A diversified mix of former city officials, legislative aides and private sector influencers have now joined Team Park
By Nick Antonicello
Los Angeles Councilmember Traci Park (D-CD11) has announced a series of new hires to round out her legislative staff according to the campaign’s Facebook page.
Park, a Venice attorney defeated fellow Venetian and lawyer Erin Darling in the November General Election by a 52%-48% margin with nearly 100,000 votes cast, the largest turnout of any of the city’s fifteen council contests.
The first female council member to represent Venice since the days of former council member Cindy Miscikowski, Park replaced Mike Bonin, who dropped out of the race and retired last January after nearly a decade on this municipal body.
Park announced the appointment of the following eleven hires:
- Jeff Khah will serve as a Planning Deputy and brings a long resume of government service to Park’s staff as an urban planner and public policy analyst.
- William Ayala will serve as a council aide and was formerly a staffer with Mitch O’Farrell, who was defeated for a third term last month by Hugo Soto-Martinez by a margin of 58%-42%. O’Farrell served eight days as Council President in lieu of the resignation of Nury Martinez and previously served as President Pro Tempore. O’Farrell was elected in 2013 and reelected in 2017. Originally from Oklahoma, O’Farrell was the first Native-American to serve on the body.
- Gabriela Medina will serve as Park’s District Director. A graduate of UCLA, Medina served in the same capacity for former Councilmember Joe Buscaino, a close ally and supporter of Park. A retired police officer, Buscaino briefly made a bid for mayor and announced his run in Venice Beach at the height of the homeless crisis in the summer of 2021. Medina began her career as a volunteer for Buscaino’s initial bid for the LA City Council.
- Jamie Paige has joined Team Park as a Communications Deputy. A former member of the Venice Neighborhood Council, Paige is the founder and editor of the Westside Current, formerly known as the Venice Current, a website that covers news, politics, government and other happenings on the Westside. The Westside Current was an early supporter of the Park candidacy and strongly endorsed her primary and general election bids. The site was also a strong supporter of former LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who was defeated for reelection by new Sheriff Robert Luna, the retired police chief of the city of Long Beach.
- Joey Bailey returns as Homeless Outreach Liaison, the same position he held with Councilmember Mike Bonin and is one of two holdovers from the former councilmember’s staff.
- Clint Carlton will serve as Park’s Homelessness Director, one of the central themes of the Park campaign. Carlton brings a long resume of service in the area of homelessness in the not-for-profit space and will no doubt play a critical role in reforming LA’s current homelessness crisis in wake of Mayor Karen Bass’s announcement that a state of emergency now exists and the goal in year one is to house 15,000 of the some 50,000 people now living on the streets with nearly 2,000 here in Venice alone. The Venice Median project, the Flower Avenue situation at Lincoln as well as other encampments in and about the Venice neighborhood will certainly be at the top of Park’s agenda.
- Dave Cano joins Team Park as an Executive Assistant, a similar role he held with former Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.
- Carol Williams is a former Bonin staffer who is being retained as a Homeless Outreach Liaison and has decades of experience of working with individuals currently unhoused.
- Jacob Burman, who served as Campaign Director for the Park effort will come on board as a Senior Advisor. A campaign professional, Burman served as Regional Director for GOTV for the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party and is a graduate of George Washington University. A former member of the College Democrats, Burman previously served as a volunteer firefighter.
- Paris Parsamyan will serve as Park’s Chief of Staff. Another former staffer with Councilman O’Farrell, she served as his deputy legislative director. A former counselor with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Parsamyan earned her MS in Counseling at UCLA.
- Kevin Brunke will serve as Park’s Legislative Deputy. A former member of the staff of Mitch O’Farrell, Brunke is a graduate of Occidental College and served in a communications capacity with the former councilmember.
Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian who covered the race for LA City Council in CD-11 and filed the most stories of any media outlet. A member of the Outreach and Oceanfront Walk Committees of the Venice Neighborhood Council, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org