By Alice Stek, district 7 representative

Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council held its first general membership “town hall” meeting on October 28. 300 stakeholders attended the beginning of the meeting, also attended by Cindy Miscikowski, the new L.A. City Council representative for our district.

Many speakers articulately presented arguments for affordable housing, against Playa Vista, against granting variances for oversized developments, and questioning Miscikowski’s conflict of interest regarding real estate development projects. While she clearly heard the issues of concern to Venetians, her responses were less than reassuring. She needs to continue to hear from Venice.

By the time the bylaws amendments were discussed, half the participants had fled the headache-inducing acoustics of the Boys and Girls Club gym. A controversial bylaws amendment proposed expanding the Land Use and Planning Committee by adding six members to be elected by the membership. The 9 existing members of the committee were appointed by the Board. The Board had previously lost credibility when it failed to approve the same amendment by the required two-thirds vote. A petition from the membership placed the issue on the agenda for this general meeting.

Despite compelling arguments from supporters of the amendment, its opponents appeared to have more tolerance for the gym’s acoustics and stayed for the vote. Thanks in part to the scheduling of the speakers (opponents following supporters without rebuttal), the opponents were able to confuse some undecided voters. The amendment did not receive the two-thirds majority required for approval.

The Land Use and Planning Committee will continue to consist of 9 appointed members, most of whom are also Board members. Its meetings are open to the public; date and location will be posted on the GRV website: <www.grassrootsvenice.org>. See the Beachhead calendar section for GRV Board meeting dates. Meetings will generally be held at Venice High School, where acoustics may allow the audience to actually understand the discussions.

Anyone age 16 or over who lives or works in Venice may register as a GRV member. Contact us at Progressive Candidates: telephone 310-280-3411 or via the link at <www.freevenice.org>.

Posted: Fri - November 1, 2002 at 06:35 PM