In this issue:
- When is your NC’s election?
- Find elections info + get help
- Hybrid format combines mail + in-person voting
- Be a candidate in the 2022-2023 NC elections
- Who can run or vote?
- How voter verification works in NC elections
- RSVP for Candidate Info Sessions
- Regional NC Awareness & Engagement Workgroups
- Outreach support for NCs holding elections
- Outreach partners update: Vendors approved so far
The 2022-2023 Neighborhood Council Elections are officially underway!
Candidate enrollment launched for Neighborhood Councils (NCs) in West LA on Saturday November 26, and in the Harbor / Harbor Gateway area on Friday December 2. Elections for NCs in South LA, South Central LA, and the Hollywood area will also open during December.
Our guide below explains when the 2022-23 NC Elections take place; how NC elections work; who can run or vote and how they qualify; the role different City of Los Angeles departments play in NC elections; and how to get help.
Also below is an overview of support provided to NCs and to candidates this season. You'll also find info on our Candidate Info Sessions (the first one is this Saturday December 10 at 10am on Zoom) and our Regional NC Awareness & Engagement Workgroups, which are especially for current NC members, and which begin Monday December 12.
When is your NC’s election?
94 of LA’s 99 Neighborhood Councils are holding elections this cycle. These elections will be held on 12 different regional timelines over a six-month period, from November 2022 - June 2023. All NCs within a region of the City share the same election timeline. Though the regions are numbered, the order in which they hold elections is shuffled every year.
Here’s an alphabetical list of all NCs holding elections this season and their key elections timeline dates: http://tiny.cc/NCElectionDates.
A detailed election timeline for each of the 12 regions is available on the City Clerk’s website.
Why isn’t every Neighborhood Council holding elections this year? While most NC members serve two-year terms, on a few boards, they serve four-year terms. If a board with four-year terms does not stagger their seating, then that NC only holds elections every four years. There are also a few NCs who use a process called selection to choose their members, and these events are held separately from the Citywide election cycle.
When do newly elected NC members take office?
While the elections are held regionally, every newly-elected Neighborhood Council member across the City is seated at the same time, on July 1, 2023 after the election cycle ends, per the NC Board Seating Policy. This is also true for NCs who choose their members via the selection process.
However, as elections start to take place from March 2023 onwards, training sessions will begin to be offered by the Department, so that those who are elected can be ready to take their seats in July.
Hybrid elections combine Vote-By-Mail + in-person polls
This season’s NC elections offer a hybrid voting model, with voting available both by mail and at in-person polls.
One difference from last season is that this year, there will be no Vote-By-Mail ballot dropboxes. This season, Vote-By-Mail ballots may only be returned by mail (a pre-paid envelope is provided) or dropped off at the polls on Election Day.
Find NC elections info + get help
Neighborhood Council elections are supported by both the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the City Clerk’s Election Division.
The City Clerk is responsible for administering NC elections. This includes candidate and voter applications, the creation and counting of ballots, polling locations, and election challenges.
Resources available on the City Clerk’s NC Elections webpage at https://Clerk.LAcity.org/clerk-services/elections/nc-elections include:
Here’s how to get help for elections issues from the City Clerk’s team:
You may also call the City Clerk’s team at (213) 978-0444 or toll-free (888) 873-1000 (Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm Pacific.)
Each Neighborhood Council holding an election this year also has a dedicated City Clerk Election Administrator (EA). Neighborhood Councils who have questions about their ballots, election bylaws, Vote-By-Mail process, or polling places should contact their NC’s Election Administrator directly for assistance, using the info listed here: http://tiny.cc/ElectionAdmins.
Dept of Neighborhood Empowerment (EmpowerLA)
The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment oversees regional and Citywide engagement and marketing efforts for NC elections. The Department also supports individual Neighborhood Councils in developing and executing their own elections outreach strategies, and provides campaign training for candidates via the Candidate Info Session series.
More info about the tools and strategy-planning support provided to NCs holding elections this year is provided in this newsletter.
