Because Neighborhood Councils are created by the Los Angeles City Charter, they are subject to many of the federal, state and local laws that govern other City departments. Every Neighborhood Council also has bylaws and other standing or procedural rules they follow, too. In addition, Neighborhood Councils must abide by laws preventing workplace violence, sexual harassment and discrimination.
The laws that apply to all Neighborhood Councils include the following:
Americans with Disabilities Act – A federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to the operations of state and local governments.
Brown Act – The Ralph M. Brown Act is a state law requiring open meetings from government agencies and applies to Neighborhood Council meetings.
Conflict of Interest Laws
Various state and city laws to ensure that government officials are free from bias caused by their own financial interest so they may act in an impartial manner.
Los Angeles City Charter – In 1999, the City Charter established the Neighborhood Council System and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment which supports the Neighborhood Councils “to promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs…” Charter Section 900.
The Plan for a Citywide System of Neighborhood Councils – This Plan details the workings of the Neighborhood Council system.
Public Records Act
A state law providing the public access to government records. Neighborhood Councils must abide by a strict time line to respond to Public Records Act (PRA) requests.
Plan For A citywide Systems Of Neighborhood Councils
Various local ordinances have also been enacted to establish the Neighborhood Council system.
Ordinance 172728 -Created the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment following the passage of the City Charter.
Established regulations to implement the Plan for a Citywide System of Neighborhood Councils.
Ordinance 173184 - Created the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment Fund.
Ordinance 175937 - Transferred the responsibility for leasing and renting office and meeting space for Neighborhood Councils from the Department of General Services to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, thereby streamlining the acquisition of space for Neighborhood Councils.
Ordinance 176477 - Exempts Neighborhood Councils from adopting a conflict of interest code and filing the Form 700 financial disclosure statements.