Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council Election Candidate Speeches – April 3, 2019


I’m not sure if all 22 are
present tonight. I think because they names by the different categories if
you are present just raise your hand and if you’re not that way we know you’re not present, okay here we go Hi I’m Emma Scott, I’m fifteen and I’m running for the Youth Representative. I’m in tenth grade and I go to SOCES High School. In school my favorite subject is chemistry because it’s really interactive where you get to do a lot of labs which is very fun. I also do
stage crew for my school and we do from concerts to drama productions and I have been the sound manager for two years now. It takes a lot of teamwork and coordination
to make the shows happen during and before the show which is a lot of preparation. In the neighborhood I like to go outdoors and walk around the
neighborhoods and go to the parks and the dog park with my dog and I’d like to
keep it there because it’s very lovely. I am a part of the local Girl Scout Troop
6036 in Lake Balboa and I have done some community work. The Earth Day that is coming up I did that last year as well and I’ve also participated in picking with Food
Forward. I would like to be in this representation because I’d like to have
a voice in the community and be part of change that is necessary and I’d also
like to learn more about the neighborhood and community that we live
in I am outspoken, dedicated, and hardworking, and I work really well in teams and I hope that I will be here next year. Thank you. [Applause] Hi I’m Danica Middleton and I’m running
for a Residential Stakeholder seat. My husband and I purchased our fixer-upper Lake Balboa home on December 29, 2016 and we’ve never looked back I
just love the neighborhood. I quickly learned that there was no Holiday Parade
so I started one our first holiday season on December 23rd 2017. My mom and I hoofed it through the neighborhood putting fliers on everyone’s door knobs
from Balboa Boulevard west to Louise and then Saticoy north to Roscoe. That
first year we had approximately 75 participants and they decorated their
bikes, their mopeds, themselves, and we literally paraded for over two miles
through our neighborhood spreading the holiday cheer. Last December it
doubled; I think actually tripled really and we even had two Jeep CJ7s that
were completely decorated in lights. In February I got a call from Lake Balboa
Neighborhood Council board member Tom Riley. He said “You know I heard about
your little parade and you know we’re doing this Lake Balboa larger parade
would you want to head the committee for it?” I said “Oh my god! Yes, definitely.”
He said “Really?” I think he might thought I was a little craaaazy. Anyway, so
you see there’s no task too large and no feet too small and it’s all about
improving our lives and in experiences I would like to bring more community
events to our neighborhood. I’m Danica
Middleton and I look forward to being a standup member of the Lake Balboa community and a fierce advocate for our neighborhood wants and needs. Thank you for your support. [Applause] Hi, my name is Janice Berridge. I moved into Lake Balboa in 2012. I love this area. I moved and I had friends who lived in this area so I
actively sought a home to come to Lake Balboa and to be a part of this
community. When my kids were little, their dad and I decided that we wanted
to be a part of LAUSD also so we knew in order to make that happen that we had to
be active members and participate into the school, which is what we did, so for
eight years we were part of the PTA and we brought our neighborhood up because we knew that it had to have that we had to have volunteers to participate so for me
that’s why I’m here I go onto Nextdoor and I see all of the
issues and I hear it and I’ve been a voyeur and watching it, so I
decided to step up and to participate and to help out with the challenges that
make this community great for all of us. Thank you. [Applause] Hi my name is James Hart and I am a Residential Stakeholder for the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council. I’m also serving as
the treasurer, a much-maligned position for the organization [audience laughter]. I ran for the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council the first time because I believe in the premise that decisions are made by those
that show up — and there are things that are wrong our community and we all want
to see them get better and so I do my best to show up when I can. I’m running
again mainly at the cajoling of other people that don’t want to be the
treasurer [audience laughter], so I appreciate your support if I can get it. Thank you very much. For
the people at home, just so you see him, this is Arnold. Yes it’s a shameless plug. [Applause] Thanks, Arnold. Hello everyone, my name is James Brown and I’m a long-time Lake Balboa resident. I’m running for re-election and the
opportunity to once again represent you as the board member of the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council. Over the past five-plus years I’ve been very fortunate and
very blessed to be able to help make a difference in our community. As chair of
our Health and Public Safety Committee we helped lobby for the successful passage of Assembly Bill 1719 which now requires mandatory CPR training in all high
schools statewide. We also host monthly CPR training classes for the community
and to date we’ve trained over 2,500 individuals who have been successfully
trained in CPR usage. We’ve also provided assistance and aid to West Valley LAPD
by helping to start the volunteer community patrol that West Valley LAPD
operates and we’ve been successfully helping to reduce crime in our areas.
