Sex Trafficking Summit Tonight!

IMG_0642Good Afternoon My Fellow Citizens,

Tonight the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is hosting a Child and Sex Trafficking Summit in Van Nuys.  Starting at 6:30pm we will be addressing a variety of topics that span the cusp of this disturbing issue that effects all of Southern California.

We have partnered with the FBI & LAPD to address this issue, as well as former victims and current advocates that work to curb and quell child prostitution in the Valley.  I have attached our second new addendum to the agenda, with LA Councilwoman Nury Martinez, LA Councilman Paul Krekorian and Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian kicking off the summit with opening remarks and comments on how we can tackle modern day sex slavery.

Please get to the Council Chambers early to get a seat, and ensure the summit starts right on time.  Thank you for your continued interest in our community, and see you this evening.  Cheers.

-George Christopher Thomas, Council President
Van Nuys Neighborhood Council

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


Child&SexTraffickingSummit AddendumToJulyChild&SexTraffickingSummit

Special Council Meeting Tomorrow

IMG_0653Greetings My Fellow Citizens,

Tomorrow evening the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council will be hosting a Child and Sex Trafficking Summit in Van Nuys.  Starting at 6:30pm we will be addressing a variety of topics that span the cusp of this disturbing issue that effects all of Southern California.

We are partnering with the FBI & LAPD to address this issue, as well as former victims and current advocates that work to curb and quell child prostitution in the Valley.  I have attached our new addendum to the agenda, with LA Councilwoman Nury Martinez & LA Councilman Paul Krekorian kicking off the summit with opening remarks and comments on how we can tackle modern day sex slavery.

Please get to the Council Chambers early to get a seat, and ensure the summit starts right on time.  Thank you for your continued interest in our community, and see you tomorrow night.  Cheers.

-George Christopher Thomas, Council President
Van Nuys Neighborhood Council

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


Child&SexTraffickingSummit  AddendumToJulyChild&SexTraffickingSummit

Regarding Mayor’s Small Business Disaster Awareness Event-Aug. 5 Harbor/South Valley

This summer the Mayor’s Office and the Emergency Management Department are hosting a series on Disaster Awareness for the small business community. I will be leading the planning and outreach.

The next event is August 5, 2014 South Valley/Harbor Regions.

Our first two events have been great!

We are hoping you can help spread the word through your network as we wish to reach out to as many people as possible.It is important to engage all communities in discussion about disaster awareness. Also, the EOC is something out of a movie. It will be an informative and fun time.

It is also an opportunity for you to share information about your organization with attendees and let your constituents know that you are taking steps to be more prepared.

If you would like a moment to speak at the event or have materials to pass out please let me know.

Attached is an event flyer. 

Below is a description of the event for easier forwarding and posting. Please utilize your email contacts, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc), and event calendars.

If there is anything you need from me please feel free to email.

We thank you for your support and partnership.


WHAT: An exciting opportunity to get information on the role your small business plays in helping the city “Stay open for Business” and the city’s disaster preparedness infrastructure. We will Tour the “Safest Building in the City,” the state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The building is the city’s point of primary coordination for disaster management.

“The best way to describe this facility is that it is like something out of a movie”

Learn: How to better prepare your business and home for disasters

Connect:With the people who work everyday to keep us safe.

Receive: Information on free classes and resources that will help you better prepare.

Bonus:Tour the Emergency Operations Center, which is amazing.

WHERE:  Emergency Operations Center – Emergency Management Department, 500 E. Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

For further information, contact Frank Aguirre at  or Nicholas Romo at

DATES/REGIONS:   August 5, 2014  South Valley/Harbor        

*Registration: 10:15 am   Event: 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

10am-10:30am Registration, Networking, Cookies, Coffee, Free CPR Training

Please RSVP:

Upcoming Events:

August 5       South Valley/Harbor             RSVP:

August 19     West Valley/Central-West   RSVP:

September 2  West L.A/North Valley         RSVP:

*Seating for all events is limited.                      RSVP TODAY!

*All Events are Free of Charge

Small Biz Disaster South Valley.Harbor Flyer


National Night Out & Movie in the Park – Tuesday, August 5

jurassic_park (1)

Tuesday, August 5th @ 7:00pm

Valley Glen Community Park (MAP)
(Center of Park – Enter via Erwin St., Atoll Ave., & Ethel Ave.)

Come meet your local police officers and get information on how to start a neighborhood watch on your block, emergency preparedness and important safety tips!

At 8:15pm, enjoy a movie on a 12 ft. silver screen provided by Universal Pictures. We will show the original 1993 production of Jurassic Park (run time is 2 hours​). Refreshments will be provided.

We hope to see you there for an evening filled with Jurassic Park thrills!


Neighborhood Council Budget Day – Saturday 8/16/14

NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL BUDGET ADVOCATES in conjunction with the Department Of Neighborhood Empowerment present: Neighborhood Council Budget Day – Saturday 8/16/14. 7:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Board of Public Works Room CITY HALL 200 N. Spring St Los Angeles California 90012.

All are invited to attend this free event. Click here to RSVP for the event.
Or call 213 978 1676 with name, contact info and NC affiliation (if any).