Neighborhood Councils who have questions about election outreach support this season should contact their NC’s Neighborhood Empowerment Advocate (NEA). Find yours: http://tiny.cc/NEAlookup.
NC candidates or those who are thinking of running can get application help and training on campaign best practices by signing up for a Candidate Info Session at http://tiny.cc/CandidateSessions. RSVPing for a session will also enable candidates to receive election newsletters and voter engagement resources via email.
To look up your Neighborhood Council and your NC’s Election Day date, visit the EmpowerLA NC Elections webpage at http://EmpowerLA.org/elections.
To contact the Department about elections engagement and outreach, use the contact form on that Elections webpage, or email EmpowerLA@LAcity.org or phone (213) 978-1551 (Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm Pacific.)
Be a candidate in the 2022-2023 Neighborhood Council elections
Candidate applications for this season’s NC elections are open on a rolling regional basis now through April 2023. See a list of candidate filing dates for each NC here: http://tiny.cc/NCElectionDates.
Visit the City Clerk’s Neighborhood Council candidate filing portal to apply online. Applications are available in multiple languages.
Please note that if your NC is not yet available on the portal, that means that their candidate filing period has not yet opened.
This election season, user accounts for the Neighborhood Council candidate application portal are created by setting up an Angeleno account, which is a City of Los Angeles account which can also be used for other City services and programs. You are not required to be a legal US resident in order to open an Angeleno account.
Who can run or vote?
Unlike most other elections, where you “vote where you sleep,” participation in Neighborhood Council elections is open to those who live, work, study, worship, or own property or a business locally.
Also included are community interest stakeholders, who belong to locally based community service organizations which meet specific criteria laid out in the LA City Charter (Section 22.801.1).
Candidates need not be US citizens or legal residents to qualify. Participation is also open to the formerly incarcerated.
For most seats, the minimum age to run is 18 and the minimum age to vote is 16, except for Youth Seats, which are open to candidates aged 14 - 17.
Why does each NC have unique election rules?
Why are there 12 election timelines? Why aren’t all 99 NCs holding elections this season?
It’s all because of the differences in NC election participation rules, which are set by a Neighborhood Council’s board members in their bylaws. NCs were created with the ability to set their own bylaws so they could better reflect the communities they served.
Every NC is able to set their own board structure, for example. Some have At-Large seats, open to candidates and voters of all stakeholder types. Some have seats for specific stakeholder types, such as businesses or homeowners, or even equestrians.
3 ways NCs verify voter eligibility
One major way in which elections vary between individual NCs is in their voter verification styles. There are 3 different methods that NCs use:
Documentation of NC stakeholdership: Proof of ID + local address required. Some NCs ask that voters provide proof of their identity and of their address within NC boundaries. A driver’s license with a current local address works, or voters may choose to use something less sensitive such as a gym membership card with their full name and photo plus a piece of mail with their local address.
Documentation of stakeholder type: Proof of ID, local address + stakeholder type required - other NCs have more complex documentation requirements because their elections use multiple ballots, with some ballots only being available to certain types of stakeholders. As a result, voters in these elections must provide proof of stakeholder type in addition to proof of identity. For example, an NC’s bylaws may only allow renters to vote for Renters Representative candidates, so a voter might provide a landlord letter or a rent receipt, to qualify for that renter’s ballot.
Self-Affirmation: No ID or docs required - NCs with a self-affirmation election style simply ask their voters to fill out and sign a form stating their name, local address, and stakeholder type. No ID or other documents are required.
Unlike national or state elections, all voters in every NC election must fill out a voter application each time they vote. No one is pre-registered to vote in an NC election, even if they have voted in NC elections in the past, or are registered to vote with LA County.
Voter verification rules are chosen by individual NCs and stated in their bylaws. NCs may take action to amend the style they use for their elections during the annual bylaws amendment period.
These differences in verification style only apply to voters. All candidates for any Neighborhood Council must verify their identity, local address, NC stakeholdership, and – if required for the seat they apply for – their stakeholder type, in order to qualify.
