August 24, 2012
Empower LA Newsletter header

Interim General Manager's Update 

I hope this newsletter finds you well.  At the Education and Neighborhoods Committee meeting this week, I was asked whether I thought the Neighborhood Council system was worth the investment given the number of voters (1016) that turned out for the elections in Region 1.
I responded that looking at election numbers is not a good indicator of the overall system because it doesn't capture the hundreds and even thousands of volunteer hours that Neighborhood Council stakeholders contribute to their communities. Given the typically low voter turnout rate for elections at all levels of government, I don't think any elected official would ever want to be judged solely by the number of votes they received in an election. The voice that Neighborhood Councils carry for their communities to the City has only grown stronger these past 10 years. There are easily thousands upon thousands of stakeholders in Los Angeles that have engaged in city governance because Neighborhood Councils gave them a new pathway to participation. 
Grayce and Sumie


Our Neighborhood Council system is being studied and copied by other countries, such as Japan and Venezuela, as innovative models in civic engagement. We hosted a visitor, Sumie Goto, the past several weeks, who is evaluating the nearly 3 year old Neighborhood Council system in our sister city, Nagoya, Japan. The Mayor of Nagoya based their system on ours after coming and studying it with a delegation of advisors. Sumie wanted to see the original Councils in action so I took her to the South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils and Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council meetings since they fit into her schedule. It was really exciting to see through her eyes just how special our Neighborhood Councils are and how proud we should be to have this opportunity to take part in a historic model of grassroots participation.  She took with her a lot of ideas and left us a few words about her experience for our newsletter below. 


I know many of you Neighborhood Council Board members are busy just getting your work done without thought of recognition, but we need to start highlighting all of the fantastic work that you do for your communities because it really does matter - to you, to your community, to your City of Los Angeles and to the entire Neighborhood Council system. Taking a note from the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners is accepting nominations for the first EmpowerLA Awards, which recognizes Neighborhood Councils for doing projects that engage their stakeholders and that make government more responsive to local needs. If your Council has done something really great, please take the time to apply  so we can celebrate your accomplishments at the Congress of Neighborhood Councils on Saturday, September 22nd.


So back to the original question of whether I think Neighborhood Councils are worth the investment?  Absolutely!


Have a relaxing weekend and thanks for all the great work that you do for LA!




Grayce Liu, 

Interim General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment  


Empower Yourself.   

Empower Your Community. 

Empower LA.


Funding Update


Thank you for all the suggestions on our City Check tracker, which shows what demand warrants and auto deducts we are receiving and processing.  If you've been clicking in this week, you'll see that we've made some updates based on...


>>> continue reading 

Election Update


What a wild two weeks! Over the last 14 days, Jose 

Sandoval closed Region 2 with an average of 2 candidates per open seat, Christine Jerian closed Region 5 strong with 8 Neighborhood Councils positioned for contested elections, and Kevin Taylor set a record with...  

>>> continue reading 

Some of My Impressions on Neighborhood Councils of Los Angeles by Sumie Goto


I have just returned to Japan from my trip to Los Angeles. First, I would like to express my deepest thanks to all the persons who helped me during my visit to the Neighborhood Councils (NC') of Los Angeles (LA)...  

>>> continue reading 

Julie Monroy Helped
400 Immigrants Become Citizens
in Sun Valley


"It's really hard to live in this country without citizenship," explained Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council Vice President Julie Monroy.
Monroy, an émigré from El Salvador, recalled that when she attended California State University at Northridge, she could not get...  


>>> continue reading 


The 95 Neighborhood Councils from across the City of Los Angeles are hosting this event that will meet at City Hall for a full day of workshops, meeting city department staff, neighborhood council leaders and volunteers....


>>> continue reading 

National Voter Registration Day - September 25th, 2012


In 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. In 2012, we want to make sure no one is left out.On September 25, 2012, volunteers, celebrities, civic groups, and organizations from all over the country will "hit the streets" for National Voter Registration Day. This single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts will create...


>>> continue reading 

   State Route 2 Freeway Terminus Project - Community Open House 


In 1962, construction of the SR-2 Freeway to connect with the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) was cut short by local community opposition, leaving the terminus of the freeway at Glendale Boulevard. Since that time, traffic and congestion in this area has continued to increase,..


>>> continue reading 

In This Issue
IGM Grayce Liu
Funding Update
Elections Update
First NC Impression by Sumie Goto
Julie Monroy is a Local Hero!
Register for the NC Congress
Voter Registration Day
Freeway Terminus Project


Region 8 Candidate Filing Workshop


Sat, Aug 25th




6145 North Figueroa St.

LA, 90042  




Region 4 Candidate Workshop Session 


Sat, Aug 25th



6262 Van Nuys Blvd.  

Van Nuys, 91401  


Region 3 Candidate Registration Deadline

Thur, Aug 30th

Register as a Candidate TODAY!



Contact Us
Phone: (213) 978-1551
Fax: (213) 978-1751

Our New Address:
200 North Spring Street
20th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
2012 Election Info
Independent Election Administrators (IEA)
Region 1- Sat, Aug 4th
Region 2- Sat, Sept 8th
Region 3- Sat, Sept 29th
Region 4-Thurs, Sept 20th

Kevin Taylor 

Region 5- Sun, Sept 16th
Region 6- Thurs, Nov 15th
Region 7- Sat, Oct 6th
Region 8- Sat, Oct 13th
Region 9- Sat, Oct 20th
Region 10- Sat, Oct 27th
Region 11- Sun, Oct 28th
Region 12


How to Reach Us


Visit Us:


Elections Division

Van Nuys City Hall  

14410 Sylvan St. 4th Fl 

Van Nuys, CA 91401  


Email Us:


Call Us:

Election Hotline

(818) 293-VOTE  








Rumors of the Brown Act's Demise are Greatly Exaggerated 


What NCs Learn from City Council: Some Good, Some Bad, Some Illegal 


Neighborhood Councils: Death by Meeting


Will the Brown Act kill LA's Neighborhood Councils?


Are Neighborhood Councils Ready
for Facebook?