Editor’s note: This is one of several articles in a series of profiles on Venice candidates.
What have you prioritized during your time, and what will you focus on if re-elected?
As Secretary I will continue my work to make our board agendas and minutes more transparent, accessible, and stakeholder friendly. I remember when I first got involved with the Venice Neighborhood Council how confusing the agendas were to follow. I have worked tirelessly on our board agendas and exhibits to cut down on the jargon, make them cleaner and straightforward, and ensure the item that go before the board have been fully vetted by Committee.
Before I was Secretary, I was a Community Officer and co-chair of the Environmental Committee. I care deeply about our local ecosystem, and it concerns me how much trash, waste, and cigarette butts end up on our beaches and in our ocean. While I was co-chair of the Environmental Committee we initiated beneficial projects like the “Venice Green Film Series” with the Electric Lodge, funded restoration of the Grand Canal, laid down the framework for Venice to use 100% renewable energy, and launched the “Bin Your Butts” campaign to get cigarette butts off our streets and beaches.
During my tenure on the Neighborhood Council I have learned the value of collaboration, keeping a constructive attitude, and showing respect even when you disagree. I take the issues that come to our board on a case-by-case basis and look to reason and for compromise to create solutions. Furthermore, with work experience in the realms of the film industry, education, and politics, as well as being a renter living East of Lincoln and in a committed same-sex relationship, I bring a very diverse and extensive perspective to the table.
Who are your primary supporters?
My supporters are primarily all the wonderful Venetians I have met over the last four years through the Neighborhood Council. As a member of the Neighborhood Committee representing East of Lincoln, co-chair of the Environmental Committee, member of the Administrative Committee, Community Officer, and now Secretary I am grateful to have the support of Venetians from all walks of life.
What issue do you feel most strongly about and what’s your position?
Venetians have an energy and spirit that is unsurpassed. When a dilemma arises, we are never short of opinions or solutions. To solve the big issues facing our community like affordable housing, mobility, public safety, parking, growing local businesses, gentrification, and being green we must come together to create solutions. With a unified approach was can influence and build relationships with all branches and levels of government, local businesses, fellow Neighborhood Councils, and the police to ensure we get our fair share of services and improve the quality of life in Venice for all stakeholders. As a board member it is my prerogative to find common ground so that together we can keep Venice clean, safe, and eclectic.
What's one thing most constituents don't know about you?
Some of the more lively moments during my time on the Neighborhood Council were inspiration for my “Parks & Recreation” spec script. As Councilman Rosendahl said at one of our town halls, “Sometimes you just have to laugh at this stuff folks.”
I also love trying new cuisine as long as it doesn’t contain raisins.
Why did you decide to run?
This is my first time running for a full-term as Secretary. I did not get this position overnight; in fact the first time I ran to be appointed onto the board I did not receive a single vote. It didn’t deter me in the least bit and I joined two committees, volunteered at the farmers market and town halls, and built relationships in the community. That in turn allowed me to be appointed onto the board and successfully run for a full term as Community Officer in 2010.
I encourage everyone who is either running or voting in our neighborhood election Sunday to stay involved after the votes are cast and counted regardless of who wins. Our Committees do some of the Neighborhood Council’s most important work, and I hope you will join or work to form an Ad Hoc Committee on an issue that you care about. I firmly believe the more engaged our Stakeholders are the more our community will benefit.
I pledge to the stakeholders of Venice that as Secretary I will adhere to Robert’s Rules and the Brown Act, serve with honor and civility, and continue to make our meetings more stakeholder friendly. I look forward to working with the incoming board on the issues facing Venice. I hope have earned your support and on Sunday you will VOTE KRISTOPHER VALENTINE for SECRETARY.