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Thoroughly Modern Bob – Coming to a Legislature Near You!

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE-Thoroughly Modern Millie was a Tony Award winner. State Senator Bob Hertzberg is rolling out his own sequel. The only problem is the production cost. Actually, the real problem is we will be the ones bankrolling it if Bob gets the green light. It is the most expensive tax scam concocted, more than California HSR. I’m talking…

Elite Girls School Has Brentwood Up in Arms … Over Traffic

John Schwada
INSIDE LA-Hairdresser Mikell Powell is walking her two dogs in Brentwood along Sunset Boulevard just across the street from the Archer School for Girls (photo left). “I’m opposed to anything that would make driving on Sunset here anymore hellish than it already is,” Powell says as her dogs tug on their leashes. No question: there’s a 1.2 mile…

Homeless LA: Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

Mike Bonin
WHO WE ARE-In recent years, Los Angeles has seen more progress in combating homelessness than it ever has – yet the problem is still getting worse. Since 2011, the region has housed more than 23,000 people – a record number even by national standards. Yet homelessness is on the rise. Encampments are proliferating in our neighborhoods throughout…

Can LA Afford Another Olympics?

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Boston bailed on hosting the 2024 Olympics when Mayor Martin Walsh refused to sign a host city contract with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) that would have put Beantown (and possibly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on the hook for any cost overruns associated with this 17 day extravaganza. But Walsh’s refusal to…

The Petty Hypocrisy of Mandatory Ethics Training

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-As a member of a neighborhood council board, I am required by state law to do 2 hours of ethics training every 2 years. Elected officials such as members of the City Council are also required to take this training. The curious thing about our California ethics rules is that they prohibit the small stuff while looking the other way…

Los Angeles: Brown lives Matter!

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-According to the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years in LA County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police. Of the 23 people fatally shot by law enforcement in the county this year, 14 were Latino. The Times raises an…

Grading the LA Times: Mike Feuer’s B+ Leaves Something Out

Noel Weiss
OTHER VOICES-Reading the LA Times’ Report Card grade of B+ for City Attorney Mike Feuer, it was good to see at least a 'hat-tip' to the issue of whether the City Attorney really is the “attorney for the people.” But their conclusion seems to be that he is not, and I believe that is wrong. Exactly who does the City Attorney represent? Certainly, he…

Beverly Hills Pounds Final Nail in Bike Lanes Coffin

Mark Elliot
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-If you expected that Beverly Hills might install bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard when reconstructing it next year, you will be sorely disappointed to know that City Council just pounded the final nail into the bike lanes coffin. City Council split on the Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to expand…

Helter Skelter, Murder and the Looming Race War

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-In one of our last conversations before his death earlier this year, author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lamented that while he had successfully imprisoned Charles Manson, he feared he had only made a dent in the threat of an apocalyptic race war that the mass murderer had hoped to ignite. “Madness and mad men,” said Bugliosi,…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Joey has hope for the pope in Philly.





You’re gonna cry! Kids sing to teacher with cancer

Scarrrry! The Flying Gun

Kid Stuff! Full of chuckles


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

Let My People Vote!

NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS - LA’s City Council voted unanimously to authorize and direct the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to conduct Neighborhood Council board member elections on a temporary basis during the 2012 Neighborhood Council Election cycle.  The Office of the City Clerk retains the ability to conduct elections in 2014.


This action took place after months of debate and hearings that began last year when the City Clerk announced they would not be conducting the 2012 Neighborhood Council elections due to budget constraints.

During LA’s Congress of Neighborhoods in September of 2011, more than 600 community leaders from throughout the city filled City Hall where they were joined by the Mayor, Councilmembers, Commissioners and City Hall Leadership. Of all the issues that were raised that day, it was Neighborhood Council elections that received the highest priority and the most united support.

In the eight months following the Congress, NC Alliances joined in the conversation and an Elections Task Force was formed to draft policy recommendations for the election process.

During Wednesday’s City Council session, Councilmember Parks reported on the Town Hall sessions he conducted as Chair of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, noting that of all issues, moving forward with Neighborhood Council elections was the most popular.

Bill Rosendahl elevated the dialogue and spoke passionately of his relationship with the Neighborhood Councils in his district, arguing that elections are the essence of participatory democracy and that he was committed to seeing them take place.

The most important point was made by General Manager BongHwan “BH” Kim when he stated out that the Department was in a position to move forward with NC citywide elections as soon as the City Council “amended the ordinance and funded the process.”

While the City Council action authorizing NC Elections is a tremendous victory for the many Neighborhood Council leaders who sent “Let My People Vote!” messages to the City Council, the ordinance is just one of two important steps.

The next step that the City Council must take will resolve the funding issue, setting aside the funds necessary to conduct the 2012 Neighborhood Council elections.

Neighborhood Council leaders should take note that one of the proposals on the table for election funding is to have the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) and the City Administrative Officer (CAO) to determine an appropriate dollar amount for each Neighborhood Council to contribute toward the cost of the elections, currently estimated to be $5000 per council. This would be in addition to funds that councils have allocated for outreach expenses.

The other proposal is the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment’s request for funding in the amount of $659,000 in the proposed fiscal year 2012-2013 budget.  This amount would cover hiring the additional staff needed to conduct elections, translation, printing, location fees and any necessary equipment and supplies. This funding request must still be approved by City Council.

In either scenario, Neighborhood Councils will be responsible for the outreach to their local community about the elections.

The fork in the road for Neighborhood Council leaders is to decide if they want to advocate for the election budget to come out of the City of LA’s budget or out of their Neighborhood Council budgets.

Either way, it is imperative that Neighborhood Councils weigh in on the issue and speak up quickly.

The next meeting of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee is scheduled for May 15th at 1:00 pm.

Neighborhood Council elections are scheduled to start August 4, 2012 and will take place through the end of October, 2012. The elections will be administered in twelve regions with an Independent Election Administrator assigned to each region.  

Polling locations will be staffed by both paid and volunteer poll workers and each region has been assigned a week in which the Neighborhood Councils in that region will choose one day to hold their election by majority vote.  On the day of the election, the Neighborhood Council can set the time in which they would like to hold their election.

(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, Neighborhood Councils, Los Angeles, elections, NC Elections







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 38
Pub: May 11, 2012

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