Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Candidates for LA City Council Weigh In On Snapchat; Mike Bonin, Robin Rudisill, Mark Ryavec

Affordable housing, homelessness crisis and development, and illegal development are priority issues.

March 2, angry Venetians demonstrate outside of SNAP INC's Venice headquarters for the third day in a row. The technology company, with its nascent IPO has become a political issue for the March 7th LA City Council District 11 race.

Incumbent Mike Bonin is running against his opponents, Robin Rudisill, former CPA, CFO, and chair of the Venice LUPC(land use and planning committee), and Mark Ryavec, founder of VSA, and former chief debuty tax assessor for LA County.

Amidst SNAP'S IPO that triggered the angry neighbors to snap at SNAP along the Venice boardwalk, the media interviewed the CD 11 candidates about the protests.

Robin was contacted by Fox(business), USA TODAY, Bloomberg, LAT, and Yo Venice. Bloomberg contacted Mark.

Attempts were made to contact Mike Bonin on several occasions, but he was unavailable. It's unknown at this point what position he has taken on the Snap protests in Venice.

According to the LAT in March 2015, Mike Bonin did not respond to the Snap chat's company's expanding real estate deals in Venice:

"One person's big hog is another person's economic development engine, however. A spokeswoman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declined to comment. A spokesman for city councilman Mike Bonin, who represents Venice, did not respond. Property owner Eric Swepston declined to comment, citing ongoing negotiations."

Snap Inc.'s take over of Venice landmarks, bars, and buildings, continues to expand its corporate fever, as it foments small business owners fears of losing their leases or having to relocate.

The angry protesters held up signs outside the Snap Inc. headquarters reading such things as:

"SAY NO! TO IPO," and "This is dog town, not your ghostown,"

It seems that Mike Bonin's opponents were happy to share their opinions and voice their positions about the Snap Inc. take over of commercial buildings in Venice, even though Mike was unavailable to make a response.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Robin compared Snap's presence in Venice to "someone coming into a natural preserve of birds or scenic flora and taking it over for their own."

For Robin, affordable housing, homelessness crisis and development, and illegal development are priority issues.

Ms. Rudisill stated that the Snap IPO and the protests it brought is, had Bloomberg noted, a political issue. Robin hopes to unseat Bonin on March 7th, and has strong opinions on Snapchat. She is supportive of community protests. She says, about Snap, "they've taken over leases and buildings through the Venice Boardwalk, many times in violation of our city requirements and state law. It's just plain wrong of them to come here and take away our precious housing and our visitor serving business for their office campus. Under coastal act, state law is to be used primarily four visitor serving uses such as retail, restaurants, and hotels. Office use is strongly discouraged. The housing is protected and there should always be a nice balance of residential and commercial uses. "

As a preservationist of the way of life and history of Venice, Robin made her message clear. "Venice has a special character; it's part of our pedestrian friendly streets and Snap directly contradicts this with their covered windows and padlocked doors, and guards shooing people off the sidewalks."

Robin's closed her comments about Snap by saying, "To the extent Snap take over a large part of Venice are they are killing the goose that lays the golden egg for Venice and LA."

Mark Ryavec, the other opponent to Mike Bonin, who wishes to unseat the incumbent, has a very different take than Ms. Rudisill about Snap.

Mark has nothing against Snap's building their corporate empire in Venice. He understands the feeling of intrusion that the residents may feel, but he also says that having Snap in Venice is very good for the economy.

He compares the IT industry, including Snap and Google, both of which have corporate campuses in Venice, to the Hollywood film industry. These are the industries that give LA an economic boon.

Ryavec said, "If Snap went away and moved to a different city, it would hurt all of LA. There would be loss of all of those jobs and income that helped LA recover from the Great Recession.

Mark also said that companies like Snap and other IT companies are the future.

Although Mike Bonin was not available for any comments about Snap, he is the only DC 11 candidate endorsed by Planned Parenthood, Mayor Garcetti, and the Democratic Party.

Key issues for the CD11 race are dealing with the homelessness and affordable housing. Also, Robin Rudisill made a point of saying that "how each of feel about Snap, shows how we view business in Venice and LA, and code compliance.

Snap chat is here to stay, in Venice and on our digital devices. Perhaps the ghost in district 11's most eclectic and funky neighborhood will be friendly. Even if the neighbors continue to protest, they have to understand they won't be able to chase a ghost away.

For more information about the candidates, you can visit their websites:


Reader Comments(2)

Xochitl writes:

Just more Bonin-as-usual - completely absent from any community engagement! We have the same thing in West LA with RIot Games at Element. We were promised open space and instead we got fences and 24 hour security keeping the community out! And what has Bonin done - nothing! Oh, wait, no, he continues to approve mega-projects like Martin Expo that give developers almost 3 times what they are allowed to build! Projects with luxury housing that drive up the cost of housing here in west Los Angeles. Projects that add 10,000 car trips to an already failing intersection, making it more dangerous for the neighbors to walk and bike to our public transportation. We need new representation in our Council Office!! Vote on March 7th!

Iminheaven writes:

The photo tells the story. Where are Mike Bonin and Mark Ryavec? Bonin is in hiding, along with Los Angeles government, complicit in their passive-aggressive drive to facilitate commercial takeover of the city's only public beach area. Ryavec is quietly putting his true colors out there, backed by a handful of frustrated residents and the few developers who will still support him and his history of imposing waste and filth on communities - and with no support from any former environmental allies. Rudisill is on the job, with a long record of putting residents first. The citizenry is left with a choice - David or one of two Goliaths. Two who won't face each other - and one who is eager to face both head-on.