About CSPNC

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council (CSPNC) is an advisory group of people who live, work, or own property in Coastal San Pedro. We’re composed of neighbors, by neighbors, for neighbors to make a positive difference in our neighborhood.

As an official part of Los Angeles city government, we’re very different from other community organizations. We have special duties and unique opportunities to change our neighborhood for the better.

certificate-of-NC-certification

The Neighborhood Council is you, your family, and your neighbors. It’s composed of people who have some type of connection to the geographic area the Council represents. Technically called “stakeholders,” these are people who live, work, or own property in the neighborhood; and they’re people who just care about the neighborhood through membership in a local organization or other similar involvement. The Neighborhood Council is open to everyone.

The Neighborhood Council deals with issues covered by the City of Los Angeles. Through an open and democratic process, we decide what matters most to us here in our neighborhood –- where we live, work, play, study, raise our families and look hopefully towards the future. We hold public meetings to gain information and hear diverse opinions about the issues. After a vote by the Governing Board, we take a position and issue our recommendations to the City.

The Neighborhood Council is an official part of Los Angeles city government. Written into the new City Charter, it is a formal public entity and has special powers and duties that are very different from other community organizations. The Neighborhood Council must follow the same open-meeting laws that ensure public access to the Los Angeles City Council and other local governments. It must follow the rules regarding the expenditure and record-keeping of public money. Its Governing Board Members must abide by a Code of Ethics as a commitment to principled decision-making and a safeguard against conflicts of interest. All of this empowers the Neighborhood Council with the lawful authority to act on City issues in an official advisory capacity.

GOVERNING BOARD

The Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood council (CSPNC) has a Governing Board of 17 stakeholders, elected every year. Much of CSPNC’s work is done in its various committees. Any interested stakeholder can join committees (committee members do not have to be members of the Governing Board).

Actions of the CSPNC must be voted on by the Governing Board. The Governing Board meets monthly. Committees may have monthly standing meeting times, or may meet as need arises.

WHAT CAN CSPNC DO?

Action by CSPNC starts with concerns brought to us by you, our stakeholders (anyone who lives, works, or owns property within the CSPNC area).

Most of what CSPNC does falls into two categories: motions that express stakeholder wishes to Los Angeles City government or agencies, and motions that allocate funding to local needs.

Advisory motions are usually developed within a committee, then brought to the monthly Board meeting. At the Board meeting, the public can comment on any motion, the Board may debate and amend the motion, then will usually vote to either adopt or reject the motion. Many motions, once adopted, are then forwarded to the appropriate City governing body or agency to express CSPNC’s stakeholder wishes.

CSPNC also receives an annual budget of $37,000 of City taxpayer money. These funds are used to support CSPNC operations, perform outreach to publicize CSPNC, and to support local community improvements. Stakeholder organizations can apply to CSPNC for sponsorship from these funds (see below).

HOW DO WE FUNCTION?

Because CSPNC is an elected body of public officials, its actions are governed by the California State Brown Act, which is designed to ensure that discussion and action by public officials happens in public. The Brown Act affects CSPNC in many ways, but the two most obvious ways are: first, all Board and committee meetings must be publicly noticed at least 72 hours in advance, with an agenda, so that interested public can attend; and second, all discussions (including email) of CSPNC issues that include a majority or more of the Board or of a committee must be done in a publicly posted meeting.

The idea is that if we are going to consider something that concerns you, you have the right to know about it in advance, attend the meeting, and make your opinion heard. The Board and committees of CSPNC are prohibited from developing a consensus of action out of sight of the public, then presenting that in a public meeting. Instead, we must develop our positions in a public forum.

Actions of CSPNC (including disbursal of money) usually follow the following path:

  • A potential issue is brought to (or referred to) the relevant committee.
  • The committee meets, listens to stakeholder input, deliberates in public, then writes a motion.
  • The motion is brought to the monthly Agenda Meeting, where it is considered for the agenda of the monthly Board Meeting (and may be amended).
  • The Governing Board, at the monthly Board Meeting, listens to stakeholder input, debates and may amend the motion, then votes to adopt or reject it.
  • If the motion passes, the appropriate action is taken (CSPNC’s resolution is forwarded to City or agency officials, or the CSPNC treasurer may disburse funds).