Huizar Proposes Ordinance to Change Meaning of Community Stakeholder
The proposed ordinance change eliminates the problem of the so-called "Starbucks" stakeholder in Neighborhood Council elections.
Posted by Ajay Singh (Editor), July 3, 2013 at 08:17 pm
Councilmember José Huizar introduced legislation Wednesday for an ordinance change to the City Administrative Code aimed at removing the requirement and definition of so-called factual basis stakeholders whose presence had complicated elections to the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council in the fall of 2012.
According to a news statement issued by Huizar's office, the legislation, if approved by the City Council, would expand the role in neighborhood council elections of those who have "substantial and ongoing participation in a neighborhood," as opposed to those who live, work or own property in a neighborhood.
Wednesday's motion is a follow-up to Huizar's October 2012 motion, which was seconded by Councilmember Bernard Parks, and which came about after so-called "Starbucks stakeholders" who had little to no connection with a community attempted to hijack the 2012 Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council election by using the loosely defined factual basic stakeholder clause, which states a voter only has to "declare a stake in a neighborhood and affirm the factual basis for it," the news statement said.
"When we introduced the original motion in October, I said more than anybody, we needed to hear from the Neighborhood Council members themselvesthey know best what works for them and we needed to listen to their thoughts and concerns," Huizar was quoted as saying. "With the Neighborhood Councils leading the way, and the support of DONE and BONC, we've eliminated the factual basis stakeholder requirement and definition , while still giving councils the ability to create more robust participation through `community interest' voters and office seekers for those with a substantial and ongoing relationship to each specific community."
Since late 2012, BONC, The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) and more than 40 neighborhood councils convened several large committees designed to address changes to the factual basic stakeholder definition as well as other possible modifications to the Neighborhood Council system.
Huizar's office also participated in numerous meetings covering factual basis stakeholders held by BONC as well as the Education & Neighborhoods Committee, chaired by Councilmember Parks, according to the news statement. BONC recommended the language changes based on feedback from neighborhood councils.
Under Huizar's proposed ordinance change, Neighborhood Councils could:
Amend their by-laws to include specifically identified "community interest stakeholders" as voters or candidates to allow participation from those with a substantial and ongoing relationship to communities via, but not limited to, educational, nonprofit, and/or religious groups.
Determine the number of governing board seats that will be allocated to community interest stakeholders.
Require that the affirmation of those community interest stakeholders proposed in the Neighborhood Council by-laws be consistent with and equal to those administered for those who live, work or own property.
Adjust the City's Administrative Code to define "own property" as meaning real (estate) property.
Huizar's motion will now be studied by the Education & Neighborhoods Committee before coming back to the City Council for a full vote. The City Attorney would then draft the ordinance change, the news statement said.