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Councilmember O'Farrell Reports on Hollywood Progress at Annual Luncheon

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January 25, 2018
A record audience of more than 450 leaders of Hollywood and the business community attended the Chamber's Annual State of Hollywood with Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell presented by Variety and the Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building today on Thursday, January 25th at Taglyan Complex. 

Reelected last year to a second term on the Los Angeles City Council representing the 13th Council District, Councilman O’Farrell had a lot to report at his fifth State of Hollywood address.
 
“… We took big steps in 2017. I introduced my “open for business initiatives” in 2016. … My initiatives directed our department of city planning to change its approach in dealing with our business community. We have now achieved some long-term goals such as administrative approvals for restaurants and bars to have their permits renewed when they have proven to be good operators. This will save establishments in Hollywood and across the city in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars every five years to navigate needless public hearings, various fees, and deal with the uncertainty of staying open. City hall will now play a supportive role for businesses that are a value to the neighborhood and operators with a good reputation.”

O’Farrell has built a solid reputation as a councilman who understands the importance of maintaining a healthy business climate. He led the fight to be sure that the City Council considered business impacts before voting to raise the minimum wage.

He was the first councilman to go on the record opposing Measure S, the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, that would have slapped a building moratorium on Los Angeles.
 
"On March 7, 2017, “measure S” went down in flames and I’m humbled for the opportunity to continue to represent Hollywood! Measure S lost big and people in this room helped in its demise. Despite being outspent by millions, measure S was defeated about 70 to 30 percent. In fact, the 13th council district had the 2nd largest margin of defeat of all 15 council districts. We made the case and made it early, just how bad for Los Angeles measure s would have been."

He is working to create opportunities for more affordable housing and help address homelessness:
 
"In last year’s budget I fought for additional “hope” teams. “hope” stands for – homeless outreach and proactive engagement. The teams were approved with additional dedicated police officers and sanitation workers and I am working to make sure they are deployed where they’re needed most."

O'Farrell also championed reforms to help small, neighborhood businesses that drive the local economy. 

“… We took big steps in 2017. I introduced my “open for business initiatives” in 2016. … My initiatives directed our department of city planning to change its approach in dealing with our business community. We have now achieved some long-term goals such as administrative approvals for restaurants and bars to have their permits renewed when they have proven to be good operators. This will save establishments in Hollywood and across the city in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars every five years to navigate needless public hearings, various fees, and deal with the uncertainty of staying open. City hall will now play a supportive role for businesses that are a value to the neighborhood and operators with a good reputation.”

He is also leading the effort to get a new community plan adopted for Hollywood. 

"The Hollywood community plan update is slated for adoption later this year.
I’ve said this before; as we evolve into the future, we don’t need to sacrifice our past. Our history is what makes Hollywood so special. That’s why historic preservation is important to me. The tensions that arise from change and development pressures are inevitable and important. They help inform us of better ways to grow. In the nation’s second largest city, and being the second largest city’s most famous community, Hollywood will change. And I’ve said this before. I believe Hollywood’s built environment can change for the better. If everyone could see the snapshot in my mind of 1982, when I moved here full of hope for my own future, I encountered a Hollywood in steep decline and excluding most of Hollywood boulevard, plenty of substandard, uninspired architecture and surface parking lots, mixed in with the historic gems. That experience continues to inform my perspective in working with all of you on how we will build the Hollywood of today and tomorrow."

The Councilman’s district is the most diverse in the City, including the neighborhoods of Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, Historic Filipinotown, Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown, Rampart Village and Silverlake.
He understands the importance of Hollywood, its history, and its brand as a unique one-of-a-kind destination for the rest of the world, said Gubler, who noted that “He is working to enhance Hollywood’s reputation as a world-class neighborhood in which to live, do business and visit. He promotes that it is an economic driver for the rest of L.A. as the entertainment capital of the world and a worldwide destination for tourists.”

Council President Herb Wesson assigned Mitch as Chair of the Arts, Entertainment, Parks, and Los Angeles River Committee; Vice Chair of the Public Safety Committee; and a committee member of the Information, Technology and General Services; as well as the Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committees. He also served on the ad hoc committee for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Presenting Sponsors of this luncheon are Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building and Variety. Platinum Level sponsor is The Rise Hollywood. Gold Level sponsors include DLA Piper LLP, Dynamic Development, Emerson College Los Angeles, Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, Hudson Pacific Properties Inc, Managed Career Solutions, Inc., Millennium Partners, Nederlander/Pantages Theatre, Occidental Entertainment Group Holdings, Paramount Pictures, Taglyan Complex. Silver Level sponsors include ABS Properties, Inc., American Commercial Equities, LLC, Associated Television International, Champion Real Estate Company, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, CIM Group, Comcast | NBCUniversal, Faring, FilmL.A., Inc., Harridge Development Group, LLC, Hollywood Hotel, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, LaTerra Development, LLC, Latham & Watkins LLP, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, The Original Farmers Market, Paramount Contractors & Developers, Pavemint LLC, Related California, Starline Tours, Trammell Crow Company, Uncommon Developers, US Bank, W Hollywood Hotel & Residences, The Walt Disney Company.

About the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
For more than 97 years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has provided leadership, business development resources, networking, and government affairs programs and services to keep the Hollywood business and residential communities safe, relevant and economically vital. Jeff Zarrinnam, is the Chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2017-18, and Leron Gubler is the President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

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Contact:
Hollywood Chamber
info@hollywoodchamber.net, (323) 469-8311

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