This post was updated Feb. 14 at 4:12 p.m.
The North Westwood Neighborhood Council is the official neighborhood council representing UCLA, Westwood Village and the North Village to the Los Angeles City Council. Council meetings are held each month and open to the public via Zoom. The next meeting will be held virtually Tuesday.
The recent special board meeting was presided over by Mario Hernandez, a neighborhood empowerment advocate from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment of the city of Los Angeles.
On Oct. 7, the NWWNC was placed in Exhaustive Efforts, a probationary status, for a tentative three-month period because of noncompliance with an agenda posting policy. The council meeting was controlled by Hernandez because of Exhaustive Efforts.
[Related: North Westwood Neighborhood Council experiences issues with probation restrictions]
During the Exhaustive Efforts period, council agendas will be set by a neighborhood empowerment advocate and all committee meetings will be suspended.
Comments by public officials:
- Carmen Zambrano, a UCLA Government and Community Relations spokesperson, said that UCLA extended remote instruction through Jan. 28 for students and staff to receive COVID-19 booster shots and comply with testing protocols. Zambrano added that the university updated its masking guidelines to require well-fitting medical grade or better masks on campus.
There were no board announcements.
Comments by Department of Neighborhood Empowerment officials:
- Hernandez said that all council members have completed their city-mandated trainings but that at least one council member did not attend the required board retreat for Exhaustive Efforts. Hernandez added that any council members that did not attend the board retreat must make up the requirement with a supplementary training process.
- Jacob Wasserman, a member of the public who is a member of two NWWNC committees, said that he is disappointed over the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment’s handling of Exhaustive Efforts, adding that he believes it is preventing the council from discussing community issues. Wasserman added that the department has not scheduled meetings at the council’s regular meeting time of the first Wednesday of each month, which he said was antithetical to Exhaustive Efforts’ goal of increasing community engagement. Wasserman also said that Exhaustive Efforts has prevented the neighborhood council from using its funds to purchase COVID-19 tests for community members.
- The council approved the meeting minutes from its November board meeting.
- The board approved the October and November expenditure reports. In October, the council spent $0. In November, the council spent $0.
- The council approved its outreach program as part of the Exhaustive Efforts work plan.
- The Outreach Ad Hoc Committee created the outreach work plan to promote community participation and increase accessibility by addressing issues such as engagement with local businesses, student groups and gender diversity, said Andrew Lewis, the NWWNC vice president and a general resident stakeholder. The council will implement various solutions such as translating its website to foreign languages, conducting door-to-door meetings with business stakeholders and meeting with diverse student organizations, Lewis added.
- Hernandez said he thinks the work plan is thorough and that the Office of the City Clerk has a fund to reimburse neighborhood councils for document translation costs.
- The council approved its strategic plan as part of the Exhaustive Efforts work plan.
- The Strategic Plan Ad Hoc Committee created the strategic plan to delegate work on its Exhaustive Efforts goals.
- The council assigned Lewis and Furkan Yalcin, the NWWNC president and an at-large stakeholder, to work on language for its website.
- The council assigned Sachi Cooper, Josh Trifunovic and Peter Clinco to work on business stakeholder engagement. Cooper, Trifunovic and Clinco are an undergraduate student member, business stakeholder and organizational stakeholder, respectively.
- The council assigned Lewis to work on procuring a P.O. box for the council.
- The council assigned Vignesh Senthilkumar, Cooper and Nolan Gray to work on student outreach. Senthilkumar and Gray are a renter stakeholder and an at-large stakeholder, respectively.
- The council assigned Lewis and Cooper to work on gender diversity and inclusiveness.
- The council approved a motion to table discussion on removing Flint Dile, a homeowner stakeholder, from the council due to possible noncompliance with a bylaw requiring that members have no more than three unexcused absences. The council tabled discussion because it was determined that the attendance records for the board meetings on Aug. 11, Sept. 1 and Sept. 7 may have been inaccurate. Dile and multiple council members said that he arrived late to at least one of these meetings but that his late attendance was recorded as an absence. Yalcin said he will schedule a meeting with the city attorney’s office to consult on whether the council is obligated to remove Dile at its next meeting.