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Blog: Why Our Neighborhood Council Needs 'Progress & Collaboration'

Seven Candidates have come together to pledge a new era of Progress and Collaboration within the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council.

Over the years, Eagle Rock has faced many issues, some more contentious than others. Many times, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and its board members have been at the forefront of these contentions. Unfortunately, this has been cause for a divide amongst the residents of Eagle Rock and has taken up valuable resources from an otherwise Collaborative Community.

So far, seven Candidates have stepped forward to move beyond hyper-focused issues and to bring a new era of True Representation to the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council. Nelson Grande (President), Tim Ryder (Public Safety Director), Mark Haskell Smith (Sub-District 5 Director), Erykah Grande (Business Director), Cecilia Ryder (Treasurer), Anthony Freeny (Business Director), and Eddie Ramirez (Civic Director) have signed a Joint Statement pledging to promote a Neighborhood Council that truly represents the Residents of Eagle Rock and, rather than contention, promotes Collaboration.

We aim to revitalize Eagle Rock by focusing on outreach. Only then, will we have a true sense of what Eagle Rockers anticipate for our Community’s future. With more Eagle Rockers involved, innovation is certain to occur. Whether it be Education, the Local Economy, Self-Sustainability, Quality of Life, or any other Community-wide issue, we will work together to find rewarding solutions for all.

We would like to include discussions of local business development, economic restructuring, and aesthetic reevaluation. Done right, we will keep our invaluable businesses open while attracting new entrepreneurs. This will pave the way to stimulating the local economy. Eagle Rock is ready to reassert itself as a hub for robust local business presence.

Eagle Rock’s residents deserve to have a Council that takes into account everyone in the Community equally. They deserve a Council that avoids allocating precious resources to single ‘hot button’ issues. They deserve a Council that will look to the big picture; rebuilding our Community by empowering each and every Citizen of Eagle Rock.

We, aforementioned candidates, formally release this Joint Statement:

Let's Try Something New

We are proud to live in Eagle Rock—It is one of the most highly diverse neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles and a vibrant community of hard-working residents. We live here because we love Eagle Rock’s small town charm in the middle of a great metropolis. Whether we win or lose, we are excited and encouraged by the outpouring of candidates running in this election. It’s fantastic to see people getting involved to make our neighborhood great. 

Our main goal is to open a dialogue, to start a conversation with all the residents of Eagle Rock. Tell us your concerns. How do you feel about where our neighborhood is going? What can we do to improve it? How can we help you?

It’s Time to Look Beyond Medical Marijuana—The banning of medical marijuana dispensaries has been the single-minded focus of the previous neighborhood council and has caused rifts and divisions in the Eagle Rock community. But no matter which side of this issue you are on, it is now out of the ERNC’s hands. The Los Angeles City Council has banned the dispensaries and now the issue will be decided in the courts and in a city-wide referendum. We can now look beyond this one issue and begin to deal with the multitude of other concerns of our community. 

Economic Development—We understand that times are tough. But there are too many empty storefronts in Eagle Rock. New businesses that would like to open here are choosing Highland Park and Glassell Park instead. We want to work to resolve some of the issues. Colorado Boulevard should be a robust retail environment, with attractive aesthetics and easy access, a place where residents can stroll, chat with neighbors, and shop. We want to help the businesses that are already here grow stronger and examine what’s keeping new businesses from opening by revisiting the 20-year-old Colorado Specific Plan. Today's Eagle Rock is vastly different than it was in 1992 and our ordinances should reflect that.

Public Safety—The empty storefronts are not just an economic issue, it’s a public safety concern too. Empty storefronts attract crime and graffiti, while businesses that create pedestrian traffic lower crime. We will empower Neighborhood Watch in order to provide safety at home as well.

Progress & Collaboration—We are a diverse community with many different issues and concerns, but we feel that everyone deserves to be heard and to have their concerns addressed in a respectful and constructive way. We hope you vote for us!

Signed:

Nelson Grande - President

Tim Ryder - Public Safety Director

Cecilia Ryder - Treasurer

Erykah Grande - Business Director

Anthony Freeney  - Business Director 

Eddie Ramirez - Civic Director

Mark Haskell Smith - Sub-District 5

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Baker Montgomery October 02, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Attracting businesses: Strict restrictions on commercial enterprises in Eagle Rock are discouraging entrepreneurs from opening businesses in our neighborhood. This simply has to change. The P&C wants to take a hard look at The Colorado Specific Plan and to see if it can be revised in part to include provisions that would be more attractive to the type of businesses many Eagle Rockers want: restaurants, coffee shops, etc. Parking is another huge hurdle in this area and we would like to see more thought put into finding solutions for not only Colorado Blvd. but also Eagle Rock Blvd. Please see Nelson’s excellent post on parking for more information. Improving Colorado Blvd.: The P&C wants to see an increase in the amount of pedestrians, bikes, greenery, seating and lighting as well as improved signage on Colorado. We hope to work very closely with Take Back The Boulevard to make our main commercial district the most attractive and family friendly in the city. This, of course, includes cleaning it up and getting great businesses to move in.
Baker Montgomery October 02, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Rebecca, Thank you for your question. I am happy to provide some specifics on the P&C’s plans. I would note that the three areas all overlap in part as we believe the issues at hand are in no small part connected. As well, if you have any suggestions yourself on how to improve Eagle Rock, please feel free to contact me at bakermontgomery@gmail.com. I would love to discuss them with you. None of us running on the P&C slate claim to have all the answers and we have been consulting community leaders and previous ideas alike. People such as yourself, who are clearly passionate about Eagle Rock and who have done lots in the past to improve it, will be key going forward. For cleaner streets, we hope to work with the city and businesses to place additional receptacles on the busier thoroughfares. As well, we are looking to organize teams of volunteers to help pick up litter (possibly as part of larger community events). The P&C believes that cleaning up Eagle Rock in an organized, consistent and systematic way will benefit all of us, from matter of fact sanitation and quality of life issues to attracting more pedestrians (which in turn lowers crime and brings more commercial activity).
Duff Strong October 03, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Jerry Langford: Family Guy Director Jerry Langford: Obscure 1950 Rock and Roll artist Jerry Langford: Anonymous commenter on Patch that has posted only on Mr. Grande's blogs in order to (unsuccessfully) back him into a corner. Larsen, stop creating fake accounts!
rebecca niederlander October 03, 2012 at 04:34 AM
http://eaglerock.patch.com/articles/city-council-repeals-ban-on-medical-marijuana-storefronts The City Council has rescinded the gentle ban, so the issue of the MMDs is very much a part of the NC discusion. Also, what part of the Specific plan does this coalition have a problem with?
Nelson R Grande II October 03, 2012 at 05:17 AM
Good evening, Ms. Niederlander, The ERNC is an advisory board for the City Council. Since the City of Los Angeles has directed its efforts to the California Supreme Court, it is, in fact, out of the hands of the ERNC. However, if there are specific troubles you see in the neighborhood that involve any establishment, I would absolutely direct the ERNC to address it. As President, I will take every resident's concerns very seriously and have the council address them on an individual basis. Regarding the Specific Plan, it is our goal to revisit it and have an open dialogue between all Eagle Rock Residents and Business Owners. We will discuss what is and what is not acceptable to revise when considering the revitalization of Colorado Blvd. I invite you to come to the P&C Meet and Greet on Sunday, October 7th at All Star Lanes. It's located at 4459 Eagle Rock Blvd. We'll be there from 5-7pm. I'd be happy to speak with you in person so that I may address anymore concerns you may have.

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