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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

2016 Venice Neighborhood Council Election

Venice Neighborhood Council 2016 election is now in the stage of much campaigning and awaiting the forums. Many organizations and individuals have established slates. Update would list such but one cannot distinguish the organization from the individual; therefore, none have been listed.

The 46 at-large community officers will be the first on the slate 1 June for the community form, followed by all the other officers on 2 June. That will conclude all election events planned prior to the election. Campaigning can continue. Update plans to put all the candidate responses into one release and that will occur prior to the forums. The VNC election guide is next.

Election Events to Come:

May – Delivery of the VNC Election Guide throughout Venice and before Candidate Forum
1, 2 June – Candidate Forums
5 June – VENICE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL ELECTION, 10 am to 6 pm
8 June – Deadline for provisional voter supporting documentation
10 June – Deadline to request recount or challenge

Community Interest/Community Officer
Andrew Bozeman, Lauri Burns, and Ace Norton are running but did not respond.

The question was: What are the duties of the Community Interest/Community officer and how do you envision this position and what would you do to improve it. If I were Community Interest/Community Officer, I would like to ___________>

Keven Keresey
I view the position of Community Interest/Community Officer as an opportunity to be even more effective in the Venice community than I already have been. As a former 27 year Venice resident whose entire neighborhood was destroyed by foreign private equity groups and LLCs motivated solely by profit & greed, I have been fighting back since being displaced two and a half years ago.


After being tracked down by VNC LUPC Chair, Robin Rudisill, and asked to attend a hearing at the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission (WLAAPC) regarding the destruction of our neighborhood, I was shocked to witness developers and their lawyers making up any lies they chose without consequence, shocked to see the obvious collusion between developers, the city planning department, the city attorney’s office, shocked to see currently existing laws to protect citizens and their neighborhoods go completely unenforced.

I got immediately involved. That phone call out of the blue from Robin opened the door for me to work with her and all of the awe inspiring selfless people I have met along this journey. The common thread with the people I have worked with is their ability to exchange constructive ideas and take actions that preserve and promote the welfare of all in the Venice community. For the past year and a half I have attended many California Coastal Commission hearings & WLAAPC hearings as an advocate for Venice.

The determination to have complete transparency and accountability in local, city & state government agencies is paramount to me and those I work with. Together we need to fight for integrity in our government and to hold our politicians accountable so that laws to protect citizens and quality of life will actually be enforced. As we move forward we need to look at things squarely and ask ourselves, should the city be in the hands of its citizens or should it be in the hands of those with the most $ but the least ethics? Do we want Venice to be the inclusive city that cherishes its diversity or do we want it to grow into an ever more exclusive club for only the rich? I want the power to be given back to and remain with its every day ordinary citizens! That is what I have been actively fighting for and will continue to fight for regardless of whether or not I am elected to the VNC. Election to the VNC will provide me more leverage in this quest to defend, preserve and restore the greatness of Venice for ALL, to continue the work that I am already involved in.

At-Large Community Officer
These the ones who did not respond: Glojean Dabbs, Michael Maker, Lisa Werlwas, William Hawkins, Allan Jones, Sylvia Aroth, Jean Harrington, John Reed, Ilana Marosi, James Murez, Steve Livigini, Vanessa Schreiber, Sunny Bak, Erin Darling, Cayley Lambur, Gabriel Ruspini, Antoinette Renee Reynolds, Maria Tenoreio Bravo, Wendy Lynn Kayswing, Cario Lucuesta, Matt Shaw, Helene Rotolo, Robert Thibodeau, Chris Wells

The questions asked were: The question/s for each of you is/are: What are your main concerns? What would you like to see changed or bettered as a result of your tenure? What committee would you like to engage? In addition, the option was open for one to write his own question.

Shepard Stern
I am running to bring balance to the VNC.

I suspect that some people who are running have ulterior motives, hidden agendas or are in the pocket of some developer, architect or realtor.
I am not.

For over thirty years I’m the owner/resident of a modest home on the Venice Walk Streets, and make my living as a composer and record producer, and as an educator who desires only to keep Venice diverse – economically, racially, and politically.

I am against displacement and eviction of shopkeepers and longtime tenants due to gentrification, and while this is a National issue, I am all about fairness and balance and dialogue.

I am for the increased development of “low income” housing and abolishing the terminology “affordable” – because what is “affordable” to one may not be “affordable” to others, and sheltering and transitioning outreach programs the homeless, employing the local jobless, and finding a viable solution to overnight RV parking on residential streets.

