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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

MayorSam Nugget: Neighborhood Councils and Community Outeach

On the frequent complaint that average stakeholders in a community are not made aware of city decisions and/or actions taken by local neighborhood councils:

Many community "leaders" think outreach is pasting a flyer at Vons or putting something up on Facebook. They don't understand the way people get information and how ineffective these passive methods of communication can be - as well as in a multi-cultural community where different cultures receive information differently. The City provides an albeit meager but still somewhat decent budget for outreach to Neighborhood Councils. The NCs could spend this money more wisely on means to get the word out - however they scrimp on the outreach and spend the bulk of their money on "projects" and donations to community causes while, well meaning, are not really appropriate nor effective outreach efforts.

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17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In helping my NC form, I suggested that because the purpose of the NC was to increase civic participation, almost all of the $50,000 per year budget should go to outreach activities including food to attract people to NC meetings/events.

There were blank stares. Most activists cannot see past their own nose. They were already plotting how they would get their greedy hands on the money -- and increased civic participation was just about the last goal, except for meaningless lip service.

I would support a motion at Council mandating that 60% of NC expenditures be for operations, meaningful outreach, elections, and board training/ethics.

February 05, 2013 11:57 AM  

Anonymous David Lyttle said:

The Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council is comprised of a group of communities one of which is Monterey Hills. The only outreach done in Monterey Hills by the two current Monterey Hills Geographic Council Reps (Judy Knapton & Darius Adle) consists of an outstretched hand for money to fund the Monterey Hills Jazz Festival which does not benefit anyone in the community save the "for-profit" Monterey Hills Federation whose President is none other than ASNC member Darius Adle and whose ASNC liaison is none other than the infamous Judy Knapton. Talk about a conflict of interests……..
http://highlandpark-ca.patch.com/blog_posts/patch-blog-asnc-and-monterey-hills-federation-share-a-conflict-of-interest

Of course Councilman Huizar has been a long time supporter of the Monterey Hills Jazz Festival and CD14 staff members attend meetings of the “for-profit” Monterey Hills Federation.

February 05, 2013 12:01 PM  

Anonymous Hayk Gregorian said:

How many NCs got hit up to pay money for "food" for the useless homeless count? What a waste of taxpayer funds. I have heard tens of thousands was spent and most of it eaten by fat people.

February 05, 2013 12:10 PM  

Blogger Valley Doll said:

"...and most of it eaten by fat people."

Way to stereotype, Hayk.

February 05, 2013 12:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I agree with all the comments, NC members just like giving money away to non-profit that get more state/federal funding than NC. Another issues is that the only schools that get projects and funding from NC are does that their own NC members have their children in, and they ignore the res of the schools. Outreach is marketing, they do not get it. Their agendas should be in a form of getting people interested in the meetings, serving snacks, or hot coffee in a cold evening, or just water would be a good gesture.
Some NC do not have appropriet equipment to run a meeting or to get the job done. why is it that so many NC do not have microphones, and recording equipment, timers, lap tops for presentations and just simple business tools needed for the operations. Power point presentations are getting very popular, but the quality if the worst for presentations. More so the City Dept that put together power point presentations are done very poorly, not affective at all. What happen to Marketing people, we may have the equipment a computor and a projector, however, is lacking the expertise and understanding of professionals.
Operating a NC is not just giving money away, setting up a monthly meeting and posting it. is about the results and successes of reaching the population intended.

February 05, 2013 4:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well there are two things that account for stereotyping fat people. They do stand out, however, they maybe fat because they do not have a balance diet, or expensive meal everyday. The only thing they have is the junk we give free.

February 05, 2013 4:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why is Valley Girl concerned with sterotyping fat people when her own Neighborhood Council probably doesn't reach out to the immigrant community in her community. Most of these white people moved into former Latino areas and steamrolled them. White people, meh.

February 05, 2013 5:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Community Outreach- weakest link in the chain of activites of NCs.

Most of the funding makes people feel good. But the reason for forming NCs was not to be a mini-city council but to be the connection or "conduit" to the public.

The idea was "to monitor the delivery of city services" and to commuicate the stakeholders views and needs back to the Mayor and Council members. It's only now taking hold after many $$ of giving out money for projects/groups that the council members should be paying.

It's almost as if many needs have been left unfilled so an NC can step in and spend it's own funding- a. weakening ability for more real outreach, and b. keeping NCs with busy work to deflect them from interferring with the CMs.

Not much a coincidence that there's even lapeses in LAPD funding to make them come to NCs for money. There's more examples but this gives you an idea of outreach not being addressed properly, taking a backseat to funding favored events, groups.

Cutting funding will cut into that, but it wasn't the main part of the purpose of NCs, so it won't hurt as it might if the money was designated for true outreach (education about city government and participation therein).

Funding for current FY is $37,000 per NC, no longer $50,000. Another 10% cut expected at end of FY in June, also. NC need to show people are learning about city government - as shady as it is- and participating, not simply assuming the CMs must be as smart and have the answers- they keep telling us that, right?

In CD-14

February 05, 2013 5:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is the reason why the law that the NCs have to get 1% of the community to show up and vote in order to get their funding.

February 05, 2013 5:45 PM  

Blogger Sandra said:

I was at the "useless homeless count" all four nights. I did not see anything near tens of thousands of dollars in food. That statement is stupid I also did not notice any "fat" people. Most fat people would not get off of the couch to help find the homeless so shut up.

Yes outreach is non-existent.

February 05, 2013 10:14 PM  

Anonymous Hayk Gregorian said:

Sandra were you at all the counts in every city? how do you know?

February 05, 2013 11:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Oh, I see the bitter loser of the Monterey Hills NC election continues to spill his bile. Thank God some people with back bone have stood up to loudmouthed bullies in the Arroyo Seco NC.

Now if the staff at DONE would show some backbone and make findings on the misuse of funds, or make referrals to the District Attorney, we could get back on track.

February 06, 2013 9:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There are well known bullies in each community Neighborhood Councils. Several have been caught sending harassing email messages, telephone calls, Facebook messages, notes on cars and more. My wife and I were interviewed for an upcoming news report. We're tired of it in our small community. These are haters

February 06, 2013 11:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I thought $$ give to NC was to improve the community

February 06, 2013 10:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I thought the $$ given to NC were to improve the community

February 06, 2013 10:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

that bully our are talking about is the one name man who takes our picture on video

February 07, 2013 9:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The NC money is given for the community to spend as they want. The fat Jesus loving Blowhard does not know this.

February 07, 2013 11:19 PM  

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