Common Sense VENICE

Dedicated TO A BETTER VENICE!

Qualified - capable- Ready to serve
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ABOUT involvement

Venetian, Home owner, entrepreneur, Husband, father, volunteer

Venice farmers' market

1988 - Present
From 3 farmers to over 40 vendors, Friday mornings, the community comes together to socialize while shopping for farm fresh produce, flowers and yummy snacks

VNC MemBer

2002 - Present
Founding member of Grass Roots Venice, renamed Venice Neighborhood Council, served on Land Use and Planning Committee, presently Chair of Parking & Transportation, Co-Chair of Dog Park and Communications Officer.

ENVIRONMENTALIST

1990s - Present
Organized Venice community tree plantings, recruiting 4000 volunteers, employing youth at-risk, resulting in 1400 installations. As a Board Member of Ballona Lagoon Marine Preserve, oversaw shoreline banks restoration and creation of observation deck.

vision for the future

My leadership aspirations

As YOUR President

  • Seek resourceful imaginative ideas which are scalable humanitarian remedies that address the unhoused population crisis in Venice.
  • Work to rebuild viable commerce and tourism through a safer environment on the boardwalk.
  • Appoint a “Quality of Life” Committee to restore the kind of community concerns that puts locals first.
  • Author a “Blue Print” for easing traffic and placing a premium on parking for Venice residents.
  • Be an engaged, strong voice in City governance and push for Neighborhood Council rights as described in the City Charter 2000 Reform.
  • Encourage smart and responsible development that puts Venetians first.
  • Fight to protect local brick and mortar businesses from online competition threatening their existence.

For the people

  • Let’s unify Venice against rampant homelessness and rising crime, and restore the quality of life we all deserve!
  • I'm a longtime Venetian & Community Activist who gets things done!
  • As a husband, parent, homeowner and entrepreneur, I have managed our Venice Farmers' Market for over thirty years!  
  •  My wife Melanie and I raised our children in Venice putting them through LAUSD public schools. They graduated Venice High School with honors and went on to Yale and Stanford.
  • Having been elected numerous times to the Venice Neighborhood Council, I am capable, qualified and ready to serve as the next VNC President.

Accomplishments

the James Murez Record

NOTEWORTHY

  • Participated in the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) since it began in 2002.
  • Served on the VNC Land Use and Planning Committee for 12 years. Co-authored a Memorandum of Understanding with the City Planning Department which continues to provide Venice with early notification of all development projects.
  • Organized and managed the Venice Farmers' Market for 32 years through the present.
  • Chair of the VNC Parking and Transportation Committee, resulting in over 100 motions being passed by the VNC Board over the last 5 years.
  • Proposed a solution to relocate the homeless that occupied the land next to Penmar Golf Course along Rose Ave east of Lincoln by having the VNC submit a request to transfer ownership from the Department of Public Works to the Department of Recreation and Parks.  The request was adopted by the City and once improvements are completed the community will be able to use the land for recreation and exercise. (Present)
  • Fought City Council to prevent the privatization of open spaces on Venice Blvd. (Present)
  • Designed, obtained funding and managed construction of the realignments of Abbot Kinney Blvd, Main Street, Brooks, Hampton and Electric intersections. (2000s)
  • Participated in Coastal Conservancy workshops to develop the Venice Coastal Zone Land Use Plan. (1980s)
  • Obtained funds from the State to landscape Venice Boulevard from Pacific Ave to Lincoln Blvd, organizing and managing the planting 650 native trees, 1.5 miles of ground cover and sprinklers plus planted an additional 750 trees throughout the Venice community, recruiting over 4000 volunteers to help. Followed with five years of weekly tree watering and maintenance. (1990s)
  • Successfully managed three years of LA City Summer Youth At-Risk employment programs, instructing over 200 young adults in landscaping, in addition to recruiting and payroll accounting.
  • Worked on the restoration of the Ballona Lagoon, with the Ballona Lagoon Marine Preserve (BLMP) in Venice, including the creation of the east bank meandering walkway, revegetation of native plant life and construction of a public observation deck (2000s).
  • Served on the Venice Family Clinic Art Walk Steering Committee, as chair of Transportation and Parking.
  • Appointed by the California Secretary of Agriculture to the Certified Farmers' Market Advisory Committee, overseeing 850 markets throughout the State, and appointed by the committee to chair the Database Subcommittee (presently 4th term)
  • Awarded a USDA Grant to create a prototype farmers' market information tracking system. Presently operational (2012)
  • Created and hosts the first online Certified Producer Certificate (farmer licensing) system, allowing California counties to collaborate in a central record keeping database (1996-present)
  • Worked with LAUSD to design solutions to keep Venice High School swimming pool open and maintained the school’s electronic scoreboard. (2003-2009)
  • Proposed alternate options to the City's proposed Venice Bridge Home housing shelter project by offering alternate options that realized less community impact and a major cost reduction. The plan was recommended for consideration by the VNC Board. (2018-2019)
  • Worked with prior Councilman Bill Rosendahl to obtain a study and plan to provide preferential parking for Venice residents and a shuttle bus solution to remove on-site commercial parking requirements. (2012)
  • Appointed by Councilwoman Ruth Galanter to serve on CPAC (Community Planning Advisory Committee) overseeing development projects prior to the inception of Neighborhood Councils. (1990's)
  • Helped form and served on the City of Los Angeles Urban Forestry Committee. (1990's)
  • Constantly working to improve Venice and make our voices heard. (1988-present)

