The City of Los Angeles is a Mayor-Council-Commission form of government, as defined in the City Charter, originally adopted by the voters of the City of Los Angeles, effective July 1, 1925 and reaffirmed by a new Charter effective July 1, 2000.
A Mayor, City Controller, and City Attorney are elected by City residents every four years. Fifteen City Council members representing fifteen districts are elected by the people for four-year terms, for a maximum of three terms.
Members of Boards & Commissions are generally appointed by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the City Council.
There are approximately 44 departments and bureaus in the City of Los Angeles headed by General Managers that are also appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the City Council. Most employees of the City are subject to the civil service provisions of the City Charter.
The new City Charter, effective July 2000, provided for the creation of a Citywide System of Neighborhood Councils. The goal of the Neighborhoods Councils is to promote public participation in City governance and decision-making process to create a government more responsive to local needs.