February 21, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Park Piles Up Building And Trades Support

Job Creation And Commitment To Working Families At Core Of Private Labor Support

By Nick Antonicello 

In a clear trend and point of delineation between the Traci Park campaign and fellow Venetian Erin Darling, she is piling up the private sector, building and trades support while Darling is more focused on public sector labor groups.

This week the Park campaign announced a series of trade endorsements featuring the IBEW  (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 18 and Local 781 representing area Plumbers and Pipefitters.

Calling Traci a champion for working men and women and someone that “will stand with labor to fight for fair wages, better training and healthcare for workers and their families,” offered Gus Corona, Business Manager for IBEW Local 18. “After working in partnership, Traci understands what needs to get done to invest in technologies and policies like rooftop solar, clean energy, and leaky pipe replacement to build for our future. We can hardly wait to roll up our sleeves and get to work with Traci.”

In addition, Local 781 of the area Plumbers and Pipefitters went on the record for Team Park as well.

“Traci has the interests of working men and women at heart, and she recognizes that investing in our built environment means investing in working families and communities. That’s why 761 is endorsing Traci’s campaign.” offered Greg Lewis, the Plumbers & Fitters Local Union 761 Business Manager.

In what has to be regarded the most competitive of council races to succeed outgoing Councilmember Mike Bonin, who has endorsed Erin Darling, there is an obvious difference in political philosophy and rhetoric as Park has maintained her right-of-center lane with a populist, non-partisan twist while Darling is in fact the “darling” of the liberal left, touting strong support from tenants in particular as Park, the former Republican has maintained a strong stream of financial support from the state’s powerful apartment lobby. Here in Venice, only one-third of all homes are owner-occupied making tenants the largest pool of available voter support.

To date, no significant tenant organization has made an endorsement in CD-11.

Darling has concentrated on grassroots Democratic Clubs as has nailed down the support of nine of these organizations to date with a huge victory in earning over 80% of the vote of the 700-member West LA Democrats.

Darling also has the support of incoming LA Councilmember-elect Eunisses Hernandez and former Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor while Park secured the endorsements of former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, outgoing LA City Controller Ron Galperin and California State Treasurer Fiona Ma.

As the campaign picks up full steam in the waning days between now and November 8th, none of the defeated council candidates from the June Primary to date have endorsed neither Park or Darling, but former candidate and Venice Farmer’s Market Manager Jim Murez, who also serves President of the Venice Neighborhood Council intends to support the Venice employment attorney.

For many are seeing the race as a result of shifting political ideologies with the looming presence of left-of-center politics playing a huge role in what was traditionally a non-partisan affair.

Darling is mounting an impressive and aggressive block-by-block canvassing effort while Park will be relying on a huge money advantage we saw in the primary where she outspent the renter’s right advocate by a 10-1 margin. Park depended on a heavy dose of direct mail, of which much of it never reached voters in a timely basis as I personally received fourteen (14) pieces of mail two days after the June Primary!

While political consultants love to push direct mail because of huge profitability margins, why would any candidate in 2022 invest in mail when most voters look to their smartphone as the prime source for information on just about everything?

The candidates seem to be running concurrent media streams, which is strange given the tone and tenor of the campaign to date. In other news, Erin Darling will be appearing next week before the Homeless Committee of the VNC to discuss the issues of encampments here in Venice and beyond. Park had already addressed the committee in a 90-minute discussion at their July meeting which can be viewed at the VNC’s website, www.vencenc.org

Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian covering the race for LA Council CD-11 and has filed more stories than any other local or citywide media outlet regarding this race to succeed Mike Bonin. Have a take on the race or a tip? Contact Antonicello via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Opinion
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