Our guest for this episode is David Ryu, the City Councilman for the 4th District of Los Angeles and Chair of the Health, Education, and Neighborhood Councils Committee. In our interview, Councilman Ryu speaks candidly about some of the challenges of working in and with government. Overall, he is bullish about the future of neighborhood councils, recognizing their growing influence both within City government and their respective communities. Having worked his way to the Chairmanship of the committee that oversees neighborhood councils, it’s clear they are a priority of his. In addition to filling his staff with a number of neighborhood council board members, Councilman Ryu is one of the few elected officials in our City with direct experience as a board member himself. Join us for some unique insights about working in the heart of LA City politics. We hope you enjoy the episode!





Show Notes:

Council District 4 Neighborhood Council Experience Survey
Councilman Ryu mentioned this survey (linked above) his office is using to solicit feedback from members of the Neighborhood Council community. The deadline to submit is January 31, 2018.

Social Service and Global Poverty
As a child of the 80s, young David Ryu was affected by the prevalence of poverty-related causes at the time. From Live Aid to We are the World to those ubiquitous commercials from the Christian Children’s Fund and similar organizations, global poverty was a on the minds of many people.

Yvonne Brathwaite Burke
The former LA County Supervisor was a model and mentor for David Ryu who once served as her Senior Deputy when she represented the 2nd District.

Empowerment Congresses
Councilman Ryu mentioned the important role the Empowerment Congresses played in the development of the neighborhood council system. Here’s a great LA Times article from 1998 (linked above), just before Angelenos voted on the Charter change that created them in 1999.

Health, Education, and Neighborhood Councils Committee
The City Council Committee that Councilman Ryu now chairs has evolved over time, with more and more council members seeing it as a desirable assignment. Some past chairs include Councilmen Herb Wesson, Bernard Parks, and Paul Krekorian. They currently meet at 1pm on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month.

Community Interest Stakeholder (Council File)
Councilman Ryu talked about the ongoing efforts in the neighborhood council system to clarify the definition of stakeholder more generally and the ”Community Interest Stakeholder” specifically. Community Interest Stakeholder is now defined as a person who affirms a substantial and ongoing participation within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries and who may be in a community organization such as, but not limited to, educational, non-profit and/religious organizations. You can find the council file associated with the 2013 decision above.

Neighborhood Council Online Voting
This year, the City Council voted to push back Neighborhood Council elections from 2018 to 2019, in part because of the need to more fully prepare for online voting. Councilman Ryu’s Committee helped usher that decision through the full City Council. You can find the council file associated with the action linked above.

David Korten (Bottom-Up Development Model)
Councilman Ryu mentioned David Korten, a well-known iconoclast in the international development community.  Korten advocated for local decision making and organizing systems from the bottom up.  You can read more about some of his ideas in the article linked above.

Neighborhood Council Candidate, David Ryu
Before becoming a City Councilman, David Ryu was a board member for his local Neighborhood Council. Above is a link to the Wilshire-Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council’s candidates for their 2014 elections, among which you’ll find David Ryu.

EmpowerLA’s monthly podcast is produced by Arin Abedian and hosted by Brett Shears.  

The views expressed in the EmpowerLA Podcast do not necessarily reflect those of EmpowerLA or the City of Los Angeles. The veracity of any claims made during the recording are the sole responsibility of the host and guest(s).