Meeting Date: 08/29/04 06:00 PM

Meeting Type: Regular

Location: Yamashiro Restaurant
1999 N. Sycamore Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90068

Details: Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council
Committee #2 Community Development, Networking and Outreach.

Sunday, August 29, 2004
6:00 – 9:00 pm

Yamashiro Restaurant
1999 N. Sycamore Avenue
Hollywood Hills, CA 90068

1.0 Call to Order (1 min)
2.0 Approval of Agenda (2 min)
3.0 Minutes (Draft) (5 min)
4.0 Announcements: August 5, 2004 Board Meeting Results (5 min)
5.0 Business (100 min)
5.1 Welcome New Members (5 min)
5.2 Check In / Introductions (5 min)
5.3 Opening Remarks from Chair (5 min)
5.4 Wilson Bell Debrief: Cultural Meeting
5.5 Hollywood Expo – September 22nd / Hollywood and Highland (10 min)
5.6 Review Goals of Mission Statement (5 min)
5.7 Discussion/Revisions of Annual Mission Statement (15 min)
5.8 Open Discussion of Annual Activities (15 minutes)
5.9 Linkages with Cultural Committee (10 min)
5.10 Recommendations to Board (15 min)
5.11 Committee Nominations (10 min)
5.12 Debrief (5 min)
6.0 New Business (10 min)
7.0 Next Meeting – TBA (2 min)
8.0 Adjournment (1 min)

Minutes of the Community Development, Networking & Outreach Committee
Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council
29 August 2004
6:00 p.m.
Yamashiro Restaurant

1.0 The meeting was called to order by Chair Theresa Larkin at 6:20 pm. Ten people were in attendance and a quorum established.

2.0 Chair emphasized the importance of having a free flow of what we want the committee to accomplish and what the committee can do in conjunction with the Cultural Committee.

Claire Guy said she could not find out who members were. Claire suggested that Dan make the system more user-friendly so we would have better communications with people who signed up on the committees. Vince Vitale made a motion and it was seconded.

Motion to amend the minutes of the last meeting was made by Eric Lords. Motion was moved, seconded, and approved.

Claire amended the motion to say that it would be good if the chairs could communicate with the stakeholders on their committee and visa versa more easily. She questioned whether stakeholder members who had joined committees were e-mailed notice of the committee meetings. Discussion followed. Theresa said she didn’t know how to make a list from the Squirrel Mail system. Other members said there was confusion about whether they were on the committees they voted for, and whether or not they were legitimately on all the committees they signed up for. Another member said he signed up online for a committee.

3.0 The minutes were read. Motion was made to approve the minutes by Vince Vitale. Moved, seconded, and approved.

The Board Meeting: Chair said she wanted her committee to revisit the mission statement, the need to generate instructional PowerPoints to bring things up to speed within the committee, and the desire to overlap with the Cultural Committee.

4.0 Wilson Bell commented that each chair had two minutes to speak and ideas were identified by the chairs of the various committees. It gave the new chairs a chance to say hello. Theresa felt it was a chance to establish a corp d’esprit for the new people.

5.0 Business. Theresa brought up an e-mail sent by Dan Bernstein to the chairs, saying that due to the number of priority items that HHWNC believes to be necessary to accomplish for the year, we are really back-pedaling when revising the mission statement and other items to the executive board. Chair responded by writing a response letter. One member questioned whether there was a fear of change by the President. Wilson responded there is a real need to revisit the mission statement. Theresa wants to protect us from covert communications and she wants us to be part of this discussion. She wants us to make sure we are discussing how we feel about this.

Eric mentioned that it appears as if the HHWNC leadership is taking a step backwards. He mentioned an L.A. Times article about input from the community to prevent secession from parts of L.A. He said the neighborhood councils were created to reduce the red tape barrier between citizens and City Hall. He suggested everyone should have mentoring and instruction on how the system works. Theresa mentioned that the writer of the article quoted Jackie Goldberg saying how community members using Robert’s Rules can be likened to student government and that we’re dealing with people who do not know how to use them. She indicated there is an inverted-T model of authority, where the board has power and the stakeholders are on the bottom rung.
It is upside down. NC’s were designed to function within a circle, with tiers leading out from the center, working together. There should be an opportunity for everyone to have a voice. Theresa stated, for instance, that people should not be cut off when they are making a point at a meeting. She exalted the amount of brain power there is even around this meeting table and suggested that it needs to be supported.

Eric said if people are told what to do from the top down, they will feel they have no investment in the system.

Mary questioned where the mission statement is. (The old mission statement and the revised version was handed to her.)

