CD2 Policy

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Motion Calls for Greater Scrutiny of DWP Investigation

In late October, the L.A. Times reported that:

Criminal charges were filed Thursday against two employees of the Department of Water and Power, accusing them of setting up a scheme to defraud the utility using the agency’s corporate credit cards.

The two men are accused of using about a dozen DWP “P-cards,” or purchasing cards, to buy at least $3 million in products on the utility’s behalf between July 2003 and December 2009. They allegedly bought goods at an inflated price and pocketed the difference

Less than a week later, the L.A. City Council sought to ensure the ensuring DWP investigation does not fall into the black hole of bureaucracy. On Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010, the council introduced a motion that calls on the DWP to report back to city officials on the status of its investigation. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Paul Krekorian and brought forward by Councilmembers Bernard Parks and Jan Perry.

The motion will next be heard in the Energy and Environment Committee before it makes its way back to the council for a vote. Read a scanned copy of the original motion below the jump.
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November 4, 2010 Posted by | council motion | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

[Updated] Neighborhood Council Election Report

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.

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Neighborhood councils | , , , , , | Leave a 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

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 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!

Sincerely,
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

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

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

What Lies Ahead for the Proposal: Live-blogging the E & N Committee meeting

Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Janice Hahn listen as residents chime in on the consolidation proposal, June 4, 1010

1:47: Councilmember Paul Krekorian, head of the Education and Neighborhoods committee, kicks-off the meeting, apologizing for the late start due to the conclusion of today’s City Council meeting. There is one item on the agenda, and on everyone’s mind today: Whether the council should adopt the mayor’s proposal to consolidate the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) and the Community Development Department (CDD). First up is mayoral aide Aaron Gross.

1:51 Gross: “I think we established the need to look at the future of neighborhood councils (NCs)…we need to figure out the next steps to best serve NCs.” [During last week’s committee meeting, about two-dozen NC members spoke against the proposal. No one spoke in favor of it.]

1:56: Gross and, by extension the mayor, signal a willingness to go back to the drawing board. “We will put a halt on the 45-day clock and discuss with the community when is the appropriated place to start a new process.” Per the city charter, the council has 45 days to act on the consolidation. If no action is taken, the consolidation would go into effect.

2:00: Krekorian, who has been driving the debate, agrees and says he wants to develop a “consensus vision…for how we can move forward, more effectively.” He goes on to say he wants to work with the mayor’s office to develop a broader vision with NCs and wants to set up a dialog across the city “in the coming weeks and months…before we have a complete architecture on the larger policy.”

2:03 Committee member Councilmember Janice Hahn speaks of her trepidation about the proposed consolidation. “I feel like we’re doing this backwards,” she said. “We should have been getting the input of NCs…to focus on the future of NCs. I think we’ve wasted a lot of time and money working on a proposal that was not well thought out.”

2:09 Hahn said, “If we don’t have a positive, good thought-out plan, NC funding will run out.” Krekorian clarifies that NC funding is not part of the discussion and will not be affected by this proposal.

2:13 Mayor isn’t rescinding the consolidation idea, Gross says, but it’s one proposal and there are a number of other ideas out there. What are yours?

2:15 Krekorian proposes disapproval of mayor’s proposal. “That will be the end of that,” he says. Going forward, he vows to work with the mayor on a new proposal, but will start with input from NCs, other council offices, etc. “We will drive the policy making, but will do so with the mayor.”

2:18 Gross vows mayoral participation with the council, in general, and with this committee, specifically.

2:25 It’s public comment with those in attendance hoping NCs remain part of the discussion to shape their future and one resident calling for outgoing DONE GM, BH Kim, to stay on to oversee whatever transition takes place.

2:36 Krekorian officially recommends the committee deny the mayor’s proposal and, going forward, “draw input from the 91 NCs.”

2:48 Committee continues to hear public comment…

2:53 Meeting is adjourned. Stay tuned for how the committee intends to work with NCs throughout L.A. to ensure they remain viable, efficient and important stewards of local democracy. Thanks for following this live-blog and, as always, we welcome your comments.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | live-blogging | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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.

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

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