May 27, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Shorts: A Man for the Marina!

Community Officer hopeful Steve Bradbury focuses on representing MDR on the Venice Neighborhood Council

By Nick Antonicello

A Marina del Rey marketing professional is making a strong case for representation on the Venice Neighborhood Council for other Marina stakeholders as he points out 29% of this neighborhood council is populated by MDR residents, yet only a single Marina resident is currently on the 21-member grassroots council. 

A senior executive who also served as an adjunct professor at UCLA and Syracuse University, Steve’s entrepreneurial spirit and “can do” attitude will be a strong addition to this neighborhood board. 

For Steve Bradbury, membership matters for the Marina and aims to offer that leadership for his fellow mariners. 

A sixteen-year resident and homeowner, Steve Bradbury has a love for his neighborhood, and this graduate of Syracuse University is originally from the Bronx in New York City that graduated from Science HS and is an unapologetic fan of the New York Yankees who has the time and energy to become a civic-involved community advocate. 

Bradbury has lived in LA for over 35 years, and wants to primarily focus as an advocate for the Marina given the lack of representation his neighborhood currently has today on the VNC. 

Bradbury described himself as a “thoughtful pragmatist,” interested in parking and traffic issues facing both Venice and his neighborhood should voters elect him come the March elections that are a hybrid affair consisting of vote-by-mail as well as in-person participation at the polls. 

For Bradbury wants to make a difference and is running a positive and optimistic grass roots effort as he is be canvassing his local neighborhood for votes while offering a website to learn more about his candidacy and platform at www.steve4vnc.com

Bradbury views his candidacy as somewhat a unique selling proposition to engage voters and maximize voter participation that he deems as essential to a successful and effective grass roots term of office. 

Bradbury said he was impressed by the interactions of the Parking & Transportation Committee of the VNC, which spurred him to consider a run as a Community Officer. 

I spent about an hour on the phone with the candidate and here are the questions he was asked as his enthusiasm was obvious and commitment to community service evident. 

Neighborhood Councils make recommendations but elected city officials make  decisions. How will you engage and influence elected officials like Traci Park to solve  problems such as homelessness in Venice? 

My recent experience as a community organizer addressing the VAPP project and associated  public parking lot on Hurricane St in the Marina Peninsula may be instructive. First, we  listened to the community to find areas of common ground and ensure that multiple POVs  were represented. Then we reached out to all the primary candidates running for CD-11  councilperson to elicit their interest/support. Traci Park was among the candidates who  expressed the strongest support for our cause. Next, we brought this issue to the VNC to  seek their input and support (they voted 17-0 to support a secure and landscaped employee only parking lot that is tied to the pumping plant use rather than a general use public parking  lot). Finally, we reached out to LADWP/Sanitation to communicate our issues. This led to two  community meetings and some modifications (supposedly) to be enforced as a result of an  LAPC appeal hearing. FYI, there is still an appeal to be heard with the Coastal Commission. In summary, the more that people speak with a collective, unified voice, the greater likelihood  elected officials and city employees may listen. And how we communicate does impact the  nature of how people listen.  

Currently stakeholders only get to choose one (1) community officer, yet 13 are  elected. Would you vote to support and reform this woefully flawed voting process? 

Definitely. I agree the current system is flawed. The parameters of most every election,  whether city, state or federal, have been defined to provide reasonably fair levels of  representation. Given there are 13 Community Officers on the VNC, voters should be allowed  to vote for up to three candidates. Further, there should be guidelines developed to ensure all  neighborhoods within the VNC boundaries are represented. The fact that 29% of Venice is  comprised of MDR residents yet there is only one member of the council from MDR does not  equate to appropriate representation, the Neighborhood Committee notwithstanding. That is  why I am running to represent all of Marina Del Rey – the Marina Peninsula, Silver Strand and  Oxford Triangle. 

How do you view the role of the neighborhood council? Can this board make a  difference and how? 

Neighborhood councils are supposed to be the conduit between communities and local  government. They are, in theory, designed to listen to community concerns and then  advocate on issues, large and small. Where issues cross geographic boundaries, NCs may  also collaborate for greater impact (i.e.: Westside Regional Alliance of Councils). From my experience living in MDR for 16+ years, it seems the VNC has become more reactive than  proactive. Community members can bring issues to a committee. However, I have not  experienced much listening initiated by VNC members or the council as a whole. That’s one  reason why I created a survey for MDR stakeholders on my campaign website:  https://steve4vnc.com/survey/. If people feel as if the council is listening, more people might  take an interest and express themselves. In my brief time as a candidate, it’s already notable  how many people don’t know about the VNC or understand MDR is part of Venice.  

Perhaps all council members could be required to participate in community outreach activities, so the responsibilities don’t fall on just a few people. 

The VNC is a committee system. What committee would you like to chair and why? 

Initially, I would like to join the Parking & Transportation Committee as well as the  Neighborhood Committee. I’ve been impressed with the current members of P&T and hope  some will continue to participate. They touch upon issues that impact many parts of Venice.  The discussions are thoughtful and respectful. The outcomes bring clarity to complex issues. As a new VNC council member, I don’t believe it’s appropriate to step in immediately as a  chairperson. 

