Shelby Blecker and Craig Brill both come from lengthy backgrounds of being involved with community efforts and charitable causes. Not only do we both own and operate businesses, we also give back to our community and support it in many important ways. We want to work for you. Listening and working WITH the neighborhoods is something that we feel the Mid City West Neighborhood Council has moved away from. We believe that community outreach is vitally important to anyone who wishes to hold a seat on this board.
We need to STOP ALL HATE, support small businesses that will create living wage jobs, make schools and public safety a top priority.
We are BUSINESS LEADERS who know how to get things done and have proven backgrounds working with many various non-profit causes and community groups that work to improve our lives and our neighborhoods. We have what it takes to find the solutions to navigate complicated governmental agencies.
LIST OF ISSUES
Crime In Our Neighborhoods
It is essential for all of us to feel safe walking down our block, shopping or simply going out to dinner. None of us should have to worry about our homes being burglarized or our cars being vandalized. Criminals seem to believe bicycles and other personal possessions are free for their taking. Follow home robberies and a revolving door of thieves being let back out onto our streets with little or no consequences is not something we should be made to tolerate. This all must end.
It is imperative that a Neighborhood Council is there to communicate to the Councilmember's office the needs of the people who live within the boundaries of that district. We believe in advocating for better safety measures and support the use of the Councilmember's discretionary funds to accomplish this goal.
We plan on supporting and encouraging neighborhood walks, community policing, getting more officers out of cars and onto our streets. We want to be able to provide as many engagement opportunities with everyone living in Mid City West as possible. It's important that our children, residents and business owners, truly get to know our officers by name. When neighbors and Police work together, neighborhoods are safer.
Now is the time for us to hold our City Council and Mayor accountable to hire and increase the ranks of our officers in Los Angeles in order to keep our city safe.
Transparency to our Neighbors
For too many years now, our neighborhood council has been centered more on their own "Aspirational Goals and Desires". We want to represent the neighborhood, our stakeholders. We plan on listening to you and representing you. We are here to make your voice heard by our Councilmember, our Mayor, along with appropriate city departments including LASHA, Sanitation, Transportation, First Responders and City Planning agencies on issues that affect Mid-City West. Will we agree on everything? Probably not, but we will work very hard to bring a new level of outreach to you on all issues that can affect your health and your livelihood.
We are here because we live, work and pray in the Mid City West Community and we want to be your voice! We want to hear from you, learn from you, collaborate with you on how we move our community forward, working together with one strong united voice. Putting differences aside and truly respecting the great diversity of our community, finding that common ground because it's there, it just takes leaders willing to listen.
LGBTQ - STOP HATE! STOP VIOLENCE!
We support the work of LA For All that took place last year in September and was put on by the LA Civil Rights Department. We applaude the expanded programs such as the 311 network that allows for hate crime to be reported in many different languages and helps victims to be connected with referrals to social services and other support resources
The LGBTQ+ community was not alone among the increase in violence. Black people were the largest group of hate crime victims. Despite making up just 9% of the county’s population, Black people made up 46% of racially-motivated hate crimes. (Many Black people were also disproportionately represented as victims of anti-LGBTQ+ hate incidents.) We have also witnessed a disturbing rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric, religious crimes in Los Angeles spiked 29%. Over 70% of those targeted are our Jewish community. Other impacted communities experiencing hate crimes include: the Latin community, AAPI population and immigrants.
As a Neighborhood Council, we should support agencies such as the 311 network and the Los Angeles LGBT Center that are working to STOP HATE and STOP VIOLENCE in our neighborhoods.
LGBTQ - AntiSemitism - Asian Hate - Black Lives: All of these individuals have a story to tell about some form of aggression, some form of bigotry, some form of violence against them. We want to raise up & help keep these issues on the table with our Councilmember. Education classes, de-escalation training and other ways to engage our neighbors are important to us.
