May 9, 2014
Empower LA Newsletter header

General Manager's Update 


I hope this newsletter finds you well. I was tickled that Neighborhood Councils continue to receive a lot of awesome recognition this week. On Monday, the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates presented their White Paper to Budget & Finance Committee with the City Councilmembers acknowledging their excellent work. The Committee backed that support up on Wednesday when they not only approved the CAO's suggestions of providing our Department with 3 unfunded positions for policy and outreach next year, but they also voted unanimously for the CLA to find funding for the positions as well. Many thanks to Councilmember Paul Krekorian for making the motions to approve and to fund the positions!


I got to share all things great about Neighborhood Councils and how our volunteers make us work to become more open, transparent and collaborative as a City to increase civic engagement on Tuesday at the Music Center's Grand Rounds lunch discussion. On Thursday, I shared all the amazing election outreach Neighborhood Councils do citywide with the City's Election Reform Committee, which is tasked with finding ways to increase municipal election turnout. The Committee members were so impressed, they asked for a report on Neighborhood Council outreach and election system to see if they can use our best practices for municipal elections. 



Finally, Toronto's Community Choreography Dave Meslin, who spent a week with us in a deep dive 

about Neighborhood Councils for the book he's writing about democracy, told me before he left last night how impressed and inspired he was about our Neighborhood Council system. He left me with some great outreach and election ideas from other parts of the country that I'm excited to try. So kudos to the fantastic work Neighborhood Council leaders do because it does not go unnoticed! 


Other happenings this week included the passing of a new Posting Policy by the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners on Tuesday, which reduces the physical posting locations from 5 to 1 with other requirements. We were fortunate to have not only Dave speak at the meeting about his work, but also Councilmember Joe Buscaino stopped by to speak on leadership. Last night, the VANC had a jam packed informative agenda as usual. They considered the budget (Council File 14-0600 in case you wanted to file a Community Impact Statement or provide public comment) and also the solar developments that are suddenly popping up under the LADWP's Feed-in-Tariff or FiT program (Council File 14-0331).



Today, the City celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a lovely presentation in City Council by Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Joe Buscaino, City Attorney Mike Feuer and Controller Ron Galperin (download the 2014 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide in pdf here). President Barack Obama sent us a signed proclamation as well. Council President Herb Wesson is supporting the various Heritage Month celebrations, and I was happy to be acknowledged for my work along with newly approved General Manager of Building and Safety, Ray Chan, and our new Chief Legislative Analyst, Sharon Tso, who also received the Hope of Los Angeles Award for her 32 years of public service in the City of Los Angeles. More info about APAHM below.


Neighborhood Council elections continue in Regions 10 in South Los Angeles tomorrow. If I don't see you, enjoy your weekend!




Grayce Liu,

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment 


Empower Yourself.

Empower Your Community.

Empower LA.


Mayor Garcetti Launches Entreprenuer in Residence Program

Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched the Entrepreneur In Residence Program, appointing two experienced entrepreneurs to spend a year developing ideas to boost L.A.'s economy and create jobs. The initiative is sponsored and supported by Ernst & Young LLP. Krisztina "Z" Holly and Amir Tehrani have been named the inaugural Entrepreneurs in Residence. In addition to helping create entrepreneur-...


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NC Budget Advocates:
Putting Neighborhoods First!

These budget hearings are crucial to our work to put neighborhoods first in LA." --Mike Bonin, Councilmember for the 11th District. What is the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates? With the recent release of the Mayor's Proposed 2014-2015 Budget, neighborhood councils and community members have an opportunity to get involved and voice their opinion about their funding priorities and...


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#Leadership LA
The Leadership LA Series features leaders of all walks. Kevin James, President of Board of Public Works Commission, kicked off the series at a Neighborhood Commission meeting in Hollywood where we talked about his relationship with Neighborhood Councils, the importance of the opportunity to partner with City Hall on the delivery of city services. He called on Neighborhood Councils to nominate a Public...


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The Art of Collaboration
with Make Music LA


Collaborations are like people -- they come in all sizes and shapes. Big ones, small ones, and the ones that take your breath away because they are so perfect. Make Music LA has developed some extraordinary collaborations. Last Wednesday, a truly divine partnership brought about an event that was full of exuberance, joy, and music in one of LA' s most iconic buildings. Partners Metro, The Jazz Education...


