Immigration Summit

IMG_0721Greetings My Fellow Citizens,

First and foremost, I would like to invite everyone to the Immigration Summit and Workshop on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014.  It is important to bring the people of Van Nuys closer to their government and the powers that be.  It is our job as local elected officials to facilitate meetings, workshops, and summits to make this possible.  I look forward to hearing from all of the presenters at our Immigration Summit, and seeing how we can all work together to promote comprehensive immigration reform throughout the City of Los Angeles, the State of California, and all of the United States.

Secondly, the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is partnering with LA City Councilwoman Nury Martinez to present a Health Fair.  The date for this event is this coming Saturday, October 25th.  This event is open to the public, and will be a great opportunity to become informed and make contacts with those in the health industry throughout the San Fernando Valley.

And finally, the VNNC has started to plan and work on our “Homeless & Mental Illness Summit” in December, and is seeking speakers and co-sponsors for the event.  Please email our council at for more information and partnership opportunities.  Cheers, it is an honor and privilege to serve as your Council President, and thank you for this great opportunity to be a part of our community.

-George Christopher Thomas, Council President
Van Nuys Neighborhood Council

Immigration Summit Agenda (VNNC)
Van Nuys Neighborhood Council
October 29th, 2014 (Wednesday 6:30 – 9:30pm)
6262 Van Nuys Blvd. (Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center)
Van Nuys, CA 91401 — Council Chambers

1. Call to Order & Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America
2. Roll Call (Quorum Call)
3. Comments from the Chair (President) of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council
4. Public Comment (On matters within the VNNC Board’s Jurisdiction.) *Speaker Cards: 2 minutes, 1 Public Comment Time. (This includes speaker cards on any and all agenda items — a limit of 10 minutes for the entire meeting per Stakeholders and Councilmembers alike)
5. Secretary’s Report
6. Treasurer’s Report — Jeanette Hopp and/or Howard Benjamin (Second Signatory) — Approve Treasurer’s Report
7. Committee Chairperson’s Reports, Budget Advocate’s Report, Elected Officials’ Reports & Election Chair’s Report
8. New Business
a. Speech and Presentation from Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian.  Adrin Nazarian is a product of the San Fernando Valley.  Adrin served as Chief Of Staff to Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who represents the communities of Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, North Hollywood and Valley Glen, before being elected to the State Assembly. Previously, Adrin had served as Chief Of Staff to then-Assistant Majority Leader Paul Krekorian in the California State legislature, representing the communities of North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Valley Glen and Toluca Lake among others, since 2006. (30 minutes)
b. Speech and Presentation from Congressman Tony Cardenas’ Chief Of Staff Sam Jammal. Congressman Tony Cardenas has been a leading advocate of Immigration reform in the US House of Representatives.  Mr. Jammal is the Congressman’s top aide, and will be flying in from Washington, D.C. to discuss and brief the attendees of the summit on the latest happenings on Immigration legislation in Congress. (30 minutes)
c. Speech and Presentation from Reshma Shamasunder, Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center.  (1137 Wilshire Blvd — Los Angeles, CA 90017 — Office: (213) 250-0880 ext. 110 The California Immigrant Policy Center is a non-partisan, non-profit statewide organization founded in 1996. The Policy Center seeks to inform public debate and policy decisions on issues affecting the state’s immigrants and their families in order to improve the quality of life for all Californians. (15 minutes)
d. Speech and Presentation from Judith Wood. Mrs. Wood represents immigrants from all over the world.  She also represents people seeking asylum in the United States due to persecution in their home country.  Mrs. Wood also specializes in other types of immigration cases. (15 minutes)
e. Speech and Presentation from Ingrid McCall, Interim Executive Director at Community Lawyers, Inc. Community Lawyers, Inc. provides low and moderate-income people access to affordable legal services and develops innovative opportunities for attorneys and law students in underserved communities. (15 minutes)
f. Speech and Presentation by Meghan Tumilty, Executive Director & Attorney at Law — Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles — Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Service (IRIS) — Chair, Refugee Forum of LA County.  Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Services (IRIS) serves an extensive client base through programs founded with sponsorship from the Diocese.  Noting that Latinos are the majority population group in the city of Los Angeles, the Diocese continues as a leader in Spanish-language outreach through the Program Group on Hispanic Ministries and some 30 local congregations. (15 minutes)
g. Speech and Presentation by Ivy Dulay Daulo, Community Educator, Campaign for Social Justice.  The TEAM and CHANGES program at Campaign for Social Justice provide language advocacy and assistance to customers who have been overcharged or mislead by their utility company. The Campaign for Social Justice provides one-on-one assistance, bill overview, consulting and retrieve money or credit for any unfair charges. All services are free for anyone living in California and funded by the California Public Utilities Commission. Presentation Description: Protecting consumers from Third Party billing and also the Do Not Call registry. How to avoid being charged and receiving unwanted calls from telemarketers.  (15 minutes)
h. Speech and Presentation by Pastor Fernando Chacon.  Mr. Chacon is El Salvadorian American and his wife is Mexican American.  Pastor Chacon is fluent in both the Spanish and English languages.  It is important to the Pastor that the church is involved in the Community and in the City of Van Nuys events.  The congregation desires for the all city departments to know that the church doors are open to the city and available to participate at community events and where there may be a need for prayer at various events.  (15 minutes)
i. Speech and Presentation by the San Fernando Valley Dream Team (SFVDT) — Community Organization  Founded in 2009, DREAM Team Los Angeles (DTLA) aims to create a safe space in which undocumented immigrants from the community and allies empower themselves through activism and life stories. Through these shared experiences, individuals develop as efficient advocates for their own rights and those of the larger immigrant community. DTLA is a grass roots organization that welcomes anyone who is interested in being part of the work, both in L.A. and nationally; we do as part of the immigrants rights movement. (15 minutes)
j. Speech and Presentation by Sonia Aguilar CADIF.  Mrs. Aguilar will be discussing immigration issues and how they effect the San Fernando Valley.  Mrs. Aguilar will also touch upon the immigrant community, and how to get them more involved in the democratic process. (15 minutes)
k. Speech and Presentation by Alicia Moguel, the Director of Adult Services for the Los Angeles Public Library. Mrs. Moguel will speak about the library’s Citizenship Initiative and other services for new Americans.  (15 minutes)
10. Announcements
11. Adjournment


