — through such a costly and time-consuming process.”

The result shocked the political establishment from Los Angeles to Sacramento. Bocanegra, a first-term candidate, was considered a strong candidate for Assembly speaker. He won his primary by nearly 40 points and collected more than $600,000 in campaign contributions this year.

Meanwhile, Lopez said she never expected to win and only ran to advocate for more local school funding. She was fined $400 for not reporting any campaign contributions until after the election. She said she spent less than $10,000, and the money came from small donations from friends and family members.

Raul Bocanegra

Lopez, a former outreach coordinator for the North Valley Occupational Center, believes she won by reaching out to every person in the community and focusing on education. Bocanegra mostly campaigned for other candidates and appeared to spend little time campaigning in his own district.

In the weeks since the election, the reasons for the surprising result have been debated. Shortly before the election, Bocanegra received praise for co-authoring a bill to expand the state’s tax credits for television and movie filming, but the legislation may have been less popular at home.

Political analysts have suggested Lopez also may have benefited from having her name first on the ballot. Some voters selecting all Democrats may have chosen her name without noticing the race featured two Democrats.

Others have said Lopez may have seemed more relatable. She moved to the United States from Mexico as a child, and she describes herself as a hard-working housewife who serves as a parent volunteer and community organizer.

In a statement Monday, Bocanegra noted he comes from a working-class immigrant family. He said he is grateful for his family’s hard work.

“I am proud to have represented the northeast San Fernando Valley –- the community in which I was born and raised and have spent my life serving,” Bocanegra said. “I am very proud of what we have accomplished in the past two years.”

Granada Hills Street Faire 2014 Video

IT’S BACK! After a five year hiatus the Granada Hills Street Faire came back with a vengeance. 15 to 20 thousand people poured into the streets to celebrate their community. Rides, bands, dancers , food, gifts, education, and a classic car show… There was fun for all!!

Special thanks to stakeholder, Mark Hovater, for producing the video.

Limiting Mansionization throughout the City of Los Angeles


On Tuesday, the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee heard a Planning Department report on the City’s Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (BMO) and the Department’s Neighborhood Conservation Initiative.

While the Planning Department begins work to close loopholes in the BMO and develop additional neighborhood conservation tools, the report recognizes that certain specific communities may need immediate relief. Councilman Englander introduced a friendly amendment asking that the Old Granada Hills area be added to this list of areas in need of protection.

The report will return to the Committee prior to moving to full Council for adoption.

Maintaining a Reduced Business Tax for Internet Businesses


This week, Council District 12 Councilmember Mitchell Englander voted to support a comprehensive analysis of the impact and effectiveness of Ordinance #181127, which temporarily reduced the internet-based business tax rate.

In March of 2010, the City Council and Mayor approved Ordinance #181127 (CF 09-1914) to reduce business tax rates for internet-based businesses. The intent of this action was to create jobs by reducing the cost of locating or expanding a business within the city, and to retain these extremely mobile businesses in the City. This effort to target internet-based businesses, as well as other desirable business categories, was the result of extensive discussions and analyses both in City Hall and in the business community where various business tax reforms were considered, including extension of the business tax holiday, freezing the current tax base, and possibly eliminating the gross receipts tax.

The reduction in the City’s internet-based business tax rate that was enacted in 2010 is set to expire, since the tax-rate reduction is only effective through 2014. This pending ‘sunset date’ will allow the City to measure its effectiveness before taking the next steps. The City is now at the decision point whether to continue this reduction or further modify it.

To ensure that the City’s policymakers have comprehensive information regarding the impact of this prior Council action, City staff should immediately begin an analysis of the past five years of data, as well as tax year’s preceding this period, to determine the true impact to businesses and the local economy of this tax reduction.

Eliminating the business tax for one industry is the first step toward eliminating the business tax entirely throughout the City of Los Angeles. Councilmember Englander remains committed to ensuring that the City of Los Angeles continuously works to be more business-friendly and reduce taxes for businesses in every industry.

7th Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair Video and Photos


7th Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair last Saturday that drew nearly 1500 people, which Councilmember Mitch Englander, Chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, said was the largest in Los Angeles. Many Valley Neighborhood Councils supported this great event.

Photo locations:
Photos by Firefighter Adam VanGerpen
Photos by Tom Johnson
Photos by Office of Councilmember Mitchell Englander

Knollwood Plaza Signal Activation


Last week, GHNNC was proud to join Councilmember Mitchell Englander, community members, and stakeholders in activating the new traffic signal at the Knollwood Plaza.

The Balboa Blvd-Knollwood Plaza Driveway project added a traffic signal and vehicle entrance/exit to the Knollwood Shopping Center. Secondary work added new curb and access ramps that will provide safe passage to the center for pedestrians. The project’s undertaking is unique in that the local community and business owners of the Knollwood Plaza were instrumental in achieving its success. Without their support, this project would not have come to fruition.

Click here to view the E-Video of the project’s groundbreaking.
Click here to view photos of this event.

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