I am for the redirection of tax monies BACK to Venice to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

I am against business owners who operate without being permitted for things such as operating as a restaurant that serves alcohol, while only permitted to be a bakery.

I am against turning longtime apartment buildings into hotels.

I am against running an Airbnb WITHOUT 24/7 onsite management, but am also against limiting short term rentals to only 90 days a year, which seems unreasonable.

I am against the construction of oversized, single family homes on small lots that are being built with no regard to Mass, Scale, and Character as it pertains to the streets and neighborhood.

I am against Santa Monica using Venice as it’s dumping ground for parking for the Light Rail Expo Line Terminus, as a holding zone for commercial vehicles, and as a flight path for private planes and jets taking off from Santa Monica Airport.

I am against the Big Blue Bus changing it routes through Venice neighborhoods without first engaging in community outreach.

I am against L.A. City Council and the L.A. City Attorney’s office turning a blind eye to the rules and regulations set forth in the Venice Specific Plan, and the Coastal Commission.

Here is my “running-for-vnc” email address…
shepinvenice@gmail.com

Joe Murphy
How can we shift the focus of our Neighborhood Council from downzones to visions?

The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) is soon to be presented with a report generated by the Character Mass & Scale Committee (CMS) based on the mistaken assumption that architectural creativity can be mandated. The tendency to make such assumptions can be attributed to the manner in which such ad hoc committees are formed – by factions behind the equivalent of closed doors.

The CMS record ignores the needs of homeless people for housing in a crisis caused, in significant part, by prior downzones. Yet its report suggests further downzones – making things worse not only for homeless people but for those who are finding themselves priced out of living in their Venice Community.

This is THE major issue we will need to address if we are elected. We will need to figure out a way to form ad hoc committees without depending on factions functioning behind the equivalent of closed doors. If we fail, we will continue to erode the respect and influence the VNC provides its constituents on our government representatives.

This has been the focus of the Discussion Forum Committee which I intend to continue to chair if permitted to do so.

If you wish to know more about me and my involvements and concerns, please take a look at my candidate statement at https://joedmurphy.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/2016candidatestatementofjoemurphy1.pdf.

Gina Maslow
What are your main concerns?
So how do I stand out in a crowd of nearly fifty candidates? Sing? Dance? Put on a magic show? I don’t think so…but I can stand out by being available to the community; hearing and closely listening to what is said to me; being open-minded; being fair; sharing my love for Venice and all that it represents; and not becoming hardened by some of the issues how we come together as a community.

What would you like to see changed or bettered as a result of your tenure?
I am not a Pollyanna, but I do see myself as wanting to have an impact in our community. I feel that we can make make real progress by focusing on how the future of Venice is perceived and planned: for example, dealing with homelessness, gentrification, over -development and mansionization, and commercial encroachment on Abbot Kinney Blvd. Let’s focus on maintaining diversity , keeping our arts community viable, encouraging more affordable housing, and supporting local businesses. Lets keep Venice that unique place which inspired many of us to move here.

What committee would you like to engage? Neighborhood Committee or Land Use and Planning.

Nate Golan

Since I signed up as an At-Large Community Officer candidate, I’ve spent a lot of time on the streets, talking to residents, and walking business to business, hearing the voices and opinions of those who live and work here. The one constant, no matter who I’m talking to, or what area of Venice they are in, is the homeless population and individual issues or concerns they have had with the homeless, be it burglaries, public drunkenness, noise complaints, defecating in public, parking their RVs and cars in residential neighborhood, leaving their possessions on sidewalks, sleeping in tents outside residences, and the list goes on. This is an issue that cannot be ignored or swept under the rug.

If the purpose of the Venice Neighborhood Council is to listen and engage with all members of the community, and seemingly all members of the community are sharing the same concern in one form or another, isn’t it up to those of us who are elected to do everything they can to make our community better and stronger? This issue is not going away. Each homeless person has their own backstory and their own struggles. I believe we can forge positive solutions by working with all members of the community. I am happy and willing to take a role in this. Inaction cannot be an option.

Other issues I want to focus on are short-term rentals, dealing with gentrification, and historic preservation. 12% of all rentals are short term. As a renter, this affects me directly. Abbot Kinney is being priced out for its residents and local business owners. I live in Venice because Venice has character, it has diversity, it is beautiful and it is unique. I want to work to keep it that way for all members of the community.

Robert Schwan
As a 40 year Venice resident I would like to participate in carrying on the tradition of our diverse, artistic community that preserves and enhances our legacy while applying sensible civic principles to the ongoing evolution of our town.

Instead of recoiling from the inevitable change and growth, I believe the community has to focus and find creative paths forward that are solution based and have actual impact on the quality of life in Venice.

