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 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Sun Jul 05, 2015 @ 5:00PM - 09:00PM
Twilight in the Garden: Little Tokyo Concert Series
Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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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