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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-2020 has become a year of change for us all, and the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates intend to address these changes in order to better represent and serve the Neighborhood Councils. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Board of Public Works governs the Department of Public Works and is comprised of a five-member full-time executive team that is committed to delivering Projects and Programs that enhance quality of life, economic growth, public health, and the environment to all Angelenos. 

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HOUSING THE UNHOUSED-On July 14, 2020, PATH Metro Villas Phase II (PATH II) was ready for occupancy and hit the ground running to serve those experiencing homelessness.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-In a world pummeled by budget deficits and the pandemic, the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates are pivoting from a single major White Paper incorporating reports on multiple City departments to a series of issue-driven papers drawn from concerns voiced by Angelenos. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Department of Public Works consists of more than 5,500 employees and is responsible for the design, construction, renovation, and operation of public projects ranging from bridges to wastewater treatment plants to libraries to curbside collection to graffiti removal to maintenance of streets, sidewalks, sewers, streetlights, and street trees. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Department of Public Works is responsible for the design, construction, renovation, and operation of public projects ranging from bridges to wastewater treatment plants to libraries to curbside collection to graffiti removal to maintenance of streets, sidewalks, sewers, streetlights, and street trees. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-In January, the Budget Advocates identified homelessness, affordable housing, and climate change as issues that would require significant resources for the City to overcome.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-People don’t want to be given problems. They want to be presented with viable solutions. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-How do we improve results in the long term? Whether it’s building a house or writing a paper or developing a sustainable city budget, the answer comes down to proper planning. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Does the City of Los Angeles control its labor force or are the public sector unions throwing Angelenos under the proverbial bus? 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-A budget is only as good as the information it incorporates. Inaccurate assumptions will produce a bad, bad budget. 

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-On January 27, the Budget Advocates published their 2020 White Paper “Radical Transparency” calling for more openness and transparency at City Hall, especially with regards to the choices by which they choose to spend the people’s money. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The mission of the Office of the City Clerk (Office) is to facilitate and support City legislative processes and meetings, record and provide access to the City's official records, preserve the City's history, support economic development, and conduct elections with integrity. 

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TPR INTERVIEW-Only a few weeks following the arrest of LA City Councilmember Jose Huizar on charges of corruption, TPR interviewed Jack Humphreville,

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The City Clerk serves as the Clerk of the City Council and maintains a record of all Council proceedings, maintains the official City records and archives, administers all City elections, provides fiscal, administrative, and personnel services to the City Council and Mayor, and provides staff assistance to City Council Committees. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) is responsible for administering the commercial cannabis licensing and regulatory program established by the LA City Council under the authority granted by the passage of Measure M by over 80% of the voters in March of 2017. 

Specifically, the DCR processes all applications for commercial cannabis licenses in Los Angeles, makes licensing decisions or licensing recommendations to the Cannabis Regulation Commission, and regulates the operations of licensed commercial cannabis businesses in the City. 

The DCR had 32 employees this last fiscal year with a focus on licensing and the social equity aspects of its mission. It also has to coordinate with three State agencies: Consumer Affairs – Cannabis Control, Department of Public Health, and Department of Food and Agriculture. 

Enforcement 

Since it has limited staffing, the DCR has to rely on other City entities for inspections and oversight of cannabis operations. 

Enforcement is critical to protect both the financial interest of the City which needs the industry’s taxes to supplement its General Fund, and City stakeholders who have been served up a brand new set of issues impacting their quality of life. 

The LAPD charges overtime for this enforcement work, meaning the City is paying 50% more for those services than it should.  

Which means that the $10 million the City budgeted for the LAPD to handle enforcement issues would go 50% further if these services were performed as part of their normal duties. 

And with the cuts to LAPD overtime in the current budget, funding for cannabis enforcement is effectively wiped out. 

Which is a false economy. Aggressive enforcement to remove the illegal operations would significantly increase the City’s income. More importantly, since illegal operators cannot purchase legally tested product, it would protect consumers from goods cut with potentially toxic extenders. 

The DCR would like to be directly funded for all aspects of cannabis control. This would allow it to hire its own enforcement unit including tactical gear and weaponry equivalent to what LAPD has, and SWAT level teams. 

