SORO NC Programs

Castle Heights Earth Week & Eco-Fair

Castle Heights Elementary School will be holding a full week of events to celebrate Earth Day. Co-sponsored by SORO NC, the week includes recycling and e-waste drives and culminates in an after-school (2:34 to 4:30 pm) Eco-Fair on Friday, April 29. The Fair will include Earth-friendly crafts, games, music, demonstrations and food. 

For more information, see our Eco-Fair event page.

La Cienega and Venice orphan area community meeting

SORO NC is hosting a community information meeting for residents and business owners within the un-served area between the 10 Freeway to the North, La Cienega to the West, and the Culver City border to the South. You'll be able to meet our board members and your local SORO NC representative, ask questions about the neighborhood council system and learn about what we do and how we can serve you.

We already represent many of your neighbors, and SORO NC would also love to represent you within this system.

SORO NC (South Robertson Neighborhoods Council) is commonly regarded as one of the most efficient and productive neighborhood councils within the system—93 neighborhood councils in all.

Each of the 93 Neighborhood Councils are chartered and annually funded by the City of Los Angeles to promote citizen participation in government at a grassroots level. They are designed to give you a voice in the issues, decisions and programs that affect your lives, provide a direct line of communication to the City to help address your unique needs, and to build a stronger local community.

Welcome to our new, improved website

More information and better ways to stay in touch

At first glance it might look like the old site, but under the hood it's completely different. 

We've rolled out deeper and easier top-of-the-page navigation. We've added pages for each of our committees and major programs. There's now a community calendar that will include events within SORO. We've made it easier to stay in touch with us by adding a contact form and a better topic-based email announcements. And the new Resources section has links to useful City and neighborhood organizations.

Like any new site, it'll continue to improve over time. If you have suggestions on how we can make it better, please let us know.

2011 SoRo Community Festival

SoRo Community Festival

The 14th Annual SoRo Community Festival will take place on Sunday, June 5, 2011 from 11 am to 4 pm. The Festival is located on South Robertson Boulevard, between Cattaraugus and Beverlywood St. (just north of Hamilton High School and the 10 Freeway). Download a flyer about the festival here.

The SoRo Festival’s goals are to build bridges amongst local neighbors, businesses, and community and public service organizations; and celebrate the cultural diversity of our community. Local caterers, restaurants, merchants, schools, entertainers and organizations will participate.  The SoRo Festival will feature activities for kids, a live music stage and lots of exciting artist and vendor booths. Additionally, the SoRo Festival will feature local school children’s presentations of art and science projects on the Festival’s theme “SoRo In Bloom.”

SORO NC Green Team

Plus this year, the SoRo Festival will feature a special Green Team Committee Booth.  The Green Team Committee Booth will feature a canned food collection drive to benefit the SOVA Food Bank and the collection of wine corks for recycling. The goal of this year’s SoRo Festival is to be a zero waste event and will include drinking fountains provided by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, recycling of all festival materials and composting of all food waste. The SoRo Community will be presenting a special Community Award for Outstanding Green Citizenship to Green Beginning Community Preschool for their commitment to an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Read all of the five great reasons to visit the Green Team booth.


In addition, the SoRo Festival will feature an exciting variety of Los Angeles hottest gourmet food trucks, offering a delicious assortment of choices (including Kosher and vegetarian selections): The Schnitzel Wagon (Kosher), Bool Korean BBQ Tacos & Pastels, No Tomatoes! A New Sensation in Indian Street Fare, the Spring Street Smokehouse BBQ Truck and King Kone Ice Cream Co. 

Main Stage

The SoRo Festival stage will feature live musical and dance performances from some of SoCal’s talented young performers, including appearances from World Garden Dance and Music Studio, and the award winning Jazz Vocal Ensemble from Hamilton High School and top 40 music from Sound Assembly and the Latin Soul sound of The Westside Crew. See the full schedule at right.

The SoRo Community Festival is coordinated by the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council and SoRo, Inc. and funded in part by a grant from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. We would like to invite the entire Southern California community to join our event.

