Monday, September 24

Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – Aug. 8


Comments by public officials

  • Samee Park, the director of Neighborhood Council Operations from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, said program applications for IgniteLA, an organization that teaches girls ages from 14 to 24 how to get involved in politics, are now open and available online. Park added there will be a gathering opportunity Aug. 20 with local nonprofits throughout Los Angeles to learn about neighborhood council operations and helping young people prepare to run for office through interactive workshops.
  • Park said members of 100 Resilient Cities will collaborate with neighborhood councils Aug. 14 to develop emergency preparedness plans and discuss financial recovery after disasters. The 100 Resilient Cities network aims to help member cities around the world find solutions to physical, social and economic challenges. The event will take place at Ronald F. Deaton Civic Auditorium located across the Los Angeles City Hall.
  • Andrew Thomas, executive director of the Westwood Village Business Improvement District, said the Westwood Village block party will take place on Sept. 23 at 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m on south and north of Broxton Avenue to Weyburn Avenue. Thomas said the event aims to introduce incoming UCLA students to the Westwood community and local businesses.
  • Jonathan Hershey, the senior city planner with the Department of City Planning, said a city rezoning effort will take place in Westwood in the next three years, during which neighborhood policies will be updated to reflect new land uses and recent zoning designations that have been completed by the Department of City Planning. The department is also preparing an environmental review document to analyze the cumulative impacts of the policy or zoning decisions. Hershey said the new zoning plan will allow neighborhoods to incorporate design requirements to commercial and industrial buildings in finer detail with respect to developmental regulations.

Discussion

  • Lisa Chapman, council president, talked about the 2019 election policies among the board members. The Westwood Neighborhood Council election is scheduled to take place on June 2, 2019, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Westwood Recreation Center. Translated copies of voting materials will be available in English, Farsi and Korean.
  • Park and the council members discussed possibly implementing an online voting system. Chapman and other council members said they did not support online voting, because they think voting in-person fosters community engagement. Despite acknowledging that some residents are physically unable to leave their home, council member Mitchell Keiter said he had doubts about an online system’s ability to expand voter demographics.

Motions

  • The board voted against implementing an online voting system and will facilitate an in-person poll vote.
  • The board voted against donating $5,000 toward the cost of implementing online voting or voting by poll.
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