Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra
Assemblymember Chris Holden
Senator Anthony Portantino
Senator Kevin de Leon
The Arroyo Seco is the subwatershed on the eastern edge of the Upper Los Angeles River zone.
September 14, 2017 — Did you know that the Arroyo Seco is part of the Upper LA River watershed? Apparently Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra from the San Fernando Valley doesn't. What's even more troubling, though, is that our Arroyo Seco legislators - Assemblymember Chris Holden and State Senators Anthony Portantino and Kevin de Leon - don't seem to either.
Bocanegra penned Assembly Bill 466 to create an "Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries Working Group" to coordinate watershed planning, but the bill only included representatives of Tujunga Canyon and Pacoima Wash as members of the working group. The bill was based on ignorance of what constitutes the Upper LA River and Tributaries and included no stakeholder involvement or community outreach during the legislative process. Assemblymember Laura Friedman from Glendale, to her credit, did succeed in getting the Verdugo Wash added to the working group.
The Arroyo Seco has historically been one of the gems of the Upper LA River system because it is the first connecting link between the San Gabriel Mountains and the LA River. Besides the remarkable history of the Arroyo Seco and its communities, this is the stream where the spectacular steelhead trout came first on their journey from the Pacific Ocean to the cool waters of the upper watershed in the mountains. To leave the Arroyo Seco out of the "Upper LA River and Tributaries Working Group" is ignorant and foolish.
But Assemblymember Bocanegra and his staff refused to consider a simple amendment that would correct the glaring error. They pointed to a clause that states that other tributaries can later be added "if necessary." That doesn't seem inviting or promising for what should be a collaborative watershed-wide planning process.
Sadly our Arroyo Seco legislators - Assemblymember Chris Holden and State Senators Anthony Portantino and Kevin de Leon - didn't seem to notice that their area and constituents were being left out. They failed to take any steps to rectify the glaring omission when it was pointed out to them and voted for Bocanegra's bill.
AB 466, which would establish the deceitfully-named "Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries Working Group," has now been sent to Governor Brown's office for his approval. He has thirty days to decide whether to sign the legislation.