September 28, 2012
Empower LA Newsletter header

Interim General Manager's Update 

I hope this newsletter finds you well. It's my two month anniversary of being Interim General Manager, and I'm having more fun than I should be considering how little sleep I'm getting with all the work that needs to be done. I've decided I'll sleep in December. A crazy week got even more so when nearly all of the 95 Neighborhood Councils received a Public Records Act request yesterday from a person wanting information about their websites. Both the City Attorney and our office were inundated with emails and calls from Board members wondering if it was a hoax. It's not a joke so please work with the City Attorneys or our Neighborhood Council Support Help Line to craft a response in the required 10 days. A big thank you to our hard working City Attorneys, Darren Martinez and Carmen Hawkins, for responding immediately and drafting language for the Neighborhood Councils to use in their responses.


While that was going on, I had a nice visit from our Indonesian delegation who met with our staff, including our new Project Coordinator, Joseph Hari, who started with us last week after working in the Mayor's Office the past year and a half. West Los Angeles Neighborhood Council President and Budget Advocate Co-Chair, Jay Handal, and Dee Olomajeye, President of Palms Neighborhood Council and head of Councils 4 Councils were also there to share their Neighborhood Council experiences with our visitors.  We chatted through two interpreters while nibbling on refreshments (much thanks to our staff Betty Wong Oyama for doing all the prep work!). I think we were able to give them a basic idea of what Neighborhood Councils do, but in the end, I don't think they could grasp that our City government would give such access to its stakeholders since they had nothing like it in Indonesia. It was great to spread the word of just how unique and amazing our system is. 


I keep trying to keep these messages short, but there's always so much to share so please bear with me. Check out the updated funding reports below and the helpful information about protecting Neighborhood Council websites. We've had some problems with Neighborhood Councils losing their websites because there was no agreement for services, so we'll be offering some options in the next few weeks on how to safeguard  your Council's website.


There's also a feature below on one of our EmpowerLA Award recipients, Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, for their creative "Pothole Lottery" as well as information from Bureau of Street Services Director Nazario Sauceda about the state of sidewalks and streets in LA. Nazario is a fellow Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Council "Got It" Awardee with me for City workers who "get" the Neighborhood Councils and was one of the first heads of other City departments who approached me wanting to work with Neighborhood Councils. We chatted last week for an hour where he told me all about the streets and sidewalks and how Neighborhood Councils can help their communities in this regard. I pinned him with an "I heart NCs" button because of his enthusiasm for our system. I did ask him about that alleged controversial $10 million study for sidewalks and learned how it was taken out of context. So you Neighborhood Councils who were ready to do the study for a fraction of the cost can now relax!    

I hope to bump into you at the Region 7 elections tomorrow in East LA or at the LANCC in the morning.  Please remember that our Board Development Workshop for tomorrow was pushed to next Saturday, the 13th, instead and that our offices are closed on Monday, the 8th, for Columbus Day. 

Enjoy your weekend!




Grayce Liu, 

Interim General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment  


Empower Yourself.   

Empower Your Community. 

Empower LA.


Funding Report 10.5.12 


We've run the latest Neighborhood Council expense reports that cover expenses up to September 30, 2012. Because of last year's encumbrances, we have to...

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EmpowerLA Award Recipient Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council 


EmpowerLA Awards recipient Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council (SONC) recognized the need for improving City services and established a Neighborhood Services Committee. The members listened to the residents and businesses who were asking for desperately needed...


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The Bureau of Street Services (BSS) Wants To Hear From You 


The Bureau of Street Services (BSS) wants to hear from you and your Neighborhood Council! Similar to departments citywide and in municipalities around the nation, the BSS has felt the challenges associated with the urgent need to...


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Mayor's Crisis Response Team Recruitment Program 


The Crisis Response Team (CRT) program is composed of professionally trained civilian community volunteers who respond to traumatic incidents at the request of the Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments in each of the fifteen Council Districts. CRT volunteers provide immediate...  


 >>> continue reading

Protecting Your Website 


Having a website is a must nowadays. Without it, Neighborhood Councils are missing an opportunity to connect with a large percentage of constituents. In addition to keeping your community informed, a well maintained website serves as an...


>>> continue reading 

Los Angeles Financial Planning Day


The City of Los Angeles, in partnership with the Los Angeles Financial Planning Association (FPA-LA), the U.S.Conference of Mayors, the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, and the Foundation for Financial Planning, will host the second annual Los Angeles Financial Planning Day on Saturday, October 13, 2012 from 10:30 AM to 2:00 PM at Los Angeles Central Library, Los Angeles, CA 90071...


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  San Pedro Emergency Preparedness Fair


Come to the FREE San Pedro Emergency Preparedness Fair. Meet the people who can save you in an emergency; learn the simple skills that can help you save yourself and your family; and build peace of mind by...  


October 6th
Board Member Development Series moved to October 13th at the Marvin Braude Bldg.


Region 7 - East Area Elections



Los Angeles NC Coalition (LANCC)

Sat, Oct 6th 



111 North Hope St 
Los Angeles 90012



Monday the 8th is 
Columbus Day.


Region 8 - Poll Worker Workshop

Tue, Oct 9th

Ramona Hall Community Center
4580 N Figueroa St
LA, 90065


  Region 8 -
Boyle Heights
Candidate Forum

Thu, Oct 11th

Puente Learning Center
501 S. Boyle Avenue
LA, 90033


  Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC)

Thu, Oct 11th

Sherman Oaks Hospital
doctor's conference room
4929 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, 91403

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

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


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Call Us:

Election Hotline

(818) 293-VOTE