I see that a couple of our Downtown neighbors have pulled papers for a spot on the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. Very exciting! The election is Friday, June 25, however if you are going to run for a seat and you want your name to appear on the ballot, get your ass in gear and get your paperwork in by Tuesday. --->The Rules Are Here<---
During the last election I was fat and pregnant and not in the mood to offer advice. But this time, I have a screaming toddler in one ear, and of course...yes I have more time to offer advice. I'm a mom now...all I do is offer advice...right? So, for those of you running for a seat, and those who are the hopeless bystanders who will need to set aside time and get out to vote...here are some things to consider:
For those who will vote:
What is a neighborhood council?
From the DLANC website: In 1999, the new Los Angeles City Charter created neighborhood councils as quasi city entities to advise those in government who are making decisions that affect our lives. During the neighborhood council certification process, the City was divided into many geographic areas and a neighborhood council in each area was empowered to represent the respective communities. Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) was certified on April 27, 2002 to serve every person having a stake within its borders.No, Really - what is a neighborhood council?
Essentially, it is a collection of committees and representatives responsible for advising the City Departments (namely PLANNING) on how things work in your neighborhood. Your participation on or with a neighborhood council should be a given - especially - if you own property in Downtown Los Angeles. The neighborhood council is often the first stop for the planning department when it comes to new residential development, restaurants and bars.
The best way I have to describe this is the following: We live kitty-corner from Provecho and Remedy. Through keeping an eye on the permitting process, hearing about the Conditional Use Permit (CUP), and knowing what was actually approved on the CUP, I know that the restaurant has violated the CUP many times. If the owners of Provecho have any concerns about my statement, I'm more than happy to provide them with copies of the videos that I handed over to LAPD, which helped to shut down a party one evening.
Had I not been familiar with what was actually allowed on their CUP, it's likely that I would have just continued to whine and complain to no one about the situation. And, if you've followed this blog for a while, you know that I have no patience with out of control parties, or neighbors.
Jesus, you mean another election day?
Suck it up. You watched Band of Brothers, The Pacific, you love WWII movies...this is part of the democratic process... You love democracy. Vote. I know it might seem like I am taking this blog entry seriously, but I'm tired. Did I mention that my husband and I have a toddler?
I don't want to run for neighborhood council, how can I participate?
You are my favorite person! Yes - you don't need to hold a seat on the council in order to participate. You can offer to be your councilmember's alternate, or even better, be an active participant on a committee. There are plenty of committees to choose from.
Are you a candidate?
No, I'm not talking Lost candidates. You made the effort to get your name onto the ballot, and now you are thinking 1) WTF did I get myself into and 2) How do I get people to vote for me.
Here's what I did:
You need to do some strategizing... What seat are you running for, do you know your district? I ran for the resident, Historic Downtown. As soon as I found out that I was running in a contested election, I had to really work hard to get my name out there.
I made a website. I transformed ginnycase.com into my campaign website. I took it seriously - I ran as if I was running for a state assembly seat. I put together a bio and sent it own to the NewDowntown yahoo group, and the moment I saw that Eric of BlogDowntown was willing to post bios...well...Here!
This was all before Twitter and Facebook. I think if I could run today - I'd get the facebook group going, and use it to generate turnout on election day.
I put together a flyer that I posted on the bulletin board in the laundry rooms on each of the floors in my building. (this sentence reads grammatically weird)
I went to every community function I could get into. I went to DLANC meetings, committee meetings, I posted often on BlogDowntown. I bugged my neighbors, I talked to people during ArtWalk.
Here's the tricky part...You might be running for one seat, but your friends, neighbors...might be voting for up to three people. If you are running for a resident seat, people who vote for you will be asked to vote for you, the at-large resident, AND the at-large seat. If those two seats are contested, take a look at who's running and consider recommending (or endorsing) candidates for those two seats.
Here's the other tricky part...the election's going to be on a friday, and at The Exchange. Not a very convenient place for anyone outside of the Historic Core.... Don't use this as an excuse. There are plenty of meet up locations for you and your friends to go and vote. Just get off your ass and go vote. Because we all remember the guy who didn't win the election because he got ZERO votes.
One last thing...for the kids out there....the under 18 year old ones...
If you are over the age of 16 you can participate in this election. You can run for a seat and you can vote in the election. I'm a big supporter of under 18 age group, so if you need additional guidance on the election's process, meeting other candidates...let me know!
Have some fun!