December 4, 2012
Empower LA Newsletter header

"Beyond the Ballot Box!"

Neighborhood Council Election Wrap-Up

It was just over six months ago that LA's City Council passed Ordinance #182128, authorizing the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to conduct the 2012 Board elections for LA's Neighborhood Councils.

The journey began in September of 2011 at the Congress of Neighborhoods when Neighborhood Council representatives packed City Council Chambers and spoke with a unified voice, calling on the Mayor and the City Council to support Neighborhood Councils by ensuring that elections would be conducted in 2012.

Since that time, Neighborhood Councils have risen to the occasion, committing to an electoral process that went "Beyond the Ballot Box!" and resulted in outcomes that speak volumes to the character and commitment of the many individuals that make up the Neighborhood Council system.

Within three months of City Council's ordinance authorizing EmpowerLA's Elections Division to conduct the elections, the Hollywood area was conducting elections, raising the standard for the electoral process and then adding elements that only Neighborhood Councils bring to the table. Two weeks ago, Downtown LA, Pico Union, and Historic Cultural Neighborhood Councils wrapped the election season with capacity crowds of happy voters.

Independent Election Administrators worked with Neighborhood Councils throughout the North, East, and Central LA to turn Elections into Election Events, to connect neighborhood councils in regional outreach strategies, to innovate in the search for qualified candidates, to enlist the support of volunteers, and to look "Beyond the Ballot Box" as they embarked on the electoral journey.

On all accounts, it was a great success that exceeded expectations!

As new Boards are seated throughout the North, East, and Central area of Los Angeles, Board of Neighborhood Commissioners President, Paul Park, is seizing the opportunity to organize a Regional Alliance of Neighborhood Councils.

EmpowerLA focused on Candidates and North, East, and Central LA delivered:

The rate of Candidates to Open seats
was up 19.82% over 2010


Candidates embraced the issues and engaged North, East, and Central LA:

The rate of Voters to Open seats

was up 6.6% over 2010


Neighborhood Councils created community by volunteering at neighboring polls:

North, East, and Central LA activated 161 Election Day Volunteers


The Legacy of the System was infused with the energy of New Voices:

39.0% of those elected in North, East,
and Central LA are Incumbents


61.0% of those elected in North, East,
and Central LA are New Voices


Along the way, EmpowerLA partnered with

Neighborhood Councils Citywide and...


Created a memorable elections experience for more than NINETEEN THOUSAND Angelenos who came to vote at a Neighborhood Council election!

Encouraged more than SIXTEEN HUNDRED Candidates as they campaigned for a Neighborhood Council seat.

Partnered with more than FOUR HUNDRED Volunteers and demonstrated the power of collaboration.

Created SEVENTY-FIVE Neighborhood Council Election Events that went Beyond the Ballot Box.

Organized TWELVE Neighborhood Council regions and encouraged the pollination of ideas and innovation.

Conducted TWENTY SIX Leadership Academy workshops, TWELVE Candidate Workshops, EIGHT Poll Worker Workshops and Candidate Forums with such frequency that we lost count.

Supported new Neighborhood Council Partners with Board Orientations, Treasurer Workshops, and Board Seatings.

Exceeded expectations by doing TWICE as much in HALF the time for HALF the cost.

NC Boardmembers, Candidates, Voters, and Volunteers have offered lots of feedback and two things are clear:

1) Neighborhood Councils took ownership of the 2012 elections, delivering an Election Experience that exceeded the standard established in the 2010 elections.

2) Neighborhood Councils did what no one else can do, adding unique elements to the Election Experience that reflect the unique personality and character of each community.

I am proud to have partnered with you on the 2012 Electoral journey and am grateful for all that you do.

You have truly EMPOWERED LA!

Stephen Box

Elections Coordinator
Acting Senior Project Coordinator
Department of Neighborhood Empowerment  



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Independent Election Administrators

Alisa Smith

Christine Jerian

Jay Handal

Terence Gomes

Ivan Spiegel

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Phone: (213) 978-1551
Fax: (213) 978-1751

Our New Address:
200 North Spring Street
20th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012