Lydia Poncé

My VNC President Candidacy

by Lydia Ponce

Some very important questions from the Beachhead and I am honored to answer them. This is a great opportunity to serve our community and shed some love and light to these dark days before the VNC 2016 Election! There are so many fliers promoting lies and hate for specific slates…

Unhoused Venice Community:
• The City should assist with homelessness by securing, protecting, and preserving the Mello and RSO affordable units we have left in Venice.

• We need CD11 Rep Bonin to place an ICO, Internal Control Ordinance, and a moratorium, on every development project that requires a Mello determination. This protects renters and our community. There must be an order to stop all projects that require a Mello determination, which is most of the redevelopment proposed in the 90291.

• The City of Los Angeles must support an ICO because it is disingenuous to say they will solve homelessness and continue to erase the affordable housing in LA. HCID and City Planning are not holding the letter of the law of Mello to have the units replaced. Not one affordable unit has been replaced! Developers are counting on the land use loopholes to abuse. The process for application approvals and the ZA findings are simply criminal! Isn’t it interesting how the developers and realtors have so many projects in Venice or the Westside and they cannot financially – feasibly replace the affordable unit they demolish?

• The City of Angles should account for all the Mello units that Venice lost and replace them. The VNC, HCID and CD 11 need to get on the job and deliver the affordable housing justice the public deserves. Not 50 units here or 30 over there! ALL OF THEM!

• The VNC, VCC, the other business committees and community must organize with the support of CD11 to feed people everyday. The movements and collectives, like Occupy Venice have championed and can teach our community, the Westside, how it can be done. It could very well create jobs that many need. We have so many restaurants in Venice, has anyone calculated the current statistic, the pounds of food thrown away everyday?
My feelings about gentrification are: all of it is inhumane, oppressive and racist. The people currently being displaced are on fixed incomes. In the last year and a half, we have seen senior citizens being bullied, harassed and without much due process, removed from their homes. This form of genocide – was first reserved for POC, people of color. However as the Westside Tenants Union have met biweekly, we have witnessed that gentrification is happening to all renters. Many do not know their renter’s rights. We have referred to many legal clinics. We hope and we encourage the community stay in Venice, ultimately, it is their decision. Its best decided when the people are informed of both, their legal choices and their rights.

The sign offs are illegal and if people continue to use the term ‘by right’ which is not written into any law, it appears to many in our community that the property owner is utilizing their right. ‘By right’ does not mean I paid so much money for this property so I can skirt or break the law. They cannot be negligent and un-neighborly. Being philanthropic does not mean laws do not apply, last I checked the LA City Planning Department applications do not have a box to check off the applicant is a righteous dude.
A majority of applications have minimal descriptions. The sign offs need to stop. “Remodel.’ This word has been high jacked! The community proved this in many appeals that… “Remodel and adding a second story to an already existing first floor,” now means – demolish! Sign offs cannot be approved because the applicant isn’t asking for variances. The foundation is removed and gone. City Planning is rubber-stamping approvals by employees that do not know what our dual jurisdiction protections are or even what Mello is!! We have 3 miles that is 90291 and we need to preserve our beloved Venice for generations. We need smart, sustainable development and growth for some of Venice, not all of Venice.

– The VNC Board and Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) is too important in this election. For the next 2 years it is critical in its limited power. There are many who want to strengthen the LUPC advisory recommendations. The VNC has always had the power to stop all this criminal activity of gentrification.

-The VNC and the LUPC can write an ICO. The LUPC ICO that was written a year ago failed at the VNC Board meeting. It’s the right thing to do.
The VNC should host the meetings and public forums: for the LCP rewrite host; hold meetings for the public to participate in the MELLO rewrite; review & weigh in for the STR Ordinance and finally hold regular meetings regarding the Business Improvement Districts, BIDs.

VNC must get involved with the organizations in the Vera Davis Center and support the Vera Davis Center, as it is the heart of Venice; and lastly the VNC needs to serve all demographics and not just select few.

I worked once with a developer, Henry Ramirez, who was planning to convert two spaces into two studio apartments in the Marina. His project failed. I have just repaired my relationships and friendships with my neighbors and peers over that. I will never do that again, simply because it was not worth my word, love and respect from my circle of people.
I have never worked with realtors. As an appellant on several projects, I have met with three different sets of architects. We whittled their plans to something desirable and within the letter of the Venice Specific Plan. For the record: 635 Vernon, one on Rialto and 811-815 OFW this one is not which is not over.

The other 90291 realtors I have noted as I am calling them out as they have not sold or rented any homes to the people we need housed in our community. People employed as teachers, firefighters, police, pharmaceutical technicians, grocery clerks, city and county employees, and all other home service workers. Let’s also note the car emissions.
We are not an environmentally sensitive community when our employees commute more than an hour to get to their jobs. It’s not keeping our community emotionally or mentally healthy as they travel great distances. They should be able to afford a home near their work.

-It is not environmentally responsible to change our flood zone with all this over development.

-What about all that land fill with all of these demos?

-What about the workers removing materials and debis from demolitions without the proper equipment?

It is not neighborly to take a neighbor’s sunlight and delicious ocean breeze. It’s down right not Venice to diminish neighbors’ quality of living with investor greed. It’s not cool for business transplants or realtor flippers to use Venice and pimp her. Real people are living here as community and Venice is not the tourist trap that money is changing her to be… by force and illegally.

My relatives have moved far away; they have moved out of the state of California because they could not afford it. Yes, the struggle IS real.