Our guest for the first episode of the EmpowerLA Podcast is Tom Soong, a Project Coordinator in Leadership Development and Field Representative for Neighborhood Councils in Northeast Los Angeles. Tom is one of the longest tenured staff members at the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and in our conversation he offers a wealth of insights about the early history of the Department, its evolution, and some nuggets of wisdom he’s learned in his nearly 20 years of service to the Neighborhood Council system. We hope you enjoy!
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:
Here you’ll find profiles of all the EmpowerLA Staff members, including this week’s guest, Tom Soong; your host, Brett Shears; and the REAL first employee Betty Wong Oyama; along with everyone else at the Department.
AmeriCorps VISTA Program
Read about the program that gave Tom Soong his start in public service.
LA City Councilman Mike Hernandez
Read about the City Council member Tom Soong once served as a Field Deputy
New York Times Article about 1999 LA City Charter Change
Read about how the New York Times covered the LA City Charter change back in 1999.
Board of Neighborhood Commissioners
Learn about the Commission that oversees and sets policy for the neighborhood council system.
Civic Youth (Program In-Progress as of June 30, 2017)
Learn about our latest EmpowerLA leadership program designed for youth aged 14-24.
Defined broadly as remedies that the Department can use to help a Neighborhood Council Board perform better. For more information, please see the Plan for a Citywide System of Neighborhood Councils (PDF).
EmpowerLA’s monthly podcast is produced by Arin Abedian and hosted by Brett Shears.
The views expressed in the EmpowerLA Podcast do not necessarily reflect those of EmpowerLA or the City of Los Angeles. The veracity of any claims made during the recording are the sole responsibility of the host and guest(s).