Councilmember Bill Rosendahl is urging constituents to consider running for office in one of the grass roots organizations known as neighborhood councils in the City of Los Angeles.
Every Westside neighborhood council will hold elections for a variety of office on the council. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment says the deadline to file for the election is on September 28.
“Neighborhood Councils and community groups play a critical role in the decision making process at City Hall,” said Rosendahl. “The network of grass roots volunteers are usually the first to discover, learn, and provide input on key policy and land use items in the district. I always consult with them before I cast my vote in council chambers.”
Some neighborhood council leaders we spoke with say it’s a great way to get involved in the community.
“It offers people the chance to get out and network with your neighbors,” said Sharon Commins, chair of the Mar Vista Community Council. ”You’re serving the City in way that is unique because the neighborhood council is part of the City of Los Angeles. We’re always looking for people to serve on the council or join one of our committees. “
One neighborhood council president we spoke with says his group takes pride in sustainable contributions to the community.
“Our neighborhood council helped start the new Farmers Market,” said Eric DeSobe, President of the Del Rey Neighborhood Council. ” People on the council got to see the process happen from the beginning stages to now – and we were major contributors to seeing this through.”
Neighborhood Councils were created by the City Charter to make government more responsive to local needs. The elected body is officially recognized by the City of Los Angeles and serves to promote greater access and participation in the political process.
“The neighborhood council system has the potential to be a very influential organized body,” said Cyndi Hench, chair of the Westchester/Playa Neighborhood Council. ”And not just one operating by itself but as a whole they are able to come together and influence change. Community groups create a louder voice and a better chance of government hearing.”
“Being engaged in the community in which you live is very important,” said Venice Neighborhood Council President Linda Lucks. ”Neighborhood councils offer a way to directly engage and have a say at City Hall without having to drive to City Hall.”
Those interested in running for office need to fill out an application with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. The deadline for filing is September 28.