April 26, 2013
Empower LA Newsletter header

General Manager's Update 


I hope this newsletter finds you well. This week started early for me (or maybe last week didn't really end!) because I was trying to keep up with all the Neighborhood Council events around LA. On Saturday I stopped by the GM's Roundtable at our EmpowerLA Leadership Academy which featured LA's City Librarian, John Szabo. I didn't realize that besides books, our great library system, the largest in the country, offered so much more. For those who missed the Roundtable, there is an article below with video from Saturday.


After that, I was happy to swing by the Valley's ONEgeneration Senior Symposium to thank nine of our Neighborhood Councils who supported and tabled the great event.


Sunday was CicLAvia to the Sea where I started riding from downtown and stopped to say hello and thank you to Mid City and Olympic Park Neighborhood Councils who sponsored a section of the ride. I admired the clean streets of Palms Neighborhood Council whose Board members made sure to do a clean up on Saturday before the event. I didn't get a chance to stop at the other Neighborhood Council tables along the route because I was racing to make it to Venice Beach, getting there just as they opened the streets again. After pizza on the famous Boardwalk, it was a long ride back to Culver City to take the handy Expo line back to 7th St in Downtown in a train full of bicycles and tired, but happy riders.


On Monday, Mayor Villaraigosa showed his support for Neighborhood Councils in his Proposed Budget by maintaining the Neighborhood Councils' yearly allocation at $37,000 for next year. Neighborhood Councils were also appreciated in the Mayor's "The Future of Volunteering in Los Angeles" report released on Wednesday, and the Mayor again mentioned the importance of funding Neighborhood Councils in his Valley Town Hall that evening. I sent a short letter to Budget and Finance Committee requesting some additional funds be allocated to the Department from funding sources this fiscal year to next fiscal year to assist in reducing the burden on the General Fund. The Budget and Finance Committee will hold its hearing on the Department and Neighborhood Council budgets on Friday, May 3, 2013, in City Council chambers from 1 pm to 5 pm.


Today, I was excited to celebrate our EmpowerLA Awardees being recognized in City Council, thanks to the Mayor's Office and Councilmember Zine. The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners will be opening up nominations for this year's awards soon so make sure to submit and be recognized for your hard work!


I'm ending my week tomorrow with our EmpowerLA Leadership Academy, the VANC Candidate Forum and the launch of the Congress of Neighborhoods Planning Committee. If I don't see you there, then have a relaxing weekend!





Grayce Liu,

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment  


Empower Yourself.

Empower Your Community.

Empower LA.


Budget Hearings 4.26.13


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has delivered the Mayor's Proposed Budget to the City Council which will now commence the annual budget hearings on April 30, a process that consists of reviewing each department's budget, one by one, in public meetings. The Mayor is responsible for developing the Mayor's Proposed Budget. The Budget and Finance Committee then has two weeks to review the Budget and make recommendations to the City Council which will then return adopt its Budget Resolution. An overview of the schedule can be found...


>>> continue reading 

City Council Honors
Neighborhood Councils


The Los Angeles City Council celebrated National Volunteer Week in Council Chambers by honoring seven Neighborhood Councils for the work they do in their communities. There are 95 Neighborhood Councils in the City of Los Angeles, led by over 1700 Boardmembers, and their Charter Mandate is to engage their Communities and to monitor the delivery of City Services. Last year, 55 Neighborhood Councils celebrated their 10th Anniversaries and this 22 Neighborhood Councils join them in celebrating a "A Decade of Civic Engagement."...


>>> continue reading 

Mayor Says "Thank You!"


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa held a Town Hall Meeting in Van Nuys this past Wednesday evening, ostensibly to talk about transportation, public safety, and the local economy, but when he stepped out from behind the podium, it turned out he simply wanted to thank Los Angeles for the opportunity to be of service. Los Angeles is a city of meetings and on any given night, there are several opportunities to engage City Hall leadership and local Neighborhood Council leadership, enough to wear out even the most committed of the civic engaged...


>>> continue reading

Lessons from the Gateway 

"Sorry you'll have to call the Los Angeles Police Department about that." "New people move in, and think they're living in Torrance" said Miguel Cordova, President of the Harbor Gateway South Neighborhood Council "and so they'll call in an emergency to the wrong city". Conversely, people will make calls into LA and get referred to Torrance. The zip code 90501 is more closely related to Torrance than Los Angeles, and as a result the lesser known Harbor Gateway community is often faced with these cases of mistaken identity.


>>>continue reading

Mayor names Mack to Commission


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has named Arnetta Mack of South LA to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (the Commission), for the term ending June 30, 2015, filling the vacancy created by Carlene Davis, who has resigned. Ms. Mack is a veteran of the Neighborhood Council system, having served on the Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Development Council, the South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, and the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates.


>>>continue reading

GM's Roundtable features
LA's City Librarian


LA's City Librarian, John Szabo, was featured at EmpowerLA's Leadership Academy as part of the General Manager's Roundtable, offering Neighborhood Council boardmembers and stakeholders an opportunity to talk about LA's Public Library. LA's Central Library, with its 72 branches and a budget of $107 million, serves the largest population of any library in the United States...


