SPONSORED CONTENT FROM THE EAST AREA PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS
Score one for community organizing to bring change to a Neighborhood Council that had lost its way, and for an Eastside L.A. community that believed it could do better.
On April 13, the L.A. City Clerk announced the first tabulation of ballots in the election for 14 seats on the local council serving Elysian Valley, the neighborhood just north of Dodger Stadium bordered by Riverside Drive and the L.A. River.
In the last election, in 2019, fewer than 50 people bothered to cast a ballot for the local council seats. This time, turnout increased threefold to about 150, in just the first batch of votes.
The results? Nine candidates, led by seven women, emerged on top. All were part of a team called Community Together that alerted residents to the low-profile election, described the candidates’ areas of service and eagerness to hear neighbors’ concerns, and explained how to request and cast a ballot.
“I am glad the hard work to inform neighbors about the value of voting succeeded,” says Ceci Dominguez, a resident Elysian Valley and Membership Committee Chair of East Area Progressive Democrats (EAPD). “Women who were told by some members of the previous council to be quiet and stay away instead stepped up as candidates, shared their vision for serving our community, and won overwhelmingly,” adds Dominguez. She alerted neighbors in English and Spanish to vote. The election was conducted entirely by mail.
EAPD member Christine Louise Mills, the club’s Transit Committee chair, led the Elysian Valley team and won a seat on the Neighborhood Council.
“Through outreach and solidarity, six of my neighbors joined to create Community Together. We not only won this election, but we tripled voter turnout and took the first step to reconnecting our council to our community. The work is just beginning. And we are ready.”