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Venice Resident Mark Ryavec Announces Bid for L.A. City Council

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By Paul Chavez, Venice Dispatch

Mark Ryavec, a Venice resident and president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, announced his candidacy Monday for the Los Angeles City Council’s District 11 seat.

Ryavec will be running for the spot currently held by City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, 67, who announced last week that he was not seeking re-election in order to focus on his battle with cancer. Rosendahl has been representing the 11th Council District, which includes Venice, since 2005.

In a press release announcing his candidacy, Ryavec, 61, said he was formerly a legislative analyst for the City Council and chief deputy tax assessor for Los Angeles County. He said he is running to return the city’s focus to delivering municipal services.

“My first priority is to be an advocate for residents and neighborhoods,” Ryavec said in a statement. “That means preventing crime, repaving streets, fixing sidewalks, trimming trees, putting rangers back into parks and keeping libraries open.”

Ryavec in July introduced a motion before the Venice Neighborhood Council that called for the Los Angeles Police Department to consistently enforce laws against obstructing public streets, camping overnight on sidewalks and leaving personal property on public property. The motion and a substitute motion were rejected by the board after about two dozen people spoke against it during public comment.

Ryavec also was part of the diverse group of Venice residents and stakeholders who banded together to form the Save the Venice Post Office coalition.

Ryavec said he would follow former longtime CD11 Councilman Marvin Braude, a co-sponsor of Proposition O in 1988 that prevented oil drilling in the Pacific Palisades, by making coastal protection a top priority.

“Our challenge today is to more aggressively attack the sources of urban run-off, which every winter dumps a toxic soup into Santa Monica Bay,” Ryavec said in a statement. Ryavec said he was one of the founding directors of American Oceans Campaign, a leader in the fight against the Occidental Petroleum off-shore drilling project and a longtime member of the Ocean Council of Oceana.

Ryavec, who lives in the Windward Circle area of Venice, was born in Santa Monica and attended UCLA and Occidental College. He has lived in Venice for 23 years in a 105-year-old house that he has restored. For more on his background and position on city issues, visit his campaign website at markryavec.com.

Ryavec will face Rosendahl’s chosen successor and chief of staff, Mike Bonin, in a March 5 primary election that will be followed by a May 21 general election. Rosendahl last week said that he will retire at the end of his term in June to focus on his fight against cancer and said he plans to return to national public affairs television. Bonin, 45, announced his campaign last week for the Council District 11 position. Others who said they intend to run include Westchester resident and school teacher Odysseus Bostick and Frederick Sutton.

Eight of the City Council’s 15 seats, with a 3-year term and nearly $180,000 annual salary, will be up for election.

The filing period for candidates to declare their candidacy for City Council starts Nov. 5.

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