Originally posted at http://citywatchla.com/8box-left/9995-neighborhood-council-elections-are-around-the-corner-here-s-why-you-should-run. Written by Tim Deegan.

Why do neighborhood councils matter and why should you run for a board seat on your NC? At their best, and some excel at this, they serve as local political organizations that are empowered to monitor the critical issues in their communities such as land use and development, transportation and parking, and public safety. These are three key issues facing every neighborhood and depending on the NC, there are other issues to tackle as well.

The Mayor, Department heads, and City Councilmembers all listen to NCs for what’s happening in their communities. Through written advisories and “community impact statements” the NCs let city government heads know from the neighborhood level why a specific proposal may be a good or a bad idea. When the City Charter established the Neighborhood Council system over a decade ago, it gave them advisory roles that the smart occupants at City Hall have learned to pay attention to.

As stated in Article IX of the Los Angeles City Charter, the “Purpose of Neighborhood Councils” is “To promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs”.

So what’s in it for you? Service to your community. What could be better than that? This service includes, but is not limited to, keeping your neighborhood whole, challenging development that does not fit the character of your neighborhood, and working closely with the police and fire departments on public safety issues.

As an NC board member, you will have the opportunity to Continue reading

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Household Oil Flier Eng_2015

In preparation for the holidays, L.A. Sanitation is asking people not to pour fats, oils, and grease down the drain. This can be damaging not only to pipes in the home, but also to outside sewer lines.

LA Sanitation is now accepting household fryer oil for recycling at our S.A.F.E. Centers. The oil will be recycled for fuel and energy.

Pouring oil down the kitchen sink or drains can clog up your house plumbing and sewer pipes and may cause sewage backups and overflows. Let’s take care of our environment as we celebrate the holidays by recycling our fryer oil.

Make sure the oil is in a closed leak-proof container (such as the container from the store) and take it to one of our six S.A.F.E. Centers listed below. Please limit to 10 gallons or less. All centers will follow normal days and times of operation.

Nicole Bernson S.A.F.E. Center
10241 N. Balboa Blvd.
Northridge, CA 91325
Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Randall St. S.A.F.E. Center
11025 Randall St.
Sun Valley, CA 91352
Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m Continue reading

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Earlier this year Mayor Eric Garcetti launched several Executive Directives, one of which was the first ever Sustainable City pLAn. Sustainability is about more than combating climate change and reducing pollution: it encompasses economic development, social development, and environmental protection. The pLAn looks at ways the whole city of Los Angeles: citizens, communities, and businesses, can be more cognizant about responsible waste, clean energy, water conservation, efficient transportation, improved air quality, and the creation of green jobs. Sustainability is about making sure that the natural resources we have today are available for future generations tomorrow.

Mayor Garcetti has taken a proactive approach in Los Angeles becoming a leader in sustainability. On Monday, Mayor Garcetti joined Vice President Joe Biden and leaders in the clean-technology industry for a roundtable discussion on ways to develop clean technology. Vice President Biden sees Los Angeles as leading the country in innovation and sustainability as Mayor Garcetti has pledged an aggressive goal for the City to cut emissions 80% by 2050, stop using coal by 2025, and embedding sustainability into everything that City Hall does. In addition, last week Mayor Garcetti announced a campaign called the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC) or ‘Drop 100’ where commercial buildings will take the necessary steps to save 100 million gallons of water every year. This campaign helps by conserving water for the drought, as commercial buildings account for 19% of the city’s water supply. Learn more about the Mayor’s Sustainable City pLAn.

With the Mayor taking a proactive stance on sustainability, Neighborhood Councils can also engage with this important campaign by exploring new areas and ways in which they can help the city reach sustainability goals, specifically by submitting a Community Impact Statement on reducing greenhouse gas in the city as proposed in Council File #14-0907. A CIS is an opportunity for NCs to influence legislation. To learn more about Community Impact Statements, attend an upcoming EmpowerLA CIS training workshop!

Community empowerment starts with you, so thank you for your continued interest to stay connected, engaged, and empowered.

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Share Your Heart LA Home

This week, a public hyperlink was established on the City’s website directing users to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services’ website to provide information on adoption opportunities.

Every child needs a loving, supportive and nurturing family. Sadly, in the United States, there are 400,540 children in the foster care system with 104,236 children ready and waiting to be adopted. In California, there are 55,851 children in the foster care system with over 13,178 children ready and waiting to be adopted. In Los Angeles County, there are over 18,000 children in the foster care system with over 500 of them ready and waiting to be adopted.

The City of Los Angeles’s website: www.lacity.org is the main portal in which residents can access public services and receive vital information. The City’s website is also an important tool to facilitate instant and direct access to public resources for residents, and can be utilized to encourage people to consider adopting a child.

This link brings greater awareness about the need for permanent and loving homes for children in foster care and assists those interested in the adopting process, making it smoother and easier to navigate.

Click here to view the new link.

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CicLAvia will return to the Valley on March 6, 2016, hosting four miles of car-free streets from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Valley will have four miles for participants to explore by bike, foot, skateboard, wheelchair and other non-motorized traffic. The route will take people through Pacoima, Arleta, North Hills East, and Panorama City.

New to CicLAvia? Here are four things you need to know for March 6:

– It’s FREE!
– It’s not a race and you don’t need a bike to participate. You can walk or skate to your heart’s content.
– There’s no beginning or end. You can start anywhere and go as far or as short as you want.
– The flow of participants goes both ways, just like regular traffic.


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Looking for affordable housing? There is a new resource available from the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA).

Los Angeles County Housing Resource center, together with HCIDLA launched this new web-based ADA accessible application tool to match qualified tenants with affordable housing.

This application is 100% free and features searchable vacancies based on household amenities and location criteria. It can be accessed online or via toll-free phone and provides a platform for owners to list and update rentals.

The website updates regularly to reflect available units and can be found at http://housing.lacity.org/.

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Each year, LA Sanitation (LASAN) prepares itself and Los Angeles residents and businesses for the rainy season. This year, we are anticipating El Niño, which will likely cause higher-intensity storms and potential flooding.

What can residents and businesses do to prepare?

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Los Angeles lawmakers voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a new law requiring Angelenos to lock up or disable their handguns at home if they aren’t close at hand.

In an impassioned speech before the vote, City Councilman Paul Krekorian argued that the new rules would help prevent deadly accidents and youth suicides by stopping the guns from falling into the hands of curious children or despondent teenagers. Krekorian said more preschoolers are killed with guns annually than police officers.

“It’s unacceptable to live in a country where it’s more dangerous to be a preschooler than to be a police officer — and we can do something about that today,” Krekorian said.

Under the new law, Angelenos who violate the storage requirements could face a misdemeanor charge. Gun rights activists have warned they may sue over the rules, arguing that city lawmakers shouldn’t decide how people choose to protect themselves in their homes. Continue reading

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