Neighborhood Councils were created to advise the City on how City policy impacts local communities. Community Impact Statements, or CIS, are one of the most important ways in which a Neighborhood Council can advise City departments and officials on matters under consideration by the City’s decision makers. A CIS is an official statement or position that a Neighborhood Council adopts on a specific matter or issue.
CIS are often issued in response to time-sensitive issues. A Committee slated to present an issue at a Board meeting may consider drafting a CIS to bring with them, so it may be tailored by the Board then signed and submitted without delay.
What topics are appropriate for a CIS?
Any matter pending before the City Council, its Committees, City Commissions, or a City official is an appropriate subject for a CIS. Learn how to research the City’s goals, priorities, and pending decisions, and find out how to get updates on the issues that matter to you most, in our article Staying Informed: How To Get Updates On Key Issues.
What to include in a CIS letter
See this CIS How-To Guide for writing and submission tips, as well as a handy CIS template.
- If you’re addressing a matter currently moving through the City Council, include its Council File (CF) number, or else it will not be included in the material the Councilmembers read when considering the matter.
- Name & contact info of your Neighborhood Council
- Position taken – FOR a proposal; AGAINST a proposal; or GENERAL COMMENTS upon it. This should be marked at the top of the document.
- Info on the circumstances under which the CIS was approved. Did the letter as written get voted on by the full Board, or did the Board vote to take a position then have someone write the letter afterward? What meeting was the CIS approved at; how many Board members attended; and what the voting breakdown? (It will help you to copy the language used in this CIS template.)
Who may file a CIS
A CIS may never be issued by an individual and does not express an individual’s opinion. Instead, the opinion expressed in a CIS is that of the entire Board, voting as a body. An individual Board Member may still write a letter communicating their personal views on a matter if they wish to do so, but they must take care to clarify first that they are writing the letter as a private individual expressing a personal opinion, and not as a representative of their Board.
Your Neighborhood Council may authorize up to 5 people to submit a CIS on behalf of your Board. To set up access, you must submit a Board resolution listing the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of those appointed to submit CIS. Send the resolution to NCSupport@LACity.org. Those authorized will receive login info for the CIS submission system.
Where to submit & share your CIS
- Online: The best way to submit a CIS is via the online portal at http://cityclerk.lacity.org/cis/.
- Mail or hand-delivery: to the City Clerk’s office at LA City Hall, 200 N Spring Street, Room 395, Los Angeles 90012.
What are the advantages of filing a CIS?
If your Neighborhood Council issues a CIS on an issue, your Council earns a “seat at the table” at City meetings where that issue appears on the agenda. This means a representative from your Board will be given 5 minutes to speak about your Board’s stance on the matter, as opposed to the 1-2 minutes usually given speakers during the Public Comment section on the item.