Our guest for today’s episode is Joy Atkinson, the new President of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (aka BONC). Joy is a lifelong Angeleno with a talent for community outreach. She has a long and distinguished resume working at various levels of government in service to the residents of South Los Angeles. She served as a founding Board Member of the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council and now is in her fifth year as a Commissioner at the BONC. In our conversation, Joy speaks candidly about what it takes to be a successful public servant, neighborhood council board member, and, ultimately, a great community leader. I hope you enjoy it.


Show Notes:

For your convenience, here are some links and notes for all the things mentioned in this episode where you might need a little more background:

ELA Podcast, Episode 1

  • The first episode of the EmpowerLA Podcast with guest, Tom Soong.

Joy Atkinson Bio

  • Here you can find a short bio for our guest and the other BONC Commissioners

Gwen Moore

  • Here you’ll find some more information from the NAACP about Joy’s former boss and colleague, long-time Assemblywoman Gwen Moore.

Karen Bass

  • Learn more about Congresswoman Karen Bass who was also a member of the California Assembly for many years.

Empowerment Congress

  • Learn about the organization County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas helped found, which inspired the neighborhood council system.

City Charter

  • Here you can find the City Charter and other governing documents for the City of Los Angeles. The key provision referenced in our conversation is Section 900.

Grievance policy

  • Learn more about the policy that the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners pushed to clarify during Joy Atkinson’s term.
EmpowerLA’s monthly podcast is produced by Arin Abedian and hosted by Brett Shears.