I have participated in the Venice Art Walk as an artist and business owner since it’s inception and believe that organizations like that bring the community together to solve real problems and curate real time solutions to individuals lives by bringing us together rather than pushing us apart.

We have before us the opportunity to actually make an impact on parking, traffic, schools and our homeless population if we commit to plans of action with creativity, discipline and most importantly compassion.

I would like the opportunity to serve the Venice community as a Community Officer and give back to the place that has given me so much.

Brooks Kephart
My main concerns are health and safety. I have a 5 year old son and would love nothing more than to trust that by age 10 he can walk to the beach and back by himself safely, without having to step over excrement and through trash to do so. There is absolutely a crime issue, along with a waste management issue, both very fixable. I strive to create a Venice where everyone can enjoy a clean, safe, beach, just like all the other beaches in Southern California.

Yolanda Gonzalez
One of my main concerns at present time is the homeless problem and what Councilman Mike Bonin is proposing.

We are a big Los Angeles County. There is a lot of empty land east of us.
It is the responsibility of the County Supervisors to engage in this concern.. We have two County Supervisors representing Venice with no plan in place. HAVE this Supervisors ever BOTHERED TO COME OR MAKE AN EFFORT TO HAVE SOME REPRESENTATION AT OUR VENICE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL? It is Mayor Garcetti’s responsibility to built Coalition with other neighboring City Mayors to find MONEY IMMEDIATELY and have a PLAN IN PLACE. I am against building any home facility in the Medium of Venice Boulevard. Not at the tax payers expense. Nor in front of the Venice Canals. Venice is a tourist place. Bonin will not be reelected.

Housing for the homeless should be built with medical facilities to have accountability, control of drug substances which they have at their access, and medical over sight to put them either back to work. Or make sure they are no harm to others or even themselves. Did any body see the LA Times Monday May 9, (“From riverbed to home”) the biseps on Dave Curry? WOW should put him to work immediately.

We will never solve our traffic problem at the beach, because bike lanes are a priority. We are a beach community and tourist community. I would of liked to see vertical parking. IT is the responsibilty of the DOT to come up with better plans. They get paid very well. Parking is a big problem.

RV’s over taking parking in Venice. They block the right of way.
Another concern is the lack of response from our LAPD.
The LAPD of the Pacific Division is FRUSTRATED.

The threat of Cityhood for Venice is a good Plan. That will really scare City Council. NO MORE OF OUR MONEY COMING YOUR WAY BABY’S. SO SORRY. Time for change.

Never in the history of Venice have we ever had such wonderful diversity in Venice. Inspite of our problems. Several on the existing board can’t stand progress and new change. SORRY for those that can’t stand the new INTERNATIONAL diversity that has come to Venice as businesses and new residents. I LOVE IT.

HOW MANY APARTMENT buildings are in REAP in Venice? I know of two large apartment buildings at the moment. Then you wonder why we are loosing units. Landlords are selling and getting out of the housing business in this city. I don’ t blame them for selling.

I am all for ensuring housing for workers with in our community. But it is the city who has caused this problem.

I AM absolutely disgusted with the way board members and LUPC representatives have control of filling appeals on most projects to go before the Coastal Commission. THEY have put neighbor against neighbor. We already pay a coastal commission fee no matter what size project you do.

John Reed’s response to the VNC Board on Mass, Scale, and Character is excellent. I support John’s recommendations on this topic. Plus Darryl Dufay’s critique which was also fabulous. I am hoping more professionals come forward on this topic. The VNC responsibility is to follow process with the work of new and old construction with planning and commissioners. Make recommendations of community input. NOT to RUIN PEOPLES LIFES, COSTING THEM MONEY. Why is it the other Cities help you through the process.

The Ethics Commission has no ability to do anything, as I was told in reference to Neighborhood Councils. The Human Relations has a better ability do something. Then, why in hell take the Ethics test. Are we not part of the Charter? Or are we just puppets used for information back to the City. Representatives at no cost! I would like to see a change on this venue if elected. The Human Relation worked with us extensively in the past.

It is a must to have a City Attorney present at our meetings like we use to.
Three committees I would like to get going and share is Housing, bring Building and Safety, and the Housing Department to the table to review issues. They need to keep us informed of changes coming.

I will make every effort to attend the city meetings of the DWP, which Dede and I have attended for years. The drought is of great concern to all of us and water ocean rise in Venice. Dede at 95 still keeps us informed and she has taught me and we share information on this important topic. Nobody seems to share this responsibility except me with her.