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Asian Pacific American
Heritage Month


Did you know that May is Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month? Here in Los Angeles, the month was celebrated with an opening ceremony at City Hall on May 9, complete with a proclamation from President Obama. In 1978, Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution to commemorate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important...


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  NC Agenda Posting Policy
Has Been Updated

The posting policy for Neighborhood Council agendas has been updated by the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners. As before, Neighborhood Councils are required to post meeting agendas for Board and Committee meetings in compliance with the Brown Act. Highlights of the new policy: Neighborhood Councils must post at least ONE Brown Act compliant agenda at a physical location within the council boundaries...


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Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

You are invited to join Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and the Asian Pacific City Attorneys' Association as we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month on Thursday, May 15. California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye will be our featured guest, and we will also be honoring Deputy City Attorney Kenneth Fong as the Asian Pacific American City Attorney of the Year. A light reception...


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Los Angeles 2020 Commision Releases Second Report:
"A Time for Action"


You may remember we told you about the independent Commission, headed by Mickey Kantor and convened by Council President Herb Wesson, when they released their report late last year on the state of the city. While "A Time for Truth" illustrated a city in decline with monumental problems in need of urgent attention by city government, "A Time for Action" was supposed to provide concrete policy...


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"Grand Rounds"
Lunchtime Conversations

Last week, Empower LA General Manager Grayce Liu took part in the innovative Grand Rounds project, a participatory art project in Grand Park based around lunchtime conversations with city officials who are working to make our great city greater. These conversations center on the many voices, ears, and roles both public officials and citizens use to invigorate communities. The next two Grand Rounds...


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Can the Internet Be Rewired
to Build a Smaller,
More Cooperative Community? 

The Fourth Annual Zócalo Book Prize Lecture, sponsored by the California Community Foundation Once upon a time, the Internet was supposed to build a more interconnected world, one where a plumber in Burbank could find common cause-and maybe even friendship-with an ornithologist in Kuala Lumpur. This Internet, we imagined, would create a more inclusive, compassionate, and truly global society...


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A Community Choreographer, Connectivity, & Councils

This past week, Community Choreographer Dave Meslin was visiting us from Toronto to research Empower LA and Neighborhood Councils, a system of civic engagement that he is intrigued by and wishes he had back home.  Not long ago he presented a project called "The Fourth Wall" which highlighted ways government puts up an invisible wall between City Hall and the people, and offering suggestions on how...


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National Small Business Week is May 12-16

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America's entrepreneurs and small business owners. Every day, they're working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America's global competitiveness. Did You Know? More than half...


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Funding Update 5.9.14

Greetings, Neighborhood Council Treasurers, Board Members, and stakeholders. Please see below for some important updates, events, and deadlines. Best, Armando Ruiz Neighborhood Council Funding Program Director IMPORTANT DATES / DEADLINES · 10 days after your May NC Board Meeting - April Monthly Expenditure Reports due · May 15, 2014 - Deadline to submit Demand Warrants, and Neighborhood Purpose...


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April NC Board Meeting
March Monthly Expenditure Reports due





LA City/Clerk Connect Survey


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



Neighborhood Council Parking Passes


Region 10 
Election Day

Sat, May 10


Location: Region 10


PlanCheckNC Meeting
South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Council Meeting


Thurs, May 15 
Time:  10 am - 1 pm

Community Health Councils
3731 Stocker - Suite 201
Los Angeles 90008

Region 11
Election Day

Sun, May 18

Location: Region 11



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 City Council 4/29   


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

Scheduled in City Council 4/29


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

11/19  Education and Neighborhoods Committee  continued to date TBD

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:


 14-0331 Solar Rights Act / Discretion to Review Solar Projects / Recommend Amendments    

5/7 Energy and Environment Committee continued to date TBD


14-0600 Budget Proposal Fiscal Year 2014-15

Referred to Budget and Finance Committee; continued to 5/13; City Council public hearing scheduled 5/20; City Council considers Budget beginning 5/21    


4/2 Energy and Environment Committee continued to date TBD   


3/26 Planning and Land Use Management Committee continued; also referred to Budget and Finance Committee 3/26

4/16 CLA/CAO report referred; 4/29 Planning and Land Use Management Committee approved; referred to Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee  

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; Planning Department report received 3/4  

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

4/2 City Council approved as amended   

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

 CAO and CLA joint report received 3/17; refered to Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee


13-0953 Citywide Municipal WiFi Initiative

Approved as amended by City Council 11/5

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

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