"NCs at a Crossroad; Neighborhood Councils are Here to Stay; Now to be Truly Empowered" by Janice Hahn
First, I witnessed Councilmember Janice Hahn pummel Sarno at a committee meeting, regarding the exention of her term as interim NC GM. And since ZD has been doing all the typing lately, it was nice to see a Councilmember not only think, but actually go public with a position in a newsletter/have a spine. This is from www.CityWatchLA.com. Janice Hahn...You Go Girl! (Pictured: Cute little baby, The Mayor of Los Angeles and Councilmember Hahn, behind left mouse ear.)
2007 - NCs at a Crossroad; Neighborhood Councils are Here to Stay; Now to be Truly Empowered
By Janice Hahn
2006 has been a trying year for those of us who support the Neighborhood Council system. It seems like every week has brought a new attack, too often coming from those who should be supporting Neighborhood Councils.
But, regardless of the recent rhetoric, I am excited about the potential that 2007 brings for real empowerment of our communities as well as our Neighborhood Councils. The 912 Commission will be center stage as they begin their draft report, to be released in late May. I urge all of our Neighborhood Councils to get involved and pay attention to the work of the Commission. They will be making big decisions that will impact the future of our entire Neighborhood Council system.
I look forward to working closely with the Commission as the new Chair of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, which I will be in charge of until the Council District 7 race is resolved in March or May. As chair I will ensure that no major policy changes are implemented prior to 912 Commission review.
One of the issues that I plan on advancing as Chair is the “Community Initiative Statements,” which supporters are now referring to as Neighborhood Council Files, in recognition of the fact that this proposal calls for Neighborhood Councils to have the ability to generate new Council files. The last time this matter was heard by the City Council, on August 16, it became clear that there are several different perspectives about the entire Neighborhood Council system and that not all of my Council colleagues support the Neighborhood Council File idea.
I recently introduced a motion meant to address the concerns raised by several of my colleagues, including some who are generally supportive of Neighborhood Councils. Many are concerned that Neighborhood Councils do not have enough ethical checks to ensure that their recommendations are not tainted or influenced by outside factors.
While I personally believe that between state and city law there are plenty of safeguards in place, I chose to call for additional measures to allay the fears of my colleagues and help them to focus back on the issue of how we can move forward with empowering our Neighborhood Councils and allowing them to introduce council files.
Above all, I look forward to having a new General Manager in place by the beginning of February, one who will be the greatest advocate in City Hall for the Neighborhood Councils and not an obstacle to real empowerment. As always, I and my staff will remain vigilant to keep your interests in mind.
Neighborhood Councils are here to stay. My wish for 2007 is that they become truly empowered to help shape City government for the better. (Janice Hahn is Councilwoman for the 15th Council District and Chair of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee.)
[Hoooooody hooooooooooo! Janice, I would send you a free Zuma Dogg shirt, but with stricter campaign reform laws, now in effect, I can't send you gifts. Sorry. But, at least I wanted to.]