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, get the role going on Cityhood for Venice which requires a tremendous amount of work. But I will enjoy a challenge. Do some of you remember Dr. JOHN who was on the ball?

The board must engage those elected to be more active in out reach to all city agencies. It really surprised me how many people have no idea what THE VNC is all about.

I would like to bring at least one Cultural seminar through the Human Relations Department for better understanding of how our economics affect our own city. How we as individuals affect the city as well.

This is my response to Venice-Update as to why my interest in running for Community At Large Officer

I ask for your vote.
Yolanda Gonzalez
Community At Large
Tweet me YolandaInVenice

Barry Casilly
What are my main concerns?

My main concern is the divisive, unfriendly tone that has taken hold at the VNC and in much of our community. In my opinion, neighborliness should be the basis of a community group. Diversity is good. Respect, consideration and openness to views counter to your own are elemental to a healthy community. These are the values, I would like to see held first by the community group. Everything else is secondary.

What would you like to see changed or bettered as a result of your tenure?

I would like to see VNC meetings become a place where people feel welcome, and are happy to attend. I want people to feel safe. I want the whole experience of engaging with community through the VNC process to become a positive one.

What committee would you like to engage?

LUPC. I care most deeply about beautiful buildings. I also care about Venice moving into the future as a sustainable community. LUPC seems most directly involved with those issues.

Marc Saltzberg
Marc Saltzberg: A few of my concerns for Venice and changes I’d like to see
1. The city and county must provide strategies that address homelessness on a regional basis. Each LA City Council District and each LA County city must step up with specific plans to take some of the load. Our Councilmember has released proposals for Venice that need our input and suggestions. And while many Venetians would agree that our community has to be part of the solution, we can’t be alone.

2. Los Angeles housing is the least affordable to rent in the country. And Venice is now one of the LA communities that costs the most to live in. We need to increase the availability of middle-class and affordable housing. And we need to protect the rent-stabilized (RSO) housing we have. Consistent enforcement of the Mello Act while ending abuse of Ellis Act will help. These state laws are vital to protecting our RSO housing but the city has done a poor job of implementing them. The city needs to improve and we need to make sure it does. Passage of a Short Term Rental (STR) Ordinance that makes STR’s legal while regulating their activities will also help by limiting their impact on neighborhoods and long term housing.

3. The VNC’s Land Use and Planning Committee frequently recommends projects that require developers to meet a list of conditions and permit recommendations. But the city’s enforcement mechanisms are broken. Developers take advantage by demolishing what exists and building what they want as if the conditions we insisted on don’t exist. If caught (which rarely happens), they smile and say, “Whoops, too late now.” This has to end. We need to pressure the city to provide the enforcement it has repeatedly promised.

4. The new Local Coastal Plan (LCP) process will result in a sorely needed update of the plan that guides development in our coastal zone (the Venice Specific Plan). With one percent of the city’s population, Venice typically has fifteen percent of the city’s development permit requests. That’s enormous pressure on city planning. We must be sure the new plan protects residents rather than enabling developers.

5. I’m enormously proud of the Neighborhood Committee it’s been my privilege to Chair and their accomplishments on behalf of the community. In leaving the VNC’s Vice Presidency and running for another office I’ll be saying good-bye to the Committee. I hope the next Vice President and the committee he/she leads continue the spirt of activism and advocacy for our neighborhoods that have energized us over the last 5 years.

6. In Venice attracts over ten million visitors a year. Those visitors bring income to the city – lots of it. They also stress the resources we have to cope with them. Many of us believe the city doesn’t provide services to Venice in line with our contributions or our needs. But we only suspect that’s true – we don’t have numbers. We need to work with the City Controller to understand what we contribute to city finances and the cost of the services we receive. We need to estimate the cost of the additional services we ought to have – and we need to work with the city to bring those services to our community.

I’d like to see a “Clean Streets” initiative that picks up trash on parkways, walkways and unmaintained areas adjacent to sidewalks – particularly on the access streets leading to the Beach and commercial areas. And I’d like drastically improved maintenance of sidewalks – the Neighborhood Committee identified hundreds of locations that can benefit from temporary and long term repairs. Now we need to work with the city to get hose repairs made. A “Venice Shuttle” to transport visitors to the Beach and Abbot Kinney from remote parking facilities (a shuttle run by the county already exists – but is too limited in scope and frequency. We can do better!) would improve congestions. I’d also like to explore with MTA the possibility of direct bus service from Metro train stations to Windward Circle and use the proposed shuttle to get passengers to their neighborhoods.

