It’s going to be easier than you think to vote for the local Neighborhood Council elections Thursday afternoon, even if you’ve never voted before, even if you’re homeless, even if you don’t live in Studio City. You just have to be a stakeholder—someone who is employed in the area, or goes to church here, or fit into some other of the seven categories (see below).
The Studio City Neighborhood Council elections will be going on at Walter Reed Middle School from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Walter Reed Middle School
4525 Irvine Avenue
Studio City, CA 91602
The membership will be on a council that works as an advisory group for the Los Angeles City Council and city officials, and helps approve and suggest parameters for businesses and zoning changes or anything else that goes on in your neighborhood. The body is a sounding board for the community, and in a lot of cases, they can fix things.
And so, it will be important to keep the ballots open for as many people as want to vote for the Neighborhood Council.
At the last SCNC vote in 2012, there were 767 ballots cast in the seven categories, but only 292 actual voters. That was the most in the San Fernando Valley that year.
This year, already some of the Valley neighborhood councils have attracted more than 700 voters. In past elections, Studio City had more than 1,100 voters.
The most votes that any one person had was Lisa Sarkin for an At-Large position that won her 296 votes.
Last election, Lisa Cahan Davis received the most votes at 180.
None of the candidates who lost last election returned to run again, nor have any of them remained active in the council activities since the election two years ago.
There are more than 25,000 voters in Studio City, and there could be 5,000 to 10,000 others eligible in the various categories.
The Studio City race has among the most candidates in the entire city of the 96 Neighborhood Councils in existence.
Studio City’s bylaws try to make it the easiest to vote. President John Walker pointed out:
Council has chosen "Self-Affirmation" to identify Stakeholders. You will be asked to affirm the factual basis for your stakeholder claim (Homeowner, Renter, etc). through written self-affirmation.
In the last election, the Youth Member did not vote for himself, and received no votes, and therefore wasn’t officially elected. John Walker had to reappoint him to the council. This year, a new candidate, Jon K. Epstein is running unopposed, but he needs at least one vote (hopefully his) to get in.
The list of candidates and their platforms are here: empowerla.org/scnc/studio-city-nc-2014-election/
CERTIFIED LIST OF CANDIDATES:
AT-LARGE STAKEHOLDER – Vote for one (1)
Lisa Cahan Davis (incumbent)
BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES – Vote for up to three (3)
Sako H. Karakozian
Scott Ouellette (incumbent)
Rita Clare Villa (incumbent)
EMPLOYEES/INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS – Vote for two (2)
Brandon D. Pender (incumbent)
SERVICE ORGANIZATION – Vote for up to two (2)
Richard C Adams
Remy Kessler (incumbent)
Richard Niederberg (incumbent)
RESIDENTIAL HOMEOWNERS – Vote for up to four (4)
Lisa Sarkin (incumbent)
Seraphine Geismar Segal (withdrawn)
Gail Steinberg (incumbent)
John Walker (incumbent)
Denise Welvang (incumbent)
RESIDENTIAL RENTER– Vote for up to three (3)
Farid Enrique Ben Amore
Jane Drucker (incumbent)
Howard W. Gillingham
Brian Mahoney (incumbent)
Lana Shackleford (incumbent)
YOUTH BOARD MEMBER – Vote for one (1)
Jon K. Epstein (incumbent)
Remember, it is important to vote. Read about the candidates and get yourself out there.
See the video of then-mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel and councilman Paul Krekorian voting in their Studio City Neighborhood Council elections.
Other important stories about the council and election: