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DONE’s General Manager Bong Hwan Kim Steps Down

The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment will be merged with the Community Development Department (CDD).

Mr. Kim has resigned as the General Manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) for the City of Los Angeles. BongHwan (BH) Kim has been actively involved in advancing social, political and economic development in diverse community-based organizations for over 25 years.  DONE is an historic initiative approved by a majority of voters in a city wide election to effect the way government responds to communities by, in part, creating a system of independent Neighborhood Councils. DONE’s role is to provide education, training, and other enabling support to nurture neighborhood-based leadership and civic participation.

I will miss working with BH Kim and respect and support his decision to step down as the General Manager of the Neighborhood Councils which will now be consolidated within the City’s Community Development Department.  With the City on the brink of bankruptcy, the financial problems facing Los Angeles are now resulting in accelerated layoffs and resignations of key personnel such as Mr. Kim.  It remains to be seen whether or not the City of LA is serious about getting its house in order or will try to keep kicking the can down the street.

We support the City’s efforts to trim the budget, but we are looking for structural changes to the unaffordable and unfunded pension and health care liabilities and not just putting bandages all over the budget.  I wish Mr. Kim well in his future endeavors and appreciate his service to DONE since the Mayor appointed him GM in May, 2008.  It seemed every time I talked to him he was stuck in an untenable position as a liaison between the Neighborhood Councils and the City Council and the Mayor.  I found Mr. Kim to be a caring, passionate and erudite spokesman for the Neighborhood Councils and his loss is another blow to the NC movement.

Dennis DeYoung

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