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Department Of Neighborhood Empowerment

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2008 | David Zahniser
The City Council voted Friday to give an appointee of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa a second opportunity to serve on the commission that oversees the city's network of neighborhood councils. The Rev. Lewis Logan II gave up his seat on the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners earlier this year after he moved into a home outside the city limits. Members of his commission, which supervises the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, are required to live within the boundaries of Los Angeles.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2012 | By Christine Mai-Duc, Los Angeles Times
They've been dubbed "Starbucks stakeholders," derided as modern-day carpetbaggers because they vote in Los Angeles neighborhood council elections even if all they've bought in the area is a cup of coffee, rather than a house or a business. Although the term is fairly new in Los Angeles' political vernacular, the concept has become the focus of a decade-long debate over just who the city's nearly 100 advisory councils represent, and how vulnerable they are to special-interest "takeovers.
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OPINION
July 2, 2012 | Jim Newton
When neighborhood councils emerged from the Los Angeles charter reform movement in the late 1990s, they were the subject of that effort's greatest hopes and most serious anxieties. Supporters viewed them as a vehicle to engage participation in government and to make government more effective and representative. Critics worried that the councils would become obstacles to efficiency and growth, prone to NIMBYism and interposing yet another barrier in a system already better at saying no than yes. It's been 10 years since the first of the councils rolled out, and they have yet to prove either as revolutionary as their backers hoped or as obstructionist as their opponents feared.
OPINION
July 2, 2012 | Jim Newton
When neighborhood councils emerged from the Los Angeles charter reform movement in the late 1990s, they were the subject of that effort's greatest hopes and most serious anxieties. Supporters viewed them as a vehicle to engage participation in government and to make government more effective and representative. Critics worried that the councils would become obstacles to efficiency and growth, prone to NIMBYism and interposing yet another barrier in a system already better at saying no than yes. It's been 10 years since the first of the councils rolled out, and they have yet to prove either as revolutionary as their backers hoped or as obstructionist as their opponents feared.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2009 | Maeve Reston
Los Angeles police are investigating a community activist and convicted felon accused of misusing tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars while serving as chairman of his neighborhood council. The case of James Harris is just one of six involving neighborhood council treasurers or chairmen who are believed to have misspent as much as $250,000 in city money. The investigations have raised questions about the city's financial oversight of the volunteer community groups -- for example, none of the treasurers were subject to credit or background checks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2010 | By Maeve Reston
Concerned for the safety of several witnesses, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office obtained a grand jury indictment last month of a former Los Angeles neighborhood council president who had been charged in October with misappropriating city funds. James Harris, who headed the Empowerment Congress Southwest Area Neighborhood Development Council in South Los Angeles, is the fifth neighborhood council leader to face criminal charges involving misuse of taxpayer funds.
OPINION
December 23, 2006
Re "Neighborhood councils' success limited," Dec. 17 Los Angeles neighborhood councils have been criticized for mudslinging and infighting at meetings. But democracy is messy. Conflicts often represent a sincere effort to communicate with each other and build a foundation for the future. Establishing dispute resolution commissions in every planning area to arbitrate neighborhood council-related disputes, however, would reduce the time the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the city attorney spend sorting out conflicts.
