SORO NC candidate registration open February 3 to March 5

2016 Outstanding Green Citizenship Award winner: Saran Kirschbaum

Saran Kirschbaum was the 2016 winner of the Outstanding Green Citizenship Award presented at the SoRo Festival.

Saran Kirschbaum was the first member of the new South Robertson Neighborhoods Council Green Team in 2009. In the 1970’s, she joined Wattle’s Farm, an early organic community farm in Hollywood. By 1995, she co-founded The Coalition of the Environment and Jewish Life of Southern California, which became a founding member of the LA Interfaith Environmental Council, a coalition of religious institutions charged with making environmental issues a focus of life in Southern California. A writer and docent for the Ballona wetlands, she has served on the Environmental Advisory Committees to State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and State Senator Holly Mitchell. If you don’t know Saran, you’ve probably seen her walking our neighborhood, picking up litter and recyclables which she turns in for money for the Hamilton High School Garden. 

For a lifetime of walking the ”green walk,” Saran Kirschbaum is honored for her “Outstanding Green Citizenship.” As always, our hope is that by honoring environmentally-friendly businesses and individuals like Saran, it will encourage others to emulate her work by doing their part in caring for our environment.

See all the past winners of the award.

2016 SORO NC Election

Come out and vote!

For the first time, our Neighborhood Council election will be held during the annual SoRo Festival on Robertson Blvd. As always, SORO NC stakeholders over 15 years can register and vote in person on election day.

The NC has five residential district seats, three at-large seats, two business seats, two organization seats (one with a partial term), and one school seat open. You can see the SORO NC zones on our Mapping SORO page.

In addition, this year SORO NC is proud to be one of 35 Neighborhood Councils in the City to pilot Online Voting in Los Angeles. This provides an opportunity for voters to register in advance of the election day and vote from a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smart phone. Registration is open now through May 29 and online voting opens on May 15.

UPDATE: final election results are now posted online.


Meet the NC Candidates Forum

On Sunday, June 5th, you have the opportunity to elect your representatives to the Board of the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council (SORO NC). These representatives will be empowered to make votes on behalf of the community during their 2-4 year terms, so it’s really important to make sure that you are electing people who share your vision for the neighborhood you want to live in.

In order to make it easier for you, there will be a Meet the Candidates Forum where you will be able to hear from each of the candidates running for election, ask questions, and make your decisions about who should represent your voice on the NC.

SORO NC Meet the Candidates Forum

Thursday May 19th, 6pm
Simon Wiesenthal Center
1399 Roxbury Drive, 90035
(Northwest corner of Pico and Roxbury)

The candidate forum will run directly before a meeting of the Board at 7:30pm, and we encourage you to stay and see the Board in action.

Come out to vet the candidates so you can make an informed choice, and to thank them for their enthusiasm and volunteer spirit in devoting time to make SORO a better neighborhood for us all.

Candidate Information Session 2

On Wednesday, March 30th at 7pm, we invite you to attend our second Candidate Information Session where you can hear more about what is involved in serving on the SORO NC Board, meet current Board Members, and have your questions answered. Note that this will cover the same information as the first session.

Candidate Info Session 2

Wednesday, March 30th at 7pm
Robertson Recreation Center
1641 Preuss Rd.

Download the flyer for more information (also in Spanish)

Candidate Information Session 1

On Sunday, March 6th at 4pm, we invite you to attend the first of two Candidate Information Sessions where you can hear more about what is involved in serving on the SORO NC Board, meet current Board Members, and have your questions answered.

Candidate Info Session 1

Sunday, March 6th at 4pm
The Relational Center
2717 South Robertson Blvd.

Download the flyer for more information (also in Spanish)

Movie at the Rec Center: Back to the Future

On Saturday, November 7th, Councilmember Koretz, his staff, and SORO NC bring the the classic Back to the Future to our own Robertson Recreation Center (1641 Preuss Road) to inaugurate our new Movie at the Rec Center series. Bring your family and friends for a fun night of movie-watching and popcorn-munching. 

Released in 1985 (thirty years ago!), Back to the Future begins the journey of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox). He's accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence. It's a timeless film (pun intended), and a definite crowd-pleaser. It's rated PG for mild profanity and violence.

Best part: it's free. All of it. Including the movie, popcorn (kosher), and drinks. Festivities begin at 7pm. If it's warm and clear, we'll have it outside as soon as it's dark enough, but if not, we'll have it in the Rec Center gym. (Either way, we do recommend bringing a blanket for the ground.) 

Movie in the Park: Penguins of Madagascar

On Friday, September 25th, Council President Wesson, his staff, and SORO NC bring the delightfully wacky animated film Penguins of Madagascar to our own Reynier Park (2803 Reynier Ave.). Bring your family and friends for a beautiful night of movie-watching under the stars.

Spinning off the always-plotting penguins from the Madagascar films, our heros Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it. And along the way they unleash madcap mayhem and "a blizzard of puns" (LA Times).

Best part: it's free. All of it. Including the movie, hot dogs, candy, popcorn and a special raffle for the kids. (We do recommend bringing a blanket for the ground.) Festivities begin at 6pm and we'll start the movie as soon as it's dark enough.