>>>continue reading

Outreach lessons from CicLAvia


CicLAvia was, by all accounts, HUGE! From City Hall to Venice Beach, the streets were opened to people on foot, on bikes, on skateboards, on scooters, and those who just wanted to hang out. Some referred to it as the world's largest rolling park, a dynamic open space filled with people who were discovering their streets from a new perspective. For Neighborhood Councils, this presented a huge opportunity with tens of thousands of people moving slowly through their communities and we can learn a lot from those NCs that seized the opportunity...


>>>continue reading

The Commission asks
"What is a Stakeholder?"


The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners is in the process of taking up the recommendations of the NC Plan and Reform Committees and the first topic to make the agenda was a proposal to do away with the standard definition of "factual basis" stakeholder. The motion was introduced in March and would also eliminate the requirement that councils provide board seats for those who do not live, work, or own property within the NC boundaries...


>>>continue reading

Funding Update 4.26.13


Please note that the Treasurer's Training scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2013 was cancelled due to a low number of RSVP's. We are rescheduling for Monday, April 29, 2013, from 6 - 9 p.m. Please contact the Department at (213) 978-1551 to make a reservation. We invite each and every one of you to attend a training, whether as a refresher or for the first time. See attached flyer for more details...


>>>continue reading


As you may know we have been engageing you during our Board Development Series and we are close to wrapping up the sessions on Advocacy. After our upcoming session in South LA, we will move to the Valley and will finalize in June in the Harbor. Please try to attend these sessions as they focus on sharpening the tools that already exist for NCs to be better advocates for your local issues...


>>>continue reading

Administration Section Report 4.26.13


With the funding deadline fast approaching and the implementation of the new funding system, the issue of Neighborhood Councils contracting for personal services contracts needs to be addressed...


>>>continue reading

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter



April 29 

Treasurer's Training


April 30 

3rd Quarter Reconciliation Reports due (Jan-March)


May 15

2012/2013 Demand Warrants


May 31, 2013 

Congress/Budget Advocate Transfers


June 1 

Proposed Bylaw Revisions  


June 14 

2012/2013 P-Card Transactions




South Los Angeles Regional Training


Sat, Apr 27

8am-12 noon


Constituent Service Center

8475 S Vermont Ave

LA 90044




VANC Candidate Forum


Sat, Apr 27



CBS Studios Carla's Cafe 4024 Radford Ave

Studio City (1 block north of Ventura Blvd, just east of Laurel Canyon)


Reservations required by April 22, via email to


or fax to (818) 990-4066


more info




NC Congress Planning Meeting


Sat, Apr 27



Van Nuys City Hall

1st Floor Cafe

14410 Sylvan St

Van Nuys 91401






Treasurer's Training


Mon, Apr 29



Neighborhood Empowerment
City Hall, 20th Floor
200 N Spring St
LA 90012




Harbor Alliance of Neighborhood Council Meeting


Wed, May 1



Kaiser Permanente Way Harbor City - Community Outreach Portables

25965 Normandie Ave

Harbor City 90710




Budget & Finance Committee Hearing - Mayor's Proposed Budget on Department Budget  


Fri, May 3



City Hall - John Ferraro Council Chamber
Room 340
200 N Spring St
LA 90012




Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition Meeting


Sat, May 4



Hollywood Constituent Center

6501 Fountain Ave

Hollywood 90028




Board of Neighborhood Commissioners Meeting


Tue, May 7



Elysian Valley
Recreation Center
1811 Ripple St
LA 90039




Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils Meeting  


Thu, May 9



Sherman Oaks Hospital 

doctor's conference room

4929 Van Nuys Blvd

Van Nuys



PlanCheckNC Meeting  


Sat, May 11







Email City Hall at
Council File
Hot Sheet


Here are some active Council Files that affect Neighborhood Councils citywide, which your Neighborhood Council may want to weigh in on:


13-0600 Budget Proposal Fiscal Year 2013-14


13-0355 Neighborhood Councils / City Budgetary Process Involvement 


 13-0046 Business Community Support / Oversight of Land Use Planning and Administration / Streamline System


Movement: 08-3050 Establishment of Economic Development Department 


CF 11-1020-S1 Neighborhood Council Funding Program -

Approved NC Funding Program - to instruct the City Attorney to begin work on the ordinance language for NC checking accounts and to set up an account for NCs to transfer funds from this fiscal year to next fiscal year for the Congress/Budget Advocates with a cap

of $100k.


CF 11-0923 - Art Murals Citywide Program / Mural Ordinance


11-1912-S1 2012 Neighborhood Council Elections / Cost and Administration


   11-1531 Single-Use Carryout Bags / City Policy


12-0600-S171 City at Crossroads: Crisis Management or Stability and Reinvestment?


1300-S5 Medical Marijuana / Limited Immunity Ordinance / Ballot Resolutions and Ordinance


1300-S6 Constitutional Amendment / Limiting Campaign Spending and Rights of Corporations / Ballot Resolutions and Ordinance / May 2013 Election


1300-S2 Medical Marijuana Collectives (MMI) / Ordinance Initiative Petition / Certification of Sufficiency


City Clerk's Referral Memoranda 


12-1321 Prohibitions Against Felons and Sex Offenders / Elected and Appointed Officials / City Regulations


13-1300-S1 $3 Billion Street Repair Bond Measure


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

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