July 5, 2013
Empower LA Newsletter header

General Manager's Update 


I hope this newsletter finds you well and that you had a great 4th of July! There has been a lot of celebrating going on this week with the swearing in of all of our new electeds and starting their first week on the job. We began the fun with Sunday's Mayoral inauguration at City Hall and Grand Park where we had an EmpowerLA booth. Folks enjoyed filling out signs of how they Empower LA before receiving information about Neighborhood Councils as well as one of our new EmpowerLA drawstring backpacks.

We were very popular with a big line out the booth, passing out 600 packs and over 800 EmpowerLA yearbooks and Keep Calm and Empower LA postcards. Thanks so much to our fantastic staff and volunteers for engaging the public about Neighborhood Councils: Commissioner Len Shaffer, Stephen Box, Jose Galdamez, Glenn Bailey, Krystee Clark, Hank Truxillo, Dee Olomajeye, Joanne Yvanek-Garb, Mary Garcia, Lisa Sarkin, Cindy Cleghorn, Mark Siegel, Suzanne Lewis, and Alisa Smith. We were happy to hear both Mayor Eric Garcetti and Controller Ron Galperin give a nod to Neighborhood Councils in their speeches.

Today, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield had a lovely inauguration at Van Nuys City Hall with friends and supporters packing the City Council chambers. Mayor Garcetti had a bit of fun when swearing in Councilmember Blumenfield by adding in an extra phrase during the oath that the Councilmember would do whatever the Mayor told him to do. It was great of Councilmember Blumenfield to invite the presidents of the five Neighborhood Councils in his district to sit around the horseshoe before thanking them during his speech.

Between the celebrations this week, I've been dealing with end of fiscal year funding issues and the delay of the Neighborhood Council checking accounts on Wells Fargo Bank's end. If you didn't get my email to all the Board members about this delay on Wednesday, please read the funding updates below and know that we are working very hard to make this new system happen within the next month or so. Thank you very much for the kind messages (and hugs) of support these last few days! I so appreciate them, and they were much needed during this challenging week. Luckily, we've got some serious pluck here so we'll continue to Keep Calm and Carry On to Empower LA.


If I don't see you at the LANCC meeting tomorrow with Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell speaking, I hope you have a relaxing weekend!




Grayce Liu,

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment  


Empower Yourself.

Empower Your Community.

Empower LA.



Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined by City Attorney Mike Feuer and City Controller Ron Galperin in a celebration that saw them take their respective oaths of office on the steps of LA's City Hall where they were joined by incoming Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Bob Blumenfield, Paul Koretz, Felipe Fuentes, Curran Price, Mike Bonin, Mitch O'Farrell, and Joe Buscaino. EmpowerLA was there for the festivities that included Jimmy Kimmel as the emcee and Moby as the opening act....


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Mayor Eric Garcetti has announced the appointment of former Councilmember Jan Perry as Interim Director of the Economic Development Department, Doane Liu as Deputy Mayor of City Services, and Rich Llewellyn as Counsel to the Mayor. "I'm excited that Jan Perry and I will be working closely together on getting people back to work and helping businesses open and grow," Mayor Garcetti said. "Jan's work in revitalizing Downtown and South Park exemplify the kind of leadership and expertise we need to turn this department into a true economic engine....


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The newly seated City Council's first bit of business on Tuesday was the election of the City Council President, an event that drew 12 glowing speeches from the participating members on the way to a 13-0 vote in favor of Herb Wesson. Wesson then addressed the body, calling on them to speak briefly and to show up on time. He concluded his comments by passing out gift boxes to the Councilmembers, filled with colorful socks which are part of Wesson's "Weird Socks Day" in City Council....


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Newly elected City Attorney Mike Feuer was seated on the dais as City Council convened its first session of the 2013/2014 council season on Tuesday, signifying his commitment to working with the Councilmembers and Mayor Eric Garcetti, who also appeared in Council chambers to wish them well as they embarked on their legislative journey. Feuer also demonstrated his commitment to a strong working relationship with Neighborhood Councils by....


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Dear Friends:

Thank you!

I am honored and grateful to write to you as the new Controller for the City of Los Angeles - and to take office the week that we celebrate July 4th and the values of our democracy. I am humbled by the trust placed in me by Angelenos to serve as our great City's chief auditor, to increase governmental efficiency, to keep the City's financial records and to supervise all expenditures of the City. It is a serious responsibility....


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Incorporating suggestions from the Neighborhood Council Plan Review Committee and the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, Councilmember Jose Huizar has introduced an ordinance change to the City Administrative Code, removing the requirement and definition of factual basis stakeholders....


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EmpowerLA's Outreach Booth at the Inauguration Celebration was busy from open to close, connecting with 200 people who stopped by to fill out "I Empower LA..." whiteboards and 600 people who picked up a drawstring backpack as well as Yearbooks and brochures on Neighborhood Council events. Neighborhood Council leaders from all over the City came together to work the booth and here are a few "Boothing" tips to consider when preparing your Neighborhood Council Booth Strategy....


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Dear Neighborhood Council Leaders,

I hope this email finds you well. I'm very sorry to say that there has been an unexpected delay in the opening of the new Neighborhood Council checking accounts on the part of Wells Fargo Bank. All of the important services we agreed upon many months ago before we proceeded with the ordinance establishing these accounts, such as the ATM card and online check issuance, is now no longer available to Neighborhood Councils. This is an unacceptable change in their promised service model.

Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed and frustrated....


