Silver Lake Neighborhood Council ~ Culture, Community, Change

neigh·bor [ney-ber] 

1. a person who lives near another.
2. a person or thing that is near another.
3. one’s fellow human being: to be generous toward one’s less fortunate neighbors.
4. a person who shows kindliness or helpfulness toward his or her fellow humans: to be a neighbor to someone in distress.
5. (used as a term of address, esp. as a friendly greeting to a stranger): Tell me, neighbor, which way to town?
6. (adj) situated or living near another: one of our neighbor nations.
7. verb (used with object)to live or be situated near to; adjoin; border on.
8. verb (used with object) to place or bring near.
9. verb (used without object)to live or be situated nearby.
10. to associate with or as if with one’s neighbors; be neighborly or friendly
(often followed by with).
No matter what our differences are as a community on various issues, shouldn’t a neighborhood council serve as a helpful, constructive advisory board, a group of peers, a friendly counsel of neighbors interested in the community, providing transparent representation for the community, and helping celebrate neighborhood pride?
At the very least, as neighbors, shouldn’t we aim to BE NEIGHBORLY with each other?  WITH, not against?  Not even just theoretically, let’s see what the SLNC bylaws say:
B. Purpose:   
1. To fairly and faithfully represent the interests of all Stakeholders.
2. To provide an inclusive forum for discussion of Community issues.
3. To be a source of information for the Community on Community issues and governmental matters.
4. To educate, encourage, and facilitate in helping make government work better for the Community.
5. To participate in the City budget-making process to assure that resources are allocated equitably among all communities and within our own community.
6. To work to improve the delivery of City services to the community.
7. To advocate for the community on issues of community agreement.
8. To support the efforts of existing community groups and to encourage cooperation among these groups.
9. To maintain lines of communication with adjacent Neighborhood Councils and community groups and to work together with them on matters of mutual concern.
10. To participate in the planning and development process to assure a balance among diverse Stakeholder interests.
11. To sponsor community projects that enhance the beauty, vitality and cohesion of the community.
12. To acknowledge, support, preserve and improve the environmental integrity and rich cultural heritage of Silver Lake.
13. To organize and support social functions and cultural events that bring people together and lift the human spirit.
14. To conduct other business and act as is typical of other certified Neighborhood Councils.

Encourage cooperation ~ provide an inclusive forum ~ cohesion of the community ~ bring people together and lift the human spirit ~ YES!

In alignment with these aims are several colleagues running with me for Silver Lake Neighborhood Council both independently and in progressive coalitions (supported by numerous community members) namely my friend, colleague & neighbor Charles Herman-Wurmfeld (At-Large).  We have been visiting various regions of Silver Lake to hear what is important to people and are encountering tremendous stakeholder interest in the concepts of fairness, kindness, neighbor-oriented solutions and near-unanimous support for responsible, local-regulation determination of shared economy services, in ways that make sense for the MOST neighbors who live, breathe, work, play, and commune in Silver Lake day and night. Other friends of mine Georgene Smith Goodin, Lucha Sitz, Frances Tran, James Bigelow, Helen Dion etc are running and are strong candidates & community members ~ and so is the rest of our coalition. Please check out and support the Yours Not Ours Coalition at

Now, on the flip side, I do not understand how the more conservative slate in this election is purporting in any way to be a “Neighborhood” Council, a “”neighborly” council, or anything related to being a good “neighbor” (also conflicting with so many of the SLNC’s own bylaws) as in their current slate’s web links, they refer individuals to resources on how to anonymously spy upon their neighbors and secretly report them to authorities. How is that cooperative, balanced, or even kind?  Is that the kind of neighborhood council we want?  Is that really the best recourse for solving problems?  We seek to unify our community, not divide it further.

This is just one of many issues.  Your input welcome, your vision desired, your views welcome. This is YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, and we humbly and graciously request YOUR VOTE in person this Sat Apr 12, 2014.


