Category: Dept of Neighborhood Empowerment

Discuss NC Reform & Community Interest Stakeholders with the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners: July 23 (Valley) / Aug 7 (East LA) / Aug 15 (location TBD) / Aug 20 (DTLA)

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As part of their next few meetings, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners will hold town hall style discussions of the City Council’s Neighborhood Council Reform motion (CF 18-0467). You are invited to join their conversation, and help shape the future of the NC system.

One key part of the discussion will focus on Community Interest Stakeholders. Community Interest Stakeholdership of a Neighborhood Council is currently defined as engaging in “ongoing and substantial participation” in the community that NC serves, but what does “ongoing and substantial” mean as a qualification?

Community Interest Stakeholders are just one item on the list of reforms proposed for the Neighborhood Council system. If you haven’t yet read the entire NC Reform proposal, please read it here: http://tiny.cc/NCReform

Here are the upcoming Commission meeting dates where you will be able to share your feedback on these NC reform-related issues:

Special Meeting – Monday, July 23, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
Kaiser Permanente Panorama City
Medical Office 2 – Classroom 1 + 2
13730 Roscoe Blvd Panorama City, CA 91402
(free on-site parking available)

Get the 7/23 agenda: http://ens.lacity.org/done/agendas/doneagendas197123085_07232018.pdf

Regular Meeting – Tuesday August 7, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
Boyle Heights City Hall
2130 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033 
(free on-site parking available)

Special Meeting – Wednesday August 15, 2018
time & location TBD

Regular Meeting – Monday August 20, 2018 @ 1:00 pm
City Hall
10th Floor Conference Center (Room 1050)
200 North Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
(street parking only)

Recap of LA’s 2016 Congress of Neighborhood Councils

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This year’s Congress of Neighborhoods for the Neighborhood Councils (NCs) was up in attendance by the hundreds and consistent in quality as previous years. The program was well planned out and consisted of workshops from gaining knowledge of City departments’ protocols to improving pertinent management skills required of NC board members for successful interactions in increasing City engagement. There were 39 workshops coordinated with presenters, some with moderators and panelists that included City officials.

The LAPD Cadets served as hospitality hosts, adding charm and formality to the NC Congress. Their elegance was all around the rotunda of the 3rd floor at City Hall, providing directions to arriving visitors. “In that direction,” said one as she pointed with her white gloves.

In the opening session, City Council President Herb Wesson, Chair of the L.A. City Neighborhood Councils Committee, opened with brief Read more »

Stakeholder Definition Changes

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On Wednesday, December 18, 2013, LA’s City Council voted unanimously to approve CF 12-1682, changing the name and definition of the Factual Basis Stakeholder to Community Interest Stakeholder, defined as those who have a “substantial and ongoing participation within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries.”

The ordinance now goes to the Mayor for his signature and then must be posted before it becomes effective, anticipated to be around the end of January, 2014, which is in advance of any of the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections scheduled to take place in March, April, and May of 2014.

In preparation for the transition from the current Factual Basis stakeholder definition to the impending Community Interest stakeholder definition:

The EmpowerLA website has been revised so that this statement appears at the top of each Neighborhood Councils 2014 Elections page with asterisks on the Board Seat, the Candidate Qualifications, the Voter Qualifications, the Elections Manual, and the Acceptable Forms of Documentation:

*Pending legislation may result in a revision of the definition of the Factual Basis stakeholder, which may impact the qualifications to run and to vote for Factual Basis seat(s).

The City Clerk and the Independent Election Administrators will advise all Candidates filing as Factual Basis Candidates that the open seat’s name and qualifications are subject to change when the Ordinance becomes effective, at which time they would have three business days to offer additional documentation, if necessary, in order to qualify for the newly defined seat.

The City Clerk, when certifying Candidates, will offer two forms of certification; one for Candidates that are certified and one for Factual Basis Candidates who are “Certified pending anticipated Ordinance which may require additional documentation.”

Vote-by-Mail voters that file as Factual Basis Voters will be notified that the pending change in the definition of the Factual Basis Voter may impact their qualifications as a VBM voter.

The LA Times writes, “The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to tighten the rules for who can vote in neighborhood council elections after complaints that an overly broad definition of community stakeholder had allowed outsiders to manipulate results.

The new rules mark an ongoing attempt to refine the neighborhood governance system, struck in the late 1990s after the San Fernando Valley secession movement to give residents a stronger voice in city politics.

Previously, anyone could vote in a neighborhood council race just by displaying a receipt for a latte from around the corner, as proof of having a vested interest in a community — a “Starbucks stakeholder.”