Update for tonight’s VNNC Planning and Land Use Committee Meeting

van nuys a 01For all who is attending and are interested on tonight’s VNNC Planning and Land Use Committee meeting,

There is an update on agenda item:5A. Case no: VTT72877. 7327-7337 Hazeltine Ave. Attached is an updated Tentative Tract Map. Please disregard the latest Tentitive Tract Map from yesterday.



See you at tonight’s PLUM Committee meeting.

Quirino de la Cuesta, Van Nuys Neighborhood Council PLUM Committee Co-Chair

VNNC Planning and Land Use Committee Meeting Agenda, Tuesday, 6:30 pm at 14545 Friar Street


To Van Nuys Stakeholders:

Information for tomorrow’s VNNC Planning and Land Use Committee meeting at 14545 Friar Street Conference Room. The quorum starts 6:30 pm which has 4 agenda items as follows:

Planning & Land Use Management
Van Nuys Neighborhood Council (VNNC) PLUM Committee 14545 Friar Street. Van Nuys, CA 91401 October 21st, 2014 6:30pm – 9:30pm Phone: 818-817-0019

  1. Call To Order & Pledge Of Allegiance To the United States of America.
  2. Roll Call (Quorum Call)
  3. Comments from the Chair — Speaker’s Times, Cell Phones, Conversations, Correspondence
    Received. Introductions of first time attending stakeholders. *Speaker Cards: 2, minutes, 2 Public Comment Times. (This includes speaker cards on agenda items — a limit of 10 minutes for the entire meeting per stakeholder.)
  4. Public Comment (On matters within the VNNC Board’s Jurisdiction.)
  5. Old Business:
    • A. 7327-7337 Hazeltine Ave. Zone Change. Change in existing zone of (T) R3-1, R1-1, R3-1 and [Q] RD1.5-1 to a RD1.5 Zone. Case no.: VTT72877 (Regina Minor). Update on the outreach with Katherine Square Neighborhood Association, CD 2 office (Karo Tarossian) and course of action. Supporting Docs.: TTM-14008-36X48-8-20-14  Rezoning Justification Master Land Use Application-FP Arch Drawings
    • B. 15600 Vanowen Street. Zone Variance. Legalization of an existing Recreation room converted to a new dwelling unit. Case no: ZA-2014-2762-ZV (Joseph Pazcoguin- Plan and Permit Inc.) Update on site visit from board member Howard Benjamin and Quirino de la Cuesta, and course of action. Supporting Docs.: Drawings Zone Variance Drawings Master Land Use Application
  6. New Business:
    • A. Van Nuys Planning Summit. Discussion. Discuss about the upcoming Van Nuys
      Planning Summit in March 2015. Come up with a list of speakers to present and other organization/ schools to be involved with the summit. Also, a theme or direction of the summit.
    • B. 14926 Kittridge Street. Zone Variance. Change in zoning occupancy to allow 10 occupants to live under said property. Case no.: not issued yet. (Charles Robbins- The Village Family Services)
  7. Public Comments
  8. Announcements
  9.  Adjournment

Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian to Headline the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Immigration Summit on October 29th

Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian to Headline the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Immigration Summit on October 29th

The Valley’s Largest Neighborhood Council is Partnering with Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian to Address Immigration Issues this October 29th

VAN NUYS, CA — The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council has officially confirmed the participation of Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian in its October Immigration Summit. This important workshop will focus on immigration issues and helping the majority immigrant community make adjustments to their immigration status.  The Immigration Summit is being held on Wednesday, October 29th from 6:30pm – 9:30pm at 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys, CA.

“From the moment Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian was sworn in to represent Van Nuys in the State Legislature, he has reached out and worked with the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council. He has personally attended several of our general meetings, and always has a staff member there taking notes and listening to our concerns.  It will be a great privilege to work with the Assemblymember on our upcoming Immigration Summit, and I hope it will be well attended by the residents and stakeholders of Van Nuys,” said Council President George Christopher Thomas.

“The population trends in Van Nuys show that our neighborhoods have increasingly become a community of Hispanics and Latinos.  They make up the majority of the population, and many of them are foreign born and are English language deficient.  We plan on increasing English language proficiency through partnerships with local non-profits and similar organizations that teach English.  We are also going to start distributing bilingual materials and assistance for both government and social services,” said Council President George Christopher Thomas.

“We are going to get more Hispanic and Latino constituents involved in the neighborhood council.  The majority of the population in Van Nuys speaks Spanish as a first language, and our council will continue to represent all of the people in Van Nuys and throughout the San Fernando Valley,” said Council President Thomas.

The VNNC’s Summit and Workshop on Immigration is set for Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm.  The location will be the Marvin Braude Constituent Services Center at 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard.  The VNNC is currently seeking co-sponsors and speakers for the summit.  If you would like to participate, please email Council President George Christopher Thomas at  For more information about the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council, please visit

Adrin Nazarian is a product of the San Fernando Valley. He grew up here, graduated from a local Valley school before receiving his BA degree in Economics from UCLA in 1996.  Adrin served as chief of staff to Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who represents the communities of Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, North Hollywood and Valley Glen, before being elected to the State Assembly. Previously, Adrin had served as chief of staff to then-Assistant Majority Leader Paul Krekorian in the California State legislature, representing the communities of North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Valley Glen and Toluca Lake among others, since 2006.

Van Nuys Neighborhood Council
PO Box 3118
Van Nuys, CA 91407
Telephone (818) 533-VNNC (8662)


GM’s Message 10.17.14

Valley Budget Day

I hope this newsletter finds you well. Thanks very much to Neighborhood Council leaders around the City giving us feedback on the new checking account and events review system. It’s been very helpful, and I really appreciate everyone’s suggestions on how to make not only your work easier, but ours as well. If you haven’t had a chance to weigh in, you can do so online until October 31st.

We are also in the process of streamlining our website as well so folks can find the information they need. As a first step, we’ve revamped the Funding portion of our website and have implemented a suggestion from several board members – the creation of a Forms page with a tab on the front page and this newsletter so you can find all of the most updated forms for the Department. We’re working on new Bylaws and Community Impact Statement templates now so they will also be going on the Forms page when they are complete at the end of this month.

I had a great time last Saturday getting around to the East, Central and Valley regional Budget Day sessions with Neighborhood Empowerment Advocate Taneda Larios attended the South’s meeting. I was impressed at the thoughtful discussion in each of the areas about the City budget and the potential solutions proposed. A huge thanks to our Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates for taking on the planning and execution of the sessions and to the Mayor’s Office for working with them to provide the City’s budget and survey information for discussion. In between the Budget Day meetings, I was able to moderate a great advocacy panel at the Neighborhood Housing Services Symposium where not only did we have Reseda Neighborhood Council President Kevin Taylor on the panel, but Neighborhood Council members from Park Mesa Heights, Sun Valley Area and Eagle Rock in the audience, too.VNNC Executive Officers with CM Jose Huizar

On Wednesday, I stopped by the City Councils Rules, Elections & Intergovernmental Relations Committee’s town hall on election reform at the Van Nuys City Hall. Van Nuys Neighborhood Council and the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils co-sponsored the event. I was pleased that City Council President Herb Wesson invited VNNC Executive Officers, Howard Benjamin and Jeanette Hopp, to sit around the horseshoe with Councilmember Jose Huizar and him as they listened to the presentation and public comment. After that, I walked next door to the Braude where our great funding staff, Kathleen Quinn and Mario Hernandez, were conducting a Funding Training and Town Hall while Armando Ruiz, Betty Wong Oyama and Jessica Pua were doing the same in our downtown office.