LEGISLATIVE ACTION

Motions brought before the Board by James Murez between 2016-presnet. As the Chairman of the Parking and Transportation Committee, the Co-Chair as an individual Stakeholder of Venice, his work during this period resulted in over 100 positive actions being approved to the betterment of the Venice community. Below is a brief summary of a few of those which empowered the greatest impact. The complete cariological list is available by selecting the "Show More" button below.

  • Alternate Bridge Home shelter plan, described and presented to VNC, forwarded to LA City before being published in LA Times Op-Ed. <link to month >
  • Oppose privatization of public open space on Venice Blvd currently designated for landscaping
  • Request bus routes and frequency be scaled to community ridership and propose solutions that stop cut-through commuter traffic.
  • Propose Venice Blvd parking structure and open air park in place of constructing Bonin - VCHC "Monster on the Median" housing project. My plan would provide huge financial benefits to Venice while allowing resident preferred (zone) parking to be established and approved by the Coastal Commission.
  • Request VNC to provide funding for to purchase video and audio equipment for Westminster School and Oakwood Rec Center that is used by hundreds of school children and improved communications and transparency at VNC meetings.
  • Request City maintain Venice streets and alleys to be safe for bike, scooter and pedestrians including ADA access, roadway surface gaps are filled and abandoned equipment is removed from public right-of-ways.
Show More

TESTIMONIALS

The following testimonials were written by people that through civic involvement with James Murez are are familiar with and have knowledge of his ability to lead the community as President of the VNC..

