August 23, 2013
Empower LA Newsletter header

General Manager's Update 


I hope this newsletter finds you well. Wow, I was so inspired this week by Neighborhood Council leaders stepping up to work collaboratively with Mayor Garcetti and the City Council on the DWP labor contract. The meeting of the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates and the LANCC on Monday gave many in the system the opportunity to hear about the issues and weigh in both in person and online in front of Mayor Garcetti, who made a surprise appearance. I hope those Neighborhood Council folks who think they don't have a voice in city issues take note that your opinion does count. Mayor Garcetti and the City Council were able to move forward with the DWP labor contract, and both Mayor Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson acknowledged the helpful role of Neighborhood Councils in the process (more info below). A huge thank you to all the players for working collectively to Empower LA!


I was already running pretty high from my great time with Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council on Saturday. I assisted with their Board retreat where they also had a surprise guest of Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who stopped by and discussed how they could work better with one another. If you haven't had a Board retreat before, I highly recommend it as a good way for your Board to get on the same page about your priorities and goals as well as get educated at the same time. Let us know if you do because we're happy to assist.



At the Education and Neighborhoods Committee this week, I was excited to welcome Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Mitch O'Farrell to the committee led by our awesome Chair, Councilmember Bernard Parks. They were able to push through the changes in the elections ordinance as well as the stakeholder definition. I'm hoping we can have everything in place by October. They also moved our Board of Neighborhood Commissioner appointment for the Harbor area, Victor Medina, and Commissioner Karen Mack's reappointment so our Commission will hopefully be back in action in September.


I'll be heading out of town on a much needed break next week so I can come back mid-September recharged and ready to tackle elections and the Funding Program again. I've asked our Funding Program Director, Armando Ruiz, to be Acting General Manager while I'm gone. In addition, I'm arranging for some super guest writers to step in the next three weeks to write in the GM's Message spot so stay tuned.


Have a wonderful weekend and carry on Empowering LA!



Grayce Liu,

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment  


Empower Yourself.

Empower Your Community.

Empower LA.



Mayor Eric Garcetti made an unannounced and unexpected visit to last Monday's NC Budget Advocates and Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition (LANCC) Town Hall meeting, offering evidence of his commitment to empowering the Neighborhood Councils of Los Angeles and to reforming the DWP. The Town Hall meeting was conducted by Neighborhood Council leaders in response to the rapid pace of the proposed DWP labor contract as it came from behind closed doors and to the floor of the City Council for a public hearing that drew a significant response from the community...


>>> continue reading 


Neighborhood Council leaders that want to track the Council Files that are relevant to their communities will need to sift through a lot of routine administrative actions, rewards, liens, resolutions, and other Council actions. Here is how the more effective councils stay on  

top of the Council Files...


>>> continue reading 


The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) held its monthly meeting in Westwood, drawing representatives from the 13 Neighborhood and Community Councils that it represents and special guests Council Member Mike Bonin and Ratepayers Advocate Dr. Fred Pickel. The Alliance of River Communities (ARC) held its monthly meeting in Glassell Park, attracting representatives of the 14 participating Neighborhood Councils, as well as three neighboring Councils, and a capacity crowd for special guest City Attorney Mike Feuer and LAPD's Capt. Bert of the Northeast Division...


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The Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates, joined by the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition, stepped up to the plate on Monday night, August 19th, and made a significant impact on Los Angeles' political process by organizing a well-attended Town Hall at a pivotal point in the debate over the proposed contract between the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 union (IBEW). At the start of their Town Hall meeting, the Budget Advocates were pleasantly surprised by an unannounced visit from Mayor Eric Garcetti, who took the opportunity to outline his priorities for the DWP...


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The Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council has a great digital newsletter that reflects the unique personality and character of the community, one that serves as an inspiration to other Neighborhood Councils. Eagle Rock has a great mailing list that they have been building for years and they use it to keep their community informed and even entertained...


>>> continue reading 


Any community activist worth their salt has had to grapple with an overload of information, typically resulting in an email inbox that is overflowing, making it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Here are some tips on setting up filters and folders that will help you manage your email inbox...


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We're only one week away from the deadline to submit your completed budget packages! Please work hard to ensure that your Neighborhood Council funds are not affected by missing the September 1st deadline. Your completed Budget package should contain the following:

1. Board approved budget for FY 2013-2014
2. Board Roster
3. A Strategic Plan (may be submitted online)
4. NC Outreach Survey (may be submitted online)
5. Board resolution or minutes indicating Board approval of this budget package...


