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 'A PROMISE IS A PROMISE'

Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

Is this “The Year of the Neighborhood" for LA?

RETHINKINGLA - Writer Dorothy Parker once described Los Angeles as 72 suburbs in search of a city. Since then the number has grown to almost 100, reflecting LA’s robust diversity and the fact that Angelenos tend to identify more with their neighborhood than with their city.

Some of the most heated battles in recent history have taken place over neighborhood boundaries as communities seek to claim unique identities that reflect their cultural, economic, and political personality and character.
The boundary between Hollywood and East Hollywood continues to stir debate just as the formation of Lake Balboa and Valley Glen did when portions of Van Nuys were renamed, giving real estate agents a shot at a better commission.

In some cities, this rich diversity of neighborhoods is celebrated in a municipal demonstration of the fact that the whole is greater than the parts. In other cities, such as Los Angeles, City Hall seems to struggle with this vibrant cast of community voices, urging community members to homogenize their message.

Sydney, Australia is a city of 4.6 million people, divided into 649 neighborhoods and 40 local government areas. Sydney identifies itself as a “City of Villages,” not just in words but in behavior. The Lord Mayor uses public transportation to take the business of City Hall to local communities, demonstrating that a large Alpha+ World City can be an international power at the same time that it establishes a connection with local politics.

Nagoya, Japan is one of LA’s Sister Cities, a relationship that is working better for Nagoya than it is for Los Angeles. The Mayor of Nagoya celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Sister City relationship by conducting a special seminar that featured LA’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and demonstrated his commitment to the concept of participatory democracy at the local level.

EmpowerLA’s General Manager BongHwan “BH” Kim and Russell Brown, then President of Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, were guests of Mayor Kawamura who embraced the concept of local governance so much, he has since moved to devolve the City Council in favor of empowering local neighborhoods. He was recently reelected by a landslide, demonstrating that this is “The Year of the Neighborhood” in Nagoya!

A delegation from Venezuela recently toured the United States as guests of the Department of State, stopping by EmpowerLA’s office for a lesson on “Grassroots Democracy and Citizen Participation in the Political Process.”  America’s International Visitor Leadership Program recognizes the power to be found in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles and the value of sharing that power with other countries.

Meanwhile, City Hall stands tall as if a neighborhood unto itself, requiring communities to trek downtown to participate while other cities take their municipal show on the road.

With citywide elections on the horizon, Los Angeles is at a crossroads.

Will the candidates for Mayor, City Controller and City Attorney celebrate local politics and declare this “The Year of the Neighborhood!” or will they simply continue in the centralized silo approach with Neighborhood Councils lined up as spectators?

Will the candidates for the eight City Council seats commit to empowering the many neighborhoods that make up their districts or will they tender the usual promises of city services in an effort to quell any hint of discontent?

Most importantly, will the members of LA’s Neighborhood Councils declare this “The Year of the Neighborhood!” by supporting the candidates who have risen from the EmpowerLA community and answered the call?

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net. You can also find him on Twitter and on Facebook.)
–cw

Tags: Stephen Box, Rethinking LA, neighborhoods, Year of the Neighborhood, Sister Cities, Neighborhood Councils, Los Angeles, City Hall









CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 37
Pub: May 8, 2012

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