The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (The Commission) was established by the City Charter in 1999 as a policy-setting and oversight commission for the Neighborhood Councils and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.
The Commission is comprised of 7 Commissioners appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council to 5 year terms. The Commissioners are all from diverse backgrounds and geographic areas of the City of Los Angeles. The Commission holds regular public meetings the 1st Tuesday and 3rd Monday of each month and may also hold special meetings to conduct business.
The Commission ensures that the City Charter and the Neighborhood Council Plan are realized by setting policies with the aim of making Neighborhood Councils diverse, inclusive, and representative of all community stakeholders. The Commission believes strongly that the individuality of Neighborhood Councils should function as a catalyst for change in addressing the needs of their communities. By increasing access to City government and City services through the network of local Neighborhood Councils, the Commission strives to increase quality of life for everyone living in Los Angeles.
If you would like to contact the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, please call us at (213) 978-1551 or Email Us.
Paul S. Park – President
Paul S. Park is the General Counsel and Secretary of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, where he oversees and directs all legal matters pertaining to the Chavez Foundation’s operations including litigation, corporate transactions, and all compliance matters involving tax, labor and employment, and nonprofit laws. The Chavez Foundation houses over 16,000 low-income residents at its affordable housing facilities throughout the Southwest, inspires over 500,000 daily listeners through its nine nonprofit radio stations, educates thousands of students through its after-school tutoring programs, and preserves its National Historic landmarks and properties such as the 40 acres in Delano, California, and the National Chavez Center. Since 2002, Paul has also served in an array of executive management roles at the Chavez Foundation, including Acting President and Chief Operations Officer.
Prior to working at the Chavez Foundation, Paul practiced law in the San Francisco offices of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, on secured lending transactions, venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, as well as civil and criminal litigation matters. Clients included Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Fremont Ventures, Pacific Gas & Electric and Advanced Micro Devices.
Paul is a board member and past president of the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California. During his tenure, he established the KABA Foundation, a subsidiary charitable organization that provides free legal services, community workshops, and law student scholarships.
Paul is admitted to practice in the State of California, and holds a JD from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, where he served as an editor for the UCLA Law Review. He also received an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was awarded a Global Access Program Fellowship. Paul earned an AB with distinction from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
Len Shaffer – Vice President
Since becoming a resident of the San Fernando Valley in 1971 Leonard Shaffer has volunteered in many capacities. His participation in neighborhood organizations began in 1972 when he first joined the Tarzana Property Owners Association and he has continued to be an active member of the Board of Directors. He became interested in the idea of neighborhood councils after attending a series of conferences sponsored by the USC Public Participation Project prior to the passage of the 1999 Charter. He attended several city-wide meetings presented by the new Department of Neighborhood Empowerment for the purpose of formulating the plan mandated by the Charter. In 2002, as chair of the formation committee, he led the effort to form a neighborhood council in Tarzana. In January 2002 the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners certified the Tarzana Neighborhood Council. Leonard is currently the chair of the Tarzana Neighborhood Council.
Leonard expanded his participation from Tarzana to the City of Los Angeles. In 2004 at the Congress of Neighborhoods the USC Collaborative Learning Project conducted a session that explored the idea of a permanent Congress of Neighborhoods. That session evolved into a series of meetings that existed until January 2005 at which time USC announced that they would no longer be able to support the program. Neighborhood council members present voted to continue meeting with the goal of the creation of a continuous city-wide Congress of Neighborhood Councils. Leonard was chosen to facilitate the new group. In February 2005 he participated in the formation of what eventually became the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition, a group that he chaired almost continuously until January 2012. In 2006 he was appointed to the Neighborhood Council Review Commission where he served as a member of the Commissions Executive Director Search Committee, as chair of the Budget Committee and a member of the ad hoc committee on grievances. He is a participant in the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils and has been a member of its executive committee.
Leonard retired from the practice of law after 35 years as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney. He keeps active in the law field by helping fellow ham radio operators as a Volunteer Council for the American Radio Relay League. He has taught several classes concerning criminal justice at the University of Phoenix.
Daniel was born and raised in the City of Los Angeles and currently reside in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. He attended Cal State University Northridge and earned a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. He then received an AA in Liberal Arts from LA Mission Community College.
Daniel worked in the nonprofit sector for over nine years. Most recently, he was Site Director of Chrysalis in Pacoima, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals become self-sufficient through employment opportunities. Prior to Chrysalis, Daniel served for two years as Assistant Director of Pacoima Graffiti Busters. During this time, he helped put together numerous community cleanups utilizing community stakeholders and was responsible for all community outrach efforts.
Daniel has sat on numerous Executives Boards for community organizations some of which dealt directly with economic development, community development and business development.
Karen is founder and Executive Director of LA Commons, an organization dedicated to promoting Los Angeles’ diverse neighborhoods through locally based, interactive, artistic and cultural programming. LA Commons has implemented community art projects, tours and classes in communities throughout LA and in partnership with organizations such as the Central American Resource Center, the South Asian Network, Thai Community Development Center and UCLA.