I think it’s pretty neat that nearly every day of the month, there is something involving Neighborhood Councils going on in LA. This weekend, for instance, the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates, Congress Planning Committee, Neighborhood Council-LADWP MOU Committee and LANCC are meeting tomorrow. On Sunday, Del Rey Neighborhood Council will be celebrating Del Rey Day, while Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council will be participating in the Sherman Oaks Street Fair.

If I don’t see you this weekend, have a great one!


Grayce Liu,
General Manager
Department of Neighborhood Empowerment aka EmpowerLA

Mayor’s Message

Mayor Eric Garcetti

Amidst a record drought, Mayor Eric Garcetti today issued an executive directive to dramatically reduce the use of fresh water and the purchase of costly imported water.

“Our relationship with water must evolve. We cannot afford the water policies of the past,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We must conserve, recycle and rethink how we use our water to save money and make sure that we have enough water to keep L.A. growing.”

Mayor Garcetti’s directive requires a reduction in fresh water use by 20 percent by 2017 and in the DWP’s purchase of imported water by 50 percent by 2024. The directive represents a comprehensive approach that addresses supply, use and recycling.

Through the directive, Mayor Garcetti is ordering city departments to sharply cut water use by reducing watering and replacing lawns or other water-intensive landscaping at city facilities, street medians and sidewalk parkways, in addition to increasing city incentives to help L.A. residents do the same, including an increase in the DWP’s turf replacement incentive to $3.75 per square foot. Outdoor water use is a key area to address – it represents 50 percent of residential consumption.

Angelenos are asked to voluntarily reduce watering to two days a week; to use DWP rebates to install low water landscaping and more efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances; and to ensure pools are covered to reduce water lost to evaporation. If targets are not met through the combination of mandatory city actions and voluntary resident actions, residential mandates will be implemented, including new watering, swimming pool and car washing restrictions. Mayor Garcetti urges residents to visit for information on how to access incentives and lower their water bills through conservation. (Full Story at LAmayor)

“Eat Shop Play Crenshaw” Kicks Off This Weekend with Taste of Soul Festival


Starting this weekend at the 9th annual Taste of Soul Festival, Metro and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will launch the Eat, Shop and Play Crenshaw campaign to support businesses impacted by the construction of the Crenshaw/LAX rail line.

Approximately 40 businesses, ranging from hair salons to restaurants to furniture stores, will be showing their goods at booths during the Taste of Soul festival.

As part of the campaign, residents will be asked to “Take the Pledge” to support local Crenshaw area businesses, especially the businesses impacted by Crenshaw Line construction. By committing to “Take the Pledge,” consumers will eat at local restaurants, shop at local stores, and play at local entertainment venues in the Crenshaw Corridor.

“We want residents to come and support our local businesses,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This is a true partnership with our local entrepreneurs. We know that the construction has made it less convenient for patrons to shop on Crenshaw, but we need residents to support these businesses now more than ever so they continue to thrive over the next few years.”

Consumers can also visit to learn about featured participating Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw businesses.

“It will bring visibility to the store,” said Gerold Duncan, owner of Malai Hair on Crenshaw Boulevard. “Anything to get the community involved to patronize your own stores would be helpful. If I can’t survive you are hurting opportunities for us to put back into the community. I grew up in this community and I understand that is how you make a community thrive with partnerships with local businesses. ”

Date: October 18, 2014
Time: 10am – 7pm
Location: Crenshaw Boulevard between Stocker St. and Rodeo Rd. [map]

The Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw campaign is just another program designed to help boost local businesses. Recently, the 13-member Metro Board of Directors unanimously approved a groundbreaking program designed to help businesses along Crenshaw Boulevard struggling with economic losses due to construction of the Crenshaw/LAX rail line.

Under the newly established $10 million-business interruption fund, eligible small businesses along the corridor will be able to receive a maximum of $50,000 annually, not to exceed 60 percent of their business revenue loss. To qualify, owners must have no more than 25 employees, have been in operation for two years, be in good standing with local, state and federal tax requirements and be able to produce financial record demonstrating the loss of business revenue directly related to the construction are eligible for assistance.