Ken said he needed instructions on a regular basis on how to do things within the system.

Wilson Bell suggested that there be a middle ground, and he suggested there be an ad hoc committee, where we adjust our committee statements to resemble what we want to do within that committee, so it doesn’t have to take up a lot of time in a board meeting.

Vince recommended that we abandon the paradigm where some people are trained at one time each year and recommended an instruction manual be built for new chairs and anyone entering the system, with each page giving a simple set of instructions on accomplishing a particular task, all of which would be posted as a PDF file online.

Back to the August 5th discussion, Claire Guy said this committee was supposed to present something to the board or are these motions going to be made to the board. Theresa indicated she was one of the last people to speak at the board meeting, and she summarized in two-three minutes and got in everything she wanted to do, and was informed that they were not going to deal with any thing at that time. She was under the assumption that the motions would be presented at the Executive Board at Good Neighbor at 9 a.m. in the morning. In Theresa’s reading of the Neighborhood Council rules, she understands that the way it is set up, the chairs of the committees are to be entrepreneurial entities, and she wants clarification on this. Each one of the neighborhood councils evolved in its own way.

Eric offered to contribute some pages to making an instruction manual. He also said every group should have the opportunity to re-write the mission statement for that committee each year. Theresa said there is no reason why we couldn’t have a three-year plan and a five-year plan, just like a business plan, so we could decide on what is feasible. Marcie wanted to concentrate on getting over the same complaints and figure out a way to be effective. Peter agreed about being pro-active and making things happen. He said re-evaluating every couple of years in the form of a charter review every three years and creating a system of organizing and re-organizing the people who are in the charter review is excellent.

Theresa called for a motion to review the minutes. Motion was made and seconded, carried. Claire Guy asked about two things from the minutes which referred to her. Claire didn’t understand what the administrative decisions are. Theresa explained it was a review of the Brown Act. She said we have to know what the rules are, because we are a legal governing body. How much has been individually tailored to particular personalities was questioned. Theresa said we can talk to one another and each other, but we can’t vote on it unless we have had 72 hours notice prior to the voting meeting. Theresa said we had to discourage “triangulated” communications, because that side-talking was counterproductive. That a checks and balances on how communications are being made is important.

Eric said blogs remove the problem of triangulated communications.

Claire did not want to make a motion to revise the minutes, as she considered it not being worth the time at the meeting.

Theresa called a motion for an approval of the minutes. Motion was made and seconded, carried.

Mary Prang and Vince Vitale introduced themselves as new members.

5.2 Other people then introduced themselves around the table. Vince Vitale, Peter D’Alessio, Tim Roder, Eric Loyds, Wilson Bell, Marcie Boyles, Claire Guy, Mark Workman, Lynn Henzell, Mary Prang, Theresa Larkin. Theresa explained why we are not at California Canteen, as that establishment no longer being interested in giving back to the community.

Theresa pointed out we are not a culture that cares about one another, and how important it is to create community. Chair read her proposed letter to the Council President to the committee and requested notes from the committee.

[Proposed Letter read by Theresa Larkin]

The committee all approved the letter.

The committee agreed to include the letter in the minutes.

5.4 Wilson Bell gave a de-briefing from the Cultural Meeting. He mentioned some pro-active things about what the committee wants to do and discussed having problems doing things on the web site. We are trying to define our mission statement and what to do overall in a general way. He mentioned that Jane and Theresa volunteered to re-sculpture the mission statement for the Cultural Committee. He also mentioned working on some particular items, one of which is Vince’s idea of a Hollywood stroll and a theater project where people go to the theater and have a Q&A discussion afterwards. He also mentioned a youth-outreach production, in association with the U.N. peace vision. That has been scheduled for the Spring 2005, as well as a quilting project. He also said he wanted an information link that mentions things like how to become a member of the HHWNC, when the elections are held, etc.

Wilson suggested that what we can do is to call each other and exchange e-mails and telephone numbers.

Motion to exchange communications information for everyone. Approved unanimously.

5.5 Hollywood Expo. This is the first project agreed to be part of. September 22nd at H&H, a perfect opportunity on cards, membership cards, some kind of marketing plan on how to get the word out about HHWNC through Outreach, banner, table-tents and staying away from fliers and mailings. But we can create e-mail lists and having ways people can communicate with us. Consider the possibility that we meet before the 22nd so we can have a list of things ready for the Expo that will be put into place for the rest of the year. Theresa would like to create a publicity approach to use for the rest of the year.

5.6 Review of goals of mission statement. Theresa suggesting having a holiday party at possibly the Wattles Mansion. After the Expo, she would like another activity every month as an outreach committee function.

