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Thoroughly Modern Bob – Coming to a Legislature Near You!

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE-Thoroughly Modern Millie was a Tony Award winner. State Senator Bob Hertzberg is rolling out his own sequel. The only problem is the production cost. Actually, the real problem is we will be the ones bankrolling it if Bob gets the green light. It is the most expensive tax scam concocted, more than California HSR. I’m talking…

Elite Girls School Has Brentwood Up in Arms … Over Traffic

John Schwada
INSIDE LA-Hairdresser Mikell Powell is walking her two dogs in Brentwood along Sunset Boulevard just across the street from the Archer School for Girls (photo left). “I’m opposed to anything that would make driving on Sunset here anymore hellish than it already is,” Powell says as her dogs tug on their leashes. No question: there’s a 1.2 mile…

Homeless LA: Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

Mike Bonin
WHO WE ARE-In recent years, Los Angeles has seen more progress in combating homelessness than it ever has – yet the problem is still getting worse. Since 2011, the region has housed more than 23,000 people – a record number even by national standards. Yet homelessness is on the rise. Encampments are proliferating in our neighborhoods throughout…

Can LA Afford Another Olympics?

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Boston bailed on hosting the 2024 Olympics when Mayor Martin Walsh refused to sign a host city contract with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) that would have put Beantown (and possibly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on the hook for any cost overruns associated with this 17 day extravaganza. But Walsh’s refusal to…

The Petty Hypocrisy of Mandatory Ethics Training

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-As a member of a neighborhood council board, I am required by state law to do 2 hours of ethics training every 2 years. Elected officials such as members of the City Council are also required to take this training. The curious thing about our California ethics rules is that they prohibit the small stuff while looking the other way…

Los Angeles: Brown lives Matter!

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-According to the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years in LA County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police. Of the 23 people fatally shot by law enforcement in the county this year, 14 were Latino. The Times raises an…

Grading the LA Times: Mike Feuer’s B+ Leaves Something Out

Noel Weiss
OTHER VOICES-Reading the LA Times’ Report Card grade of B+ for City Attorney Mike Feuer, it was good to see at least a 'hat-tip' to the issue of whether the City Attorney really is the “attorney for the people.” But their conclusion seems to be that he is not, and I believe that is wrong. Exactly who does the City Attorney represent? Certainly, he…

Beverly Hills Pounds Final Nail in Bike Lanes Coffin

Mark Elliot
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-If you expected that Beverly Hills might install bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard when reconstructing it next year, you will be sorely disappointed to know that City Council just pounded the final nail into the bike lanes coffin. City Council split on the Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to expand…

Helter Skelter, Murder and the Looming Race War

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-In one of our last conversations before his death earlier this year, author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lamented that while he had successfully imprisoned Charles Manson, he feared he had only made a dent in the threat of an apocalyptic race war that the mass murderer had hoped to ignite. “Madness and mad men,” said Bugliosi,…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Is this reality or fantasy?




Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth
Sat Aug 01, 2015 @12:00AM
Fifth Annual Veterans Summer Celebration & Picnic
Sat Aug 08, 2015 @12:00PM - 04:00PM
9TH ANNUAL VENICE COMMUNITY BBQ & POTLUCK PICNIC


You’re gonna cry! Kids sing to teacher with cancer

Scarrrry! The Flying Gun

Kid Stuff! Full of chuckles


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

LA Neighborhood Councils: The Evolution of the Revolution

TURNING THE POWER ON - Several blind men are asked by their King to examine an elephant and then to describe its appearance.


The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a giant fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.

The King, in his infinite wisdom, informed the blind men that they were all correct in their evaluations, although their observations were limited to their individual experiences.

Those same blind men, if asked to visit different neighborhood councils, would probably come back with a wide variety of experiences, all of them true but typically limited in accuracy.

The first man might experience a social group, one that is focused on creating community. The second man might discover a local enforcement authority, intent on upholding codes and laws in the neighborhood. The third man might experience a de facto planning commission, focused on land use issues and parking requirements. The fourth man might find himself in the midst of a beautification society, focused on landscaping and gardens. The fifth man might find himself in an empty room, victim of bad outreach and erratic scheduling.

The last blind man might find himself in the midst of a crowd, surrounded by empowered neighbors who were united in their commitment to monitor the deliver of city services, to meet with city leadership, to advise the Mayor and City Council, and to involve the community in the civic engagement process.

The King, in his infinite wisdom, might acknowledge the truthfulness of each man’s experience, but if he was a fan of Charter Reform, he would take note of the sixth man’s experience and ask the crowded neighborhood council how it was that they were able to keep focused on civic engagement and neighborhood empowerment.

It has been ten years since the first neighborhood councils were certified and the last decade has been a series of uphill battles for relevance, many of which take place as if the City Charter wasn’t clear on their purpose.

The purpose of neighborhood councils, as defined in the City Charter, is “To promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs.”

The Charter goes on to explain that, “Neighborhood councils shall include representatives of the many diverse interests in communities and shall have an advisory role on issues of concern to the neighborhood.”

Lest there be any confusion over priorities, the Charter identifies and prioritizes two areas of responsibility, the city’s budget and the delivery of city services.

As the City of LA prepares to engage in another round of budget triage, calling into question each department’s function and performance, it is imperative that neighborhood councils get in touch with their City Charter mandate and evaluate themselves accordingly.

For the neighborhood councils who wish to enhance their ability to engage their community and make their government  more responsive to local needs, help is on the way.

On Thursday the 23rd of February, the Center for Non-Profit Management will be partnering with Empower LA in a dynamic training workshop that will focus on strategies and techniques for effective neighborhood council advocacy.

Participants will leave with a plan for turning their Neighborhood Council board into a powerful advocate when dealing with City of LA agencies, departments, committees, commissions and elected officials.

Community leaders will:

•    Learn ways to achieving goals as a group
•    Discuss a plan of action around your top priorities
•    Hear success stories from Neighborhood Councils who are making an impact

Date:
Thursday, February 23, 2012

Time:
5:30pm-8:30pm

Location:
Center for Nonprofit Management - California Endowment Building
1000 N Alameda Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Agenda
5:30-6:00pm - Registration, Refreshments
(Dinner available for purchase - $10)
6:00-8:30pm - Program and Panel

Reserve your seat today at:
www.surveymonkey.com/s/MakinganImpactTraining

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net. You can also find him on Twitter and on Facebook.)

–cw

Tags: Stephen Box, Neighborhood Councils, Rethinking LA, Charter, City Charter









CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 13
Pub: Feb 14, 2012

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