CD2 Policy

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We’ve Moved…

You might have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet on CD2Policy.wordpress.com. It’s not because there isn’t policy news coming from our office, but because we’ve switched websites. Due to some technical issues we’d rather not delve in to, CD2Policy will now be hosted by Blogger, instead of WordPress. The address is now cd2policy.blogspot.com. For those who’ve signed up on this site to receive automatic posts by email, please make sure to do the same on cd2policy.blogspot.com by clicking the Follow button in the right column. Thanks so much and please let us know if you have any questions.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | paul krekorian | Leave a comment

You Are Cordially Invited…

Click to enlarge

Please excuse us as we shift from policy to party, but on Wednesday, Dec. 15, Councilmember Paul Krekorian – and his staff members – will host a holiday party/open house in Sunland-Tujunga.

Come mingle with Paul, our neighbors and the city staff members who day in day out work to make our district wonderful.

The festivities will kick off at 4 p.m. at our Sunland-Tujunga Field Office, 7747 Foothill Blvd., and will include light refreshments and beverages, though everyone is invited to bring a plate of holiday cookies for a special cookie contest.

All are welcome, but RSVPs are encouraged. (Click on the flyer to the right for more information.)

For questions, or to RSVP, please call us at (818) 352-3287.

We hope to see you there and Happy Holidays!

December 6, 2010 Posted by | happy holidays, paul krekorian | , , | Leave a comment

City Council Strengthens Neighborhood Council Department

BREAKING: The City Council, just moments ago, unanimously approved a motion (.pdf) to add five positions to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees the city’s 91 neighborhood councils. This is a budget-neutral move, transferring $1.3 million from the Community Development Department to ensure DONE can continue its important work as a stand-alone department.
Story to follow…

August 11, 2010 Posted by | paul krekorian | 3 Comments

Krekorian Motion Aims to Increase Transparency

Paul, announcing his candidacy for the City Council in Valley Glen in 2009.

LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Paul Krekorian continued his fight this week against stealthy third-party political donations known as independent expenditures. After years of fighting against them in the state, Krekorian introduced a motion in the City Council Tuesday that aims to increase the transparency of spending by independent expenditure groups which have grown exponentially this decade.

“Elections should not be bought and paid for by special interests,” Councilmember Krekorian said. “This motion will help ensure a high level of transparency and accountability throughout Los Angeles without ceding the basic democratic values we all hold dear.”

Krekorian’s motion outlines three basic strategies to curb the pernicious effect of independent expenditures, a political activity intended to assist or oppose a specific candidate for office that is made without their cooperation, approval or direct knowledge. If approved, Krekorian’s motion would:

1) Triple the penalties associated with violations of the disclosures required by the city’s municipal code;

2) Require broadcasts or mass mailings by a committee making independent expenditures to include a disclosure statement. That statement would have to include the name of the committee, the names of the persons making the two highest cumulative contributions of $5,000 or more in a 12-month period, and, a statement that clearly identifies the economic or other special interest of the donors who contribute $5,000 or more;

3) Require a committee making independent expenditures to disclose the name and telephone number of its committee.

As a state Assemblyman, Krekorian authored two pieces of sunshine legislation that sought to peel back the layers of shadowy independent expenditure spending. While his legislation was thwarted twice by special interest groups in the state Legislature, Krekorian vowed not to ease his fight to increase transparency.

During his recent campaign for the City Council, though Krekorian took home 56% of the vote, he was outspent more than 2-1 in overall campaign dollars and more than 13-1 in independent expenditure donations.

Some of the tumult surrounding the expenditures during the campaign centered on a group called Working Californians, a group supporting Krekorian’s main opponent.

Working Californians sued the city of Los Angeles to overturn a 24-year-old city ethics law that had barred independent expenditure groups from collecting more than $500 from individual donors. The group said L.A.’s law was preventing it from contributing en masse to his opponent in her bid for the council.

Two weeks after the suit was filed, a federal court judge denied Working Californians’ request for a temporary restraining order. In response, Krekorian said: “By filing this lawsuit, the downtown power brokers proved that they aren’t satisfied just trying to steal this election for her- they want to hide their tracks too.”

“I was very proud to defend the ethics laws that the voters of Los Angeles enacted and have relied upon for nearly a quarter century.”

The City Attorney now has 30 days to report back to the council on a new ordinance reflecting Krekorian’s motion, which you can see below:

June 24, 2010 Posted by | paul krekorian | 3 Comments

Council Nixes DONE Consolidation

Today, at the behest of Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the City Council voted 12-0 against the mayor’s proposal to consolidate the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the Community Development Department.

Councilmember Paul Krekorian during a Los Angeles City Council meeting.

This action followed months of debate in the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, which Krekorian chairs, and will be followed by many more meetings throughout the city to determine the future of neighborhood councils. Read more about this ongoing debate from our past live-blogs: here, here and here.

In addition to opposing the consolidation, Krekorian introduced an amendment that instructs the city’s Chief Administrative Officer to ensure DONE can continue serving neighborhood councils:

A proposal to reorganize DONE and improve support to the Neighborhood Councils is going to require additional time to work with the City staff and receive input from stakeholders.

To ensure continued support for the Neighborhood Councils, I move to instruct the CAO to report back in 15 days to the Education and Neighborhoods Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee with a proposal to continue operating DONE as a standalone Department for up to six months while the Council and Mayor develop a new organization structure for DONE. It should be the goal of this proposal to ensure cost neutrality, but the CAO should report, in any event, on any budgetary impacts.

Stay tuned to CD2Policy for updates on what lies ahead for neighborhood councils and, as always, let us know your thoughts.

