Los Angeles is seeking to increase participation in the city’s vibrant grassroots electoral system, one of the largest in the nation. The City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, or Empower L.A., engaged FUSE executive fellow Aparna Mukherjee to help increase civic engagement among young people, and to support the launch of the city’s new Office of Civic Engagement.

Partnering with another organization, Aparna helped conduct extensive research, including dozens of focus groups and stakeholder interviews, to inform the development of a centralized online hub designed to improve civic engagement, dialogue and outreach. She leveraged her findings to create an enterprise resource management system, including building the budget case for the new platform and identifying local tech innovators and potential implementing partners. She produced a playbook of tools and best practices to engage opportunity youth and amplify emerging civic voices. Her work has encouraged staff to engage more intentionally in creative outreach and storytelling that will inspire more local involvement in the democratic process.