Bill to Make Improvements along Pacoima and Tujunga Washes Signed by Governor

Monday, October 2, 2017

(SACRAMENTO) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) which will provide more resources for planning assistance to the Pacoima and Tujunga Washes - key tributaries of the Los Angeles River (LA River).  Assembly Bill 466 will create a working group modeled after the “Lower LA River Working Group”, that was established in 2015, to coordinate funding opportunities for improvements along the washes. 

“I’m pleased to see that Governor Brown has signed AB 466, it’s time to restore and beautify the Pacoima and Tujunga Washes which are important tributaries of the LA River,” said Assemblymember Bocanegra. “Creating a working group for these vital LA River tributaries will give our community a voice to improve our waterways and transform them into beautiful, green open space.”

Beginning in the Angeles National Forest, the Pacoima Wash and the Tujunga Wash are two of the largest tributaries to the LA River and funnel a significant amount of the LA River watershed’s rainfall to the main river.  Both the Tujunga and Pacoima Washes flow through several low-income and disadvantaged communities that lack healthy outdoor park and green space.  In recent years, local non-profits and agencies have started extensive work to improve these waterways through public planning processes and grants from state departments.  Creating a working group will make it easier for the community to coordinate access for resources, including financial support, to improve the washes. 

“Pacoima Beautiful thanks Governor Brown for signing AB 466, and Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra for understanding the importance of watershed education and establishing a working group to address the diverse needs along the tributaries of the upper LA River," said Veronica Padilla-Campos, Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful. “Pacoima Beautiful has advocated for a greenway to be created along these waterways for over a decade, getting this bill enacted will give our community a voice to improve our waterways and transform them into beautiful, green, open space.”

"This bill gets us closer to transforming the washes and tributaries in to assets that serve our communities, rather than being under-realized regional flood control infrastructure that divide our neighborhoods,” said Nury Martinez, Los Angeles City Councilwoman representing the Sixth Council District.

“The Conservancy appreciates the leadership of Assemblymember Bocanegra to create this working group and facilitate the revitalization of waterways in the San Fernando Valley,” said Joseph Edmiston, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. “Continuing to invest in park and open space will tangibly improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of Angelenos in the Valley for years to come.”

"This is an opportunity to help revitalize two crucial waterways in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and provide the representation and investment this community deserves,” said Monica Rodriguez, Los Angeles City Councilwoman representing the Seventh Council District. "I look forward to working with Assemblymember Bocanegra to create more green and open spaces along our tributaries to link our neighborhoods to the broader Southern California region."

Once established, the 23 member working group will coordinate planning between local governments and non-profits for setting conservation goals, developing project proposals, and identifying funding opportunities for the Upper LA River and the principal tributaries in the San Fernando Valley.

Raul Bocanegra is the Democratic Majority Whip in the California State Assembly.  He represents the 39th Assembly District, which includes the Los Angeles communities of Arleta, Granada Hills, Lakeview Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Shadow Hills, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar and the City of San Fernando.