LANCC Chair Elections - Senator Jim Alger
Candidate for LANCC Chair -
Senator Jim Alger, President Northridge West NC
Jim Alger first became involved in Neighborhood Councils as one of the original organizers of the Northridge West Neighborhood Council, an organization which he serves as President today. Jim has been heavily involved in many aspects of the NC system and is probably best known for his organization of 42 Neighborhood Councils against the DWP Rate Hike of 2004 and the subsequent creation of an MOU with the Department.
Jim has served as a Commissioner appointed by then Mayor Hahn on the DWP Green Ribbon Commission as well as Neighborhood Council Liaison for the California State Senate. Last year he led a civilian rescue and recovery mission to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. He was awarded Outstanding Young Californian of 2006 by the California Jaycees. Most recently he was a candidate for the California State Assembly.
Question: Why do you feel you are the most qualified for the position you are seeking?
Answer: That is a difficult question because I believe each candidate brings an individual strength that will help the Congress. I would say that I have the most experience leading, be it dozens of pilots for an emergency mission to the Gulf or knocking down a DWP rate hike in LA. It takes a certain ability to get agreement from multiple individuals let alone Neighborhood Councils who seemingly have little in common. They must be united in purpose. With Neighborhood Council issues, in most cases I had to go directly to the NC meeting whether it was San Pedro, Empowerment Congress Southeast, Pacoima, Eagle Rock, Silver Lake or the countless other Neighborhood Councils I have visited. The issues ranged from the DWP rate hike to Sunshine Canyon to an Eminent Domain issue in South LA to promoting Neighborhood Councils involvement in Emergency Preparedness but the common thread was that I went straight to the Neighborhood Council regardless of where it was located. I believe we should expect nothing less from a leader in the congress.
Question: What are your top priorities if elected?
I will push for the moratorium on the citywide election procedures and assist Neighborhood Councils in getting this election mess fixed once and for all, outreach to other Neighborhood Councils and expand MOU's to include the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. They need to understand they exist to assist Neighborhood Councils, not control them.
Question: What role, if any, do you see the LANCC having in leading the Neighborhood Council movement?
Answer: I think it is important for the Congress to listen as well as lead. Many Neighborhood Councils are suspicious of the Congress, that will change with time but the Congress needs to show why it is there. We can do that by assisting Neighborhood Councils in local issues, but also identifying trends that a more regional or city-wide approach could fix such as the elections or a familiar theme of mine, local control over land use.
The Neighborhood Council System is inherently political whether we like to admit it or not. We are all elected, represent a constituency and our entire purpose is to effect public policy and sway decisions of public officials and politicians. A strong and united Congress can create an atmosphere that will help leverage the monied special interest groups we seem to be fighting every day, and that can only be good for the people of Los Angeles.
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