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It’s Official: Second Neighborhood Council Workshop Set for October 24

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.


October 8, 2010 Posted by | Neighborhood councils | 1 Comment

Neighborhood Empowerment Town Hall Report

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:

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September 24, 2010 Posted by | Neighborhood councils | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Council Opens Lane of Bike Communication With Community

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.

Photo by Alex Thompson, via Flickr

“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:
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September 22, 2010 Posted by | Neighborhood councils | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Updated] First Neighborhood Council Workshop a Smashing Success

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.

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September 20, 2010 Posted by | Neighborhood councils | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Take Action! Urge the Governor to Sign Anti-Mobile Billboard Law

On March 30, Councilmember Paul Krekorian introduced a motion, with the councilmember from district two, to ban trailer-based mobile billboards throughout Los Angeles. These increasingly common annoyances are unsightly, take up much-needed parking and can even endanger public safety.

Call the Governor and tell him to sign AB 2756

Now, state legislation authored by Assemblymembers Bob Blumenfield and Mike Feuer would assist cities throughout California in eliminating this mobile blight. Their legislation, Assembly Bill 2756, passed the State Legislature and is on the Governor’s desk.

It is important for all of us to let the governor know how we feel about mobile billboards. Please call Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today at (916) 445-2841 and kindly urge him to sign AB 2756. You can also email him by clicking here.

Councilmember Krekorian personally took the opportunity to tell the Governor about why this issue is so important and our efforts to curb mobile billboards.

In his letter, Councilmember Krekorian said, in part:

“In the San Fernando Valley, mobile billboards have exploded in popularity recently, to the great annoyance of outraged residents and business owners. We have seen many of these pesky trailers blown over into traffic lanes, endangering drivers. Business owners have complained that they take up valuable parking spaces. Cyclists have reported that they cut down on bike lanes, forcing riders to veer dangerously into traffic.

Governor, we need your help.”

To read the rest of his letter, see below…

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September 17, 2010 Posted by | mobile billboards | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Your Chance to Help Shape the Future of Local Empowerment

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 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

To see the flier, which you are more than welcome to distribute to your neighborhood council, please click here or see below:
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September 3, 2010 Posted by | Neighborhood councils | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Krekorian Continues Efforts to Spur Local Film Production

Councilmember Paul Krekorian, on the Sony Studios backlot with Glenn Gainor, vice-president of physical production at Screen Gems | Ausgut 19, 2010.

Last week, multiple news agencies reported that Councilmember Paul Krekorian introduced a slate of motions to incentivize local film production and make the production of movies easier on those who help fuel one of our biggest economic engines.

Councilmember Krekorian, vice-chair of the Jobs and Business Development Committee, is a former California State Assemblymember who authored California’s first successful bill to incentivize local film production. His legislation has had a direct and immediate impact by generating at least $500 million in wages and more than 11,000 jobs since its passage in 2009.

Read all three motions by clicking on this pdf.

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Film Incentives | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Community Cheers “Very Major” Council Vote to Improve Neighborhood Empowerment

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.

Community empowerment: Alive and well in L.A.

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August 12, 2010 Posted by | Neighborhood councils | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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