Pomona Pumpkin Patch Pedal


Come ride to Cal Poly Pomona’s Famous Pumpkin Patch! Join us in this free family friendly event. We will meet at downtown Pomona and bike about 4 miles to Cal Poly Pomona.

Here’s your chance to explore the wonderful world of the Cal Poly Pumpkins via bike. This fun community bike ride will go from downtown Pomona to the Pumpkin Festival at Cal Poly Pomona via side streets. At the festival, riders will receive a unique welcome, explore thousands of pumpkins, the Farm Store, game booths, a corn maze, the popular Insect Fair and much more! We encourage you to bring a trailer to haul your pumpkins.

Admission is FREE. Pumpkins from the patch are $5 each. Insect Fair: $6 adults; $4 students and children 3-12 years; 2 and under are free. Prices for individual activities such as the corn maze, horse rides and the petting zoo vary.

Date: Sunday October 19th
Time: Meet at 10:00am; ride leaves at 10:30am sharp and will return by 2pm
Starting Location: Thomas Plaza in Downtown Pomona (at 2nd St and Thomas St) [map]

Please come with your bike in working order and with some knowledge on how to ride a bike. Children under 8 years old should be on a tag-a-long, bike trailer, tandem, or other safe child-carrying device to participate in the ride. Baskets and trailers are encouraged! Riders under 18 must wear a helmet! This ride is FREE for all to attend!

You can RSVP on Facebook here.

Free Bike Repair from Vic’s Bike Shop will be available before the ride, 9am- 10am.

This event is sponsored by the Pomona Valley Bike Coalition. To volunteer or get more information, email us at

Celebrate Good Food in LA with the Food Policy Council’s Food Day 2014


Join the Los Angeles Food Policy Council and their partners in celebrating Food Day Los Angeles on the morning of Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

As the leaves turn and the days shorten, the LA Food Policy Council is gearing up for an exciting third annual Food Day celebration in Los Angeles City Hall!

This year, we celebrate the theme of “collective impact,” and acknowledge the great work and collective efforts of our network of stakeholders, Working Groups, coalitions, partners, and friends in bringing meaningful food system change to our region.

Celebrate “Good Food Champions” from each Council district, working to change to the food landscape in their neighborhoods. Hear from local officials who are committed to progress on key food policy issues. Taste delicious food from the City & LAUSD’s Good Food vendors & farmers who demonstrate local, sustainable, fair, humane, and healthy values.

Get involved: Learn about collective work and recent wins of our partners & Working Groups on food issues in LA, and how you can make an impact.

Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Time: 8:30am – 11:00am
Location: South Lawn of Los Angeles City Hall (1st Street between Main & Spring) [map]

RSVP for this free event by clicking here.

Homeboy Industries Hosts “Every Angeleno Counts” 5K Run/Walk


The Homeboy Industries “Every Angeleno Counts” 5k Run/Walk is an opportunity for us to walk, run, and stand with thousands of former gang members whose lives are being completely transformed. Every Angeleno can help dispel the myth that some lives matter less than others.

Date: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Time: 6:00-7:30 a.m. – On-site registration & packet pick-up
8:00 a.m. – Race starts
Location: Homeboy Industries Headquarters
130 W. Bruno Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 [map]

This year we will feature the Homeboy Marketplace with music, art, food, vendors, kid’s activities and lots of fun until 12:00pm!

Each year over 12,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles come through Homeboy Industries’ doors in an effort to make a positive change. They are welcomed into a community of mutual kinship, love, and a wide variety of services ranging from tattoo removal to anger management and parenting classes. Full-time employment is offered for more than 200 men and women at a time through an 18-month program that helps them re-identify who they are in the world, offers job training so they can move on from Homeboy Industries and become contributing members of the community – knowing they count.

When you join in the transformation of the Los Angeles community of high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women, you find that your life is transformed as well. Much of our focus is on education, training, financial responsibility, empowerment, and personal development – all designed to equip valuable people to successfully turn their lives around. Please walk, run, and stand on the margins and together we will watch the margins be erased.

We are encouraging ALL 5K participants to be car-free and GO Metro to the Chinatown Station, which is located right across the street from Homeboy. Show your valid Metro TAP card, Metro employee ID or LA County employee ID to the cashier or your server at Homegirl Café and receive a FREE Angela’s Potion, Aguas Fresca or any other beverage. Then flash your card or ID at the raffle booth to receive your FREE raffle ticket. Move on over to the coat/bag check and store your belongings all day long, safely and for FREE! For your best route or more info on public transit, visit the Metro Trip Planner.

Click here to register or get more information about the event.