FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Alex DeOcampo 323-333-6621
TEN COMMUNITY-MINDED ACTIVISTS FILE CANDIDACY FOR
GREATER GRIFFITH PARK NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL
Los Feliz Forward aims to restore integrity, advocate fiscal responsibility, bring common sense solutions to the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council and fundamentally change the way the body conducts itself.
LOS FELIZ – Ten community-minded activists have united and are running for the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council seeking to restore integrity, advocate fiscal responsibility, and bring common sense solutions to fix the neighborhood council.
Los Feliz Forward is a group of concerned residents that pledge to put community first, bring “sunshine” to the neighborhood council by ending questionable practices, repeal bylaws that foster a “self-perpetuating bloc” and stand up for the residents and businesses of the greater Griffith Park and Los Feliz areas.
The candidates include: Alex De Ocampo, Christina Khanjian, Jessica Kornberg, Harpreet Malhi, Frank Masi, Mark Mauceri, Tomàs O’Grady, Ron Ostrow, Leslie VanKeuren, and Mio Vuckovic.
Los Feliz Forward introduced an abridged version of their ten-point platform (complete text at www.losfelizforward.org) outlining their position with the goal of reforming the “GGPNC” to bring it more in line with other councils throughout the city and reestablish the principles it was founded under.
Community First – Let’s Move Los Feliz Forward
1. WE LIVE HERE
We, as District Representatives, pledge to improve Los Feliz because this is our home.
2. WE KNOW WHAT’S AT STAKE
We know our decisions affect your homes, your streets, your businesses; your quality of life.
3. WE REPRESENT YOU
We are your voice. We value your opinion. We’ll ask, but more importantly, we will listen.
4. WE ACT INDEPENDENTLY
We come from diverse backgrounds yet share common beliefs, but we can also agree to disagree.
5. WE ARE FISCALLY RESPONSIBILE
We pledge to ensure your tax dollars fund projects that bring our community tangible benefits.
6. WE SUPPORT LOCAL SCHOOLS
We are committed to helping our schools reach and maintain educational excellence.
7. WE STAND BY LOCAL BUSINESS
We know harmony between our small-businesses and residents makes a great neighborhood.
8. WE SAFEGUARD THE ENVIRONMENT
We promote viable sustainable practices to make Los Feliz the leading example for a greener L.A.
9. WE KNOW THE ISSUES
From public safety to protecting Griffith Park as an urban wilderness, we stay focused.
10. WE SEEK REFORM
We know somewhere our council took a wrong turn, hindering rather than helping, focusing on its own interests instead of yours. It’s time for a course correction, but it takes more than a few earnest people to enact change, it takes a real majority dedicated to objectivity, transparency, fairness, and a system free of cronyism. This is Los Feliz; it deserves better leadership.
Nationally recognized legal scholar, Daniel Lowenstein, Professor at UCLA’s School of Law and an authority on Election Law reviewed the GGPNC’s rules, commenting: “The proposals of Los Feliz Forward to eliminate or diminish the self-perpetuating bloc on the Governing Board are helpful remedies to this flaw in the current bylaws.”
Tomas O’Grady, current elected board member and candidate within the group commented, “We tried to introduce measures to end the GGPNC self-selection system; they failed outright. The only way to bring about change is to elect a majority committed to reform. We are. We’ve put it in writing.”
Mark Mauceri, also a current elected board member, said, “When four people suddenly seek election six months after they’ve been “appointed” for two year terms, it’s a bit fishy. Clearly, if elected, their open seats will be refilled with the public having zero say in who gets chosen,” adding ”It’s a safe bet former board members would be coming back” referring to the council’s track record of immediately reappointing insiders who lost popular elections. Current President, Charlie Mims, and At-Large Representative, Thomas Wilson, lost in previous elections yet were re-appointed by significant votes from long-time board members. Both are seeking election this March.
The GGPNC is comprised of ten publically elected candidates (53%) and nine political appointees (47%) chosen by the full board including the other ”appointees.”
Appointed members who run and lose in popular elections still retain their ‘appointed’ council seats.
The election is on Saturday, March 20, 2010, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Hollywood Lutheran Church, 1733 N. New Hampshire Avenue, Los Angeles. Community “Stakeholders” include people who live, work, “play,” own property, or affirm a stake in the area. Voters can and should vote in all 5 GGPNC districts.
The Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council was officially certified by the City of Los Angeles in June 2002 to represent the areas of Los Feliz, including Griffith Park, Franklin Hills, and small portions of East Hollywood and Silver Lake. Neighborhood Council board members serve two-year terms without term limits.