Villaraigosa Announces New General Manager of Neighborhood Empowerment

By City News Service

(CNS) – Grayce Liu, a senior official in the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, was selected to be the department’s new interim general manager, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced late last week.

Liu, 41, was a senior project coordinator at DONE, the department that oversees the city’s 95 Neighborhood Councils.

The position opened when DONE General Manager BongHwan Kim announced plans last month to take a job with the San Diego Foundation.

Liu takes over the department just as Neighborhood Council elections are set to begin. The Neighborhood Council system was formed in 1999 to alleviate tensions in the wake of the San Fernando Valley secession movement and to give neighborhood leaders more voice in the city’s governance and autonomy.

The system has been fraught with election turnout problems and a high-profile spending scandal at a few councils. Input from Neighborhood Council members on the city budget also frequently went ignored by elected officials.

Liu, a resident of North Hollywood, previously was a co-chair of the Asian and Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Task Force and Community Program.
Liu began her own legal practice in 1998. She got her law degree from Loyola Law School.

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August 9, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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