VNC elections

 While who is running and for what office remains a mystery of sorts, the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) is moving forward with the roll out of the 2021 June election in which twenty-one seats will be up for grabs for a two-year term. The current board will serve until their successors qualify--a date that still anticipated to be June 23rd; -- after the results have been certified by city election officials.

Election Administrator and VNC Parliamentarian Ivan Spiegel laid out his plan of action Tuesday evening at the VNC monthly meeting.

The following offices will be contested: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Land Use and Planning Chair (LUPC), Outreach Chair and Communications Officer. In addition, thirteen Community Officers will be selected, but stakeholders can only vote for one (1) of these positions.

There have been attempts to change the process where Venetians can select more community officers, but have failed in committee. Although sources say an attempt to restructure the election of community officers could be addressed after the new board is seated.

The twenty-first position is the Community Interest Officer who is not a resident of Venice.

The neighborhood council is a LA City chartered body that acts as an official arm of Los Angeles municipal government.

Its primary task is to address land use issues as well as serve as a sounding board for residents and stakeholders on the issues facing the Venice community. While acting as an elected, but advisory unit of local government, the council weighs in on many issues such as homelessness, crime, parking and other quality of life concerns of this seaside urban enclave.

A “stakeholder” is defined as an individual who resides, works or owns property within the boundaries of the neighborhood of Venice and the LA City Clerk’s Office will conduct the election. Venetians will be required to request ballots to vote and a “drop box” will be provided to cast votes much like what voters experienced in the 2020 general election held last November 3rd for President and other offices and ballot initiatives.

Spiegel announced that a “direct-mail” postcard will be delivered to each Venice household by the middle of February. Other events will also be held to drive candidate recruitment and stakeholder turnout. Venice has traditionally led all neighborhood councils in the past with the largest of stakeholder turnouts, but the election two years ago saw a steep decrease of some 1,000 fewer voters participating from the previous contest. 

The Outreach Committee of the VNC has also been assisting Spiegel in his marketing and media objectives.

One issue that was not addressed is how to reach and connect with Venice’s ever-growing homeless population that is now in the thousands. Some estimates have the Venice homeless population over 3,000, a stark increase in lieu of COVID-19 and the downturn in the economy due to the pandemic.

Those Venice stakeholders interested in running are urged to email elections@venicenc.org for filing guidelines and requirements.

To date, no candidates have officially filed and February 5th will mark the first day candidates can announce their intentions.

For more information about the Venice Neighborhood Council, visit www.venicenc.org