Have you ever wanted to tell the City Council how you feel about a certain issue or proposed ordinance, but don’t know how to easily reach your own representative, much less the Council as a whole? Have you ever wondered what happens when you do send a letter to your representative or another member of the Council and whether or not there’s a way to ensure it becomes part of the official public record on the issue or item?
Well, as of April 29, such things just got a whole lot easier.
For many years now, the city has maintained a Council File Information System, which lists all the items being dealt with by the City Council. But only selected representatives of our Certified Neighborhood Councils had access to an easy online comment portal, where they could file official comments called Community Impact Statements, which would be permanently attached to any file they commented on. As of last month, however, the Council File System also has a new Public Comment Portal which allows any member of the community to file an official public comment on any matter being dealt with by the City Council…and the comments become part of the official case file for that issue.
While Neighborhood Councils will still file their Community Impact Statements as they’ve always done, members of the public can now go to LACouncilComment.com (which forwards to https://cityclerk.lacity.org/publiccomment/) to easily file their own comments on any matter than has an official “Council File” number.
If you already know the Council File Number for the issue you’re interested in, just fill in the number on the comment form, write your comment and click “Submit.” You can use up to 5,000 words in your message, and even include file attachments (documents, photos, etc.) up to 5MB.
If you don’t yet know the Council File Number for the issue you’d like to comment on, the comment page also contains a link to the main Council File System page – https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm – where you can search for whatever you’re interested in – e.g. “short-term rentals,” “trees,” or “Transit Neighborhood Plan.” You’ll get a list of all the current items on that topic. Open a few of the most recent items to see which are most relevant or immediate, and then copy and past the Council File number into your comment form…and start commenting. That’s all there is to it!