web analytics

Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Bonin Adds Staffers to CD11

LOS ANGELES – City Councilmember Mike Bonin today announced the hiring of four new staffers, underscoring his commitment to constituent service and his philosophy of putting neighborhoods first.

The Westside councilman has hired Mike Ai as his deputy district director, Sharon Shapiro as his field deputy for Brentwood and Pacific Palisades, Jesus D. “Chuy” Orozco as his field deputy for Del Rey and Venice, and Marietta Torriente as his director of scheduling.

“I am proud to have a first-class team of professionals serving the neighborhoods of the Westside and the people of Los Angeles,” Bonin said. “Mike, Sharon, Chuy, and Marietta are great additions to that team and will help me deliver for the communities I represent.”

Deputy District Director: Mike Ai

As deputy district director, Ai will be responsible for implementing Bonin’s celebrated Access 11 program, a multi-faceted strategy to bring City Hall to the Westside and give residents greater access to their elected representative. The program includes: Bonin’s “Pop-Up Open Office Hours” at farmers’ markets, community festivals, and shopping centers; the popular “Hike with Mike” program; and neighborhood meetings in people’s living rooms.

Ai brings exceptional organizing experience to Bonin’s team. Ai previously served as a Legislative Deputy, LGBT Liaison, and Director of Advance to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and also managed Equality California’s Los Angeles regional campaign in the wake of the passage of Prop 8. Mike learned community organizing and became a leader through Camp Courage, a program that Bonin helped to develop to train LGBT activists and allies throughout the state on how to win hearts and minds in the struggle for equality.

“I got to know Mike well during Camp Courage and through his various roles with Mayor Villaraigosa’s administration and there is no one better to serve as my Deputy District Director,” Bonin said. “Mike will help lead my Access 11 program and will ensure we are bringing City Hall to the Westside and reaching out to people who don’t always reach out to local government.”

Pacific Palisades/Brentwood Field Deputy: Sharon Shapiro

Shapiro will serve as Bonin’s representative to the neighborhoods and organizations in the Pacific Palisades and Brentwood. She will also handle major projects and issues in those communities.

Until last week, Shapiro served as the Hollywood Area Director for the Office of Councilmember Tom LaBonge. In addition to extensive relationships with key public safety leaders in LA, Shapiro bring additional insight and perspective on homelessness issues to Bonin’s office, having worked for many years to help the homeless community as a founding participant of Hollywood 4WARD. Shapiro is a Los Angeles native with deep ties in the northern part of Bonin’s Westside Council District, and her family helped found the Pacific Palisades.

“Sharon is smart, passionate, incredibly knowledgeable about the City and navigating bureaucracy on behalf of residents and I hired her because of her ability to cut through red tape on behalf of neighborhoods,” Bonin said. “I’m incredibly confident that she is exactly the right person to help me put neighborhoods first in Brentwood and the Pacific Palisades.”

Shapiro succeeds Norman Kulla, who retires June 30.

Venice/Del Rey Senior Field Deputy: Jesus D. “Chuy” Orozco

Orozco will serve as Bonin’s representative to the neighborhoods and organizations in Del Rey and in Venice. He will also handle major projects and issues in those communities.

Orozco joins Bonin’s staff after working for nearly two years in Councilmember Paul Koretz’s office, where he also served as a Field Deputy. Orozco is an expert organizer, trained in the organizing methods of Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Fred Ross. As a community organizer for Latino Policy Coalition, Orozco recruited a team of more than 200 dedicated volunteers on a campaign that registered 10,000 new Latino voters in Arizona. Orozco lives in the Del Rey neighborhood of the Westside.

“Chuy lives and breathes Del Rey and will be a natural fit in Venice,” said Bonin. “His organizing background, his exceptional energy and intelligence and his passion for helping his neighbors will all be fantastic assets for the constituents he serves. I’m incredibly excited to work with him to put neighborhoods first in Venice and Del Rey.”

