City Hall Scoop

South Pasadena News and Updates from City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe

Welcome to the City Hall Scoop, a blog from South Pasadena City Hall. Our intention is to provide short daily bursts on hyper-local topics of interest to our residents.  The site has been redesigned both technically and graphically to be easier to find and easier to read. We hope you will find this site particularly useful during these unprecedented times.  Please send suggestions for articles to:


This year over 70 children and teens participated in the South Pasadena Public Library’s Bookmark Contest. The theme for the contest, which is also this year’s Summer Reading Program theme, was Reading Colors Your World. Mark your calendars for the SRP kick off on Tuesday, June 1!  

Bookmarks designed by the four winners will be printed and distributed during the Summer Reading Program. The Library congratulates the winners and thanks all the youth who participated in the contest.  

Ruby, Grade K, “Read with Flying Colors”

Makayla, Grade 3, “Vibrant Stories”

Cassidy, Grade 5, “Stories Paint the Skies”

Claire, Grade 9, “Growing Your World Through Reading”

Cathy Billings
Library Director


FEMA Funeral Assisstance

Los Angeles County residents are now able to apply for financial help for funeral expenses through FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program. 

To be eligible for funeral assistance, LA County residents must meet all of these FEMA established conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified non-citizen who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.

LA County encourages eligible applicants to call FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 (TTY) 800-462-7585 9 a.m. to 9 p.m, or visit for additional information.


J&J Symptoms

Out of an abundance of caution, Los Angeles County is following the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed unusual types of blood clots 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine. This pause will last until the FDA and CDC complete their review, which is expected to take several days. Vaccine providers in Los Angeles County will contact patients about rescheduling or providing a new appointment for Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. These reactions are extremely rare, as nearly 7,000,000 people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States to date. People who received the vaccine in the last 3 weeks should look for any symptoms of these unusual clots, including severe headaches, abdominal or leg pain, and shortness of breath, and contact their medical provider if symptoms develop. People who don’t have a medical provider can call 2-1-1 to connect with a healthcare provider. We are grateful to the researchers and scientists working to ensure that all medications or vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, have the highest safety standards.

For additional information, please visit: County of Los Angeles: County of Los Angeles Public Health:  California Department of Public Health: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


The South Pasadena City Council Caltrans properties subcommittee, composed of Mayor Diana Mahmud (District 5) and Councilmember Jack Donovan (District 2), invite you to attend a community focus group discussion on Senate Bill 381 to hear the different perspectives of a panel of residents and two members of the City Council as to how to best meet the challenges associated with Caltrans’ disposition of its surplus properties.

The City Council has expressed its desire that a focus group of South Pasadena’s leaders be convened to learn how the city can optimally position itself to meet a variety of public policy interests that this opportunity presents. There will also be opportunity for the public to ask questions during the live meeting. The virtual meeting will be conducted via ZOOM on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration is not required. Zoom Link:

This matter will once again be the topic of consideration at the Wednesday, April 21, 2021, South Pasadena City Council meeting.

Supporters of SB 381, introduced by Senator Anthony Portantino, believe that the bill would allow for more local control over the disposition of the state-owned properties along the SR 710 corridor and put the City in a much better position to safeguard and champion the interests of the South Pasadena community.

The City has created a webpage on its website to provide information and ongoing updates regarding SB 381. The new webpage provides the ability for those interested to register to receive updates as they become available.  For more information on SB 381 and to register for updates please visit:

Questions and comments may also be submitted to


Vaccine Eligibility: 16&17 Pfizer

This Thursday, April 15th all persons who live or work in LA County and are 16 years and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. For those 16 and 17, it will be important to be aware that you can only be vaccinated at this time with the Pfizer vaccine. Therefore, if given the option while registering on, please be sure to select the Pfizer when it’s your turn to be vaccinated.

As we move into a new tier that no longer requires you to identify your eligibility based on your occupation, it is important that you still provide documentation that you live or work within LA County and provide some sort of photo ID that doesn’t necessarily have to be government issued. Insurance and Immigration status are not required, and the vaccine is free. You will not have to pay anything out-of-pocket for the vaccine, and none of your information is shared with immigration officials.


Natural history documentarian David Attenborough stated, “An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.” Earth Day is Thursday, April 22nd, and the South Pasadena Public Library will celebrate it with activities and resources that spur curiosity and encourage awareness of the natural world. 

