Editor's Note: Anabell Romero is a blogger for ouRXperience. She writes this opinion piece about her role on the Wilmington Neighborhood Council and its consideration of a new initiative. We include the perspective of the Council's chair at the end of this post.
Fernando Cuevas holds up a sign in support of the Clean Up Green Up campaign at a press conference earlier this month at L.A. City Hall. (Photo: Anabell Romero)
In September 2010, I was having dinner with my family when I received a text from my friend, Kat Madrigal, who told me that my name was on the Wilmington Neighborhood Council agenda. She was at the meeting and saw that the council was going to vote on my application to be a Member at Large. I was puzzled, because while I had applied, I did not know I was being considered that night.
Then I wondered, “If I am voted in as a member of the WNC how will I be able to make a difference in my community?”
Kat instantly texted me, “I think you should come.”
I was voted in that night-- one of three members-at-large on a council of up to 23 people. Now almost two years later I am honored to still sit on the board along with others who represent Wilmington residents, businesses, non-profits, senior citizens, education institutions, parks, churches and our youth.
I joined the WNC because I wanted to take action on a number of issues. The ongoing violence, our poor education system, and our lack of resource centers are big challenges. But more than anything, I'm concerned about the toxic air our neighborhood produces by being the home of active rail yards, storage tanks, oil refineries, salvage sites and other industry that dominates and pollutes our community.
The WNC was created in 2001, making it the first neighborhood council in Los Angeles. Ever since, community members have held very high expectations. Continue reading