Hal Netkin responds by Email on August 2, 2003 to Email previously received from the Los Angeles City Attorney's office.

August 2, 2003:

Transcribed from email correspondence with Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Darren Martinez.

Dear Mr. Martinez.

Thank you for your opinion to this question:

I asked whether there was any conflict with respect to the terms "citizen participation" and "public participation" as those terms are used in the Charter and the Plan for a Citywide System of Neighborhood Councils (the "Plan").

Your answer is that the Plan and its ordinance of implementation are not in conflict with the City's Charter...

You cite the following:

The City Charter explains in Article IX, Section 900, that one purpose of the Neighborhood Council system is "[t]o promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs.. .. The next sentence in the Charter then states that, "Neighborhood Councils shall include representatives of the many diverse interests in communities.. .." (Ibid.) .

The reason that you give to support your opinion presupposes that unless the community mix is made up of U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, there cannot be "...many diverse interests..."

Can't there be "many diverse interests" of groups and individuals made up of American Citizens?

Martinez' rationale is itself in conflict with an earlier emailed opinion of March 17, 2003, when he told me "The people in your community create the rules that guide and govern your Neighborhood Council Subject to not violating any laws, your community defines its direction, its internal operations, its goals, its procedures, its method for conducting elections, its governing structure, its voting structure, etc."

On the one hand, Martinez says that diverse interest necessarily means that illegal aliens must be considered legal participants in Neighborhood Councils, but on the other hand says that they can be participants as long as they are not violating any laws -- illegal aliens are in fact, in violation of federal law.

Hal Netkin
Martinez never responded further to my challenge.