By Anne Alvarez
The October Venice Neighborhood Council meeting was held at Westminster Elementary on October 23, and was attended by politicians, Hollywood moguls and neighborhood council hopefuls.
Congressional candidates for the newly formed 33rd district Representative Henry Waxman (D) and Manhattan Beach businessman Mike Bloomfield (I) took the opportunity to address the audience and lay out their policies.
Bloomfield acknowledged it will be difficult to unseat Waxman, who has been in office for over 38 years. However, he feels he just might win because voters are fed up with the hyper partisanship taking place in Washington D.C . He also emphasized his independence from the two-party system, choosing to break away from the Republican Party to run as an Independent.
Henry Waxman addressed the crowd, pointing out that his opponent left the Republican Party, and proceeded to donate as much money as he possibly could to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He then went on to discuss his opposition of the Santa Monica airport and how he intends to do something about it in 2015, when its current agreement with the city expires. Waxman also mentioned his disappointment that the Venice Post Office was sold; however, he is pleased with the buildings new owner, Joel Silver. He briefly addressed the thousands of homeless veterans that roam the streets while 400 acres of land at the Brentwood Veterans’ Administration are being privately leased out, insisting he has fought to keep the V.A. from being altogether sold.
No questions from the audience or board members were permitted, and as soon as both candidates finished campaigning, they immediately left the building.
The audience was then introduced to over 50 Venice Council hopefuls including former Venice High school principal J.Loyd (Bud) Jacobs, who wants to improve the quality of Venice neighborhood schools and align community support for programs and schools that serve the local community
Through it all Joel Silver, the new owner of our historic postal building sat quietly in a back row of the auditorium before being asked to address the crowd. He proceeded by saying how much he has always loved Venice and how he was “happy to have been voted off the island,” meaning the Warner Brothers Burbank lot. “It is going to be an incredible time for us to experience what Venice is, it is a dream come true,” he said.
“We want to change the paradigm of Venice, the paradigm of Hollywood,” Silver said. He discussed his plans for the community, and opened himself up for questions from the audience and board members; only 2 people asked questions: one woman wanted to know if he would hire her, the other sang his praises.
No one asked about the Biberman mural. I had a chance to privately ask Silver about the covenant between him and the Postal service and his willingness to release it to the public. He replied that “it is not out of the question and that it would ultimately be up to the Postal service.”
When asked whether he has ever said that the Biberman mural will be view-able 7 days out of the year, as has been rumored, his reply was “never, that is ridiculous.”
Silver also said that temporarily displaying the painting at a public Venice space like the Venice library is something he is willing to look into as long as he gets the okay from the owners of the mural, the U.S.P.S.
Board member Ivonne Guzman asked Silver if upon his death he would consider willing his new office space to the community, garnering a quick “I don’t plan on dying anytime soon” from Silver, and laughter from the board members and the audience.
By Anne Alvarez