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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Neighborhood council elections bring in new leaders*

A slate of candidates that included supporters of AirBnb rentals emerged victorious in Silver Lake while a tenant rights’ activist will serve as the new president of the Echo Park neighborhood council, according to preliminary results from Saturday’s elections (there are also links below to all the election results).

The Los Feliz Ledger has a run down of the election results from several of the council races, including a large turnout in Silver Lake where two rival slates  fought fought for control of the advisory body.

Meanwhile, in the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council election,  Kwazi Nkrumah was elected president by a wide margin, with 315 votes according to provisional results. The second largest vote getter, former president Jose Sigala, picked up 99 votes even though he had withdrawn his candidacy.  Clint Carlton, Public Relations Manager for the Dream Center, came in third place in his bid for president.

The provisional results for all the elections must still be finalized and are subject to challenges.

In addition to Echo Park and Silver Lake, neighborhood councils representing Atwater Village, Historic Filipinotown, Los Feliz and Rampart Village also held elections on Saturday.

A second round of neighborhood council elections are scheduled on April 26 for Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills and Mount Washington.

* Update: The Elysian Valley Neighborhood Council election scheduled for April 12 was cancelled by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, the city agency that oversees the councils, because there were fewer candidates than open board seats, said President Steve Appleton.  The agency made the decision only a week before  election day and after a mailer had been sent out, Appleton said.

Preliminary Election Results (PDF format):



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44 comments

  1. LOL!! The Empower Silver Lake cabal has been mortally wounded! Good riddance! On election day these fools rented a Hummer in Prius-crazed Silver Lake as a campaign tool…so out of touch! A few remain but will weakened further or be bred out over the next 2 years. And as a last gasp the even pulled a fake flyer stunt!! They were obstructionists, demeanors and most of all idiots. The toxic couple that remain will be under close scrutiny.

  2. A few business owners ran for SLNC apparently with hopes of effecting changes to their benefit. Are they aware that they will not be eligible to sit or vote on neighborhood issues within 500 feet of their businesses?

  3. GEPENC Candidate

    I was a GEPENC candidate. Very funny that the Los Feliz Ledger knew of the winners before we did! No phone call, no email, nothing.

  4. Corporate capitalism and jazz hands prevail!

  5. Hello C. Phyllis – you best of luck with the Jazz hands and singing the Age of Aquarius with your new Governing board.. Who does not love a good Bob Fosse production. Its going to be “Show time” soon
    Best of Luck hope you all get what you have paid for.

  6. Sweet. Genuine community power gains victory despite the many shady tactics of the opposition. Truth and Community Love are formidable opponents. All haters take heed.

  7. Hope someone can help me out here. What difference does it make if the SLNC is for or against people using Airbnb in Silver Lake? Other than talking to the Mayor or City Councilman about it, what else can they do? Can they enact/enforce laws regarding Airbnb? Can they fine property owners? I guess what I’m asking is regardless of whether a pro or anti Airbnb slate wins the election, what kind of power does the neighborhood council have to do anything about it one way or the other? Seriously asking.

    • Neighborhood councils have no power to do any of what you listed. They’re only power is influence to city council… which is what we all have as constituents of a district.

      • They also get money from the city, $50K a year I think. To use for their budget on neighborhood programs.. Exactly how they use the money is up to them.

        • dorit dowler-guerrero

          $37,000.00 which is to be used to run the council- rent space for meeting, pay the webmaster, hold community meeting and workshops, note taker and the like. NC also be given to schools and non profits in the form of Neighborhood Grants and sponsorship for community events.
          if anyone is interested in how SLNC spent your tax payer money this past year, I can show you the books.

  8. This election was about WAY more than Airbnb and it is inaccurate to simplify the election, slate, or coalition as such. Community outreach, accessibility, sharing economy issues, short-term rentals, Silver Lake Reservoir, sustainability, general board culture, spending of community funds, the tone of board meetings, gang injunction recommendations, representative government, and much much more – including an essential debate about how Silver Lake defines itself as a community.

    • What does the SLNC actually do regarding things such as sustainability, short term rentals, Silver Lake Reservoir, etc? For instance; I read that the SLNC “declared” that Silver Lake cannot be referred to as part of the “Eastside” anymore. OK. Seems like a silly thing to even talk about in the first place to me, and I can understand how something like that could rub people the wrong way. But isn’t the SLNC making that kind of declaration sort of like some random guy declaring Sunset Blvd between Echo Park and Vermont to be now known as Yasiel Puig Blvd? Sure, a declaration has been made, but is it law? Hell, I can declare just about anything I want. Doesn’t make it real. I’m just trying to find out what kind of power these neighborhood councils have other than to give out $37,000 a year to whoever they decide gets it and an opportunity to talk directly to the City Council or Mayor. For the life of me I can’t figure out what the big deal about these councils is at all. What am I missing here?

