Both the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council and Mid City West Community Council are currently gearing up for their March elections…which will look a bit different this year: for the first time, due to the pandemic, all balloting will be done by mail. So here’s what you need to know about the neighborhood council elections in general…and about the specifics for each of our local councils.
General NC Election Information
In general, If you live, work, or own property within the boundaries of either one of our local neighborhood councils, and you are at least 16 years old, you are eligible to vote in the election for your specific council. (And by the way, yes, if you live in one neighborhood council area and work or own property in the other, you would be eligible to vote in both councils’ elections.) If you don’t live, work or own property within the NC’s boundaries, but you do have some other sort of affiliation with the area, you may also – depending on which NC – be able to vote in that council’s election. (See specifics below.)
To vote in either neighborhood council election, you must request a ballot – either online or via postal mail. Then you will need to mail your completed ballot back to the city during the official voting window, between February 16 and March 16, which is the official election day.
To request a ballot online, go to the “2021 NC Vote-by-Mail Application Page,” and click on “Vote by Mail Application Portal” to create your ballot application. Note that when filling out the form, you’ll need to select which neighborhood council election you’d like to vote in, and also which ballot(s) you’d like to receive for that election. (Some stakeholders are eligible to request ballots and vote for more than one seat in each election – as explained below).
Those who can’t or prefer not to use the online registration system can also print out a paper registration/ballot request form at https://clerk.lacity.org/sites/g/files/wph606/f/2021_VBM_Application_ENG.pdf. That form must then be filled out and sent to the city clerk’s office via USPS paper mail to officially request your ballot(s).
Once you receive your ballot(s) from the city, it/they must be returned to the city via USPS, postmarked between February 16 and March 16 (the official election day).
Here are some other helpful links about the Neighborhood Council elections overall:
Candidate list (select the NC you’re interested in to see the candidates running for that board): https://clerkappsele.lacity.org/NCElection/nccandidates. (Note: the candidate lists also describes which voters are eligible to vote for each specific seat).
Registration instructions and FAQ: https://clerk.lacity.org/sites/g/files/wph606/f/NC_VBM_App_FAQ_Instructions_v20.pdf
Vote by mail instructions and FAQ:
NC Election Handbook: https://clerk.lacity.org/sites/g/files/wph606/f/2021_NC_Election_Handbook_11.12_with_attachments.pdf
Finally, note that while the city sets the general rules and procedures for our neighborhood council elections, each specific neighborhood council also has its own specific list of seats/representatives and qualifications for voting for each of those seats. Here are some of those specifics from the GWNC and the MCWCC.
Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council
The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council has 15 geographic area representatives, one At Large representative, and five special interest seats representing Renters, Businesses, and Non-Profit, Religous, and Education organizations.
If you live, work or own property in one of the 15 geographic regions (shown above), you are eligible to vote for that geographic representative PLUS one of the other six representatives.
If you do not live, work, or own property in one of the geographic areas, but are affiliated with a business, or non-profit, religious, or educational organization within GWNC boundaries (e.g. if you are a member of a church within GWNC boundaries, a member or volunteer with a local non-profit, or are a parent at a school within GWNC boundaries), you are not eligible to vote for the geographic representatives…but you are still eligible to vote for the representative in your organizational category (e.g. religion, non-profit, business or education), OR for the At Large representative.
And if you don’t meet either of the two qualificatins above, but can declare any other sort of connection to the GWNC area, you would still be eligible to to vote for the At Large seat.
If you are in the first category above – someone eligible to vote for both a geographic representative and one of the other six seats – it’s very important to note that when you register and request your ballot, you MUST request ballots for BOTH of the races you will be voting in (e.g. your geographic area + a special interest seat, or your geographic area + the at large race). If you only request one ballot (whether for a geographic seat, a special interest seat or the at large race), you will only be able to vote in that one race.
Finally, if you have any questions about GWNC ballots and voting, or about the election in general, see https://greaterwilshire.org/2021-elections/ or contact the GWNC Election Committee Chair, Brian Curran, at [email protected].
Mid City West Community Council
The MCWCC has more board members than the GWNC (35 to the GWNC’s 21), and those representatives are divided a bit differently, with different voter eligibility, too. For example, MCWCC has only 7 geographic district representatives for its various neighborhoods (see map above)…but it also has three representatives for homeowners, five seats for renters, six seats for business representatives, six seats for non-profit organizations and eight at-large members.
According to MCWCC rules, all stakeholders are eligible to vote for all 28 non-residential-zone seats. MCWCC residents can also vote for their own geographic zone representative, for a total of 29 votes in all.
To learn more about MCWCC’s candidates, voter eligibility and ballot/voting requirements, you can attend an upcoming online election forum on Tuesday, January 26, at 7 p.m. According to the council:
“Candidates in the upcoming election for the 2021-23 Mid City West Community Council’s board will be given a few minutes to speak about their desire to participate in this local government opportunity. This is your opportunity to be introduced to the stakeholders who wish to represent YOU on the Board…
We have almost 70 candidates to fill 35 seats! It’s going to be a long evening, but one you won’t want to miss. Information on mail-in registration and voting will be included.”
If you’d like to attend, RSVP at https://forms.gle/TtEunAvgiD4L2q14A. A Zoom link will be sent 24 hours before the event.