Neighborhood Councils: Watering the Grassroots

2019 Editions May Updates

By Bill Hendrickson

Fifty-four new or incumbent candidates were elected to neighborhood councils in Northeast Los Angeles on April 13, including 16 members on the neighborhood council in Eagle Rock, 18 in Highland Park, nine in Cypress Park and 12 in Lincoln Heights.

Turnout was low, which is unfortunate when you consider what neighborhood councils do: They weigh in with public officials on real estate development, school issues, environmental problems and other local issues. In addition, each neighborhood council controls an annual budget of $42,000 to support local efforts to improve the community’s health, safety, appearance and other quality-of-life features.

All are welcome to neighborhood council meetings. The Eagle Rock group meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Eagle Rock City Hall, 2035 Colorado Blvd. Highland Park meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Highland Park Senior Center, 6152 N. Figueroa St. Cypress Park meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Cypress Park Recreation Center, 2630 Pepper Ave. Lincoln Heights meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Lincoln Heights City Building, 2324 Workman St.

Meanwhile, in Glassell Park

The enfeebled state of the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council (GPNC) made an election for new members impossible. Instead, a special meeting was called for April 16, overseen by the city’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE). Stakeholders in Glassell Park were encouraged to attend the meeting and self-nominate for positions on the GPNC. It was the second time in two years that the GPNC had to be helped back to a functional level.

Forty stakeholders showed up to the meeting, which was publicized by the Boulevard Sentinel, along with DONE and Glassell Park activists. When all was said and done (no pun intended), six self-nominated stakeholders had joined seven existing members to bring the GPNC back up to strength.

The new group got right down to business: They approved a $3,000 grant for the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition to buy personal hygiene items for homeless people in or near Glassell Park. They also voted to oppose a tricky tax-and-financing plan for L.A. River redevelopment that they believed could be harmful to local residents.

The GPNC meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Glassell Park Senior Center, 3750 Verdugo Rd.