Congratulations to the nominees and winners of the 2019 EmpowerLA Awards!

The 2019 EmpowerLA Awards Ceremony was held Thursday, March 28 to honor the award recipients for their amazing accomplishments in the Neighborhood Council system. This year’s theme was “Building The Future of Civic Engagement”. City Controller Ron Galperin hosted the ceremony which was held at City Hall’s Forecourt Patio.


Apart from the EmpowerLA Awards, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment also recognizes outstanding City employees or departments for their collaboration with Neighborhood Councils. The two Vanguard Award recipients this year were both from the Department of City Planning: Kinikia Gardner (nominated by the Mar Vista Community Council) and the External Affairs Unit Community Liasons (nominated by PlanCheckNC). The physical award, which features a woodwork design of City Hall, was handcrafted by EmpowerLA’s Arin Abedian and Sevak Paramazian.


In addition to the Vanguard Award, the Spirit Awards are presented to Neighborhood Council members whose work during the past calendar year has most benefitted the Neighborhood Council system as a whole. This year’s Spirit Award winners are: Patricia Kim,Steve Bae, James An, and Helen Byon. All four individuals were instrumental in the subdivision election for Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council. The subdivision election, which took place last June, garnered votes from over 19,000 stakeholders.


And finally the EmpowerLA Awards honors specific Neighborhood Councils (by region) for the best projects of 2018. The winners are voted on by the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners. The nominees are listed below with the winners in bold.

NORTH VALLEY: North Hills East, North Hills West, Northridge West, Pacoima, Sylmar

SOUTH VALLEY: Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Van Nuys, West Hills

WEST LA: Bel Air-Beverly Crest, North Westwood

EAST: Arroyo Seco, Atwater Village, Boyle Heights, Greater Cypress Park, Historic Highland Park, Los Feliz

CENTRAL: Downtown Los Angeles, Greater Wilshire, Hollywood United, Mid City West, Pico Union

SOUTH LA: Empowerment Congress Central, Empowerment Congress North, Watts

HARBOR: Coastal San Pedro, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway North