L.A. City Council Gives Neighborhood Councils A Win

The City Council this week moved $1.3 million and five full-time positions from the Community Development Department to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees the city's 91 elected neighborhood councils.

Neighborhood council types cheered and breathed a little easier, as it seemed a sign that a plan hatched by Mayor Villaraigosa earlier this year to save money by merging DONE with CDD is dead, at least for now.

Neighborhood councils had opposed the merger plan. They viewed it -- fairly or not -- as a way to curb the influence and enthusiasm of neighborhood councils by bringing them to heal and starving them of resources.

Even without the merger, DONE has been badly slashed from 72 employees to 18 before the council's infusion this week.

Councilman Paul Krekorian, who chairs the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, which has jurisdiction over DONE, said in a statement: "Today, we sent an important message to Los Angeles that we value the importance of neighborhood councils, and my office will always stand with those who care passionately about community empowerment."

Krekorian has won a lot of fans in the neighborhood council movement, as he helped kill the merger plan.


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