NC BUDGET ADVOCATES—LA Neighborood Council Budget Advocates Janet Kim, Carol Newman, Michael Menjivar, and Ricardo Ramirez met with Chief of Staff Leela Ann Kapur and Budget Director Michiko Reyes from the City Attorney’s office to share recommendations, challenges, and successes concerning the city’s liability issue and lawsuits.

ADVOCATING FOR YOU-Los Angeles is home to the largest, most diverse system of grassroots governance in the world, the LA Neighborhood Council System. Except, in our city of 4 million people less than 1% of us know what a Neighborhood Council (NC) is or the amount of influence they hold. I've lived in LA for roughly a decade and had never learned any of this until this past spring. So, being brand new to the NC system myself, I was interested in learning more. What better place to make a real difference than in my own neighborhood, right? 

NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--Now that two neighborhood councils have been subjected to the new sub-division policy, let's review the outcomes and the flaws in the system: 

NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--Last week at the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners meeting, a startling new policy was allowed in the new Hermon Neighborhood Council Bylaws. 

ADVOCATING FOR YOU-I moved to Los Angeles for the little things. The weather, cruising around the city on beautifully kept roads with manicured trees, enjoying the parks and public spaces I can use 365 days a year. Except, I've lived here for a decade now and like most Angelenos, the chances to enjoy those are things have been few and far between. But, you might say, “why should I care? I don't have the time to worry about this.”

NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--Grievance panels and election challenge panels are one and the same. And they don't work. 

In 2 different election/referendums, the appointed panelists were over ruled by the general manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE). 

NC BUDGET ADVOCATES--After the releases of the City o Los Angeles Budget Summery on April 20, 2017, we went out into the community to get their perspective on the city's Budget Proposal. But after speaking with several Angelenos, who had a lot say but did not know where to take their concerns I spoke to Gloria Gonzalez a senior resident of the Eastside of Los Angeles. We asked Gloria, What are your thoughts on the Mayor's third proposed Budget? 

"I see the city of Los Angeles make promises to help the residents and increase services in someway year after year but nothing ever gets done and we hear the excuses about lack of funding, etc. I have been a resident of Los Angeles for over 50 years and I have never seen the city in such a state of disarray. The homelessness situation is out of control and waiting in line at any grocery and/or retail store takes hours. The infrastructure of Los Angeles is just deteriorating and I wish the Mayor and City official would do more to increase the value of our city. Los Angeles is starting to look like a 3rd world country, I can't walk down the street without someone asking me for change, someone living on the street or a rogue street vendor trying to sell me something. Every year the Budget Summary mentions something about addressing these issues but nothing is ever done about it." 

Q: So what can the Budget Advocates do to make sure these issues are addressed? 

Whether it's the Budget Advocates or anyone else, someone needs to hold the city responsible for the current state of Los Angeles. Regardless of what is going on behind closed doors in meetings, on boards etc. The city just looks bad and somebody needs to be held accountable. 

I told Gloria to take her concerns to the city council meetings and her local neighborhood council meetings. Go to EmpowerLA to find out when neighborhood councils meet, go to LA City to see a calendar of public meetings where you can voice your concerns.

Be up to date on what's going on in LA … especially your community … and get your questions answered. 

Also check out your the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate meetings twice a month, the first Monday of the month at 7 PM in City Hall and the third Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. to discuss the City's Budget and the City’s finances. 

Make your voice heard! Get Involved! It’s why Neighborhood Councils were created and made a part of the City Charter.

 

(Adrienne Nicole Edwards is a member of the NC Budget Advocate Committee.)

-cw

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