I first met Albert Vera in January of 1992, the year certain members of the community urged him to run against Jim Boulgarides and me, and knock our socks off. After that first meeting at the old Petrellis (along with Dianne Pannone, his campaign manager), Albert and I had immediate comradery and the deepest of trust in one another. Neither of us could understand why the people on my side were tellling me I should be aware of him or why the people supporting him were telling him I was a dangerous young punk. Albert and I both loved Culver City, and we both had similar plans to bring the city out of its doldrums. I often told audiences that Albert was irresistible as a candidate: he looked like the actor Ronald Coleman, sounded like actor Rozanno Brazzi, and acted like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
As it turned out, Albert, Jim Boulgarides, and I became both friends and allies on the City Council that prepared this City for the 21st Century. I especially enjoyed the Council evenings when Albert would summarize the proceedings with: “Steve and Jim said everything I think on this subject, only without an Italian accent.” There is no way that my wife and I can express our love for Albert and Ursula; and there is no way that we can thank them enough for the way the made us feel, the way their lives will always make us feel.