Orozco succeeds Cecilia Castillo, who is now working as a legislative deputy for Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.

Director of Scheduling: Marietta Torriente

As director of scheduling, Torriente will handle the councilman’s calendar, all scheduling requests, and will make sure Bonin maximizes time in each of the district’s neighborhoods.

Torriente spent five years as a Major Donor Event Planner for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where she helped develop LACMA’s programs and exhibitions. She also has experience engaging with the business community, as the former Associate Director of Membership and Social Media Manager for the Central City Association (CCA). Torriente previously assisted Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Protocol, where she wrote briefing memos for the Mayor’s major meetings with foreign diplomats and elected officials.

“Marietta’s unique blend of experiences as a writer, event planner, strategist, and networker will be a great asset to help make sure I am balancing my time throughout the eclectic district I represent,” Bonin said.

Bonin Rejoices in Marriage Equality Decision by US Supreme Court

“Love wins,” Councilman Mike Bonin said in response to the United States Supreme Court 5-4 decision on “Marriage Equality.”

“Just over a decade ago, marriage equality was legal nowhere in the United States,” the Councilman continued. “Today, my husband Sean and I celebrate a breathtaking decision that affirms the right to marry nationwide.

“As we celebrate this historic day, the most important thing I can say is simply, ‘thank you’ Thank you to every grassroots activist who took to the streets. To every person living paycheck to paycheck who sacrificed to make a donation to the cause. To every straight ally who said ‘no more’ to inequality. To every person who found their courage, burst open a closet door, and told their story. To every person who listened to their heart, fought for their love, and made equality happen. It is you who forced our spring. It is you who made today possible. Thank you.

“Thank you to those who fought the struggles that blazed this path — those who fought against racial discrimination, for immigrant rights, and for equality for women. And thank you to those who continue the struggle — against bullying and hate crimes; for employment nondiscrimination; for transgender equality; for the civil rights and for the very lives of our sisters and brothers facing brutality, torture, and death in other nations. And thank you to those who join the struggle for equality and social justice for everyone.

“Today is a historic day – a truly great day for our country and I share in the happiness and love that now reaches every part of America.”

SB1818–Does It or Doesn’t It Work?–87 Percent Increase in Units

The numbers are out regarding SB1818– Does it or doesn’t it work? Numbers show an 87 percent increase in number of units from 2008 to 2013.

SB1818 provides a density bonus up to 35 percent for builders depending on the number of low and very low income units built and designated at such.

Many have questioned the workability of SB1818. According to table below, SB1818 is clearly working.


The audit is the result of the Venice Neighborhood Council and the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils asking for this audit and report. Councilman Mike Bonin reciprocated by making a motion requesting Housing Community Investment Department, Los Angeles (HCIDLA) report statistics relevant to request.

Last month HCIDLA issued the report.

What is going on in Venice?

Police dignitaries and Councilman Mike Bonin are hosting a Community Meeting Thursday night (May 7th), 6 pm at the Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

This is an opportunity to listen to a host of officials explain what is happening and to ask questions.

These are the people who will attend: Inspector General Alexander Bustamante, LAPD Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff, LAPD Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala, Captain I Armand Carranza, and Councilman Mike Bonin.

Community Meeting Pacific

Ordinance Would Change 72-Hour Requirement to 24 for Homeless “stuff”

Article in last Wednesday’s (18 Feb) LA Times regarding and effecting downtown and Venice homeless states that City Attorney Mike Feuer has written a new ordinance that would change the 72-hour requirement for abandoned property to 24 hours. It also defines abandoned property to include tents, tarps, sleeping bags, clothing, personal documents, medications and other materials. Ordinance would apply citywide.

Feuer was quoted as saying the ordinance “attempts to achieve the difficult balance between the legitimate quality of life goals of our neighborhoods and the rights and needs of the homeless.

Carol Sobel, who has defended the homeless, did not return calls for comment.

A public hearing on the issue is set for 2:30 pm. Wednesday at the City Hall, Room 1060.