Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Candidate Registration for Neighborhood Council Elections Closes on Monday

If you’ve ever wondered how you can help make positive changes in your neighborhood, have been curious about how local development and construction projects are approved by the city, or wanted more information about things like traffic control, sidewalk repairs, tree planting, homeless services, and other facets of life in your neighborhood, there is a great way to do all of the above:  get involved with your local Neighborhood Council.

Depending on where you live, your local NC in our general part of town would be either the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council or the Mid City West Community Council.

And luckily, getting involved with either one has never been easier.  Both the GWNC and the MCWCC will have elections for new board members on March 16, 2021. Candidate registration – for all seats on both boards – is open right now.  But registration closes on Monday, December 28, so if you’re interested, this is definitely the time to jump in.

First, to find out which Neighborhood Council represents you, go to and type in your address.  Then click on the name of your council to see the specific seats it has available, and where you might fit.  In general, anyone who will be 18 years old on or before election day, and who lives, works or owns property in the neighborhood is eligible to run for election. No prior experience or education is required…just a desire to get involved and help your neighbors.

It’s worth nothing, though, that the number and type of representatives does differ on our two local councils:

The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council has 15 geographic area seats, representing 15 residential neighborhoods in the area.  There is also one seat each for Renters and people representing Businesses, Non-Profit, Religious, and Education organizations within GWNC boundaries…as well as one At Large representative.


GWNC boundary and neighborhood map


Meanwhile, the MCWCC has 7 individual neighborhood representatives, with multiple seats available for Renter, Homeowner, Business, Non-Profit and At Large representatives.


To find out more about the two neighborhood councils, their representatives and the work they do, see the individual NC websites at the links above. You can also learn more about the neighborhood council system in general, the upcoming elections, and how to register as a candidate, for either council, at

And if you do decide to take the plunge, like many current and former neighborhood council members, you may find the experience rewarding and even transformative.

MCWCC Board Member Thao Tran

For example, Thao Tran, a former investment banker now finishing up a second term on the MCWCC board, told the Buzz that when she wanted to get more involved with her community, a neighbor (who was also a former MCWCC board member) suggested she join the NC.  Now Tran is chair of the council’s Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee and a member of several other committees.  She has also branched out to further community involvement with LAPD’s Wilshire Division Community Police Advisory Board, the Miracle Mile Residential Association, and the Miracle Mile Neighborhood Watch.

“I’ve met an incredible group of Angelenos in my fellow board members, and have a deeper appreciation for how diverse all our views are,” Tran said.

For current GWNC board president Caroline Moser, the initial impetus was a bit different…but the end result was much the same.

GWNC board member (and current board president) Caroline Moser.

“The most visible work of the Neighborhood Councils is at our land use meetings,” Moser told us.  “As an architect I wanted to be engaged in the process of examining projects in early stages to evaluate their contributions to or conflict with our significant historic buildings in Greater Wilshire and the living patterns of our neighbors and neighborhoods.”

So instead of running for a GWNC board seat at first, Moser joined the council’s Land Use Committee as a stakeholder.  Then, a while later, as her involvement grew, she was appointed to a midterm opening as an Alternate for her Windsor Square neighborhood’s board seat, and then she finally ran for and won the main seat for that area.
“I believe in city planning and the neighborhood councils are the most equitable way for the City to engage and inquire from its residents to design the future,” Moster told us.  “I learned an enormous amount about the processes of the City of Los Angeles and how to organize our communities to present working solutions with clarity. I am most grateful for the sharp minds and intelligent debates I’ve had with other Board members. This is a very good process that leads to a better result than one voice or one small neighborhood can do on its own.”
And finally, for still other board members, the impetus to get involved came from a more specific sense of dissatisfaction.  Mid City West board member Barbara Gallen told us she ran for office not because of a general urge to get involved, or because of specific things her NC did in the community, but because of things she didn’t see being done.
MCWCC Board Member Barbara Gallen

“I ran in 2019 because as a stakeholder I’d experienced the council refusing to help my neighborhood address safety and quality of life issues that differed from the board members’ personal reimagining of our neighborhood,” Gallen said.  So she ran to become the voice for the kinds of changes she wanted to see.  And she hopes that kind of involvment will continue with other new board members, too.

“I’m hopeful we’ll see a much more representative board emerge that will put the stakeholders in this community first, and that we will never again hear a Mid City West board member say, “It’s our job as the neighborhood council to determine what’s best for our stakeholders.” No, it isn’t. It’s our job to find out what’s important to them and then do everything we can to advocate for and champion it.”

So whether you want to learn more about neighborhood governance, concentrate on a specific interest, or feel you have a new perspective that hasn’t been represented previously, this may be the time to speak up and join the conversation.  Just go to click on the registration form, and throw your hat into the ring. (Yes, it really is that simple!)
Note:  This story was updated after its initial publication to add the comments and photo from MCWCC board member Barbara Gallen.
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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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