Neighborhood Council Plan Review and Reform Initiative

Regulatory History of Governance and Operation of the Neighborhood Council System

The current City Charter was approved by the electorate in 1999. Article 9 of the Charter addresses the creation of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and neighborhood councils. The Neighborhood Council Plan is embodied in a number of ordinances, the first of which was adopted by the city council in 1999. These ordinances and amendments are included in Chapter 28 of the city’s Administrative Code. There are also policies adopted by the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners that touch upon the operations of neighborhood councils.

Review of Neighborhood Council Structure and Operations and Recent Developments

The Neighborhood Participation Project of the University of Southern California monitored the neighborhood council system during its early years. The NPP twice surveyed neighborhood council board members and provided feedback, particulary with regard to levels of participation and diversity among neighborhood councils.

In 2007, the Neighborhood Council Review Commission held hearings throughout the city and issued a report containing several recommendations, many of which (most notably factual basis stakeholder definition and requirements) were adopted by the city council.

In 2010, Councilmember Krekorian conducted two workshops gathering comment on the neighborhood council system. As a result, he offered a series of motions to make changes to the system. No action has been taken on these motions.

On taking the chair of city council’s Education and Neighborhood Committee, Councilmember Parks conducted a series of meetings throughout the city to gather input. He subsequently entered a motion about the methods by which neighborhood councils bring their concerns to city officials. Most recently, Councilmember Huizar has submitted motions regarding factual basis stakeholders and boundary adjustments to city council.


The Neighborhood Council Plan Review and Reform Initiative is intended to a be a grassroots, neighborhood council-driven review of the rules and regulations that govern the neighborhood council system. The purpose is to consider the current state of affairs and recommend to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners and City Council amendments necessary to facilitate the work of neighborhood councils, recognizing neighborhood councils’ independent status and strengthening their ability to perform their key missions of increasing stakeholder participation and influencing the municipal decisionmaking process.


Three working groups (Valley / Central-East / Harbor-South-West); each group consisting of 16 members (one commissioner, who will act as chair / 3 at-large members chosen by commissioner / 12 members recommended by NC presidents). NC presidents in each of 12 election regions will recommend three members as follows:


Valley Group (34 neighborhood councils)
North West Valley  South West Valley  North East Valley  South East Valley
Brad Smith
Granada Hills South
Bob Greene
Board Member
Canoga Park 
Gary Aggas
Sun Valley Area
Ginny Hatfield
Valley Village
Kim Thompson
former President
Granada Hills North
Bill Anderson
Board Member
Woodland Hills-Warner Center
Tony Wilkinson
former President
Panorama City
Mary Garcia
Midtown NoHo
Glenn Bailey
Board Member
Northridge East
Clay McFarland
Lake Balboa
Cindy Cleghorn
former President
Jill Barad
VANC Chair and President
Sherman Oaks
Vas Singh
Board Member
Porter Ranch
Joyce Greene
Board Member
Nancy Woodruff
former President
Foothill Trails District
Central / East Group (30 neighborhood councils)
Central 1  NELA  East Area
Erik Sanjurjo
Hollywood United
Tammy Membreno 
LA 32
J. Russell Brown 
Vice President
Downtown Los Angeles
Jim Van Dusen
Board Member
Hollywood United
Connie Castro
LA 32
Margarita Lopez 
Board Member
MacArthur Park
Jeff Carpenter
Board Member
Greater Wilshire
Hector Huezo
Historic Highland Park
Donna Kim 
Board Member
Pico Union
Orrin Feldman
Hollywood Hills West
Carmela Gomes 
Board Member
Historic Highland Park
Peter Nicholas
Rampart Village
Nathan French
Board Member
Hollywood Studio District
Robert Guevara
former Board Member
Eagle Rock
Kris Anderson
Board Member
Greater Griffith Park
Harbor / South / West Group (31 neighborhood councils)
West LA  South LA 1  South LA 2 Harbor
Doug Fitzsimmons
South Robertson
Tracey Jones
Former President
Empowerment Congress Central
Lonella Enix
Empowerment Congress Southwest
Bob Gelfand 
Board Member
Coastal San Pedro
Dee Olomajeye
former President
Shai Levy
Board Member
Mid City
Janine Watkins
Diana Nave
Northwest San Pedro
Carolyn Rios
Board Member
Shawn Simons
former President
Empowerment Congress North
Margo Harris
Board Member
Bill Roberson 
former Board Member
Central San Pedro
Ivan Spiegel
Allyson Vought
Board Member
Central San Pedro
Joe Riser

All members will be appointed by the commissioner serving as temporary working group chair, with significant weight given to NC president recommendations. When appointed, each group will elect a chair, vice chair and secretary. All meetings will be noticed in accordance with Brown Act requirements. Working groups will determine when and where they meet, as well as the frequency of meetings within each two-week session time period.

