April 27, 2016

About SORO

The text that follows comes from the SORO website – soronc.org.

What is SORO NC?

The South Robertson Neighborhoods Council (SORO NC) was chartered on August 13, 2002 as 40th Council within the City of Los Angeles’s Neighborhood Council system. The NC system was created in 1999 to allow those who live, work, volunteer, learn, or worship in a particular neighborhood—stakeholders—an opportunity to have a voice in community and city decisions. Each of the 96 neighborhood councils is currently funded with $42,000 yearly by the City.

How does SORO NC run?

The Board of SORO NC has 25 seats, all or part of which are filled at any given time. These seats represent geographical areas [zones], organizations and businesses. Any stakeholder within the SORO NC borders may run as a candidate in ageneral NC election, or submit an application to be appointed to a vacant seat, if he or she meets the criteria for that particular position. The full Board meets once a month, at the General Board Meeting. In addition, the NC operates committees to address a wide cross-section of community issues. These committees meet throughout the month and are attended by both Boardmembers and stakeholders.

What does SORO NC do?

In addition to working closely with City departments, our neighborhood council is very active in the community. We are dedicated to the economic revitalization of our area, and run a number of projects and events. Check out our Programs area and individual Committee pages for more details.

How did SORO NC start?

In December 1996, residents within the South Robertson Blvd. area were asked by Fifth District City Councilmember Mike Feuer if they were interested in participating in the formation of a “livable neighborhood council” to improve the quality of life in their community. Tenth District Councilmember Nate Holden joined the revitalization efforts, and in 1997 the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council (SoRo) was formally established with Susan Bursk as its first President.

This early experiment in community participation was incorporated as a non-profit organization focused on improvements to the southern portion of Robertson Blvd. It quickly won a $400,000 grant for civic improvements and organized the first annual SoRo Community Festival. Indeed, it was successful enough that SoRo became a model used by the 1999 City Charter commission when drafting the framework for a citywide neighborhood council system.

By 2002, voters had approved the new city charter (officially making NCs part of the city government) and a plan for a full NC system was in place. SoRo applied for and received City certification, becoming SORO NC.

Some of the founding members preserved the non-profit as a separate entity, now known as the SoRo Community Foundation, Inc. SoRo CF continues to produce the SoRo Festival each year.