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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

VNC Election Candidate/Slate Forum

The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) election is happening now!  It is a vote-by-mail only this year.You must register to get ballot by 1 June, 5 pm, and you must vote by 8 June, 5 pm.


This writer emailed his registration and verification to the city 3 May.  It is 20 May and a ballot has not been received.  This writer  called and was told that it “just needs to be mailed out.”   This writer asked if that was a big deal and was told that there are other council elections that they are handling.   It has been so frustrating that this writer has told several people he would volunteer to run the VNC election next time for free.   Venice overflows with talent.

Because it is a vote-by-mail election many of the candidates have grouped together and put out literature.  Many individuals have just written something.  The Update will print all election literature, individual or collective.

So far the groups or individuals represented include: Common Sense Venice,  Venice Canals, Soledad Ursua,  Mark Ryavec, Fight Back Venice, CJ Cole, 1 Venice, Benjamin Decker for President, and Yolanda Gonzalez.  Send in your slate or your individual info about running and it will be added.

Common Sense Group

Melissa Diner for Secretary; Michael Jensen for Chair of LUPC; Daffodil Tyminski for Vice President; Vicki Halliday for Communications; Sima Kostovetsky for Community Outreach; Andrea Boccaletti for Treasurer; Jim Murez for President.

Hello Venetians —

This is the team at Common Sense Venice checking in to make sure you know about the upcoming Venice Neighborhood Council Election.

Did you know that registration for the election is currently underway for people that live, work, or own property in Venice? This year, you have to register to receive your mail in ballot, even if you are already registered to vote in our general elections.
We are a group of experienced, longtime stakeholders who want to hold our city government accountable for its failed policies, clean up our streets, and support our homegrown businesses struggling to recover from the pandemic.
Thank you for your support and registering to vote for Common Sense.
The Common Sense Candidates for Venice Neighborhood Council
Register to Vote by June 1st!


From Venice Canals

The 2021 Venice Neighborhood Council elections voting process has begun.

After thoughtful consideration, the Venice Canals Informative has the following suggestions for candidates with the most common interest of preserving the safety and well being of our community.

The ballot application period closes on June 1st. Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, June 8th. Since there is processing time needed and your ballot is mailed back to you, please send your application ASAP.


Click below for the ballot application.


Note: This Information is for using email by phone to get your ballot.

You can still use email if you don’t have a phone or send it by regular mail.

  1. Fill out your application.
  2. Take a picture of the application with a phone.
  3. Take a picture of your driver’s license with the phone showing residency (or show utility bill or property tax bill).
  4. Forward the pictures of the application and the license to the election clerk email with the subject line : VNC BALLOT APPLICATION.
  5. Clerk’s email address:  Clerk.ElectionsNC@LAcity. org


Soledad Ursua for VNC At-Large Community Officer

Voting is all done by mail, so please apply for a VNC ballot today!! You can read more about the process here.
As you all know the VNC elections are upon us! I am running for an At Large Community Officer position (you can only vote for 1) and I am hoping to get your voting pledge. Most of you know that I am not a Democrat nor a Republican, I am Libertarian. I have very different views than most people, and for that reason I am running on my own, independent of a slate.
I am awful at campaigning but here goes—-
I have been an active member of this group since its inception. I live in North Venice, right by Bridge Housing. Last May there was an open seat on the VNC Board and as a frustrated homeowner, I ran and was elected to represent the community. Although I have only served on the board for less than a year, I understand the issues, which I have effectively expressed to the media. I take every interview opportunity that I am offered, even if I am concerned over how I will be portrayed. I believe that getting our voice heard is the most important thing that a VNC board member can do.
In November I pushed to reinstate the dormant Public Health and Safety Committee, and was named the Chair. I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity and have worked very hard to chair this committee as professionally as possible, and bring up issues that matter to stakeholders. In just 6 short months of meetings we have tackled some important issues-
-Moderating enforcement discussions between LAPD, LAFD, LA SAN, Parks and Rec.
-Creating a fire safety buffer resolution which has now been adopted by the Wilmington and El Sereno NC’s.
-Running a joint PHSC meeting with the Mar Vista Community Council (a historic first!)
-Hosting LA Controller Ron Galperin to present directly to Venice Stakeholders
-Taking on storm drain issues and environmental beach hazards
If you like what I have done in the past year, I hope you will give me the opportunity to come back and represent you again. I have learned so much and I am just starting to hit my stride.
WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO ME– is not to simply be elected, but to be elected alongside a group of amazing Community Officers. The fact that we can only vote for 1 At Large Community Officer makes electing good people incredibly difficult. For that reason, I am spending time to help bring on new people who I believe will best represent all of us.
CJ Cole and Nico Ruderman are both long time VU members who have represented this group. Mark Standring is the husband of Gila Standring, also an active VU member! Let’s make sure to get our own elected!! (sorry if I missed someone on here)
Please let me know if I can count on your pledge to vote for me. I am trying to get enough pledges to put me in the clear to be re-elected, and then I will work to make sure enough votes are spread out among all these great people as well!
Additionally, there are many new faces to the community that are not part of our Venice United group, and people that we will want to represent us! I am co-hosting an event tonight with 
Chie Lunn to hear directly from stakeholders. Please feel free to join us, and yes… laptop streaming of the VNC Executive Forum is available.
Thank you, and I hope I can continue to represent you!!
Soledad Ursua

