LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chairman of the city’s Education and Neighborhoods Committee, released a comprehensive review today of local democracy following a nearly year-long study of Los Angeles’ 92 neighborhood councils. The report encompasses the wide-ranging views of community leaders throughout Los Angeles.
“As Chairman of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, I have made it a priority to gather input from neighborhood councils and all other stakeholders interested in the future of the Department Of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) and the neighborhood empowerment movement,” Councilmember Krekorian said.
“This report is a culmination of that effort and reflects the various views and opinions expressed at numerous neighborhood council meetings, regional alliance meetings, and many other events my staff and I have attended over the last 11 months.”
The report summarizes the input provided by those who participated in the two citywide town halls the office of Councilmember Krekorian conducted to gather specific information on neighborhood council elections, the role of DONE, the funding program and training and ethics requirements for neighborhood council board members.
“The global economic crisis and the fiscal emergency facing the City of Los Angeles has had a devastating impact on the DONE budget, which has resulted in a reduction of DONE staff by more than 50%.,” Councilmember Krekorian said. “While the budget crisis has presented us with unprecedented challenges, I also see it as an opportunity – an opportunity to make DONE more efficient, more effective, and more focused on the core function of empowering communities and helping neighborhood councils to flourish. Going forward, I will utilize these opinions in my policy making process on how to move forward with the challenge of reforming and improving DONE and the neighborhood council system.”
In an effort to continue his open and transparent administration, Councilmember Paul Krekorian, on behalf of the Los Angeles City Clerk, encourages everyone to take a look at the recent summary of neighborhood council elections held between March and June 2010.
The report, which you can read here, details the neighborhood council election processes across the city, their cost, as well as provide some guidance for such elections going forward. The City Clerk will present these findings
Wednesday, Oct. 27 in City Hall, Room 1060, 200 N. Spring St. Los Angeles soon. The meeting of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee for the 27th has been postponed. We will let you know exactly when and where the next meeting will take place and apologize for any inconvenience.
Recently, Councilmember Krekorian held a neighborhood council town hall where a discussion on elections was a main focus. For more information on that, please click here.
Click here to read the Neighborhood Council Election’s Summary.
12:34 We’re just about ready to wrap up for the day. Don’t forget that you can always go on to our website, cd2.lacity.org and this site for more information and to keep the conversation going. Thanks to those who followed along and to the great input we received online!
12:08 Groups are shifting now and this is a good opportunity to tell you that each session, which is moderated by our staff, includes a note taker who is jotting down each item of discussion. This week, we will synthesize this info and put it up on this blog, allowing you to not only read these ideas, but rate them as well. Stay tuned and, if you have not done so already, you can sign up to receive updates via email by clicking on the button to the right.
12:03 Others say an “elections task force” should be formed to find out exactly what the issues are. “This will take time,” resident says, while another says there needs to be “outside independent reviews” of NCs to ensure that outreach is actually being completed and that everyone knows local NC elections are being held.
11:59 We are moving on to the election functions of neighborhood councils, the final stop on our mini-tour of breakout sessions. This one is led by Nate Jones and Heather O’Connor, who each work in our Sunland-Tujunga office. Some are frustrated by the job of DONE in administering elections, saying that NCs should operate their own elections, not the department.
Following the rousing success of the first Neighborhood Council Workshop, Councilmember Paul Krekorian is poised to host the second such town hall on Sunday, Oct. 24 on the campus of USC.
The workshop lasts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will allow neighborhood council members from around Los Angeles who may not have had the opportunity to attend the first workshop to speak in detail about the future of local empowerment, including the chance to help shape that movement through a series of break-out sessions.
The second Neighborhood Council Workshop follows September’s session, in which more than 100 residents hashed out the future of local democracy. At that event, participants helped shape the future of neighborhood councils during four group sessions in which issues such as funding, ethics and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) were discussed. See videos and a recap here.
The workshop will take place in the Founder’s Room of USC’s Galen Center, 3400 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles on Sunday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click here to see more details or to print a copy for your neighborhood.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Results of the Neighborhood Empowerment Town Hall Survey:
On Sunday, Sept. 19, Councilmember Paul Krekorian hosted a workshop to build a foundation for the future of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees the city’s 92 neighborhood councils. During the four-hour session, respondents were asked to offer their feedback about the town hall and how the next workshop – planned for October at USC (a specific date will be released soon) – can improve.
