John Walker has been the leader of Studio City for the past eight years. He isn’t a city councilman, he isn’t a billionaire businessman, and he isn’t a movie star.
Walker for the past eight years has served on the Neighborhood Council of Studio City, a unique community activism role that doesn’t seem to have much power, but certainly carries a lot of clout. And, Walker used that clout many times, to not only help his community, but to get major things done.
Now, he plans to step down, and he is encouraging budding activists in the neighborhood to take his place. At the last neighborhood council meeting, the general manager who is charge of the 97 unique advisory committees, Grace Liu, from the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) honored Walker with an award. This month’s meeting will be his last.
Walker pointed out that the community, the neighborhood, elects you to the council, and he ran for one of the four homeowners seats. “When I ran, I had no idea how much work it would become, or how rewarding. It has been one of the best experiences of my professional and personal life.”
He does point out, it doesn’t make you rich. “Being a volunteer may not bring you riches in dollars but, the satisfaction and accomplishments more than make up for that. We live in one of the most sought-after and prized neighborhoods in all of Los Angeles and that is no accident,” he said. “Some of that has happened in large part, because of the hard work from a group of hard working and concerned community members.”
Under his leadership, Walker has turned Studio City into an enviable neighborhood council. City leaders point to the group, even when they argue, and Walker has been able to get the council people, the mayor and other city officials on the phone when he needs them.
He advises, “If you have ever thought about serving our community, this is one of the best ways to get involved and really have a voice in our future. You get to represent ALL OF STUDIO CITY. It is not easy. There are demands on you’re time and, you will be put into positions that do not always make everyone happy. However, being an elected representative is a combination of llistening to the community, understanding the issues and making smart choices. If these things interest you, I urge you to get involved. Become a candidate for the Board.”
The elections take place in early April, 2016 and this year, Studio City is introducing On-Line voting. You have to sign up by Feb. 7 to be eligible.
The 16-member board meets at the CBS Studio Center where some of the most popular TV shows are shot. Light refreshments at 6:30 with the meeting scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
Go to: EmpowerLA.org, where you can both Register to vote online and (if qualified), also Register to run as a Candidate
Candidate Registration through February 7, 2016
Online Voter Registration 12/1/2015 through March 31, 2016
Online Voting March 17, 2016 through April 7, 2016
Voting at Polling Place April 7, 2016 (Walter Reed Middle School)
The Studio City Neighborhood Council is one of 35 councils that will be using online voting for the first time. If people don’t register on their smartphone, tablet or computer they can always go to the usual polling place at Walter Reed Middle School on voting day which is Thursday, April 7, 2016.