Thank you Julia Griswold for posting this note on facebook and for letting me reprint it here!
Julia Griswold serves as a Tenant Representative and Recording Secretary on the board of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, on the East Hollywood NC Arts & Culture Committee and she is also and Actor and Co-Artistic Director at one of my favorite performance venues, the Sacred Fools Theatre.
I have great news: you can do good stuff while barely doing stuff!
Although I love my neighborhood, it is often gross and a lot of people who live in it don’t seem to care too much about taking care of it. While it is easiest to get mad and/or do nothing, there are some really easy not-time-or-energy-intensive ways to use city services that sometimes do actually (*gasp*) work.
Friends, meet 311. To skip the Mayor’s annoying intro thing, just press 1.
Things you can report: potholes, tagging/graffiti you want removed, traffic lights/signals out, bulky item pickup,… i’ve even called when i’ve seen escaped pet dogs running around in traffic, they’ll connect you to whichever animal control branch you happen to be in and send someone out to (hopefully) get ‘em to safety and contact the owners.
Every couple weeks I try to walk around my neighborhood and call in bulky items for pickup (311). They won’t get to it immediately, but they often will the next week. Only thing is, you have to be specific. Like, if you say “a mattress a chair and a desk” they will leave the boxspring and chair cushions. You can also use this form:
A word on graffitti: if something is clearly someone’s “tag,” or moniker, like you see the same initials or symbols all over the place, snap a digital photo of any instances and send to Officer Adam Mezquita (firstname.lastname@example.org). He’s the Northeast division tagging guy anyway; not sure who Rampart/Hollywood contacts are (will update if i find out).
Find out which LAPD division you’re in here: http://www.lapdonline.org/our_communities
Lastly, for when you feel like you should call the cops but it’s not a 911 emergency, call 877-ASK-LAPD (275-5273). For instance, if you see taggers in action. (It’s helpful to tell the dispatcher what they’re wearing.)
311 apparently has a great iphone app too, but I’m of the un-iphoned; anyone care to elaborate in the comments?