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North Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – Sept. 6

By Sharla Steinman

Sept. 12, 2023 5:41 p.m.

The North Westwood Neighborhood Council is the official neighborhood council advocating for UCLA and Westwood to the Los Angeles City Council. Meetings are open to the public and are held on the first Wednesday of every month at UCLA’s Weyburn Terrace. The next meeting is set to be held Oct. 4.

In the Sep. 6 meeting, the council and Westwood community members heard from public officials and addressed issues within the area.

Comments by public officials:

  • Sherwin Shamoeil, a field representative from Assemblymember Rick Zbur’s office, said State Senate Bill 411 – which will allow neighborhood councils to meet virtually – was passed in both the Assembly and Senate. He said it will go to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his approval, which is pending. If signed by Newsom, neighborhood councils will be able to meet virtually starting in October or November. Shamoeil also said California Assembly Bill 1620 passed through the Senate. AB 1620 would allow tenants with physical disabilities to move into an available comparable unit if the move is deemed necessary to accommodate the tenant’s disability, if there is no working elevator or if the tenant provides the building owner with a request to move to a more accessible floor.
  • LAPD Senior Officer James Allen shared statistics about crime in the area he covers, which includes Westwood. He said homicides are up by one compared to this time last year and added that there have been 35 aggravated assaults, 151 burglaries and 78 auto thefts so far this year. He also said Target is now using a hands-off approach to deal with theft compared to the store’s previous use of theft prevention officers.
  • Michael Russell, the executive director of the Westwood Village Improvement Association, said the WVIA has been focused on attracting businesses and increasing retention. He added that 12 new businesses will be coming to Westwood soon, with six more coming in the next six months. Broxton Plaza, which will transform Broxton Avenue into a street for foot traffic only, is also underway and set to open in November.

[Related: Westwood Village Improvement Association obtains permit for Broxton Plaza Project]

  • Duane Muller, the senior executive director of UCLA Government and Community Relations, said the UCLA Nimoy Theater will host an open house Sept. 17 at 3:30 p.m. followed by an opening performance. Muller added that with the UCLA move-in weekend coming soon, streets will be swept. Muller also said Volunteer Day is happening Sept. 30 and added that First Thursdays will resume in October.

[Related: UCLA obtains historic theater with donations from Susan Bay Nimoy, unnamed donor]

There was no public comment.


  • The board discussed the approval of a Community Impact Statement against Council File 22-0392, which would allow digital billboards to be displayed on structures that are part of the Transportation Communication Network Program between the city of LA and the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The CIS would support the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils’ motion opposing the city’s participation in the Metro TCN program. The program would install major billboards as a way to raise money for Metro. Some on the neighborhood council opposed the program because of possible safety risks, and some supported it because of the critical funding that will be available for Metro. The board passed the statement 8-2, with 2 abstaining.
  • The council also continued the discussion of a new meeting space and time for the regular board meetings, with options including the Westwood Library, Bruin Viewpoint Room and the Westwood Presbyterian Church.
  • The board also approved the expense of up to $750 per meeting for use of the Weyburn Commons Village View Room or an alternate meeting space up to the remainder of the fiscal year.
  • The board discussed the approval of a Neighborhood Purpose Grant of up to $5,000, which would be given to Village for Vets. The funds would support veterans in getting transportation to the organization’s dental clinic, which is located in the West LA VA Medical Center. Village for Vets provides two dental visits annually because the VA does not provide dental care. The University of Southern California currently assists in the dental program, and some council members asked if UCLA was planning to get involved.
  • The board also discussed giving a Neighborhood Purpose Grant of up to $5,000 to the UCLA Foundation/UCLA Mobile Stroke Unit, a mobile hospital in Westwood that has all of the medications needed in the event of a stroke. The funds would help the unit get a CTA Injector, a medical device that assists in medical imaging procedures.
  • The council unanimously voted to participate in UCLA’s Volunteer Day.
  • The board also selected Donald Shoup as the representative on its faculty stakeholder board seat. Councilmember Shoup is a professor emeritus of urban planning at UCLA. He said he wanted to see collaboration with UCLA students to help improve the North Village.
  • The board also approved the resignation of at-large stakeholder board member John Sischo, who left because of time constraints.
  • The board then voted for a replacement of the at-large stakeholder seat, which was given to Bettina O’Mara. O’Mara has previously worked in City Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky’s office and is involved with the Hammer Museum.
  • A consent calendar, which was approved at the NWWNC meeting in August, was implemented for the first time. Items such as various monthly expenditure reports, minutes and expenses were approved by the council.


  • Board member Nuha Khalfay said the Budget and Finance Committee met and discussed Neighborhood Purpose Grants, which provide funding to groups improving the Westwood community.
  • Board member Andrew Lewis announced that SB 411 passed in both houses.
  • Treasurer Elizabeth Brady said funding for the NWWNC will be determined by the October meeting.
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Sharla Steinman
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