Our guest for today’s episode is Cindy Cleghorn, long-time Chair for the Planning Committee of the Congress of Neighborhoods, Chair of PlanCheckNC LA, and long-time Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council board member and stakeholder. Cindy is a lifelong LA-area resident who has been involved with neighborhood councils since their inception. In addition to her extensive work with the neighborhood councils, Cindy also owns a print shop in Tujunga. In our conversation, Cindy talks about the importance of using the neighborhood councils to bring people together from all walks of life to learn, share, and collaborate with each other to make Los Angeles the best City it can be. I hope you enjoy.
For your convenience, here are some links and notes for all the things mentioned in this episode where you might need a little more background:
- Learn about the organization that was a big part of Cindy’s childhood.
- Cindy is a small business owner who has run C&M Printing since 1982.
- STNC is Cindy’s neighborhood council home base. Visit their website if you want to see what they’re up to!
- Read more about the local community plan that spurred Cindy’s involvement with her neighborhood council and planning issues more generally.
- Cindy has been the key force behind the re-booting of the Congress of Neighborhoods where she has served for years as Chair of the event’s Planning Committee.
- The LANCC is the citywide alliance of neighborhood councils. Visit their website to learn more about what they’re up to and how you can get involved!
- A provision in the City Charter provides the impetus for the Congress of neighborhoods by compelling the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to “arrange Congress of Neighborhood meetings if requested to do so by recognized neighborhood councils.”
- Learn more about the citywide alliance of neighborhood council members who weigh in on planning issues and policies.
- Learn about the program that helps the neighborhood councils stay abreast of planning cases in their communities.
- Core provisions of the City Charter task the neighborhood councils with many goals, some broad and others more specific. Here is some language from the Charter outlining a few:
- “To promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs…”; and
- “Neighborhood councils shall monitor the delivery of City services in their respective areas and have periodic meetings with responsible officials of City departments, subject to their reasonable availability.”
- Neighborhood Council Board Members, both elected and appointed, are required to do three things in order to vote on issues that come before the council: take Ethics Training, take Funding Training, and sign a Code-of-Conduct Certificate.
- Cindy cited this issue as a community success story. Read more about its final resolution (via the LA Times) above.
- Cindy recalled this episode being a major setback for her neighborhood council. Read more about the controversy above.
- The proposed California High-Speed Rail project was not explicitly mentioned in our conversation, but it’s an issue that looms large in Sunland-Tujunga.
EmpowerLA’s monthly podcast is produced by Arin Abedian and hosted by Brett Shears.