I hope our newsletter finds you well.


I had the pleasure of attending Big Ideas for Cities last Friday, which was co-hosted by the National League of Cities and the City of Los Angeles. Mayors from around the country shared their "big ideas" that are driving innovation within their communities. Deputy Mayor of Budget and Innovation Rick Cole spoke about the success of Mayor Eric Garcetti putting data to work for Los Angeles via his open data portal - Check out our instragram page for pics of the other inspirational speakers and look for their full presentations online coming soon.


This past week was focused on budget and policy. The Budget and Finance Committee reviewed Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso's 2015-2016 Proposed Budget Report on Tuesday. HUGE thanks to Sharon, her Executive Officer Karen Kalfayan and their team for their hard work in turning the report around so quickly and for our department recommendations! In addition to proposing the Department's resource requests for funding staff, training and online voting, an additional $480,000 was set aside to reinvest into the Neighborhood Council system either through increasing the annual allocation, implementing a grant program or possible rollover program (see page 11 of the report). We so appreciate everyone who helped pull our budget together from Mayor Garcetti's Budget and Results teams, to CAO Miguel Santana's team (shout out to Terry Sauer and Leah Chu!) to the Budget and Finance Committee Councilmembers Paul Krekorian, Mitch Englander, Paul Koretz, Bob Blumenfield and Mike Bonin to CLA Sharon Tso and her team and to Council President Herb Wesson, who along with Councilmember Krekorian, supported additional funding to the Neighborhood Councils. Thank you very much!!


Speaking of Council President Wesson, he and Councilmember O'Farrell held an Education and Neighborhoods Committee meeting on Thursday morning on Council Files 15-0389 (additional comment time for Neighborhood Councils and their alliances to address the City Council, its committees, CIty Commissions and boards) and 15-0524 (various motions on Community Impact Statements, comment time before City Council, funding, donations, etc.) I highly recommend Neighborhood Councils to weigh in on these issues via Community Impact Statements. Thanks for Glassell Park and Foothill Trails Neighborhood Councils for already doing so! Because the Department has to report back on both these Council Files within the next 30 days, please provide your input either via a CIS in that time frame or by emailing your comments to if your meeting has already passed.


Congratulations to our staffers Stephen Box and Kathleen Quinn for completing Mayor Garcetti's Process Improvement and Innovation Black Belt training this week!! I went through this program last year, and our entire staff has taken the Green Belt training last month. I'm thrilled that Stephen and Kathleen stepped up to learn more ways we can streamline our work for the Neighborhood Councils. Much appreciation to them for putting in the extra work!


Council President Wesson's 2nd Neighborhood Council town hall is tomorrow morning in South LA, and the Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance will meet tomorrow afternoon to share implementation and outreach strategies for Neighborhood Councils for the City's "Save the Drop" water conservation program. Don't forget that the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners meet on Monday in City Hall with their packed agenda.


Have a relaxing weekend!!




Grayce Liu,
General Manager
Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (aka) EmpowerLA 



Empower Yourself, Empower Your Community, EmpowerLA


Team Updates
Armando Ruiz
Leyla Campos
Stephen Box
Jeffrey Brill

Mayor's Message
Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the Great Streets Challenge Grant program, which will award a total of up to $200,000 to community groups who find innovative ways to enhance the city's efforts along the initial 15 streets of Mayor Garcetti's Great Streets Initiative. The Great Streets Initiative was created by the Mayor to target improvement along "backbone"...

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Nominate Your NCs for EmpowerLA Awards

It's time to nominate your favorite Neighborhood Council for the EmpowerLA Awards!

Each year, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners celebrates the achievements of Neighborhood Councils by presenting...

Join in Make Music Day 2015
Make Music Day affirms the importance of music and its role in building and bridging communities through making music together. It is a celebration of the musician that's in all of us, and in that spirit, musicians of all ages and levels of ability will gather to play together. This year's festivities will be truly global, taking place in more an 800 cities across 110 countries...

Empower Yourself. Empower Your Community. Empower LA.

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Department of Neighborhood Empowerment
200 North Spring Street, Suite 2005
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel - (213) 978-1551
Fax - (213) 978-1751