Respondents rated the workshop via a series of five questions from 1 – the lowest rating – to 5 – the highest. According to the survey, the workshop proved exceedingly beneficial as exemplified by the answers below:
- More than half – 51% – rated the workshop a 5, with one going above and beyond by rating the overall event a 6.
- The overwhelming majority – 79% – rated the workshop either a 4 or 5;
- The average rating of the entire event was 4.2;
- The highest rated question, asking if people felt they were able to effectively communicate, received an average rating of 4.39;
- The lowest rated question, asking if respondents believe the information gathered will be used effectively, received an average rating of 4.02;
- Asked about their overall impression of the event, respondents offered an average rating of 4.18;
- The highest rated response – 33 people rated it a 5 – was the question asking if respondents would encourage others to attend our next town hall.
The questions and videos from the workshop’s presenters below the fold:
On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Councilmembers Greig Smith and Paul Krekorian introduced a motion to strengthen local empowerment while improving the bicycle community. Their motion establishes an outreach process for the Department of Transportation to get feedback from neighborhood councils before bike lanes and other improvements are implemented in their neighborhoods.
“Today’s motion is a step toward creating an expanded community outreach process that gives a voice to neighborhood leaders throughout our city on transportation issues and in creating a future L.A. where bicycles and cars peacefully share the road,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chairman of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee. “It is vitally important to ensure that our neighborhood council members – who know their communities better than anyone – have a central role in setting priorities and addressing the array of specific transportation issues that impact their diverse communities.”
Councilman Greig Smith, who shepherded the motion through the council, said: “Traffic improvements can have a huge big impact – positive or negative – on safety, travel time and convenience for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, so it is crucial that community stakeholders’ voices are heard.”
See a copy of the motion below the fold:
On Sunday, Sept. 19, more than 100 neighborhood council members from throughout Los Angeles gathered to change local democracy in Los Angeles. The first of two Neighborhood Council Workshops, hosted by Councilmember Paul Krekorian, allowed residents the opportunity to present their own vision on the future of neighborhood councils and participate in breakout sessions to address specific problems they think plagues the NC system.
Watch Councilmember Paul Krekorian kick-off the event by clicking here or watch the YouTube video below*:
While all the data from Sunday’s event – including more videos – are still being processed, culled and meticulously arranged (we will have a detailed round up on this blog soon), we wanted to thank every one who spent Sunday afternoon with us, making the future a little brighter for local empowerment. For now, watch the video and enjoy some pictures from a great event.
On Sunday, September 19, join concerned residents throughout Los Angeles for the first Neighborhood Council Workshop to discuss the future of local empowerment. The workshop will take place in the Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center, Conference Room 1B, 6262 Van Nuys, Blvd., Van Nuys.
From 1 to 5 p.m., you will have the chance to hear from Councilmember Paul Krekorian, Department of Neighborhood Empowerment General Manager Bong-Hwan Kim and others.
In addition, you will get to have your own say during a series of break-out sessions to discuss neighborhood council funding, the mission of DONE, ethics training and much more.
You will also have the opportunity to present your own vision on the future of neighborhood councils. Audio-visual equipment is available upon request, but because of time constraints, each presentation will be limited to five minutes and we must be notified of each one by September 12.
For more information, or to RSVP, please call us at (213) 473-7002 or send your name, phone number and what neighborhood council you represent to Daniel.Lopez@lacity.org. Space is limited, please RSVP as soon as possible and feel free to print out the attached flier for distribution among your neighborhood council.
Hope to see you there and all are welcome!
Your CD2 Team
That big sigh of relief you heard this morning was from the city’s 91 neighborhood councils, who cheered a vote by the City Council Wednesday on a motion to they say will strengthen community empowerment.
The motion, by Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chair of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, restored five positions to the embattled Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) and transfered $1.3 million to it from the Community Development Department (CDD).
“This is a budget-neutral action that does not cost taxpayers a dime, but still allows the department to function in support of neighborhood councils,” Krekorian said. “DONE’s budget and staffing have been decimated of late, so this fiscally prudent move was an important step to strengthen community participation in governance.”
In fact, DONE itself was close to decimation after the mayor proposed rolling the department into CDD during this year’s budget negotiations. Neighborhood councils railed against that proposal, fearing it would be the death knell for the community empowerment department after its funding – and staff positions – had been steadily siphoned off.