We also have assisted neighbors and LAPD and setting up Neighborhood Watch
groups which are very important if we are going to reduce crime. And we helped set these groups up throughout our community but like it or not, we live in a
community, and we live in a world that’s filled with problems, and like it or not
the problems are here. I believe and I want to continue to be a solution and I
ask for your vote and thank you for your support. [Applause} Hello. Buenos noches señoras y señores
Mi nombre es Carla Bautista y yo vivo y trabajo en Lake Balboa. Actualmente soy miembro de la Junta del Consejo Vecinal de Lake Balboa y me postulo para otro período. Creo que hago buena parte del equipo porque muestro firmemente mi apoyo a esta ya increíble comunidad y me esfuerzo por hacerlo aún mejor. También soy una candidata que habla español y la comunidad latina e hispana de Lake Balboa merece ser representada ya que muchos de nuestros residentes hablan español. Sería de un gran beneficio continuar comunicándonos con nuestros residentes que hablan español, e informándoles sobre lo que está sucediendo en nuestra comunidad. Muchas gracias y que pasen una buena noche. Good evening ladies and gentlemen my name is Carla Bautista and I live and work in Lake Balboa. I am currently a Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council board member and I am running for another term. I believe I’m a great asset to the board because I
strongly show my support to this already amazing community and I strive to make
it even better. I am also a Spanish-speaking candidate, and the Lake Balboa Latino and Hispanic community deserves to be represented. Many of our
residents speak Spanish. It would be beneficial to continue to reach out to
our Spanish-speaking residents to get them on board and inform them of what’s
going on in our neighborhood. Thank you. [Applause] Good evening. My name is Ruth Doxsee. I have been on the board since around 2010-2011. I have been holding Neighborhood
Watch meetings in my neighborhood for about 15 years. We used to have one at Stagg
Street Elementary until they said I had to start paying for the custodian
so we go could no longer have them there. So we have them in our driveway or the person’s driveways. I’ve been a resident of
Lake Balboa since 1990. I moved to LA five years before that. I didn’t really like
Los Angeles that much, but since moving to Valley I really love LA. I like my
community. Everybody on the board is like family and we all keep improving the community. Thank you. [Applause] My name is Sandy Joseph, and I am running for Residential Representative. I have lived here for ten years and when I first moved into Lake Balboa I was lucky enough to find a flyer that said there is such thing as a neighborhood council
which I never even knew about and they also had different committees that
you might be interested in. For me, I love Emergency Preparedness so
I went to my first committee meeting and I was hooked and kept going back and then I raised my hand and once you start raising your hand you can’t stop, you
know? I love Lake Balboa. I love this community, and my goal is to get
everybody prepared, and I’m running for re-election. Thank you for your time. [Applause] Hello my name is Carol Newman and I’m running for Business Stakeholder
Representative. I’ve been a member of the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council now
for several years. Originally I was appointed and then elected and I’ve
lived in Lake Balboa for ten years. I’m also the secretary of the Lake Balboa
Neighborhood Council for the last several years. I want to get re-elected to the
Neighborhood Council because I want to help our city. I want to help our city
get better. In addition to being the secretary of this neighborhood council
I’m also a member of the Neighborhood Council Budget
Advocates and CPA. The Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates are a group
elected from the neighborhood councils. As you heard there are 99 neighborhood
councils, and there are 1800 board members. From all of those people, 36 people are
elected citywide to be in the Budget Advocates, and I’m one of those 36
people. What we do — Budget Advocates is a misnomer — we’re not number
ones, and we don’t go through you know budget numbers. What we do is we advocate on the city policy. We tell the city what we think the stakeholders want in terms
of city services. If you think there’s a problem with homelessness. If you think
the streets could be better. If you think technology could be better. Police, fire,
parks, emergency services, any of those things… the Budget Advocates advocate on your behalf to the city. We meet with the mayor a couple of times a year and we
write reports. We write reports on all of the city departments, and we publish
these reports in this book which is called the white paper, and every year
somebody edits this entire book… I’m the one who edits this entire book
every year, so I want to get re-elected. I can only do that — let me bring
this around — I can only do that as long as I’m affiliated with a neighborhood
council so I definitely want to be affiliated with the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council and
this Neighborhood Council is very prized in the budget avenues. Thank you very
much. [Applause] Hello, I’m Allen Nelson. For most of the
time that I’ve been on the Council I have been the Communications Officer
which means I go to the Post Office once a week and see if there’s mail in the box.
