Creating a Model for Inclusive Civic Engagement

Vibrant civic engagement is the cornerstone of American democracy, and in the City of Los Angeles, Neighborhood Councils represent the largest grassroots system of civic engagement in the nation. Staffed by nearly 1,800 volunteers citywide, 96 Neighborhood Councils work to increase citizen participation and make government more responsive to local needs. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, also known as EmpowerLA, provides policy and operational support to Neighborhood Councils to help them advocate for their local communities. As part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s aim to engage more residents in decision making, EmpowerLA is partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the City’s Information Technology Agency to create ConnectLA, Los Angeles’ inclusive civic engagement hub.

FUSE Fellow Aparna Mukherjee will support the launch of ConnectLA and will develop a comprehensive strategy for increased civic engagement among city departments. She will also formulate civic engagement standards for city elected officials and departments. She will also design a series of internal trainings and department specific action plans to assist staff in progressing toward greater civic engagement.