Committees I plan to serve on
1. Establishment of an Ad Hoc Legislative Committee. The breadth and scope of City and County government (including independent government entities like Rec and Parks, DWP, Beaches and Harbors, MTA, etc.) make keeping up to date with laws, initiatives, policy proposals and enforcement activities that impact Venice an impossible task for one or two people (I know – I tried it!). I’d like to put together a committee to deal with the flood of information to make sure the VNC and residents are informed on a timely basis so they can properly respond.

2. I’ve been a member of Venice Forward for the last two years. We’re a coalition of government, service providers and community members dedicated to end homelessness in Venice. Now I want to bring what I’ve learned and the contacts I’ve made to the VNC’s Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness. The city and county have committed to new plans dealing with homeless issues and will spend close to 250 million dollars next year on them. Additionally, our City Councilmember has released an “implementation strategy” consisting of specific (and controversial) proposals for Venice. The VNC and Venice residents need to consider these plans and proposals and be a part of the discussion. The Homelessness Committee has a role to fill and I intend to help.

Steven Vulin
As an active citizen I do my best to engage neighbors and the Venice community as a whole. I am a member of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, the Venice Media District, Voice of the Canals and attend countless community meetings including Venice Forward with our Councilman Mike Bonin, geared at eradicating the homeless epidemic in Venice. I have relations with our local Charities as well as our prominent businesses. I am taking initiatives with key community members to turn Venice into one of LA’s cleanest cities, from bringing in more public trash bins, to doing the little things like picking up a piece of trash I may see on my daily jogs while encouraging a change of mindset for everyone in our community to do the same. I take so much pride in Venice that I have literally stopped crime by running down a thief to return a stolen iPhone. Bottom line, I love Venice, and care about everyone that lives here.

Mary Anne Thomas
Mary Anne Thomas/her concerns for her community of Venice/what she would hope to accomplish as a member of the VNC and why as a Community At Large officer

My concern is that Venetians are becoming isolated from each other. Many brand new houses stand empty as investors park their money in them but no one lives there. Many houses host a rotating group of out-of-town tourists who have no interest in or awareness of the fact that they are in a neighborhood of residents. Whether you belong to an historic family who has resided in Venice for generations, or have moved here recently, you are needed by Venice and its people to preserve the sense of community. We are more than an enclave of deep-pocketed, isolated tribes.

When you look at people, really see them for who they are. Maybe they’re not techies, or Industry pros, or construction folks or boarders or artists or any of the hundreds of tribes in Venice, but they might certainly be cooking and serving the “awesome” small plate, burrito, sushi, vegan experience to you. They might be people with a long history of Venice in their family, they might be the people who actually created the art you were admiring, they might be people whose life exploded into the “Venice vibe” you came here to be part of. If you want to be part of it, then protect the community against the displacement of its members. The hit and run approach to development will leave us all sitting and staring at boring, empty buildings and then hi ho, we’re halfway to becoming Westwood.

I would like to be part of the Arts Committee and encourage the kind of art that helps people understand the lives of others, the kind of art that really shows you the devastation of a community when the rule of law is abrogated by the demands of greed. I would like encourage the creation of oral histories of the historic and diverse families of Venice.

I would like to be part of the Education committee and encourage opportunities for our local kids to get out into Nature through field trips. As a Topanga Canyon Docent leading hikes in the Santa Monica’s I know there’s plenty of therapy to found in Nature, plenty to spark curiosity and creativity.

I would like to be part of the Neighborhood/Public Health and Safety committees and tackle the problem of commuter traffic being routed by apps through our streets as though they only existed to speed these drivers past gridlock. We have dogs, children, grandmas all trying to get across a street whose stop sign is considered an inconvenience by these drivers.

I would like to be part of ANY committee that can goad the City into regularly collecting all the
tourist trash on the boardwalk and regularly keep the bathrooms OPEN for Everyone.

I would like to advocate for our excellent Venice Abbot Kinney Library when provides us with so
much in music, movies, books, stories, kids time AND is a home away from home during open
hours for SO MANY PEOPLE.

And finally, I would like to advocate for all those residents and renters, the vulnerable who find themselves one step from the street through the manipulation of evictions, through the absolute
violation of Venice’s protections due by law from the California Coastal Act and Mello Act, which
should be preserving neighborhood integrity but are being sidestepped by bureaucratic lack of
oversight and proper planning.

Remember, if you help no one because they’re not like you, who will be left to help you
when they’re all gone,

Haseeb Rahman
What are your main concerns? What would you like to see changed or bettered as a result of your tenure?
There are a number of serious issues in our community that, if addressed, could move Venice forward in a great way: lack of walkability, cleanliness, and homelessness, among other issues. I feel that the VNC is the perfect forum to work through to solve these issues.

