Friday, January 29, 2010

NCs Continue Emergency Meetings on LA’s Financial Crisis; Expert on Pension Funding Featured Saturday

CityWatch, Jan 29, 2010
Vol 8 Issue 8

BudgetLA … the neighborhood council effort to ensure themselves a voice in the solutions dialogue … meets again this Saturday, January 30, at 10 a.m. - noon with Neighborhood Council representatives and Community leaders coming together to meet with the experts in a focused session that is designed to educate, to empower, and to continue delivering budget recommendations that come from a community-based commitment to working toward immediate, short-term and long-term solutions to LA's budget crisis. Open to all NCs and community leaders. (See BudgetLA NC leaders media conference and appearance at Monday’s City Council Budget Committee meeting.)

The "Budget Crisis - Next Steps #2" session will focus on answering the question ""Is Pension Reform the solution to LA's Budget Crisis?" and features Alexander Rubalcava, a recognized and respected expert on pension funding and venture capital investments. Rubalcava is the President and Founder of Rubalcava Capital Management.

This session is the follow-up to the powerful Budget Advisory Committee session that generated 15 "pension reform" actions that were presented to the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee this past Saturday at the Van Nuys City Hall.

It will include breakout sessions to provide attendees the opportunity to grapple with the issues and to work on specific recommendations, all of which will be integrated in the second round of community recommendations that the BudgetLA community will present to the neighborhood councils for endorsement and for implementation.

To that end, NC leaders will be conducting short presentations on how neighborhood councils can best evaluate the city's budget, how to best use Board resolutions, how to file Community Impact Statements that resonate, and how they can mobilize the community to engage the Mayor and the City Council.

The fundamental position of the BudgetLA movement is that "everything is on the table and must be considered as we work together to solve the budget crisis and that neighborhood councils and community groups must be at that table as partners in the process."

BudgetLA will be meeting three times in the upcoming days, starting with Saturday, January 30 at 10 a.m., then Saturday, February 13 at 10 am, then again on Saturday, February 27 at 10 am. All meetings will take place at the Hollywood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave., Hollywood 90028.

LA's Budget Crisis is of such epic proportions that City Council President Eric Garcetti has announced that beginning next week, the Council would devote two of their three meetings each week to the budget crisis and job creation.

The NC reps have taken a full-spectrum approach to the budget crisis and believe that it is essential that the community engage with our elected officials as well as city staff to pursue Revenue innovations along with Pension reform while maintaining prioritized delivery of City Services and the implementation of Organizational improvements, all of which work together to guarantee that Los Angeles take its place as a Great City.

Further opportunities for participation: The City Council's Budget and Finance Committee has committed to holding four community budget meetings around the city in preparation of the 2010-2011 Budget. The first meeting took place this past Monday and the next meeting is on Monday, February 22nd at 6:00 pm at Hamilton High School, 955 South Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles 90034.

(Stephen Box is a community advocate and an Internet communications expert. He writes for CityWatch and can be reached at

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