Neighborhood Council Election Results
Lucks & Rios by 2:1 Margins
April 12, 2010. Venice
--In a neighborhood council election that became a defacto
plebiscite on overnight parking districts for the area, Linda Lucks and Carolyn Rios--who opposed bringing such bureaucratic red tape to the lives of Venetians--won at 2:1 margins.
Running for president, Lucks garnered 684 votes as opposed to her opponent Jim Hubbard's 333. Rios beat Marc Ryavec for the vice-president post by a ratio of 618 to 378.
Rios, a teacher at Venice's Phoenix High School for over 20 years was perceived by many--including this paper--as a long shot against the politically savvy and city-hall connected Ryavec.
*In addition to the backing of a Venice blog site, he and Hubbard had the ear and access to several lengthy e-mail lists. Two last minute endorsers recommended that Venetians split the slates and vote Lucks/Ryavec, arguing that this would force competing stake holders to deal with each other. The endorsements failed to consider Rios' resume or the fact that Venetians have been embroiled in bitter internal disputes for decades, not simply since the injection of the camper/homeless/permit parking issue.*
Ryavec is amongst a group of Venetians suing the California Coastal Commission in an attempt to gain overnight parking for Venice. While some have seen the restrictions as a viable tactic to reduce the use of streets by homeless living in campers, others, including Lucks and Rios, have argued for more measured and far reaching solutions. *Some Venice residents have been tormented by lines of campers parked outside their homes. Those living in dense apartment buildings near the beach, built without any parking whatsoever, have stated that permits will create an untenable situation for them. In the middle lie many Venetians who are simply against the intrusiveness and complexity of permit parking in their lives.*
Representative of them was a relative new-comer to Venice who is a published figure in the design world, is not anti-development and who voted on Sunday. Though the individual could easily pay for parking permits--and in fact had garage parking--they did not want to see such restrictions in their neighborhood. In addition, in a free-floating conversation with VenicePaper the day of the election, they rapidly reviewed several instances of homelessness in their neighborhood, evaluating each individually rather than a singular one-size fits all problem.
Reached by phone after the release of the election results late Monday night, Rios--who had to get up early the next morning to teach school--told VenicePaper, "It was really heartening to talk to total strangers. People want to solve our problems without attacking each other."
Yet, while many middle-path Venetians voted in the Sunday, April 11 election, and conversed with Rios as she walked precincts, it was the far end of the spectrum that made the most noise in the run up to the election. At times, bloggers posting personal attacks against Lucks were so ugly that they would do a tea-party-member proud.
*new text added after story was initially posted.