Here is the list of document types accepted by the City Clerk as proof of identity and of different types of stakeholdership: http://tiny.cc/NCdocumentation.
The guide includes a sample stakeholdership verification letter for organizations to issue to their members.
RSVP for Candidate Info Sessions
Attend a Candidate Info Session and learn how you can run for local office on your LA Neighborhood Council! Learn how to create a successful campaign using free and low-cost outreach strategies and how to fill out your candidate application, with the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the LA City Clerk’s Elections Division.
What you’ll learn
- How to connect with voters
- How to advocate for issues you’re passionate about
- Tips for writing your personal statement & developing talking points
- How & when to file as a candidate
The first session happens Saturday December 10, 2022, 10am - 12noon on Zoom - see the full schedule below, and RSVP using the button below or at http://tiny.cc/CandidateSessions. Sessions are open to current and former NC members as well as to candidates.
All Candidate Info Sessions listed below will take place on Zoom. Details to join online or by phone will be emailed before the session. Presentation materials will be mobile-friendly:
- Saturday December 10 (10am - 12pm)
- Weekday evening week of January 9 (date/time TBA)
- Saturday January 21 (10am - 12pm)
- Weekday evening week of January 31 (date/time TBA)
- Saturday February 4 (10am - 12pm)
- Saturday February 18 (10am - 12pm)
- Saturday March 4 (10am - 12pm)
- Saturday March 18 (10am - 12pm)
After attending, you will receive candidate support resources via email to the address you used for RSVP. You may unsubscribe at any time. Translation in Spanish and Korean will be provided. Please indicate any additional languages or other accommodations needed when you RSVP.
When is your election?
LA Neighborhood Council elections are happening on 12 different regional dates between November 2022 - June 2023. However, all newly elected board members across the City will be seated at once after the election cycle closes, on July 1, 2023.
Look up which Neighborhood Council you belong to: http://tiny.cc/FindMyNC
Find your NC’s candidate filing deadline and Election Day date: http://tiny.cc/NCElectionDates
Anyone from any election region may attend any session in this series. Followup packets shared via email after the sessions will be keyed to regional election timelines, so that candidates have the right resources for the election they are participating in.
About LA Neighborhood Councils + NC Elections
The 99 Neighborhood Councils of the City of Los Angeles together form the grassroots arm of the City government. Board members serve their terms as volunteers and are elected by members of their community. Most NC members serve two-year terms; a few serve four-year terms.
Who can run?
Candidates must be aged 18+ on Election Day, except for Youth Seat candidates, who must be aged 14 - 17. Anyone who lives, works, studies, worships, or owns property or a business within NC boundaries may run, as can community interest stakeholders, who belong to locally based community service organizations which meet specific requirements. Candidates need not be US citizens or legal residents to qualify. Participation is also open to the formerly incarcerated.
Candidate info video
Learn what it means to be a Neighborhood Council candidate and board member in this 4-minute video:
Virtual Regional NC Awareness & Engagement Workgroups
One new outreach support resource the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment is offering Neighborhood Councils holding elections this season are virtual Regional NC Awareness & Engagement Workgroups.
NCs had asked the Department in their responses to recent surveys to facilitate the sharing of best practices between NCs and the ability to work together on projects. These workgroups – which take place on Zoom and bring together NC elections outreach and committee members – are an opportunity for NCs to collaborate with each other and with the Department on promoting awareness of NCs and NC elections at the regional level.
Register for Regional NC Awareness & Engagement Workgroups here, or use the button below. Sessions are open to current NC members with priority given to outreach and elections committee members.
