Election for NWWNC’s inaugural board set to take place in John Wooden Center
Michael Skiles is the Graduate Student Association president and a member of Westwood Forward. Skiles said the North Westwood Neighborhood Council’s first board selection is expected to cost $900. (Jacob Preal/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By David Gray
September 24, 2018 5:31 pm
Westwood Village will soon have its first neighborhood representatives since its subdivision from the Westwood Neighborhood Council.
The North Westwood Formation Committee met Sunday night to determine the details of the North Westwood Neighborhood Council’s first board selection. In a 4-0 vote, the committee set the selection for Oct. 25 from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the lobby of the John Wooden Center.
The NWWNC’s borders include the UCLA campus, the North Village and Westwood Village. The new council will oversee local policies and neighborhood planning and report to the LA City Council. Anyone who is a stakeholder in North Westwood can vote, including students, renters, business owners, homeowners and employees.
Westwood Forward, a coalition of students, homeowners and local stakeholders, formed the NWWNC following a May vote to subdivide portions of Westwood’s boundaries from the Westwood Neighborhood Council. The group ran on a platform of addressing issues such as affordable housing and a lack of nightlife entertainment in the area.
They are now accepting applications to run as a part of their slate for the new council. Potential candidates can sign up on their Facebook page until Sept. 28.
The John Wooden Center was also one of two polling places for the original vote to subdivide North Westwood. It is located centrally within the borders of the new council, and has ADA access and parking for voters.
The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees neighborhood councils, is working with the North Westwood Formation Committee to facilitate the selection.
Neighborhood Council selections are usually determined in a small-scale, town hall format, where selections are based on a show of hands, said Michael Skiles, Graduate Student Association president and member of the North Westwood Formation Committee.
“So many voted in the last subdivision selection that a show of hands isn’t really feasible,” Skiles said. “The department is making an exception for our selection meeting to turn into a voting booth scenario.”
The department anticipates the selection will cost $900 to host. Costs would include rental fees for the space, potential parking for voters and other assorted expenses like supplies for volunteers, Skiles said.
DONE also allots an outreach budget for the selection. The North Westwood Formation Committee set a budget of $1900, pending approval from the council, which will be used to create fliers, online advertisements, a website and other tools to increase awareness of the selection for both potential candidates and voters.
Skiles added that he thinks by having a polling place similar to an actual election, many more people can be properly represented.
“We’ve gotten a lot closer to inclusive democracy by having a polling place where thousands of people are able to participate,” Skiles said.