March 19 is the deadline for neighborhood council candidates to declare

By Gary Walker

Westsiders who aspire to participate in city decision-making at the grassroots level, here’s your chance to make a difference. The Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa, the Mar Vista Community Council, the Del Rey Neighborhood Council and the Venice Neighborhood Council will each hold elections on June 2.

Neighborhood councils provide community feedback about development, transportation, homelessness, housing, parking and other local issues, and each is allotted $37,000 each year to fund hyperlocal community projects.

Council members don’t necessarily have to own or rent homes in the districts they represent. Depending on the seat, those who work or own a business have a stake in the area and can also join these official advisory boards. But those who aspire to serve must decide quickly: the city’s deadline to file for candidacy is March 19.

With 31 seats, Westchester-Playa (ncwpdr.org) is one of the city’s largest neighborhood councils, and thus staggers turnover. There are 14 seats up for grabs in June, including two at-large seats, various residential district directorships, and one representative each specific to Playa Vista businesses, income property holders, the religious community and local senior citizens. The board meets the first Tuesday of each month.

All 15 seats of the Del Rey council (delreync.org) are at stake, including those of the president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, communications officer, land use officer and nine area directors. Meetings are the second Thursday of each month.

The 13-member Mar Vista council (marvistacc.org), which meets the second Tuesday of each month, has each of its seats up for election in June, including both at-large and area directors. The board will select members for leadership positions after the election.

Each of the 21 seats on the Venice council (venicenc.org) is up for election, including 13 at-large community officers, chairmanship of the Land Use and Planning Committee, president, vice president, communications officer and other specific leadership positions. The council meets the third Tuesday of each month.

The Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees neighborhood councils, encourages first-time candidates to watch a four-minute video at empowerla.org before registering for candidacy at the site. Find more specific qualifications for each seat posted on the respective websites of each neighborhood council.

What’s your experience with Westside neighborhood councils? Share your thoughts with our readers via letters@argonautnews.com.

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