Launching the Empowerment Congress
More than 150 community leaders gathered at Loyola Marymount University Saturday for the inaugural meeting of the Empowerment Congress, which focused on two key issues in the 11th District: planning and transportation.
"This is the beginning of something very exciting," Bill said. "We are giving people a real chance to determine the direction of their neighborhoods. We are giving people a genuine opportunity to be part of governing.
"During my campaign last year, I promised that people would no longer have their noses pressed against the glass as decisions were being made. With this Empowerment Congress, people will not only be in the room when decisions are being made, they will help frame the issues, shape the debate, and develop the solutions."
Bill and our staff recruited residents from every community in the 11th District to make up the Empowerment Congress, which will develop policy proposals and help Rosendahl lobby for them. The full congress will meet twice annually, and working committees will meet throughout the year on policy issues.
At the weekend general assembly session, members engaged in a lively and informative 90-minute Q&A with Gloria Jeff, the new general manager of the Department of Transportation, and Gail Goldberg, the new general manager of the Planning Department. Both promised sweeping reforms in their departments, and pledged to make their agencies more visionary, and more community-friendly.
Attendees also heard from Laura Trejo, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Aging. She spoke of expanded opportunities for seniors as a result of money Bill helped her department win in the city budget process.
Reaction from the members was overwhelming and gratifying. After and since the meeting, people have been approachng us and emailing us, telling us how inspired they are, and how grateful they are to have an elected official follow through on his campaign promises.
Now the real work begins. Stay tuned for more details on the working committees and what they will be up to . . .
-Mike Bonin, Chief of Staff