The Empowerment Congress is here to empower and engage all members of our diverse communities to ensure our collective voice is heard by:

  • Encouraging and enlisting the full participation of our community to improve our quality of life;
  • Educating and informing our community on how government works;
  • Developing strategies that shape policy and legislation; and
  • Connecting our community with public resources.

Founded in 1992 by then Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Empowerment Congress, a distinctive and deliberate national model of civic engagement built on the core principles of participatory democracy, reciprocal accountability, and intentional civility, is a dynamic partnership among neighborhood groups, residents, nonprofit organizations, businesses, religious institutions, and community leaders within diverse communities. The Empowerment Congress served as a model and precursor to the City of Los Angeles’ Neighborhood Councils.

The Empowerment Congress is an ongoing effort in participatory government, founded on the principle that elected officials are most effective when the constituents they serve are actively involved in the decision-making process. After nearly 30 years since inception, the Empowerment Congress has expanded its programs and mission of civic engagement and community empowerment. 

The Empowerment Congress is organized with an Executive Committee, which serves as its governing body; a Leadership Council comprised of key stakeholders and community leaders; and four working groups that focus on prominent community issues.

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The Empowerment Congress is comprised of a broad-based and diverse constituency made up of community residents, representatives of the Neighborhood Councils and block clubs, social and human service organizations, academic and religious institutions, business interests and individual citizens. At its core, the Empowerment Congress is driven by the passion and commitment of our volunteers.

The membership reflects the wealth of experience, expertise and skills of residents in Los Angeles County. By joining our mailing list, you will receive information about ways in which you can get involved. We encourage you to learn more about opportunities to volunteer.

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