connect / 2020
West L.A. Votes! — A Civic Engagement Initiative
Venice Family Clinic will mobilize Angelenos across West L.A. to make their voices heard through a non-partisan outreach initiative that will make politics, politicians, and the polls more accessible. Through West L.A. Votes! we will launch a government education campaign, train volunteers to connect residents to voting resources, and bridge the gap between voters and local officials by promoting dialogue in community settings. We believe that increasing civic engagement among the families we serve is critical to driving health equity.
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
In what stage of innovation is this project?Pilot project or new program
What is the need you’re responding to?
Venice Family Clinic seeks to unite staff, volunteers, our partners, and community members across West L.A. in breaking down barriers to voting and broader civic participation. West L.A. Votes! will:
- Promote opportunities for Angelenos to learn about political offices and their functions through a civic education campaign
- Train a force of dedicated volunteers alongside our staff to register voters and get them to the polls
- Bring local elected officials and community members together face-to-face to dialogue about policies and community needs
We believe that civic engagement has a significant impact on the health of our community. When community members participate in civic processes, they build collective power to access health-affirming policies and programs, ranging from health insurance to housing to education. They also build relationships with each other, strengthening the social fabric and wellbeing of our neighborhoods.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
As the largest community health provider on the Westside, Venice Family Clinic is a trusted source of care for nearly 28,000 Angelenos. Our services encompass the “4 C’s” of primary care: first Contact, Continuity, Comprehensiveness, and Coordination. We also recognize a 5th “C,” which stands for Community. In recent years, we have made a commitment to responding to the sociopolitical factors that influence the health and wellness of the people we serve.
Venice Family Clinic boasts a team of dedicated staff and volunteers that engage in outreach and advocacy efforts across our community. Our team maintains strong relationships with over 80 local institutions—including schools, libraries, and county agencies. Team activities range from connecting hundreds of community members to health and social services during National Health Center Week, to meeting with officials about policies that affect our patients. Our extensive reach makes us the ideal hub for a civic engagement initiative.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
Health centers like Venice Family Clinic are responsive to communities who are not often heard, including people living in poverty, the uninsured, and people of color. Empowering our patients and neighbors to participate in politics will add new voices to civic discourse and shape policy to be representative of all Angelenos.
We know that initiatives like West L.A. Votes! work. The 2018 Get-Out-The-Vote campaign led by regional health network AltaMed is a prime example. AltaMed increased midterm election turnout in underrepresented neighborhoods by canvassing, calling, and addressing transportation needs. By employing a similar engagement strategy—paired with opportunities for education and dialogue—we will mobilize voters across West L.A.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
Research shows people are more likely to vote when they understand how government works. We will launch a non-partisan campaign to educate Angelenos about national, state, and local government. We will:
- Create Government 101 video shorts, narrated in English/Spanish by our patients, to play in clinic waiting rooms.—Over 20,000 patients will view them.
- Pilot a government Lunch & Lecture series with our staff and Patient Advisory Council.—Over 200 people will attend. Focus groups will capture impact.
Only 1 in 2 Angelenos report they always or frequently vote. Rates are even lower among people we serve, who are largely low-income and from communities of color. We will mobilize West L.A. residents to vote through non-partisan outreach efforts at community-wide events and online. We will:
- Recruit and train at least 20 outreach volunteers
- Assist over 100 residents with voter registration
- Partner with agencies who will demo ballot marking devices and register residents for ID cards with no fee waivers
- Disseminate election information e-blasts
- Provide shuttle transport to the polls
Citizens who trust elected officials are more likely to vote and feel a sense of civic duty. We will connect residents with their officials and facilitate meaningful interactions. We will:
- Invite government officials to speak at our lecture series
- Hold “Meet Your Representative” booths at local events
- Create an online guide on how to contact elected officials
Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?
- Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
- Voting rates
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the healthiest place to LIVE
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Capacity, including staff
- Strategy assistance and implementation