August 30, 2013
Empower LA Newsletter header

General Manager's Update 


I hope this newsletter finds you well. I'm out of town this week, but delighted that Cindy Cleghorn accepted my offer to write the GM message. I have known Cindy since I started with the Department almost six years ago and am just amazed at her work not only with her own Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, but also with PlanCheckNC and as Chair of the Congress of Neighborhoods Planning Committee. She's a gem in our system, and I thank her for stepping in to write today.


Have a great weekend!



Grayce Liu,

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment  


Empower Yourself.

Empower Your Community.

Empower LA.




Dear Neighborhood Council Leaders,


A little over 10 years ago I moved my business to Tujunga.  Little did I know that I would soon become involved in starting up the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council and serve as one of the first board members, a City Commissioner, chair of PlanCheckNC and the NC Congress.  I guess its true what they say about busy people!  I enjoy learning and getting others to learn more about how the City of Los Angeles works.  How we can Bridge the Gap and work together to make our communities better places to live work and play.  As a business owner, its important to build relationships.  The Congress of Neighborhoods is "the" place on one day, once a year for us to do just that.


The Congress Planning Committee is looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, September 28 at City Hall. "Bridging the Gap - Bringing Government Closer to the People" is the theme for this year's NC Congress. The NC Congress is "the" place to meet those who make a difference in the City of Los Angeles. We have a new Mayor, City Attorney, City Controller and City Councilmembers to step up and say hello, get to know, and "Bridge the Gap".


What is unique about the NC Congress is our ability to take "action." In 2011 NC leaders brought back "elections" that had gone dormant and pushing NC leaders to remain in office beyond their expectations. In 2012 NC leaders came together to support the appointment of Grayce Liu as General Manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment/EmpowerLA.


We have an exciting line up of workshops and speakers. There is something for everyone. EmpowerLA training classes in finance as well as classes to kick off the next NC elections season. We also have workshops with DWP and Sanitation updates, SB1818, Lobby Like a Pro - Insiders Secrets and much, much more. NC Volunteers are working on every little detail to make this Congress a great experience in your journey as a neighborhood council leader.


I am looking forward to seeing you on September 28. Don't miss this event! Thank you to the Neighborhood Councils who have made the Congress possible and to outstanding, dedicated volunteers and EmpowerLA staff.  


Here's the line up for the day's activities:

8:00 a.m. - Registration, Breakfast, Networking, Table Top Exhibits
8:45 a.m. - Opening Session & Keynote Speakers
9:30 a.m. - Session 1 Workshops
10:50 a.m. - Session 2 Workshops
12 Noon - Lunch, Networking, Table Top Exhibits
1:10 p.m. - Session 3
2:30 p.m. - Action Session


You are encouraged to register now for the Congress.


Cindy Cleghorn, Chair

Congress Planning Committee 



Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to hear from you! As the Mayor of Los Angeles, he will be holding his  

second session of office hours this Tuesday, September 3rd at the Van Nuys City Hall. He wants to meet directly with you so he can hear your questions and comments and so he can help you get the city services that you need. To participate in the Mayor's Office Hours... 


>>> continue reading 


Neighborhood Council leaders have it made, at least that's what the evidence indicates, confirming what sociologists have long claimed, that people who get involved in their community live happier, more prosperous, and longer lives. A study of volunteering in Germany explored how volunteers experience more happiness in their lives as they engage in activities that benefit others, resulting in higher life satisfaction. Fast Company reports that there's a magic number, just two hours a week spent on civic engagement will result in an increase in happiness, which results in improved health...


>>> continue reading 


A member of the press asked a simple question, "Do Neighborhood Councils do anything fun or is it all long meetings?" A quick survey reveals that the answer is a resounding "Yes!" The Venice Neighborhood Council just wrapped their annual Community BBQ and Picnic, a social event that features the grilling skills of the Venice firefighters from Station #63. The Park Mesa Heights Community Council is holding their award-winning Unity Fest this weekend, a community event that brings the neighbors out and connects them with the council, local services, and each other...


>>> continue reading 


LA's claim to the title of the Mural Capital of the World is back in play according to CurbedLA, now that the City Council has approved Council File 11-0923 by a 14-1 vote, bringing a two year journey to an end, almost. At issue is the 11 year old mural moratorium that has been in effect, blocking muralists from  

plying their trade and artists from working their craft...


>>> continue reading 


On August 20th, the City Council's Education and Neighborhoods Committee (commonly called E&N) met for the first time since the City's newly elected officials took office. The Chair of the Committee, Councilmember Bernard Parks, welcomed the two new Committee members - Councilmember Nury Martinez and Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell. Most issues related to Neighborhood Councils first go through this Committee...


>>> continue reading 

We are working towards finalizing the selection of a bank that will assist us in making the NC Checking Account System a reality. Our target date for implementation is now October 1st. After the bank has been selected, the Department will be contacting the Treasurers and Signers to have them complete a bank application to open the accounts. We'll keep you posted!...

 >>>continue reading 


I was happy to learn of so many of you attending the Ethics and Open Government trainings across the City provided by the Office of the City Attorney. It is very inspiring to see you show up at these events time and time again with such a desire to learn and get informed; such diligence truly speaks to your commitment to the NC system and to your community as well, kudos to all of you!...


>>>continue reading 


The survey for the nine NC Plan Review committee recommendations will close this weekend, but the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners hopes that Neighborhood Councils continue to send in resolutions or comments until the Commission is able to agendize the issues in a couple weeks. The nine motions address important policies which govern the Neighborhood Council system, including...


>>> 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  - LAST WEEKEND!



Register now for the Congress of Neighborhoods  

  Saturday, September 28 at City Hall. 




Neighborhood Council Parking Passes


CANCELED - Board of Neighborhood Commissioners Meeting  

Tues, Sept. 3


(next meeting scheduled for  

Mon, Sept. 16, 1 pm)  



Harbor Alliance of NCs (HANC)  


Wed, Sept. 4

Time 6:30-8:30 pm


Kaiser Permanente Conference Center

25965 Normandie Av.

Harbor City 90710


NC Budget Advocates


Thurs, Sept. 5  

Time 7:00 pm




City Hall, 20th Floor

200 N. Spring St.

Los Angeles 90012

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 



Valley Alliance of NCs (VANC) Meeting


Thurs, Sept. 12  

Time 6:30 - 9 pm  


Sherman Oaks Hospital Doctor's Conference Room  

4929 Van Nuys Bl.

Sherman Oaks 91403  




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

Scheduled in City Council 9/4  


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

Scheduled in City Council 9/4


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:



13-1300-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

Pending in Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee


 13-0941  Sidewalk Repair Adjoining Property Owner  Fee Elimination  

 Scheduled in Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee 9/4  


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

   Passed as amended in City Council 8/28; second reading 9/4; related motions referred to Arts, Parks Health, Aging, and River Committee and the Planning and Land Use Management Committee 8/28

11-0262 - State Licensed Facilities/Community Care Facilities

Referred to Ad Hoc Committee on Community Care Facilities on 1/30

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City Council Files


City Clerk's Referral Memoranda


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City Council Files


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Management System

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