DONE WATCH-On May 28, the following letter was submitted via email to the Mayor and City Council by over 40 Neighborhood Council Leaders throughout the City of Los Angeles by colleague Jack Humphreville.
From: Jack Humphreville
Date: May 28, 2019 at 5:45:30 AM PDT
To: Mayor & City Council
Subject: Citizens' Selection Committee / DONE GM
Mayor Eric Garcetti and Members of the Los Angeles City Council,
Attached (and copied below) is a letter to you from Neighborhood Council Stakeholders requesting the formation of a Citizens’ Selection Committee to assist in the appointment of a new General Manager for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.
There are no bcc’s associated with this email. However, this letter will be circulated to NC stakeholders and other interested parties.
We look forward to working with you in this important matter.
City of Los Angeles
Honorable Mayor Eric Garcetti
Honorable Members of the Los Angeles City Council
Los Angeles City Hall
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
May 27, 2019
Re: DONE General Manager
Dear Mayor Garcetti and City Council:
The undersigned, comprised of former and current Neighborhood Council Leaders as well as Community Leaders throughout the City of Los Angeles, request your consideration of this proposal to strengthen our citywide system of neighborhood councils.
Article IX of the City Charter establishes a framework for creating an operating Plan, a Department of Neighborhood Empowerment ("DONE") to assist and arrange support, a Board of Neighborhood Commissioners to set policy, and a General Manager ("GM") to oversee the Department; all on behalf of the councils themselves, now 99 in number.
With the recent announcement of the departure of DONE’s GM, we see this transition as a unique opportunity to adopt the lessons learned and to recruit and appoint a leader for DONE who will bring new focus and effectiveness to managing its day-to-day operations.
We believe it is imperative that people who know and understand the system best --neighborhood council members themselves-- be part of the candidate selection process. We ask you impanel a Citizens Committee similar in structure and intent as prescribed by the Los Angeles Administrative Code, § 23.145.2, and assemble a team of knowledgeable citizens to help guide the process and make recommendations to promote the best possible outcome.
DONE's "mission" has both formally and informally evolved over time, as have various understandings of what truly falls within the Department's purview. Presently, there is not a concise mission statement for the Department, or a job description outlining the GM's responsibilities. Without these, or a nuanced understanding of how DONE's operations directly affect its constituency, identifying the qualities and skill sets needed for someone to succeed in this role will continue to be challenging.
As such, and while no means exhaustive in approach, we would like to suggest a potential path for the formation of a Citizen’s Selection Committee:
- The Committee could be comprised of up to eleven (11) people made up of Mayoral and City Council Appointments which should include a majority of present or former NC board members with at least four (4) years of operational experience
- Candidate searches would be open to the public to invite and give equal weight to applicants from outside the Department and City Family
- During the search process, we respectfully request that a former or current NC member be selected as an Interim GM.
Allowing NC leaders, present or past, to participate in the selection process of the Department's leader will benefit the system, the individual councils, and most importantly, the stakeholders they represent.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.
For all signatories above, titles and roles have been placed for identification purposes only – the opinions expressed here are those of the individual signatory and do not necessarily reflect the views of any NC. This is only a partial list. (List Updates include additions and/or corrections as of 6/16/19 and are identified with an *)
Today we are on the precipice of making profound changes for our neighborhoods, and we could not be more excited about the possibilities.
This letter was written with the future in mind. As leaders and stakeholders in the NC system, with a wide open path before us, we can see a place where we have the opportunity to focus on our stakeholders, to be engaged in solving real problems, and to receive welcomed support from a Department rooted in Board Service.
If you are interested in boarding the ship with us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Place PLEASE ADD ME TO THE LETTER in the subject line.
FULL NAME: First Last
NAME OF: Neighborhood Council (PAST or PRESENT)
TITLE: President, Sec, Board Member, Land Use… (Include years with the title)
TERM: Year began, year ended. If Current use present for year ended/I.e.; 2014-Present
We are here to make a difference.
And we are fired up and ready to go.
(This advertorial was paid for by the DONE Watch Coalition, founded by Laura Velkei and supported by a coalition of Los Angeles neighborhood council activists.)