The schedule for the Regional Workgroups is as follows:
- Region 11 - West LA: Monday December 12 (6 - 7pm)
- Region 12 - Harbor/Harbor Gateway: Thurs December 15 (6 - 7pm)
- Region 9 - South/South Central LA: Sat December 17 (12 - 1pm)
- Region 10 - South / Southwest LA: Wed January 4 (6 - 7pm)
- Region 5 - Central / Hollywood: Thursday January 5 (6 - 7pm)
- Region 6 - Central / Downtown area: Thurs January 5 (7 - 8pm)
- Region 7 - East LA: Monday January 9 (6 - 7pm)
- Region 8 - Northeast LA: Wednesday January 11 (6 - 7pm)
- Region 1 - Northeast Valley: Monday January 23 (6 - 7pm)
- Region 2 - Northwest Valley: Monday January 30 (6 - 7pm)
- Region 3 - Southwest Valley: Tuesday January 31 (6 - 7pm)
- Region 4 - Southeast Valley: Tuesday January 31 (7 - 8pm)
Note: NCs can look up their region using the election schedule. See a list of NCs in each election region.
Outreach support for NCs holding elections
Like the Regional Workgroups described above, many of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment’s support tools and resources for NCs holding elections this cycle are targeted toward NCs who share the same election timeline. For example, NCs can expect to receive regional election newsletters that are timed to provide reminders and cut/paste promo material that is keyed to their own election timeline.
And while Candidate Info Sessions are open to candidates for any NC Citywide, candidates will afterwards receive regional candidate outreach resources tailored to their own election timeline, ready to share with their voters.
This shift to a more regional focus in elections support is in response to comments received during the post-elections feedback sessions and town hall last season and the City Clerk’s NC Elections Work Group.
Since the spring of 2022 the Department has been hosting 1:1 NC Engagement Strategy Sessions with individual NCs, to talk about how to build participation in each NC’s meetings, events, and elections.
EmpowerLA Neighborhood Empowerment Advocates (NEAs) continue to schedule these meetings with NCs who want to plan an outreach strategy for their NC’s upcoming elections, so please connect with your NEA if you are a current NC member who’d like to schedule a 1:1 strategy session for your NC’s outreach or elections committee leaders.
During these sessions, you’ll be able to develop a plan customized for your NC’s election timeline and the community you serve. You will also be able to get answers to any questions you might have about what Neighborhood Councils are or are not allowed to do to promote their elections, and discuss strategies that work well for micro-targeting an NC’s community, such as social media advertising.
Though Canva Team accounts for NCs, the Department provides two dozen customizable graphics templates for print and digital NC elections outreach items like social media posts and flyers. You must be logged into your NC’s Canva account to access these templates. Current NC members may contact their NEA to obtain their Canva login and access to NC outreach templates.
Outreach vendors: Contracts so far
On November 21, 2022, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners voted to approve two contracts for vendors supporting engagement efforts for NC elections and awareness.
The first is with media and public relations specialists The Raben Group, who helped secure 25 organic and paid media placements during the previous NC elections season. The contract is for support promoting NC awareness and elections between the time the contract is officially executed and July 31, 2023.
Support will be provided in the form of two campaigns: one targeting broad-reaching news, print, and radio outlets with Citywide audiences, such as the LA Times or the LA Daily News, and one targeting community-based outlets like the LA Sentinel or Telemundo. NC-related stories gathered with the help of the Raben Group will be pitched to these outlets during both campaigns.
Momentum Solutions is another returning contractor, who worked with the Department to create digital branding and outreach plans to support NCs in their initial transition to virtual meetings when the pandemic began.
This elections season, Momentum Solutions will be working with the Regional Awareness & Engagement Workgroups and with community-based organizations (CBOs) to help plan, administer, and track these NC engagement efforts and partnerships. They will be working with the Regional Workgroups and CBOs in all 12 election regions across the City, with additional support to be given to regions with low voter turnout or candidacy rates in past election cycles. See data about past NC election cycles on this dashboard: http://tiny.cc/ElectionComparisonTool.
Public documents folder for NC engagement contracts + reports
The proposed Professional Services Agreements (PSAs) for both The Raben Group and Momentum Solutions are available in our public documents folder for all reports, contracts, and other paperwork tied to our NC engagement efforts.
Please note that both these agreements are still awaiting the assignment of contract numbers, or "C numbers," which will allow them to be tracked via the Controller's dashboard. The versions in that folder linked above will be updated to include those numbers when they are available.