History/Geography

Founded by Abbot Kinney in 1905 as an elaborate beach front resort originally called Ocean Park, the area, which included a series of canals and amusement park rides that made it a major tourist attraction, was officially renamed Venice in 1911.  For its first years, the area thrived, but after Kinney’s death in 1920, Venice became difficult to govern and its infrastructure fell into disrepair, prompting a successful vote for annexation to the City of Los Angeles in 1925.  Having been revived from its once-disrepaired state, today, Venice is one of the most eclectic and vibrant areas in Southern California.  Home to some 37,000 residents, this coastal community contains a mixture of residential and commercial properties, but is most famous for its beachside attractions, including Muscle Beach.

Mike’s Work in Venice

Public Safety

  • Mike successfully led the fight for the redeployment of hundreds of LAPD officers to neighborhoods patrols — including dozens to Westside neighborhoods — so they can better protect neighborhoods and build relationships with communities.
  • Mike pushed for hiring more firefighters and has delivered more than $60 million in additional LAFD resources for the Westside.
  • Mike secured special transponders for our local fire engines, allowing them to have priority at traffic signals, improving response times.
  • Got a series of high-tech security cameras added to Venice Beach area, giving the LAPD an important tool to fight crime at Venice Beach
  • Increased the number of police officers patrolling the beach area on bike and horseback

 

Transportation and Street Safety

  • Mike launched the LA Now “micro transit” pilot project — an on-demand neighborhood shuttle serving Venice, Mar Vista, Del Rey, and Palms.
  • Mike launched Westside Fast Forward – an initiative focused on giving people options to get around LA without being forced to sit in traffic.
    • Westside Fast Forward includes a wide range of exciting progress, including the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project – rail that will connect the San Fernando Valley with the Westside and then LAX. The project will be a game-changer for alleviating traffic on the Westside – especially in neighborhoods like Venice.
    • Westside Fast Forward also features future-looking efforts to move people faster along Lincoln Boulevard.
  • Launched a bike share program providing an important option for people to make local trips or get to public transportation.

 

Sensible Development

  • Mike successfully pushed legislation to impose new fees on developers to pay for traffic relief projects, for affordable housing, and for park improvements.
  • Mike secured funding and staffing for the Department of City Planning to launch an update of the local coastal plan, as well as the community plan, allowing residents to have a greater voice in shaping modern land use, development and housing policies in the neighborhood.
  • Mike vetoed the massive Paseo Marina development, which would have further choked traffic on Lincoln Boulevard.
  • Mike won the approval of legislation to ensure neighborhoods in Venice could have a say in mansionization rules as they were considered by the City Council.

 

Combatting Homelessness

  • Mike founded and facilitates Venice Forward – a multi-agency collaborative focused on ending homelessness in Venice.
  • Through an extensive community input process, selected the encampments near Third and Rose Avenues to receive additional support services and opportunities for people to get help by locating bridge housing in the area. The bridge housing facility will help 154 people experiencing homelessness at a time to get off the street and get connected with long-term housing solutions.
  • Mike worked with Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to create multi-disciplinary teams of outreach workers called “C3” (County-City-Community) Teams to focus outreach in Venice encampments.
  • Worked with Mayor Garcetti and the City Administrative Officer to identify vacant and underused city property to create the affordable and supportive housing needed to help get people off the street as part of a citywide effort.

 

Environment

  • Mike proposed legislation to protect our coast from oil drilling, to sue oil companies for the damage their climate pollution has wreaked on our neighborhoods.
  • Mike lead the charge to make LA a leader in the creation of clean energy, and to create a pathway to 100% clean energy in LA.
  • Mike took action to protect the Santa Monica Bay from pollution and debris, leading efforts to clean and treat stormwater runoff by creating green streets that capture and treat wastewater before it reaches the bay.
  • Mike worked with neighbors to end Recreation & Parks use of Monsanto’s “Roundup” insecticide near playgrounds and recreation fields in public parks.

 

Community Building and Neighborhood Improvements

  • Fought to keep the Latino Resource Organization in the Vera Davis Center and got funding allocated in the budget to preserve programs at the Vera Davis Center.
  • Fixed a bureaucratic issue with resurfacing of concrete streets allowing for resurfacing of the entire Silver Triangle – something that hadn’t happened in generations.
  • Opened a beautiful new children’s park in the Marina Peninsula.
  • Continued to invest in the newly christened Washington Square Business Improvement Group by adding a scramble crosswalk to the intersection of Washington and Pacific.
  • Secured a long-needed five million dollars for the restoration and improvements to the Venice Pier.
  • Partnered with local artists to turn a blighted corner into a new pocket park at Ocean & Venice.
  • Oversaw several improvements at Venice beach including brand new paddle tennis courts.
  • Responded to community concern about traffic safety at Pacific & Sunset and cut through the bureaucracy to install improvements to the intersection including flashing beacons.
  • Supported the creation and dedication of the Venice Beach Rainbow Lifeguard Tower – the newest landmark icon on the Westside celebrating our culture of inclusivity and diversity.
  • Restored Street Services clean-up of walk streets.

 

For more information or if we can help, please contact:
Taylor Bazley, Field Deputy
(310) 575-8461
laylor.bazley@lacity.org