Chronology / Work Plan

January 1-15: Working group members appointed; initial documents distributed

January 16-31: Opening meeting and workshop: “Looking Back: The Neighborhood Council Story in Los Angeles” (joint event with panel on NC history) Working groups choose co-chairs and secretaries/reporters

February 1-14: Session I: Stakeholders
key issues: factual basis stakeholders / live, work, own property definitions

February 15-28: Session II: Elections and Boundary Adjustment Policy
key issues: should city clerk be involved in NC elections / election outreach

March 1-15: Session III: Department of Neighborhood Empowerment / Board of Neighborhood Commissioners
key issues: duties and powers / general manager and commission selection process

March 16-31: Session IV: NC funding / grants and donations

April 1-15: Session V: The Brown Act
key issues: Brown Act vs. sunshine ordinance / posting policy

April 16-30: Session VI: Education and leadership development

May 1-15: Session VII: The work of neighborhood councils
key issues: Early Notification System / monitoring delivery of city services

May 16-23: Closing meeting (joint session): “Looking Ahead: The Future of Neighborhood Councils in Los Angeles”

May 24-31: Draft report preparation

June 1-15: Draft report comment

June 16-30: Final report for commission consideration

July 1: Report submitted to city council


  • Andrea Anderson

    May 07, 2013

    We need a good definition of 'factual basis stakeholder' somewhere, so we know what we are talking about.

  • Michael Savage

    May 07, 2013

    (1) remove the requirement that neighborhood councils provide governing board positions for factual basis stakeholders; (2) allow each neighborhood council to determine the number, if any, of governing board seats that will be allocated to factual basis stakeholders; (3) remove the current definition of factual basis stakeholder; and (4) allow each neighborhood council to adopt its own definition of factual basis stakeholder. As a board member of NSNC, I have to say that the upcoming proposal to amend the Neighborhood Council stakeholder agreement needs to be rewritten. In addition, the stakeholder motion must be accompanied by some form of explanation on the need for this proposal to give the readers some perspective. To ask stakeholders for feedback on what is currently being presented to them is not fair to them or the democratic process involved in making our communities stronger.

  • Bud Jacobs

    May 07, 2013

    I think the position of FActual Basis officer should have a name change, but be left to the discretion of each local council to determine the number elected as long as the FB representation on the council was not to exceed 30%

  • Michael Larsen

    May 08, 2013

    BOARD RESOLUTION Tuesday, May 7, 2013 We declare that on May 7, 2013 a Brown Act noticed public meeting was held by the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council at which a quorum was present, and the following motion was passed unanimously regarding Council File 110600S59: Resolved, that the ERNC fully supports the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners’ recommendations that sections of the city's Administrative Code which touch upon neighborhood council stakeholders be amended as follows: (1) remove the requirement that neighborhood councils provide governing board positions for factual basis stakeholders; (2) allow each neighborhood council to determine the number, if any, of governing board seats that will be allocated to factual basis stakeholders; (3) remove the current definition of factual basis stakeholder; and (4) allow each neighborhood council to adopt its own definition of factual basis stakeholder. We appreciate the Board’s work on this issue and look forward to the changes being made to the city’s code. Respectfully Submitted, Michael Larsen Immediate Past President

  • S.Borden

    May 09, 2013

    Everyone who lives, works or owns property within the boundaries of a Neighborhood Council should have a right to vote in neighborhood council elections and hold office in the neighborhood council. If you don't live, work or own property in it, then you should not qualify to vote or hold office in the neighborhood council. Additionally you should only be allowed to vote or hold office in a single neighborhood council at a time. This should be the rule for every neighborhood council.

  • Barbara Jones Chikosi

    May 13, 2013

    Each Neighborhood Council should be allowed to define what is a factual basis stakeholder. However, the board composition should be made up of individuals that actually live, own property and truly have a vested interest in the community. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this most important issue.

  • Andrea Moran

    Aug 31, 2013

    Regarding your subdivision policy I feel that if an area meets all the criteria of leaving the original NC and forming their own NC, then DONE should certify the "new NC" and there should be no reason for a stakeholder vote in order for this to happen. It seems that if an area qualifies as a new NC and they lose the right to do so because of a stakeholder election, then the process seems flawed. Stakeholders can be misinformed and not understand the reasoning behind the move for a new NC and it would appear that the election could be swayed in the direction of one group against another group. Since the formation of a new NC will have no impact on the original NC, then a stakeholder vote seems a moot point. If DONE certifies that all the paperwork is in order, then that should be sufficient to form a new NC.