Instead, this writer recommends they be assigned a trained and dedicated LAPD unit working on straight time and with experience in the types of procedures needed to shut down offenders and provide necessary protection for the licensed pot shops. This would achieve the same goals without creating another militarized force in a city already on edge from the Black Lives Matter protests. 

The DCR also depends on the Fire Department, Building and Safety, the LADWP and others to ensure that the entire supply chain of the cannabis industry operate legally and safely. 

As a recent addition to the City family and as a department working outside their purviews, the DCR receives less priority and is often charged premium rates for these services. To counter this, the DCR should work with these other departments to establish intra-departmental teams to educate all involved on the need for timely responses that benefit all parties. 

The more nuanced approach 

Putting the drama of SWAT raids aside, the DCR finds that results happen more quickly when employees are given civil fines at most; invoking criminal charges for owners when appropriate. Targeting the property owner/landlord can be far more effective because that strikes at the property’s ability to make money in the future. 

Another proven approach has been to remove utility services; without power and water illegal operations can’t operate. 

Public pressure is also key. The DCR currently has a complaint portal  which it needs to expand. 

As well as submitting complaints, anyone should be able to determine if a specific store is licensed (i.e. of benefit to the City tax base or potentially a criminal enterprise), obtain safety and testing grades for every store, and find health and safety materials. These should all be made available on the My311 app as well. 

In the meantime, the State of California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has launched a statewide public information program encouraging consumers to only purchase cannabis from licensed businesses and warning unlicensed businesses to become licensed. 

Consumers can verify the legal status of a cannabis business by visiting the Bureau’s Online License Search www.CApotcheck.com. 

Conclusions 

The DCR has to develop a more effective way to work with other departments in order to fulfill its mission. This includes expanding existing relationships, educating those involved of the benefit of timely enforcement, and creating their own communications team and procedures for operating efficaciously with the various agencies and departments with which the DCR interacts. 

The number of licenses needs to be doubled at a minimum to increase the revenue base and have a more realistic number of stores relative to existing demand.

Requests and complaints relating to cannabis issues should be funneled through the DCR to maximize results and minimize delays. It will then be in their hands to efficiently relay priorities to the appropriate departments and track outcomes. 

And above all else, in order to keep the taxes rolling into the City coffers so it can maintain services and keep its constituents happy, Los Angeles would be smart to step up funding for uncompromising enforcement. 

The foregoing was drawn in part from a meeting of the Budget Advocates with key members of the Department of Cannabis Regulation on October 28, 2019.

 

(Liz Amsden is a member of the Budget Advocates, an elected, all volunteer, independent advisory body charged with making constructive recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council regarding the Budget, and to City Departments on ways to improve their operations, and with obtaining input, updating and educating all Angelenos on the City’s fiscal management.) Photo: Eric Engman / AP. Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

 

 

 

NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) is responsible for administering the rules and regulations adopted by the LA City Council for licensed commercial cannabis businesses within the City. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Controller is one of three officials elected citywide. Ron Galperin, (photo above) was elected in 2013 and again in 2017, is the 19th Controller of the City of Los Angeles.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The City Controller is the elected paymaster, auditor, and chief accounting officer for the City of Los Angeles.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Housing cannot be built overnight. With the ever-increasing numbers of homeless Angelenos and the pending post-pandemic spike, why is the City still focusing first on foundation-up construction? 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-As point person for improving the circumstances of those who live unhoused in Los Angeles, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) must ensure there is sufficient affordable housing available for all Angelenos, no matter their income.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The new homeless numbers came out earlier this month and they are not pretty.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The City Administrative Officer (CAO) is the chief financial advisor to the Mayor and the City Council, reporting directly to both. The Office studies and makes recommendations on City management matters and assists the Mayor and Council on all aspects of the City budget. It also pursues other avenues for City revenue and oversees the City’s war on homelessness. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The City Administrative Officer (CAO) is the chief financial advisor to the Mayor and the City Council, reporting directly to both.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The General Services Department (“GSD”) provides internal support for City programs in the delivery of services to City residents.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The functions of the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) have evolved over the years.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The goals of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) are to improve the quality of the street surface, maintain a safe, clean, and green public right of way, and build streetscape improvements.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The world is always changing, and the future of how people work in Los Angeles even more so in response to the pandemic. Working remotely, which has been growing as an option since the advent of the internet, has been fast-tracked in the stay-at-home world. 

