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

Mike has delivered an array of programs and services for Venice: more cops and firefighters, more public parking, and more transit options, such as a neighborhood shuttle service and bike-share programs. He has opened a new park, saved a community center and found a new home for a 12-step meeting house. He has increased street resurfacing, added crosswalks and pedestrian safety measures, and increased staffing and maintenance at our parks. He has fought to protect affordable and rental housing and to build homeless housing. 

Public Safety      

  • Mike successfully led the fight to deploy hundreds of more officers to neighborhoods patrols to better protect neighborhoods and reduce and prevent crime.
  • Mike secured high-tech security cameras for Venice Beach area, giving the LAPD an important tool to control crowds and 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, including special LAFD bike medic team for Venice Beach, improving response times in the community and increasing available resources for emergencies. 

Community Projects

  • Mike opened Via Dolce Park, a new children’s park and playground.
  • Mike saved the Vera Davis Youth & Community Center from closure, and secured funding to keep the Latino Resource Organization and the HELPER Foundation in the former Venice library building. The building is currently being renovated after decades of neglect.
  • Mike saved the Venice Recovery Center, and found the popular 12-step meeting venue a new home at the former Westminster Senior Center.
  • Mike secured necessary funds for the restoration and improvements to the Venice Pier. 
  • Mike opened a new public parking lot on Electric Avenue (behind Abbot Kinney), providing 66 additional parking spaces.
  • Mike supported new public art projects at Venice Boulevard & Ocean Avenue, and at the Windward Circle.
  • Mike launched the utility box art program, bringing a series of colorful and engaging new murals to the community, celebrating Venice and adding character to the neighborhoods. 
  • Mike provided continued support for the popular and iconic Venice Art Walls – a project he helped launch.
  • Mike supported and helped fund the creation of the Venice Beach Rainbow Lifeguard Tower and the rainbow crosswalk on Abbot Kinney, celebrating the LGBT community.
  • Mike has supported and funded community events, such as the Venice Art Crawl, the Venice After Burn, the Venice Music Festival, the Cinco de Mayo Festival and the Venice Flower Festival.
  • Mike oversaw several improvements at Venice beach, including brand new paddle tennis courts
  • Mike secured the funding necessary to make improvements at world-famous Muscle Beach Venice, including buying new workout equipment and mats. 

Transportation and Street Safety

  • Mike launched the LAnow “microtransit” pilot project — an on-demand neighborhood shuttle serving Venice, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Playa Vista, and Palms. 
  • Mike had a left turn signal installed at Washington Blvd and Ocean Ave
  • Mike has secured funding and approval for pedestrian crossings at Venice Blvd and Shell Ave and at Via Dolce Park
  • Mike has secured funding and approval of left-turn signals at Pacific Ave and Rose Ave Abbot Kinney Blvd and Main St, Abbot Kinney Blvd and Venice Blvd, Abbot Kinney Blvd and Washington Blvd, Lincoln Blvd and Rose Ave (2021-2022), and Main Street and Westminster.
  • Mike launched the Metro Bike Share program, giving people an easy and convenient way to get around the neighborhood car-free.
  • Over 75 bike racks and 3 bicycle corrals have been installed in Venice.  Another bicycle corral is on its way in the coming months.  
  • Mike got LADOT to install 30 new stop signs, a half-dozen new crosswalks, curb cuts at 33 intersections, and other pedestrian safety measures to the neighborhood. 
  • Mike ended a bureaucratic log-jam to get dozens of flashing crosswalk beacons installed to improve safety at street crossings across the City, including at Pacific & Sunset in Venice. 
  • Mike stood up for Ocean Avenue constituents and Venice bus passengers and convinced the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus to move service off Ocean Avenue.
  • Mike enacted strict regulatory controls over dockless scooters to ensure these new mobility options were respectful of our neighborhoods. At his direction, LADOT required scooters only be deployed in designated zones and cut the number of devices by 60-70% to reduce oversaturation.
  • Mike got crosswalks along Lincoln Blvd. improved to provide added visibility along this busy corridor.  
  • Mike stopped an unpopular LADOT proposal to install additional parking meters along Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

Affordable Housing

  • Mike is leading efforts to tighten protections for affordable housing, seeking to close loopholes in local rules regarding enforcement of the Mello Act, a state law meant to protect affordable housing in the coastal zone. 
  • Mike led the fight to crack down on rogue hotel operators whose short-term rental operations were costing Venice hundreds of affordable rental units.
  • Mike has proposed landmark reforms to protect tenants and strengthen rent control.
  • Mike has proposed a moratorium in his district on the condo conversions that displace renters
  • Mike has led the fight to create inclusionary zoning policies which would require affordable housing in all residential developments 
  • Mike stood with neighbors of the Ellison Apartments in their battle against tenant harassment.
  • Mike stood with Patricia Sánchez and her family when their landlord threatened to evict the 23-year tenants from a rent-controlled apartment on Vernon Avenue. 