Diversity
Being a first generation Pakistani American, this is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. Venice is not only a community that is rich in ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds but also diverse demographically – occupation, wealth, and age. I believe that this diversity should not only be celebrated and promoted within our community, but also represented on the Venice Neighborhood Council. Through the Venice Neighborhood Council, I will work towards making sure that every demographic in our community is fairly represented.

Overgentrification/Affordable Housing
It is my belief that gentrification of Venice is not something that can be stopped. When property values are at all-time highs, long-term Venice residents who have significant equity in their homes will continue to cash in on their investments, leaving the path for new significant development in Venice. Though I believe it cannot be stopped, I strongly believe that gentrification can be controlled and managed in a way that allows Venetians from all walks of life to represent themselves appropriately in the community we call home.

Public Parking
Though parking as an issue may be smaller in scale, its frequency in our lives makes it important to address. There are already a limited number of public parking spots in Venice, but this issue is exacerbated by the large influx of RVs that have moved into the community. I want to work towards parking and traffic rules and regulations that use our space as efficiently as possible for actual community members.

What committee would you like to engage?
I would like to get involved with the education committee. Having a background in tutoring, I strongly believe that education and education-related activities should always remain a top priority in any community.

Vytas Juskys
What are your main concerns?
My biggest priority is to preserve and promote that which makes Venice special.
Our neighborhood is a unique and vibrant community of artists, performers, dreamers, creators, entrepreneurs and progressive thinkers. It’s the people of this community that have cultivated our culture, our local businesses, and our daily lives. As a community officer I will need to vote on
matters related to every aspect of the way we live our lives in Venice. Some of these topics are extremely complicated and have drastically different opinions depending on where you sit. Gentrification, affordability, homelessness, education, land use and traffic issues are a few
of the hot topics these days. I feel that I have good judgement and a background that would
allow me to be reasonable and fair to all members of our community. I am compassionate, understanding and work well with others.

What would you like to see changed or bettered as a result of your tenure?
We spend much of our lives behind screens. Personal interaction is declining. I would really
like to promote a stronger community by supporting motions that foster personal interactions,
creativity and healthy lifestyles. Walkability/bikeability, supporting local and small businesses, and promoting the arts are among my top priorities. In general, I would like to grow our community
and support anything that will make us stronger collectively.

What committee would you like to engage?
I would like to participate in the Outreach and Event Planning Committee. I think there is great
value in creating events and experiences for the community to interact and get to know one
another. It is thrilling for me to help organize an event that could lead to someone finding a new business parter, getting to know a neighbor or foster a new friendship.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve our community.

Raphael (Robert) “Spud” Anderson
Hi, i’m Raphael “spud” Anderson and I would like to thank you for this
opportunity. I would say crime is my main concern but I think that crime is
a result of other variables that if we address those {homelessness, traffic,
graffiti, etc.} we could make a drop in crime.
One thing I would like to see bettered is traffic and parking. with traffic
bumper to bumper on lincoln, cars cut thru the neighborhood like its the thing
to do……….not. we need a traffic assessment to see where we are at and
where we are going.
But let’s start off with the small stuff that will make a huge impact
and it’s free and we all can do it, by saying hello !! it brings down
walls and evaporates our fears towards one another, then we can talk as friends or neighbors
on a neighborhood council. Peace, May our ears be as open as our mouth.

Noel Gould
I’ve gone to every California Coastal Commission meeting in the past two years, fighting for issues of vital importance to Venetians.

I’ve worked to expose numerous abuses by LA City involving VSO’s and Coastal Exemptions. Even Mayor Garcetti, probably due to the pressure we and others have been applying, recently came out saying that City Planning is broken and needs to be fixed.

We’ve made a big impact in protecting “access” to the coast and preservation of our special coastal community, as has always been required by Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act. We haven’t let up, despite tremendous opposition from the real estate and development communities in particular.

Out of scale development and gentrification has been expanding like the Wild West in Venice, and some developers are angry because our work is requiring them to adhere to coastal regulations, which puts a damper on some of their extravagant plans.

The development community has put forward a slate of people favorable to expanded development, in the name of balance, and one of my main concerns is that the rampant development of maximum square footage houses and the displacement of low and middle income families has been anything but balance.

These developers want to take over the VNC and LUPC to feed a misguided fantasy that by taking everything over they can somehow go back to the old way of doing things.

