The public outreach for community input across Los Angeles started in the fall of 1998 and carried over into 1999 with meetings all over the city. The final Neighborhood Council plan was incorporated into the newly revised LA City Charter of 1999.
To begin certification of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, we were asked to identify neighborhood communities and group them as the local communities wished. School attendance, police districts, and other pertinent statistics were the determining factors. Population dynamics from the 2000 census were used. We approached almost all of the elementary schools, the middle school and the high school. The HHPNC formation committee consisted of volunteer stakeholders, including many from the York Valley Association, as well as Carmela Gomes, Irene and Rick Alaniz Jim Sandlin, Linda Phelps, Kevin Phelps, Gabrielle Woods, Eddie Rivera. We collected the number of community stakeholder signatures necessary for certification. We included historical pictures, and answered the many required questions, including our outreach efforts, principles of accounting for the financial records and treasurer’s procedures. We also had to negotiate with our neighboring developing Neighborhood Councils for mutually agreeable boundary lines. This included disputed shared resources such as Deb’s Park, a “Crown Jewel” which had historically been a part of the early settlement of Highland Park. Some of our boundary lines were set by the Neighborhood Commissioners at our certification hearing on May 28th of 2002. We were the 33rd Neighborhood Council to be certified.
Juliet Arroyo’s son, John, suggested that the name of our NC include the word Historic, to reflect the age of our community. We elected interim officers in January, 2002:
Eddie Rivera, President
Juliet Arroyo, Vice President
Nancy Wyatt, 2nd VP
Jim Sandlin, Secretary
Heinrich Keifer, Treasurer
One highlight of our preparation for our first public election was “Spotlight on our Community.” Every single organization within the Highland Park community was invited to have a table display available to introduce the community. We had 27 organizations, the two local Council Districts and the mayor’s office were represented as well. This event was so successful we had a difficult time getting folks to attend the presentation of the candidates for our first public election. It can be said that this “Spotlight” gathering was the first collective meeting of its kind in Highland Park and was no doubt the beginning of the Resource Fairs that we continue to have today.