Prior to her work with LA Commons, she served as a Public Service Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she researched the role of culture in community building. Karen’s appointment at Harvard followed work as the Vice President of Program Development and Planning at Community Partners, an organization that provides developmental support to start-up nonprofits throughout Los Angeles County.
While on staff at Community Partners, she developed a wide-range of initiatives including the incubator services program and organizational partnerships with institutions such as the California Wellness Foundation and the California Endowment. She holds an MPA from Harvard University and an MBA from the John Anderson School of Management at UCLA.
She is currently president of the board of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative and an appointed member to the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Cultural Plan for the City of Los Angeles.
Linda is a former elementary school teacher working in Pacoima, where she was raised. Principal in her own consulting firm for many years, she was host/producer of a radio show on Los Angeles public radio station, KCRW-FM from 1978-1980. She has also worked as a U.S. Senate campaign aide and as a Los Angeles City Council Deputy. During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Ms. Lucks was the manager of public relations for the Olympic Torch Relay and directed the post Olympics Job Opportunity Program for 800 full time employees.
Ms. Lucks’ public service on behalf of the State of California includes appointments to the Health Professions Education Foundation Board of Trustees in 2006-2010, Medical Board of California 2006-2009, Board of Psychology 1985-1994 and the Legal Service Trust Fund Commission of the State Bar of California 1997-2000. She served as the first woman president of the Los Angeles County Beach Commission appointed by Supervisors Edelman and Yaroslavsky.
A community activist and 40 year Venice resident, Ms. Lucks was elected president of the Venice Neighborhood Council in April 2010 where she has also served as Vice President and Community Officer since 2005. She served as Chair of the Venice Beach Area Police Advisory Committee and is a founder of the annual Venice Garden & Home Tour, a fundraiser for the non-profit Neighborhood Youth Association’s Las Doradas Children’s Center. She received the annual “Spirit of Venice” award in 1998 and a Women Leaders Award given by the National Women’s Political Caucus, Westside in 2008.
Ms. Lucks earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a graduate of John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley, California.
Douglas Epperhart’s first involvement with neighborhood councils was in 1998, when he organized a community forum for the Harbor area charter commissioners to talk about the concept then being discussed for inclusion in the Los Angeles city charter. He chaired the committee that organized the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, the second to be certified (December 11, 2001).
Epperhart served for on the board of the Coastal San Pedro council for 10 years, including four as president and short stint as treasurer. He also helped organize and served on the neighborhood council bylaws task force and elections task force, as well as chairing the effort to negotiate a memorandum of understanding between the city’s Department of Transportation and neighborhood councils.
Epperhart has been a active participant in the Alliance of Neighborhood Councils and Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition. He was a co-founder of the Harbor Alliance of Neighborhood Councils. He has been a panelist and presenter at the Congress of Neighborhood Councils several times, talking about how to do effective outreach and publicity, working with community groups, and the value of neighborhood council alliances.
Appointed to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners in November 2011, Epperhart has served on the Standards and Best Practices Committee and chairs the Neighborhood Council Plan Review and Reform Committee. He is an advocate for grassroots organization and believes the commission’s role is not just to facilitate the work of the city’s neighborhood councils, but also to ensure they maintain their independence and individual personalities.
Epperhart’s believes, as the late, great New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia said, “The essence of municipal government is good housekeeping. To make a city clean and keep it that way.”
Epperhart is a 20-year resident of San Pedro, where he operates a business publishing newspapers, newsletters, and anything else that can be printed.
Arnetta is the owner of Mack Enterprises Unlimited, an L.A. based consultancy specializing in communications, graphic design & event management. Over the last 16 years, she has worked with political campaigns, non-profit organizations, small businesses and ministries to manage their brand, messaging, community outreach and public relations strategies. She is the event coordinator for the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles, a popular monthly public affairs forum that discusses critical issues impacting urban communities. The forum has hosted some of the nation’s top newsmakers including Jesse Jackson, Winnie Mandela and then Senator (now President) Barack Obama, just to name a few. Recent projects have included collaborative community forums with the United Way, L.A.U.S.D., Metro and African American Voter Rep. Arnetta has served on the Executive Board of the Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Development Council; as a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate (South L.A. Rep); and as a member of the South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (SLAANC). She is currently a Board member of the South L.A. Power Coalition, Advisory Board member of the MA’AT Institute for Community Change; Organizing Committee Member for the South L.A. People’s Convention; Deployment Site Coordinator for the Los Angeles Homeless Count, and an alumnae (past Vice President & Civic Engagement Co-Chair) for the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI) housed at USC. In the past, Arnetta has served on the Policy Council of the Los Angeles County Office of Education; Policy Committee of the Los Angeles Urban League Head Start, and Advisory Committee of the Watts Health Foundation.
In April 2013, Arnetta was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the City of Los Angeles, Board of Neighborhood Commissioners.
Arnetta completed her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Irvine and is completing a Masters degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.
In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering as a member of the Docent Council at the California African American Museum, fishing, kayaking & teaching folk arts & crafts (indian beadwork, basket weaving, macrame, jewelry making & wearables).