2015 Susan Bursk Community Service Award winner: Bette Billet

The Susan Bursk Community Service Award is presented each June at the SoRo Festival to an individual in recognition of his or her dedication and service to the South Robertson Neighborhoods community. The award is co-sponsored by SORO NC and the SoRo Community Foundation, Inc.

This year's winner was Bette Billet. Bette served on the SORO NC Board from its founding in 2003 to April, 2015. During 12 years of incredible community service, she has conservatively logged close to 1000 hours of active community service. Bette has been responsible for identifying and bringing many other community leaders into the fold, and has worked tirelessly for the betterment of this community.

Bette has been fearless in reminding her NC colleagues and elected officials colleagues that we represent the whole community, and that our work should always strive to understand and be inclusive of ALL points of view. In 2008 she was recognized by then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo as the "LA Pearl of the Year"—an award that recognizes outstanding seniors who have made significant contributions to Los Angeles residents' quality of life.

Her mark on the community and the NC has been indelible, and richly deserving of recognition.

At our July Board meeting we will also recognize the other community members nominated this year:

  • Cristina Paul — Community volunteer and founder of the Helms Neighborhood Association
  • Leo Portal — Crestview Block Captain, SORO NC Organization Representative, and founder/chair of the NC's LGBTQ Committee

We're deeply grateful for the work all the nominees have done within SORO, and congratulate them on their nominations.

See all the past winners of the award.

2015 Outstanding Green Citizenship Award winners: Karen Laramay & Cristina Paul

Karen Laramay and Cristina Paul were this year's winners of the Outstanding Green Citizenship Award at the 2015 SoRo Festival.

Karen Laramay is Head of the Science Department at Hamilton High School. All one needs to do is to walk into her lively classroom to know that she is a friend of the earth and is guiding her students to accept personal responsibility for caring for their environment in the years ahead.

As the SORO NC Green Team's representative on the Hamilton High School campus, she has co-sponsored our yearly E-Waste Drives, hosted the committee’s meeting, and worked with the Green Team on the Hamilton High School Environmental Science Project, in which students produced a town hall meeting featuring a panel of eight experts to debate the pros and cons of Proposition 37, the California ballot measure that would have required labeling of genetically engineered foods.

As a result of her sponsorship of the student Environmental, Garden, and Vegetarian Clubs, there is a flourishing garden at Hamilton High School which focuses on organic vegetables and California natives. “The Hami Garden” is supported and maintained by over 150 student and neighborhood volunteers.

Cristina Paul noticed that the trees along Venice Boulevard, which runs through the center of SORO NC's Zone 6, had been cut down due to the construction of the Expo Line. She went door to door with her petition asking people to help bring back these beautiful and environmentally important trees. The City will ultimately replace the trees that they had removed, but Cristina pressed on. She forged a partnership between the Helms community, TreePeople, and The Koreatown Youth & Community Center to donate and care for neighborhood trees and orchestrated a tree-planting event in her own neighborhood. Her work brought the neighborhood together, motivating them to plant 26 additional trees within the Helms community.

Her petition became the gateway to form The Helms Neighborhood Association. Since then, HNA has conducted freeway clean ups to keep the neighborhood looking beautiful. Cristina continues to motivate and lead her community by example, cleaning up graffiti and being one of the first to plant a low water, California native garden and install a grey water system and rain barrels.

As always, our hope is that by honoring environmentally-friendly businesses and individuals like Karen and Cristina, it will encourage others to emulate their work by doing their part in caring for our environment.

See all the past winners of the award.

2015 SoRo Festival: June 7

SoRo Community Festival

Sunday, June 7 • 11am-4pm
South Robertson Boulevard between Beverlywood St. and Cattaraugus St. (just North of 10 Freeway at the Robertson Boulevard exit)

Free and open to the public, the 18th Annual SoRo Festival features food trucks, a live music stage, tree adoption, and over 60 vendor booths highlighting neighborhood businesses, community information and a variety of merchandise. It also offers “Camp SoRo” Kids Zone with attractions, a rock-climbing wall and free arts and crafts for children.

This year, SoRo Festival is featuring some new and exciting attractions:
  • 1st Annual SoRo Car Show!
  • New entertainment acts (as well as traditional favorites!)
  • Great food trucks
  • Health Fair Pavilion featuring reduced cost/no cost health exams including mammograms
  • Emergency & Safety Expo
    • Shakey Quakey earthquake simulation schoolhouse
    • Jaw of Life search & rescue demo
    • American Red Cross puppet show
    • Emergency preparedness & safety supplies for sale
    • Meet your first responders
    • Enter to win a poster from the movie San Andreas and other great giveaways!

It's truly a fun-filled family day in the community and we hope to see you all there. If you're interested in submitting your car to the car show, you can send an email to organizer Terry Gomes. Entry fees are $20 per car and go to benefit education and community improvement projects in SORO.

Don't forget to stop by the SORO NC booth and say hello!

For more information, visit our full Festival page.