beyond-neighborhood-council-panel-valleyI hope our newsletter finds you well. We had some super events this week with Neighborhood Councils. On Monday, our EmpowerLA Leadership Academy workshop, “Beyond Neighborhood Councils – How to Run for Higher Office, Get Appointed to a City Commission or Find a Job with the City” was live streamed from the Valley. The amazing Jill Bank Barad, whose impressive resume includes being the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council President, founder and Chair of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils and a Commissioner for the LADWP Board, started off the evening with strategies and considerations for how to run for higher office based on her experience as a well known political consultant. President Kevin James of the Board of Public Works, President Len Shaffer from the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners and Tarzana Neighborhood Council, and former Planning Commissioner and Sylmar Neighborhood Council President Quyen Vo-Ramirez, then shared their perspectives on being on a City Commission. I know the audience left inspired to take the next step beyond Neighborhood Councils. Many thanks to our speakers, the City Clerk and to our staff, especially Director of Policy and Government Relations, Mike Fong, for making this super workshop possible!

I was happy to sit down with the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates on Wednesday to go over our goals for next year’s budget. I am always so amazed by the dedication of our Neighborhood Council members and especially so for our Budget Advocates who take on this additional analysis and work each year on top of their regular Neighborhood Council work.  We are looking forward to partnerships with other City departments to expand on outreach and Neighborhood Council elections so look for more information on our proposed budget coming out soon.

atkinson-at-getty-house-womens-leadership-seriesLast night, I had such a great time at the Getty House Women’s Leadership Series “Women Who Lead Our Neighborhood Councils.” The much needed rainy weather kindly waited while we all networked with one another in the beautiful Getty House gardens.  HUGE thanks to Mayor Eric Garcetti, First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland and the Getty House Foundation Board of Directors for taking the time to celebrate and acknowledge the women who are stepping up citywide to represent their communities! I also want to appreciate Vice President Joy Atkinson from our Board of Neighborhood Commissioners and long time Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council board member and community activist Margarita Amador for speaking on the importance of women leadership in the Neighborhood Council system. We all walked out inspired to recruit more women into our awesome Neighborhood Council system.  While we already have an impressive 42% women leadership in Neighborhood Councils, we can move the dial significantly towards 50% by making the effort to fill the existing vacancies in the Neighborhood Councils with women to reach gender parity on our boards as Mayor Garcetti has with the City Commissions. I hope you will make the commitment with me to make this happen.

If you haven’t seen it yet, please check out the amazing PropertyPanel.LA from our Controller and former Neighborhood Council board member Ron Galperin. This awesome database catalogues the nearly 9,000 City properties, which includes an orange grove!  See below for more info.  

Next week, we’ll be welcoming another international delegation from South Asia to learn about our wonderful Neighborhood Council system. Thank you for all the work you do to EmpowerLA! Have a great weekend!