Mark Ryavec Recommends

Brian Averill

Vice President
(No recommendation)

Melissa Diner

Andrea Boccaletti

Land Use and Planning Chair
Alix Gucovsky

Vicki Halliday

Community Outreach Officer
Sima Kostovetsky

At-Large Community Officers (vote for only one)
To assure that as many of our pro-resident/pro-public safety candidates are elected as possible to the VNC Board, please vote for the candidate below who is from your geographic area of Venice.  This will spread out our votes and help get more of our candidates elected.

CJ Cole or Alley Mills Bean

Nico Ruderman

Abbot Kinney/Windward Circle-Adjacent
Stan Ansar Muhammad

Silver Triangle/Presidents Row
Elizabeth Clay

Penmar/East Venice
Chie Lunn

Boardwalk/Walk Streets
Mike Folkert

North Main Street/Pacific/North of Rose
Soledad Ursa

Milwood/Eastern Walk Streets
Carlos Zubieta

Fight Back Venice

While there are many threats facing Venice, our view is that the greatest, most urgent threat is the unchecked expansion of the permanent homeless infrastructure in Venice, because once it goes in, it cannot realistically be removed even if Bonin (as we hope) is unseated in Fall 2022.

That permanent infrastructure includes not only Mike’s Monster on the Venice Canals, but also Mike’s Even Bigger Monster coming soon to the 3-acre MTA Lot a block off the beach on Main Street.

After interviewing candidates and researching the VNC voting records, we believe the following candidates will fight hardest to stop Mike’s Monsters (and other such infrastructure projects in Venice) and unseat Bonin in the November 2022 elections.

President:  Jim Murez
Vice-President:  Daffodil Tminski
Secretary: Melissa Diner
Treasurer:  Robin Rudisill
Land Use and Planning Chair: Alix Gucovsky
Communications: Vicki Halliday
Community Outreach Officer:  Sima Kostovetsky
At-Large Community Officer (vote for only one)
South of Venice Boulevard:      CJ Cole or Alley Mills Bean    
North of Venice Boulevard:      Soledad Ursua   

CJ Cole for At-Large Community Officer

Hi Neighbor …

The Venice Neighborhood Council election is currently underway; and I hope you have applied for your vote-by-mail ballot. If not, you can find all the information here.

I am running for a second term as an At-Large Community Officer and am hoping for your support … you can vote for ONLY ONE of the 53 candidates for this position on the ballot. The 13 highest vote-getters will be elected. (Just so you don’t get lost …see below for a picture ofthe ballot for the A-Large Community Officers and where to find my name.)

To learn more about my qualifications and my “platform,” please visit my website … CJforVNC.com.

Hoping I can continue to represent you !!!

Thanks so much … CJ Cole

 CJ Cole for VNC

310 773 6945 … CJforVNC.com


1 Venice Slate


We are eight longtime Venetians running together for the Venice Neighborhood Council. We love this community and we are deeply concerned by its current slate. Violent crime has skyrocketed. Over 2,000 people are sleeping on our streets. Our pleas for help to city officials have been largely ignored. It’s clearly time for a new era of leadership and neighborhood unity. we all have strong, proven track records in this community and we are 100% committed to healing this neighborhood actively addressing the current crisis and holding our LA city officials accountable.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s election is entirely vote-by-mail. You must request a ballot from the city clerk before June 1 at 5 pm with proof that you live or work in Venice. Learn more about us and request a ballot at: 1venice.com.

Benjamin Decker for President

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