Much of the power of Neighborhood Councils, Grayce stated, derives from the relationships they build with both their own stakeholders and with other local Councils. If the number of stakeholders actively engaged by a Council reaches a certain threshhold, it becomes possible for a Council to wield enough influence to trigger initiatives, referendums, City charter changes, or other legislation. This is especially true if Neighborhood Councils pool their influence by banding together as a region, or coming together from across the City over a particular issue.
Grayce shared statistics and infographics with the Congress crowd, showing that 2,000-3,000 followers is the magic number where an individual Neighborhood Council and its stakeholders begins to become a local political force that can create significant change. (See a sample slide from her presentation below, showing some key numbers to keep in mind.)
How do you build this following if you don’t have it yet – and how do you keep the following you have activated? Through your outreach efforts: tabling at local events to meet your public; signing people up for your newsletters and sharing compelling local news; and joining social media conversations that are already going on about the community you serve or the issues you care about.
If your board has never contacted the other Neighborhood Councils in your area to identify your common issues and develop a strategy to work them out together, now is a great time to do so! Please don’t hesitate to talk with your Neighborhood Empowerment Advocate, if you would like to learn more about how you can increase the impact of your Neighborhood Council.
If you’re not a current Neighborhood Council member but would like to join, please write to us at empowerLA@LAcity.org and let us know you want to get involved. We’ll help you get started!