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Rebel Without a Car – Make a Difference! Become Political!

EmpowerLA

A commitment to sustainability can be fulfilled with simple gestures and everyday actions.

We can have a huge impact by inspiring others to be environmentally conscious by setting an example: by writing about green issues, by organizing events, or by becoming active in the community, locally or globally.

If you want to make a political impact in your community, today is your chance! 

Neighborhood Councils (NCs) are holding elections for the next few months within the City of Los Angeles, from the east side to the west, from the south to the north, searching for new board members, who will make a difference in their neighborhood and beyond, and here is your chance to run as a candidate and to vote (even if you are not running for a seat).

Neighborhood Councils were created by the City of LA 10 years ago and they are part of the City Family. There are 95 Councils citywide, and over 2000 board members on these councils, who are serving as volunteers, to hold the city council accountable and to get their community involved with local politics. NCs all over the city have their own bylaws and their own rules for participation but they are all bound by the law and by certain guidelines.

My husband and I have been involved with various neighborhood councils all over the city and we successfully influenced many, by lobbying for issues, from plastic bag ban, to budget priorities, to bike issues. And you can influence your neighborhood and the city as a whole, if you run for a board seat today and get involved locally.

Neighborhood Councils have helped improve our city in many ways.

Here are just a few examples of what Neighborhood Councils can accomplish when working together:

– Getting green bike lanes to the streets of Downtown LA
– Preserving local treasures
– Creating green living workshops
– Creating a Youth Employment Fair
– and helping immigrants become American Citizens

You can read more NC stories at EmpowerLA.org/category/local-heroes.

There are many things that you and I can do to make a difference in our communities and one of them is to run for a Neighborhood Council seat and get involved.

The plastic bag ban was a success in part because of so many NCs signed the petition and lobbied for the ban. The yearly East Hollywood ArtCycle event was spearheaded by neighborhood council volunteers. Lots of our cyclist friends have joined councils to lobby for a more bike-friendly infrastructure within the city of LA and there are many success stories that came from the involvement of cyclists. Neighborhood Councils speak up against some developers to preserve the look and feel of their neighborhood and other councils work with developers to help shape their community.

Whatever your passion, if you live in LA and want to make a difference, join a council today. Sign up as a candidate, run for a seat, and get your voice heard. Even better, why not run for the board with a friend or two, so you know you’ll have a few votes on your side when the council has some motions on the agenda.

To find out more, visit EmpowerLA.org. Click on the Elections navigation, find your neighborhood, and your council, (you can also find your council at neighborhoodinfo.lacity.org/index.cfm) click on that council’s Elections page and File as a Candidate.

Even if you don’t run, get involved by voting for your neighborhood council. We can vote for our US President every 4 years, but there is no better way to improve our neighborhood than by getting our voice heard on a local level! Our Neighborhood Council is our first step to City Hall. Get your voice heard today by running and by voting!

Please let me know where you decide to run! Valley Candidate Filing deadline has passed already, and so has the Hollywood Area, but you can still go out and vote at these elections! You can run for a seat on the East Side, NELA, all of South LA, the Harbor area, and all of the West Side. I would love to see lots of creative people on our council seats to make our city a better place for all!

This article appeared in the on-line magazine for actors The Networker, in September 2012.


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