Admission to the SoRo Community Festival is FREE. Free street parking is also available. The SoRo Festival is open to the public and will provide plenty of fun for the whole family on a Sunday afternoon!

Second Annual Electronic Waste Drive

On Saturday, January 29 from 10am to 2pm, students from S.A.F.E. (Students Assembled for Earth, a Hamilton High School Club) and SORO Green Teamers will be collecting electronic waste at Hamilton (map) to ensure that our environment stays green and healthy.

Last year's electronic waste collection was extremely successful, packing a huge truck to the brim. Let's make this year's even better.

What is "electronic waste"? Any no-longer-usable piece of equipment with a cord (except bulky items like refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers). Bring your computers, monitors, mice, keyboards, hard drives, printers, scanners, fax machines, stereos, radios, hair dryers, VCRs, blenders, TVs, monitors, electronic games AND CELL PHONES. Please, no hazardous waste.

2010 Susan Bursk Founder's Award winner: Jon Liberman

The Susan Bursk Founder's Award is presented each year to an individual in recognition of his or her dedication and service to the South Robertson Neighborhoods community. The award is presented by SoRo Inc. at the SORO Festival.

This year's winner was past SORO NC Vice-President Jon Liberman for his longstanding service on the Neighborhood Council, Robertson Rec Center advisory board, Community Police advisory board, and many other community projects. He's long been the public face of SORO in City Hall.

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

  • Steven Coker
  • Charmaine Colina
  • Susan Gans
  • Ann Hammond
  • Saran Kirschbaum
  • Cynthia Ojeda
  • Brooke Powers

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

Help Pick Fruit for the Mayor's Day of Service

Do you regret that fruit on your fruit tree goes to waste? There are many who are hungry! The SORO NC Green Team, together with local school clubs, scout troops and other local organizations will be picking neighborhood fruit and avocado trees for the:

Mayor's Day of Service aka "Big Sunday"
Saturday (and Sunday, if you are Orthodox), May 1st and May 2nd, 2010

We are looking for two things:

  • Fruit trees with fruit ready to be picked
  • Volunteers to help with harvesting

For appointments to have your fruit tree picked, or to volunteer for one of our crews (it's really fun!), call or email Paula Waxman at 310-559-2552 /

The Green Team drops off all fruit collected to our local food bank:
SOVA Food Bank
8846 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles

In February, we picked over 700 pounds of fruit in 2 days! So contact us today to schedule your tree...or yourself (to volunteer).

Free Fruit Trees from Tree People

A give-away program sponsored by the SORO NC Green Team and S.A.F.E., "Students Assembled for Earth," a Hamilton High School Club.

The following trees are available for adoption:

  • Apricot
  • Nectarine
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Blood Orange
  • Sweet Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Tangerine

HOW TO ORDER: Email your order before Monday, January 18th to Paula Waxman. Very limited supply, so first come, first served. Schools get priority. WE WILL CONFIRM YOUR ORDER BY RETURN EMAIL.

HOW TO PICK UP TREES: Trees distributed on Saturday, January 23 between 10 am and 2 pm at Hamilton High School (map) .

2008 Community Town Hall Meeting

  Living Green

On Monday November 10th at 7pm, SORO NC invites you to join us for our 2008 Community Town Hall Event: LIVING GREEN. This event is free and open to all. We especially welcome students.

As many of us are aware, we're depleting natural resources faster than we can handle, and we need to start thinking differently for the long-term. Part of that solution is for each individual to learn about simple changes they can make in their lives to become more green, reduce energy dependence and become part of the solution.

Many of you may be curious about how you can change your energy or water usage at home, use drought-resistant landscaping, run your car more efficiently, compost food scraps, recycle more and reduce your toll on the planet. You may not know that there are a host of services and incentives to encourage you to do just that.

And with the economy in crisis too, we're adding a special focus on how living green can also save you money, particularly with the winter months ahead.

