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Beyond the Ballot Box: Neighborhood Council 2012 Election Wrap-Up

EMPOWERMENT REPORT - 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.  See NC Election Map Below.
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 Valley conducted the City’s first elections of the season, raising the standard for the electoral process and then adding elements that only Neighborhood Councils bring to the table.
Independent Election Administrators worked with Neighborhood Councils throughout the Valley 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!
EmpowerLA focused on Candidates and the Neighborhood Councils delivered: The Citywide rate of Candidates to Open seats was up 28.35% over 2010
Candidates embraced the issues and engaged the voters: The Citywide rate of Voters to Open seats was up 15.79% over 2010 
Neighborhood Councils created community by volunteering at neighboring polls: 429 Volunteers 
The Legacy of the System was infused with the energy of New Voices: 49.6% of those elected are Incumbents, 50.4% of those elected 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 LA’s Neighborhood Councils on the 2012 Electoral journey and am grateful for all that they do.
(Stephen Box is Elections Coordinator and Acting Senior Project Coordinator, Department of Neighborhood Empowerment … and an occasional contributor to CityWatch.)
Vol 10 Issue 97
Pub: Dec 4, 2012

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