But this is not possible because so many more people are aware and involved who weren’t before. I want to ensure that more and more will continue to become empowered and aware that they do, in fact, have the power to “fight city hall” and win! We have the power to make a difference and fix the problems happening in our vital and special coastal community!

I will dedicate my energy to ensuring that Los Angeles does NOT, with developer influence, create a Local Coastal Program that enshrines the egregious behavior they’ve been engaging in, but that instead creates a Local Coastal Program that incorporates and clarifies elements of the certified Venice Land Use Plan and embodies the ideals and regulations of the California Coastal Act, our “Constitution of the Coast,” being guided by these words of the late Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas:

“I think the California Coast is one of the greatest repositories of untold stories. People have to understand, it’s like all relationships. You can’t take our relationship with the coast for granted, because it took a lot of sweat, blood and tears to preserve it so we have what we have today. These things didn’t just happen. The coast is what it is because a lot of people worked really hard and sacrificed to protect it. And if we want it to be there for our children, we have to keep fighting to protect it. In that way, the coast is never saved; it’s always being saved.”

Please vote for me on June 5th for “At Large Community Officer,” so I can continue to work to protect our community!

Michelle Meepos
Some of my main concerns include: increasing civil engagement for
Venice’s young population, creation of affordable housing to ensure Venice
remains a diverse community into the future, and finding a solution to the
proliferation of vacation rentals in the residential neighborhoods. My father first
moved to Venice in 1973 and my family’s business has remained in Venice since
1979. As a second generation Venetian, I believe in positive change while
maintaining the community’s strong diversity. Intelligent growth provides local
employment and an environment in which neighborhood businesses prosper,
perpetuating a vibrant and upbeat community. Additionally, the younger
population of Venice needs representation on the board and I hope to engage
with young people of all backgrounds and increase their participation at VNC meetings.

Mark Kleiman
The Biggest Problem: To me the biggest problem facing Venice today is the pressure created by development and the loss of habitat and community for artists, people of color, and just plain old retired ex-hippies who have all been such important parts of making Venice a unique and treasured neighborhood. What is happening is simply heartbreaking and is so far out of balance.

More people want to live here than Venice can support without being drastically and inexorably transformed. As a neighborhood we have no real power – only influence. So the problems of density, diversity and equality roll up into the broader problem of community control and political power. We blame the City for not providing resources to alleviate the problems on the beach. We blame the City for burdening us with millions of tourists and returning almost nothing to address jam-packed streets and the utter absence of parking. We blame the City for its flat-out refusal to enforce even the laws that exist to protect us. Time after time we turn to the Coastal Commission and now the courts to enforce the meager rights we do have.

What I hope to accomplish: First, steering development toward projects that respect community
needs and interests instead of relegating them. Second, addressing our long-range political problems, by forming alliances with other neighborhoods with similar problems with an eye toward either citywide change or a multi-neighborhood secession movement.

The committee I would like to be involved with: I would like to help establish a new Standing
Committee on City relations to forge alliances with other neighborhoods seeking real empowerment.
So far as existing committees go, my main focus would be the Ocean Front Walk committee, because the
beach, beach access, and the drive for development is the engine which drives so much of what
happens in Venice.

Colleen Saro
colleensaro

George Gineris
When I first sought a seat 2 years ago on the VNC I spoke about the goals I would bring to the community:

“I’ve lived in Venice over 40 years. I’ve seen a lot of change, not all of which has been beneficial to residents. As a VNC Board member, I’ll do my best to represent all Venice Stakeholders who want to maintain our diverse neighborhoods. Concurrently, I’ll strive to preserve our community character, including its historic mass and scale, which has been cherished for over 100 years.”

This pledge has guided me in my decisions during my tenure on the VNC including as a member of the Mass, Scale & Character Committee and on behalf of and with Venice Stakeholders.

We’ve accomplished a lot this term, including improvements in land use policy & practice by working to ensure that both City & State Coastal agencies are doing their jobs to protect & preserve our quality of life in the place that we call home, Venice.

I’d welcome your vote to serve again as an At-Large Community Officer.

Damon Berger
1. The main reason I’m running for VNC is to help Venice work to use the new resources that are pouring in to alleviate some of our longest standing issues around homelessness, and access to great education, while working to preserve the spirit of the community we love. Change is inevitable, and it’s incumbent upon us as officers of the community we serve to ensure that we work towards positive change.

2. I plan on engaging with the committees on education and on land use, although the latter in an advisory capacity. We have a unique opportunity to use the financial momentum behind our new neighbors to improve the access to great education that our community deserves, with immediate impact on the personal and economic opportunities that come with these new resources.

