I hope our newsletter finds you well.  This week has been filled with EmpowerLA Town Halls and the second session of the Google Innovation Lab.  We've been getting some great feedback on how we can improve our services for Neighborhood Councils.  If you can't make it to an EmpowerLA Town Hall, please take a moment to take our survey instead.  
In this week's session for the Google's Innovation Lab, we honed in on our stories behind the issue we are addressing and the "Art of the Possible."  ITA provided all the participants with Chromebooks to start laying out our storyboards. It's been an amazing experience thus far, and I look forward to sharing our final tactical plans in August. 

As you may know, Los Angeles' Neighborhood Council system is not the only one in the nation though I think that we are definitely the most robust.  The City of Seattle's Neighborhood Councils were one of the models for Los Angeles so it's been with great interest that we are following the proposed elimination of them this week.  You can read about them in the Seattle papers here, here and here. They are also struggling with diversity and funding issues for their Councils so we may learn a few lessons based on what happens in Seattle.

I wanted to take a moment to thank Lydia Grant for her wonderful work on the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners.  Lydia stepped down this week from the Commission as the North Valley representative.  Knowing Lydia, she will still be very involved in all things Neighborhood Councils because she is such a big supporter.  I look forward to our continued work together particularly on the EmpowerLA Awards event, which Lydia launched last year with the Congress Planning Committee. Submissions for the EmpowerLA Awards are open now so please nominate your Neighborhood Council so they can be recognized for the awesome work that you do!

Next week is the Neighborhood Council Budget Day on Saturday, July 30th.  If you haven't already registered, please click here. We are looking forward to hearing from Controller Ron Galperin, who is a former Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate, City Council President Herb Wesson and City Council Budget & Finance Chair, Councilmember Paul Krekorian. The current Budget Advocates will be meeting tomorrow in West LA.

Stay cool this weekend!