To reserve parking, include your vehicle’s make, model and plate number.

GM’s Message 7.25.14

Grayce's Electric Car - I Heart NCs

I hope this newsletter finds you well. I’m having a bit of a slow start catching up on work unfortunately because I was rear-ended on the freeway my first day back to work last week and have been mostly out of the office recovering. Sadly, my little electric car is also out of commission so I haven’t been able to do my free EmpowerLA advertising as I drive around the City. Hopefully, we will both be 100% in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, our staff is still hard at work supporting the Neighborhood Councils. The field team has conducted 83 Neighborhood Council board orientations around the City. Many thanks to them and to the Neighborhood Councils who participated so that we can start off the new boards with a strong foundation. Our funding team is working on smoothing out any kinks with the new checking account system. As your Neighborhood Council is using the new system, please let us know of suggestions you may have to improve any part of it. We’ve already gotten some positive feedback from folks who found making payments to be wonderfully easier.

We had another international visitor from Equatorial New Guinea, Central Africa, visit us on Monday to learn about Neighborhood Councils. Thanks to our NEA,Taneda Larios, for hosting him in Spanish! Check out Taneda’s article below on the visit. We will be welcoming another international visitor on Monday, July 28th, Mayor Joaquin Alfredo Peñate of Santa Ana, El Salvador. He will be coming to learn more about the Neighborhood Council system and the Neighborhood Prosecutors Program so we will be co-hosting him with City Attorney Mike Feuer. A big thank you to our NEA, Melvin Cañas, for doing all the legwork to set this visit up.

As always, thanks for all you do to Empower LA! Have a relaxing weekend!


Grayce Liu,
General Manager
Department of Neighborhood Empowerment aka EmpowerLA

Mayor’s Message, July 25, 2014

Mayor's message

Summer Fun with Rec and Parks

Mayor Recs and Parks

Summer is the time to relax, have fun, and be in the sun! We’ve provided for you a list of exciting activities and relaxing getaways for you and your loved ones right here in Los Angeles. Check them out below.

summer recs and parks 1Do you miss laughing at lunch with your best buds?

Well good thing LAUSD’s Summer Lunch Program is serving up some food for you and your friends! You can enjoy a free, tasty meal at any of the following locations Check out this website for more details.

Adventures at Summer Camp!

For Boys: check out Griffith Park Boys Camp this summer for the adventure of a lifetime! You’ll be able to do rock climbing, participate in a ropes course, and much more! More details are here.
For Girls: Camp Hollywoodland will help you form friendships and experience memories that will last a lifetime. Check it out here!

Are you melting in the summer HEAT? Cool off at some of these aquatic locations!

This summer, 33 pools are open for swim lessons or recreational swimming! If you want to learn to swim or simply lounge by a pool, look for the one closest to you here!

Maybe that’s not enough for you. Maybe you want the chance to splash around in a water park. If that is the case, the splash parks in Los Angeles are just right for you! Get ready for a sun-soaked, water-filled day of fun!(Continue reading at LAMayor).

High Profile Speakers All Set For Child & Sex Trafficking Summit in Van Nuys This Wednesday Night

High Profile Speakers All Set For Child & Sex Trafficking Summit in Van Nuys This Wednesday Night

VAN NUYS, CA — The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is hosting a Special Council Meeting on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 6:30 pm to address Child & Sex Trafficking in the San Fernando Valley.

“It is a great honor and privilege to work alongside all of the high profile speakers we have scheduled for the summit this Wednesday night.  Each one brings an interesting and unique perspective to addressing child sex trafficking in the San Fernando Valley.  This is a major issue in Van Nuys, as well as throughout the Valley and Southern California.  This summit is a perfect opportunity to come together with community leaders in our area, and really tackle this terrible problem head-on,” said George Christopher Thomas, President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), “Human sex trafficking is the most common form of modern-day slavery. Estimates place the number of its domestic and international victims in the millions, mostly females and children enslaved in the commercial sex industry for little or no money. The terms human trafficking and sex slavery usually conjure up images of young girls beaten and abused in faraway places, like Eastern Europe, Asia, or Africa. Actually, human sex trafficking and sex slavery happen locally in cities and towns, both large and small, throughout the United States, right in citizens’ backyards.”

“It’s sad but true: here in this country, people are being bought, sold, and smuggled like modern-day slaves.  They are trapped in lives of misery—often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. We’re working hard to stop human trafficking—not only because of the personal and psychological toll it takes on society, but also because it facilitates the illegal movement of immigrants across borders and provides a ready source of income for organized crime groups and even terrorists.”

Additionally, “The US State Department reported that one million children are exploited in the global sex trade. Sex tourists, seeking anonymity and impunity in foreign lands, exploit many of these children in child sex tourism. Child trafficking can occur when children are abducted from the streets, sold into sexual slavery and forced marriage by relatives, or in any place where traffickers, pimps and recruiters prey upon a child’s vulnerabilities. Poverty is the pre-condition that makes it easier for traffickers to operate.

