Background: On August 16th at the monthly Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) board meeting there was an opening for a seat on the VNC board. Raphael “Spud” Anderson who is a Venice Native with family roots going back to the 1920s was denied a seat by an overwhelming vote of 11-3. This is all within the climate of a very controversial June VNC (s)election and also strong outcries from PoC and Native Venetians for racial and economic representation on an all-white VNC board that boasts about their virtues of diversity.
Good Day VNC Board,
First let me say “Thank You” to the three people who had the courage to vote for Raphael “Spud” Anderson, kudo’s to you all who thought of the entire Venice! Big props to the young lady who rescinded her nomination to allow “Spud” to have his seat on the VNC board.
Last night eleven of you proved to me why many in the community think that you do not represent all of Venice. You had the opportunity to bring some semblance of inclusiveness however you voted how the Native Venetians thought that you would.
We turned out because many of the good people in Venice talked to us about giving the new VNC board to try and represent “everyone ” in Venice, so we did. Low and behold you voted just as many of Native Venetians proposed, all continued the ill gotten gained VNC Board and continued to exclude People Of Color, serving select few of the Venice neighborhood.
You could not bring yourselves to vote so the entire public could view, openly. Why? Well that would mean displaying who thinks how and why? It would expose the board members for their weakness, their fear and their ignorance. The eleven members who decided that Oakwood, all of Oakwood, would not and could not be represented; this shows that you do not want anyone else’s thoughts nor visions of Venice.
Those eleven people who decided that “Spud” wasn’t a good fit, after the people assembled there last night, after much consideration, the audience thought he was a great candidate, proves to us non-represented people in Venice just what you view us as. Disposable, mute… Voiceless.
We came out and we tried in good faith to believe that Venice Neighborhood Council was truly working on being well-balanced for the entire neighborhood for Venice. Well those dreams and those hopes were thwarted last night by those eleven members, and it is very clear that Venice is represented by those who do not want nor desire the complete unity, our Venice community, everyone to participate and continue to stay involved in the everyday “LOVE” of Venice.
We will do what your VNC President Ira Koslow told us to do. “Go and form your own neighborhood council” his words, and your vote last night speak volumes to a broken system who placates themselves as being inclusive, well balanced, in sync and tuned into everyone in the community of Venice, NOT TRUE. What a farce?!?
Thank you for the reality check last night at ‘YOUR’ VNC Meeting, it was an eye opener to many people. Thank you for the motivation to create a board in Venice that speaks for everyone Native, Homeless, Businesses, Property Owners, Skaters, Bicyclists, Artists, Disabled, Veterans, and anyone who feels they have something to offer this place we call home, “Venice CA 90291.”
I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin’ hell, but as long as they ain’t free, I ain’t free. It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.