Also engaging with All in the community. Dialogue and listening is the only way forward, in changing hearts and minds. We will encourage more community outreach that brings stakeholders to the committe meetings to share thoughts and ideas.
Unhoused Neighbors / Housing
While working closely with our Council Member, we must also work with our local Non-Profit providers and Mutual Aid Groups that are working to solve this tragic and complicated issue. We also must be holding our County and State partners accountable to provide not just the funding, but the actual resources for mental health beds, addiction and mental health treatment facilities, job training, easily accessible ID and social services centers.
We can end homelessness, it's being done across the country, but it starts with thinking differently and use models that have seen success. “The Built for Zero” program has seen major success in every place it’s been put in place. Over 105 cities and counties that participated have measurably reduced their populations. 44 have reached Functional Zero.
We need to work with our local county and state officials and demand that we put these measures in place using real time metrics of who is homeless, why and how they got there. This way we can target the appropriate resources to get them off the streets and inside for their safety, health and wellbeing. We must ensure that our Neighborhood Council is doing everything it can to help our elected officials work with the community to locate and secure the much needed locations and that they are staffed appropriately. We all have a role to play!
Our current model is not working and is unsustainable. While we have high hopes for Mayor Karen Bass’s “Inside Safe Program”, we are seeing serious issues that are causing many to go back to the streets. This is unacceptable and we must continue to fight for better and more humane solutions. We must also be holding our service providers accountable to ensure our hard earned tax dollars are being used effectively and reaching the people in need. Lastly, there is also a need to push our Representatives to put in Rapid Rehousing of citizens who may be about to find them homeless and on housing retention.
It's far easier and cost effective to keep someone housed. If Elected this is exactly what we will be focused on.
Help us! Together we can have safe, clean neighborhoods!
We all agree that gridlock in our city is a problem. Our ideas are centered on moving traffic safely while creating walkable and bikeable neighborhoods. We want to support the buildout of the electric grid and proper charging infrastructure to support the burgeoning electric car and electric bike network.
Our buses are not safe, our subways are not safe. Deadly stabbings on Jan 31 MacArthur Park station are not the exception but unfortunately the norm. Female ridership is down dramatically. We need to advocate to fix this problem before we can advocate to remove traffic lanes for more buses. (Public Transit ridership is down more than 30%, because it's not safe, from violent attacks, public lewdness, and people suffering with mental health. We will never get buy-in on public transit unless it is safe, clean and reliable.)
We also need to advocate for more left turn lanes, synchronized lights along with safe well designed traffic circles and SAFE bike lanes that keep traffic moving. Gridlock due to the removal of a traffic lane or rush hour anti-gridlock lane not only costs us precious time with our families, it costs us in lost productivity to our small business community.
Job Creation & Supporting Small Business
The heart of a vibrant community is the type of jobs available for the people who live here. We need higher paying skilled jobs. Retail shop clerk, food service and gig work is not a sustainable model for worker prosperity. Nor are these the types of jobs that can provide the income necessary to live nearby here. Many small businesses offer high paying skilled jobs. We need to promote and encourage these businesses to open shops in Mid-CityWest.
The neighborhood could also benefit from job training opportunities like those found in the Changing Lenses Program. A skilled labor force can provide the necessary means to live here but we also need housing that supports “workforce” labor. We feel strongly in the idea that a job with a clearly outlined path to a career ladder and recognition for accomplishments is self-gratifying to the point that work / life balance is found. We believe that our youth aspire to be more than just store clerks and wait staff at a restaurant. Bringing good paying skilled jobs to our neighborhood should be balanced equally with the need for workforce housing.
Preserving Historic Neighborhood
History and historically significant neighborhoods should not be sacrificed for the idea that density will solve our unhoused or affordable housing challenges. We need responsible building in the right areas. We also don’t need McMantions of 6 unit apartments replacing single family homes. Responsable, common sense, building without parking restrictions need to be advocated for. If a builder wants to build parking, he should be allowed to do that too.
