Our guest today is Scott Epstein, Chair of the Mid City West Community Council. Scott is a leader in the neighborhood council system with a passion for transportation and housing policy. In our conversation, Scott talks about the importance of these issues, how you can use the neighborhood councils to tackle them, and maybe even get a couple of million dollars for your community in the process. We hope you enjoy!

Show Notes:

Election Flashback
As Scott mentioned, he was first elected to the Mid City West Community Council in 2012. You can find that bit of election history here on our website.

Mid City West Community Council Web Presence
Mid City West is known for having a great web presence. Here are just some of the different outlets you can use to stay connected with MCWCC: The MCWCC website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Homelessness in Los Angeles
Scott mentioned LA’s ambitious plan to combat homelessness led by the Mayor, City Council, and others. The issue is a priority for neighborhood councils as well, where “Homelessness Liaisons” meet regularly to discuss how their communities can take action.

Neighborhood Councils and the Homeless Count
Neighborhood Councils have been strong advocates for, and participants in, the annual “Homeless Count” sponsored by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Here is one blurb about Mid City West’s participation in this year’s count.

Mid City West Bicycle Friendly Street Proposal
Here is the proposal that led to Mid City West’s multi-million dollar grant from Metro in 2015. Their proactive vision helped secure over $2 million dollars to help implement a bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendly vision for their community.

6th Street Miracle Mile Safety Plan Redesign
Sometimes work on neighborhood councils doesn’t lead to the kind of success you hope for. That appears to be the case for Mid City West’s 6th Street Safety Plan Redesign, which has not been adopted to date. However, as Scott mentioned, the work itself has value and can always provide the community a much-needed alternative when deciding which direction to go.

Park-ing Day LA
“Park-ing Day” is an annual tradition where communities reclaim parking space for community activities and events. Mid City West sponsored a Park-ing Day event last year where they opened up a pedestrian plaza next to Melrose. Consider holding a Park-ing Day event in your community!

Mid City West Community Council: Elected Official of the Year?
Almost! Mid City West was runner-up for Streetsblog LA’s “Elected Official of the Year” award. They were nominated largely because of their transportation advocacy projects noted above. This is the first time a neighborhood council was nominated for the award. Mar Vista Community Council was also nominated. Congratulations to both neighborhood councils!

LA City’s Free Tree Program
Scott briefly mentioned the free tree program at the City of LA. You can find more information about that program here: http://www.cityplants.org/get-free-trees/our-free-trees-program

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).