March 21, 2014
Empower LA Newsletter header

General Manager's Update 


I hope this newsletter finds you well. I've been walking around the office today with a goofy smile on my face because Neighborhood Councils are awesome. I am still blown away regularly by the passion and tenacity of our Neighborhood Council leaders, who are finding ways to make delicious civic engagement lemonade out of lemons after hustling to find some water and sugar as well. Thanks to their ingenious pluck, we are having record candidate recruitment and voter turnout for the Neighborhood Council elections.


After the elections for Region 3 on Sunday and last night for Region 4, we have finished elections in the Valley with a total voter turnout of 8,270, which is up nearly 59% over 2012. The Valley generated so much election excitement that even Councilmember Krekorian showed up to vote, proudly displaying our "I Empowered LA" voting sticker on his tie for each Neighborhood Council he voted at yesterday. While Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council has the highest voter turnout in the Valley at 730, it is Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council with 444 voters that has the most significant improvement from their 2012 voter turnout - a 246.88% increase. So Lake Balboa takes the lead for having Mayor Garcetti personally swear-in their Neighborhood Council board.



While we've seen great ideas on election day to draw in voters from BBQ's to food trucks to blood drives to engaging candidate corrals, what is clear is that great voter turnout is the result of engaged and passionate candidates. For weeks before their election, I drove pass dozens of campaign lawn signs for President of Neighborhood Council Valley Village, Tony Braswell. They read simply: Braswell and Neighborhood Council. Tony even invited me to their election and asked for my vote (for the record, I'm not voting in any of the Neighborhood Council elections because you're all super in my eyes). On the day of the election, Tony was on the street corner (outside of the electioneering zone) holding signs and campaigning. His efforts paid off as he was re-elected last night, and today, he's already emailing and welcoming the newly elected board members. What an amazing leader! 


Tony Braswell in the middle advocating


There were still bittersweet moments during the Valley elections, and I hugged a lot of Neighborhood Council leaders who, despite a lot of outreach efforts didn't get the voter turnout they wanted and/or didn't get re-elected (see Denyse Selesnick's Citywatch article on "Losing is not fun"). Sometimes things don't happen the way you plan (hello, Neighborhood Council checking accounts), but we just have to pick ourselves back up, learn our lessons and get at it again. This resilience seems to be the backbone of the Neighborhood Councils.


As we move over the hill and into the other election regions next week, I have to thank all of our election staff led by Stephen Box and Glenn Bailey, our funding team led by Armando Ruiz as they frantically process election purchases, our election partner - City Clerk Holly Wolcott and her team, our wonderful Valley Independent Election Administrators - Jose Sandoval, Tony Wilkinson, Kevin Taylor and Alisa Smith), our Valley Board of Neighborhood Commissioners - Len Shaffer and Lydia Grant, who were doing candidate forums, finding volunteers and even working the polls, our Neighborhood Council leaders and of course, our election volunteers without whom we could not run the polls. If you have any time to volunteer to assist at the polls, please do so because we need you! Contact and help us continue making the Neighborhood Council elections fantastic through the rest of the City.


Have a relaxing weekend!



Grayce Liu,

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment 


Empower Yourself.

Empower Your Community.

Empower LA.


Los Angeles -- Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched a new website that makes it easier for people to review the city's finances by offering interactive graphs of the current and past budget, including multi-year trends and departmental revenue and expenditure details. Mayor Garcetti's budget website is at and uses the cloud-based OpenGov Platform. It is being launched as...


 >>> continue reading 


LAPD's Operations-West Bureau is hosting a "State of Public Safety, Traffic, SB1818 and Small Lot Sub Divisions on the Westside" Town Hall at the Venice High School Auditorium  on March 26, 2014  from 6:00 pm to 9: 30 pm, and features LAPD Deputy Chief Hara. Join Deputy Chief Teri Hara, General Manager Michael LoGrande, Coun-cilmember Mike Bonin, Councilmember Paul Koretz and Neighborhood...


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Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed--and the City Council approved this week--Palms resident Eli Lipmen to serve on the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, representing the West Los Angeles Region. Eli is the President of the Palms Neighborhood Council and previously served as its Secretary. While on the board, he oversaw a neighborhood clean up and outreach program, a mural and beautification project...


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Valley Elections Report

Voters in the Valley have spoken and after four weeks of polling, ten Neighborhood Councils experienced historic high voter turnout, resulting in a valley-wide increase in voters of 58.9% over 2012. The 34 Neighborhood Councils in the Valley were divided into four regions, providing an opportunity for regional outreach strategies that included newspaper advertisements, direct mail, robo-calling, social media, public events, and candidate events that created face-to-face opportunities for the voters...


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Journos at the Polls

The participation of locals is essential to ensuring election integrity and that goes double for local journalists who join the volunteers at the polls and then share their experiences with the community. Two weeks ago Denyse Selesnick worked the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council election and share her experience in City Watch LA, noting that "Neighborhood Councils are gaining strength and influence...


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The Economic and Workforce Development Department needs your help in securing employers who will HIRE LA's Youth this coming summer. HIRE LA'S Youth is one of the City's most exciting programs to put young adults to work, ensuring they have "first time" job experience that will set them on the path of Lifetime earners. Mayor Garcetti and the LA City Council are committed to providing 10,000 jobs for...


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 Would you pay an extra 1/2 cent
to fix Los Angeles' broken streets and sidewalks?

Join Councilmember Joe Buscaino 15th Council District save our streets! This week, the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA), and City Administrative Officer (CAO) released a detailed, comprehensive joint report on our Save Our Streets LA (SOSLA) proposal, as requested by the City Council in August 2013. The report responds to 24 specific instructions from the Council for additional information on the scope...


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TreePeople Faces LA's Hotter,
Drier Future


Los Angeles, CA March 20, 2014 - TreePeople, presents a World Water Day Event: In Case of Emergency, Plant Trees: Reducing Mortality Risk in the Face of LA's Hotter, Drier Future. This conversation will be led by Dr. Nigel Tapper of Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) who will share cutting-edge research on lessons learned from Australia's drought response and the impact of green infrastructure...


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LADWP Announces Improvements to Customers Experience
of Solar Incentive Program

LOS ANGELES - To improve the experience of customers who participate in the net meter Solar Incentive Program, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) announced actions today aimed at reducing delays, streamlining the program, and increasing transparency. "We recognize that our solar customers have become frustrated with longer than normal response times and the challenges of navigating...


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At the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners' meeting on March 17th, the Neighborhood Council Elections were a central topic of discussion. Adding to the report by General Manager Grayce Liu addressing the elections and other operational and budget issues, Commission members discussed their experiences in supporting the NC election process. Commissioner Lydia Grant is leading the charge on this front...


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Save Our Streets- LA!

We would like to invite you to attend the Save Our Streets Los Angeles Community Briefing Session at 6:00pm on Wednesday, April 2 at City Hall in the Edward R. Roybal Public Works Session Room on the 3rd Floor. In January 2013, we introduced Save Our Streets Los Angeles as a solution to our City's infrastructure problem created by decades of neglect and diminishing funding. In addition to ending... 


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On Friday June 21, 2013, the community came together for a Summer Solstice celebration of Make Music LA, part of the international Fete de la Musique started in France, celebrated in over 700 cities, and for the first time ever in 2013, the National Make Music Day in the United States. It was a beautiful day of making music outdoors all day long throughout Los Angeles with a unique concert hosted...


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I hope our newsletter finds you well. Congratulations to all the areas whose elections are now over and to those NCs whose boards are being seated. We are very excited to greet and meet everyone as we get out to your respective NC meetings. We have met some new faces who are now part of the system, and we are also finding that the seasoned board members are fully participating and engaging with us...


