Subject: COVID-19: NC meetings suspended + what NCs need to know (3/1Dear South LA and Harbor Neighborhood Council leaders,Please read the information below. In case we don’t have the most updated roster, we ask the presidents and chairs to forward this to your board members. Thank you.
March 12, 2020Dear Neighborhood Council Board members,
This is the first in an ongoing series of regular updates that the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment will be sharing with our Neighborhood Council (NC) family regarding coronavirus (aka COVID-19) in the City of Los Angeles.
These updates will be strictly focused on what NCs need to know about the outbreak, and how the Department can support you and your work during this time. These updates will include news from our Department, as well as other teams that support the NC system, including our Neighborhood Council partner departments, the City Attorney’s Neighborhood Council Advice Division and the Office of the City Clerk. We thank them for their teamwork.
To make it easy to find these updates all in one place, we will be posting the link to each new email update on this Google Doc: http://tiny.cc/NCcoronavirusupdates. For the latest local news and public health guidelines on COVID-19, please visit the County’s Department of Public Health website.Respectfully,
ALL NC MEETINGS & EVENTS ARE SUSPENDED THROUGH 3/31/2020, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELYIn keeping with Mayor Garcetti’s directive issued today, entitled “COVID-19 City Guidelines,” all Neighborhood Council (NC) board, committee, alliance, and liaison meetings – as well as all other NC-related events – are suspended up to and including March 31, 2020. If your board, committee, or alliance has not yet acted to suspend meetings scheduled during that time, please cancel them now.
Because of this, the City Clerk’s NC Funding division states that “all Neighborhood Council events that have been approved or which are under review are considered canceled or postponed until further notice.”
Please make sure to notify your stakeholders and any meeting or event venues you may have booked about the City’s directive to suspend NC meetings and events for now. We suggest sharing the news via email and social media, and also posting it to your website.
Since the NC meetings are suspended due to these extenuating circumstances, the standard rules regarding meeting absences are also suspended during this period. This means that a canceled meeting will not be counted as an official absence, for example.
DOWNTOWN & VAN NUYS CITY HALL BUILDINGS ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
Per the Mayor’s directive linked above, the Los Angeles City Hall complex (City Hall, City Hall East, City Hall South, and Van Nuys City Hall) are temporarily closed to anyone who is not a badged City employee – including members of Neighborhood Councils – with the exception of public meetings of the City Council.
ABOUT GOVERNOR NEWSOM’s 3/12 EXECUTIVE ORDER & THE BROWN ACT
The Department has received inquiries regarding a recent Executive Order issued by Governor Newsom that affects certain meeting requirements under the Brown Act. We have been informed that the City Attorney’s Office is reviewing the Order. The Department will be updating the Neighborhood Councils upon receipt of further information from the City Attorney’s Office. Please look for this in a future email update like this one.
CREDIBLE SOURCES FOR UP-TO-DATE INFO ON CORONAVIRUS IN LOS ANGELES
Please do not share news or public health advice that may become dangerously outdated. Instead, share credible sources for locally relevant information that are constantly updated. Here are a few:
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is the lead local agency on the status of COVID-19 in the Los Angeles area. They have a dedicated coronavirus dashboard includes everything from a live case count to downloadable guidelines for businesses, event venues, public transit riders, and more: http://PublicHealth.LAcounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/
Another great resource are LA Public Health’s coronavirus press conferences, which take place every weekday at 12 noon PST. These are livestreamed to their Facebook page at http://facebook.com/CountyOfLA.
Finally, please encourage your stakeholders and fellow board and committee members to sign up for NotifyLA, to get the City’s latest updates on COVID-19. Register at http://NotifyLA.org.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP: USE YOUR EMERGENCY AUTHORITY
In cases of officially-declared states of emergency such as the current City and State-declared emergency over COVID-19, NCs are able to use their Emergency Authority. This allows an NC President or Chair to exercise their discretion to direct the immediate use of NC funds for services or supplies related to recovery and mitigation efforts for the declared emergency. Up to $1,000 may be used in this manner without prior board approval. Prior board approval at a properly noticed public meeting is required to spend over $1,000. The Department recommends reporting all NC fund authorizations for declared emergencies at your next board meeting, so that your action gets entered into the official record.
In an Emergency Authority case like this one, the NC President or Chair may authorize the NC Bank Cardholder to utilize their NC bank card to purchase items and services to facilitate their community’s ability to respond to the declared emergency.
Such expenses must be within the stated spending limits, and are strictly for emergency services/supplies under the circumstances described above. Expenditures of this type are classed in the Outreach subcategory. For a complete overview of expenditures of NC funds in declared emergencies, see pp. 38-39 of the current Neighborhood Council Funding Program manual.
HOW WE WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED DURING THIS PERIOD
>We’re working to answer your questions on issues like managing bylaws amendments and whether teleconferencing can be an option. We’ll share guidance on these and other topics as we have it in a future email update like this one.
Please also watch for an invite to join a conference call with Department leadership, where you can share your questions and requests for support on coronavirus-related issues. That will be taking place during the coming week; we will soon share an update on how to join the call live, as well as how to submit a question in advance if you can’t attend.
We thank you for the leadership that you and your Council have shown to your community in these uncertain times. We know people rely on the Neighborhood Council System for information about critical issues. We are committed to supporting your leadership role in your community. Please send your questions and suggestions to your Neighborhood Empowerment Advocate.
Letter from General Manager of Dept of Neighborhood EmpowermentKristina Smith2020-03-13T14:29:27-07:00