It is critical in the continuing debate over land use issues in Northeast Los Angeles that ordinary residents speak up and make their views heard. Real estate developers and their allies have a very potent and well-financed lobby that has exercised an inordinate amount of influence over City Hall in recent years. If citizens don't empower themselves and make a concerted effort to speak out in their neighborhoods' interest, the development lobby will continue to get its way.
With that in mind, here are a few pointers about contacting City Representatives:
- You can contact City Representatives either by email, phone, or letter. Contacts are listed here on our site.
- It's generally more effective to address letters and emails to individuals. If you don't have time to write to, for example, all members of City Council, address your message to an individual member and copy the remaining recipients by CC-ing them.
- Keep your messages as short and to the point as possible, and be polite even if you're very upset about an issue.
- Try as much as possible to express your own individual concerns. Messages that are simply copies of what others have written are not given as much weight.
- Make it clear that you expect a response from whomever you're writing. You want to engage them in a dialogue with you (it's their job, after all). Try ending your message with something like "I look forward to hearing your response to these points", or "please let me know your opinion on this matter" then include your contact information.
When Speaking with City Officials and Council District Staff:
Whether in a scheduled meeting or an impromptu moment at a public event, you may have the opportunity to speak with your representatives. What you talk about with City Officials and Council District Staff is entirely up to you, and should reflect the issues that you and your neighbors find most important.
In order to deliver your message effectively, as much as possible try to make it clear to your representatives what you want them to do, rather than simply complaining that the neighborhood is being ruined or public opinion is being disregarded in some non-specific way. Additionally, your time in such discussions will be limited, so avoid spending time harping on past wrongs or failures and keep focused on current issues and proposed solutions.
Finally, it's hard for anyone to be receptive to a hostile person or to a list of demands. Open the conversation with a thank you — for work they have done recently, legislation they supported, or simply for being willing to hear public opinion. This simple act of courtesy opens ears and starts things off on the right foot. Developing a positive relationship with your representatives makes it possible to converse with them again and again. This is invaluable, particularly in working through controversial issues.
CD 14 Councilmember's Office
City Hall Office - (213) 473-7014
El Sereno's Area Office - (323) 226-1646
Councilman Jose Huizar - email@example.com
Chief of Staff, Paul Habib, - firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning Director, Shawn Kuk - email@example.com
Transportation & Planning Deputy, Kevin Ocubillo - firstname.lastname@example.org