Joining forces with the people.
Established by city charter in 1999, the neighborhood councils of Los Angeles provided a unique answer to a common problem: as our city continues to grow in size, how can one city government ensure that the voices of four million are being listened to? By empowering local communities to establish their own governing boards that serve as a proxy between neighborhoods and City Hall, Los Angeles may have unintentionally created one of the largest experiments in civic engagement in the country.
But why stop there? Where the neighborhood councils have been successful at engaging local and state officials to hear their needs, this already-existing infrastructure has never been utilized by our local representatives in the United States Congress.
Brian will change this. Coming from a neighborhood council, himself, Brian knows the importance and untapped potential of this public network and will empower the neighborhood councils within the district to weigh in on both local and federal policy, extending each council’s advisory role from the San Fernando Valley to Capitol Hill:
- Establish a process where each neighborhood council can voice on general issues or specific legislation by board action.
- Ask each neighborhood council to appoint or elect a Congressional Liaison who will participate in a monthly advisory meeting, subject to each council’s bylaws.
- Create additional advisory councils in the same model within the parts of the district that fall outside Los Angeles to ensure everyone has equal representation.
In total, the 99 neighborhood councils, spread across the city, operate through countless hours of volunteer work of the people, by the people, and for the people, provide a close model of the ideal of American democracy.
By inviting those volunteers who are already passionate about the governing process to participate, it would not only strengthen the power the neighborhood councils have within Los Angeles, but would also make the California 30th the new gold standard for civic participation nationwide.
An additional by-product of reinforcing the connection between the local, state, and federal representatives, is giving constituents another outlet for accountability of their member of Congress. Brian believes it is imperative that those who are entrusted to serve and represent their communities be consistently be held accountable to them in meaningful, significant ways.