As a beach community member and nature lover, I’m deeply moved by the permanent impact  humans have had on the climate. While the ship has sailed to reverse much of the issues we  have caused, there is a pressing need to take immediate action around preparation for the  inevitable changes to come.  

Parking and transportation are also top of list, hence my interest in that committee. For  example, the DOT unilaterally chose to remove certain street parking near Pacific and  Hurricane St based on a complaint from someone not living on this block and without any  neighborhood input/communication. Residents of the Silver Strand have lost valuable parking  to employees from the Marriott Courtyard/Brizo who are not being provided parking on site.  Speeding issues down Via Marina are prevalent and dangerous. 

My mindset for joining the VNC is one of “thoughtful pragmatist.” It does not serve our  collective interests to automatically apply one pre-determined or uniform POV to every action  item or issue – never say never. There can be unique circumstances that might impact the  reason to support one action or another. There could be longer-term ramifications as a trade off for shorter-term benefits…or not. 

What is your opinion of the Venice Pier, Oceanfront Walk and Bike Path? What  infrastructure issues concern you? 

I’m a regular bicycle rider on the bike path. The experience riding in Venice is far more  challenging than any other part from the Palisades to Redondo Beach. It is not clean from  debris and sand. Motorized scooters, ridden and parked, remain a concern. We can do much  better. I’m impressed with the improvements to the paddle tennis courts. I would like to better  understand how effective the LAPD sub-station has been – what works, what does not? 

Are you supporting a candidate for VNC President and why? 

I have not taken a position on either of the VNC President candidates at this time. 

What are you doing to draw support to your candidacy? 

My campaign is focused primarily on speaking to the 29% of Venice that lives within MDR.  I’ve built a website – https://steve4vnc.com/ and will be distributing flyers within the  community. I’ve reached out to my network, co-op boards, organizations with a presence  within MDR as well as merchants along Washington and Lincoln Blvds. My message is  focused on representation. Who is listening on our community’s behalf? Are votes being cast  with MDR interests in mind? 

Should VNC meetings be live and in-person versus the current ZOOM applications? Absolutely, in-person. I believe they will be starting March 1st. Those who want to join via  Zoom should still be able to do so.

Have you ever written a resolution or motion before? What is your familiarity with  ROBERT’s Rules and the Board’s BY-LAWS and Standing Rules? 

I’ve attended many VNC meetings (live and via Zoom) so have a broad sense of, and respect  for, the parliamentary procedures that are core to VNC activities. While not an expert, I look  forward to learning more through the trainings we are required to take as council members. I’ve been reading both the By-Laws and Standing Rules. Each read brings new insights. 

What specific, quality-of-life concerns will you focus on? 

I believe safety and security drive many of our quality-of-life issues. The fact that the Marina  Peninsula, as well as other neighborhoods, have recognized the need for a private security  service to supplement LAPD is a sad realization for many people used to relying on police  departments to historically provide such services. For example, theft and burglary seem to be  more prevalent, LAPD statistics notwithstanding. I would like the VNC to consider supporting  an LAPD sub-station on Washington Blvd.  

Homelessness is a multi-faceted, primary issue from a basic human need for shelter and  compassion for those who truly need to those on the grift from other jurisdictions and  enforcement of laws that do not allow people to simply live in a tent or park on RV wherever  they choose. There is no reason to spend $500K/unit on individual housing units. No  business would support that level of inefficiency. Why does the city? And why did it take  years for residents of the Oxford Triangle to resolve density issues at the Thatcher Yard site,  especially at a cost of $647K/unit?

Tell us about yourself. Are you a local? When did you arrive in Venice? Do you have a  local business? Married? Children? Homeowner? Tenant? 

I was born and raised in NYC (the Bronx) and attended Syracuse University. I have lived in  Los Angeles for over 35 years. My career has evolved from media and entertainment (MGM  Television, The Improvisation, GoTV Networks (mobile video) and digital media as Chief  Revenue Officer for Zazoom Media Group to, at present, an educator. I lead My Software  Tutor, a company that produces listening, communication, and productivity workshops as well  as Excel and PPT software training for teams and organizations. I’m also an Adjunct  Professor for Syracuse teaching “Riding the Digital Wave” for their study in Los Angeles  program. Finally, I’m a business mentor for the Stubbs, Alderton Preccelerator based in  Santa Monica. My wife (of 15 years) and I own our house on the Marina Peninsula. 

What do you love most about Venice? 

We have the best of two worlds – ready access to a vibrant, sophisticated neighborhood that  has so much to offer while living in a beach community where the pace of life runs a bit  slower and more relaxed. We often “walk up to the corner” on Washington Blvd for dinner and entertain guests from LA or other parts of the country. We are very active as bikers, runners  and swimmers. It’s hard to beat a walk on the beach at sunset. 

I’ve long been interested in the opportunities and challenges we face in this distinctive area.  My vision is to improve our collective quality of life in a way that balances the status quo with  necessary progress. We can neither live in the past nor simply change for change’s sake.  Until now, this passion to get involved has been limited due to professional endeavors. Now I  have a window of opportunity to take a more active role. 

Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian covering the upcoming VNC elections. Have a take or a tip on all things Venice? E-mail Antonicello at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Opinion
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