GM's Message 12.04.15

I hope our newsletter finds you well and recovering from any residual Thanksgiving food and shopping comas. The new Neighborhood Council Emergency Preparedness Alliance was launched beautifully by Board of Neighborhood Commissioner President Leonard Shaffer last month in collaboration with Councilmembers David Ryu and Paul Koretz who were both in attendance.  Deputy Mayor of Homeland Security Jeff Gorell was also there to sit on a great panel with representatives from the Emergency Management Department, Street Services, LAFD, Sanitation and JPL. Nearly 70 attendees were welcomed by EMD General Manager James Featherstone to the impressive Emergency Operations Center for the City of Los Angeles to discuss El Nino preparations. 

Many participants took a tour of the facility after the meeting with Emergency Management Coordinator, Mona Curry.  It was such a success that everyone wanted to continue in December so the next meeting will be on Saturday, 12/19 from 10am - 12pm, location TBD, with plans to continue meeting monthly on the last Saturday of the month starting in 2016.There are many citywide, and Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell shared the City's El Nino website with everyone because it consolidates all of the information in one area, including signing up for free emergency alerts at

We have officially launched the 2016 Neighborhood Council elections! Check out the updated for information on the Neighborhood Council elections, including the preliminary Online Voter Registration Portal for the 35 Neighborhood Councils piloting Online Voting next year. The buildout for the Neighborhood Council elections is massive and required the creation of over 100 new web pages in a very short amount of time. I cannot thank Director of Outreach and Communications, Stephen Box, and his TUX (Technology and User Experience) and Election Teams enough for their dedication in pulling everything together while conducting Election and Outreach Workshops citywide. Much appreciation to Sevak Paramazian, Jose Galdamez, Arin Abedian, Michelle Sangalang, Fipe Leilua, Ethan Turer, Lisa Cahan-Davis and Jay Handal for their amazing work!

The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners met on Tuesday in Venice. They passed a motion to write a letter requesting the City Council to open a council file to evaluate a policy and/or ordinance to provide Neighborhood Councils with priority in the use of shared space at city facilities for board and committee meetings and office space where available. At their December 21st meeting, they will likely act on adopting a resolution that would either require Neighborhood Council boards and committees to keep written minutes and post the minutes to their website or outline a Best Practice for Neighborhood Councils to establish their own rules regarding minutes. If you'd like to provide feedback on this proposal, please email

I had a lovely visit with Joe Mathews, California & Innovation Editor from Zocalo Public Square, this week to brag about Neighborhood Councils. Joe wanted to introduce me to Bruno Kaufmann, the Chair of Election and Democracy Commission for the city of Falun in Sweden, who had heard about our Neighborhood Council system and wanted to learn more about it. Bruno is also Editor-in-Chief of  people2power, which connects people in participative democracies across the world. It was really wonderful to speak with like minded folks about community empowerment and civic engagement. Joe and Bruno both left with a deeper appreciation of Neighborhood Councils and a promise to stay in touch.

If I don't see you tomorrow at the LANCC, have a wonderful weekend!


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

Empower Yourself,
Empower Your Community, EmpowerLA

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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