April 16, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Stakeholders Association’s Comments on Traci Park’s Broken Bridge Housing Promise

By Marc Ryavec

I have been struggling with how to address the phenomenon that someone I and many others in Venice trusted has not only betrayed our trust but also does not acknowledge that she broke a very public promise.

Early in the CD 11 campaign, I asked all the candidates their position on honoring the Garcetti/Bonin pledge to close Venice Bridge Housing after three years of operation, which they also promised the California Coastal Commission.

On February 24, 2022, I copied Traci Park on an email to our attorney Jeff Lewis. Jeff and I had been in a conversation about how to best force the city to honor the three-year closure date. I wrote to Jeff that I thought a stronger case would be for us to ask the then 14 candidates for the CD 11 seat to declare whether they will honor the city’s promise to close the facility after three years if elected. Traci wrote back: I hereby declare! 

In the end, six of the eight candidates that qualified for the ballot agreed to close the facility after three years, which by our attorney’s calculation was this February. 

I am now the recipient of many “buyer’s remorse” emails from friends who voted for Traci in some significant measure because of what appeared to be her clear commitment to close the facility after three years.

It is alarming to me that Traci appears to believe if she just does not talk about that promise, or that she has now broken it, that it did not happen. There is some magical thinking going on here, that this whole dialogue in front of the voters did not happen. When I asked her point blank on her first town hall on the Bridge facility if she would honor her promise to close it after three years, she ignored the question.

Now she has introduced a motion for up to 18 months of extensions of the leases under which it operates after the expiration of the current lease on June 30, 2023.  She continues to ignore the Coastal Commission’s requirement to apply for a Coastal Development Permit if the city wishes to extend beyond the three-year waiver period.

So, I am in the position of having to apologize to the many Venice residents who took my recommendation to vote for Traci.  If I had known of this troubling lack of integrity, I might have looked harder at a couple of the other candidates. 

While her quick action on clearing Rose/Hampton/Sunset and Flower/Lincoln is to be lauded, her lack of will on removing all the RVs and campers from Jefferson Boulevard is also very troubling.

As I have pointed out her, when we finally got Bill Rosendahl’s support for a Venice-specific No Oversize Vehicles 2-6 AM ordinance, we convinced him to install the signs without worrying where the 250 RVs and campers went.  The installation of those signs freed up over 600 parking spaces for Venice residents and beach visitors (each camper takes two spaces, and each RV takes three). Traci is letting her concerns and indecision about where the vehicles on Jefferson will end up paralyzing her from doing anything other than some occasional clean-ups. 

This is not who I thought I was voting for.

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