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LA has a Ratepayer Advocate, Dr. Fred Pickel, and his position was created by the people at the polls, a pretty significant call to action. Public independent analysis, reporting to the DWP Board, the City Council, the Mayor, the Neighborhood Councils, and the public.

The good news is the professional technical staff in the Office of Public Accountability doubled in size in the last two weeks, from Fred working solo to the appointment of a Deputy Director, resulting in a current staff of two.

The bad news is....


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City Planning is kicking off its $5 million 5-year planning code revision journey by slowing down and listening - to you, to your community, to the people of Los Angeles.  There are four listening sessions scheduled for this coming week, giving Angelenos an opportunity to talk about planning, land use, zoning and ideas for creating livable communities, encouraging sustainable development, and fostering economic vitality....


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Important Funding Updates 
for all NCs - 7.5.13 


New NC Checking Account System
The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment has been working hard to implement a new Neighborhood Council Checking Account system that would allow the NCs to take charge of issuing payments to vendors.  We have been working with various City Departments including the Office of Finance, Office of the Controller, and the Office of the City Attorney to develop the ordinance, forms, policies, and procedures that would govern this new system.  We've also reached out to the Neighborhood Council Board Members, Officers, and stakeholders for feedback on the proposed system.  The Department is happy to report that we've been successful in getting the ordinance adopted, developing the forms, policies and procedures, and beginning the training process for the NCs.  We'd like to thank you all for your patience and feedback during this exciting time..


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I hope you are well and that you are staying cool during these hot summer days. The field operations division has been working on reviewing and approving your bylaw submissions; last week we dealt with the board structure changes that required the Commission's review and approval.  I am happy to report that all the board structure changes and boundary adjustments submitted to the Commission were unanimously approved.  We are now focusing on reviewing and approving all other changes you have submitted in your bylaws.  Please know that staff will be sending out communications to you via e-mail regarding the revisions to your bylaws that are approved and those that are not....


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July 12
Approved Budgets for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 due


July 12

EmpowerLA Awards 2013 deadline for submission  




Funding Program Workshop RSVP


Neighborhood Council Parking Passes



Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition Meeting


Sat, July 6



Hollywood Constituent Center

6501 Fountain Ave

Hollywood 90028




New Funding Program Workshop 


Sat, July 6


Hollywood Constituent Center

6501 Fountain Ave

Hollywood 90028




Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils Meeting


Thu, July 11



Sherman Oaks Hospital

Doctor's Conference Room

4929 Van Nuys Blvd. Sherman Oaks 91403




Saturday, July 13


Henry Medina Traffic Center
11214 W Exposition Blvd
LA 90064


Board of Neighborhood Commissioners Regular Meeting

Mon, July 15

City Hall 10th Floor Conference Center, Room 1060, 200 North Spring St.
Los Angeles 90012



Westside Regional Alliance of Councils Monthly Meeting

Wed, July 17

Jerry's Deli, 2nd Floor, 10925 Weyburn Ave.
Westwood 90024




South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils Meeting

Thurs, July 18
Community Health Councils - 3731 Stocker - Suite 201 
LA 90008




NC Planning Training

Central Area


Sat, July 20

Time TBA

Location TBA





Email City Hall at
Council File
Hot Sheet


Active Council Files that affect Neighborhood Councils citywide, which your Neighborhood Council may want to weigh in on:


Neighborhood Council System:



13-0859 New Neighborhood Council Stakeholder Definition

Referred to Education and Neighborhoods Committee


Report back to Education and Neighborhoods Committee in 60 days from June 18


Final ordinance effective
July 6, 2013
City Attorney drafting ordinance

12-1682 - Limiting Factual Basis Stakeholders to a Maximum of 2 Neighborhood

Pending in Education and Neighborhoods Committee


Pending in Education and Neighborhoods Committee

11-1018  Neighborhood Council Grievance Policy and Process
Pending in Education and Neighborhoods Committee

 Citywide Issues:


Approved by City Council
July 2 


09-2645 - Cell Tower (AGF) Regulations in Public Right of Way

City Attorney draft ordinances referred to Planning and Land Use and Public Works Committees 


13-0613 - Creation of City Department of Health

Placed on June 3, 2014 Statewide Primary Election ballot


 12-0460 - Comprehensive Zoning Code Revision

Five year effort underway; updates at recode.la


 13-0479 - Spring Street / Repainting Bike Lane Green / Green Bike Lanes Program

Approved by City Council June 19; report back

in 60 days 


 13-0658 - Sidewalk Dining / Storefront Furniture / Temporary Permit Process

Referred to Public Works Committee May 28 


13-0002-S94 - Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Funding 

Referred to Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee June 11

13-0667 Los Angeles Convention Center /

Second Draft
Action Plan

 Referred to Trade,
Commerce and Tourism Committee June 20

11-0923 - Art Murals Citywide Program / Mural Ordinance

Pending in City Council; 

New City Attorney reports referred to Planning and Land Use Committee June 17


   11-1531 Single-Use Carryout Bags / City Policy

Approved by City Council June 25; signed by Mayor; Ordinance effective 
August 1, 2013
Pending in Public Works Committee


Approved by City Council November 14, 2012; 16 motions referred to Energy and Environment and Ad Hoc on Waste Reduction and Recycling Committees


Pending in Energy and Environment Committee

11-0262 - State Licensed Facilities/Community Care Facilities

Referred to Community Care Facilities Working Group on January 30th

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City Clerk's Referral Memoranda


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