Los Angeles County’s Greatest Untapped Resource is Our People

Motivate and Create Pathways for Residents to Help Change Los Angeles County

There is strong interest and willingness by residents to get more involved and contribute to their community to build a better L.A. Lack of knowledge and the belief that their actions can make a difference are preventing residents from community involvement. The problem isn’t lack of caring, the poll showed, it is a lack of knowing how to contribute and/or how to make a difference.

L.A. residents have the drive and the desire to join in improving their communities. All they need are information and guidance on how they can make an impact.

Community Involvement is Personal

Better Inspire Angelenos to Increase Community Engagement

Incentives for getting involved are primarily personal, rather than community-based. One of the top two reasons residents said they would most likely get involved in their communities is if they knew it would help family, friends and neighbors.

People are results oriented – they will get involved when they believe it makes an impact, and often refrain from getting engaged when they don’t see concrete results.

  • Residents think the best way to help the community is to give something up or take an action themselves such as conserving water
  • Giving back through institutional means, such as participating at church or volunteering in schools, is seen as less effective
  • Individual actions one can control, like voting or making donations, are more powerful than trying to influence others, such as contacting elected officials or signing petitions

Respondents believe that individual action makes a difference, but we need to build confidence that collective action and working together can yield results.

3.1 Different Communities See Different Futures for Los Angeles

Motivate and Create Pathways for Residents to Help Change Los Angeles

The majority of individuals believe their own neighborhoods are headed in the right direction. Yet, this level of optimism doesn’t extend to the regional level. Republicans and Independents in particular believe the county as a whole is off-track.

While people of different ideologies differ on the county as a whole, they all see the power and potential of the places they call home.

3.2 Different Communities See Different Futures for Los Angeles

Motivate and Create Pathways for Residents to Help Change Los Angeles

The majority of individuals believe their own neighborhoods are headed in the right direction. Yet, this level of optimism doesn’t extend to the regional level. Republicans and Independents in particular believe the county as a whole is off-track.

We need to make broad-based problems like job creation, crime and homelessness more personal and applicable at a local level, instead of being perceived as someone else’s problem.

3.3 Different Communities See Different Futures for Los Angeles

Motivate and Create Pathways for Residents to Help Change Los Angeles

The majority of individuals believe their own neighborhoods are headed in the right direction. Yet, this level of optimism doesn’t extend to the regional level. Republicans and Independents in particular believe the county as a whole is off-track.

Ethnicity is a factor in sense of community, and creates a greater urgency to demonstrate shared needs and challenges to foster greater cohesion within communities and between them.

There is Common Ground on Priorities to Build a Better Los Angeles

There is Unity on Where to Increase Investments

Residents have found common ground on what some priorities should be for the county, going forward. They believe that increased financial support for these top issues would create a better future for L.A. County over the next 10 years.

There is common ground on increasing financial support on these main issues, but we need solutions and ways residents can make a difference in these areas.

Government & Other Institutions
Must Step Up

L.A. Residents Hold Public and Private Sector Responsible But Lack Confidence

Residents believe that some institutions are better equipped to tackle and invest in key issues than others. They assign distinct roles for responsibility and investment.

Residents expect the government to invest in the community. But their skepticism of government causes them to question the value of paying more taxes, or engaging with local government. Local public and private institutions need to do more to engage local residents, find meaningful ways for them to contribute and to demonstrate how those contributions have an impact.

Nonprofits and foundations must do more to demonstrate their value, role and contribution to issues such as housing, public education and job creation. Today, few residents assign nonprofits major responsibility for improving their community.