The greatest factor in promoting child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation is the demand for younger and younger victims worldwide. This demand comes from the mostly male buyers who become the customers in the growing global sex industry. Children are often trafficked, employed and exploited because, compared to adults, they are more vulnerable, cheaper to hire and are less likely to demand higher wages or better working conditions. Some employers falsely argue that children are particularly suited to certain types of work because of their small size and “nimble fingers.”

The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council meets at 6262 Van Nuys Boulevard and the Summit will take place in the Council Chambers starting at 6:30 pm. If your Neighborhood Council or organization would like to co-host this summit with the VNNC, please email Council President Thomas at For more information please visit  The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council is the largest Neighborhood Council in the San Fernando Valley, and the second largest of all 95 Neighborhood Council’s in Los Angeles.

All media and the general public are invited to attend.  Please email any questions or comments to


SexTraffickingSummitFlyer                   Child&SexTraffickingSummit

Special Council Meeting & Summit Agenda

Child & Sex Trafficking Summit (VNNC)
Van Nuys Neighborhood Council — Special Council Meeting July 30th, 2014 (Wednesday 6:30-8:00 pm) 6262 Van Nuys Blvd — Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Chambers @ Marvin Braude Constituent Services Building — Van Nuys, CA 91401

  1. Call to Order & Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America
  2. Roll Call (Quorum Call)
  3. Comments from the Chair — *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)Report
  4. Public Comment (On matters within the VNNC Board’s Jurisdiction.)
  5. Secretary’s Report
  6. Treasurer’s Report — Jeanette Hopp and/or Howard Benjamin (Second Signatory) — Approve Treasurer’s
  7. Committee Chairperson’s Reports, Budget Advocate’s Report, Elected Officials’ Reports & Election Chair’s Report
  8. New Business
    • a. Presentation by Executive Director Kim Roth & Outreach Engagement Officer Ann Conkle of Strength United (A CSUN Community Agency). Strength United is dedicated to ending abuse, empowering families and developing leaders. (20 minutes)
    • b. Presentation by Christine Cesa, Survivor of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. Ms. Cesa will discuss bringing awareness, prevention & advocacy to exploited women in Southern California and throughout the USA. (20 minutes)
    • c. Presentation by Deborah Quigley of Airline Ambassadors International. AAI is an organization of airline employees who use their travel benefits to hand deliver aid to underserved communities, respond to disasters, and escort sick children to the USA for surgeries not available in their home country. Ms. Quigley will discuss how traffickers use the public transportation industry, and what the airlines are doing about it. She will also touch upon the use of comic books being used as “micro-information” to raise awareness in remote villager populations such as those in Nepal. (20 minutes)
    • d. Presentation by FBI Special Agent Ronald Schloegel. Mr. Schloegel will be addressing specific items including statistics, how the FBI investigates, how the community can be proactive, warning signs, and new crime fighting techniques being used to address this issue. (20 minutes)
    • e. Presentation by LAPD Sergeant Ron Fisher of the Van Nuys Vice Unit. Sgt. Fisher will discuss the crimes being committed in Van Nuys and the San Fernando Valley as a whole. Sgt. Fisher will discuss crime trends, and how we can address this issue locally, statewide, nationally and throughout the world. (20 minutes)
    • f. Presentation by Dr. Stephany Powell of the Mary Magdalene Project. (MMP fights for the freedom and survival of women and girls in Los Angeles whose lives have been destroyed by commercial sexual exploitation. Small but fearless, MMP provides a multi-faceted support systemfor those who make the difficult journey out of an existence of abuse and violence.) (20 minutes)
    • g. Presentation by Former President of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Don Schultz. Former President Schultz currently volunteers for the LAPD Van Nuys Division, and is involved with a group established to fight prostitution in the San Fernando Valley. Former President Schultz will discuss the issue, as well as suggest future legislation to address child sex trafficking. (Including tougher penalties for the johns, and ways to embarrass and scare straight the men who seek out underage prostitutes.) (20 minutes)
    • h. Presentation by LA City Councilman Paul Krekorian. Councilman Krekorian will discuss this important issue, and what can be done on a city level to address child & sex trafficking. (10 minutes)
  9. Announcements
  10. Adjournment

19th Annual Jazz Festival

Jazz Festival Header

Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. in conjunction with Coalition for Responsible Community Development presents 19th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival.

Thousands of Angelenos are expected to crowd the “New Ninth” this weekend for the 19th Annual Central Avenue Jazz Festival. The event pays homage to the vital role Central Ave played in establishing Jazz music and culture. Partnering with the Coalition for Responsible Community Development and a host of community and corporate sponsors, Councilmember Curren Price is proud to announce an expanded event this year that will feature three live stages of music, including one inside the historic Dunbar Hotel. This year’s performers include music legends like the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Ernie Andrews, and Mongorama featuring Justo Almario, among others and the event continues to be free for all.

This year the event also includes the participation of BET Entertainment and Centric who will be presenting Terrace Martin, Malcolm Jamal Warner and other special surprise guests. Also included in this year’s festivities are targeted community engagement components with the addition of new Health and Wellness, Youth, and Arts Pavilion where residents will be able to access key information and health screenings, family friendly activities and exciting live art demonstrations.