In the January 2015 newsletter MMRA President James O’Sullivan wrote in “Council District 4 Players Guide” of the frustrations residents encounter with the opacity of council offices. The strong response the article generated from community activists and residential and homeowners groups throughout the city inspired Jim to create a “transparency pledge” [see below] that was distributed to all the candidates for Council District 4.
To date the following candidates have signed the pledge:
David E. Ryu
These candidates have yet to sign the pledge:
TO: The Council District 4 Candidates
FROM: James O’Sullivan, President
Miracle Mile Residential Association
DATE: January 17, 2015
Hopefully, as you travel around the different neighborhoods that make up
Council District 4, you are hearing of the many issues that are impacting
residents and businesses. There are some issues that you can resolve on
your own – and many more that will require the support of other council
Some of these matters are relatively simple, while others are much more
complex – but there is one action you can take immediately upon your
election that will go a long way to correcting many of the problems we face
in our various neighborhoods. You can throw open the windows in your
new office and let in fresh air and sunshine. For far too long the Council
Districts have been run as absolute fiefdoms. Much of what goes on in the
Council offices remains secret and off limits to the residents and businesses
that the Councilmembers are supposed to be serving. This process did not
begin with you – but it must end with you.
Recently, City Controller Ron Galperin initiated “Control Panel,” an online
source of information about expenditures, revenues, payroll, special funds
and other data. A similar system could be utilized to achieve transparency
in the Council office.
All of you are trying to carefully parse your answers regarding contributions
from real estate developers, but the real issue has to do with access to the
Council office coupled with the frequent disregard for the policies
contained in the Community Plans and Framework Element that are
expressly designed to guide your decisions.
Time and time again, we have been forced to defend our neighborhoods
through legal actions when the City disregards these plans to our detriment.
We will no longer accept vague promises and slaps on the back. It is long
past time to level the playing field. This is why each candidate must commit
themselves to complete transparency in all their actions as our
We, the voters of Council District 4, must know exactly where you stand on
these critical matters when we head to the polls on March 3rd. So, I
respectfully request that you endorse this pledge:
I ____________________________ candidate for the office of
Councilmember for Council District 4, pledge to:
Immediately disclose whenever my office is approached about a
development project in CD 4, whether by the developer or any person
or group representing the developer. This information will be posted
on my Council office website. Neighborhood Councils and other
groups (homeowners/residential/business) in the area of the project
will be promptly notified to check for information on this website.
Follow up meetings with me or any of my staff regarding the project
will also be posted.
Immediately post any changes contemplated in CD 4 by any City
Department that would make changes to the Community Plans, i.e.
Bike Plan, Mobility Element, and Recode LA. Too often the majority
of stakeholders receive no advanced notice of these changes.
Faithfully follow the policies for decision makers as outlined in each
Community Plan in CD 4, as well as Policy 3.3.2 of the Framework
Require the City to officially document and demonstrate that the
infrastructure in the area of any contemplated project (requiring
discretionary approval) will not be threatened in relation to user
needs. This would include particularly critical services, such as water
and sewerage, as well as public schools, police and fire services, and