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Lucks Re-Elected as President of Venice Neighborhood Council

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About 1,600 people voted in the Venice Neighborhood Council election Sunday that included a field of dozens of candidates vying for executive positions and at-large board seats.

Linda Lucks was re-elected as board president with 832 votes, according to a preliminary canvass of votes released Sunday night. Her challenger, Richard Duncan had 494 votes. In other contested executive spots, incumbent Land Use and Planning Committee chairman Jake Kaufman was re-elected with 685 votes, while Venice Walk Streets Association leader Sue Kaplan gained 488 votes and Matthew Schildkret had 154 votes. Incumbent Outreach Officer Matt Kline, who spearheaded the well attended Silicon Beach Town Hall last spring, beat out three other candidates and was re-elected with 610 votes. Helen Stotler won the Communications Officer seat with 633 votes to 516 votes for current board member Jed Pauker.

The Venice Neighborhood Council is one of more than 90 councils spread throughout the nation’s second-largest city and serves as an advisory group to City Hall.

There were three uncontested executive seats, with Marc Saltzberg gaining 958 votes for vice president; Kristopher Valentine 921 votes for secretary and Hugh Harrison collecting 908 ballots for treasurer. All three previously held their positions.

Thirteen people were elected to the board from a field of three dozen candidates. They are:

Tommy Walker. Walker was the top vote-getter with 184 votes. Walker in his candidate statement said he went to Westminster Avenue Elementary School, Mark Twain Middle School and Venice High School. He has past experience working on community projects in the Oakwood neighborhood of Venice.

Thomas Elliot. Elliott is an owner of the Venice Ale House and a 15-year resident of Venice. He gained 151 votes.

Ira Koslow. Koslow is an incumbent who was first elected to the board six years ago. In his candidate statement, Koslow said his specific constituency was the walk streets from Windward Avenue north to Santa Monica and would keep up the fight against the “onslaught of aggressive commercialization.” Koslow had 78 votes.

Scot Kramarich. Kramarich won his second term on the board with 61 votes. He is a home owner on Rose Avenue, father, husband and software developer.

Oren Katzeff. Katzeff and his wife, Sarah, live in Venice and own Schulzies Bread Pudding on the boardwalk. He’s been in Venice for 5 years and works at a startup on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Katzeff had 73 votes.

Abigail Myers. Myers has been in Los Angeles for 12 years and in Venice for seven years, according to her candidate statement. During a candidate’s forum Thursday, she said development was her top issue. Myers had 77 votes.

Eduardo Manilla. Manilla is a 28-year-old architect and surfer and has lived in Venice for five years. Manilla, who is of Mexican descent, said in his bilingual candidate statement that he wanted to bring diversity to the board and promote the “artistic, cultural and ethnic growth” in Venice. Manilla had 80 votes.

Erin Sullivan-Ward. Sullivan-Ward has lived in Venice for more than 10 years and became active when the U.S. Postal Annex went up for sale. She lived in Venice in the 80s, is a mother and partner in a production company. Sullivan-Ward had 48 votes.

Marisa Solomon. Solomon is an interior designer who lives and works in Venice and is married to architect John Reed, a member of the council’s Land Use and Planning Committee. Solomon during the candidate’s forum said she was running, in part, because the community was divided on key issues, including land use. Solomon had 54 votes.

Max Sloan. Sloan is a graduate student at UCLA with two more years to go and has lived in Venice for the past six years. He’s a longtime surfer and said during the candidate’s forum that he would like to bridge the generation gap. When asked at the forum if he felt safe in Venice, Sloan said he feels safe, but he’s had bikes stolen. Sloan had 82 votes.

Cynthia Rogers. Rogers is an incumbent and has been co-chair of the council’s environmental committee and chair of the arts committee. She had been a regular vendor at the Venice Farmers Market and is a Venice native. She listed homelessness as Venice’s top issue when asked at the candidate’s forum. Rogers had 46 votes.

Sevan Gerard. Gerard is a firefighter-paramedic with Fire Station #63 in Venice. He listed gentrification and public safety as his top issues at the candidate’s forum. He’s been in Venice for two years. Gerard had 46 votes.

Sylvia Aroth. Aroth in her candidate statement said she discovered Venice in the 1960s while attending UCLA. Aroth also said she would try to strike a balance between development and Venice’s social problems. Aroth had 60 votes.

J. Lloyd “Bud” Jacobs, a former principal at Venice High School, won the contest for Factual Basis Community Officer with 10 votes, while Therese Dietlin had two votes.

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