The Venice site that played a part in a Santa Monica woman’s record for registering more than 47,000 people to vote has been identified with a commemorative marker.
Sylvia Levin, who died at the age of 91 in June 2009, set the all-time California record for registering voters over 36 years of service as a volunteer. Officials note that it is perhaps a national record.
According to her son Chuck Levin, Sylvia spoke with more than 470,000 people during that time, encouraging everyone, regardless of party, to participate in the democratic process.
She set up a table six days a week to register voters in front of the Westwood Post Office, the Malibu Post Office, on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, and the Westwood Village Farmers Market. Every week at each location, she registered voters and answered questions on a nonpartisan basis.
Los Angeles city officials, including Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Paul Koretz, honored Levin’s devoted service by dedicating a memorial plaque July 30 in front of Sunya Currie Boutique at 1130 Abbot Kinney Blvd., the Venice location from where the volunteer registered Californians to vote.
“Sylvia Levin expanded democracy, through her tireless spirit, compassion, and dedication to citizen involvement. Her historic contribution is an inspiration to us all,” a statement by Rosendahl reads on the plaque.
The marker additionally states, “Register to Vote and Vote in Every Election.”
The Los Angeles City Council honored Levin on her 90th birthday in 2007 with a resolution commemorating her setting the all-time state record for registering voters.
Rep. Henry Waxman spoke of Levin in the Congressional Record in 1997, saying, “She has done more to increase voter participation than virtually anyone we know.”