June 15, 2010 Posted by | paul krekorian | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alert: Special Meeting Tomorrow to Address the Future of Neighborhood Councils

Special Alert: A special meeting of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee has been called for tomorrow, Friday, June 4, 2010, at 1:30 p.m.

During the session, committee chair Councilmember Paul Krekorian, and others, will address the mayor’s plan to consolidate the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the Community Development Department. This important meeting, which has numerous implications for the future of neighborhood empowerment in our city, will take place in room 1010 of Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

Click this link for the agenda (.pdf)

At last week’s committee meeting, (a recap of which you can read here), dozens of community activists and neighborhood council members spoke against the proposal. Councilmember Krekorian pressed the mayor’s representatives on what cost savings the city might achieve from the plan and how the proposal will increase transparency and accountability while still allowing neighborhood councils to remain viable forms of community empowerment.

Have your say by attending the meeting or joining the conversation, right here, as we live-blog what should be an interesting session.

Thank you,

Your CD2 Policy team.

June 3, 2010 Posted by | paul krekorian | Leave a comment

Neighborhood Council Election Results Are In

The unofficial tally is in and available from the City Clerk’s Election Division. Click this link (.pdf) and check the Region C results for the 11 neighborhood councils that held elections Thursday.

Congratulations to everyone who participated, especially to those whose heady task of empowering their communities lay head.

You can check the individual NCs on the city clerk’s website, but we wanted to share with you the turnout figures from across the east and west Valley showing that nearly 2,000 residents from just 11 communities voted in this round of elections.

The unofficial tally is courtesy the L.A. City Clerk's office

May 28, 2010 Posted by | paul krekorian | 4 Comments

Neighborhood Council Elections Today – Find Out Where to Vote

Hello and welcome to neighborhood council election day. In this morning’s Daily News, Councilmember Paul Krekorian had this to say in an opinion piece:

THROUGHOUT the San Fernando Valley today, neighbors will be coming together to select their community’s leadership in neighborhood council elections. The results of this latest step forward toward neighborhood empowerment will impact our communities for years to come.

Neighborhood council members play an active role in shaping the present and future of our community. The neighborhood councils are critical partners for me and my staff as we serve the people of the Valley, and they help inform my thinking about development, transportation, quality of life and public safety in my work in City Hall.

Every Valley resident who wants a say in shaping the future of our community should participate in these neighborhood elections.

Read the whole piece by clicking here.

If you live or do business in Reseda, Tarzana, Lake Balboa, Encino, Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Greater Valley Glen, Mid-Town North Hollywood, Valley Village, Studio City and/or Greater Toluca Lake, you may vote from 2 to 8 p.m.

A complete list of polling locations is after the jump:

Continue reading

May 27, 2010 Posted by | paul krekorian | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Live Blogging the Education and Neighborhoods Committee Meeting


Councilmembers Paul Krekorian (l) and Dennis Zine (r) take questions from neighborhood council members during the Education and Neighborhood Committee meeting, May 26, 2010.

3:30 Hello and welcome to another live blog from the office of Councilmember Paul Krekorian. For information on this website, click here or visit cd2.lacity.org.

3:43 Mayor’s office detailing consolidation proposal and touts “interactive” new website they say are the direct result of collaboration b/n neighborhood councils and city.

3:45 Mayor’s office now describing problems DONE is having. The “perfect storm” consists of: economy; controller’s audit that “spoke to lack of accountability, lack of controls…that didn’t paint NCcs in the light they deserved to be painted.”; DONE is almost entirely made up of work staff not protected by union agreements. i.e., they could be fired.

3:50 Mayor’s office says CDD is doing some of the same things DONE has done. “CDD would be a good partner,” he said, “Because we are  already in the community.”

3:54 As staff continues to sing the praises of consolidation, let us introduce ourselves. This is a live-blog from the staff of Councilmember Paul Krekorian. We do this in an attempt to increase transparency and accountability. Today’s meeting will take up the proposed consolidation of DONE, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, into CDD. Check the agenda of the meeting here. (.pdf).

3:58 Krekorian asks: What is the anticipated cost savings the mayor expects to realize?  The answer: $1.5 million annually. Krekorian presses for more specificity. “I’ve heard that number, but I have not seen the breakdown,” he said.

4:01 Most of the cost reductions come from the drastic cut in staffing – from 36 to 18 – of DONE.

4:04 Before I can consider supporting something like this, “I wanna have a high level of confidence the budget savings are real,” CM Krekorian said. i.e.: Prove to us we will actually save money.

4:07 Mayor’s office says best use of DONE staff, with consolidation, would not be to attend NC meetings but to “sit in an office and provide answers.” Says that many NC’s are high functioning and don’t need city staff there to watch, “except to observe the amazing projects they are doing.”

4:11 Councilmember Zine, a member of the committee, is skeptical that the city will realize a robust amount of savings. “How much of it is real money, how much of it is fluff money?” he asks. “The $1.5 million doesn’t seem like much. I thought it would be a substantial cost savings.”

4:15 Krekorian calls the proposed consolidation a “roll of the dice” and says it could “endanger” the future of neighborhood councils. “That’s a risk I’m not willing to take,” he said.

Continue reading

May 26, 2010 Posted by | paul krekorian | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Tell Us What You Think About the Future of Neighborhood Councils

Mayor Antonio Villaraiogsa has proposed consolidating the Community Development Department into the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which many of you know as DONE.

This is a potentially historic moment for neighborhood councils as it could prove to be a monumental fork-in-the-road for the future of neighborhood empowerment. Tell us what you think of the proposal by taking this poll and feel free to give us your ideas in the comments section on how to reform DONE.

May 21, 2010 Posted by | paul krekorian | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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