Development Reform

  • Mike created the opportunity for residents to reshape the planning and development process in Venice, launching the long-sought Venice Local Coastal Plan, and an update to the outdated Venice Community Plan.
  • Mike opposed a controversial development at 522 Venice Boulevard, leading to a landmark court victory establishing that the Coastal Act takes precedence over other state land use legislation.
  • Mike vetoed extremely controversial development proposals, such as the massive Paseo Marina project, and the proposed project at 1414 Main Street.
  • Mike won approval for rules scaling back mansionization in East Venice neighborhoods.
  • Mike initiated a legislative effort to ban chain stores on Venice Beach.
  • Mike successfully pushed legislation to impose new fees on developers to pay for traffic relief projects, for affordable housing, and for park improvements.

Neighborhood Services

  • Mike increased the budget for street resurfacing projects, leading to the repaving more than 128 miles of streets in Venice since 2013. 
  • Mike worked with a local non-profit group, the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE) to make sure Head Start workforce and childhood development programs could continue in Venice. 
  • Mike secured additional staffing and maintenance for local parks, including new coordinated oversight and maintenance of Venice Beach.
  • Mike secured additional presence of park rangers at Venice Beach.
  • Mike restored Bureau of Street Services clean-up of walk streets near the beach.
  • Mike fixed a bureaucratic issue with resurfacing of concrete streets allowing for resurfacing of the Silver Triangle – something that hadn’t happened in generations. 
  • Mike saved graffiti abatement programs from the chopping block, making sure the city had resources to remove graffiti promptly.
  • Mike secured additional funds for public works to do more frequent bulky item pickup in Venice.
  • Mike brought an increase of senior recreation activities to Oakwood Recreation Center – including Chair Yoga, Creative Writing, Zumba and Yoga. 
  • Mike worked with the Bureau of Street Lighting to expedite the installation of brighter, more energy-efficient LED lights on Ocean Front Walk, and to install solar-powered street lights on Lincoln Boulevard
  • Mike secured funding to improve safety at Venice Beach, including adding new bollards and decorative barriers to keep vehicles from accidentally driving onto the popular pedestrian attraction.

Combatting Homelessness

  • Mike funded a successful pilot program demonstrating the effectiveness of shared housing as a quick and nimble solution to homelessness.
  • Mike funded the work of the Steve & Regina Weller, whose outreach work moved large numbers of people quickly into housing.
  • 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 offered city-owned properties for use for homeless and affordable housing.
  • Mike proposed and fought for a 154-bed bridge housing facility in Venice that will help move hundreds of people out of homelessness.
  • Mike secured funds for 24-hour restrooms and mobile showers.
  • Mike supported efforts by Safe Place for Youth and Venice Community Housing to open transitional housing for youth in Mar Vista and Westwood.
  • Mike supported efforts by Venice Community Housing to open supportive and affordable housing in Del Rey and in Venice.
  • Mike supported efforts to Safran & Associates to open supportive and affordable housing in West LA and in Venice.


  • Mike is leading 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 has championed the electrification of our buses, securing commitments and plans to convert both Metro and LADOT’s bus fleets to cleaner electric vehicles by 2030. 
  • Mike worked closely with neighbors on the Westside and Mayor Garcetti to end the use of fossil fuels like natural gas at the Scattergood Power Plant. 
  • Mike and Mayor Garcetti announced plans to recycle 100% of all wastewater in Los Angeles, effectively adding a new aquaduct’s worth of water to the area and significantly reducing susceptibility to drought and reliance on imported water. 
  • Mike helped install new solar street lights, to reduce energy usage in the area. 
  • Mike worked with neighbors to end the use of Monsanto’s “Roundup” insecticide near playgrounds and recreation fields in public parks.
  • Mike worked with Mayor Garcetti and neighbors to build 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. 
  • Mike secured the installation of an electric vehicle charging station on Abbot Kinney. 
  • Mike worked with the Bureaus of Sanitation and Engineering to coordinate closely and minimize the impact on Venice as work was completed on a project to replace an aging sewer pipe. The project, known as “Dual Force Main” will help prevent what experts say would be the worst environmental disaster in the city’s history if the current pipe bursts and raw sewage uncontrollably spills into the Santa Monica Bay. 


For more information or if we can help, please contact: 

Isabella Dennis, Field Representative, Venice

[email protected]