I hope our newsletter finds you well. Our newest EmpowerLA podcast was just uploaded this week with guest and former EmpowerLA Neighborhood Empowerment Advocate, Lisette Covarrubias, who is now the Neighborhood Liaison for the Planning Department. As a native Angeleno and someone who worked with the Neighborhood Councils for almost a decade, Lisette offers a great perspective on Neighborhood Councils and planning in Los Angeles. HUGE thanks to Lisette and EmpowerLA staffers, Brett Shears and Arin Abedian, for putting this great podcast together!


It was another week of innovation inspirations firsts on Tuesday in our neighboring city of Long Beach at their Civic Innovation Summit where we heard from people from both the public and private sectors on how to encourage the innovative spirit in government. From Virgin Orbitstriving to make launching satellites available to all to Long Beach’s micro-enterprise loan program where community members invest in their neighbors who are launching businesses, it was awesome learning for all. We also experienced how to take design techniques and apply them to public participation exercises where we worked together to build our vision of the necessary assets for a planning and land use project.

We hope to bring these engagement techniques to the City and to our Neighborhood Councils to connect with their communities more effectively.

On Wednesday night, thanks to staffer, Kimberly Rodriquez, and the Mayor’s Office, we had a great GeoHub workshop on how to access and use open data. Neighborhood Council board members joined community youth to learn about how open data democratizes innovation in government. Participants learned how to use data on gun ownership, clean streets, and demographics among other subjects to benefit their communities.


Yesterday, I was happy to go to the I3 (Intelligent IoT (Internet of Things) Integrator) with our FUSE Corp Fellow, Aparna Mukherjee, where Deputy Mayor Miguel Sangalang and ITA General Manager, Ted Ross, presented on the importance of creating a Smart Los Angeles community with our partner, USC. We saw a lot of pretty cool uses of technology that takes City data and makes it possible for Angelenos to connect to one another and with City Hall. We’ve been working on our side to ensure that Neighborhood Councils are included in any civic tech development for Los Angeles, and one of the presenters, Tech Mahindra, incorporated Neighborhood Councils into their proposals for an online platform to track sustainability and emergency preparedness projects.

Don’t forget that the Neighborhood Council Emergency Preparedness Alliance and the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates have meetings tomorrow. The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners will have their City Hall meeting on Monday. Just a reminder that we’ve opened Bylaw Amendment Applications and will be accepting them until April 15, 2018. We are also accepting Neighborhood Council Subdivision Applications from now until January 15, 2018. Lastly, we’ll be closed for Thanksgiving next Thursday and Friday so our newsletter will resume on December 1st.

Have a wonderful weekend and Thanksgiving!