By Tony Wilkinson
Friday, July 1, the City Council will hold its second and final vote on the DWP Reform measure for the November ballot. Once the measure has been formally incorporated into the general election ballot by the county, the opportunity for Neighborhood Councils to file Community Impact Statements on the ballot measure (Council File 16-1800) ends.
Neighborhood Councils are city agencies. They have had an unprecedented role in the creation of this charter change proposal for DWP Reform. Now the question is up to the city’s voters. Neighborhood Councils cannot use their taxpayer funds to advocate for or oppose any ballot measure.
The DWP Reform process is not over! There are still 23 recommendations to reform DWP governance by ordinance. Go to the official website (http://dwpreform.lacity.org), click on “Information for Neighborhood Councils”, and look at the related document “REIRN Committee Recommendations on DWP Governance Reform”. The charter changes (the ballot measure) are only recommendation number 1. Each of the recommendations 2 through 24 is still open for Neighborhood Council input. Community Impact Statements can be filed on the original motion (CF 16-0093). Be aware that additional Council Files may be created for specific proposals (for example, the proposal for four-year strategic plans).
The original recommendations that were made by Neighborhood Council DWP followers (from the NC-DWP MOU group, the DWP Advocacy Committee, and the LANCC and VANC alliances) were made for the complete package. Those recommendations included the charter changes that are now in the ballot measure.
Future Community Impact Statements should address one or more of the specific proposals in the recommendations for ordinances (items 2 through 24) from the Rules, Elections, Intergovernmental Relations and Neighborhoods committee (REIRN, or just “Rules”). Council President Herb Wesson chairs this committee. Make sure to send a copy of any Neighborhood Council or individual recommendation on DWP Reform to his Assistant Chief Deputy Andrew Westall (email@example.com).
Issues that will reform how DWP operates still march forward, with or without the governance proposals. Perhaps the most important of these is the One Water LA project. This initiative of Mayor Eric Garcetti is an effort to unify the city’s approach to water use. It will combine stormwater, wastewater and potable water systems into an integrated plan that recognizes the interconnected nature of the city’s water resources. Start by checking out the website (http://onewaterla.org).
For your monthly fix of DWP information and conversation, mark down the first Saturday of each month from 8:45 to 10:00 am for our DWP MOU and Advocacy committee meetings. Saturday, July 2 (odd-numbered month) will be Jack Humphreville’s DWP Advocacy Committee. Everyone is welcome. We meet at LADWP headquarters, 111 North Hope Street, Los Angeles. Free parking in the DWP lot.
Please send your questions and comments on DWP Reform to dwpmou@EmpowerLA.org. DWP Reform information will be posted regularly at https://empowerla.org/dwpmou. There is additional information at http://dwpreform.lacity.org.
Tony Wilkinson is the Chair of the Neighborhood Council – DWP MOU Oversight Committee. He will be contributing information on the DWP Reform process to the EmpowerLA newsletter each week.