The library is pleased to launch its new “Trees of Library Park” Google Map, and invites families to feed their inquiring minds by participating in a Library Park Tree Scavenger Hunt. Starting on Earth Day, April 22nd, nature-lovers may pick up or download a Library Park Tree Scavenger Hunt card that includes a link to the Trees of Library Park map, and embark on a discovery of species and their characteristics. When completed, participants can return their scavenger hunt card at the Library Takeout door to receive an earth-friendly prize (while supplies last). 

The library prides itself on celebrating Earth Day, every day, with its large collection of materials on ecological and environmental topics. Readers are encouraged to browse curated collections of eBooks and eAudiobooks for kids and adults on the library’s digital book lending platform, Overdrive. This Earth Day also happens to be a Take and Make craft kit Thursday. Stop by Library Takeout on April 22nd, between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m., to pick up a Flower Garden craft, while supplies last. 

With the Library Park Tree Scavenger Hunt, the library’s extensive collections, and an Earth Day-themed Take and Make Craft Kit, budding eco-activists can celebrate Earth Day, spend time in nature, satisfy their curiosity about the natural world, and find great fulfillment—all thanks to the library and the generous support of the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library!

The South Pasadena Public Library is located at 1100 Oxley Street in South Pasadena. Although the library building is currently closed to the public for the health and safety of our community, we are offering Library Takeout, a no-contact check-out and pick-up service. Takeout hours are Monday-Thursday, 1:00-7:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.; closed Sunday. The library is currently working toward being able to safely offer modified in-person services. To be notified about service changes, sign up to receive informational emails from the library here:

Cathy Billings

Library Director

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. We are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

We are working with stakeholder groups to get their input on ways we can best provide this assistance, and to enlist their help with outreach to families and communities. FEMA will begin to implement COVID-19 funeral assistance in April.

Additional guidance is being finalized and will be released to potential applicants and community partners as soon as possible. In the meantime, people who have COVID-19 funeral expenses are encouraged to keep and gather documentation.

FEMA will begin accepting applications for Funeral Assistance on Monday, April 12, 2021 through our dedicated call center. More information will be available on this page soon.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:

–  The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

–  The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.

–  The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.

–  There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

How to Apply

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number

Applications begin on April 12, 2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time

If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, we encourage you to keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include:

–  An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

–  Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.

–  Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

How Funds are Received

If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.

Additional Resources

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Individuals and Households Program Policy (Interim)

Funeral Assistance FAQ

FEMA to Help Pay Funeral Costs for COVID-19-Related Deaths Press Release 


The South Pasadena City Council took action to ensure future housing development meets the needs of the community and adopted an urgency ordinance at its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, requiring new multi-family residential development to include 20% of the base number of units in the project as “inclusionary” or affordable to extremely low, very low, low or moderate income households.  The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance was long-anticipated and is a strategic response to the city’s desire to create more affordable housing citywide.  The ordinance, carefully crafted by City staff and the Planning Commission to prioritize on-site development with a mix of affordability levels and a high standard for design, offers streamlining and cost-saving incentives to encourage developers to design projects of high architectural quality as they utilize density bonuses mandated by State law that reward developers for including affordable housing units in their projects. 

“I think it’s incredibly important for us to adopt an inclusionary ordinance,” Mayor Diana Mahmud said at the hearing, noting her longstanding commitment to the policy and acknowledging the tremendous amount of time and effort that City staff and the Planning Commission have devoted to develop the ordinance.

“I’m excited to see this,” added Councilmember Primuth, referencing the inequitable housing market that impedes the goal of socio-economic diversity in South Pasadena.

Through the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update to the City’s General Plan, which is anticipated to be released in draft form in June, South Pasadena is required by the State to plan for a capacity of 2,067 housing units over an 8-year period, including 1,489 affordable units.  The Council’s adoption of this ordinance gives the City an important and effective tool to ensure that units below market rate are built. “With increasingly higher demands for affordable housing, and a reverence for the uniqueness of South Pasadena, we are determined to chart our own way in addressing important housing needs as we prepare the draft housing element, always with a conscious effort to maintain the city’s unique, small-town character while expanding inclusivity,” said Planning & Community Development Director Joanna Hankamer.  “This ordinance is locally grown and is a milestone for the city.”

The urgency ordinance, which went into effect immediately upon passage, is available at the Planning & Community Development webpage, as well as the City Clerk’s Office.  The ordinance will be entered into the municipal code following its second reading and adoption, scheduled for a May 5, 2021 Council hearing.