Locals Converge to Learn About Venice Neighborhood Council's Election

The Venice Neighborhood Council holds a recruiting reception for its upcoming October election.

Over 40 people gathered at the candidate recruitment kickoff reception at the Canal Club on Thursday to hear from Venice Neighborhood Council board members about the election process and the duties of board members.

The entire board is up for grabs in the October election, including the positions of president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, community outreach officer, communications officer, a land use and planning chair, 13 community officers and one factual basis community officer which is the only position that can be filled by a person who does not live in Venice but must have an interest in the community, according to Venice Neighborhood Council Vice-President Mark Saltzberg.

“If you run for office, you’re going to sometimes have to make difficult decisions,” Venice Neighborhood Council President Linda Lucks told the crowd.

Ira Koslow, chair of the Venice Neighborhood Council’s Rules and Election Committee, echoed that sentiment.

“You have to get used to the fact half the people will hate you whatever you do,” he said. “You have to have a thick skin whatever you do.”

The election is open to anyone who lives, works or owns property in Venice, and each person running must have the documentation to prove it, said Tony Wilkinson, who will oversee the election as an unbiased Independent Election Administrator.

The Venice Neighborhood Council was created ten years ago when the city first established the 95 neighborhood councils, according to Ivan Spiegel, parliamentarian for the Venice Neighborhood Council.

“I do believe this is one of the best neighborhood councils because everyone’s so involved,” said Cecilia Castillo, a field deputy from Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office.

Noah Lewkow, who works for The Arbor Collective, has already decided he wants to run for a variety of reasons.

“It benefits our business as well as familiarizes the community with our brand,” he said. “I just want to get involved in the community, just to be able to have a voice for 20-somethings in the community.”

Longtime Venice resident Daryl Bennett stopped by just to observe the event and said she appreciates the work the council does.

“They spend a lot of time helping to make Venice better,” Bennett said. “I know how much work goes into it.”

The goal is to get local residents more involved in the community as well as to help serve the 16 million tourists who flock to Venice every year, said Matt Kline, chair of the council’s Outreach and Event Planning Committee.

“Our slogan is, ‘it’s your Venice, get involved,” Kline said.

Applications are due Sept. 28 and are available on the DONE Venice Neighborhood Council election site or at the Venice Farmers’ Market on Friday mornings. The election will be held on Oct. 28 at Westminster Avenue Elementary School.

Linda Lucks August 31, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Thanks for posting this story. If you are considering a run for office and we hope you do, applications may be filed until 9.28 online. The next VNC Board meeting is on Sept. 18 with special guest Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. We encourage people to sit in at any of our many committees to see the work of the VNC. Log onto www.Venicenc.org for a calendar of meetings and to sign up to receive weekly eblasts. All current board members are available to answer any and all questions you may have.
Lightnapper August 31, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Change the canal water; it's getting a little murky. But, alas, I fear status quo will once again reign supreme, as apathy and inertia are mutually inclusive, and the embedded power base will not yield easily. Another World View-- I beg of you-- a sinking Venice needs you. Zip lines, crime, the Unhoused vs. the Roofed—and vice versa, gentrification vs. crustification—and not so much vice versa, over-development vs. no development, The No Walk-- It’s a park; it’s not a park-- Boardwalk, under representation by voter elected representatives, over-representation by citizen committees, police abuses, police apathy, heightened police presence; and then there are the Drunks, Rowdies, Pot-Heads, Drummers, Vendors, Bankers, Lawyers, Real Estate Agents, Tenants, Homeowners, Business Owners, LA-ites, and Tourists mingled in among the Sunbathers, Surfers, Swimmers, and Fishermen. None outdone by the NIMBY’s and the IMHO’s. Whew! Wow! Pow! Gazzam! And, it’s all on a volunteer basis. Although, should you prevail, I'm not too sure the embedded VNC could tolerate your razor's edge intellect and sound, factual arguments regarding the issues. I'm sure "shusssh!" would be heard quite often.
Another WorldView September 02, 2012 at 11:37 AM
You got that right. (About the shussshing.) I would have been eligible to be a part of the GRVNC. Post-coup bylaws changes have removed my eligibility. I'm working-on some decent folks, who haven't yet agreed to serve; and with several others who have. But the universe of candidates that I saw at that gathering, was less than heartening. Lots of 'white' people. Not too many 'black' or 'brown' folks. Economically, the room seemed to skew towards the middle class and above, too. All of which means that we'll likely end up with a NC that under-represents the majority of Venetians, and over represents the developers and the politically connected-types, as it has tended to do, in recent years... The only upside, is that Mark Ryavec has to choose whether he wants to lose in the City Council election - or the NC election (I don't think that he can credibly run in both).


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