I also respond to all emails and phone calls to come through our website. If I
don’t have the correct information I’ll pass it on to another board member. I’m one of the associates on our Facebook page. Four years ago I was made
chairman of the Outreach Committee and we determine where most of our money
goes and whether we’re going to honor someone’s request or not. Currently we
sponsor the Spring Egg Hunt, the Senior Symposium, the Disaster Fair, Victory for Victims, the LGBT conference where we pay for the buses to take our
LGBT high school students to the event. I also created a program for high
school students, an art program creating murals on the fence on Haskell between Haynes and Victory every year with a different school.
They were mentored by an incredible artist, Levi Ponce donated his time. The students were given community service credit and they also got community service
certificates from Nury Martinez’s office and our state assemblyman’s
office. We are currently working [timer rings] Stop? OK. I’d like to be re-elected. [Applause] Hi neighbors. I’m Linda Gravani. I’ve been on our Neighborhood Council since February 2011
and President for the past five years. I’m also on the executive committee for
the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils where all 34 Valley
neighborhood councils meet monthly to discuss our common issues. What I’ve
learned during the past eight years is that with the program to accept less.
Every day parents crisscross the Valley bringing their kids to school while
driving past the 13 schools within our boundaries. Why? Why does our Police
Department need volunteers? Why aren’t our streets swept. Why isn’t there enough
parking in multi-family units? Why don’t we have park
rangers? You would think with all these cuts, L.A.’s budget would be balanced.
It’s not. It’s out of control and we still don’t enjoy the quality of life we
once did. What are they doing in LAUSD and City Hall?
My goal for our community is to bring back the services we learned to live without,
and watch how the city spends our tax dollars. We will of course need your help
by writing emails, letters, and making phone calls. You will be informed on what
issues to target and why, so who am I? I’m just a single mom who raised her three
daughters in Lake Balboa since 1983. My gals attended local schools. We enjoyed
our riding bikes around the park, watch the model airplanes in the basin, and
discover nature in the wildlife areas. I have a home-based business, I hold a
California real estate license, and I’m a California notary public. I do have great
organizational skills and a huge desire to fix what’s broken in our community. I
would want to put my plan into action so I’m asking for your vote. I would be
honored to continue to serve you, my neighbors, and our Lake Balboa
community. Thank you. [Applause] First I’d like to thank everyone for being here tonight. My name is James Stein and I’m a candidate for the Lake Balboa
Neighborhood Council Business Service Representative position. I’ve lived and
worked here all my life, attended local schools, served in the Air
Force, raised three children, and retired from the phone company.
Now I own my own small business. I presently serve as chair of the
Recreation and Parks Committee. I’m a card holder and co-signer for the LBNC. I’m a member of the Outreach Committee, the Election Committee, the Land Use Committee, and I
work on community planning. I’m also a Neighborhood Watch block captain and a
member of the Community Police Advisory Board. My goal is to see the all funds
and services that Lake Balboa is entitled to are distributed to the stakeholders of Lake Balboa. In order to be successful at that, it is vital that the
LBNC have a successful Outreach program. I’ve worked on the Lake Balboa Movies in the Park, the park chess tables, and didn’t miss having the Valley Relics Museum move to Lake Balboa. The Sepulveda Basin and Lake
Balboa irrigation project among those things. I’ve attended the meetings of
Measure A Los Angeles County Regional Park Development space district. My goal is to get funds for a community center in Lake Balboa. We
need our own identity. It’s a slow process but I’ve made many contacts I
thank you in advance for your vote so that I might continue in those efforts. [Applause] I had a great presentation for you on all the good things I’ve done, et cetera, except I
really like Jim’s speech so I think I may borrow that and just repeat it to make sure you all heard what he had to say. The second problem we have in life is you never let a
Boston Irishman in front of a microphone with an audience, so I thank you for all
coming to hear me tonight. My name is Tom Riley, I have been in Lake Balboa for
forty-five years. I’ve lived in the same house during those forty-five years even
though we’ve lived in four different towns. You keep changing the name.
