Board of Animal Services Commissioners
Pursuant to the Los Angeles City Charter and the Los Angeles Administrative Code, the Board of Animal Services Commissioners serves as the head of the Department of Animal Services. The Board is authorized to supervise, control, regulate, and manage the Department; make and enforce all rules and regulations necessary to exercise the powers conferred upon the Department by the Los Angeles City Charter; and provide instructions to the Department’s General Manager. The Board also must review and approve contracts with a duration exceeding one year and a value greater than $20,000.
As provided in the City Charter, the Board’s ability to direct staff is limited to providing direction to the General Manager. Commissioners only have authority when they act as a Board and not when they act individually. Accordingly, the Board is primarily concerned with making policy decisions, and the General Manager, as the chief administrative officer of the Department, manages the day-to-day department activities and makes and enforces rules and regulations necessary to exercise the powers conferred upon the Department.
Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor for terms of five years, and are confirmed by the City Council.
DAVID ZAFT, President
Attorney, Caldwell Leslie & Proctor
David Zaft is a partner in the law firm of Caldwell, Leslie & Proctor in downtown Los Angeles, where he specializes in complex litigation and environmental law. Mr. Zaft pro bono work focuses on animal welfare and wildlife protection. In 2013, Mr. Zaft was awarded the Animal Legal Defense Funds Advancement in Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Award for his work advancing the rights of pet owners to receive adequate compensation when their pet has been tortiously injured or killed. Mr. Zaft was appointed to the Board of Animal Services Commissioner in September 2013.
LARRY GROSS, Vice President
Executive Director, Coalition for Economic Survival
Larry Gross is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES), a leading Los Angeles tenants rights organization. With Mr. Gross at the helm, CES, in its over 40 years, has led efforts to secure significant numbers of laws in the City of Los Angeles, including the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and other tenant protections related to evictions and housing code enforcement. CES provides assistance to tenants regarding their rights, including those who may be faced with demands by their landlords to get rid of their animals. Mr. Gross is a California Public Utilities Commission appointee to its Low Income Oversight Board, which oversees energy efficient and rate discount programs provided by the state privately owned utility companies to low income rate payers.
Senior Vice President of Community Engagement, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles
Alisa Finsten is the Senior Vice President of Community Engagement for the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. Previously, Alisa served as the Director of Grants and Finance in the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Public Safety during the administrations of both Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mayor Eric Garcetti. In that role, Alisa facilitated inter-agency governing bodies, while developing and maintaining relationships with grantors, and managed projects for federal Homeland Security and Public Safety grants totaling upwards of $300 million. Alisa also served in the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation.
Prior to coming to the Mayor’s Office in 2008, Alisa spent 10 years working for educational nonprofits in her native Boston, in New York and in Los Angeles, focusing on program administration and fundraising. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Brandeis University and a Master’s in Public Administration at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
OLIVIA E. GARCIA
Attorney, AVjustice Law Firm
Olivia E. Garcia is a partner at AVjustice Law Firm in downtown Los Angeles where she focuses on employment and family law matters. Ms. Garcia’s pro bono work includes representing unaccompanied minors in immigration court for Kids In Need of Defense. In addition, Ms. Garcia sits on the Board of Directors for Eastmont Community Center located in the heart of East Los Angeles. Ms. Garcia has been an animal welfare advocate working with underserved communities where the need for access to services for people and pets is considerable. Her work has involved volunteering with animal advocacy organizations at pet adoptions events, community fairs, spay & neuter events, and door to door canvasing.
Television Writer, Producer and Screenwriter
Roger Wolfson is a screenwriter, attorney, and speechwriter. He has an extensive background in politics, having worked for United States Senators Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and Paul Wellstone. He helped write laws that affect animal rights, from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to crime legislation to legislation involving Housing and Urban Development. He also written for Law and Order: SVU, Saving Grace, Fairly Legal, and the Closer. Wolfson holds his Masters in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins, his bachelors from Vassar, and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Silver Lake with his fiancée, Nori El-Shinnawy, and their rescue dogs, Easy and Peaceful.
The Board of Animal Services Commissioners Board Meetings
The Board of Animal Services Commission meets regularly every second (2nd) and fourth (4th) Tuesday of each month at 10:00A.M. Regular meetings are held at City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Room 1060, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Meetings are open to the public. The meeting schedule may vary due to holidays. Occasionally meetings may be held in the field in the early evening.
Commission Meeting Agendas & Minutes
The agendas for Board meetings contain a brief description of items that will be considered at the meetings. Copies of present and past agenda items, copies of the Board Calendar, as well as electronic copies of approved minutes are available by clicking on the links below.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Tuesday’s regular commission meeting has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Agenda & Various Documents
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Agenda & Various Documents