OPINION
February 17, 2002 | D. J. WALDIE
The bland, Progressive-Era mask that has been the face of city government in Los Angeles since the 1920s is cracking, but not fast enough to reveal the comprehending human face that Angelenos seek. Unless the city falls to a revolution of popularity--unless Angelenos soon see more of their complexions and conditions when they look at the apparatus of city government--the only loyalty to Los Angeles left may be nostalgia. Perhaps not at the ballot box, where breaking up Los Angeles can be defeated, but in the hearts of the city, where it actually matters--the idea of secession will have won. It's a hopeful sign that recent opinion polling shows that enough hearts in the city are still undecided.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2010 | By David Zahniser
The push to eliminate 1,003 jobs across Los Angeles city government could carve most deeply into neighborhood councils, arts programs and initiatives aimed at reducing ethnic tensions, according to a report obtained by The Times. To close a nearly $200-million gap, budget officials are looking at a 50% reduction in staff at the agency that oversees neighborhood councils, or 19 out of 38 jobs. Libraries would see a 10% reduction in staff, as would the office of City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, the draft spreadsheet states.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2012 | By Christine Mai-Duc, Los Angeles Times
They've been dubbed "Starbucks stakeholders," derided as modern-day carpetbaggers because they vote in Los Angeles neighborhood council elections even if all they've bought in the area is a cup of coffee, rather than a house or a business. Although the term is fairly new in Los Angeles' political vernacular, the concept has become the focus of a decade-long debate over just who the city's nearly 100 advisory councils represent, and how vulnerable they are to special-interest "takeovers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2010 | By Maeve Reston
Concerned for the safety of several witnesses, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office obtained a grand jury indictment last month of a former Los Angeles neighborhood council president who had been charged in October with misappropriating city funds. James Harris, who headed the Empowerment Congress Southwest Area Neighborhood Development Council in South Los Angeles, is the fifth neighborhood council leader to face criminal charges involving misuse of taxpayer funds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2010 | By David Zahniser
The push to eliminate 1,003 jobs across Los Angeles city government could carve most deeply into neighborhood councils, arts programs and initiatives aimed at reducing ethnic tensions, according to a report obtained by The Times. To close a nearly $200-million gap, budget officials are looking at a 50% reduction in staff at the agency that oversees neighborhood councils, or 19 out of 38 jobs. Libraries would see a 10% reduction in staff, as would the office of City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, the draft spreadsheet states.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2009 | Maeve Reston
Los Angeles police are investigating a community activist and convicted felon accused of misusing tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars while serving as chairman of his neighborhood council. The case of James Harris is just one of six involving neighborhood council treasurers or chairmen who are believed to have misspent as much as $250,000 in city money. The investigations have raised questions about the city's financial oversight of the volunteer community groups -- for example, none of the treasurers were subject to credit or background checks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 20, 2008 | David Zahniser
The City Council voted Friday to give an appointee of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa a second opportunity to serve on the commission that oversees the city's network of neighborhood councils. The Rev. Lewis Logan II gave up his seat on the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners earlier this year after he moved into a home outside the city limits. Members of his commission, which supervises the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, are required to live within the boundaries of Los Angeles.
OPINION
December 23, 2006
Re "Neighborhood councils' success limited," Dec. 17 Los Angeles neighborhood councils have been criticized for mudslinging and infighting at meetings. But democracy is messy. Conflicts often represent a sincere effort to communicate with each other and build a foundation for the future. Establishing dispute resolution commissions in every planning area to arbitrate neighborhood council-related disputes, however, would reduce the time the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the city attorney spend sorting out conflicts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2006 | Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick released her audit Tuesday of the agency that oversees neighborhood councils, concluding that elected leaders now must decide how far they want to take the city's vast experiment in grass-roots democracy. Chick's audit of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment found that, though the agency has taken steps in the right direction, it still lacks a direct mission statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2006 | Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick released her audit Tuesday of the agency that oversees neighborhood councils, concluding that elected leaders now must decide how far they want to take the city's vast experiment in grass-roots democracy. Chick's audit of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment found that, though the agency has taken steps in the right direction, it still lacks a direct mission statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 2001 | Times Staff Writer
Greg Nelson, chief of staff to Councilman Joel Wachs, was appointed general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, Mayor James K. Hahn announced Thursday. Hahn said Nelson's 26 years working for the Studio City councilman and his role in drafting the original plan for neighborhood councils make him well-qualified to take over the department, which has been struggling as it prepares to begin certifying advisory neighborhood councils throughout Los Angeles.
OPINION
February 17, 2002 | D. J. WALDIE
The bland, Progressive-Era mask that has been the face of city government in Los Angeles since the 1920s is cracking, but not fast enough to reveal the comprehending human face that Angelenos seek. Unless the city falls to a revolution of popularity--unless Angelenos soon see more of their complexions and conditions when they look at the apparatus of city government--the only loyalty to Los Angeles left may be nostalgia. Perhaps not at the ballot box, where breaking up Los Angeles can be defeated, but in the hearts of the city, where it actually matters--the idea of secession will have won. It's a hopeful sign that recent opinion polling shows that enough hearts in the city are still undecided.
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