Editor’s note: this article is a response to an opinion piece by Nick Antonicello last week.
By Traci Park
Hi Nick, Traci Park here. We have actually met multiple times at community events over the last decade. You probably just don’t remember me because I’ve always been polite and respectful when we talked. We’ve never had a disagreement or testy exchange that might stand out in your mind.
But since you took the time to publically share your views of me, without the courtesy of a phone call or email to inquire about mine, I wanted to take the time to respond to the points you raised.
You said that I am “a political novice with no real community advocacy or service.” You’re absolutely right: I’m not a politician. I’m just an average resident who is willing to take on the establishment instead of sitting behind a computer and complaining about things. I’ve spent my entire career in advocacy and service, I just don’t brag about it on social media. And, I don’t do that work for publicity or because I expect anyone to thank me. I do it because I care about protecting the families and businesses in our community.
You also noted that you found it “downright strange and disturbing” that I did not mention Mike Bonin on my website. I’m stepping away from a career I love and taking on the uncomfortable role of jumping into politics by running against him. But since that wasn’t obvious, let me be clear: I am running against Mike Bonin because what he has done to CD-11 is a disgrace, and we deserve better. I’m running because I am furious about what has happened in Venice, and Mar Vista, and Westchester, and all the parts of CD-11 that are in crisis because of Mike Bonin’s failed leadership and disastrous policies.
You also wondered about the campaign address. It’s really simple: I’m busy working with local constituents to address their concerns, so having a professional State-wide accounting firm handle the campaign finances gives me more time to spend on the issues that matter.
I also noted your comment about already having “more than enough lawyers in politics and government.” Not to put too fine a point on it, but in large part, bad lawyering got us into this, and it’s going to take some damn good lawyering to get us out of it.
You also called me an “ambitious millionaire” and wondered what I have in common with average residents and voters. I wish I was a millionaire – it would certainly make life and this campaign a lot easier! The truth is, I just recently paid off my student loans. I drive a leased car. I shop at Target. I live on a budget. Like the stakeholders and voters in this District, I am tired of the failed leadership, the skyrocketing crime and violence, the suffering on the streets, and Mike Bonin’s broken promises.
As you stated: “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.” I’m not nobody, Nick. I’m the woman who is stepping up to beat Mike Bonin.