      • Basically its just an advisory board. It doesn’t legislate but it has more advocacy power than an individual. It acts as a mouthpiece for SL. so you’re right it doesn’t create policy but it sets the tone for what the community is and aspires to be in with elected city officials, the press, developers etc. As such it also influences how we act as neighbors. if you don’t think that’s important then what neighborhood councils have to offer isn’t for you.

        • Thank you for explaining. I guess we disagree on what kind of impact these councils make. I just wasn’t sure about what actual tangible power they have. To be honest, I’m kind of relieved with your answer.

          FYI: What my neighborhood aspires to be and how I interact with my neighbors IS important to me. I just don’t think that these neighborhood councils have anything to do with that.

          • How the community interacts with the SLNC is neighbors interacting with neighbors. The community found the relationship unpleasant so they voted in record numbers, clearly a lot of people in the community thinks that the SLNC makes a difference in that regard..

            But yhea if you define tangible power as only legislative ( which I don’t, lobbyists, AARP, the PTA, Newspapers to name a few would probably also disagree ) then yes you can sleep easy that the SLNC has no real power.

          • “I can declare just about anything I want.”
            Yhea you could but it wouldn’t get picked up by the LA times and become part of a larger conversation. That’s the difference. Not saying its big time politics or anything just sayin.

          • OK. You say people voted in record numbers. You’re absolutely right about that. I took a look at how many people voted and saw it was roughly 3.5% of the population of Silver Lake. Way up from the 1% turnout last year. Fact is that the majority of your neighbors have absolutely no idea the SLNC even exists, and with good reason. But, it was a record turnout to be sure. One day, you might see people voting in these elections and participating with the process at a level that puts it up there with the AARP or the LA Times. It’s not even remotely close to that point now. And you’re also right about the whole “Don’t call Silver Lake the Eastside” nonsense being picked up by the LA Times (the ONLY story referencing the SLNC in the LA Times). A two paragraph blurb on their website where they made the council look like petty loons: “Council members called the issue laughable”. See? I guess we can both say the same thing, but it’s all about perspective.

          • “It’s not even remotely close to that point now”

            Youre right I’m pointing out that you don’t need legislative power to have “power” and that there is no reason the SLNC couldn’t have more influence. with the right people in place. The SLNC has a little influence right now and people saw that and didnt like where it was heading. To wit:

            “A two paragraph blurb on their website where they made the council look like petty loons: “

            THANK YOU! you’re basically admitting that SLNC influences perception. There are people here who don’t want to be perceived as loons. That’s one of a couple major reasons there was a groundswell and people turned out in record numbers. And 3.5% is a significant jump by any unbiased conclusion

            The LA Times, LA Weekley, Curbed, Los Feliz Ledger, Eastsider and other blogs that have referenced or linked to that article, So It does have an impact.

            Also I didn’t say they have a significant influence at the moment but they definitely could have much more. You could either believe that its possible and work towards that as some people are or not. That’s the point really. personally I think if they got the voting up to %10-15 the city would really take notice and good for them for trying.

      • I hope we can coordinate local projects, mediate conflicts and arbitrate solutions. But here’s a specific goal for the SLNC.
        1 Use technology to advertise that the SLNC exists to the 41K residents of Silver Lake.
        2. Once we’ve got our residents’ attention, recruit activists and volunteers to accomplish some basic tasks that improve the lives of our neighbors, and the way we interact with each other.
        3. Use these accomplishments to foster the belief that small government can work, and hopefully this will lead to more people committing their time to these projects, and the group of involved people grows.
        4. Leverage this newly involved community to demand attention from the City and State. It’s a lofty goal, but if 75% of our community turned out to vote, we could single handedly decide the election of two candidates, and provide 20% of the votes Eric Garcetti needed to get elected. People don’t vote because government has demonstrated that it can’t affect change in their lives.

        The SLNC can start small, and then think larger.

        • Hi Matthew,
          I appreciate your thoughtfulness and diplomacy, I imagine you will be a great asset to the council.
          I am curious how the petition was circulated around LA in favor of short term rentals. If I am recounting this correctly, over 3,000 signatures were recorded, over 600 in Silver Lake alone in just a few days. Was it an online petition and if so, through what website and how were people made aware of it?
          Because I don’t know where else to get this information and you seem to be a very honest and forthright person, I am posing the question here.
          Thank you in advance!

