August 15, 2014
Empower LA Newsletter header
General Manager's Update 


I hope this newsletter finds you well. This week began and ended with me sharing my love of Neighborhood Councils with some unexpected supporters. On Monday, Policy Director Joe Hari, NEAs Amber Meshack and Tom Soong, City Attorney Carmen Hawkins and I hosted a delegation from Saudi Arabia,who were impressed with the diverse ways Neighborhood Councils empowered their communities from public safety to planning to economic development.This morning, I had the privilege of presenting Neighborhood Councils and effective leadership skills to 50 young women, ages 18 -25, at the John Muir Charter School of the Century Regional Detention Facility. These women were in wonder of the work you do for your communities and wanted to learn how they can be effective leaders as well. They couldn't believe that a City government would support such efforts so thank you for continuing to inspire all those who are new to Neighborhood Councils.



I'm very happy to report the good news of some of our awesome partners. Interim City Clerk, Holly Wolcott, was approved as permanent City Clerk this week. We really appreciated Holly and her staff's support in the Neighborhood Council elections, and I'm delighted that Holly will continue in her outstanding leadership role.  Also, our friend, Commissioner Leonard Shaffer ,

 of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners was reappointed by Mayor Garcetti to represent the South Valley Area. Len has been a supporter since the inception of Neighborhood Councils, and we are grateful for his continued leadership as well.


Last night, I was at the monthly VANC meeting and received a lot of important feedback from Neighborhood Council leaders last night about the new checking account system and know that we are listening. In fact, to make easier, we will be bringing your account amounts to $4000 at the beginning of each month automatically to ensure you have timely access to your funds. For more important updates to the Funding Program, please see Armando's update this week. If you have other suggestions about the Funding Program or anything else Neighborhood Council related, please feel free to email me at


Speaking of feedback, Councilmember Krekorian is asking Neighborhood Councils for feedback via Community Impact Statements (CF 14-0163-s4 and CF 14-0163-s3) on the Citywide Sidewalk Repair Program by October 1, 2014 though there will be a hearing on it on Monday, August 18th (more info below). Also, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners will be considering a draft Neighborhood Council Board Member Code of Conduct Policy at their Monday, August 18th meeting. Based on Neighborhood Council feedback, this policy would be in lieu of mandated harassment trainings for all board members. If you can't make their meeting, please feel free to send your comments to


The Neighborhood Council Budget Day is tomorrow, and Mayor Garcetti's Office, the Budget Advocates and our department have co-sponsored the Neighborhood Council Budget Day Survey (more info below). Please take a few minutes to complete the survey. The Budget Advocates have prepared a great line up of speakers, including Mayor Garcetti, Controller Galperin and City Councilmember Krekorian, who serves as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. I hope to see you there!


Have a great weekend!




Grayce Liu,

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment 


Empower Yourself.

Empower Your Community.

Empower LA.


Mayor's Message

An Update on DWP Reform One of the barriers in the way of restoring trust in the DWP are questions about how ratepayer dollars are being spent by non-profit safety and training institutes affiliated with the DWP union. Reforming the Department of Water and Power is at the core of my Back to Basics agenda for Los Angeles. It is essential that every ratepayer dollar is being spent appropriately, and...


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It is certainly no secret that our sidewalks are broken and buckled throughout Los Angeles. Their condition poses pedestrian safety concerns and diminishes our quality of life. An estimated 40 percent of the city's sidewalks, 4,600 miles, need to be repaired. Yet, coming up with a workable plan to fix them has proven elusive. Over the last decade, there have been many valiant attempts to deal with...


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Concerned about your Neighborhood? Join City Attorney Mike Feuer to meet your newly appointed Neighborhood Prosecutor Gabrielle Porter Taylor on August 21 at 6:30 pm. The meeting will take place at the Goodwill Community Enrichment Center, 3150 N. San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA 90065. Gabrielle Porter Taylor will represent the following areas as Neighborhood Prosecutor: Atwater Village, Cypress... 


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Seleta Reynolds started last Monday, August 11, as the General Manager of the city of Los Angeles Transportation Department (LADOT.) Reynolds made her first GM report to the city council's Transportation Committee yesterday, though she had already appeared before the committee during her confirmation process. Reynolds had championed pedestrian safety as a manager at San Francisco's Municipal Transportation... 


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Drought fuels backlash against proposed downtown water-slide event A permit application to set up a 1,000-foot water slide in downtown next month is facing opposition from thousands of people who say the event would be irresponsible, and certainly unseemly, given California's severe drought. More than 6,000 people have signed an online petition to stop "Slide the City" from setting up on Olive... 