''
For over two decades, Jim Murez has been one of my go-to sources for what’s happening in Venice — whether the subject is development, governance, the environment or homelessness.  He was my main source for an LA Times op-ed I wrote about using tiny homes and pop-up shelters to help house Venice homeless people— a solution that two years later our council representative and mayor are finally talking about.
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Rob Eshman
Venice resident since 1986
''
I’ve only been in Venice for 44 years. I’ve known, or known of, Jim Murez for most of that time. His campaign is known as COMMON SENSE for good reason: because that’s what it is. Experience, intelligence and common sense counts: Vote them in before Venice gets counted out.
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Tony Bill
Director / Producer / Restaurateur
''
Co-authorship of  the Venice specific -plan to protect and retain Venice’s unique aesthetic,  as well a steadfast participant in every matter that affects our community...
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Greg Falk
Carver Skateboards, Founder
''
... The garden and the school are deeply  appreciative of Jim’s determined efforts to help us grow in all ways...
* * * * *
   Nora Dvosin
   Westminster Elementary School
''
I’m happy to call Jim Murez, a former landlord, neighbor and friend...
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David Glean
   Spot Welders, Co-Founder, Managing Partner
''
...  for over thirty-five years.  During that time he has always been central  to the hyper-active Venice community support system...
* * * * *
Jack V. Hoffmann
Venice Resident
''
I have worked with Jim Murez for over thirty (30) years and have complete and full admiration for Jim's dedication and...
* * * * *
Mark Galanty
President of Venice Canals Association *
and
President of Venice Canals Foundation *
(*For identification purposes only, this is not an endorsement from the non-profit organization, but only Mark's individual opinion.)
''
had  the pleasure to collaborate with Jim in offering weekly meditation classes...
* * * * *
 -Leah Santa Cruz,
   Meditation Teacher & Wellness Retreats
''
For decades, Jim Murez has worked tirelessly to preserve and enhance what makes Venice so special...
* * * * *
Regan Kibbee
Venice Moms
''
To all  concerned in the process of choosing your next VNC president, I would like to  give my support for Jim Murez...
* * * * *
Diane Barretti
   LAPD Pacific Area Boosters
''
Billy Al's testimonial is art, one of original Dogtown surfers, artists and in the know community characters, click arrows to view...
Billy Al Bengston
Dogtown Artist
* * * * *
''
Jim Murez has been an instrumental part of our success in developing restaurants and a barbershop in Venice...
* * * * *
Oscar Hermosillo and Family of:
Venice Beach Wines, Clutch Roadhouse, Cerveteca
The Penmar Service and Supply
''
My husband and I have known Jim Murez for the better part of 2 decades. We've loved getting to know Jim...
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Polly Auritt - Chris Kosfeld
Venice Residents
''
I  highly endorse Jim Murez for president of the VNC.    I’ve know Jim for 8 years...
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Travis Binen
Businessman
''
All  through COVID Jim kept the Farmers Market open and thriving for our Venice  Community what a feat of commitment and dedication for which I know so many  are grateful.
* * * * *
Scott Mayers, PhD
Psychologist
''
To my  friends and neighbors in Venice. I have known Jim Murez for over 13 years and  I can not imagine a better candidate...
* * * * *
 Paul Abascal
Venice Resident
Walk Streets
''
Jim Murez's dedication to Venice is (many) labors of love.  He has created an essential community hub ...
* * * * *
Mia Herron Kantor
Venice Canals / Prior VNC LUPC
''
This letter is to inform you that I, Tom Wright, endorse Jim Murez for the office of President for the Venice Neighborhood Council. I have known...
* * * * *
Tom Wright
Actor, Venice Resident
''
Jim is a  committed community leader with deep roots in Venice. He works  collaboratively...
* * * * *
Elisa Paster |Glaser Weil,  Partner
''
Jim  Murez has been an active participant in the Venice community for years and we  continue to reap the benefits...
* * * * *
Kari Hendrick
   The Butchers Daughter, Director of Operations - Venice
''
Jim is  very involved with the Venice Community and has done some great work with the  VNC and the LUPC committee...
* * * * *
Eduardo Manilla
Architect / DJ / Prior VNC Board Member
''
I have  known Jim Murez for most - if not all - of my 24 years in Venice. A friend...  
* * * * *
Kip Pardue
Actor
''
I first met Jim when he offered to help me and my girlfriend  repair our antique van. I quickly learned how intelligent, generous...
* * * * *
Kameron Burk
''
I'm not sure how many decades Jim has been in Venice, but I do know that he and his family...
* * * * *
Fran Camaj
The Gjelina Group
''
For eight years, I served on the staff of Councilman Bill Rosendahl. Three  of those years were spent as the Venice Field Deputy...
* * * * *
Mark-Antonio Grant
   Retired LA City Council Senior Staff Member for Bill Rosendahl
''
Jim is  without a doubt, the right person for the job and I whole heartedly support...
* * * * *
Laura Doss-Hertz
Photographer
''
I first met Jim over 35 years ago during a volunteer  tree Planting of the median Sycamore trees,  that he organized...
* * * * *
David Hertz
Architect
''
Jim Murez is about as iconic and dedicated a Venetian as you can  find. His roots here are deep and wide...
* * * * *
Dan Abrams
Cross River Pictures
''
I have known Jim Murez for many  many years as the nice guy who runs the Farmer's Market on Fridays...
* * * * *
Suzy  Williams
Musician / Singer / Composer
''
James  Murez has been a long time Venice advocate. He is a man of knowledge, action  and integrity...
* * * * *
Sunny Bak
Venice Art Crawl
''
I’ve known Jim for over twenty years and have and will always respect his knowledge,..
* * * * *
Stephen Vitalich AIA LEED AP
''
Jim is one of the most knowledgeable people in Venice. He has truly been such an advocate over the years...
* * * * *
TAMI PARDEE
Founder, CEO
''
have been a resident, business owner, and property owner in Venice for 25 years...  
* * * * *
Jason Teague
Developer
''
 I first came to know Jim Murez from his running the Venice Farmers Market and...
* * * * *
Michael Kantor
Venice Canals - Resident
''
Jim's commitment to the Venice community has played a meaningful role in the way I connect with my community...
* * * * *
Brandon Gross
Venice Resident
''
Jim has always been an activist in Venice, at least since I can remember. He knows Venice...
* * * * *
Reta Moser
Venice Resident
Oxford Triangle
''
I've known Jim Murez for over 10 years, and I have been greatly impressed with his knowledge of and genuine concern for Venice.  His willingness to take the lead on issues of change here in Venice is unmatched.  We could use a leader like Jim.
* * * * *
Clarence "CC" Carter
Owner/President
First Team Security Inc
''
While I as serving as the Senior Planning Deputy for Bill Rosendahl, I became acquainted with Jim...
* * * * *
Whitney Blumenfeld Rubin
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, Senior Planning Deputy
''
Jim Murez has the vote of my family in the race for president of the VNC. We know him as a helpful neighbor...
* * * * *
Sherie Scheer
Resident and property owner in Venice since 1970
''
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