Neighborhood empowerment department approves vote for new Village council
Michael Skiles, an organizer for Westwood Forward, said students and some Westwood community members want to create a new neighborhood council that better represents their interests. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment will host an election May 22 to decide whether the current Westwood Neighborhood Council should be split apart. (Jacob Preal/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By Jacob Preal
March 19, 2018 7:57 p.m.
City officials have approved an election for students and Westwood community members to create a new neighborhood council.
Westwood Forward, a coalition of students and Westwood community members, submitted an application to subdivide the Westwood Neighborhood Council in December because they felt the current council did not adequately represent students or address their concerns. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees neighborhood councils, approved the application Monday.
Once the department reviews the application, it determines whether stakeholders within the proposed boundaries can vote to break apart the current neighborhood council. Students and community members will have the opportunity to create the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, containing Westwood Village, UCLA and the North Village, should the vote pass.
In February, the department asked Westwood Forward to include an additional area northwest of the North Village because it would have been isolated from the rest of the Westwood Neighborhood Council.
Groups applying to subdivide neighborhood councils must reach out to the community and create bylaws and boundaries for the proposed new councils. Westwood Forward submitted a petition with 983 stakeholder signatures in its application.
Mike Fong, director of Policy and Government Relations for the department, said in a letter the election will be held within 90 days from Monday. Fong added the department anticipates an election May 22.
The department will conduct additional outreach by hosting three community information sessions within the Westwood Neighborhood Council boundaries, according to the letter.