SORO NC Programs

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.

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 Community Town Hall Meeting: Save Water–Save LA

SORO NC is hosting a town hall meeting, Save Water—Save LA, on the topic of water conservation. This program will educate people about the drought and present ways to get involved in the solution including meeting the 25% water reduction mandate.

Save Water—Save LA

Sunday May 17th, 12–3pm
Castle Heights Elementary School
9755 Cattaraugus, 90034 (map)

Activities include:

  • E-waste drive: Bring all your old electronics for proper disposal and recycling
  • Town hall panel discussion followed by question and answer period
  • Swag bags for first 150 attendees and opportunity drawing for great prizes
  • Free rain barrel rebate sign-ups and installation education
  • Food trucks
  • Kids Corner sponsored by Green Beginnings
  • Tables with one on one discussions on various water saving topics and services.

Click here for more information, or download the printable flyer.

2015 Community Town Hall Meeting: Save Water—Save LA

Town Hall 2015: Save Water-Save LA

Learn how to hit the 25% water savings mandate

The extremity of our water shortage in California has been highly publicized as of late. But what does it really mean? Drought, Water Shortage, Conservation…and more importantly, how does it affect you? Save Water—Save LA is your key to the answer.

On May 17, 2015 from 12 to 3 pm at Castle Heights Elementary School, SORO NC is hosting a town hall meeting, Save Water—Save LA, on the topic of water conservation.

Save Water—Save LA is designed to inform and motivate people to consider water conservation in daily life. This program will educate people about the drought and present ways to get involved in the solution including meeting the 25% water reduction mandate, the cash for grass program and landscaping ideas.

From top academics, to learning how to pick native plants for your yard, to activities for the children and delicious food trucks, there is something for everyone. Bring the entire family.

Activities include:
  • E-waste drive: Bring all your old electronics for proper disposal and recycling**
  • Town hall panel discussion followed by question and answer period
  • Swag bags for first 150 attendees and opportunity drawing for great prizes
  • Free rain barrel sign-ups and installation education
  • Food Trucks
  • Kids Corner where younger kids can participate in water conservation activities
  • Meeting your local government officials

SORO NC has put together a panel of some of the top experts in the field of water and conservation to educate and recommend options everyone can do to safeguard our water supply. This will be an interactive event for the whole family. There will be a short panel discussion with question and answer period followed by an informal meet and greet with organizations at tables to learn about services and opportunities you can actually use to conserve water and meet the 25% water reduction mandate.

Panel topics covered:


Other scheduled participants:

Greywater Corps, Food and Water Watch, Rain Gutter Specialists, Grow Native Nursery, LA Waterkeeper, The House Agents/Partners Trust, Ballona Creek Renaissance, Green Gardens Group, Green Beginnings, and our political representatives.

Join us for this lively and informative town hall, Save Water—Save LA, and help us win the water wars. Together, our communities can build a water-friendly future. We hope to see you there.

**E-waste drive accepts:

  • Computer monitors & television sets
  • Computers, scanners, keyboard, speakers, mouse, printers, printer cartridges
  • DVD players, VCRs, phones, answering machines, cell phones & accessories
  • Computer batteries, cellphone batteries
  • Microwave ovens, toasters, small household electronics
Do Not Bring:
  • Major appliances (fridges, washers etc.)
  • Alkaline batteries
  • Fluourescent lamps (CFLs, lightbulbs)
  • Media (tapes, CDs etc.)

2014 Outstanding Green Citizenship Award winner: The Green Truck

As the first and only environmentally sustainable Organic Gourmet Food service business, The Green Truck was this year's winner of the Outstanding Green Citizenship Award at the 2014 SoRo Festival.

Located in Los Angeles, they operate a solar powered production kitchen and alternative fuel catering trucks. 

  • The Green Truck only uses certified organic ingredients, without harmful pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMO). Going organic also keeps these harmful pollutants away from plants, animals, and waterways.
  • To cut down on harmful transportation byproducts such as greenhouse gas CO2, The Green Truck buys locally grown ingredients whenever possible.
  • Their solar powered commissary adds whatever clean energy they don't use to the city's power supply.
  • Even cleaning products are environmentally friendly, ensuring that we are not polluting our oceans with unnecessary chemicals.
  • All of their trucks run off of vegetable oil previously used by The Green Truck and other food service companies in the Los Angeles area. By using recycled vegetable oil, they not only help to keep grease from clogging the city's drainage systems, but utilize a fuel that creates no harmful emissions to the environment and definitely does not add to our dependence on foreign oil.
  • All food packaging containers, bags, napkins, and utensils are made from bio-compostable products rather than plastics and Styrofoam. This process generates zero trash and utilizes sustainable technologies that minimize pollution in the production process.

As always, our hope is that by honoring environmentally-friendly businesses and individuals like The Green Truck, 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.

2014 Susan Bursk Community Service Award winner: Barbara Kaye

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 Barbara Kaye, a one-of-a-kind, phenomenal art teacher at Castle Heights Elementary School with an impact on hundreds of children, teachers, and parents. As a volunteer for many years, Barbara has donated thousands of hours in beautifying the school, teaching art of many genres, creating plays and displays, and infusing the curriculum with artistic elements.  She patiently engages children who think they can’t paint and helps them discover that they can, much to their surprise and delight.  Barbara is an inspiration to both teachers and students.

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

  • Saran Kirschbaum — Community volunteer and docent for the Ballona Creek Wetlands
  • Karen Smith-Laramay — Head of the Science Department at Hamilton High
  • Barry Levine — Long-time Chair of SORO NC's Education Committee
  • Terrence Gomes — Treasurer of SORO NC and Co-Chair of this year's SoRo Festival
  • Doug Fitzsimmons — President of SORO NC

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.