2013 Outstanding Green Citizenship Award winners: Charmaine Colina and Castle Heights Elementary

A shining example of outstanding green citizenship, Charmaine Colina and Castle Heights Elementary School's administrators, teachers, parents and students have won this year's Outstanding Green Citizenship Award at the 2013 SoRo Festival. They embody the three “R’s” of environmental sustainability: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Charmaine has even added a forth one, “Rethink.”

Together they have changed the environmental culture of Castle Heights School. Here are just a few examples:
  • In her first two years at Castle Heights, Charmaine expanded the school’s recycling program from 7 blue bins to over 30.
  • Charmaine created our community’s biggest annual environmental event: Earth Week and Eco Fair. She involves students, parents, and the community in sustainable practices by making them fun. For one week, kids and parents are encouraged to ride bikes to school or carpool; eat organic food; use recycled materials. Their E-waste drive is open to the entire community.
  • The administration has phased out the school’s use of paper communication by employing emails and the school’s website. When flyers are needed, they are limited to one per family. Cardboard lunch trays are recycled. Reusable grocery bags and water bottles are sold as school fundraisers.
  • She and her colleagues take their students to beach clean ups and TreePeople and use public transportation. The students have created a video about recycling and formed an environmental club.
  • The school has a learning garden where students learn that the earth is what sustains us.

We hope by honoring outstanding teachers like Charmaine, and schools like Castle Heights Elementary, 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.
 

2013 Susan Bursk Community Service Award winner: Paula Waxman

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 Paula Waxman. As Co-Chair of SORO NC's Green Team with Larry Hess and Saran Kirschbaum, Paula has helped spearhead some of the most dynamic programs in our area. In addition to founding the Hamilton High Garden, organizing annual fruit picks to benefit local food banks, and co-ordinating the 2012 Robertson and 2013 Pico tree plantings, under Paula's stewardship the Green Team has lead the City on policy issues like the elimination of coal burning power plants, plastic bag and styrofoam restrictions, GMO food labeling, urban beekeeping, and a moritorium on fracking.

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

  • Charmaine Colina - Teacher at Castle Heights
  • Larry DeMers - SoRo Community Foundation Treasurer
  • Terrence Gomes - SORO NC Treasurer, President LAANC
  • Erick Morales - Hamilton Student/Former SORO NC board member
  • Aubrey Provost - Property Owner, SoRo Community Foundation board member
  • Celine Sotelo - Le Petit Jardin Restaurant/Flower shop

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.
 

2013 SoRo Festival Sunday, June 2: Save the date!

SoRo Community Festival

Sunday, June 2 • 11am-4pm
South Robertson Boulevard between Beverlywood St. and Cattaraugus St. (just North of 10 Freeway at the Robertson Boulevard exit)

Save the date! Open to the public, the SoRo Festival features live local musical entertainment and dancing, "Camp SoRo" offering attractions and a rock-climbing wall and free arts & crafts for children, 60 vendor booths featuring neighborhood businesses and community information, and a variety of culinary delights from some of L.A.'s hottest gourmet food trucks. The theme for this year's Festival is "Sweet Sixteen." For more information, click here.
 

SORO Tree Planting: Pico!

SORO NC tackles phase 2 of our tree planting efforts with a focus on Pico Boulevard. But we need your help.

Volunteer to help beautify Pico

Sunday, April 28 • 9:30am (sharp!)

City Parking Lot on Pico Blvd. between Livonia and Robertson (map)

Bring: please bring a broom for cleanup around tree well, and camera (optional) for fun pictures. We will supply shovel, gloves, tree, tree stakes and ties, soil amendments.

  • Volunteers can be of all ages and ability levels—there will be less-physical jobs, too.
  • Each tree will require a crew of 7 volunteers to be planted, so consider organizing a small team of friends!
  • Kids are welcome, as are families and groups of friends/neighbors who would like to work together.
 

2012 Community Town Hall Meeting: Organizing Your Community

SORO may be a collection of neighborhoods, but unfortunately not all of our areas have active neighborhood associations.

Having an active neighborhood association helps develop a sense of community, a strong voice when community concerns arise, and an organized response to local emergencies. With the recent spate of break-ins, it couldn’t be more timely.

