ADVOCATING FOR YOU-I moved to Los Angeles for the little things. The weather, cruising around the city on beautifully kept roads with manicured trees, enjoying the parks and public spaces I can use 365 days a year. Except, I've lived here for a decade now and like most Angelenos, the chances to enjoy those are things have been few and far between. But, you might say, “why should I care? I don't have the time to worry about this.”

Well, I'd stop you there. You don't need to spend too much time and energy to make a huge impact and help make sure we all finally get to enjoy the little pleasures in life – things we’ve nearly forgotten. 

We’re all dealing with problems here in the City of LA, whether it be our sky rocketing trash bills, the bulky items piling up on the street corners, neighborhood roads in disrepair, or parking spaces that seem to get fewer by the day. You may wonder, what's the simplest way to get results on issues regarding your City Services? 

In Los Angeles, we have a unique group -- a committee formed each year through the Neighborhood Councils -- that has both the influence and experience to lay your issues on the table with the folks at City Hall. 

We're called the Budget Advocates. No, it's not a flashy name, but that's for a reason. We're not a flashy group. We just want to get the job done. And all you have to do is spend just enough time to get in touch – let us know the ins and outs of your specific issue. 

The easiest way is through Facebook or email. We have 36 people from all parts of the city who've committed their time to reading everything that comes in, aggregating it and working with the appropriate departments within the City to come up with solutions. That's it. So, send us a Facebook message or an email. You can make a difference. 

The math is simple. We live in a city of 4 million people. If one or two thousand people participate, that's great, but it's not going to raise one hair on a Councilmember's neck. If 10,000 or even 20,000 people start taking that extra second to weigh in on the issues, it will carry weight. 

You're going to want to stay in touch with us. Check out our continuing page in CityWatch to read about what we are doing to represent your concerns. We’ll also be posting short videos on the page, loaded with information and statistics that you should know. As the budget process unfolds over the next eight months, we’ll be looking for more rocks to turn over. We can have our Outreach team speak with you, document your story and turn it into the next project the Budget Advocates tackle. 

We want to hear from you! 

Email us here: [email protected]   

Follow us here:   

Stay tuned to CityWatch for more news and updates on the Budget Advocates and what you can do to get involved.


(John DiGregorio is treasurer of the Panorama City Neighborhood Council. He serves as a Budget Advocate and is vice president of the committee’s Outreach and Communications.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.