Couch surfing USA. Credit: Alon Goldsmith

Moving homeless encampments
Homeless encampments have taken over Ocean Front Walk, the neighborhoods around the Bridge Home on Pacific and Sunset, parts of Lincoln Boulevard and other Venice neighborhoods. In addition, continuously occupied RVs line Pacific north of the Bridge Home and around the Binocular Building.
No one has the right to occupy public places, but the courts have not allowed cities to remove the homeless from such places if it has no place for them to stay. Los Angeles recently and successfully moved homeless people from Rose Avenue next to Penmar Golf Course and from Echo Park. It was able to do this because it had other places for them to stay. LA can do that again.

The city owns a large vacant parcel of many acres at the intersection of La Cienega and Century behind the Hilton Hotel (Parcel 1). It also owns another similarly large vacant parcel at the intersection of La Tijera and Westchester Parkway (Parcel 2).
By Memorial Day on May 31 (the start of summer), LA should: (1) remove all tents from Ocean Front Walk, the Bridge Home Neighborhood and Lincoln Boulevard, (2) bar continuously occupied RVs from Pacific Avenue, and (3) require the occupants to move their tents and RVs to Parcel 1, which is easily big enough to accommodate them. The city must also provide necessary sanitation and service facilities there. San Francisco has already done this as the LA Times reported in its May 7 front page story.
In the meantime, the city should construct villages of Tuff Sheds on Parcel 2. Tuff Sheds are basically outdoor tool sheds upgraded with windows, insulation and cots for three to four people each. Oakland has already done this. The Tuff Sheds will provide interim housing for homeless people until more permanent housing can be found or developed.

Clark Brown
Venice Neighborhood Council
At-Large-Community Officer Candidate

Why can’t Venice Neighborhood Council use technology better?
When we look at our neighborhood of Venice Beach, do we really love it? Do we really appreciate its incredible gifts? Can we overlook its flaws? Do we see where it has come from and where it is going?

These are questions that, as one of three candidates for Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) secretary, I am committed to asking. More importantly, I am willing to admit that there are parts of Venice that I absolutely love and there are things that, well, not so much.

One of those aspects is the treatment of successful artists in our community. I’ve had the privilege of working closely with some world-famous artists who have galleries and studios right here in our neighborhood of Venice.

I’ve also had the privilege of working with several major production companies and fashion designers whose offices are in Venice, and it is an injustice the way these incredible resources and fountains of knowledge have been overlooked when seeking wisdom and insight on how to solve some of Venice’s problems.

Our community is quicker to run to get help from anyone and everyone else other than those who are the heart and soul of Venice: the world-famous artists! What makes Venice different from Manhattan Beach or Newport Beach? It’s our artist community! The artists themselves comment to me: “Why doesn’t anyone ever tell me what’s going on around here?”

I helped develop a Burning Man Art Festival camp that experienced a meteoric rise from the first year it was founded to the fourth year it was rocketed to the center of Burning Man.
I also have experienced going viral on TikTok and going from a few likes to 1.3 million views in a matter of days with over 15,000 comments. How many of my distinguished colleagues running for VNC can say the same thing?

Technology, artists and imagination are the future of Venice! The Burning Man vibe and the creative social media posts from our zip code attract millions of digital hits every year. Burning Man is full of technologists that use tech to keep in touch across the world for most of the year.

I am proven in my ability to use the most up-to-date tech and will do so in service to the VNC including Slack, Discord, Calendly and Dropbox. Furthermore, Reddit, Quora, Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram are all valuable resources as well. Why aren’t we using them more?

I urge you, neighbor and fellow voter, to vote into office across the election candidates who are ready and willing to utilize technology for the improvement and benefit of Venice Beach. Ben Decker is that candidate and I urge you to vote for him as VNC president.

It’s time for science and technology to be given their rightful honor in the neighborhood of Venice Beach. As a female founder, I bring the spirit of entrepreneurship that will go above and beyond what any other candidate may promise to do. Not because of who I know or my political relationships, but because of my ability to leverage the power of storytelling and technology to bring out the best in our Venice for ourselves and future generations.

We need technology and we need to work harder, better, stronger and faster for the future of Venice. We need candidates who will bring our diverse community together – unifying people like Larry Bell and Mark Ryavec.
As secretary, I will work to support more effective communication outside the traditional neighborhood council meetings. Meeting once a month just doesn’t do justice to the rapid pace of life in Venice!

Can you imagine getting a weekly digest of Venice news from Reddit, Twitter and Instagram delivered to your email each week to see what’s happening in Venice? I can.
Can you imagine being able to request the contact info for a Venice neighbor who you want to connect with through our VNC Network? I can.
Can you imagine getting coupons and offers for babysitting, tutoring and dog walking through the Venice Network? I can.
Can you imagine being able to report problems on or near your property in a way that’s as easy as the 311 app except exclusively for Venice Beach? I can.
These are the reasons why I am running for secretary and these are the reasons that you should vote for me and anyone else who is committed to using technology to help our neighborhood.
Ciao, Venice!
Ansley Weller
Venice Neighborhood Council Secretary Candidate