Preserving our History and our Historic Buildings does not mean we have to sacrifice more housing, while space is limited in Mid-City West, we do still have room to grow, with smart strategic planning and community buy-in, we can do both! We also must push city leaders to cut the red tape that makes building in Los Angeles more than double the national average. There is no reason we cannot be building market rate affordable workplace housing while persevering the heritage of our diverse historic neighborhoods.
The MCW 2023 Progressive Slate candidate issues (continued from the main page)
Just for the sake of transparency - Let's talk about the "other" SLATE and the previous Platform they ran on:
This slate promised to bring diverse voices into the decision making process - but they only voted in new members who were like minded and no one else!
This slate promised to address homelessness in Mid City West through comprehensive and dignified services and housing - but they opposed Council File 41.18 that would protect your children from encampments near schools, libraries and other sensitive areas. Encampments are now everywhere in the Mid-City west area with many dangerous and aggressive people living in them who break into our homes, threaten our lives, use drugs in open view of our children and the list goes on.
This slate promised to Increase access to parks and open space - But their “Arts and Recreation” board failed and disbanded. The committee chairperson quit - not willing to serve the entire 2 years of his commitment to the community!
This slate promised to reimagine public safety to address the disproportionate impact of systemic racism on Black and Brown member of our community - But their “Public Safety and Well Being” committee has failed to hold regular meetings since June of 2022, with only 1 meeting held in October and all the rest canceled without even properly providing public notice! The current slate includes an "ABOLISH THE POLICE" candidate running for a Non-Profit seat.
This slate promised to Help local businesses thrive along our commercial corridors - But then they supported LADOT and approved Bus Only Lanes on La Brea with expanded hours of service taking away vital parking for the small retail stores all the way from Santa Monica Blvd to Exposition Blvd. This was devastating to many of the businesses in the area from Melrose to Olympic! This slate even tried to pass expanded Bus Service with 24/7 usage. No outreach, no discussion. All that’s left is a line on their website stating that the businesses were “Fear Mongering” by making it clear that they would suffer by taking away another 2 hours per day of parking on top of the 4 hours that are already used for Anti-Gridlock Rush Hour lanes. By the way - their Economic Development committee also failed and was folded into the Public Safety committee - You know, the group that has only met once since June 2022!
This slate promised to Beautify our vibrant walkable neighborhoods - So they used the City’s existing parking sign poles to place their own territory signs on, advertising themselves at the City’s expense! They cleaned up and repainted a wall at Rosewood and Fairfax with no budget in place to maintain the “garden” only to watch as their work was covered in graffiti in less than 2 weeks. Wasting more taxpayer money on a feel good project that they like to brag about but can no longer be seen! Now they want to paint curb extensions at street corners. This same plan being used in Culver City is seeing peeling paint wash into the storm drains after being installed for only a few short months. Not very environmentally expedient for a group that wants to save the planet by encouraging bike lanes everywhere.
This slate promised to Ensure high-quality city services to enhance quality of life - have you looked around at our streets, sidewalks and walls? The sidewalks are still broken down, the streets are still full of dangerous potholes and walls everywhere you look have graffiti and gang tagging on them.
The question now is WHY WOULD YOU TRUST A SLATE PUT TOGETHER BY THIS GROUP AGAIN? Their 2023 message is once again filled with stories of success but is it really as good as they make it sound? It’s time for some real Progressive Proponents for Positive Change to step onto this board and help fix the things we can for our NEIGHBORHOOD! Are we going to repeat the past and allow this slate of newcomers who have never attended a board meeting or committee meeting to step into this volunteer job? Our candidates are the ones that this slate has shut out and refused to allow onto their board when vacancies happened. Our candidates have attended more board meetings and have made more public comments than anyone running on the Schneider Progressive slate. We are committed to doing the work that 27 of the last slate’s candidates all failed to stick around for. But we need YOUR VOTE! We need you to request a Vote by Mail Ballot in order to vote!