Saturday, June 25

North Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – May 4


(August Suchecki/Daily Bruin)


The North Westwood Neighborhood Council is the official neighborhood council representing Westwood Village and UCLA to the Los Angeles City Council. Council meetings are held each month and are open to the public via Zoom. The next meeting will be held virtually on July 6.

Comments by public officials:

  • Carmen Zambrano, a spokesperson for UCLA, said UCLA would be hosting a Memorial Day ceremony May 26 and the Jazz Reggae Festival May 30 at the Sunset Canyon Recreational Center. UCPD and staff also planned to be on call for the Undie Run taking place on June 8 at 12 a.m., she added.

  • Ernesto Arciniega, the UCLA Graduate Student Association’s vice president of external affairs, said he appreciated UCLA government relations’ efforts to create forums for City Council District 5 candidates to debate issues before the public.

Board announcements:

  • Furkan Yalcin, the NWWNC president, said he recently hosted a forum on Twitter Spaces regarding land use with Nolan Gray, the NWWNC secretary.

Public comments:

  • Jacob Wasserman, a member of the public and part of three NWWNC committees, said he supported agenda items 8 and 13 although these initiatives have not gone before the council’s committees. He said that the impact statements proposed by the committees are not being put on the agenda. He also said the council has failed to pass initiatives, adding that committee meetings have been canceled and agendas have not been posted. He added that the council is not filing initiatives on the community statements portal in a timely manner.

Agenda:

  • The board unanimously approved the meeting minutes from its April 6 meeting.

  • The board unanimously approved its April 2022 expenditure reports. In April, the council spent $0.

  • The board unanimously approved a resolution in support of a pedestrian crosswalk and stop sign at the corner of Glenrock and Levering to be submitted to relevant city departments and officials.

    • Yalcin said he supported this resolution, adding that there are currently no safety precautions in this area.

    • Evan Farrar, an organizational stakeholder and fourth-year public affairs student, said he supported this resolution, adding he wished the proposal had gone through the NWWNC transportation committee.

  • The council approved of a Community Impact Statement in favor of a city council motion which would make it easier for faith communities, non-profit organizations and government agencies to run shelters.

    • Andrew Lewis, the NWWNC vice president, said the CIS would allow churches and synagogues in low-density residential zones to establish shelters for people experiencing homelessness. He said it would also create a streamlined process for establishing shelters, allowing temporary shelters to become permanent ones.

    • Kevin Crummy, a business stakeholder, said there should not be shelters in clustered locations, adding that the population of people experiencing homelessness is diverse.

    • Farrar said limiting where shelters can be built in the city limits the total number of shelters available in LA.

    • Nolan Gray, the NWWNC secretary, said he would support the resolution, adding that it is illogical to decide on certain zones where shelters are to be permitted or banned.

    • Erin Coutts, a renter stakeholder, said the CIS would support a report on expanding where homeless shelters are allowed so the issue could be studied further.

    • John Sischo, an at-large stakeholder, said he was against the resolution, adding it is important to stand up for the neighborhood, not just what is important to individuals.

    • Ernesto Arciniega, a graduate student member, said it is important to balance all voices within the community.

  • The council unanimously approved of the NWWNC participation in a candidate forum hosted alongside UCLA for the elections of LA City Council District 5 and LA County Supervisorial District 3.

    • Furkan recused himself from the proposal because of his participation in a City Council candidate’s campaign.

    • Zambrano said various UCLA stakeholders have expressed support for the forum, adding that it would be hosted at the Hammer Museum.

    • Crummy said it is important to have forums to better inform individuals on the upcoming election.

  • The council unanimously approved the appointment of a representative from the NWWNC to the UCLA working group that will be organizing the forum mentioned in the previous agenda item.

    • Furkan recused himself from the proposal because of his participation in a City Council candidate’s campaign.

    • Lewis nominated Kyle Schmidt, an undergraduate member and NWWNC treasurer, to the UCLA working group.

  • The council unanimously approved an allocation of up to $500 to be used to help fund planning and logistical costs for the UCLA forum.

    • Furkan recused himself from the proposal because of his participation in a City Council candidate’s campaign.

    • Zambrano said UCLA hopes to use the money for food and beverages, facility rental, and audio and video services. She said she has asked other organizations to contribute to financial support for the forum. She added that UCLA will cover costs beyond the $500 contribution.

    • Arciniega said supporting the forum is an effective way to promote public engagement in city politics.

  • The council approved a resolution in support of Senate Bill 886, a California state senate bill that would streamline the construction of on-campus housing for university students.

    • Nolan said the bill would make it easier for UCLA to create housing that is accessible for its student population.

    • Farrar said the original legislation has good intentions, but student housing should be built on university land without the California Environmental Quality Act acting as a barrier.

    • Sischo said CEQA is bad policy. He said CEQA has hurt California in an attempt to stop growth and protect land.

  • The council unanimously approved a neighborhood purpose grant of up to $5,000 for Eayikes, a nonprofit organization that provides meals for unhoused populations and volunteer opportunities for community members.

  • The council unanimously approved a neighborhood purpose grant for up to $5,000 for the Westwood Village Improvement District to assist with homeless outreach services.

    • Crummy recused himself because he is the chairman of the Westwood Village Improvement District.

    • Andrew Thomas, the executive director of the Westwood Village Improvement District, said some of the money would go to support efforts to provide meals to people experiencing homelessness.

    • Yalcin said the proposal benefits both businesses, who would receive money through the meal-providing gift card program, and people experiencing homelessness.

    • Sischo said the program is a vehicle to help individuals experiencing food insecurity. He said the council has funded similar programs before.

    • Lewis said the NWWNC has supported these grants in the past, adding that the demand for these initiatives remains present.


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