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North Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – Aug. 2

By Sharla Steinman

Aug. 5, 2023 12:13 p.m.

This post was updated Aug. 6 at 9:08 p.m.

The North Westwood Neighborhood Council is the official neighborhood council representing UCLA and Westwood to the Los Angeles City Council. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month and are open to the public at UCLA’s Weyburn Terrace. The next meeting is set to be held Sept. 6.

In the Aug. 2 meeting, the council and stakeholders heard from public officials and addressed issues within the council and Westwood.

Comments by public officials:

  • Jake Ettinger, a district representative in State Sen. Ben Allen’s office, said the senator is working on Senate Bill 867, which calls for a $15.5 billion climate fund to build infrastructure for coastal, water and drought resilience. He then spoke about SB 469, which exempts affordable housing projects from Article 34 of the state constitution. Article 34 requires voter approval of low-income housing projects. Ettinger said this will allow for a more streamlined affordable housing development process. He also explained SB 615, which will place the responsibility of electric vehicle battery recycling and conversion on car companies.
  • Amanda Laflen, field deputy from District 3 Supervisor Lindsey Horvath’s office, said that in the July 28 County Board of Supervisors meeting, the board explored ways to support people in the entertainment industry and urged the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to return to the negotiating table with Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to end the ongoing strike. She also announced that Horvath recently became the chair of the LA Homeless Service Authority and that a new county mortgage relief program was implemented in county areas outside of the city of LA. She added that, with increasing temperatures in LA, there are numerous locations to cool down, such as public libraries, located throughout the city.
  • LA Fire Department Chief Shawn Tukua said Veteran Affairs has increased housing for veterans through tiny home developments and plans to continuously create them. Tukua said the station assisted in putting out the Topanga Canyon Owens Fire that occurred July 26. He reminded the council and community members about the importance of preparing early to help speed up evacuations in the case of an emergency. He added that LAFD is experiencing staffing shortages and plans to recruit and train new firefighters.
  • Janet Turner, a representative for Congressman Ted Lieu’s office, asked the council to provide Lieu’s office with a list of NWWNC’s priorities monthly. She spoke about House of Representatives Bill 5017, which provides guidance with respect to space systems. Turner also spoke about HR 4623, which establishes a voluntary program to identify internet-connected products that meet industry-leading cybersecurity practices and provide them with guidelines for best practices. She also spoke about HR 4797, which would designate the Encinal Trailhead on the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains as the “Anthony ‘Tony’ Beilenson Trailhead” in honor of the former U.S. Representative. She also spoke about HR 4812, which would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to allow the secretary of education to provide grants to higher education institutions for free meals to low-income students through existing on-campus meal programs.
  • Karen McClain, government and community relations liaison for the UCLA Alumni Association, said the Student Leadership Academy will be the first group of individuals to use villas in UCLA South Bay, which was acquired in 2022. She also said the Hammer Museum is hosting two jazz concerts Aug. 10 and 17.

[Related: UCLA to acquire new sites in Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro]

  • Erica Gatica, a Department of Neighborhood Empowerment project coordinator, announced that onboarding for board member training will begin Aug. 7.
  • Kevin Wise, managing partner at SCI Executive Services and community liaison to the council, spoke about an 18-page emailed letter he authored and sent to the council and local officials regarding the recent uptick in crime in Westwood. He went through the letter and explained some of the issues business owners on Westwood Boulevard have been facing, such as graffiti and property damage. He urged the council to work with other local councils to mitigate the issue.

There were no public comments.


  • The council approved the minutes from the May 10 and July 19 special board meetings.
  • The council heard a presentation from Faramarz Nabavi, who spoke on the Metro Justice letter, which urges Metro to consider housing impacts in their environmental review process. The council then signed the Metro Justice Letter and the Streets for All Letter, with the latter advocating for the implementation of a heavy rail.
  • The council approved a Community Impact Statement to support an amendment to Council File 12-1232, which – if amended – will implement a fully independent LA Ethics Commission. The council then approved a Community Impact Statement in favor of Council File 23-1200-S130, which nominated Jamie York, executive officer of the Reseda Neighborhood Council, for the city’s Ethics Commission.
  • In a two-thirds majority, the council approved an amendment to the current bylaws, which allow for a coin toss in the event of a tie in executive board positions. The new bylaws, which will be used in the next election cycle, call for voting to not end until a majority is met, and if there are more than two candidates, the one with the least votes will be eliminated after every round of voting.
  • The council passed a vote to create a 2028 Olympics Committee. Councilmember Christopher Espino was chosen as the chair of the committee.
  • The council passed a vote to create a Consent Calendar, which allows non-controversial agenda items to be approved all at once at the end of each meeting. If a board member would like to discuss or vote against an item on the Consent Calendar, they are able to move it to the regular agenda.
  • Councilmember Wren Reynolds became the administrator and account manager of the NWWNC social media accounts, which gives him the ability to post and stay up to date on security and renewing licenses.
  • The council then discussed the election of representatives from NWWNC to other bodies. Vice chair Marcello Robinson was chosen to represent the council in Westside Regional Alliance of Council meetings. Councilmember Eric Coestad was chosen to represent the council in WRAC Land Use and Planning meetings. Councilmember Elizabeth Brady was chosen to represent the council in WRAC Homelessness meetings, and Councilmember Evan Curran was chosen for the Mobility and Transportation meetings. Councilmember Andrew Lewis was chosen to represent the council in STC4ALL Working Group meetings, which discuss the Sepulveda Transit Corridor.
  • The council then approved the budget for the new fiscal year in a unanimous vote.
  • The council also approved the April and May Monthly Expenditure Reports.
  • A $547.50 expense was approved for the use of the Weyburn Commons Village View room for the May 10 Special Board Meeting.




  • NWWNC Chair Josh Trifunovic said that an appeal to reduce hours at STK Steakhouse’s new location on Glendon and Lindbrook, opening in October, was denied. The new location will be open until 2 a.m. inside, with patio seating ending at midnight.
  • Curran said the Westwood Library approved the council’s usage of the community room. The community room is free to use. There is a possibility for the meeting time to be changed if this location is utilized because the library closes at 8 p.m. He also said the council could possibly use UCLA’s Bruin Viewpoint Room for $288 per meeting with added costs for AV equipment.
  • Councilmember Nuha Khalfay said the budget for the new fiscal year will include three Neighborhood Purpose Grants, which provide grants to local nonprofits contributing to the Westwood community.
  • Reynolds said the NWWNC website has been updated and now includes information about the vacant UCLA faculty seat.
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