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10 days after your
February NC Board Meeting
January Monthly Expenditure Reports due




Let the Fire Department know what services are most important to you

Tell Recreation and Parks what the Greek Theatre means to you





Neighborhood Council Parking Passes


Town Hall State of Public Safety Westside
Wed, Mar. 26
Time: 6 pm - 9:30 pm

Venice High School

13000 Venice Blvd.

Los Angeles 90066


Alliance of River Communities (ARC)

Thur, Mar. 27
Time: 7 pm - 9 pm

Glassell Park Senior and Community Center
3750 Verdugo Road
Los Angeles 90065

Region 5
Election Day
Tue, Mar. 30


Location: Region 5
Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils Mixer
Thur, April 10
Time: 5:30 pm - 9 pm


CBS Studios
Carla's Cafe
4024 Radford Ave.
Studio City 91604


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:

Scheduled in Education and Neighborhoods Committee  2/18  


13-1685 Information and Communication Network / Neighborhood Council and Public Use / Creation and Maintenance

Scheduled in Education and Neighborhoods Committee  2/18


11-1017-S1 Investigate Allegations of Discrimination and Harassment; Training of NC Board Members

11/19  Education and Neighborhoods Committee  continued to date TBD  


12-1682-S1 New Neighborhood Council Stakeholder Definition

Pending in Education and Neighborhoods Committee   
11/19 Education and Neighborhoods Committee continued to date TBD

11/19 Education and
Neighborhoods Committee continued to date TBD; Department report dated 11/19 received

11-1018  Neighborhood Council Grievance Policy and Process
Approved by City Council 12/3; City Attorney to draft ordinance to be effective 7/1/14 

Citywide Issues:


Referred to Planning and Land Use Management Committee 1/28

1/14 Department to report to Planning and Land Use Management Committee in 60 days


13-1152-S1 Hydraulic Fracturing / Fracking / Prohibition of Well Stimulation Activities

Referred to Energy and Environment Committee and Planning and Land Use Management Committees 9/4


13-1374 Prohibit growth of genetically modified crops within City

Referred to Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and River

Committee 12/3 


13-1513 Increase Number of Cats Allowed Per Residence From Three To Five 

11/19 Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee

continued to date TBD 


13-0025-S1 Rewards for Hit-and-Run Crimes 

Referred to Budget and Finance; 2/14 Public Safety Committee continued for 60 days  

2/12 City Council  adopted Planning and Land Use Management Committee report as amended for Planning and Animal Services to report back to PLUM in 60 days

08-2020 Sign Ordinance Revision
Proposed ordinance pending in Planning and Land Use Committee; 10/17 Planning Director's and City Attorney's reports received 

13-0046 Consolidation of Planning and Building and Safety Departments, etc.    

Approved by City Council 5/29; Motion to delay consolidation introduced 9/13; Approved by City Council 11/6; Planning and Land Use Committee approved as amended 12/3; 12/11 City Council approved; Mayor approved 12/17 

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

 24 recommendations approved by City Council 8/21; CLA and CAO report approved by Council 9/17; Mayor signed 9/27 


13-0953 Citywide Municipal WiFi Initiative

Approved as amended by City Council 11/5


 13-0941  Sidewalk Repair Adjoining Property Owner  Fee Elimination  

 Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee approved as amended 12/4; Budget and Finance Committee approved 2/10; Scheduled in City Council 2/18  


13-0909  DWP Unlimited
Sick Pay Policy

Referred to Energy and Environment Committee  7/26

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

Approved as amended by  Planning and Land Use and Public Works and Gang Reduction Committees 10/8; City Attorney requested to prepare ordinance


Five year effort underway; updates at


11-0262 - State Licensed Facilities/Community Care Facilities

1/15 Ad Hoc Committee on Community Care Facilities continued to date TBD

Review all new 
City Council Files


City Clerk's Referral Memoranda


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City Council Files


Council File
Management System

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Los Angeles, CA 90012