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.