The Greater Los Angeles Area YGL will maintain an environment that educates, inspires & transforms federal employees into prized promotable assets & be models for organization management that will be admired & emulated by agencies.
YGL-LA: Transform your community
September 18, 2012 at 8:22 am #169455
So you have a big idea that will transform your community. Awesome! Now, how do you execute it?
Well, you could become an elected official and trumpet your vision across your city/state. A perfect example of this is the transit revolution championed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In 2008, the Mayor championed a ballot initiative for a sales tax increase of half a cent on the dollar in Los Angeles County to help double the City’s rail system. The voters approved the initiative, and now the LA rail network is one step closer to looking like this.
Ok, this might be easier said than done. Getting elected is tough, and you typically don’t start as the Mayor of the 2nd biggest city in America. Fair enough. Also, you might not even have a desire to enter public office, but you still want to make a difference.
Lucky for you, there is another option and it is called coalition-building. Let’s start with your idea. First, we assume it is not within your abilities to implement this idea on your own (otherwise, you’d have done it right?), so you need some support. Most likely, there are already some business groups, non-profits, or other community-based organizations that would make natural allies. If you don’t know any, then it is time to get on google, or better yet, to get out in your community and start networking. Fine tune your pitch, and go engage your allies.
Next, is community outreach. Host some town-halls, invite your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers. Educate, educate, educate. Your idea should start gaining steam. Once you gain community support, start talking to your local officials, elected or not. Most likely, they need to approve of your idea, and they are much more likely to do so if they believe it is widely supported. That is exactly what happened recently with an energy efficiency program that was championed by the community, and that will soon be going to the Los Angeles City Council for final approval.
No idea is too big, no issue too small. If our communities are going to get better, we all need to be engaged and we all need to participate.
So I ask, what big idea are you working on?
September 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm #169457
First, if I’m still alive when this LA rail network actually comes to fruition, I just might fall over and die. Born and raised in LA, it’s so hard to imagine public transportation to this extent. It would be epic.
But it would also be the biggest idea, physical size and community involvement, someone has championed and accomplished in LA.
I would just add to your discussion – you may not have the luxury of a team of staff like the Mayor of Los Angeles, so be ready to put in some hours and have some energy. It helps to truly believe in your idea and have the ability to envision the result which will continually feed your motivation and drive.
There are also great resources on the internet that can help you rally your community. Check out NationBuilder.com or HeyNeighbor.com to start organizing and gain momentum in your community. I watched my wife and a couple of neighbors start a neighborhood association last year – it’s a fairly easy and good place to start building a network in your community.
Communities only get better with citizen involvement. It makes average communities good, and good communities better. It takes just one individual, with one idea, to have a lasting impact on an entire community and for generations to come.
Get to it!
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