This the first in a series of interviews with the candidates seeking election or reelection to the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org) The election is scheduled for March 26
For Soledad Ursua, public service is a way of life for the eight-year Venice homeowner who is the daughter of the iconic Gloria Romero, a former member of the California General Assembly and State Senate where she served as Majority Leader and unsuccessfully sought the non-partisan position of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The former legislator was the first woman to head a major political party caucus in the California upper house.
A local media influencer, the incumbent has been published in the LA Times, City Journal and The Orange County Register and has been a regular guest and contributor on FOX News as well as The John & Ken Show on KFI 640 AM radio where she has articulately offered a unique perspective on issues of culture, crime and homelessness here in Venice and the rest of Southern California.
A trained investment professional who is a managing director of a Real Estate & Private Equity firm since 2016, Ursua has worked on acquiring, rehabilitating and managing income producing properties with a niche on tax management and strategy according to her professional resume. She also offers consulting and advisory services to small businesses and not-for-profits as well as grants writing and business planning offerings.
A graduate of UCSB with a BA in Global Studies and Minor in Spanish, Ursua received her MA in Urban Policy Analysis and Management at the New School for Management & Urban Policy with a concentration in real estate finance and urban economic development in New York City.
And while her range of knowledge and interest is impressive and extensive, Ursua seeks educational opportunities for the poor and underprivileged while seeking long-term and sustaining solutions to end the homeless crisis here in Venice and the rest of Los Angeles. During her first term, Ursua chaired the Public Safety Committee of the VNC which led to key city officials such as former LA Controller Ron Galperin appearing before local residents in a ZOOM format. Galperin just completed two terms as the city’s chief fiscal officer and was an unsuccessful candidate for California Controller in last year’s June Primary. Her Committee’s work was so successful that the full board adopted many of her practices which were wildly popular in Venice circles.
As she did in 2021, Ursua is running together with fellow incumbent Chie Lunn and has also endorsed the candidacy of longtime community activist, Yolanda Gonzalez who is a candidate for Community Officer as well.
Ursua stressed that creating a buzz around issues through various media outlets places issues front and center with Venetians and thus making for a more informed stakeholder.
Ursua is also interested in the issue of parking, which she believes has not been adequately addressed in some parts due to the pandemic and wants to continue to offer an optimistic and goal-oriented agenda that empowers locals.
Ursua is also concerned about the proliferation of RV’s once again throughout the neighborhood and believes the best way to move the needle from a policy perspective is to create venues for community engagement which she believes results in community victory.
A strong supporter of the 2021 Bonin Recall, Ursua is delighted by the election of Councilwoman Traci Park (CD-11), and believes this reversal in political leadership from what she described as “toxic and tiring” under the former two-term incumbent, Mike Bonin.
Ursua believes a primary purpose of the VNC is to keep elected officials accountable and believes Venice is on a better political track with Traci Park on the LA City Council representing Venice.
“We need to get our public spaces back,” and referred to the fencing at the Library and believes “we just can’t rope off” public spaces that need to be re-opened to the public.
The candidate is proud of her local roots as a Californian and speaks fondly of her time living in South Pomona and coming to the beaches of Venice to escape the heat.
“We didn’t have a pool when I was a child and coming to Venice during the summer is a fond memory. I don’t take living at the beach for granted. I’m proud I was able to come to the Westside, purchase a home and become a productive member of the middle-class,” offered the candidate.
Ursua sees private investment and economic development as critical for LA and Venice, as the World Cup and Summer Olympics will make their way to the Westside in 2026 and 2028 respectively.
“Our beaches and public spaces are important to our future. That means we need to end the road diets, create safe settings at the beach and keep access to the coast a high priority,” noted the incumbent.
“We need to dream bigger,” replied Ursua in her familiar, optimistic tone.
Nick Antonicello is a thirty-year Venetian who is covering the 2023 VNC elections scheduled for March 26th. Antonicello will be interviewing all interested candidates in getting their message to stakeholders. A member of the Outreach & Oceanfront Committees of the VNC, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org