On Monday, July 28th 2014, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (Department) received a visit from Mayor Alfredo Peñate, from Santa Ana, El Salvador; traveling with Mayor Peñate was Ms. Karen Figueroa, Communications Director. The visit came about due to efforts from Westlake South Neighborhood Council board members Manuel Olmos and Nelson Castillo who contacted the Department to initiate the meeting between Mayor Peñate and our City. Congratulations to Westlake South NC for promoting neighborhood empowerment across international borders!
Mayor Peñate was scheduled to visit Los Angeles to participate in cultural events with the Salvadoran community in the Pico-Union/Westlake area. Mayor Peñate recently began implementing a citizen engagement process in his City, and wanted to use his visit to Los Angeles to learn more of our City’s efforts in civic engagement and public safety.
During his visit, Mayor Peñate received a warm welcome from the City Attorney’s Office. Mayor Peñate chatted with City Attorney Mike Feuer about tools and strategies to address public safety issues in his city. City Attorney Feuer and Mayor Peñate had a nice exchange of ideas and best practices. Of unique assistance and guidance to Mayor Peñate was Arturo Martinez, Supervising City Attorney for Anti-Gang Section. Mr. Martinez shared his experience with the Mayor and spoke about specific strategies that may be helpful for the city of Santa Ana as a whole in order to address public safety concerns.
Additional staff welcoming the visitors were Ms.Capri Maddox, City Attorney Special Assistant; Darren Martinez, Supervising City Attorney for NC Advice Division; Aura Garcia, Mayor Garcetti’s Office Representative. Department representatives were also in attendance which included Ms Taneda Larios; Ms. Lisette, Covarrubias; Mr. Melvin Canas; and Ms. Leyla Campos
In comments shared, Mayor Peñate felt that he had learned a great deal, particularly the level of responsibility, ethics, and transparency placed on NC board members. He also felt optimistic about ideas to follow up on with our City on efforts to confront public safety concerns in his City.