          • Hello, I have lived here for a few years and like the area and feel the council has been responsive to the community. I wonder though since these people have to uphold the laws of the state of CA would support Airbnb which is illegal in specified zoning areas be a conflict? Would a member of the board that may be involved with Airbnb have a conflict of interest? I did some research on Airbnb as all of this blew up and wow there are all sorts of concerns per insurance with respect to the guests that a regular hotel would be liable for. Does home owners insurance cover the cost of an illegal operation as determined by the City of LA? What happens to kids walking to schools or late night parties and other stuff? I am sure the people involved with this are good people but neighbors have rights also. What is Mathew going to do to protect our neighborhoods?

          • They would support it by stating by publicly declaring it’s a good idea, that the citizens who elected them believe it’s a good idea and by advocating for it’s legalization AND not promoting neighbors tattling on each other. None of those things are illegal.

            And no its not a conflict to believe something is a good idea especially since they will not be voting for it. I

            n general its not a conflict to vote on something that affects everyone equally. For instance you could be pro public transportation and vote pro public transportation because everyone including you would have equal access to it. If you where voting for something that disproportionally affects you then yes its more likely a conflict.

        • Matthew,
          I hope you will clue me in on the petition and how it was generated and how people were made aware of it.
          Thanks in advance.

          • Just FYI, I’m using Airbnb next month in NYC, I’m just curious about the petition.
            Obviously. :)

          • Hi Carrie:

            I got the petition from one of my neighbors via FaceBook. And then I emailed it to a couple of my friends. One of them emailed me back because they weren’t sure what the sharing economy was I told them I think it’s like Lyft, which is a nice alternative to taxis. I remember the website that hosted the petition was called Peers. I’ve heard some of the anti-AirBNB candidates say that Peers is funded by Lyft/Uber/AirBNB/TaskRabbit or maybe owned by them, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. I’ve read some articles that says one of the people from AirBNB left to work at Peers, but EmpowerSilverLake’s site is pretty certain they are all in bed together and that all the YoursNotOurs candidates are corporate plants, so maybe they have more information than what I’ve found on the internet?

            I think that’s all it was. I guess they just forwarded it around and got people to click on the links to “support” the petition. No skin off my back to click on a link, and I didn’t realize they get 600+ people to sign it. Is that actually true? That’s a good chunk of the 1400 people that voted. I need to start a Peers petition to get my neighbor to pick up his trash cans after the garbage truck comes. :)

          • Thank you, Scott!

          • Hi Carrie:
            Peers (www.peers.org) is a website with an admittedly “pro-Sharing economy” bias. They allow anyone to create an online petition and ask for other people who support a pro-sharing idea to digitally ‘sign’ to show support. I created the petition that these articles are referencing before the September 9, 2013 meeting, and this allowed me to present a physical copy of it, complete with the first names and initials of of those who signed it at that meeting. The people that signed it were Los Angeles residents (~1000 Silver Lake stakeholders) who received a link from either me, or one of my friends, one of their friends etc via FaceBook, Twitter, etc.

            I didn’t submit the email addresses of the signers at the Community Outreach meeting because I didn’t want them to be targeted. In retrospect, this was a very good decision, though I can’t take credit for making it deliberately. Had I submitted the email addresses themselves into the public records, someone might have suggested I unfairly used these emails from the meeting as a means to campaign. According to the election rules, because an email list was never provided to the city , I was compliant in contacting these supporters during the campaign.

            If for example, I had asked these ~3400 people to show up to the meeting, and had created the email list from the public sign-in sheet, I couldn’t have used it for campaigning. Objectively, I can say that is one of the benefits of a site like Peers–it allowed me to independently create a network of like minded stakeholders in Silver Lake.

            Going forward, I’d like to continue this trend, but not just for campaigning, Instead, I’d like the SLNC to assemble a list of all stakeholders to solicit IDEAS from them, not just votes every 24 months. Candidates couldn’t use this for campaigning, but we could use it for community outreach.

            Hope this answered your questions about the petition, when it was created, and how it was disseminated. There are 26 challenges that need addressing before the elections are certified, so a lot can happen. Some are unhappy that we have so many challenges being made by losing candidates when the majority of results were not close. But I think it’s great, because it means that we have current board members who are very invested in continuing on the board, and continuing their involvement in the community. Let’s see how it all shakes out and stay involved no matter who winds up serving their community on the board.

