April 11 is Election Day in Venice for seats on the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC). All 21 seats on the Council are up for election, with a total of 43 candidates.
The election is open to stakeholders, anyone who lives, works, or owns property in Venice. Stakeholders must affirm their status by completing a Stakeholder Registration Form. The Los Angeles City Clerk’s office, which runs the election, will require every voter to verify their eligibility with valid I.D. before giving them a ballot.
The following offices have only one candidate: president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, communications officer, and outreach officer. Write-in candidates, however, are running for the offices of president and outreach officer.
Linda Lucks, the on-the-ballot candidate for president, has served as vice president of the VNC for five years and is the former president of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, the City of Los Angeles’ board that oversees all neighborhood councils. A resident of Venice since 1970 and a longtime activist in the community, she states that “my philosophy is to listen to everyone and work for solutions that benefit us all.” She promises to make public safety her top priority, to fight overdevelopment, to protect the environment, and “[to actively pursue] a safe overnight parking program for the whole City- not only Venice.”
Her write-in opposition is James Hubbard, who describes himself in his candidate statement as a “Venice activist for 15 years” who has worked with at-risk youth. He states that he supports overnight parking districts with “restrictions yet to be determined, but much like Santa Monica and mid-Wilshire in L.A.”
Vice presidential candidate Carolyn Rios is also a longtime community activist. Her candidate statement reads in part: “I have lived in Venice/Oakwood for 36 years. I know, the issues, the people, the hopes and the challenges.” Her write-in opponent, Mark Ryavec, states: “I believe the VNC should focus on the major concerns of residents: ie: resident safety and preventing crime, controlling development, creating more parking, and protecting the ocean.”
The Land Use and Planning Committee chair position is the only office with two ballot candidates, Adam S. Glick and Jacob A. Kaufman.
Other candidates, running unopposed, are Hugh Harrison for treasurer, Joseph D. Murphy for secretary, and Brennan D. Lindner for Communications officer. Marc A. Saltzberg is running for outreach officer against write-in candidate Anthony C. Perez.
Three candidates are running for factual basis community officer, David R. Brandt, Therese A. Dietlin, and Amanda M. Seward. This position was created for voters who don’t live or work in Venice, but have some connection with it.
Amanda Seward grew up in the Ocean Park section of Santa Monica but has lived in Venice for a number of years. She led the efforts to save Lincoln Place Apartments, nominating the complex for the California State Historic Resources Registry, and negotiated a settlement with the owner for allowing evicted tenants to return to Linclon Place. She also serves on the Santa Monica Airport Commission.
There are 27 candidates are on the ballot for the 13 community officer seats, plus two write-in candidates. Stakeholders must not vote for more than one community officer (this bylaw was put in place to prevent candidates from creating slates).
A candidate’s forum will be held Thursday April 8, 6:30p.m. at the Westminster School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
The election will be held Sunday, April 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Avenue.
Mirror Contributing Writer[email protected]