Students, Community Leaders Vote to Create North Westwood Neighborhood Council

Student and community leaders voted this week to create a second neighborhood council for Westwood, the neighborhood around UCLA, promising to support revitalized nightlife and housing development and to be more inclusive to students and renters.

In a 2008 photo, businesses and customers are seen in Westwood. (Credit: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times)

In a 2008 photo, businesses and customers are seen in Westwood. (Credit: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times)

More than 2,000 students, residents, business owners and employees voted in favor of creating the North Westwood Neighborhood Council. A group of student leaders, known as Westwood Forward, was among the principal backers of the new council. A total of 3,521 people voted in Tuesday’s election. Results were announced Friday.

The North Westwood Neighborhood Council will oversee UCLA and Westwood village, the area’s primary business community. It will also advise the Los Angeles City Council on decisions pertaining to Westwood, along with the existing Westwood Neighborhood Council.

“We’re absolutely ecstatic that for the first time in many years, perhaps the first time ever, there was a free and open election,” said Michael Skiles, UCLA’s graduate student association president and a Westwood Forward group leader. “Above all, it’s about those segments of the community — the younger, the less permanently present, the less affluent segments of the community that usually have very little voice in local decision making — having come together.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.