September 26, 2014
Empower LA Newsletter header
General Manager's Update 


I hope this newsletter finds you well. This past week has been amazingly educational. Last Friday, I spent the day at a General Managers retreat where we began the dialogue of how to work more effectively together on Mayor Garcetti's priorities for the City. The Mayor dropped by several times during the day to participate with us and told us to be "bold" in our decision making. He carried on this message of being bold in his keynote to Neighborhood Council leaders at the Congress of Neighborhoods on Saturday when encouraging them to connect with their stakeholders in creating a dialogue with City Hall. It was a really good opportunity to connect with one another, and I'd like to thank Mayor Garcetti and his team, particularly Deputy Mayor of Budget and Innovation, Rick Cole, for making it happen.


On Saturday, thanks to the awesome Congress Chair, Cindy Cleghorn (who got a Certificate of Appreciation from Mayor Garcetti), the Congress Planning Committee and our staff, led by the amazing Thomas Soong, we had an outstanding Congress of Neighborhoods with over 700 participants packed into the workshops to get their "Keys to Success." More than half of the Neighborhood Council leaders that day were new to the system, and this was their first Congress. We celebrated the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners EmpowerLA Award winners during lunch, which, thanks to the ingenious layout, had no lines for the first time. At the last action session, we had a full house in Council Chambers where Denyse Selesnick led a wonderful presentation by many of the Neighborhood Council alliances on their recommendations for the Neighborhood Council leaders to take back for consideration. The VANC even distributed a handout. In addition to doing the welcome at the start of the Congress, I had the honor of closing as well, and I emphasized the transformative power of Neighborhood Councils on the City of Los Angeles (see below for a summary of my close). The general feedback I've heard was that it was another successful event to mingle, share and learn from one another so many thanks to everyone who took part!


This week, I drove up to San Francisco to take in the Code for America Summit where I spent 3 days in awe of the possibilities of responsive, connected and innovative government. This annual gathering of civic technology leaders was so inspiring that it blew my mind about the next evolution of government. Please see my article below for more details. While in the midst of all these excited civic and tech geeks (which included a Glassell Park Neighborhood Council board member - Yay!), Mayor Garcetti released his Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Budget Policy and Goals letter. I was happy to be reminded that Los Angeles is being led by a Mayor who embraces the core of what the summit was about - using open data to design government for and with the people - even when we are in a budget deficit. So I'm coming back with many wonderful ideas on how better to support Neighborhood Councils and connect them with the City family, and I couldn't be more excited to work with Neighborhood Council leaders to make this happen.


Next week, don't forget that we'll be starting our listening tour around the City on the new checking account system - what's working, what's not working, and how do we get to win-win. We're piggybacking on the funding trainings so you'll have an opportunity to review the current process again before giving us feedback. If you can't make it, we'll have a survey online as well that will go out next week. Check out our calendar for the dates.


As always, thanks for all the work you do to Empower LA! Have a great weekend! 




Grayce Liu,

General Manager

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment 


Empower Yourself.

Empower Your Community.

Empower LA.


Mayor's Message

Announcement Will Happen on Stage at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with fellow Mayors Annise Parker of Houston and Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, will announce the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda on stage at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiaitve Annual Meeting. The Action Agenda commits mayors to local efforts...


 >>> continue reading 

You can tell that Code for America is pretty special just from their tagline: "Government can work for the people, by the people, in the 21st century. Let's make it work." Code for America is a nonprofit started by Jen Pahlka in 2009 to create opportunities for local government geeks to connect with tech geeks to make government services effective and easily accessible by focusing on the user...


 >>> continue reading 

At the Congress of Neighborhoods on Saturday, I was asked to do an "inspirational" close. No pressure, of course, and please be sure to make it only 4-5 minutes long. Naturally, I freaked out wondering what I could say to folks who are constantly an inspiration to me. Luckily, I had completed a General Manager retreat the day before the Congress, and two ideas really resonated with me and my work...


 >>> continue reading 

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer is joining with 23 other prosecutors from major U.S. cities to develop and promote policies aimed at reducing gun violence, it was announced Wednesday. Prosecutors Against Gun Violence is a nonpartisan group that is co-chaired by Feuer and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. A summit is planned for Oct. 21-22 in Atlanta where the prosecutors will develop...


 >>> continue reading 

The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council will be welcoming City Controller Ron Galperin to speak and answer questions at its next General Meeting in October. City Controller Galperin is participating in an ongoing "Speaker Series" hosted by the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council. "It is important to bring the people of Van Nuys closer to their government and the powers that be. It is our job as local elected...


 >>> continue reading 

The Los Angeles City Council's Rules, Elections & Intergovernmental Relations Committee and the City Ethics Commission invite you to participate in discussing: -The Municipal Elections Reform Commission Report & Recommendations -Improving and Enhancing Voter Participation and Civic Engagement -The City's Electoral Process, which may include consolidating the City's elections with State and...


 >>> continue reading 

Our very own General Manager Grayce Liu is in San Francisco this week participating in the 4th Annual Code for America Summit. This annual gathering of civic technology leaders is a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of event that convenes innovators from dozens of local governments and mixes it up with civic-minded technologists, designers, community organizers, and entrepreneurs. Code for America believes...


 >>> continue reading 

Innovation Week is a County-wide celebration of all of the innovative, creative, and awesome things that are happening in Los Angeles. From Cleantech to Gaming to Aerospace and Digital Media and beyond, Los Angeles is a leading global center for innovation and entrepreneurship rooted in boundless creativity and diversity. Events will be happening from Santa Monica to downtown to Pasadena and all points...


