Election Season is here!
In the City of Los Angeles, Neighborhood Council Elections are here. This means, that you can get involved on a local level in what gets done in your immediate neighborhood. City Council members have a very large district in Los Angeles, oftentimes too large for them to handle. You probably know this already; you have broken sidewalks, trash, potholes, Environmental and Educational challenges in your neighborhood, and if you call anything in, you get either sent around to other departments and nothing gets resolved, or you get told that it will be taken care of and will get in the queue, and nothing will happen.
Neighborhood Councils (NCs) on the other hand represent a smaller area in your neighborhood and they are more approachable and they do lots of great work that has a great impact on the community.
The Election Season for Neighborhood Councils started earlier this year, where people from the community can apply as Candidates to run for the board. Even though the window to run for the board has closed for many of the councils, South LA and West LA still have open seats and the Candidate Filing is still open. If you go to NeighborhoodInfo.lacity.org/index.cfm and put your address in the search box, you can find out which Neighborhood Council represents you. Then find that council on EmpowerLA.org/Elections. If you are in Region 9, 10, 11, or 12, click on your council link and register as a Candidate, to serve on the board. (All board members are voluntary positions, btw.) If you are in Regions 1-8, you can also click on your Neighborhood council link and check out all the Candidates who are running for the board. You will find on your council’s election page the date and times that you can vote.
This is where your involvement comes in: get out and vote for a Candidate, who you believe will best represent your neighborhood. In my opinion, the best candidates are the ones that are new, and haven’t served on the board yet. They will bring fresh ideas to the board, have fresh energy for the work that needs to be done in the neighborhood, and they will be the most open to your suggestions and your concerns in your community. To find out who the “fresh” candidates are, when you click on the election page of your neighborhood, look at the the link of the page. Here is Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council for example: EmpowerLA.org/STNC/Sunland-Tujunga-NC-2014-Elections. You have the candidates on the right side, and on the left sidebar of the page you will see all the info about the election. If you delete the last section of the url/link (marked in bold), which is after the forward slash “/”, you will be directed to the NC page, where you can see the council board, and info about them. In the case of Sunland-Tujunga NC, the NC page would be EmpowerLA.org/STNC. Here is where you can compare the board members to those who are running as candidates, and see who is newly-involved in the community and who is running again for their own seat. You can also directly find your council’s page on EmpowerLA.org/Councils. Here you will be taken directly to the individual councils, and you can then click from the Neighborhood Council page to the elections page (top blue 2014 Elections button).
I hope you will go out and vote in your neighborhood! Your involvement is crucial for the betterment of the City of Los Angeles! Neighborhood Councils are there to hold the City Council accountable and if your Councilman or Councilwoman is not responsive to your community, you will need to find another way to make things better. Even if you are a performer, who plans to live in LA for a few years until “you make it.” you can help your career by not only going to acting classes and auditions, but by helping to bring production back to LA, or by making your community theater and film-friendly. You can do so much to make a difference and all of us residents are counting on you to inspire us, to lead us, and to help us!
Neighborhood Council elections are until May 18th, so you have plenty of time to explore the site, your council and your community and get involved.
On another note, please read my blog about Plan B, and contact me if you do something other than acting. I would love to hear about your second career, about your other passion, and about how you reinvented yourself in this industry.
Enci is a Mother, Actress, Artist and Activist.
Contact Enci with article suggestions or find her on Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites to connect. When contacting her, please introduce yourself and tell her you read her column in the Networker.