is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once
a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind
of community you want to live in.
is the “Heart of the South Bay”. Volunteers are what
makes that heart beat. In
the beginning, community volunteers, through the Lawndale Civic
Association (originally established in 1939), were responsible for
many community improvements. As Lawndale grew, the Civic Association’s
tasks multiplied, and in 1945 the Businessman’s Group was
formed. This group incorporated in 1948 as the Lawndale Chamber
of Commerce, which has been a mainstay in community affairs at all
levels. In the decade between the incorporation of the Chamber of
Commerce and the creation of the City of Lawndale, the major advocate
for the needs of the general community was the Chamber. When County
government requested what services were required by the citizenry,
or approaches to capital improvements, this organized voice assisted
in focusing input from all concerned individuals. A few highlights
of this decade include the final solution to flood control and street
improvements, improved county services, such as library service
and a local fire station, and major construction to promote the
identity of Lawndale.
Today Lawndale is faced with a new challenge: to create a volunteer
force in the City second to none. Opportunities are almost infinite;
however, although there is some interest in having programs for
Neighborhood Watch, Beautification, and recreational leadership,
there seems to be little to no momentum from our residents to participate
in these programs and keep them going.
As we enter a new millennium in our city, residents have the choice
to establish a safe, involved community where inhabitants can feel
secure that they live in a wonderful locale and know that their
direct efforts help to improve the quality of life in Lawndale for
all, or we can continue to expect others to direct the City and
remember the ‘good old days’ when neighbor actually
Now is the time to voice your feelings about volunteerism in Lawndale:
registration/interest forms are available at City Hall and the Municipal
Services Department to help determine what types of volunteer organizations
city residents would like to establish.
Currently, three commissions, two committees and one board serve
the City Council in an advisory capacity. Members are appointed
by the Mayor, with the approval of the City Council, generally for
two year terms. Specific policies governing each of these bodies
have been adopted over the years by the City Council. These policies
include matters such as eligibility for membership, the purpose
of the commission/committee, term of office, conduct of meetings,
and more. These commissions and committees are:
Other programs in our city include:
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES)
Any viable volunteer program for the enrichment and betterment
of our community.
There are as many reasons to volunteer as there are volunteers.
It is more than an opportunity to use knowledge, skills, abilities,
talents, and interests to contribute to our community. It is also
a ‘feel good’ exercise for yourself! Teaching a young
person life skills, coaching gymnastics, coordinating a fundraising
event, assisting our seniors, promoting literacy, saving abandoned
or unwanted pets, cleaning up a park, helping out in an emergency––there
are endless ways that Lawndalians can get involved.
A word of caution: volunteering can make things happen! Remember
that it was a group of volunteers almost 50 years ago who helped
to make our city the “Heart of the South Bay.”
For more information, or to register for upcoming volunteer opportunities
in the City of Lawndale, please call the Emergency Preparedness
Office at (310) 973-3285.