Community Impact Statements: A Powerful Tool

Did you know that in 2014 your Neighborhood Councils submitted 169 Community Impact Statements? Do you know how to submit a CIS?

A Community Impact Statement is an official statement or position adopted by a Neighborhood Council on issues pending before the City’s decision makers. The Community Impact Statement process was created specifically for Neighborhood Councils so they can publicly express their support, opposition, or suggestions about any matter pending before the City Council, its committees, or City commissions. A Community Impact Statement (CIS) is an official statement used to express the position of a Neighborhood Council (NC) as a whole, and is not to be used to express personal opinions.

Submitting a CIS expresses a serious and committed position on an issue by a Neighborhood Council, and demonstrates community interest and support of the issue. This process allows you to communicate collectively as a Neighborhood Council and as a community, but it does not preclude stakeholders and board members from also expressing their opinions as individuals. Letters submitted to the City Clerk identifying an opinion on a specific Council File will also be included in the file, and can help strengthen your position.

Creating and submitting a CIS involves five steps, listed below. For more detailed information about each step, please read our how-to guide.

Step 1: Identify the Council File number. This will ensure that your CIS will be attached to the Council File as it makes its way through the City Council and its committees.

Step 2:  Establish a Community Impact Statement process. Prior to being submitted, the CIS must be approved by the active governing board of your Neighborhood Council. It is helpful to have a process in place for quickly voting on CIS topics in the event that the item is moving quickly through City Council.

Step 3: Write a Community Impact Statement. It is important for the CIS to clearly state whether the Neighborhood Council is for or against the proposed measure, or if it is just making a general comment. This will be printed on the City Council agenda next to the item.

Step 4: Submit a Community Impact Statement. The best way to file your CIS is through the City Clerk’s website (http://cityclerk.lacity.org/cis/), but you can also fax, mail, or hand-deliver it to the City Clerk.

Step 5: Follow up on the Community Impact Statement. Consider it a living document. Share it with others. Resubmit it as the issue goes through the legislative process, so it will reappear on subsequent agendas.

For more information on Community Impact Statements that have been filed, templates for how to file your own, hot topics, and more, visit empowerla.org/community-impact-statements.

The Community Impact Statement process can be a valuable tool to help your Neighborhood Council fulfill its purpose “to promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs” (LA City Charter Sec. 900). Empower yourself and your community by taking an active role in shaping City decisions on issues that matter to you!

By | 2017-01-09T12:32:05+00:00 January 22nd, 2015|Blog|Comments Off on Community Impact Statements: A Powerful Tool