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L.A. Updates Neighborhood Council Voter Categories

The City Council raised the bar Wednesday for Angelenos who want to vote in neighborhood council elections, approving changes that prevent people with only a receipt from a local business from participating.

The city’s 95 neighborhood councils serve as advisory panels to the City Council and are allotted money to distribute to local schools and other neighborhood groups, or to fund community events such as parades and festivals.

The council voted 12-0 to eliminate a voter and candidate category called the “factual basis stakeholder,” which enables people who buy an item locally to vote or run for a post. An amended ordinance codifying the change requires mayoral approval.

“Factual basis stakeholder” would be replaced with “community interest stakeholder,” a label applied to those with a “substantial and ongoing” tie to the community, such as participation in a local nonprofit group, school or church.

The changesalso remove a requirement to have at least one “community interest stakeholder” sit on neighborhood council boards, as long as such stakeholders can run for the “at-large” position that is open to all stakeholders.