Important MINC Meeting Re: La Cienega Area Adoption – NEXT TUESDAY, 8/2 at 6PM @ NHPAC

MINC needs your help and support. Please attend this important meeting if you’re available – we need our voices heard!

If you’ve been following any of the MINC meetings or agendas, you probably know that the Mid-City Neighborhood Council has been working to adopt the area just east of La Cienega, between Venice and Washington basically, into its boundaries. That would include the east side of La Cienega, which is part of a growing Arts District. MINC started the process back in March of 2010, with a board vote, and since that time, has been working diligently, to meet the seemingly ever-changing requirements outlined by DONE (the city’s Dept. of Neighborhood Empowerment) and BONC (the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners), both of which oversee the Neighborhood Council system. Originally, they wanted us to do this via an expedited process they were drawing up – but in the end, they had us just fill out the petition previously required by city ordinance. During that 14 month time, another NC – the South Robertson Neighborhood Council (SORO), decided they wanted the area as well, and was just told to put in the petition (before MINC was ever told to do so). Now DONE and BONC are trying to determine who should get the area. There was a decision which was to have been handed down on July 5th at a BONC meeting, which unfortunately ended with no final outcome, and a lot of dispirited attendees who spent four hours presenting their cases to the board – thank you to those of you were in attendance. The Board of Commissioners basically bungled the process, and were not able to settle this issue (once they lost quorum). Passions were high on both sides – and both NC’s petitioning for this area are accomplished, well-established, and highly active neighborhood councils. This was not the outcome any of us wanted.

During this process, it became clear that there was not only misinformation going around, but that in several cases there were inaccurate accusations being suggested – and that none of this (especially a non-decisive action by BONC) was helpful nor beneficial to all of you we are supposed to represent. MINC stands by the fact that when the adoption idea was first presented to our Board back in early 2010, we took decisive action to request the adoption of this area into our boundaries, and patiently waited for over a year for BONC and DONE to decide how this process should be finalized. MINC was the only NC that responded to the mailed request from DONE for NC’s interested in adopting the area, and we acted on it immediately, because we valued the stakeholders who were in this orphaned area. (Only after a full year, did SORO suggest that they wanted the area as well, even though they had been made aware of the area at the same time as MINC.) We make this point only to clear up the misrepresentation that MINC somehow had the area in question for a year and did nothing with it. It was only in an attempt to avoid confusion (ironically the very confusion we’re trying to clear up now) that we did not move ahead with bringing your area into our council activities – we needed official approval to do so. To date, there is still no neighborhood council that oversees this region – it wasn’t MINC, and it’s not currently SORO – we’re all still waiting for this determination from BONC and DONE.

But that’s the past, and that may not matter – what does matter is why we felt we could help the residents and merchants in this area, and why we felt the area was a perfect fit for MINC. The demographics for MINC and the demographics for this proposed adopted area are in complete unison. We have worked very long and hard with those in our community to improve Mid-City (which this area is considered a part of, according to city records), and to make it an even better place to live and work. The growing Arts District in this area would also blend well with other artists and artistic communities in our region, and create a growing arts enclave with the Mid-City boundaries. We are active in pursuing different outreach campaigns and activities, and work diligently with local police and city officials to make the neighborhoods and commercial zones safer, cleaner, and friendlier. In fact, once we were given the go-ahead to do outreach in this area, we worked with officials on a number of efforts: contacted Culver City officials and merchants from Dogtown to limit access to the alleys for gym exercises; enlisted street services to remove a large problematic stump that he been an eyesore for awhile in the area; worked with LAPD Capt. Davis to alleviate various challenges associated with the Art Walk (we even have a board member who is a gallery owner along La Cienega, Michael Maloney); arranged for a weed abatement and cleanup in May with LACC; and several others. MINC understands the needs of its residents along the Mid-City corridor (SORO’s region is all west of La Cienega, and north to Beverly Hills) – and we know how to work with and for our stakeholders on those matters that most concern those of us living and working in Mid-City.

So, now BONC has set another meeting to deal with this situation – It appears that we’re going to have to go through the entire process again. We just received this final notice from DONE:

“…Spoke with the City Attorney’s Office today on how the MINC boundary adjustment petition would be handled on Tuesday. While the Commissioners who were not present on the July 5, 2011 will have access to the audio tapes of the meeting, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners would like to have a similar format as last time so all the Commissioners are on the same page. SORO will be given 5 minutes to present the merits of their petition, and MINC will be allowed to respond. We will have a computer and projector available for any visual presentations. Please invite any stakeholders to provide public comment on the matter as well.“

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2nd at 6:00pm at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. We invite and encourage any of you to come out to this next meeting to weigh in on BONC’s actions.

6:00 P.M.
(parking will be provided)

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