2016 Grants Challenge

Save Spaces for Healthy Places

Save Spaces for Healthy Places provides the training, knowledge and ongoing opportunity for South LA residents to find and project their powerful voices so that community change can become a reality.


Please describe your project proposal.

Save Spaces for Healthy Places prepares residents to use their influential voices to ensure policies and land-use plans reflect the actual needs of their community by: 1) learning about the community planning process and how it can be influenced; 2) learning to frame their message so their voices can matter; 3) understanding the linkage between lack of community resources and health; and 4) connecting them to civic engagement through their Neighborhood Councils and other pathways to activism.

Which of the CONNECT metrics will your proposal impact?​

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs

Participation in neighborhood councils

Rates of volunteerism

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

South LA

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to CONNECT?

Save Spaces for Healthy Places will make South LA (SLA) the best place to CONNECT by motivating residents to get involved with the Community Plan (CP) process through Neighborhood Councils (NC). CPs reflect the needs and values of residents living in the community as it lays out guidelines for land use, housing, transportation, and business development. However, CPs, like those in SLA, are not always followed or updated. Of the three Community Plan areas in SLA, only one has been updated in the last 10 years. As a result, SLA has experienced decades of neglect from decision-makers and investment. This has resulted in residents feeling disillusioned and disengaged from the political process and believing that their voices do not matter. Neighborhood Councils are vehicles that can help SLA residents reengage since these are groups comprised of residents that the City recognizes as being the voice of the people. NCs and other residents can get involved in CP hearings, meetings, and other discussions so that they can advocate for equitable access to fundamental resources. Engaged residents can push for a responsible CP that ensures future developments will bring in safe parks instead of liquor stores; produce markets instead of fast food restaurants; and affordable housing instead of only high-priced condos.

This project will have a three-pronged approach:

1) Engagement

A technical committee will be formed to help design the resident engagement strategies and collaborate in the delivery of the Community Planning Literacy Workshop Series. The committee will include local NCs and individuals currently engaged in the CP Updates.

2) Training

The training is organized so that residents are well versed on the technical aspects of the CPs and they are equipped to recruit, train, and motivate their neighbors. Using CHC’s Community Plan Literacy 6-part Workshop Series, that was successful in training and preparing residents to become active participants in the West Adams CP Update recently adopted by the City, residents will be informed about:

-The relationship between community resources and health

-Places where people can get involved in local decision-making

-How to participate and take leadership in a Neighborhood Council

-The skills needed to participate in the development of the guidelines which are the foundation of Community Plans

-Strategies to get other neighbors involved

3) Neighborhood Councils

Using our relationships to NCs, we will identify Councils ready to establish Subcommittees. These subcommittees will ensure decision-makers keep residents informed; and that plans are being implemented according to resident feedback. Trained workshop participants will join their NCs to communicate updates and opportunities around the Plans and organize community efforts to educate their neighbors. Subcommittees will also monitor the CP process to mobilize residents around city planning and council hearings when necessary.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Success will be defined as follows:

Partner Commitment

--20% of the Neighborhood Councils in the South and Southeast LA Community Plan areas will commit to participating in the project by forming Community Planning Sub-Committees, reviewing the workshop curriculum and designing and implementing resident engagement outreach plan for the workshops.

Stakeholder Engagement

--100 resident & stakeholders will participate in the workshop series

--60% of workshop participant will join the Neighborhood Council and the Community Planning Sub-Committees

--100% of workshop participants will demonstrate an increased literacy in CP process.

--75% of workshop participants will commit to engage in advocacy around the CPU public process – testimony, letters, visits

This project will adopt a real-time learning model that uses the following methods/tools to evaluate success:

--Partner Commitment Forms: NC’s will be asked to sign a commitment form outlining their role in this project.

--Attendance Forms: Workshop sign in sheets will be collected at all sessions to determine participation levels.

--Pre- and Post-Test: Pre and post tests will be distributed to determine rate of increase in community planning literacy, attitudes about community plan development, and intent to participate in activism opportunities.

--Commitment Forms: Cards will be distributed at the end of the workshop series to gauge commitment/interest in continued civic participation through NC subcommittees.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?



Community outreach

Network/relationship support