query: neighborhood governance structures

colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu colist-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Thu Jan 17 11:42:00 CST 2002

[ed:  feel welcomed to copy COMM-ORG with your responses to 
Nalini's query.]

From: LasiewiczN at aol.com

I am involved in the launch of a new Neighborhood Council under a 
revised city charter in Los Angeles.  Every neighborhood over 
20,000 stakeholders is going to be creating their own local Council, 
with minimal support from the City.  

In other words, we can create a structure that we want.  

I've noticed that many of the formation committees are copying 
each other in drafting Bylaws and one area that I'm deeply involved 
in is the make-up of the governing board.  Many groups are 
creating a model of 'representatives' to make up the board.....so 
that our neighborhood will be broken into regions for regional reps, 
and local existing special interest groups identified so that "schools" 
would select the "school rep" or "senior groups" would select a 
senior rep to the Council.   

My question is, how can a more open process be designed, with the 
largest number of residents/stakeholders voting from the largest 
and most open ballot?  Do anyone have a sample bylaw for 
elections of a community-wide board, without using representatives 
or geographical sub-categories?  Can open elections work?  My 
fear is that if we limit outselves to the "representatives of special 
interest groups" that it won't be a broad enough slate for the 

Any suggestions?
Thanks so much,
Nalini Lasiewicz
Lasiewicz Foundation

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