A significant number of positions handled by the Personnel Department for the City can be performed from home. Others cannot. 

When the Budget Advocates met with the Personnel Department before “coronavirus” entered our daily vocabulary, they asked the question, “What is the future of Work?” 

Today, the answer has far greater significance, both in staffing needs and in the infrastructure required to deliver City services to Angelenos. 

And how priorities must change. 

Existing goals the Personnel Department must continue to pursue are: 

  • Increased emphasis on employee retention 
  • Developing non-management career paths so employees who are not interested in management have the ability to advance their careers 
  • Succession planning and the transfer of institutional knowledge as more experienced personnel take retirement across all departments 
  • Emphasizing a consistent approach to human resources services in the 24 departments that they serve 

To these, they now must add: 

  • Matching existing employees to new jobs 
  • Retraining or adding skills so people can perform in a new environment 
  • Encouraging employee buy-in of new programs and policies 
  • Increasing resources for employee health and security both in their job space and on the streets near City Hall 
  • Leadership development and training focusing on a brave new world 

Personnel must also prioritize a vastly improved interface with the other departments to address both past concerns and learn how to navigate in this uncertain future. First and foremost, it needs to continue its implementation of continuous testing, so new employees are available as needed by the departments.

Given the inherent inefficiencies associated with civil service testing and related gatekeeper procedures, qualified candidates often end up accepting other jobs while waiting.  

If nothing else, Personnel should develop and maintain a rolling list of preapproved hires, those whose successful score on the civil service exam means they are eligible for employment, to ensure they are still actively seeking employment and meet then-needed skills when a department needs to hire. 

When the job market is tight, which it will continue to be for certain positions, the department needs to become nimbler to fulfill its mission. 

Also, in conjunction with the City Council, Personnel must work to remove the obstacles in the City’s hiring process. 

And it should develop ways to protect valued and experienced employees from being poached by the proprietary departments and other jurisdictions that offer higher salaries and better benefits. 

As a delayed after-effect of the Great Recession lay-offs, all City departments are facing high levels of retirements now and for the next few years. In a time of fiscal uncertainty, it may also look wise to lay off senior staff who make the most money. 

But that is a false economy when the City stands to lose all that knowledge and institutional experience along with them. 

The City Council must authorize Personnel to develop and implement a requirement that, to ensure vital information is not lost, all new employees must work with departing employees as part of their job training. 

Finally, the department must lead the way out of the City’s siloization approach that has reinforced a sclerotic bureaucracy, by sharing lists across jurisdictions – county, state and national -- especially important in a work-from-home world. 

Ways in which the Department can contribute to the City’s bottom line include: 

  • Streamlining training to reduce costs and increase efficiency 
  • Removing as many roadblocks as possible from the civil service procedures 
  • Expanding harassment and related trainings to reduce the costs of addressing and settling liability claims 
  • Developing specific programs to address concerns regarding employee safety both within and outside their workplaces 
  • Placing greater emphasis on finding grants and writing grant applications with existing staff 

What IS the future of work? The permutations on both the conceptual and City scale are mind-boggling and, at least at this moment in time, totally unpredictable. 

It’s easy to say that only time will tell, but now that time is coming faster than anyone could have foretold. 

It takes time for a siloized bureaucracy to ramp up to pivot, so the Los Angeles Personnel Department must start preparing to get out in front of this challenge or the City will be left behind.

 

(The Budget Advocates are an elected, all volunteer, independent advisory body charged with making constructive recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council regarding the Budget, and to City Departments on ways to improve their operations, and with obtaining input, updating and educating all Angelenos on the City’s fiscal management.) Graphic: Working Nation. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

 

 

NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Los Angeles has a Personnel department that the rest of the City’s departments love to hate. It is blamed for all hiring problems and is a convenient scapegoat for many related problems. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Information Technology Agency (ITA) is a key part of the Los Angeles City infrastructure, managing IT (Information Technology) services for 18 elected officials, 41 City Departments and 48,000 City employees and, through services it provides the City, for four million Los Angeles residents, 97,000 Los Angeles businesses, and the 45 million tourists Los Angeles hosts in a normal year. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-As Vice Chair for Development of the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates, I recently made the following presentation to City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee on behalf of the Budget Advocates: 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Information Technology Agency (ITA) manages IT (Information Technology) services for 41 Los Angeles City departments, 18 elected officials, and 48,000 City employees.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-In generations past, many small boys wanted to be cops when they grew up. Today their sisters do as well. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLIITICS-Founded in 1869, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) celebrated its 150th anniversary last year.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-A prior article looked at some of the fire suppression and firefighter training aspects of the Los Angeles Fire Department/LAFD. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Los Angeles Fire Department (“LAFD”) is one of two departments that the Mayor says won’t be slashed in his 2020-21 budget. And for a very good reason – they have been on the front lines during this pandemic and will continue to be who we turn to when fires erupt in the coming months. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-In his State of the City address on Sunday, the Mayor stated that by shutting down the City early and addressing Angelenos’ immediate livelihoods, his focus is squarely on finding solutions, not people to blame. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-What was implicit in Mayor Garcetti’s moving State of the City speech (photo above) on Sunday was that for the City to make money, its stakeholders need to stay well and continue to make money. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) offers programs that strengthen the City’s neighborhoods and commercial corridors, creating a business climate where companies can grow and prosper by providing one point of contact for a variety of essential City programs and services.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering (the Bureau) performs critical services for other departments and, in conjunction with Building and Safety, and City Planning, for the residents of Los Angeles in ensuring that work performed on both public and private property does not negatively impact the integrity of the City’s infrastructure. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Los Angeles may be hunkered down against COVID-19, but its infrastructure doesn’t take a break.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-America has prided itself on being a young country and its history is full of heroism and adventure.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-A previous article touched on the need for the City Attorney’s Office to significantly increase its focus on risk management to reduce liability payouts across the City’s departments.  

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The day after Valentine’s Day, with love and dedication, the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates posted their NC Budget Advocates White Paper 2020 on their website

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-The City Attorney’s Office acts as legal advisor to the City.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-There are several takeaways from the people of Los Angeles vs. the billboard promoters that rages on in violent fits and starts. The current Council File dates back to 2011 but the battle goes back much further.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-No, this is not about squishing a fruit or selling it into sexual slavery. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-It’s nearly publishing time. The Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates (NCBA) have approved a motion to go to press with the 2020 White Paper. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-One of the most important functions of a Neighborhood Council is to submit Community Impact Statements (“CIS”) to various entities within the city of Los Angeles to communicate stakeholders’ views on issues under consideration. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-When the Big One hits chances are that everyone all over the city will be demanding action. Right now. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-In the event of a real emergency, one that will not last days but weeks or months or longer, the city will need to provide Angelenos with food, water, power, medical resources, shelter, sanitation, communications and transportation.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-When we talk about the Big One, most people think it will be an earthquake on the San Andreas Fault.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-$10.6 billion is a lot of money but that’s the amount the City of Los Angeles will be spending this year. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Los Angeles has always been a destination city – oranges and oil, the sunny Pacific and movie stars. But sometimes it can use a little help. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Who can forget “Chinatown”? Who has not complained about the increasing cost of water in Los Angeles? 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-According to a 2002 U.S. Geographical Survey, one-third of the water consumed by the four million residents in the central and west coast portions of the Los Angeles basin is ground water. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-I was driving down the highway the other day, when the Beatles stand-by came on the radio. Started humming along. Then went into shock because 64 wasn’t “many years from now.” It was now. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Where does the money for repaving our streets just prior to elections come from?  

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-2019 welcomed a number of new players vying for open City Council seats. Some are from the Neighborhood Council system and have a better-than-average understanding of the city’s political structure, while others are longtime activists dedicated to the well-being of their communities. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Do you hear us? While the Ethics Commission does good work in overseeing campaign finances as well as addressing malfeasance by city officials and employees, there are ways they should go further. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Is the LA Animal Services Department (LAAS) going down the rabbit hole of violating the First Amendment rights of its most qualified volunteers? The volunteers, as well as the animals they care for, deserve better.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS- Let’s talk about getting back-to-the-basics in these days of government-by-for-profit-interests. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS-Malfeasance at City Hall? No. Never in Los Angeles! Ah, but the use and abuse of power has as long a history here as elsewhere.

