I hope our newsletter finds you well. The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners elected new officers at their meeting on Monday. Commission Vice President Leonard Shaffer was elected President, and Commissioner Joy Atkinson was elected Vice President. HUGE thanks to outgoing President Karen Mack for her great leadership! Karen has always been a big advocate for the Neighborhood Councils and was instrumental in getting the Neighborhood Council Civic University organized. Mayor Eric Garcetti has also appointed Josh LaFarga to succeed Commissioner Victor Medina in the Harbor. Commissioner Medina's work schedule made it difficult to continue on the Commission. We thank him for his service and wish him well.

After a long time of trying to work the City's world-renowned Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes  into my schedule, I finally graduated on Tuesday after a condensed 5 week class held at the Emergency Management Department. Many thanks to LAFD CERT instructor Mitch McKnight for conducting an entertaining and excellent course where I learned everything from basic first aid to putting out a fire using an extinguisher to how to set up a command center in a disaster situation. On the last day of class, we celebrated with a potluck as we received a lovely Certificate of Completion signed by Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Jose Huizar (class location was in CD 14) and Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. LAFD is also holding a day long CERT Refresher Drill on September 19, 2015 in the Central area at the Emergency Management Department. I highly recommend getting CERT certified to keep your family, friends and communities safer during any kind of disaster, especially with us being in earthquake country and with the predicted El Nino hitting LA soon. The new CERT classes start on September 1st.

We'll be holding our next Neighborhood Council Elections Town Hall on Saturday, August 29th, from 10 am to 12 pm at the Hollywood Constituent Center right after the Congress Planning Committee. If you can't make it in person, we'll be live streaming the meeting and accepting questions via Twitter. Come help us finalize the Election Manual and dates.

I was very sad to learn that Neighborhood Council leader Challis MacPherson passed away last night after a lengthy battle with cancer. Challis was a dedicated community activist and such a planning and land use expert. She served as a volunteer mentor on our Councils for Councils and was part of the Venice Neighborhood Council. I'll always remember Challis for her passion and fierce advocacy for the people of Los Angeles. She was pure awesome.

Last night, I stopped by the South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils meeting to provide updates on EmpowerLA activities. The SLAANC was busy having their 15 Neighborhood Council members ratify their Articles of Alliance to vote in their Executive Board next month. They were also busy weighing in on Council Files before City Council (CF 14-0268-S4 and S5 Rent Stabilization Ordinance/ Review Implementation of Ellis Act; CF 14-0268 - Modification of Rent Stabilization ordinance/ Energy Efficiency Capital Improvement Program (CIP)/ Security Cap; CF -14-1635-S2. Short Term Rental Ordinance). After concern was raised about street cleaning in South LA, I reminded them to get their Public Works Liaisons appointed so they can assist their communities by working on Mayor Garcetti's Clean Streets Initiative starting at the Congress of Neighborhoods on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

Speaking of clean streets, Eagle Rock and Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Councils will be teaming up with Councilmember Huizar to beautify their neighborhoods tomorrow. They'll be meeting at 8:30 am to Annadale Elementary School (6125 Poppy Peak Dr.) to clean up North Figueroa Street.

As always, thanks for all you do to EmpowerLA! Have a super 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 announced on August 18, 2015, the appointment of Ashley Z. Hand as the transportation technology strategist fellow at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). The fellowship is funded through a grant from the Goldhirsh Foundation.... 
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Josh LaFarga Appointed to Board of Neighborhood Commissioners
Mr. Josh LaFarga, a resident of Council District 15 in the Harbor area and executive board member of the Laborers' International Union of North American Local 1309, has been appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve on...
Found LA: Festival of Neighborhoods
It's that time of the year again!  Found LA, LA Commons' citywide show and tell and cross neighborhood bridge building event will happen on two days - October 17 and 18, 2015.  As this is our 5th year, we have a special theme. "What is Your Map of Los Angeles?," inspired by the...
EmpowerLA Awards and Neighborhood Council Recognition Event
Please join us on the Red Carpet! The EmpowerLA Awards and Neighborhood Council Recognition Event will be held on Friday, September 11, 2015 at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 S. Spring St. 3rd Floor. This event is for all current... 
Next TUX Boot Camp: Civic Engagement in 10 Steps
Join us for another TUX Boot Camp to learn about Civic Engagement in 10 Steps! We will cover digital elements, Neighborhood Council outreach and election committees, communication policy and strategy, website elements and standards...
Register for the 2015 Congress of Neighborhoods!
Join us at the 2015 Congress of Neighborhoods! There are over 40 different workshops planned for the 2015 NCCongress.  All of them have been designed by neighborhood council leaders to be practical, how-to types of sessions. In each you will receive a broad overview of the subject, a hand-out and resources you can use right... 
Venice Neighborhood Council Calls for Legalization of Bootleg Housing
The Venice Neighborhood Council (, 21-member grass roots arm of Los Angeles city government, voted Tuesday evening to ask municipal officials that safe and habitable bootleg units be legalized on granting...
Ethics Commission's Municipal Lobbying Ordinance Review Meetings
The Ethics Commission is conducting a review of the City's Municipal Lobbying Ordinance (MLO).  As part of this review, we are seeking input from the public and the regulated community.  We will be holding two interested persons meetings on September 9 and 17 at City Hall, where... 
Smart Start Small Biz Workshop
Attend an interactive, motivational workshop for women entrepreneurs that will inspire new vision and action through self-employment. The program will include discussion of...

Human Trafficking Forum
We are all becoming more and more aware of the prevalence of the exploitation of children and adults in our country, maybe our city, but do we know the prevalence right in our own neighborhoods? Human Trafficking has become one of the fastest... 

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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