By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Pacific Palisades Community Council welcomed recently reelected Assemblymember Richard Bloom as a guest speaker at its November 12 board meeting, held via Zoom due to the ongoing pandemic.
Bloom led with thanking the Palisades for their continued support, including elections that took place in 2020, 2018, 2016, 2014 and 2012—the first time he was elected as assemblymember.
“Pacific Palisades has been a bedrock of support for me from the beginning,” Bloom shared. “You didn’t see much of me this election—frankly I didn’t have much of a challenge—but that doesn’t mean that I’m not paying attention or that I don’t care. I really do and I want you all to know that.”
He then touched on his work during the course of the last legislative session, which was cut short by COVID-19 shutdowns. Despite being limited to fewer hearings, a budget was passed, including $1 billion allotted to the governor to address issues surrounding the pandemic response that arose in April, like a shortage of PPE, ventilators and hospital beds.
Bloom then detailed bills that passed this year, which includes AB 1788—banning second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides that have been reported to kill mountain lions, other predators and pets—which will take effect in January.
The assemblymember then looked toward the future, sharing a few of the things he hopes to focus on, including a response to increasing instances of homelessness.
“This is an issue that I have prioritized for over 20 years,” Bloom said. “I know we’re all frustrated by the increases in homelessness that we’ve seen—in spite of many efforts that we’ve taken and some of those that the good people of Pacific Palisades have taken upon themselves to do. We need to do more, I think we need to find new ways to address homelessness.”
Bloom reported that he felt it would be beneficial to focus on the mental health aspects of homelessness, including an “epidemic” of methamphetamine use, which is attributed to psychosis.
“I will continue to address housing affordability,” he said. “The housing affordability crisis is not going away, even though rents have dropped in the near term due to the COVID epidemic, and I’ll continue to carry animal welfare bills as I have.”
Bloom brought up a bill he is working on getting passed, which creates a K9 blood bank system that is done in a humane way.
Before Bloom began taking questions from the audience, PPCC Chair David Card thanked him for his letter in support of the Palisades Beach Detail.
“I’ll continue to advocate for that,” Bloom said. “I’m very, very familiar with the importance of the team approach to addressing homelessness—wherever it is, but it’s particularly true on the beach—and having both the local outreach workers and the police department working together in sync is the formula that works.”
Another issue that Bloom addressed is fire safety in Pacific Palisades and beyond, sharing that a subcommittee recently held an informational meeting on the topic of fire prevention that included a discussion on how treating areas of chaparral in Southern California is different than in conifer and other forests.
“One thing that I think is clear in all types of environments is that ingress and egress is of critical importance,” Bloom stated. “We have to focus attention on making sure that every community has appropriate ingress and egress for emergencies and that’s difficult—we may find it challenging, but we still have to deal with it.”
Bloom concluded his time during the meeting by pledging support, even if it is in the form of a letter, to community member Leslie Campbell, who has spent many years rallying to get a dog park in the Palisades.
The December PPCC meeting—typically the special awards event—has been canceled due to the awards being indefinitely postponed, which means the next time the board is slated to meet is January 14, 2021, with topics to be announced.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.