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 got a series of high-tech security cameras added to the Venice Beach area, giving the LAPD an important tool to fight crime at Venice Beach.
  • Mike increased the number of police officers patrolling the beach area on bike and horseback.
  • 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.
  • Mike advocated for the creation of a new bike medic team for Venice Beach, improving response times in the community and increasing available resources for emergencies in Venice. 

 

Transportation and Street Safety

  • Mike launched the LAnow “microtransit” 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. 
  • Mike launched a bike-share program providing an important option for people to make local trips or get to public transportation. 

 

Sensible Development

  • Mike is pushing the city to adopt a permanent Mello Act ordinance, which will protect affordable housing in Venice. 
  • 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.
  • Mike stood with the community to oppose development at 522 Venice Boulevard, which was too tall and out of character with the surrounding community. 

 

Combatting Homelessness

  • Mike founded 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. 
  • Mike 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.
  • Mike worked with Mayor Garcetti and neighbors to break ground on a new water filtration project at Penmar Recreation Center. The Proposition O-funded system will clean water and reuse it instead of allowing pollution to reach the bay. 

 

Community Building and Neighborhood Improvements

  • Mike 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.
  • Mike fixed a bureaucratic issue with resurfacing of concrete streets allowing for resurfacing of the entire Silver Triangle – something that hadn’t happened in generations. 
  • Mike opened a beautiful new children’s park in the Marina Peninsula.
  • Mike continued to invest in the newly christened Washington Square Business Improvement Group by adding a scramble crosswalk to the intersection of Washington and Pacific. 
  • Mike secured a long-needed five million dollars for the restoration and improvements to the Venice Pier. 
  • Mike partnered with a local artist to turn a blighted corner into a new pocket park at Ocean & Venice.
  • Mike oversaw several improvements at Venice beach including brand new paddle tennis courts.
  • Mike responded to community concern about traffic safety at Pacific & Sunset and cut through the bureaucracy to install improvements to the intersection including flashing beacons. 
  • Mike supported the creation and dedication of the Venice Beach Rainbow Lifeguard Tower and the new rainbow crosswalk on Abbot Kinney (in front of Roosterfish) – two landmark icons on the Westside celebrating our culture of inclusivity and diversity. 
  • Mike restored Street Services clean-up of walk streets.
  • In August of 2014, Mike and neighborhood leaders announced that Washington Boulevard, from Ocean Front Walk to Oxford Avenue, would be repaved and restriped in a single weekend as part of “Operation: Street Lift.” The ambitious public works project took exceptional coordination by Department of Street Services and Department of Transportation employees, and not only was the street repaved and restriped, but trees were trimmed and new signs were put up along the neighborhood commercial corridor.
  • Mike completed an effort to create a parking lot on Electric Avenue (behind Abbot Kinney), with new lights, parking meters and landscaping installed in 2015. 
  • Mike utility box art program brought a series of colorful and engaging new murals to the community, celebrating Venice and adding character to the neighborhoods. 
  • Mike authored legislation that would create a program to allow a portion of the tax revenue generated in Venice to be dedicated to funding improvements in Venice. The city is currently studying Mike’s “Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District” proposal. 
  • Mike worked with a local non-profit group, the Venice Recovery Center, to allow the organization to lease the Westminster Senior Center for meetings to help neighbors in recovery. 
  • Mike secured the funding necessary to make improvements at world-famous Muscle Beach Venice, including buying new workout equipment and mats. 
  • Mike worked with the Bureau of Street Lighting to expedite the installation of brighter, more energy-efficient LED lights on Ocean Front Walk, improving safety on the boardwalk at the request of nearby neighbors. 
  • Mike got funding allocated to improve safety at Venice Beach, including adding new bollards and decorative barriers to keep vehicles from accidentally driving onto the popular pedestrian attraction. 
  • Mike worked with the General Manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks to create a new position dedicated to overseeing and managing Venice Beach as the important city resource and tourist attraction that it is. The Venice Beach Superintendent has helped coordinate safety upgrades, maintenance, and programming at the world-renowned destination. 
  • Mike authored legislation starting the process of banning chain-stores and other “formula retail” on Ocean Front Walk in an effort to ensure the legendary community keeps its character. 
  • Mike has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Venice Art Crawl and has helped facilitate art crawl events. 
  • Mike worked with a local non-profit group, the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE) to make sure Heat Start workforce and childhood development programs could continue in Venice. 

 

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