The Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Development Council was created so that we could bring issues before our community, seek solutions together and represent the community to the City. We take the opportunity very seriously and this year we have had speakers at our meetings and discussions on a number of topics including Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation, Village Market Place, Western/Gage Park, the impact of the 2020 Census, Voter Engagement with new voting system, So Cal Gas, Adult Literacy Programs at the Library and more.
Our Area Representatives have started holding periodic meetings to hear from stakeholders and our Education and Planning and Redevelopment Committees are tackling specific issues.
With our limited budget we supported our administrative and outreach needs and made a number of Neighborhood Purpose Grants to support our community and further our reach:
- Restoration Community Development Corporation (Mt. Tabor Baptist Church) to provide showers and food serving about 300 people a week experiencing homelessness: $4,138
- Much 62 Helping Hands to provide a month of alley clean up in Area 1 October-November: $2,148
- Bethel LA Community Development Corp: provides homelessness supportive services to the community: $2,500
- Just Teach: Provides our students with summer education and field trips: $5,000
We hold community events as a way to meet community members and benefit our neighborhoods and this year we supported our Veterans with two events, one around Memorial Day and the other near Veterans Day. These were opportunities to provide haircuts, a good meal, resources and most importantly to thank them for their service. We are grateful to have a strong relationship with Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson which allows us to partner together on events and programs for our community and the veterans events are just one example of that partnership.
We were proud to partner on two events to plant trees along Vernon between Normandie and Western and were thrilled when it attracted the attention of the Mayor and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson who both came out to lend a hand.
This fall our own John Muir Library was selected by the Mayor’s Office for a Coastal Clean Up, since trash in our neighborhood can drain to the ocean.
We supported our girls with funding for the Pretty in Pink Event this April which brings empowerment activities, yoga, self defense and fun activities to girls while building their skills and self-image.
We supported our boys by providing funding for Engage the Vision to conduct field trips and school supplies as part of their program to provide mentoring to 50 boys at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.
Our biggest outreach on an ongoing basis is to the Community STEPS program at Harvard Park, focused on improving health and safety in our community. We love the regular walking program, farmers market giveaways, bike and skate rides, movies in the park and celebrations that bring our community together.
One of our ongoing concerns is how to help those experiencing homelessness in our community and we were proud to support the building of a Bridge Home at a little-used dog park on St. Andrews Place south of the train tracks.
Our 2020 vision is to continue to reach out to stakeholders and pursue land use, beautification and community projects that enhance the health and safety of our community. We hope to see you at our next meeting on January 27, 6pm at Obama Middle School.
Will you join us?