The panel will include dynamic speakers from LA DWP, the Gas Company, BP and Zero Waste to answer your questions, offer you practical tools and free giveaways for reducing your own carbon footprint, inform you about City incentives for going green and provide you with resources for learning more.

Let's start talking about this issue, and set an example for the rest of the city. We hope you will come and join us for a lively and informative Town Hall that can serve as a blueprint for Neighborhood Councils across Los Angeles. Together, our communities can build the greener future. We hope to see you there.

Want to learn more? Visit our Energy Saving Tips & Tools page with suggestions for home and business courtesy of Flex Your Power.

Scheduled Speakers

LA DWP: David Nahai, General Manager

As the largest municipal utility in the United States, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has an obligation to take a leading role in the fight against global warming including steps to reduce their carbon footprint, protect our water supply, and make Los Angeles a greener, cleaner place.

BP, HELIOS HOUSE: Nicole Dotts, Gabrey Milner, Peg Patrick, Heather Heintz

BP has set out to make the customer experience at BP stations a little better, and engage the public in a conversation about the environment. Built on the two principles of sustainability and education, Helios House is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified gas station in the United States and an eco-friendly laboratory designed to demonstrate innovative green technologies and offer simple tips to consumers on how to reduce their impact on the environment. Learn more at The Green Curve.

Zero Waste: Jorge Santiesteban, Division Manager SSRSD

Zero Waste recognizes that "waste" is not inevitable where the discarded materials are potentially valuable resources that maximize recycling, composting, and reduce consumption.

Southern California Gas Company: Sharon O'Rourke, Public Affairs Manager, West LA

The Gas Company's commitment to the environment includes incorporating environmentally-friendly practices in their facilities and daily operations. They help people save energy at their homes and businesses, invest in new technologies, and support organizations dedicated to the environment.

2009 Peace Picnic

Join us Sunday, September 13 between 1-4 pm at the Robertson Recreation Center (map) for the Fourth Annual Peace Picnic.

This free family event celebrates the United Nations' International Day of Peace. There will be a free buffet picnic lunch (until 2pm), live music, fun activities, arts and craft for the kids and more! (We recommend bringing a blanket to sit on.)

Click here to download the flyer.

2009 Community Town Hall Meeting: CD-5 Candidates Forum

7pm on February 5, 2009 at Hamilton High School Cafeteria (map)
Co-sponsored by Palms Neighborhood Council

Come listen to the candidates for Council District 5 discuss the issues facing our city and our neighborhood. Moderated by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles.

Click here to learn more.

UPDATE: Thanks to the candidates, the moderator, the many volunteers, our partners at Palms NC—and especially to all who attended and made the Candidates Forum such a success.

Robertson Activities League / Stepping Forward

The Robertson Activities League (RAL) came into being as a response to teenage violence in the community.

In July 2006, three youths in the La Cienega Heights area were shot and killed by gang activity. At a candlelight vigil, the brother of the first victim said, “I wish I had known there was this much support from the community without having to lose my sister.”

Taking that as a rallying cry, SORO NC collaborated with the Los Angeles Police Department, Hamilton High School and LAUSD, Robertson Rec Center staff, City Councilmen Herb Wesson and Jack Weiss and their teams, the City Attorney's office, Safe Passages personnel, local neighborhood associations, business owners and community members to develop the summer- and winter-break Robertson Activities League.

Under the leadership and management of community organizer Beth Ryan (and later, Robertson Recreation Center Director Brooke Powers), RAL created a safe haven for the students in the community who grow up with gang members as brothers, cousins, fathers and schoolmates through activities, field trips and athletics. 86 students attended the first program.

After a brief hiatus, the program was revived in 2011 as Stepping Forward. Once again run by Beth Ryan, Stepping Forward is a leadership development program that offers teens the opportunity to interact with community volunteers to learn more about art, music, acting, drawing, writing, sports, leadership skills and improving their reading and math skills. The teens also participate in sports and learn the benefits of working together as a team. They receive training, individualized coaching and support, and numerous group activities to supplement the one-to-one support.

