NC FUNDING - Cut services, cut staff, furloughs, 10% cut to all Departments? Those are not words of encouragement or reprieve in the toughest of times. We are losing core services and paying more to sustain core services and all-the-while a City with a rapid rising deficit and declining morale crumbles before us.
However, there is a function of Los Angeles, that is a part of the City Charter, a member of the City Family that is possibly the lowest paid employee of the City. That would be the Neighborhood Council System, the faint pulse of life for Los Angeles.
93 Neighborhood Councils thru-out Los Angeles are comprised of an estimated 3000 volunteers. Each Neighborhood Council receives annually $45,000.00. Their purposes is to improve the quality of life, integrity and are instrumental in beautifying their communities.
I became a member of my Neighborhood Council by the sheer simplicity of a community event that endeared me to being a new resident of Atwater Village over two years ago. My personal gain? I get to be involved in my community. Such as movie nights, or summer nights on the boulevard. I get to know my neighbors. What other City Department encourages you to engage and participate in your area?
Neighborhood Councils are a valuable resource for their Council Person and Constituents as well. We are a research team, an information system, a community building system and a conduit to Chamber of Commerce; Faith based Organizations and various other Community organizations unique to ones area.
We do our best to benefit our City by not having to pay for Pensions, Health-care, overtime and payroll. We are purely dedicated stakeholders, business owners and active citizenship for the betterment of Los Angeles.
A budget crisis looms once again over the fate of the Neighborhood Councils $45,000.00. A cut of 10%, a sweep of rollover funds and the costs of Neighborhood Council elections? (See the Budget Advocates white paper detailed account of)
The City has many other inefficiencies, and mismanaged areas that need more of an immediate reconciliation.
Neighborhood Councils are not a solution to fixing the Budget Crisis. We invigorate what is right with Los Angeles culture, community and its people. The heart and soul of Los Angeles is non-negotiable.
(Ginger Damon is a member of the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates Committee and the Atwater Neighborhood Council board.) -cw
Vol 9 Issue 34
Pub: Apr 29, 2011