I got involved with that the Neighborhood Council about six years ago. There was a
project in our neighborhood that the neighbors did not like, and so we fought
it and someone convinced me I should be on the Neighborhood Council.
So I ran for it and fortunately I got elected. Then I was told that I should go
to the Land Use Committee So I went to that
meeting. I was a few minutes late. I got a standing ovation. I had just been elected chairman. The Land Use Committee goal, purposes, to make sure that the things in Lake Balboa that we get the right assets and
stop the detriments that might want to come in here. Lake Balboa itself is a
community of villages. Every area has their own wants, their needs, they have their own make up, their own personality, their own character, and what we’re trying to
do is enhance those [Timer alarm] Oh, she gave up ten minutes so it’s not a problem. In the past we have prevented a six-story apartment building from being built and
on that set point of view we have just recently thanks to Jim brought in the Valley
Relics Museum which is a huge asset because it’s a drawing destination. Anyways I gotta go. Thanks friends. Please vote for me and have a great night. [Applause] Good evening. My name is Linda Pruitt and
I’m a founding member of this Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council. I’ve lived in
the same house for 46 years, Tom (Gotcha by one year) and while I serve on several committees with
this Council my passion is Emergency Preparedness. Lake Balboa is we believe
the best prepared community in all of Los Angeles and I want to keep it that
way and the way we do that is number one we have meetings every month at the
Flyaway, second Saturday, 9 o’clock, please come and be with us.
We have great classes and presentations of emergency preparedness we have
purchased and stocked two emergency preparedness bins with search and
rescue, and medical, and triage equipment for use by the Fire Pepartment, the
Police Department, medical personnel, and CERT-trained individuals. We put on CERT
programs which is 17 and a half hours of free training taught by the Fire
Department to teach all of you in the community how to take care of yourselves
and your neighbors in the event of a disaster. Sandy and I do Map Your
Neighborhood presentations in your home to teach you and your closest neighbors
how to take care of yourselves before, during, and especially after a disaster. In
addition we’ve even established our own ham radio and FRS GMRS nets so that we
will have communications after disaster. I ask for your vote and I ask for your
vote for the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council. We really need your support. Come out and help us. Thank you very much. [Applause] Hi, my name is Kristen Fujitaki. I am a current board member of the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council. I’m running for Organizational Stakeholder Representative. And I happened to get involved in the Neighborhood Council by accident, which I’m sure happened to most of the board members here. I am a full-time volunteer unpaid.
I spend most of my time with my kids at their schools. I’m on the boards of two PTAs of other schools. I counsel for two schools and I am also a member of the Education
Committee, the Outreach Committee, Parks and Rec, and I’m also the chair
of the Ad-Hoc Newsletter for the Neighborhood Council. So I keep myself pretty busy, but we are deeply rooted in Lake Balboa. We lived in the community for 10 years now I have two young children, a five-year-old and
and an eight-year-old who keep me really busy. My husband works in Lake Balboa for
Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union So our whole entire family is here
in Lake Balboa. My sister lives with us and she has her own business
in Lake Balboa and we keep really busy but being part of the community is
really important to me so I try to make as much time as I can to come and
support all the efforts of all the wonderful board members that are here
and I’m so fortunate to have this opportunity to meet so many wonderful
people and learn from them. This was my first term and it’s been absolutely
amazing and I thought that maybe I wouldn’t run again but I couldn’t pass
up the opportunity to try to learn more from everyone and be involved and try to
find out more ways that we can help the community so I hope that you vote for me
and thank you very much. [Applause] Hello Everyone. I am Cindy Kurland. I am running for re-election on the council. Primarily I’m interested in everything to do with the
community but in particular I’m interested in the homelessness problem.