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On September 15, 2014, Metro is changing its bus and rail fares. The change was approved by the Metro Board of Directors on May 22, 2014. Under the new fare structure, a 1-Way Trip purchased using a TAP card will include transfers to other Metro lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip. If the fare is paid using cash, transfers will not be included. Complete details on the new fares can...


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City Councilmembers Push City to Conserve Water & Battle Drought LOS ANGELES - City Councilmembers Felipe Fuentes and Mike Bonin today introduced initiatives to combat drought and steer residents and DWP into rethinking their use of water. The councilmembers called on LADWP to: explore expanding its tiered-pricing system for water; help residents establish reasonable "water budgets" for...


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Connect with your stakeholders by disconnecting from your land-lines and cell phones. All it takes is a virtual phone and an email account. The telephone is one of our most powerful and effective tools for communicating and they are everywhere. We carry them with us, they sit on our desks, they hang on our walls, and they are an important element in any Neighborhood Council communication strategy...


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Join City Controller Ron Galperin and City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell for a demo of Control Panel LA, the City's first open data portal and your window into the City's finances. Check out ControlPanelLA yourself at When: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 7 pm - 9 pm. Where: Emerson College located at 5960 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 Free Parking available at Emerson...


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Bringing the Los Angeles city parks system into the 21st century, a pilot program began Thursday to create Wi-Fi hot spots at five parks and a beach site to allow residents to remain connected and report any problems they see. Called "Oh Ranger! Wi-Fi," the program became available at Reseda Park, Cabrillo Beach, Echo Park Lake, Griffith Observatory, Pershing Square and Venice Beach. Funding for...


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The Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday appointed Charlie Beck to a second term as chief of the city's police department. With Beck enjoying the strong support of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who appointed the commissioners and made clear in recent weeks that he wanted Beck to remain, the panel's 4-1 vote was widely anticipated. Calling Beck "a man who has been a distinguished part of this department...


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Fun and Food in Boyle Heights and South L.A. this Weekend If you like to get out and about on the weekends, there are some really great events you might want to plug into. SATURDAY afternoon, women and those who identify as women are invited to join the Ovarian Psyco-Cycles on their third annual Clitoral Mass ride. The first ride, held in 2012, generated some controversy for excluding men. But, the...


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Manager Updates


Leyla Campos



Armando Ruiz

Stephen Box

Joe Hari

Jeff Brill





10 days after your
August NC Board Meeting
 Monthly Expenditure Reports due




Neighborhood Council Budget Day Survey


5 Question NC Election Survey


LA City/Clerk Connect Survey


 Los Angeles Public Library Survey


LA Community Broadband Network Survey
Give your input on how much you access the internet, what you use it for, and how much you think faster and slower internet access should cost (if at all)



Neighborhood Council Parking Passes


Budget Day

Sat, Aug 16
Time: 7:30 am - 2 pm

City Hall
Board of Public Works
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles 90012
Board of Neighborhood Commissioners Regular Meeting


Mon, Aug 18

Time: 1 pm - 4 pm


City Hall

10th Floor Conference Center Rm 1050

200 N. Spring Street

Los Angeles 90012


Education and Neighborhoods Committee Meeting

Tue, Aug 19
Time: 1 pm - 3 pm

City Hall
10th Floor Conference Center Rm 1010
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles 90012
Westside Regional Alliance of Councils Monthly Meeting

Wed, Aug 20
Time: 8:30 am - 10 am

Lenny's Deli
2379 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles 90064

NC Checking Account Training

Thurs Aug 21
Time: 6 pm - 9 pm

City Hall
20th Floor
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles 90012

South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils Meeting

Thurs, Aug 21
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Community Health Councils Suite 201
3731 Stocker Street
Los Angeles 90008



Email City Hall at
Council File
Hot Sheet


14-0163-S4 Comprehensive City Sidewalk Repair Program / Regular Program for Improvements (Identify, Prioritize and Budget)


14-0163-s3 Sidewalk Repair Trust Fund


14-0593 Sharing Economy/Comprehensive Study Report/Working Group


14-0589 Performing Arts Center Project/Appeal


14-0588 Griffith Park Crystal Springs Ballfields Project/Appeal


 14-1112 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IEBW) Local 18/New Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) / Pension Reciprocity Settlement / Funding of Joint Safety Institute (JSI) and Joint Training Institute (JTI) Trust 


 14-0134 Jose Gravina, et al v. City of Los Angeles 


14-1700 2014-15 Personnel Authority Resolution 


14-0043 Holly L. Wolcott / City Clerk / Extension of Interim Appointment / Permanent Appointment  


14-1071 Unfreeze Position / Fiscal Year 2014-15 



14-0780 Rushmore Cervantes / Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department / Extension of Appointment / Permanent General Manager 

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Phone: (213) 978-1551
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Los Angeles, CA 90012