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NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL BUDGET ADVOCATES-The citizenry of Los Angeles want more services, but they want to pay less in taxes. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL BUDGET ADVOCATES-This is part of a series about various Los Angeles City Departments based on interviews and research by the Budget Advocates in the fall of 2019. 

Sewage? Garbage? Cleaning up homeless encampments? 

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NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL BUDGET ADVOCATES-Do you want to make a difference in your community but don’t know where to begin? Some Angelenos volunteer as Budget Advocates. Would you be interested? 

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NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL BUDGET ADVOCATES-Spay/neuter of dogs, cats, and rabbits saves the City a tremendous amount of money in the long run. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL BUDGET ADVOCATES-This is the third in a series of articles on the history of the Budget Advocates. 

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NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL BUDGET ADVOCATES-This is the second in a series of articles on the history of the Budget Advocates. 

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WHO’S LOOKING AFTER YOUR MONEY?--(This is the first in a series of articles on the history of the Budget Advocates.) If you have ever tried to get anything done through our city’s bureaucracy, such as fixing a pothole or trimming a tree, you know it can be a frustrating experience. 

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-After meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti on July 24, the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates made the following recommendations to the Mayor for his consideration when he is preparing his Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget and Policy Goals. 

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES-Our first article, published on April 25, 2019, discussed the role of the Los Angeles Animal Services Department (LAAS) and the status of its No-Kill goal for dogs in the City animal shelters. The second article, dated May 2, 2019, dealt with the No-Kill goal for cats and the role of the Budget Advocates in the City budget process. 

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES-The first article in this series, published on March 28, 2019, discussed the role of the Los Angeles Animal Services Department (LAAS) and the status of its No-Kill goal for dogs in the City animal shelters.

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES--After many years in which thousands of animals were killed in our City shelters for lack of space, the City has finally reached No-Kill for dogs.

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES-The first article in this series, published on March 28, 2019, discussed the role of the Los Angeles Animal Services Department (LAAS) and the status of its No-Kill goal for dogs in the City animal shelters.

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES-The first article in this series, published on March 28, 2019, discussed the role of the Los Angeles Animal Services Department (LAAS) and the status of its No-Kill goal for dogs in the City animal shelters. The second article, published on April 1, 2019, dealt with the No-Kill goal for cats and the role of the Budget Advocates in the City budget process. The current article will discuss the specific budget proposals made by the Budget Advocates to achieve and maintain No-Kill. The next article will discuss the proposals to increase volunteer support for the animal shelters and to provide adequate staffing for LAAS. 

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES-Los Angeles has not yet achieved No-Kill for cats. I think the main reason is because of the Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Injunction against the City.

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES--After many years in which thousands of animals were killed in our City shelters for lack of space, the City has finally reached No-Kill for dogs.

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USE YOUR VOICE-Our city of Los Angeles oversees dozens of departments which provide services to over four million people. 

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-“The City’s priorities are reflected in its budget, and how the government allocates its resources is the clearest explanation of what the government values,” explained Budget Advocate Vice Chair of Administration Barbara Ringuette in her training.

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BUDGET ADVOCATES--On August 30, City Administrator Officer (CAO) Jacob Wexler held his first session with Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates to provide a general description of the adopted 2018-19 City Budget, General Fund of $6.1 billion.

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-On June 23, after a savory catered breakfast in the art-deco rotunda of City Hall,

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INVITATION TO ALL ANGELENOS-The Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates invite all Los Angeles residents and stakeholders to their annual Budget Day at City Hall on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018. 

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BUDGET ADVOCATE NEWS-Last Saturday the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates held their annual meeting at City Hall. 

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-Far too many are caught up in the housing transition policy as the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) fail at parceling out resources to the neediest in our homeless population. 

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-Lean Six Sigma provides a means to improve the delivery of services using a disciplined, project-based approach.

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BUDGET ADVOCATES--Los Angeles Community College District is the largest community college district in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. The district consists of 9 campuses, and covers an area greater than 882 square miles. 

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-Caring about your neighborhood means that you care about your community. Caring communities make great cities, and that’s why many become part of neighborhood councils as committee members, board members and stakeholders.

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates (BAs) met for Regional Budget Day on Saturday, January 20, at the LA Zoo’s Witherbee Auditorium.  