Amy Clarke, Gaia Grove, Silver Lake ~ April 2014

Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Elections: Sat Apr 12, 2014 ~ POWER to the PEOPLE

Silver Lake: The Neighborhood’s Council –  YOURS, Not Ours.   (Your Neighborhood, Your Voice, Your Representatives, YOUR COUNCIL)

co·a·li·tion = alliance for combined action (your COALITION)

Please come out and VOTE, Silver Lake! Governing Board Elections for ALL 21 SEATS: Sat Apr 12, 10AM-4PM at Micheltorena Elementary Auditorium ~ 1511 Micheltorena at Sunset.

Your Radical Inclusion and Our Transparency  It’s 2014 so why aren’t we ALREADY using technology to be inclusive in Silver Lake?  We need to live stream every SLNC council and committee meeting, allow viewers to comment, vote and speak from the web.  We need “speak outs” – regional meetings that focus on a specific area of interest.  And all of this needs to be translated in Spanish and Tagalog.

Your Business  Let’s attract and develop responsible, sustainable businesses, including worker owned co-operatives and collectives.  We’re going to need additional parking solutions, and a Silver Lake DASH line to connect shoppers, students and workers to the Metro Red Line Subway.

Your Community Gardens  We need gardens in every region, not just one or two.  They allow families and neighbors to meet, work, learn, share, and get healthy together. Let’s celebrate, grow, & create more of them!

Your Growing Community  High density developments in Silver Lake are a reality that we need to deal with by regulating new or modified development to mitigate negative impact on existing neighbors, traffic, and quality of life.  Developers should present plans for new subdivisions, residential or business construction to the Neighborhood Council for review AND approval prior to breaking ground. We can protect Silver Lake’s charm by suggesting locations of Small Lot developments and successfully integrating new affordable development into existing neighborhood characteristics.

Your Reservoir  Let’s figure out responsible reservoir usage with expansion of lake access in an environmental and wildlife friendly way.  There’s a middle ground that meets community needs, provides fence-free open space, and includes all neighbors in the reservoirs debate.  Support the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy

Your Money  Did you know Silver Lake isn’t spending all of the money allocated by the city ($37K each year!) on community outreach projects and events?  Why are we sending any of this money back to the city?  Let’s figure out a better way!

Your Economy  The Sharing Economy including responsible Short-Term Rentals, Ride-Sharing, Time-Banking, Neighborhood Fruit Harvesting, Tool Sharing, Parenting Co-operatives, among other things.  More importantly, it includes you. Let’s strike the right balance.


 Whomever is sharing this with you shares the core spirit of these beliefs and has many more that you may share or disagree with.  The beauty of Silver Lake is that we are already a coalition; we all share the goals of prosperity and love for our little neighborhood.  Sometimes the coalition is temporary and will change depending on the issue, which is FANTASTIC.  We wouldn’t be Silver Lake if we didn’t have differing opinions.  But we believe, first and foremost, in hearing those opinions and weighing them openly.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t, but everyone feels better when they’ve gotten a fair chance to speak their part.

So come out and VOTE April 12, 2014 from 10AM-4PM 1511 Micheltorena St, Los Angeles, CA 90026.  You will a need Picture ID, proof you live, or work, own property, or have a vested interest in a neighborhood business, school, or organization.  Bring whatever you have, including your family, friends, & neighbors.

Your evolving coalition of candidates includes: Candidate (Region)  *please note: these are all personal recommendations and none are official endorsements by current SLNC or any SLNC board members

Charles Herman-Wurmfeld (At-Large)  Amy Clarke (At-Large)  Heather Carson (At-Large)  Kinoka Ogsbury (At-Large)  David Modern (At-Large)  Teresa Sitz (At-Large) (Gaia Grove also personally recommends Lisa Marie Hart (at large)


Helen De La Paz Dion (1) Joshua Javier Gomez (1)

Georgene Smith Goodin (2) Karen Speitel (2)

Seamus Garrity (3) (Seamus is a Gaia Grove personal recommendation, not an official part of the coalition)

Ted Adams (4) James Bigelow (4) 

Frances Tran (5) (Gaia Grove also personally recommends Dorit Dowler-Guerrero (5) current SLNC Board Member & Treasurer)

Matthew Desario (6) Joe Ferrell (6)

John Wingler (7) Hope Taylor (7)  (Gaia Grove also personally recommends Karina Andrade (7), community activist & current LHNC Board Member)

Join us!