Katherine Conway
Hello All, My name is Katherine Conway. I am a Nurse, Teacher, and a Mother. My husband John and I have been residents in the Venice area for 25 yrs. I have seen much change in our community, in recent years – some good and some “not-so” good. I believe our community is at a crossroads. This is why I have decided to become a Venice Neighborhood Council Candidate, running for a Community Officer seat, (June 5th, 2016).

The Venice Neighborhood Council is a powerful voice in the Venice community. It is an advisory body and not a legal governing entity, yet the opinions of the council can carry a lot of weight. The recommendations put forward go to Councilman Bonin, the City Council and to the Mayor’s office. It is a crucial time in which I believe residents need more encouragement to become involved.

In the next few years our community will either become an exclusive enclave, where only the very wealthy can afford to live, or we can embrace the Diversity that made Venice great. By supporting diversity, we will be supporting Venice’s unique character and sense of community.

Change is inevitable! I support change that enriches all of our community:
I believe:
1) Venice strength is in its Diversity, A Great Community is a Diverse Community. I will encourage greater participation at our Venice Neighborhood Council meetings. Even if you cannot attend regular monthly meetings there are other ways to stay involved; from reading Website, Blogs, and Newsletters. But, too often, we feel detached from the process. When, we do attend meetings -they can feel exclusive and can intimidate the average resident. I would like to see more balanced participation, and see more women represented by the Council. Productive, respectful dialogue should be encouraged, where all opinions are valid.

2) Staying diverse means we need to provide:
(a) Affordable housing. If the average home is now close to $2million +, many working people will be priced out of Venice. These are the people who created Venice’s unique character. They should not be pushed out by Developers (some who use blatant bullying tactics); Average working people made, and will continue to keep Venice great!

(b) Homeowners should be able to remodel and build homes that allow for them to enjoy their homes. That being said, “Speculators” should not be allowed to build massive mega structures, (aided by abusive Building and City loopholes) the practice of issuing illegal Variances, Venice Sign offs and Waivers needs to stop… these buildings are solely created to maximize profits for the Speculator. Many of these large structures have taken away Privacy, Light and Air, from other long term residents. I support aspects of the Mass, Scale and Character committee recommendations. Established to address the wave of rampant construction abuses.

3) Keeping Venice Safe and addressing the increasing issue of Homelessness’ Our Homeless population in LA County has increased by 12% in the last two years. We are already looking at a 6% increase, from last year’s number. We need to address this pandemic in our back yards. Homelessness affects everyone! These issues require immediate and decisive action.

I have spoken with St Josephs Center in Venice, (who deals with the homeless issue regularly). Day in Day out they deliver care and support to this growing issue. We need to have key players at the table as we move towards a sustainable solution. We want to avoid developers pushing an agenda that is supposedly pro tackling Homelessness, but in actuality is self-serving and more about maximizing their profits.

There has been preliminary talk of using the Bus depot and the Thatcher Maintenance yard for “Affordable” housing projects. These recommendations need to be studied closely to ensure that the program is directly helping those in need.

There is much to do in Venice, we are at a Watershed moment in time! We need participation from each and every one! We want decisions that can be made in the best interests of the many and not circumvented by the few!

I would appreciate your vote on June 5th 10am- 6pm, Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Ave (Cross Streets: 7th and California Venice)

Jed Pauker
Why am I running – again?!? After a decade of VNC service, I believe that, today, our uniquely proud community is at a crossroads unlike any that I have seen in my brief two decades as a Venetian. The Taurus Tavern is long gone, Hal’s is back and parking – well, parking still costs many of us more in time and energy than the ridiculously low “in lieu” fee often visited upon businesses proposing to open their doors in our congested Coastal Zone.

From my LUPC service under Challis Macpherson to my ongoing Outreach Committee service to two terms serving on the Board (and advocating at City Hall, CD11 offices and before the Coastal Commission), I have found repeated affirmation that our Neighborhood Council system – with all its poison pills and annoying weaknesses – is a truly revolutionary entity, operating with a standing dare from the City to undertake the daunting task of improving the Los Angeles status quo for all stakeholders.

The task is continuous and ever-changing. I am proud of my past VNC work and grateful for my mentors and your support. If elected this term, I plan to continue with policy stabilization and accountability, begin sustainability work with the Environmental Committee and provide continuity for the Communications Committee. So, I ask – again! – that you honor me with your vote for Jed Pauker on June 5

Comment (1)

  1. Nick Antonicello

    Wall of type. Like a Chinese takeout menu. Nate Golon was savvy enough to provide a video. It’s not how fast you mow, it’s how well you mow fast!

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