Mary mentioned that the Ford Theater has a cultural affairs electronic bulletin board, for events. There are ways we can be involved without costing any money. Banners could be put up at supermarkets.

Chair brought up a communication from Christine Jerian, Project Coordinator for Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, 213-485-1588, fax 213-485-1836, additional fax 213-485-4608, e-mail [email protected] for contacting her. It is an excellent resourced.

Theresa asked that everyone send their e-mail to her, for purposes of Hollywood Expo. [email protected]

Peter suggested that at the Hollywood Expo people give their e-mails to get people involved in the committee. This could include:

(1) An information box where we get people’s suggestions and information gathering, and respond to whatever they give and routed to the appropriate committee, to make them feel involved.

(2) Add a signature with their e-mail signature, and a little blurb to get people involved.

Marcie is very concerned with her not having e-mail access. There are people who don’t have e-mail, don’t have telephones and don’t have homes, and we sometimes assume that everyone has a computer. Theresa said the web site has to be user-friendly. This is an important issue of access by people who have no computer.

Mission Statement: Theresa read both the old mission statement and her revised one and asked for people’s revisions to the mission statement. Vince suggested reversing the paragraph order, so the second paragraph is first. Peter suggested cutting some of the language from it and encouraged simplification in the language. Ken suggested cutting some of the specific things about the mission. Eric said it helps to have a starting off point. It was questioned whether “stakeholder” has be re-defined for our purposes.

Theresa collected revisions from everyone.

5.8 Discussion of Annual Activities. Mary said Ford Center and the Hollywood Bowl are great places to put our leaflets and other information for HHWNC. Peter suggested outreach to the homeless in November, with donated food from stores and suppliers, December holiday events, Feb-march Neighborhood Spring Clean, May something emphasizing education (recognizing excellent graduates in the area). Marcie addressed how to be effective. She wanted to know if we had someone at the table from each of the neighborhoods mentioned on the form for HHWNC. She emphasized committee should have one representative from each community involved in HHWNC. A poll was taken of those present and their area of domicile:
No one, Area 1
Theresa, Area 2
Peter, Eric, Area 3
Mary, Wilson and Vince, Area 4
No one, Area 5
Claire, Lynn and Mark, Area 6
Marcie, Area 7
No one, Area 8
No one, Area 9

Marcie suggested neighborhood chair should seek someone from each committee to be on the Outreach committee.

Marcie also wants stakeholder applications at each meeting. Blood drive, voter registration, and west nile virus issues around helping people regarding dead birds. There is an issue of whether the city will pick up dead birds. Marcie recommended getting in touch with Environment Committee and working together with Outreach. Theresa said this is why we need the right to write letters, not just from the President of the Board. She would like everyone to be given five minutes at top of the meeting under check-in and introductions.

Theresa requested people get to her by the 8th suggestions with agenda items.

Eric pointed out 1/3 of the children in LA are below the poverty line. The two most pressing needs are for emergency rooms in hospitals to alleviate the problem, and food for the kids.

Theresa said there is no reason why we couldn’t do a concert with high-end talent donating their time. This kind of event would provide high-end focus to the community and the council in getting things done. Thinking big is important for this committee.

Peter said that the Hollywood Expo is most important item at this time. Reach-out to revitalize the downtown area and make a partnership with Hollywood. Rotating restaurants for the meetings, so they know who we are. Also creating and disseminating new resident packages for move-ins. The Roosevelt Hotel is having a new re-opening in the coming month, and we should be a part of that. The red line is a blood line between the theater communities.

Mary mentioned Day of the Dead event on October 30th at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. We could put our information into those packets.

Eric is working with the LA Greens. He can plug us into that.

Marcie mentioned it is difficult to know what the boundaries are between the areas of HHWNC.

Eric brought up the issue of electronic voting vs. paper voting. We can get exit-polling because Neilson is in our neighborhood. Sixteen states are going to go electronic in the next election. He emphasized grass-roots politicking..

Theresa called for motion to include all suggestions into the minutes. Moved, seconded, and carried. Theresa asked for suggesting person to write a proposal for the things recommended.

5.9 Pass.

5.10 Already discussed.

5.11 Pass.

5.12 De-brief. Pass.

No new business.

Next meeting was suggested to be two Sundays from now, on the 12th of September, Sunday, at 6:00 p.m. at Yamashiro again. Moved and seconded, carried.

Claire moved the minutes reflect that the Committee heard the Chair’s responsive letter to the Board President and supports the spirit of the submission of her letter to him. Motion made and seconded, carried.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.