Though ACLA we encourage you to engage in your community, advocate for the power of architecture, and make positive change to your local neighborhoods.
Architecture for Communities Los Angeles (ACLA), is the non-profit sibling organization to American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter (AIA|LA) focused on education and community outreach. One of our goals is to be a resource and guide for architecture, design, and planning needs for communities by encouraging AIA|LA members to be engaged with their local Neighborhood Councils.
Neighborhood Councils ACLA’s goal is to serve the greater Los Angeles Community. As an AIA member you are uniquely positioned to affect and influence matters related to development, urban improvements, land use, master planning, community plan updates and sustainable initiatives in your neighborhood by connecting, engaging and participating in your local Neighborhood Council. The City of Los Angeles is made up of 99 Neighborhood Councils (NC). Each NC is governed by local community members elected to their positions. You can find out which NC you belong to by going to the Empower Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils webpage. The same link shares information about the NC’s, names of elected community members, their positions, boundary maps, committee information and links to the NC websites. Each NC website shares the names of their committees and calendar of events.
We encourage you to write to the elected official of your NC with a desire to contribute in any way that your schedule permits. You can attend NC meetings as a community stakeholder or become a part of a committee that will listen, recommend and pass motions that are sent to the City’s Zoning administrator or Planning Commission or City Council or all three decision making bodies influencing change that affect our daily lives.
Neighborhood Council elections are held every two years. This year the neighborhood council elections are starting in March and each NC will have a new board and new committees set up over the summer.
This is an opportunity to make change in your community by volunteering to be a part of a committee such as Land Use and Planning, Green Committee, Education Committee or others that may interest you. Another significant way to make change and represent the stakeholders in your neighborhood is to stand for elections in the next election cycle of 2025.
Outside of City of LA
If you live in incorporated cities in Los Angeles County including the City of Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Culver City, West Hollywood, Malibu, Glendale, Monterey Park, Inglewood, and others, please reach out to us and we will help share information about their community stakeholder organizations.
Many AIA|LA members serve in a volunteer capacity in their local communities and we thank them for their service. Please reach out to us if you would like to hear from members who are currently serving on the NC boards to get an idea of level of commitment and to answer questions you may have.
As you may be aware, AIA|LA and ACLA are soon moving into our new offices in West Adams. We have also reached out to the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council (UNNC) and Mid City Neighborhood Council Boards and will be reaching out to West Adams NC to introduce ACLA as a resource to the community. This month we pitched an ACLA tent at the Wilmington Farmers Market close
to the AIA|LA offices. Last year we were at the Old L.A. Farmers Market in Highland Park to introduce ourselves to the community and to share about Architecture as a profession that can bring communities together through the power of design.
For 2023, we have other community engagement initiatives including neighborhood walking tours and events with local community organizations like the Mid-city Ciclavia event coming in April on which we would like to collaborate with you. Please reach out to us if you would like to be a part of the ACLA.
ACLA currently has two flagship programs: Design by Diversity Day and 2×8. Design by Diversity (DxD) Day is an annual block-party for K-12 and college students designed to encourage a diversity of students to enter our profession and have a positive impact on Los Angeles. The 2×8 scholarship program supports current community college and university students of architecture through an annual exhibition and scholarship awards competition.
Please feel free to reach out to us and let us know how we can support you in reaching out to your neighborhood council. You can also reach out to Carlo Caccavale, Executive Director of ACLA, or Cyrice Griffith, Deputy Director.
On behalf of ACLA, we thank you for reading.
Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, FAIA – Past President, ACLA