Town Hall: Organizing Your Community

Thursday, December 6 • 7:00pm
Free • Open to all
Hamilton High School Cafeteria (map)
Free parking at Kincardine & Durango

Join us for a workshop-style evening where we will help you ignite the sparks of your own local group. Get to know representatives from the City Council and LAPD, hear from other homeowner associations in the area, learn about setting up email chat, neighborhood watch, block captains and more. Whether you rent or own your home, being connected is a good idea.

Visit the Town Hall page for more information. If you can’t make the meeting but are interested in this project, email us at connect@soronc.org. You can also download a meeting flyer here.

Students and families welcome. Bring your neighbors too!
 

Final NC Election Results

Our elections results have now been certified.

New to the SORO NC Board: Kevin Gres (Zone 1), Beth Ryan (Zone 3), Ellen Lanet (Zone 8), Michoel Bloom (Zone 10), Hector Garza (Organization Rep), Bethie Kohanbash and David Mattis (At-Large Reps).

Returning incumbents: Bette Billet (Zone 5), Jon Liberman (Zone 7), Paula Waxman (Zone 9), Susan Burden and Terrence Gomes (Business Reps).

Again, our thanks to all the candidates—and especially to all of you who voted. 

We'll be seating the new Board at our November 15th General Board meeting. We hope you can join us.
 

Preliminary election results are in

SORO had a fantastic turnout for the NC election: we had as many more voters than we did two years ago, with only half the number of open seats. Our thanks to everyone who came out and voted, and a special thanks to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the many volunteers who made the event a success.

We have posted preliminary election results on our election page. Note that these are not yet finalized or certified. 

Barring any election challenges, we currently plan to seat the new Board at our November 15th meeting. 
 

Come out and vote!

SORO NC Election: Sunday, Oct. 28 10am-4pm at Shenandoah Elementary

Elect a new SORO NC Board

On Sunday, our community will choose boardmembers to fill roughly half the SORO NC seats. These are the people who will represent our neighborhood within the City, and we encourage every SORO NC stakeholder to vote.

Polls will be open Sunday from 10am – 4pm at Shenandoah Elementary (map). 

In this election, the NC has seven residential zone seats, two at-large seats, two business seats, two organization seats, and one school seat open. You can see the SORO NC zones here.

Who can vote?

All SORO stakeholders aged 15 and above may vote in this election—regardless of immigration status—although factual basis* stakeholders may only vote for At-Large seats. For a full description of candidate and voter eligibility, visit the EmpowerLA website

More information, including a full list of candidates, is available on our 2012 election page.

If you don't live, work, go to school or are a member of an organization in SORO, your stakeholder status may also be established by means of declaring a stake (or interest) in the neighborhood and providing the facts to support that declaration.

 

Meet the Candidates

Meet the SORO NC Candidates

Thursday, October 18 • 7-8pm (starts promptly)
Simon Wiesenthal Center, 3rd Floor (map)
Underground parking available (enter from Roxbury Dr.)

This is your chance to meet and talk with all the SORO NC candidates before the October 28th election. We'll provide the food and soft drinks—you provide the questions.

Held just before our regular October Board meeting (which we're moving back an hour), the Forum will be a great chance to get to know the people who hope to represent you in the Neighborhood Council. 

For more information about the candidates and voting, visit our Election 2012 page. A brief agenda is also available.
 

NC Elections: Candidates Wanted!

Elections for the SORO NC board are coming up in late October, and we're actively seeking candidates.

Serving on the SORO NC Board is an excellent way to become more connected with the community that surrounds you. It helps you reach out beyond your immediate neighborhood, help change the things you recognize need changing, and give back to help improve local lives. It can be a meaningful and empowering way to make Los Angeles feel a little less like a sprawling metropolis, and a little more like a small town.

Candidate filing is open between now and September 28.


We have organized two informal eat-and-greet meetings so interested candidates can come and meet Board members and learn more. We encourage anyone who may be interested to come and say hello. You never know if you may be inspired!

Candidate Information Sessions


Monday, 10 September, 7pm
Robertson Recreation Center, Child Care Room
1641 Preuss Road, 90035

Sunday, 23 September, 4pm
Robertson Recreation Center
1641 Preuss Road, 90035

You can download a flyer here, and information about which seats are empty, how to file, and what the important dates and deadlines are can all be found on our Candidate information page.