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-The Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates of are not only charged with advising the Mayor’s office on the budget but also with making recommendations to improve city services. BAs Valaida Gory, Ivette Alé, Jon Liberman, Glen Bailey, and Estuardo Ruano met with transportation staff Monique Earl, Assistant General Manager, and Angela Berumen, Chief Management Analyst to give the following recommendations to the department: 

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-The Los Angeles Sanitation Department (LA San) operates with an annual revenue budget of over $1.1 billion, only about 2 percent of that coming from the City’s General Fund. Most of its funding comes from fees and special funds. 

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-As a City Budget Advocate, I volunteered to chair the Cannabis Committee for this year’s White Paper which will be submitted to the Mayor early next year.

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ADVOCATING FOR YOU-Los Angeles is a city of many neighborhoods, 97, if you consider the number of neighborhood councils currently working to make the Mayor’s office and City Council more responsive to local needs. Each neighborhood faces unique issues but there are also problems shared by just about every resident in this city. The city is expansive, from downtown to Gardena, from Hollywood to the Valley. 

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ADVOCATING FOR YOU-Nothing runs without money. No trash pickup, no street cleaning, no public services. One important function of the 97 Neighborhood Councils is contributing to a priority list of neighborhood needs that will be presented to the Mayor as part of the City’s yearly Budget preparation.

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BUDGET ADVOCATES-In nearly every public address they give, our City Councilmembers and Mayor mention how far our City has come in providing Angelenos an efficient and transparent government. 

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LA WATCHDOG-The Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates, elected by the Budget Representatives from the 97 charter-authorized Neighborhood Councils, believe that the Mayor and the City Council have failed to address the long term financial issues facing our City. At the same time, the City is resorting to financial gimmickry to eliminate next year’s projected $270 million budget gap. 

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES-The City faces numerous challenges, many due to the crumbling infrastructure, as well as increases in liability claim expenditures related to Transportation and LAPD. These challenges were addressed at the meeting between Budget Advocates and City Attorney staff members. 

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES-The Budget Advocates met November 18 to address numerous issues pertinent to their roles as advisors to the Mayor and Mayor’s Office, as well as being a liaison regarding budget and city services between the Neighborhood Councils and the Mayor’s Office and city departments. 

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES—LA Neighborood Council Budget Advocates Janet Kim, Carol Newman, Michael Menjivar, and Ricardo Ramirez met with Chief of Staff Leela Ann Kapur and Budget Director Michiko Reyes from the City Attorney’s office to share recommendations, challenges, and successes concerning the city’s liability issue and lawsuits.

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ADVOCATING FOR YOU-Los Angeles is home to the largest, most diverse system of grassroots governance in the world, the LA Neighborhood Council System. Except, in our city of 4 million people less than 1% of us know what a Neighborhood Council (NC) is or the amount of influence they hold.

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ADVOCATING FOR YOU-I moved to Los Angeles for the little things. The weather, cruising around the city on beautifully kept roads with manicured trees, enjoying the parks and public spaces I can use 365 days a year. Except, I've lived here for a decade now and like most Angelenos, the chances to enjoy those are things have been few and far between. But, you might say, “why should I care? I don't have the time to worry about this.”

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--Now that two neighborhood councils have been subjected to the new sub-division policy, let's review the outcomes and the flaws in the system: 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--Grievance panels and election challenge panels are one and the same. And they don't work. 

In 2 different election/referendums, the appointed panelists were over ruled by the general manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE). 

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--Last week at the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners meeting, a startling new policy was allowed in the new Hermon Neighborhood Council Bylaws. 

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES--After the releases of the City o Los Angeles Budget Summery on April 20, 2017, we went out into the community to get their perspective on the city's Budget Proposal.

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES--The Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates (NCBAs) are in the throes of "Budget Season".

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BUDGET ADVOCATES--On Thursday April 20, at 10 a.m., Mayor Garcetti will present the 2017-18 budget at City Hall.

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NC BUDGET ADVOCATES--The city of Los Angeles allows developers to build without adequate parking spaces per unit then tickets vehicles for parking in desperation anywhere they can.

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BUDGET ADVOCATES--The Budget Advocates of Los Angeles have been in existence for 13 years … a group of citizens dedicated to the people of Los Angeles and watchdogging the city's budget.

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