connect / 2016
Let’s gather Westside stakeholders to connect and establish common ground across city limits.
Please describe your project proposal.
The Westside of Los Angeles is home to more people than all but a handful of American cities in their entirety. And yet, because of the region’s combination of independent jurisdictions, the Westside is more of an idea than an entity. As the Westside’s leading civic organization, WUF proposes a day-long conference to gather leaders and stakeholders from across the Westside spectrum to solve common challenges, seize upon common opportunities, and identify projects to pursue in the coming year.
Which of the connect metrics will your proposal impact?
- Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
- Public transit riders
- Participation in neighborhood councils
- Residential segregation
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to connect?
The Westside of Los Angeles includes some of the most distinctive, prized real estate in the country, with resources and attributes that eclipse those of entire cities. And yet, the Westside faces significant challenges. Some challenges are obvious, such as the tragedy of homelessness, the annoyance of traffic, and the hardship of exorbitant real estate prices. Other challenges are more subtle, such as the region’s lack of diversity and, sometimes, lack of neighborliness, and debates over regional character and the role of businesses versus the role of residents. Jurisdictional challenges make these problems hard to solve. Likewise, the distance to L.A. City Hall means that, despite the dedication of local officials, the Westside’s largest jurisdiction is effectively governed from afar.
The Westside Urban Forum has always viewed and celebrated the Westside as a single entity with a common fate and intertwined relationships. WUF’s Westside Conference, to take place in 2017, will seek to connect civic leaders and everyday stakeholders of all walks of life and from all corners of the region in order to develop a stronger sense of shared identity, address region-wide problems, and celebrate region-wide assets.
This conference will include traditional and nontraditional components. The former will include keynote speeches and panel discussions with local leaders. The latter will include ‘un-conference’ sessions in which attendees set their own agendas and create their own programming.
The conference will culminate with crowdsourced proposals for projects that attendees will vote on – choosing three winners – and pledge to support in the coming year. The Westside Conference will physically connect Westsiders for a single day but seeks to bring them together emotionally and politically for far longer. With LA 2050’s support, we hope to reach out to Westside stakeholders who do not typically participate in events like this in order to a create sense of unity, cooperation, and friendliness among neighbors.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
The primarily measure of success will be the number and diversity of attendees. The secondary measure will be the proposal and execution of three projects that will arise from the proceedings. Attendees will vote on project proposals and then pledge to contribute to one of the projects, and progress will be tracked throughout the year. This way, the conference will have a lasting impact beyond the relationships and ideas that arise at the event itself.
How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?
- Advisors/board members
- Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
- Community outreach
- Network/relationship support