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North Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – July 6

By Benjamin Apsley

July 9, 2022 1:19 p.m.

The North Westwood Neighborhood Council is the official neighborhood council representing Westwood Village and UCLA to the Los Angeles City Council. Council meetings are held each month and are open to the public via Zoom. The next meeting will be held virtually August 3.

Comments by public officials:

  • Marco Perez, a spokesperson for UCLA, said COVID-19 cases remain high in LA county and UCLA has seen an increase in infections among staff and faculty. He added UCLA will continue to enforce indoor masking until further notice. He also said UCLA has made the decision to leave the Pac-12 conference and join the Big 10 conference at the start of the 2024 season. Perez added UCLA is continuing cultural events through the summer, including First Thursdays and a summer concert series at the Hammer Museum.

  • Janet Turner, a spokesperson for Congressman Ted Lieu’s office, said Lieu is very concerned about inflation and is working on legislation to alleviate its effects. She added that such legislation has included a bill to prevent price gouging from oil companies, a bill to prevent anti-competitive practices from meat packing companies and a bill to encourage more industry and manufacturing within the United States.

  • Michelle Persoff, a spokesperson for Assembly Member Isaac Bryan’s office, said the state legislature is currently on recess until August. She added the legislature plans to adopt a new $242 billion budget, which will allocate funds to several locations at UCLA and around LA.

  • Erica Gatica, a spokesperson for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, said the city clerk’s office will be accepting fiscal year admin packets starting July 1. She added that annual funds will be allocated to neighborhood councils once they submit this document. She also said DONE will be holding a town hall meeting regarding the upcoming election season.

Board announcements:

  • Furkan Yalcin, the NWWNC president, said there are two board positions open for a homeowner stakeholder and an undergraduate student stakeholder, which will be filled at the next meeting August 3.

  • Kevin Crummy, a business stakeholder, said the LA City Council voted to adopt the recommendations from the City Planning Commission regarding the Westwood Specific Plan with one minor amendment involving parking requirements. He added the city attorney will draft an official ordinance to amend the plan, which aims to be finished in August.

Public comments:

  • Steven Sann said the Westwood Branch Library will be holding its first book sale after the COVID-19 pandemic July 23 at 10 a.m. He added that the library held a concert for Independence Day with the LAPD police band.

Agenda:

  • The board unanimously approved the meeting minutes from its June 1 meeting.

  • The board unanimously approved the meeting minutes from its June 15 special board meeting.

  • The board unanimously approved its May 2022 expenditure reports. In May, the council spent $0.

  • The board unanimously approved its 2023 Neighborhood Council Election Information Worksheet, a document detailing the logistics of neighborhood council elections.

    • Yalcin said elections will be held at the John Wooden Center from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. He added polling will be located at the Bruin Viewpoint Room in Ackerman Union if the Wooden Center is not available.

  • The board discussed the NWWNC community impact statement procedure.

    • Yalcin said the current procedure is for him to vet community impact statements from the individual committee meetings using his discretion. He added that a member of the public had a grievance over the community impact statement process, though they eventually revoked their complaint. He also said he consistently adds items submitted by members of the public to the agenda.

    • Nuha Khalfay, a resident stakeholder, said it does not reflect well on the council if the board does not respond to agenda items submitted by members of the public. She added there should be more transparency regarding communications with the public.

    • Andrew Lewis, the NWWNC vice president, said certain community impact statements do not directly affect Westwood. He added that the council should prioritize community impact statements affecting the community. He also said if agenda items are irrelevant they can be voted down by the council.

    • Josh Trifunovic, a business stakeholder, said the board should prioritize agenda items submitted by businesses, students and residents in Westwood. He added the council should do a better job at reaching out to the community and getting more community-based agenda items.

    • Crummy said the council should send fewer community impact statements so that individual community impact statements are more effective. He added that board members should respect the discretion of the chair to decide what is on the agenda.

  • The council approved a Community Impact Statement in favor of a city council motion which would research the viability of neighborhood council hybrid elections using in-person and mail voting.

  • The board approved a resolution to support Fair Workweek LA, a campaign from the LA Alliance for a New Economy advocating for policies to benefit retail workers.

    • Lewis said the initiative involves requiring businesses to give retail employees their schedules in advance. He added the initiative is relevant to the Westwood community because many UCLA students work retail jobs in the Village.

    • Amardeep Gill, a spokesperson from LAANE, said fair workweek policies help retail workers get predictable scheduling, allowing them to better plan their daily lives. She added that their fair workweek policy would mandate that companies with 300 or more employees give two-week advance notice to employees for their schedules.

  • The board accepted a board resignation from Evan Farrar.

    • Evan Farrar, an organizational stakeholder, said he will be relocating away from Westwood due to a job change and will therefore no longer be able to serve on the council.

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