Thursday, July 9, 2020

Venice Cityhood: VNC Already Passed a Motion to Facilitate Cityhood Vote

Recently, there have been questions asked on social media about whether anyone is working to rally Venetians to secede from Los Angeles.  And this past Sunday the Los Angeles Times ran an opinion article by Jon Wiener noting an earlier de-annexation campaign in 1969.  Another "Re-Venice" effort took place in the early 90s.

In 2018, a series of cityhood townhalls were held under the able leadership of Nick Antonicello.  These eventually led last fall to the passage of the Motion below by the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) seeking to create a level playing field for a Venice cityhood vote.

It calls upon the City of Los Angeles to initiate an effort to amend State law to remove both the city council's veto of a Venice cityhood initiative and the requirement that all of the voters of Los Angeles must approve Venice de-annexation.  The thesis is that, unlike many other districts in Los Angeles, Venice was an independent city from 1905 to 1926, and voted to join Los Angeles, and Los Angeles has a moral duty to allow it - on its own vote - to reverse that decision.

The Motion passed the VNC, though the council's president, Ira Koslow, has failed to send it to the members of the city council's Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, which would be the committee to consider introducing the requested legislation.


Whereas, Venice was an independent city when residents voted in 1926 to annex itself to the City of Los Angeles; and
Whereas, Venice residents deserve the right to consider reversing that decision free from the burden of it being rejected by other residents living in the rest of Los Angeles who have no stake in the welfare of Venice or its residents; and 
Whereas, Venice residents desire the increased responsiveness of municipal government seen in smaller units of local government, such as our neighbors Santa Monica, Culver City, Malibu and West Hollywood; and
Whereas, Venice is not well served by a city government with only 15 council members for a population of almost four million residents;
Now, therefore be it resolved that the Venice Neighborhood Council formally requests the City of Los Angeles to sponsor and support State legislation to amend the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000 to:
1.       Remove the City of Los Angeles’ right to cause the termination of a detachment request pending before a local area formation commission submitted by a former city* which earlier voted to join the City of Los Angeles, which now borders both another city and the Pacific Ocean, and does not contain within its borders a port; and further, to
2.      Amend that Act to remove the City of Los Angeles’ right to subject to a vote of all voters in the jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles the detachment of a former city* now located within its borders which borders both another city and the Pacific Ocean, and does not contain within its borders a port.

Submitted by:  Mark Ryavec, Community Officer
                        Nick Antonicello, Chair, Venice Cityhood Ad Hoc Committee
C.J. Cole, Community Officer and Member, Venice Cityhood Ad Hoc Committee
                        Yolanda Gonzalez, Member, Venice Cityhood Ad Hoc Committee

*This is the legal definition of Venice for the purposes of legislation to differentiate it from other former cities, which are now incorporated in the City of Los Angeles.

The following list of viable, nearby cities, with populations comparable to or less than Venice, was provided to the VNC to address the concern that Venice would not be able to support itself financially.

Cities in Los Angeles County with Populations
Comparable to or Less than Venice, CA

Venice                   40,885 (City of Los Angeles 2008 estimate)

Agoura Hills           20,330
Artesia                  16,522
Avalon                   3,728
Bell                       35,477
Beverly Hills           34,109
Calabasas              23,058
Claremont             34,926
City of Commerce  12,823
Cudahy                 23,805
Culver City            38,883
Duarte                  21,321
El Segundo            16,654
Hawaiian Gardens  14,254
Hermosa Beach     19,506
Hidden Hills           1,856
Industry                219
Irwindale               1,422
La Canada Flintridge  20,246
La Habra Heights   5,325
La Puente              39,816
La Verne                31,063
Lawndale               32,769
Lomita                   20,256
Malibu                   12,645
Manhattan Beach   35,135
Maywood               27,395
Monrovia               36,590
Palos Verdes Estates  13,438
Rolling Hills            1,860
Rolling Hills Estates   8,067
San Dimas             33,371
San Fernando        23,645
San Gabriel            39,718
San Marino            13,147
Santa Fe Springs   16,223
Sierra Madre          10,917
Signal Hill              11,016
South El Monte      20,116
South Pasadena     25,619
Temple City           35,558
Walnut                  29,172
West Hollywood     34,399
Westlake Village    8,270

(All figures 2010 U.S. Census except Venice)