Now voters must either work, live, own property or show membership in a community organization within council boundaries. The new language changes the voter definition from someone who “owns property” to someone who “owns real property.”

The City Attorney writes, “On October 1, 2013, City Council requested that our Office amend the definition of a “Stakeholder” in the Neighborhood Council system. City Council asked that we
change the definition to reflect that membership will be open to anyone who lives, works or owns property in the neighborhood and also to anyone who declares a stake in the neighborhood as a Community Interest Stakeholder. “Community Interest Stakeholder” is defined as a person who affirms a substantial and ongoing participation within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries and who participates in community organizations with areas of focus that include, but not limited to, educational, non-profit or religious. In addition, City Council requested that the term “own property” be defined to mean “own real property.” The requested change is reflected in LAAC Section 22.811 (a)(2), which states:

“that neighborhood council membership will be open to everyone who lives, works or owns real property in the neighborhood and also to those who declare a stake in the neighborhood as a community interest stakeholder, defined as a person who affirms a substantial and ongoing participation within the neighborhood council’s boundaries and who may be in a community organization such as, but not limited to, educational, non-profit and/or religious organizations;”

In addition to changing the stakeholder definition, City Council also asked for certain changes to the Neighborhood Council board structure. Specifically, City Council asked that any at-large positions on the Neighborhood Council Board be open to all stakeholders and not simply community interest stakeholders. Thus, City Council asked to remove the requirement that Neighborhood Councils provide governing board positions reserved for Community Interest Stakeholders provided that there is an at large position for which all stakeholders may vote and run. In addition, City Council requested that Neighborhood Councils be allowed to “determine the number of governing board seats that will be allocated to the Community Interest Stakeholder.” City Council also requested that the affirmation of those Community Interest Stakeholders proposed in the Neighborhood Councils by-laws be consistent with and equal to the affirmation required of stakeholders who live work or own property. The requested revision is reflected in LAAC Section 22.810.1 (b)(2)(C)(iii)(1), which states:

“The governing body must, to the extent possible, reflect the diversity of the neighborhood council’s stakeholders. All stakeholders must be eligible to vote and run for at least one board seat. Neighborhood councils may allocate their board seats to specific stakeholder categories and establish stakeholder eligibility requirements in voting for the board seats. If a neighborhood council allocates its board seats to specific stakeholder categories, then the neighborhood council must include at least one seat for which every stakeholder is eligible to vote and run. Neighborhood councils may not allocate a majority of their board seats to a single stakeholder group, unless approved by the Department upon a showing of extenuating circumstances. The election procedures created by the Department or City Clerk pursuant to Section 20.36 shall require, in a situation where neighborhood council requires that a stakeholders to provide proof of eligibility, that proof of stakeholder status for community interest stakeholders must be consistent with and substantially equivalent to the evidentiary proof required of stakeholders who live, work or own property.”

For more information on Stakeholder definitions, how to run as a Candidate, serve as a Volunteer, or participate as a Voter in the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections, visit EmpowerLA.org or email [email protected] or call 818-293-8683 (vote).

To file as a candidate, contact LA’s City Clerk by emailing [email protected] or calling 818-293-VOTE (8683) or visiting their office at 200 N. Spring Street, Room 360 Los Angeles, CA 90012.

NC Plan Review Survey for Stakeholders

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https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9motions

This survey has been created by the Neighborhood Council Plan Review committees to provide you with an opportunity to weigh in on a number of current Neighborhood Council policy issues. Your time and attention is valuable and greatly appreciated.

Over the last half year, Neighborhood Council Plan Review committees have been carefully considering many of the laws which govern the Neighborhood Council system. A number of their recommendations have now gone before the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners. Before voting on the recommendations, the Commission would like your input. By filling out this survey, you will be providing the Commission with valuable feedback.

The committees have proposed motions recommending to amend the City’s Administrative Codes which touch upon numerous topics and would ultimately require City Council action. In some cases, the changes (or reaffirmation of current policy) can be effectuated at the Commission or Department level.

The nine topics that you’ll see addressed in the motions presented in this survey include:

  1. NC subdivision/boundary adjustment policies
  2. Grievances and complaints policies and procedures
  3. Rules for governing board selections
  4. Election policies and procedures; term limits
  5. Brown Act and posting policies
  6. NCs and rule formulation; appointments of General Manager, Board of Neighborhood Commissioners
  7. Creating and maintaining information and communication network for public use
  8. Duties of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners
  9. Exhaustive efforts process

If you would like to view the worksheets and related documents that the NC Plan Review committees used as they deliberated on these issues, you can do so at www.empowerla.org/ncplan. You can also leave comments on the webpage.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your input is valuable to the Commission and to the Neighborhood Council system.

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