GM's Message 12.11.15

I hope our newsletter finds you well. Our EmpowerLA team is ending 2015 in a full sprint towards 2016 with awesome events just around the corner! As you know, the 2016 Neighborhood Council elections have started already with the launch of the online voter registration portal for our online voting pilot. We're already approving the first voter registration applicants. The City Clerk's Office will be opening their great online Candidate Registration Portal on December 19th for Northeast Valley Region 1 candidates to begin submitting their applications. Our 12 Independent Election Administrators are working with their Neighborhood Councils and will have tablets to register both voters and candidates at meetings. Pretty exciting innovations with the Neighborhood Council elections! To stay on top of everything, we have a separate elections newsletter going out to Neighborhood Councils every Wednesday so keep an eye out for it.

Speaking of innovations, we are always striving to do better for our Neighborhood Councils at EmpowerLA. We've just revamped our website with more changes to come next year. We'll also be shutting down our newsletter after today for the rest of the month to finish a redesign to launch the first week of January. Aside from successfully piloting e-signatures for our leases, we've moved to accepting scanned online Monthly Expenditure Reports with full online funding submissions expected in the 2016. We're aiming to make it so you can conveniently submit all forms online from your desktop or smartphone if you'd like. Many thanks to our Neighborhood Council leaders for their suggestions, our EmpowerLA staff for their hard work making it all happen and our wonderful City partners, Controller, City Attorney's Office, City Clerk and ITA, for their support!

If you haven't applied for Civic U 2.0 please do so asap as space is limited. After meeting with our BFF, Raphael Sonenshein, Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA, this week to go over the curriculum, I can tell you that the participants will be thrilled with the advocacy education they will be receiving. You will focus on learning how to work within a small group of 20 people to identify a community issue, frame it, find evidence to support it and then pitch it to actual City officials who can actually do something about it.  I can share that our CAO, Miguel Santana, has already signed on to be one of the speakers, and we'll have other great leader educators, too. Raphe will be including new studies on effective advocacy hot off the academic presses. To be accepted into the class, you will need to attend all 4 Tuesday evening sessions in February from 6 to 9 pm at Cal State LA's new downtown campus. There will be one group reserved just for youth (under 24) so our youth Neighborhood Council leaders are encouraged to apply. You'll also need time to work on your projects outside of class. It's going to be amazing so I hope to see you there.

Another great event coming up on February 21, 2016 is for our Neighborhood Council Public Works Liaisons from our partners at the Bureau of Sanitation Director Enrique Zaldivar is hosting an educational workshop and tour at their famous Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant. LA Sanitation will be sharing what they do and how they do it for our Public Works Liaisons so if your Neighborhood Council hasn't appointed a liaison yet, please do so soon as invites will be going out soon.

A quick congratulations to Sylmar Neighborhood Council who was honored for their work on homelessness by Councilmember Filipe Fuentes last Friday at Van Nuys City Hall!
President Ann Job was on hand to accept the well deserved praise. City Council is taking further steps to address homelessness, and I know that Eagle Rock and Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Councils are also stepping up to support homeless service providers in their areas. Another way Neighborhood Councils can help is with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority 2016 Homeless Count on January 26-28, 2016. If your Neighborhood Council voted to participate, please contact or by calling (213) 978-1551 so we can assist you in partnering with LAHSA.

Don't forget that PlanCheckNC meets tomorrow in the Valley. We'll also be launching our Region 1 Elections Kickoff. For more information, check out the EmpowerLA Calendar.

Wishing you and yours very Happy Holidays and an Empowered New Year!


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