Teens are also involved in character building exercises, as well as participate in solution-oriented discussions bringing the students more actively involved in their local community. The program takes them throughout SORO and Los Angeles, visiting places such as Fox Studios, Griffith Observatory, the Museum of Tolerance, etc. that they might never have the opportunity to experience. In the process, they build self-confidence and awareness of their local communities.

Living Green

In your efforts to live green, consider energy efficiency as one of your main priorities. Save money on your utility bill and lessen your impact on the environment with these simple actions. Start with the energy-saving tips, buy energy-efficient appliances and expand these strategies into your business and community.

Heating, Cooling and Insulation Tips

  • Dress appropriately to the weather. In summer, wear lighter clothing to reduce the need for air conditioning. In winter, put on a sweater before cranking up the heat.
  • During the summer, a 5ºF higher setting on your air conditioning thermostat will save about 10% on cooling costs.
  • During the winter, set the thermostat to 68ºF when you are home (health permitting) and lower when you are away. Lowering the temperature 3 to 5ºF can save you up to 20% on heating costs.
  • Reduce air conditioning costs by using fans, keeping windows and doors shut and closing shades during the day.
  • Replace or clean furnace filters regularly and get a furnace tune-up. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted can help you save on heating costs.

Lighting and Electronics Tips

  • Turn off unnecessary lighting and use task or desktop lamps with CFLs instead of overhead lights.
  • Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and save on lighting costs. If all Californians replaced five bulbs with CFLs, it would be like taking 275,000 cars off the road.
  • Unplug electronics, battery chargers and other equipment when not in use. If all Californians unplugged electronics when not in use, it would be like taking 120,000 cars off road.

Water Use and Appliances Tips

  • Cut water use by installing faucet aerators, low-flow showerheads and low-flush toilets. As much as 19% of California electricity is used to pump, transport and treat water.
  • Turn your water heater down to 120º or the "Normal" setting when home, and to the lowest setting when away. Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.
  • Wash clothes in cold water. About 90% of the energy use in a clothes washer goes to water heating.
  • Run your dishwasher and clothes washer only when fully loaded. Fewer loads reduce energy and water use. Use the air-dry option instead of the heat-dry. Check and clean the dishwasher drain.
  • Make sure your dryer's outside vent is clear and clean the lint filter after every load.

For more energy- and water-saving tips, visit

For Your Business

Are you looking for comprehensive energy-saving solutions for your business or organization? Energy efficiency improvements boast some of the highest returns on your investment. Boost your profits with energy efficiency and conservation; take a look at these Best Practices Guides from Flex Your Power.
Don't forget that you can also cash in on rebates offered by your local utilities. They have free programs to help you implement energy-saving strategies. Use the Rebate and Services locator at right to find programs.

2008 SORO Award Winners: Michele Wytko and SLO Rashad Sharif

The newly-renamed Susan Bursk Founder's Award is presented each year to an individual in recognition of his or her dedication and service to the South Robertson Neighborhoods community. The award is presented by SoRo Inc. and SORO NC at the SORO Festival.

This year's winner was community activist Michele Wytko for her tireless efforts to improve her La Cienega Heights neighborhood.

A special Service Award was also presented to Senior Lead Officer Rashad Sharif for his work in La Cienega Heights and in helping to establish the Robertson Activities League anti-gang program.

We're deeply grateful for the work Michele and SLO Sharif have done within SORO, and congratulate them on their awards.

Introducing SORO Walks at 7

Starting this summer, SORO NC invites you to join the neighborhood as we launch SORO Walks at 7.

This isn't a one-time event: every evening at 7pm, neighbors and residents are encouraged to get out and walk. Take advantage of the beautiful weather, meet new friends and spend time with old ones. SORO Walks at 7 is the perfect chance to get the exercise we all need, spend quality time with those you love and enjoy our beautiful neighborhood.

Together we can build a stronger, safer, healthier and more connected community. One walk at a time.