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How Effective is Your Neighborhood Council?

Do you feel you have a say in city affairs through the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, which will elect new leaders in October?

 

Click on the two links below to learn about Neighborhood Councils and share your views in the Comments box below about how useful you think the has been.

Click here to read a July 2 Los Angeles Times op-ed about Neighborhood Councils. Here's an excerpt:

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. And yet, as councils across the city prepare for a new round of elections this summer and fall, they are growing in strength, forming connections to one another and, gradually, becoming an indispensable aspect of Los Angeles politics.

Click here to read a June 30 blog by Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council member Robert Guevara about Neighborhood Council elections and leadership training.

Tim Ryder July 03, 2012 at 11:49 PM
According to their mission statement the main purpose of the neighborhood council system was "to promote increased citizen participation in government." I will leave it up to you to interpret whether that goal has been met or not. Of course, there are pros and cons to every question but my own personal opinion is that these 'neighborhood councils' have great potential for telling the City government just how we feel about things in our community. But the ongoing challenge these councils have to battle is Apathy. In the last ERNC election a grand total (15) stakeholders VOTED (out of 35,000 Eagle Rock residents) for the Treasurer, you know the Treasurer, the one that gets to give $40,000 of your tax dollars to questionable 'community improvement' projects like trophy cases and the spy cameras that don't work. Unfortunately, the monthly meeting only garners an average of 10 attendees, with 9 of 10 of them looking for a handout for their own particular 'community improvement' project. But that being said, I would never have started the CCUWC if I had never attended one of these meetings. I suggest that all Eagle Rockers sit through at least one just to see what it's all about.
Elijah H July 04, 2012 at 05:17 AM
It seems that financial misappropriation is rampant... maybe the Treasurers should be instructed on how to audit, and should be directed to audit a randomly selected NC that they don't participate in. They also need to better define "stakeholder", ideally, so that only residents can vote. Allowing workers, or even patrons of businesses in a NC area to vote is ridiculous. There was a guy who wrote an article a while back about how he drove around the city and bought a cup of coffee in each neighborhood council area on voting day, declared himself a stakeholder in each, and voted in each. Why don't we realign the NCs to better match precincts recognized by the LA County Clerk, and use those rolls for voting?
Ajay Singh (Editor) July 04, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Thanks, Elijah. I'm surprised at that extremely narrow definition of stakeholder, which clearly needs to be modified or changed.
Elijah H July 04, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Personally, I don't vote in mine (Glassell Park) because of the shenanigans they pulled the last time I tried to vote (getting busloads of churchgoers to throw the election in favor of developers). I'm disillusioned with the whole structure and don't want to lend my vote to my NC's legitimacy in its current form.
Erykah Grande September 16, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Forgive me for jumping in on such an "old" post, but i forgot how I ended up here and now feel like I have to chime in. Although I agree (to a certain extent) with you, Elijah, I think the system (not just the NC's) is being abused. Yes, that particular stakeholder mentioned blatantly abused the system, the definition of a stakeholder. But I think there are those bad apples everywhere. This mentality of "mine and yours" is not getting anyone anywhere. I don't live in Highland Park, but I frequent the place enough to consider myself a stakeholder. I grew up in the place. I have friends there. I have family there. Of course I want what I think is best for the place I frequent. With that, I'm pretty happy about the definition of a Stakeholder. It's like saying, I don't want to vote in this year's Presidential Campaign (National) because the President is going to stay in D.C. C'mon, that's silly. There are regulations being made all the time, around your neighborhood, that will affect you one way or another, sometime. You can't, and shouldn't, simply brush off such important votes or put off being an engaged citizen simply because you don't agree with something. On the contrary, if you feel so passionate about it, stand up and speak, perhaps you're not the only one, and perhaps, if u gather enough to create a loud enough voice, someone will hear it and change will happen, change that u can be more pleased with. Until then, don't take a back seat. It's not getting anyone anywhere.

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