            PS. Apologies that it took a few days to get back to you, and I think it’s great that you’re interested in using AirBNB when you travel. But if you were completely opposed to STRs, or even an opposing candidates yourself, I would still answer your questions about the petition, how it originated, etc.

          • Thanks, Matthew!
            I appreciate your response.
            Carrie

  9. The outcome of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council election gave a clear message that those that use their positions on the neighborhood council to assist greedy Beverly Hills Developers and Wealthy restaurant/bar owners will no longer be tolerated, and that board members will be expected to represent the needs and concerns of the people of Silver Lake!

    • Can you give examples?

      • yhea gross generalizations are weak. How about some specifics to support your statement.

      • Carrie, I am very surprised that someone that lives in the Silver Lake Neighborhood isn’t already aware of how the neighborhood council has been operating. I think that is part of the problem, not enough of the residents take the time to come to neighborhood council meetings and see for themselves the outrageous conduct that has been taking place. I can only hope that the 1400 voters who are aware how they have been operating, give a clear message to the newly elected board members, that they will be held accountable for their actions! There is a Executive Committee public meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m., at the City Bank on Hyperion. For more information please refer to the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council website; silverlakenc.org

  10. Troy and Mike, you want examples:

    A single family home on Hyperion with historic value that a developer wants to tear down and build five homes in its place. The now former chair of their land use committee allegedly acted as an advocate for the developer, allegedly held serial meetings; (contacted the majority of other committee members by email), in violation of state laws, publically, verbally attacked neighbors of the property in question, refused agenda items on the matter by neighbors, in violation of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Bylaws

    A church on Griffith Park Drive to be converted by a wealthy restaurant owner that lives up in the hills of Silver Lake in a big mansion. The former co-chair of the neighborhood council came to a land use committee, admitted that she was a good friend with the wealthy restaurant owner, which under the Los Angeles Ethics Laws, required as a board member that re recuse herself and not take part in any discussion on the project. Instead, after admitting that she was a good friend of the developer she falsely accused me, in an attempt to discredit me as the land use consultant representing the surrounding neighbors, adjacent to the church, of committing serious felonies. She was then joined by the now former chair of the land use committee , who not only refused to stop her from falsely accusing me, but, proceeded to join in and accuse me of further crimes.

    A home on Hyperion is planned to be torn down for a development of several homes on the same lot. Documentation that is required to be provided by the developer at the land use committee and was requested by surrounding neighbors was not provided to those neighbors, so that they would not be kept in the dark about what the developer intended to do to the property. Instead, the now former chair of the land use committee allegedly acted as an advocate for the developer and refused to provided the required documentation.

    There are many more examples, and grievances were filed months ago, in January. The Silver Lake Bylaws require that said grievances be heard by a appointed committee in a TIMELY manner. Said hearings have never taken place. Mike and Troy, I strongly suggest, that rather than call me names, you actually get involved and show up at Silver Lake Neighborhood Council public meetings, and make sure that this kind of outrageous conduct is not allow to take place any more!!

    • Robert: The “Delusional” comment was a reply to an earlier post since removed by EastsiderLA. Please refer to the day and time of my post. If you want to document destruction, come by the Semi-Tropic Siritualists Tract to see the crap built on Allesandro Street. Slightly over three acres of urban forest denuded. Over 40 protected trees permantly removed. Now, in regards to the Airbnb debate, I would recommend a little research on articles accounted this past week on how the world’s oldest profession seems to be using Airbnb to its advantage.

      • Troy, as other Silver Lake residents will attest, I am more than willing to help assist with development projects that are detrimental to the surrounding community. Please let me know if I can be of help As far as Airbnb is concerned, although I am aware that there are rare cases of prostitution involved, I have represented residents throughout Los Angeles County, and have never encountered any such activity.

  11. Please be informed the anything written by a person calling himself Robert Cherno is bad news for our community.
    Those who have attend meetings in our Community that he is present at will know what I am talking about. He is just unprofessional, unpleasant and rude.

    • Missy Mitford, or whatever your real name is, is an example of how now FORMER Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Board Members have been bought and paid for by weathy developers, and attack anyone that dares to try to protect the rights of residents of Silver Lake

    • Missy Mitford, or whatever your real name is, is an example of how now FORMER Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Board Members have been bought and paid for by weathy developers, and attack anyone that dares to try to protect the rights of residents of Silver Lake

  12. Robert Cherno
    Just for the record and in the name of Transparency you are the one who is hired and paid for.
    Land use consultant ??? Guess you never were able to pass the California Bar exam. So Sad.

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