Friday, October 2, 2009
LA Medical Marijuana Activist News
Historic Event Has LA Stakeholders Taking Action
NC Action Summit
By Greg Nelson
Vol 7 Issue 81
Pub: Oct 2, 2009
Don't miss the Neighborhood Council Action Summit this Saturday at
L.A. City College from 8:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For the first time, neighborhood council activists and stakeholders will
be able to discuss AND amplify their voices by voting on positions
regarding several issues that would rock the boat so much that City Hall
has avoided them:
* Pursuing a City Charter Amendment for the ballot that would cut the
salaries of city elected officials in half. Wave Newspapers'
columnist Betty Pleasant will guide that discussion. * Creating more
accountability and transparency at the Department of Water and Power by
creating an independent ratepayers' advocate. Former DWP
Commissioner Nick Patsaouras and Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council
board member Jack Humphreville will argue for your support. Deputy
Mayor, and former head of DWP, David Freeman will offer a different
point of view.
* Stopping medical marijuana shops. Special Assistant City Attorney
Jane Usher will tell you the latest about what the city is doing.
* Asking the mayor and City Council to act in a more fiscally
responsible way by adopting balanced budgets into future years as Long
Beach, Berkeley, Milwaukee, Orange County, and many others do.
If you attend, or if you respond to the online survey afterwards, you
will also be asked to give City Hall your thoughts about a variety of
options for cutting into the 83-year backlog of sidewalk repairs. Bill
Robertson, the Director of the Bureau of Street Services, and one of the
most respected executives in City Hall will explain it all in terms you
During the day there will be opportunities to cast votes on brief
polling questions that ask you how you feel about the City Council
motion that would move Public Comment time to the end of the City
Council's agendas; involving neighborhood councils in the selection and
performance evaluation of general managers; once again printing
Community Impact Statements on the city's agendas; and making public the
attendance records of City Council members.
It's all designed to produce less talk and more action.
These are not the kind of sessions during which you sit and listen to
someone talk at you, and then you go home.
Following each vote, action plans will be developed for those who
realize that voting is not the end of the process to achieve results,
but rather the start of it.
Information about each topic and each special guest, along with the
program, and maps can be found at http://NCActionSumm it.wetpaint. com.
And note takers (we need more volunteers) will keep track of the
important information that was presented, the votes that were taken, and
put it all on the Internet for you. The entire event will also be
videotaped and presented on the Internet.
There will be free parking, free food, and free speech.
Neighborhood councils have been around for nearly 10 years now. I think
that they're ready for the next step in acquiring the credibility
and strength to have a powerful and constant influence on how government
This goal is part of a growing national movement toward participatory
democracy. Los Angeles could be a leader because it already has an
infrastructure of neighborhood councils.
But the momentum, the drive to succeed, will have to come from
neighborhood council leaders because it's clear that it won't be
coming from a City Hall that seems preoccupied with placing more
restrictions on the neighborhood councils and letting them gather to be
told about issues as long as they don't do anything about it.
See you on Saturday when things get kicked off by Robert Greene, an
editorial writer for the Los Angeles Times, and Tezozomoc, a leader of
the South Central Farmers effort.
--Another perspective on the NC Action Summit: Ron Kaye
(http://ronkayela. com/2009/ 09/its-time- for-action- and-saturd. html)
(Greg Nelson participated in the birth and development of the LA
Neighborhood Council system and served as the General Manager of the
Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. Nelson now provides news and
issues analysis to CityWatch. You can reach Greg Nelson at This email
to view it )
http://www.citywatc hla.com/content/ view/2753/