In a move to curb tobacco sales to children, the Los Angeles City Council moved to prevent new tobacco sources within 600 square feet of schools.
Initiated by a November motion seconded by LaBonge, the ordinance will also impose new restrictions on already-existing tobacco retailers within new tobacco-ban areas.
These stores will face tougher penalties if caught selling to minors. Additionally, the city will implement a selling curfew for these stores banning the sale of tobacco during school hours.
"Teachers and school staffs have wanted this for a long time and I'm glad we're making it happen," Councilmember LaBonge said. "You can't smoke in restaurants, on beaches or in parks in Los Angeles. We shouldn't be selling cigarettes to children right outside of school, either."
The City Council directed the City Attorney to draft the ordinance this week.
The call to limit tobacco sales around schools was sparked by community activists and concerned parents. The motion calls for a controlled area that's at least 600 square feet from schools, though 1,000 square feet is preferred. The ordinance, once written, will go to Council for approval.
Councilmember LaBonge helped launch the prestigious LA Art Show on Wednesday night, where more than 100 fine art dealers from around the world are displaying beautiful work at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
"Los Angeles boasts several outstanding museums - LACMA with the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum, MOCA and the Getty Center - to name just a few," Councilmember LaBonge said. "As a world-class art center, we're happy to host this great art show, which had been in Santa Monica for many years."
The Councilmember is particularly proud that Los Angeles Sister Cities, Inc. - which he serves as President - is displaying art from several of our Sister Cities in its exhibition.
The show runs through Sunday, January 24th. For more information, click here.
Diners can breathe easier now that the Los Angeles City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance that bans smoking on restaurant patios. The ordinance, which was adopted by a 12-0 vote, is designed to limit the risk to public health from second-hand smoke.
“I used to smoke. I used to smoke in this room,” Councilmember Tom LaBonge said in the John Ferraro Council Chambers today. As chair of the City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee, the Councilman aired the proposed ban in five separate public hearings. “You don’t see smoking in here any more. Smoking has been banned in public buildings in Los Angeles, in restaurants and in parks because it’s bad for your health and the health of the people around you. Smoking is a thing of the past and with this ordinance, we are looking forward a healthier future.”
The item was sent forthwith to the Mayor for approval.
The ban takes effect one year from the date that the Mayor signs the ordinance. The first year will be devoted to a public education campaign that explains the ban. Once the ban takes effect, any business with an outdoor dining area - including food kiosks, mobile food trucks and food carts – must post a no-smoking sign. Smoking will not be allowed within 40 feet of these venues.
The ordinance, which was proposed by Councilmember Greig Smith, does NOT apply to bars, nightclubs or restaurants that are closed for private parties. Among the groups that supported the ordinance were the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Councilmember LaBonge urges all Angelenos to participate in the 2010 Census in mid-March. The federal government is required by the U.S. Constitution to do an accurate count of the American populace every ten years.
Please fill out the easy-to-understand census form, which will be mailed out between March 15th and 17th.
An accurate count helps determine how many teachers are needed in our classrooms; where to build new roads; how much funding is needed for emergency food and shelter programs; and how many representatives we have in our nation’s capital. Please visit the Los Angeles Census 2010 website for more information: click here.
Tom joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in announcing the appointment of Autstin Beutner, former president of Evercore Partners, as First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy for the City of Los Angeles.
Mr. Beutner, who will work for $1 per year, said his number one priority is creating jobs.
"Austin Beutner will bring an unprecedented level of experience to this newly created and empowered position and I have tasked him with fixing our approach to economic development and business policy to make LA more business friendly and job creation much easier," Mayor Villaraigosa said.
Added Councilmember LaBonge, "Los Angeles is a city of great people, and we have a tremendous asset that many other big cities don't, and that's great weather. We've been down before and we bounced back quickly. I trust that Mr. Beutner will lead us to another rebound."
Mr. Beutner lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children.
The City Council unanimously supported Councilmember LaBonge's resolution encouraging all residents of Los Angeles to support relief efforts in Haiti today.
Officials fear that hundreds of thousands people are dead after a devastating earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale. Millions have been displaced.
"This is a tragedy for the people of Haiti and their relatives around the world," Councilmember LaBonge said. "We must do everything we can to reach out and help."
For information about donating to Haiti relief efforts, visit the American Red Cross' website by clicking here.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge lay flowers at Elvis Presley’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to commemorate what would have been the 75th birthday of The King of Rock and Roll.,
“I’m all shook up about the King’s 75th birthday,” said Councilmember LaBonge. “Fans throughout the world are celebrating this event, more than 30 years after his death. That’s the mark of the star that Elvis was and I’m honored to remember him here today.”
Elvis Aron Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi and he died on August 16, 1977 in his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. During his lifetime, he had more multiplatinum album sales than any other performer, with twelve albums selling over 2 million copies. He also starred in 33 Hollywood movies.
The star, which is on a traffic triangle at the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and LaBrea Ave., is beside The Beatles star just outside a small public art piece depicting four silver screen goddesses.
Margot Gerber of the American Cinematheque and Greg Snyder of Wise Guy Events invited the public to its Elvis birthday celebration on Sunday, January 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. Fore more information about this event, click here. Sarah Boyd of Taschen books also talked about the recently published book, Elvis Presley.
Councilmember LaBonge joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and actor Alec Mapa in ushering in Los Angeles Arts Month on Monday at the Red Cat Theater in Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Councilmember LaBonge presented a City Certificate to artist Gayle Roski, who conceived the idea to celebrate the city's prodigious artistic resources for one month each year.
"Los Angeles is a unique city in that it represents art and creativity to the world because it is home to the entertainment industry," said the Councilmember who chairs the City Council's Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee. "I have to give credit to Gayle Roski for coming up with the idea for LA Arts Month. It is a great way to put a spotlight on all of the great art - whether in the performing arts, fine arts or the entertainment business - that's on display every day here in Los Angeles." For more information on Arts Month, click here.