Editor’s note: This is one of several articles in a series of profiles on Venice candidates.
What would you prioritize if you were voted in?
My goal as president for the next two year term, is to run productive and effective meetings where concerns brought forward by the community are vetted through active and engaged committees and presented fairly and in a timely manner to the board. The meetings I run offer a safe and welcoming environment, where decisions made by the full VNC board are well thought out and transparent. I give everyone a chance to speak, and although our meetings often go late, I give everyone an opportunity to be heard.
Neighborhood councils were created specifically to engage and empower communities to debate issues important to us, and to transmit those recommendations to the City Council and Mayor with one voice, if possible. The Venice Neighborhood Council has earned respect throughout the City, in part because of the many strong individuals participating in decision making and because our process is inclusive and transparent. I will encourage the new board to invite even more involvement by the community. There are many dynamic and creative people in Venice so there is no bar too high to reach for.
Tuesday night’s regular board meeting brought out a full house at Westminster School because the issues discussed and speakers were timely and of interest. I am pleased that the VNC is considered enough of a political force that politicians come to us rather than our having to chase after them.
Who are your primary supporters?
I moved to Venice in 1970 from the Valley because I feel at home here. As a person who is socially and politically active, I have developed and maintained many deep, long-standing and trusted relationships over the years, starting with my children’s carpool teams, with my neighbors coming together to fight one thing or another, by working on political campaigns, working with current and former board members, through shared organization membership. For example, as a co-founder of Venice Garden & Home Tour 20 years ago, I have worked with thousands of homeowners, volunteers, supporters and Venice business owners whom I know will come out to vote for me.
What issue do you feel most strongly about and what’s your position?
I feel strongly about protecting our neighborhoods: To me, protection means public safety. The first thing I did as president was to establish a VNC Public Safety Committee. Crime statistics in Venice are at an all time low due to an engaged and watchful community and an effective partnership with LAPD. But there is more work to be done to insure Constitutional policing and maintaining sufficient numbers of police all year round. As president, I established the Visitor Impact Committee in response to a Town Hall meeting where Venetians overwhelmingly expressed unhappiness with the quality of services received which don’t begin to accommodate serving millions of visitors.
This committee already has prevented a giant Ferris wheel from setting up shop, approved a now delayed Zip Line which we hope will generate maintenance funds and we continually research ways to keep more Venice generated funds (parking fees, taxes) here in Venice for purposes such as maintaining the Ocean Front Walk Area. “Venice is the Face of Los Angeles” and our face is dirty. I support a strong and active VNC Education Committee which works closely with our local schools. Educated children become productive adults in society.
A lack of sufficient Parking is a huge issue. To protect our neighborhoods I strongly oppose any new parking taxes or fees and I will work to influence the City to increase our parking supply by re-striping wide streets, building parking structures and at the same time encourage walkability and bicycling. I feel strongly that the noise and pollution coming from the Santa Monica Airport must be stopped so I established an important and thriving S.M. Airport Committee.
I am very concerned about protecting Venice’s traditional character of diversity in housing and people, because that diversity is what keeps Venice from becoming Manhattan Beach or Santa Monica. Only Venice is Venice and I am strongly committed to protecting the qualities necessary for Venice to keep its soul and that includes having compassion for people who need it and by seeking real solutions to problems.
What's one thing most constituents don't know about you?
I love to dance! As a teen I danced on local TV dance shows and as an adult I competed in ballroom dancing. Now I dance the Samba at Electric Lodge and Zumba at Gold’s gym, but invite me out to salsa or swing, and I am in.
Why did you decide to run?
I love Venice and have enjoyed serving on the board as president for the last two years. It has been on the job training (trial by fire) and I feel that I have just hit my stride as an effective leader and want to continue for another term. I ask for your vote on Sunday, October 28, at Westminster School Auditorium from 10-4. Don’t forget to bring proof that you live, work or own property in Venice.
Linda Lucks is running for President, a two-year term. To read more candidate profiles, click here.