 >>> continue reading 

Are you ready for a major disaster? No? Take time to prepare now! Please join the LAFD and the Disaster Preparedness Group (DPG) on September 27 from 9-12 am for the free 3-hour Disaster Awareness Course (DAC) taught by Captain Stacy Gerlich of LAFD's Homeland Security Division. The program focuses specifically on business, community, family, and individual preparedness. DAC helps people to plan for...


 >>> continue reading 

This Saturday and Sunday, celebrate the historic Watts Towers with the 33rd Annual Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival and 38th Annual Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival. These free festivals will take place both days from 10am - 6pm and will feature activities for children and informational material at community service booths. Food and Arts & Crafts will be available for purchase. The...


 >>> continue reading 

A big thank you to everyone who participated in Saturday's incredibly successful Congress of Neighborhoods! From Mayor Garcetti's inspirational opening speech and his announcement of the Mayor's Volunteer Corps to the many packed workshops, City Hall was abuzz with activity and passion for the diverse communities that make up our great city. More than 600 participants from dozens of neighborhood...


 >>> continue reading 

We're stoked to announce the City's first Civic Innovation Fellowship - an exciting partnership between the LA City Controller's Office and verynice. The Civic Innovation Fellows will serve in a paid position as innovators, entrepreneurs, and change agents as they lead a civic innovation project with resources, mentorship, and support from both verynice and the Controller's Office for a three to...


 >>> continue reading 

The TUX Team was out in full force at the Congress of Neighborhoods on Saturday, ready to share insights and resources for using technology to engage your stakeholders and extend your outreach. At the "Amplify Your Klout: Digital Tools for Empowering Your Community" workshop in Session 2, Stephen Box led a lively discussion about digital tools that can help you make sense of the many outreach options in today's technology-saturated world, engaging with...


 >>> continue reading 

The City of Los Angeles will conduct a study to evaluate the cost and best implementation strategy for a system that would allow people to text 911 to get help in emergencies. Advocates say allowing texting to 911 would help the deaf community get emergency services. It would also serve people who may not be able to speak in an emergency, like if an intruder has broken into their house. "The point...


 >>> continue reading 

The Next CicLAvia event is almost here! Join thousands of cyclists and walkers from across Los Angeles on Sunday, October 5 as we celebrate another car-free day on the streets of LA. The event will return to the Heart of LA from 9:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m. with an almost entirely new route. Heart of LA will cross through downtown LA along parts of the first CicLAvia route, but will extend into new areas...


 >>> continue reading 

LA Sanitation teams up with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services Toy Loan Program for a Toy Reuse Drive in select City locations in honor of Second Chance Week. Come learn more about the County's Toy Loan Program at the October 16 kickoff event taking place at the Farmers Market next to Los Angeles City Hall. We will be giving out information and free reusable bags. The County...


 >>> continue reading 

Still undecided about who to vote for in the 45th District State Assembly race on November 4th? Attend the debate between incumbent Democratic representative Matt Dababneh and Republican candidate Susan Shelley on October 6th and learn about how they plan to represent the 45th District. The new representative will be a key player in helping to manage funds and determine economic development for most...


 >>> continue reading 

The first, of what is promised to be a series of articles focusing on the great work being done by South LA's Neighborhood Councils was published on September 18, 2014 in the Southwest Wave and featured Voices of 90037 and Park Mesa Heights Community Council. Park Mesa Heights Community Council's Unity Fest, held every year in August, introduces attendees to City services and organizations that help...


 >>> continue reading 

Empowerment Congress West is proud to be one of the participants of this event created to introduce the diverse community of Baldwin Village to one another. It promises to be a day of fun, information, and shared experiences. The event will feature entertainment, vendors, food, sports, a children's village and a seniors' village, and more! Saturday, October 4 11:00am - 3:00pm 4000 S. La Brea Avenue...


 >>> continue reading 

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Manager Updates


Leyla Campos



Armando Ruiz

Stephen Box

Jeff Brill







10 days after your
September 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


Harbor Alliance of Neighborhood Council Meeting

Wed, Oct 1
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Kaiser Permanente Way Harbor City - Community Outreach Portables
25965 Normandie Ave
Harbor City 90710

Neighborhood Council Funding Training


Thur, Oct 2 

Time: 6 pm - 9 pm


Narbonne High School

24300 South Western Ave

Harbor City 90710 


Neighborhood Council - LADWP Memorandum of Understanding  Oversight Committee Meeting
Sat, Oct 18
Time: 8:45 am - 10 am

Hollywood Constituent Center
6501 Fountain Avenue
Los Angeles 90028
Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition Meeting
Sat, Oct 18
Time: 10 am - 1 pm

Hollywood Constituent Center
6501 Fountain Ave
Los Angeles 90028



Email City Hall at
Council File
Hot Sheet


13-1364 City of Los Angeles Municipal Elections Reform Commission/Improve and Enhance Voter Participation and Civic Engagement/Citys Electoral Process 


 14-0223 Imposing Living Wage/Hotel Employees/Hotels with 100 Rooms or more/Citywide Economic Impacts/Study and Public Input 


 14-1200 Retiree Medical Subsidy/Increase/Plan Year 2015/Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System (LACERS) 


 14-1211 10697 West Somma Way/Haul Route Appeal 




 14-1258 Pilot Veteran Business Tax Rebate Program/Office of Finance 


12-1269-S2 Campaign Finance Laws/Campaign Finance Ordinance (CFO)/Los Angeles Administrative Code (Ad Code or LAAC)/Amendments 


 13-1374 Prohibit the Growth of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops within City Limits 


Search existing 
City Council Files


Council File
Management System

Contact Us
Phone: (213) 978-1551
Fax: (213) 978-1751

Our Address:
200 North Spring Street
20th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012