A little more than one year has passed since Bobby Shriver said goodbye to the Santa Monica City Council, completing eight years of service on the dais as a local policy maker.
However, speculation swirled almost immediately that Shriver would make a run for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2014. Well, 2014 is here and Shriver has ended all speculation in filing fundraising papers for his campaign for Supervisor.
The former Santa Monica council member and mayor, who also has Kennedy roots, was formally approved to start raising funds this week, allowing Shriver to announce his candidacy for the third supervisorial district, which is currently held by Zev Yaroslavsky who is being termed-out.
Former Los Angeles City Council member and City Controller Wendy Greuel announced last week she would not join Shriver in the race, which is expected to be a highly competitive race.
In an email and open letter sent to his supporters, Shriver outlined his reasons for seeking a seat on the Board of Supervisors, citing his work on the Santa Monica City Council and his parents’ activism.
“In Santa Monica, my home for more than 20 years, I have worked to deliver first-class police and fire protection, clean up Santa Monica Bay and the beaches, create and maintain parks, and house the homeless, especially military veterans,” Shriver wrote. “I am running for Los Angeles County Supervisor to continue this work.”
Bobby Shriver’s father Sargent Shriver founded the Peace Corps and was the driving force in then-President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty campaign, among other initiatives.
“My parents brought up each of their five kids to try to make a difference in people’s lives,” Shriver stated in his letter. “I watched my parents’ work and loved their energy and determination – and the results!”
He also acknowledged his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, for founding the Special Olympics.
Shriver added he is aware of the responsibilities the Board of Supervisors carry and stated he has the experience to fulfill the call of duty.
“The supervisors oversee just about every aspect of life: healthcare, education, the arts, parks, social services, transportation, land use, and much more, for 10 million people, especially the most vulnerable – foster children, the mentally and physically disabled, the poor, senior citizens, the homeless,” Shriver said. “I have been doing that for my whole adult life. I know how to do it in original ways.”
He cited his work in producing the first-ever television program in 1987 to raise awareness for the Special Olympics and launching the first “A Very Special Christmas” music album. The eight iterations of the music album that have been created since has helped raise more than $100 million in support of the Special Olympics, Shriver stated.
Also, Shriver pointed out he co-founded ONE.org, (RED), and DATA “to help eliminate the financial and health emergencies threatening the people of Africa, with a particular focus on the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”
“When we started this work, about 60,000 people in Africa had access to life-saving medicines. Today, more than 6 million people have them and are ALIVE because of this activism,” Shriver said.
A Democrat, Shriver said his financial background would be critical in crossing party lines to achieve legislative success.
“Part of the reason I – a lifelong Democrat – attracted Republican support (and substantial private donations) to public health ventures is that I have a very strong financial background. On the Santa Monica City Council, I asked precise financial questions about the half-billion-dollar City budget,” Shriver wrote.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Bill Carrick, who was a strategist for Eric Garcetti’s mayoral campaign last year, will be advising Bobby’s Shriver’s supervisorial race.
Shriver will be facing off against former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl, former Malibu mayor Pamela Conley Ulich, and West Hollywood Council member John Duran.
A voter-approved initiative, Measure B, was approved in 2002 and curb limits for supervisors to three four-year terms (12 years).
Yaroslavsky was elected to the Board in 1994.
The third supervisorial district Santa Monica as well as Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, San Fernando, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, and a handful of unincorporated areas such as Agoura and Universal City.
Currently serving on the Board are Michael D. Antonovich, Don Knabe, Gloria Molina, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Yaroslavsky.
In addition to Yaroslavsky, Molina is also termed-out this year.