Los Angeles, December 9, 2016 – The Empowerment Congress Southwest Area Neighborhood Development Council wants people to know that the first step towards empowerment is to work with them to make a difference in the community and to prove it they would like to show you the Dog Waste Stations they just had installed at St. Andrew’s Recreation Center.
Just this spring community members brought a concern about dog waste on and near the walking trail at the otherwise beautiful St. Andrew’s Recreation Center. The Empowerment Congress Southwest heard their concern and investigated solutions. They used money originally set aside for community beautification given to each neighborhood council in the 8th District by former City Councilmember Bernard Parks and worked with current City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson to shepherd the project through the process. Bids were considered in September and Recreation and Parks installed the waste stations at the beginning of December.
Using funding of $2,500, six dog waste stations have been strategically placed at the point of need around the walking path. Each station is a complete unit with a disposable bag dispensary at the top and a trash receptacle at the bottom. The Empowerment Congress Southwest plans to add signage to each station showing their sponsorship.
As with any project like this, the inevitable implementation hurdle is how will it be maintained? The Empowerment Congress Southwest made sure that the initial purchase included a two year supply of bags which the park staff can use to replenish the units.
Involved community members Sharon and Edward Watson walk the park’s trail with a group of friends every weekday morning and consider the walking path a lifesaver to stay healthy. “We are so very thankful that the Council heard our voice, came and checked out the problem and stepped up to keep this park clean,” shares Sharon Watson. “The dog waste stations benefit dog owners and the whole community using the park.”
The Empowerment Congress Southwest is excited to bring such a wonderful improvement to St. Andrew’s which already has so many great facilities for the community including indoor and outdoor basketball, lighted baseball diamond and tennis courts, children’s play area, exercise equipment for adults, BBQ pits, jogging/walking path and more. “We have really appreciated partnering with the park staff on this project where we show we have listened to the community and taken action,” explains Empowerment Congress Southwest President Brent Page. “We are especially thankful for our stakeholders who brought this project to our attention and kept our feet to the fire! We needed their support to fast track this project.”
The Empowerment Congress Southwest just this summer completed the election process, swore in a new board with only two members continuing from the previous board, completed training, and took on a project that other more experienced Neighborhood Councils have discussed but not taken on, due to the potential bureaucratic obstacles.
The Empowerment Congress Southwest is just warming up, declares Page, “We have a lot in store for 2017”. We are next going to focus on #WesternRenaissance and other land use issues to improve our community. Residents and businesses that want to know more and to make a difference are invited to the Empowerment Congress Southwest meetings which are on the 3rd Monday of the month at the Mark Ridley-Thomas Constituent Service Center, 8475 S. Vermont. The next meeting is on December 19, 6pm and will include a holiday celebration. All meetings are open to the public.