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.

Len Shaffer
Len ShafferSouth Valley
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.
Joy Atkinson
Joy AtkinsonSouth Los Angeles
Joy Atkinson is a private consultant specializing in developing and implementing community outreach programs. She served as a consultant for California Speaker Karen Bass, specializing in outreach to the African American press, the community at large, and with The Speaker’s Clergy Alliance.
Through her work with GeM Communications Group under the direction of former Assemblywoman Gwen Moore, Joy has prepared community outreach proposals and coordinated public relations/community outreach programs. Through Alescia Buford & Associates, Joy has worked on press relations and administrative support for Fortune 500 companies in their corporate responsibility programs. For 16 years Joy Atkinson served as Chief of Staff for Former Assemblywoman Gwen Moore.
Upon graduation from the University of Southern California, Joy started her professional career as a Deputy Probation Officer for the County of Los Angeles and became active in the Probation Officers Union Local 685. Joy recently completed her Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Her political passion comes from lessons learned from her politically and community conscious parents, Eddie and Antoinette Atkinson. Joy’s father was the first African American to run for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council and reach the general election. At the age of 12 she learned the sorrow of losing an election but the thrill of just being in the political process.
She served as President of New Frontier Democratic Club; serves as chair of the political involvement committee of the Los Angeles African American Women’s PAC; is a delegate to the California Democratic Party; and is the Executive Director of the L.A. African American Women’s Public Policy Institute that is a public policy, leadership, and civic engagement program focusing on minority women, For eight years Joy worked with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on the non-profit Empowerment Congress. The Empowerment Congress is a major project involving citizens in civic engagement.
In March of 2002 she was appointed by Mayor James Hahn as a commissioner with the South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission and served as President for 1½ years. In November 2003, she was appointed by Mayor Hahn as a commissioner with the Los Angeles City Planning Commission. She became the first local planning commissioner to serve on the citywide planning commission. In June 2009, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Joy as a commissioner to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Permit Review Panel. Named by Mayor Eric Garcetti, she is now privileged to serve as a commissioner on the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners.
Eli Lipmen
Eli LipmenWest Los Angeles
Eli is the past President of the Palms Neighborhood Council and previously served as its Secretary. While on the board, he oversaw a neighborhood clean up and outreach program, a mural and beautification project, and the re-development of Woodbine Park in Palms.
“My experience serving on the Palms Neighborhood Council has been so empowering,” said Eli, “and as a Commissioner, I want to improve engagement and effectiveness for neighborhood councils throughout the City.”
The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners is comprised of seven members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council with the responsibility of policy-setting and oversight for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and Neighborhood Councils. The Commission ensures that the City Charter and the Neighborhood Council Plan are realized by setting policies with the focus of making Neighborhood Councils diverse, inclusive, and representative of all community stakeholders.
“They Mayor talks about getting back to basics and this is what neighborhood council leaders do everyday–work to improve their community in LA,” Eli continued. “I am looking forward to working on the Board to help improve Los Angeles.”
Josh LaFarga
Josh LaFargaHarbor
Mr. LaFarga serves as the director of public and government affairs and as recording secretary and executive board member at LiUNA! Local 1309.

In those capacities, he led efforts to consolidate and restructure two locals: 507 and 802 into Local 1309, which has grown to become one of the largest and most active trade unions in Southern California.

Mr. LaFarga has a long history of community service and activism. He currently serves on the South Bay Workforce Investment Board’s Board of Directors and as co-chair of the Legislative Committee for FuturePorts, which is the largest non-profit organization working to promote the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In addition, he serves on the Red Shoe Society Board of Directors for the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House. Mr. LaFarga is also a strong advocate for the environment, serving on the California Coalition for Clean Air’s non-profit board.

In 2015, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Mr. LaFarga to serve on the prestigious Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, which was established as a policy setting and oversight commission for the Neighborhood Councils and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.

In 2016, Mr. LaFarga was appointed to serve as a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention. More recently, the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics appointed him to serve as a mentor for USC college students by guiding them with real world experiences.

Mr. LaFarga is a recognized community leader who was honored with the Senate District 35’s Extraordinary Citizen Award and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s 2015 Southern Pacific Regional Latino Leaders Award.

Debbie Wehbe
Debbie WehbeCentral Los Angeles
Bio coming soon.
Maggie Darett-Quiroz
Maggie Darett-Quiroz
Bio coming soon.
Eve Sinclair
Eve Sinclair
Bio coming soon.