The Congress of Neighborhoods is a perfect opportunity to network with both City officials and other Neighborhood Councils – and Congress workshops are the perfect place to learn how to interact with other civic leaders in the most effective way possible. Here’s an overview of the opportunities offered at this year’s Congress to sharpen your networking skills and forge new partnerships and connections. All Congress classes and events are free to those who register. Sign up now at for the 2016 Congress of Neighborhoods, held Saturday September 24th at LA City Hall.

Networking Opportunities At The Congress

You will have several chances to interact with City electeds at the Congress of Neighborhoods. Top officials are always featured at the opening and closing sessions of the event, and many of them also attend breakfast or lunch as well, which are served free of charge to all badgeholders on City Hall’s beautiful forecourt overlooking Grand Park. You can also sign up for Meet Your City Officials, which is one of the most popular workshops offered at the Congress every year.

At the exhibit tables – located in and around the Rotunda on the 3rd floor of City Hall – you’ll find opportunities to meet officials from most City departments, and the several Neighborhood Council alliances. There are regional alliances, as well as groups forged around specific issues and interests, such as land use and sustainability – see a list here.

Learn To Network More Effectively

If you’d like to learn how to present yourself and your ideas as effectively as possible when you’re meeting officials or speaking at public meetings, a class like Persuasion In A Nutshell can help hone your skills. Persuasion In A Nutshell – which focuses on how to speak with electeds – will be presented by former California Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

Another workshop that will help you learn to create networking opportunities and make the most of them is Building Credibility For Yourself And Your Council, presented by Lydia Grant of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, and Kevin James, President of the Public Works Commission. This workshop teaches you to increase your credibility with elected officials and community members alike, and you’ll learn how to conduct yourself in a way that engages others and builds connections.