Community Officer Chie Lunn wants to continue to lead by example, offering East Venice stakeholders representation as she views public service as a classroom for learning!
By Nick Antonicello
VENICE – I met Chie Lunn two years ago when she made an aggressive and independent run for Community Officer that shocked some local observers since she was a relative unknown, but proved that hard work and running an issue-oriented campaign gets rewarded and noticed.
The Penmar area homeowner, wife, and mother of four children of which her two youngest are students at the Realm Creative Academy in Santa Monica where she serves as a teacher, mentor and staffer for a new wave of education instruction that is beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom.
“We like to dive into culture. I view the community as a classroom.”
If one seeks change, Community Officer Chie Lunn believes one must be part of that process.
When Chie Lunn became a candidate in 2021, the encampments in her neighborhood were just starting to be removed and fast forward today, she views public safety as a priority and working with the LAPD as essential in ensuring a safe community for her neighbors and family.
Chie thought things got so bad she might have to move, but her public service helped weather the storm.
“I live in my dream home. I wanted to be an example for my kids that you need to speak up.”
In a potential second term, Lunn believes public space and parcels should be reserved for kids and seniors, like the Venice Free Public Library.
Lunn is proud to represent East Venice, and views herself and Venice as part of Los Angeles first.
“Venice is LA. I’m an Angeleno first and a Venetian second.”
Chie Lunn was a supporter of the 2021 Bonin Recall effort with her husband gathering petitions that resulted in securing 95% of the required signatures. When the recall concluded, she became an early supporter of Councilwoman Traci Park (CD-11) and considers her a friend first as well as her elected representative downtown.
“I have true conversations with Traci,” noted the New Orleans native.
Chie and her family are headed for London and Istanbul, Turkey for time off that she sees as another “teachable moment” for her children as well a global learning experience in lieu of the recent earthquakes that have rattled the country to it’s core.
Chie ended the interview emphasizing she will bring “more energy to the board.”
Here are some additional questions I posed to her and her replies:
Why are you running for reelection as Community Officer to the VNC?
“I am running for reelection to the VNC because I believe that we have an opportunity to make significant progress towards improving the Venice community. By building on the work we’ve done so far, we can take bold and decisive actions that will benefit everyone in the neighborhood. With my experience and dedication to this community, I am committed to working tirelessly to ensure that our voices are heard and our priorities are addressed.”
What do you feel were your accomplishments, disappointments?
“I am proud of the strong relationships I have built with fellow community members during my time on the VNC. I have always been willing to speak up and raise important issues, even when it may have been uncomfortable to do so. Through my involvement in community politics, I have gained valuable knowledge and experience that I never thought possible. However, looking back, I realize that there were missed opportunities for me to put forth more motions and become more involved in committees. While I am disappointed that I didn’t take advantage of these opportunities at the time, I am committed to doing better in the future. If reelected, I will work hard to increase my contributions to the VNC and make sure that I am doing everything possible to serve the needs of the Venice community.”
Are you looking forward to meetings in-person come March? How will the end of the pandemic change things here in Venice?
“I am eager for the opportunity to meet with fellow community members in person once again. Face-to-face conversations are invaluable, and I look forward to the chance to connect with people on a deeper level. Admittedly, I have been juggling meetings sometimes in the past with my family , as I am often busy finishing with work, driving my kids to lessons, or preparing dinner. However, I recognize the importance of being present and engaged in our community, and I am committed to making it a priority. As the pandemic subsides, we can anticipate the return of tourism to Venice, which is sure to bring new opportunities for growth and revitalization. With Traci’s (Councilwoman Traci Park) new role in promoting tourism for LA, combined with the natural beauty and attractions of Venice, I am optimistic that we will have a wonderful summer and beyond.”
What are three things you would like to focus on in a second term of office?
“In my second term, I am committed to focusing on three key areas to improve the quality of life in East Venice. Firstly, I will be writing motions that aim to bring about tangible improvements in our community. These motions will be centered around addressing key issues and making a real difference to the lives of our residents. Secondly, I am passionate about creating events that cater to our kids. As such, I would like to lead or join a committee that focuses on organizing fun and engaging activities for our younger community members. I believe that investing in our children’s happiness and well-being will pay dividends in the long run, and I am excited to get started on this initiative.
Finally, I am committed to increasing engagement and involvement from our constituents. I want to work with the existing committees to encourage more people to participate in shaping the future of our community. By creating a more inclusive and engaged environment, we can bring about positive change that reflects the desires and aspirations of all East Venice residents.”-
You were a strong and early supporter of Councilwoman Traci Park. How will her election and your partnership improve Venice?
“I became a strong supporter of Traci quickly after we met because we developed a strong friendship. True friends are honest and speak up when necessary. Traci has always listened to me and we can have meaningful conversations about important topics beyond Venice. We are direct with each other and have mutual respect as individuals.”
Currently, Venice stakeholders can only select one Community Officer, but thirteen are elected. Would you support a BY-LAWS revision allowing stakeholders to vote for all thirteen? If not, why not?
“I strongly believe in allowing stakeholders to vote for all 13 board seats through a bylaws revision. If stakeholders have taken the time to learn about each of the candidates and have filled out the ballot, they should have the right to choose the best candidates to lead our community. Just like other positions of higher office, there are rules and regulations in place to ensure fair and equitable voting. I believe that candidates should be able to win on their own merit, without needing to be on a slate. It’s important to remain authentic and true to oneself, as the people will recognize and appreciate honesty and integrity. Ultimately, it should be up to the stakeholders to decide who they feel will best serve our community and fill the 13 board seats.”
Are you supporting a candidate for President?
“No. I like both candidates.”
Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian who is covering the candidates running in the March 26th election. A member of the Oceanfront Walk & Outreach Committees of the Venice Neighborhood Council, he can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com