I hope our newsletter finds you well. The Congress of Neighborhoods is upon us! As of last night, we have nearly 700 RSVPs, the highest pre-registration number we’ve ever had. I think this great response is due to the awesome video invite the Congress of Neighborhoods Planning Committee released last week. I hope you attend because it’s the one time of the year that all Neighborhood Councils have the opportunity to learn/share with one another, network with many City electeds and departments and eat yummy food all for FREE. I know that City Council President Herb Wesson is the keynote for the opening session, and Mayor Eric Garcetti will be closing the Congress in the afternoon and taking the famous Congress pic in Council Chambers.
You can even continue talking Neighborhood Council issues after the Congress at the Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance’s Mixer at Pitfire Pizza just a few blocks from City Hall. HUGE thanks to our fantastic Congress of Neighborhoods Planning Committee, chaired by Cindy Cleghorn aka Wonder Woman. They, along with our staff, particularly Congress lead, Jasmine Duckworth, have worked really hard all year to provide you with an outstanding Congress so make sure to thank them when you see them tomorrow.

Civic engagement is definitely in the air. I was down in the City of Manhattan Beach this week learning about their public participation processes at the monthly IAP2 (International Association for Public Participation) Los Angeles emerging chapter meeting. Manhattan Beach showcased their City civic engagement team and great Open City Hall portal where they communicate with their stakeholders on City issues from skate parks to community cameras. Manhattan Beach’s efforts and our Neighborhood Council system will be featured along with Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership on a panel I’m moderating for Sacramento State Center for California Studies’ 27th Annual Envisioning California Conference: Our Voices: Advancing Civic Engagement in California on October 7, 2016 in Sacramento. I’ve also been invited to speak about Neighborhood Councils at the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy in San Sebastian, Spain in November. It’s so great to have such amazing opportunities to share about our wonderful Neighborhood Councils to the world.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Congress tomorrow!