Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council
Frequently Asked Questions
IS THERE A CITY DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS?
The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (D.O.N.E.) now known as EmpowerLA, was created by the City of Los Angeles in 1999 as a result of Charter Reform, to assist neighborhoods in forming and running neighborhood councils by providing organizing advice, training, and administrative services. City Council offices can also be very helpful in connecting individuals with neighborhood council activity in their area. Many community-based and neighborhood-based organizations such as homeowner's associations, chambers of commerce, and neighborhood watch groups are also involved in organizing and interacting with neighborhood councils. D.O.N.E. also controls funding of Neighborhood Councils.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS?
Neighborhood councils are meant to promote more public participation in government, making local government more responsive to neighborhood needs.
WHAT CAN NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS DO?
All neighborhood councils, including the SVANC, will be like "neighborhood lobbyists" and organizers. They will communicate directly with City departments and elected officials and establish local planning and spending priorities as guided by local stakeholders.
Neighborhood Councils give people a voice in the Los Angeles City Council political arena. It is a way for people to get organized and directly involved in their own neighborhoods and in the politics that affect them. Neighborhood Councils are primarily independent, self-governing, and empowered to initiate positive changes within the communities they represent. Community Stakeholders can stay informed by subscribing to the neighborhood council's email alerts, and through the city's Early Notification System (ENS), or checking the public notices posted by the neighborhood councils. Stakeholders can give their input at City Council meetings and help to decide about neighborhood issues.
HOW ARE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS FORMED?
Communities decide for themselves how their neighborhood councils will be structured and then petition the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment for certification (D.O.N.E.). The SVANC has already completed this process and was officially certified in May, 2002.
WHO RUNS NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILS?
Stakeholders decide how to run their own Neighborhood Councils. Once the Neighborhood Council is certified, Stakeholders vote for members of the governing body whose responsibility it will be to run meetings, contact members of the City Council, vote on official actions, and keep track of money and how it is used.
WHO CAN JOIN?
Anyone who has an interest in the neighborhood who fits within the Stakeholder definitions as defined by each neighborhood council is called a Stakeholder and can participate in several ways. A Stakeholder is generally anyone who lives, works, or owns property in a Neighborhood Council area. A Stakeholder can also be someone who participates in schools, churches and temples, community and non-profit organizations, block clubs, neighborhood and homeowners associations, apartment, condominium and resident associations, school/parent groups, faith based groups and organizations, senior groups and organizations, youth groups and organizations, chambers of commerce, business improvement districts, service organizations, park advisory boards, boys and girls clubs, cultural groups, environmental groups, codewatch, neighborhood watch, police advisory board groups, and/or redevelopment action boards.
As a stakeholder one can run for office as a board member, apply for appointment as a board member to fill board vacancies between election cycles, and can always join a neighborhood council committee.
WHAT ARE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE SVANC?
The SVANC's boundaries are defined in the SVANC's Bylaws.
HOW DO I BECOME A STAKEHOLDER AND JOIN THE SVANC OR PARTICIPATE IN ITS COMMITTEES?
Send us an email with your name, address, phone and email. We’ll see you receive all literature and notifications.
I’M A MEMBER OF A HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION OR COMMUNITY GROUP WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE SVANC. DO I STILL NEED TO BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL?
Yes. Neighborhood councils are a new form of government, and relationships with the councils and pre-existing groups has developed over time. Certain extremely localized issues will continue to be addressed by local associations as well as the SVANC. The SVANC is currently working together with local associations, Council Offices, and adjacent neighborhood councils on issues that impact us all. The power of the SVANC is in being a megaphone to advise the City on the needs and concerns expressed by Sun Valley stakeholders.
HOW IS THE SVANC GOVERNED?
The Board of the SVANC consists of twenty-five (25) elected or appointed Directors: seven (7) Residential Stakeholders, seven (7) Business / Property Owner stakeholders, six (6) At-Large Community Stakeholders, one (1) Community Interest Stakeholder, two (2) Senior Representatives, and two (2) Youth Representatives. In addition committees are formed yearly by SVANC Directors and SVANC stakeholders. No stakeholder can occupy more than one seat on the Board. To the extent possible, the Board will reflect the diversity of the neighborhood council's community stakeholders. Accordingly, no single community stakeholder group shall comprise a majority of the Board, unless extenuating circumstances are warranted and approved by D.O.N.E.