Connecting to the Community, One Congress at a Time

2018 congress of neighborhoods

Connecting to our communities is what planning is all about. Whether it is updating a Community Plan or speaking at a neighborhood event, we speak to Angelenos about issues that affect their everyday lives. Our neighborhood council system in the City of Los Angeles offers us, in particular, a forum in which we get to speak to local stakeholders on a regular basis. 

neighborhood council system in the City of Los Angeles

This is why I was excited to participate in this year’s Congress of Neighborhoods, which brought together leaders from various neighborhood councils throughout the City. It provided an opportunity for planners like myself to connect with, educate, and listen to members of our community. And this year’s event was truly a success, evident from the fact that it had the largest turnout to date!

Los Angeles City Planning

Attendees from across the City gathered to meet and speak with civic leaders and Department staff in an informal yet interactive setting. Our Department—City Planning—was selected to host two informational sessions, highlighting our work around project review as well as housing.

meet and speak with civic leaders and Department staff

Our session, Planning for Housing in Los Angeles: Balancing Needs and Opportunities was well represented! Led by Craig Weber and Matt Glesne, the workshop broke down the Department’s efforts to address the City’s housing needs. During their discussion, staff shared the Housing Element, a component of the City’s General Plan which lays out strategies to address housing in Los Angeles. For the most part, they fit within four main buckets:

housing element lays out four main strategies - Los Angeles Department of Planning

Participating in this discussion with our communities gave us the opportunity to connect with our Neighborhood Councils (or as we call them, our NC’s ☺). We were able to offer policy updates and share the progress we’ve made to advance a number of innovative solutions, many of which are available on our website for anyone to access here.

Participating in this discussion

Our second session, Planning 101: Project Planning, walked folks through the development process in Los Angeles and focused on key points for public participation. The presentation included an overview of how the Department implements planning policies by receiving, processing, reviewing, and issuing planning-related recommendations and/or determinations. Don’t worry! If you missed this session, you can watch it on our YouTube channel here.

second session, Planning 101: Project Planning

I want to thank everyone for making this event a reality! Now, more than ever, people are becoming more civically engaged, and City Planning is here to help and be a part of that conversation. As a member of the Community Liaison team, I take pride in ensuring every voice in our City is heard.

I see the impact this Department, the neighborhood congress system, and the City are making in elevating the reach and profile of planning. Together, we are advancing a set of more equitable and community-led outcomes as we plan for the future needs of Los Angeles.

Department, the neighborhood congress system, and the City

By: Dylan Sittig