I’m the homelessness liaison for this area and I’ve been trying to get a
Neighborhood Purpose Grant to fund a program called Clean Streets Clean
Starts which would employ local homeless people to clean and beautify the
community. There are many homelessness encampments in Lake Balboa Park. I’m also on the I’m a representative on the Sepulveda Basin
Wildlife Area and our interest is in protecting the birds and the native
vegetation of the area. At the moment the group’s currently trying to get a
full-time ranger assigned to the basin My other interest is Van Nuys Airport. I
attend meetings of Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Board and update the
community on activities of the airport that affect our community. Currently
there’s pressure from communities of Encino, Sherman Oaks, and Studio City to
reset the southern flight departure paths out of the Van Nuys
Airport so that the flights will be turning again over Lake Balboa with
increased noise and pollution It’s been an honor to serve on the Lake Balboa board. Thank you for considering me as a candidate. [Applause] Hello, my name is Linda Schwering I’m running for the At-Large Elected seat on the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council A lot of people in Lake Balboa do not my
last name they don’t pronounce it so they just call me Linda S. I was born and
raised and attended schools here in the Valley. Married with two children now
grown with children of their own my husband Carl and I owned a little camera
and photo supply shop for 35 years. Back then I was called either Mrs. Bug or
Camera Bug Lady. I served as president on Southern California Photo Dealers
Guild Association, but in 2007 I came to know of the Neighborhood Council. It was a flyer for an Emergency Preparedness meeting. That was all it took. It got me involved
in the community. Even when the Northridge quake was still fresh in my
mind, I was sleeping with my shoes and my flashlight in the hallway. They’re now in
my bed. I began volunteering for Lake Balboa NC events and projects. Time went by. I was elected, so I’m a veteran board member and I want to serve my
community again I served on the Council as treasurer for six years, as a Budget
Committee Chair, and I’m proud to have been a part of Lake Balboa’s efforts for
tree plantings, the Haskell Avenue mural projects, and getting – well, helping – to get
the signs for Lake Balboa on the 101 and 405 freeways. My husband’s illness, and
breast cancer were major priorities for me for a couple of years. My husband has
passed on. I am now a two-year cancer survivor, and I have more drive than ever. For more than 10 years I’ve been part of the
Community Outreach, Emergency Preparedness, and a member of West Valley CPAB for LAPD and CERT. I care about my community, the quality of life here, and
if elected I promise to work hard for my neighborhood. My goals are many and here
are a few. Community improvement and beautification, disaster preparedness and awareness, children and education, senior issues, and community awareness. I want
folks to know through neighborhood council that Lake Balboa has a voice
that goes all the way from here to City Hall. [off-screen: Thank You Linda] My goal to service. I’m asking for your vote. Linda S. [Applause] Hi, my name is Bill Greenberg and I am
running for the at-large. I’m seeking to be a new member on the board. I moved here to
what was then Van Nuys but it’s now Lake Balboa 42 years ago with my parents
and my sister and after moving out to go to college and do some jobs and stuff
but staying in the Valley I bought my parents house 25 years ago and have lived
there ever since with my wife and my son. I also am a graduate from Mulholland Junior High School and from Birmingham High School so as you can see my roots go
very deep and long into the community. I would like to bring back the community I
grew up in with everybody knowing their neighbor, having block parties, and really
using the businesses in the community. I’ve been a musician all my life playing
drums and percussion. I’m very proud to say my son is following my footsteps and
currently studying music at Pasadena City College. I am also the floor manager for a youth group and music youth group at Buena Park and I run their music competition festival in July. I am an avid movie buff
all the way don’t go to as many movies as I’d like to. Only because my wife and I can’t agree on movies so we don’t get to go. I worked in retail
management with Circuit City, Best Buy, Good Guys, and Verizon Wireless for over
25 years and also did corporate training. The business, organizational, and
interpersonal skills I’ve learned have given me the ability to work in any
situation with any person. I am tired — and so is my wife — of complaining and just saying what needs to be done here. I want to be one of those making the decisions
to make a positive impact to help and grow our neighborhood. I am fortunate to
have the time and desire to dedicate to this position. I am confident I would be
a great asset to the Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council. Thank you very much. [Applause] I’m happy to see everybody here tonight. My name is Mary Pennemon. I’ve been a resident of Lake Balboa for twenty-plus years. Five years I’ve been here on the board. I’m not very
good at public speaking but I just wanted to say some of these things. I
have been appointed because nobody seemed to run against me. I guess because
nobody wanted to run against me because nobody wanted the job. But I’d
like to say that I’m on the board because I met my mentor some years ago and following her around going to meetings
in Lake Balboa and raising my hand all the time I got to be on CERT, one and two
years of great Preparedness, Outreach, Land Use, and I’m also a member of the
West Valley Volunteer Police Patrol, and I’m a young senior, so there’s
still life for all of us to help and go through these different things that I
have done. There’s more I want to do. I’ve been a just a small voice all these
years but I plan to change a lot of that. And I want to ask everybody who is a senior – young senior, older senior – to please come out come out to our meetings. There is so much more to do. Thank you. [Applause]

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