 >>>continue reading 


We held another very successful Planning 101 training in partnership with the Planning Department and with PlanCheckNC in the East Valley last Saturday. What was great about the event was the fact that we had over seventy (70) participants coming from all over the City! Most people came from the Valley, but we had some folks from South LA, Hollywood and the Eastside as well. The next training in this series is this coming Saturday, August 24, 2013 in Harbor City...


>>>continue reading 


In June, the NC Plan Review Committees issued nine recommendations to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners regarding important policies which govern the Neighborhood Council system. The Commission decided to postpone voting on the recommendations for 60 days to give Neighborhood Councils the opportunity to weigh in. If you or your Neighborhood Council has not yet weighed in but would still like to, the deadline for taking the survey or directly writing to the Commissioners is September 1, 2013.  The nine motions address the topics of...


>>> continue reading 

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September 1
Approved Budgets for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 due
(extended deadline)

September 1
Funding Training and Ethics Compliance for NC Board Members





FY 2012-13 Review 

Provide your feedback about how you think we did this past year


NC Plan Review

Provide your opinion on nine important NC topics




Ethics Trainings

Live (in person) Ethics Trainings offered on the evenings of August 28 and 29 in different areas of the City.    


Planning trainings offered on Saturdays in Harbor City on August 24 (last session). 




Neighborhood Council Parking Passes


NC Board Member Development

Planning and

Land Use 101


Sat, Aug 24

Time 8:00-12 noon


Kaiser Permanente Conference Center

25965 Normandie Av.

Harbor City 90710

NC Checking Account Training

Sat, Aug 24

Time 12:15-1:30 pm


Harbor City 90710


NC Checking Account Training


Tues, Aug 27

Time 6-7:30 pm


Dept. of Neighborhood Empowerment

City Hall, 20th Floor

200 N. Spring St.

Los Angeles  90012




Live Ethics Training

Central & East Areas



Wed, August 28

Time 6:30-8:30 pm


Glassell Park
Community Center 3650 Verdugo Rd.

Los Angeles  90065 




Live Ethics Training

North & South Valley Areas


Thurs, August 29

Time 6:30-8:30 pm


Encino Community Center Auditorium
4935 Balboa Blvd.

Encino  91316




Harbor Alliance of NCs (HANC)  


Wed, Sept 4

Time 6:30-8:30 pm


Kaiser Permanente Conference Center

25965 Normandie Av.

Harbor City 90710



DWP Advocacy Committee


Sat, Sept 7 

Time 8:45-10:00 am


Hollywood Constituent Center

6501 Fountain Ave.

Los Angeles 90028


LA NC Coalition (LANCC) Meeting


Sat, Sept. 7 

Time 10 am-1 pm  


Hollywood Constituent Center

6501 Fountain Ave.

Los Angeles 90028 




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:

13-1050 Reappointment of Karen Mack to Board of Neighborhood Commissioners Central Area

Approved by Education and Neighborhoods Committee  8/20 


13-0988 Appointment of Victor Medina to Board of Neighborhood Commissioners Harbor Area

Approved by Education and Neighborhoods Committee  8/20 


12-1682-S1 New Neighborhood Council Stakeholder Definition

Pending in Education and Neighborhoods Committee  


12-1682 - Neighborhood

Approved by Education and Neighborhoods Committee 8/20


Report back to Education and Neighborhoods Committee 90 days from 8/20

Approved as amended by Education and Neighborhoods Committee 8/20  


Pending in Education and Neighborhoods Committee

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

 Citywide Issues:


 13-1004  DWP/IBEW Proposed Contract 
Approved by City Council 8/23



13-1300-S1  Street Repair and Safety General Obligation Bond Program 

 24 recommendations approved by City Council 8/21   


13-0600-S135  2013-2014 Appropriation Limit

CAO report dated 8/2; approved by Budget and Finance Committee 8/12  


13-0953 Citywide Municipal WiFi Initiative

Scheduled in Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee 8/27


 13-0941  Sidewalk Repair Adjoining Property Owner  Fee Elimination  

 Referred to Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee 7/24 


13-0909  DWP Unlimited
Sick Pay Policy

Referred to Energy and Environment Committee  7/26


13-0650 Removal of Obstructions in the Street or Sidewalk Penalties 

Pending in Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee   


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 


 12-0460 - Comprehensive Zoning Code Revision

Five year effort underway; updates at


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

Scheduled in Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee 8/21 


11-0923  Regulation of
Art Murals

On 7/30 Planning and Land Use Management Committee forwarded without recommendation two versions as amended; scheduled in City Council 8/28

11-0262 - State Licensed Facilities/Community Care Facilities

Referred to Community Care Facilities Working Group on 1/30

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City Clerk's Referral Memoranda


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