Upcoming Community Involvement, Education and Input Opportunities

With a number of community meetings, classes and, yes, even a blood drive coming up, our city agencies seem to recognize that the new year is often a time for individual residents to explore new opportunities and involvement in their neighborhoods.  If that sounds like you, here are some worthwhile events coming up this week and later this month:

Community Input Meetings on Improving Metro’s Bus System

Starting this week and running through the first week in February, Metro is holding a series of community meetings around Los Angeles to seek public input and ideas for a “NextGen Bus System.”  Attendees will receive a free TAP card, and will be entered into raffles for free transit passes.  You’ll also be able to talk to Metro staff, learn more about the research they’re doing, and share your thoughts and suggestions on bus routes, schedules (days/times/frequencies), and other elements of this important transit system.

The full list of meeting dates, times and locations is available at metro.net/projects/nextgen/upcoming-meetings. (Note: you can stop in any time during the workshop hours.) The two closest to our area are:

Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 4 pm – 7 pm
Plummer Park
7377 Santa Monica Bl
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Saturday, January 26, 2019, 9 am – 12 pm
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
Aspen Hall TE-101
2215 S Grand Av
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Finally, if you can’t make it to one of the meetings (or if you’d like to learn more before you go), you can find more information about the research and planning effort at https://arellano.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html 

LAPD “Battle of the Badges” Blood Drive

Next, and also on Wednesday, January 9, is LAPD Wilshire Division’s annual “Battle of the Badges” Blood Drive, in which LAPD Divisions across the city compete to bring in the most blood donations for the Red Cross.  Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wilshire Community Police Station, 4861 Venice Blvd.  (The Olympic Division Station will be holding its installment of the drive on Tuesday, January 29.)  So please drop in if you’re available…and be a real life hero – your donation can quite literally save a life (or three!).

Community Meetings on New Vote Centers

As we’ve previously reported, the way we vote will be changing significantly in 2020, as polling places will be shifting from the traditional system of one-day-only precinct polling places to new regional vote centers and an expanded voting schedule.  As part of the transition, city officials are holding a series of community meetings to provide more information about the new voting system, and to seek input on the locations for the new regional centers.  Several of the meetings closest to us are happening this week and next:

Friday, January 11
1:30 pm-3:30 pm
United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles
6110 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
Target communities: Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood, Franklin Canyon, Alsace, Baldwin Hills, Beverly Crest, Beverlywood, Brookside, Cadillac-Coming, Carthay, Century City, Cheviot Hills, Cloverdale, Cochran, Country Club Park, Crenshaw District, Crestview, Exposition, Faircrest Heights, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Lafayette Square, Longwood, Miracle Mile, Melrose, Park La Brea, South Carthay, Sycamore Square, Regent Square, Reynier Village, St. Elmo Village, Victoria Park, Wellington Square

Saturday, January 12
10:00 am-12:00 pm
The Music Center’s Dorothy
Chandler Pavilion
Stern Grand Hall (2nd Floor)
135 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Target communities: Adams-Normandie, Angelino Heights, Chinatown, City Central, County Club Park, Downtown, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Park, Hancock Park, Harvard Heights, Historic Filipinotown, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Jefferson Park, Koreatown, Little Bangladesh, Little Tokyo, Los Feliz, Melrose, Pico-Union, Silverlake, Temple-Beaudry, Thai Town, University Park, Victoria Park, Westlake, Wholesale District, Wilshire Center

Saturday, January 12
1:30 pm-3:30 pm
Beverly Hills Public Library
Auditorium
444 North Rexford Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Target communities: Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood, Franklin Canyon, Alsace, Baldwin Hills, Beverly Crest, Beverlywood, Brookside, Cadillac-Coming, Carthay, Century City, Cheviot Hills, CloverdaleCochranCountry Club Park, Crenshaw District, Crestview, Exposition, Faircrest Heights, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Lafayette Square, LongwoodMiracle MileMelrosePark La BreaSouth CarthaySycamore Square, Regent Square, Reynier Village, St. Elmo Village, Victoria Park, Wellington Square

Modernizing the voting experience is an outgrowth of the California Voter’s Choice Act, which you can learn more about at http://vsap.lavote.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/CVCA_Flyer_2020.pdf

You can also find out more about what the future Vote Center model looks like at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC_-8Nl-O3U&t=36s

And you can suggest a location for a new Vote Center at: http://vsap.lavote.net/vote-center-placement-project/

Community Police Academy

On February 27, 2019 LAPD’s Operations West Bureau will begin a new session of its Community Police Academy for adults, hosted by Wilshire Division. The 10-week Academy provides information, exposure and orientation to a variety of policing concepts, including:

  • a firearms training simulation
  • the organization of the LAPD and its history
  • patrol/detective operations
  • pursuits and traffic policies
  • child abuse
  • hate crimes
  • vice and gang operations
  • criminal law
  • a presentation by Metro Division (SWAT, K-9)
  • domestic violence
  • narcotics
  • …and Internal Affairs

The sessions also provide attendees with the minimum training needed to participate in LAPD’s Volunteer Patrol Program. Attendees must be 18 years or older, live or work in the Operations West Bureau area, have no prior felony convictions, no outstanding warrants, and no pending criminal cases.  For more information, or to register for the Academy, contact the Wilshire Community Relations Office at (213) 473-0200

Community Emergency Response Training (CERT)

Registration is also now open for new sessions of the seven-week Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.  CERT is a free, all-risk, all-hazard training, designed to teach community members to protect themselves, family members and neighbors in many kinds of emergency situations. The individual classes cover disaster awareness and preparedness (e.g. what kinds of food and supplies to stock), fire supression techniques, medical operations, light search and rescue operations, organization and disaster psychology, and terrorism and homeland defense.

While these services are usually provided by our LAPD and LAFD first responders, those personnel will likely be deployed to the most serious incidents (such as collapsed buildings) in the event of a truly major disaster, so they may not be available to respond to many other community needs.  CERT training can help prepare neighbors for these circumstances, and teach participants to better respond to emergency situations without aid from outside sources.

There are a number of CERT class locations around the city, but the closest to us is probably the session at Kaiser Sunset, 4900 Sunset Blvd., running from March 13-April 4.  For the full list of locations, along with class schedules and registration information for each location/session, see https://www.eventbrite.com/o/lafd-cert-program-7803155391

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About Elizabeth Fuller

Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - first in the Sycamore Square neighborhood, and since 2012 in West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill. She was long-time board member of the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, currently serves on the board of the West Adams Heights/Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association, spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and is the co-owner/publisher of the Buzz.

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