Nearly 100 backers of Freddy Puza’s Culver City Council campaign met outside to celebrate his candidacy – and his birthday – on a bright Saturday afternoon. The turnout and excitement among Puza’s fans demonstrated the community’s passionate support for his candidacy.
After a round of “Happy Birthday,” and a distribution of cupcakes, Puza spoke to his supporters about the serious issues facing the city.
“I think the top question people have is, why am I running again?” he told the gathering. “There is no doubt about it, I’m standing on the shoulders of the progressive leadership that has come before me, and I promise to continue in that direction. I know my platform, rooted in diversity, equity, and inclusion, still strongly resonates with the people of Culver City.”
Puza expressed his commitment to addressing tough issues head-on, including housing, transportation, and climate change, with a nuanced understanding of the ways they are inherently linked.
“It’s vitally important that we become fossil fuel-free by supporting an efficient transition to zero-emission energy and transportation,” Puza asserted. “The interconnectedness of the environment, housing and mobility requires us to build housing in the areas where people work and play.”
The candidate also spoke about the need for public safety reforms. “Although the largest uprising in American history is behind us, the work of racial reckoning and reimagining public safety continues,” said Puza. “We need to still engage in conversation about what makes a city truly safe and center the voices of those who have been most impacted by over-policing in the process.”
Freddy Puza has demonstrated his dedication to public service in a lifetime of work, volunteering, and helping his community. He serves on Culver City’s General Plan Advisory Committee, formerly served on the city’s Committee on Homelessness, and has participated in numerous local civic groups, including the Fox Hills Neighborhood Association, Protect Culver City Renters, Culver City Democratic Club, Culver City Action Network, Culver City Historical Society, and Leadership Culver City. Puza also co-organized Culver City’s first Pride Ride and Rally in June, 2021.
Puza currently works as the Director of Community Relations at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), where he leads the school’s programs to cultivate, enhance, and steward relationships with community organizations, elected officials, and community leaders. He also co-founded the LMU chapter of the Alliance for White Anti-Racists Everywhere (AWARE), served as the co-chair of the LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Network, and was president of LMU’s Staff Senate.
Other speakers at the rally included Culver City Mayor Dr. Daniel Lee, Former Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, City Council Member Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne. Culver City School Board Members Paula Amezola and Dr. Kelly Kent also spoke remotely at the event, which was hosted in the backyard of the Culver City home of Meghan Sahli-Wells and Karim Sahli.
“It is time for effective leadership and clear values that will move us forward, and I’m very proud to support Freddy,” said City Council Member Yasmine-Imani McMorrin. “Freddy shows up consistently – for Black folks, for brown folks, for LGBTQIA folks, for safe-mobility-for-all folks, and also for the wider Culver City community. I’m so excited and honored that it is our time to show up for him.”
Puza’s campaign has received prominent early endorsements from City of Los Angeles Council Member Mike Bonin, Culver City officials Mayor Dr. Daniel Lee, Council Members Yasmine-Imani McMorrin and Alex Fisch, CCUSD Board Trustees Dr. Kelly Kent and Paula Amezola de Herrera, Former Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, Planning Commissioner Nancy Barba, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Chair Michelle Weiner, Advisory Committee for Homelessness and Housing Vice Chair Bubba Fish, and former CCUSD Board Trustee Barbara Honig.
Freddy Puza fell just 28 votes short of winning a seat in the previous election in 2020, and hopes to leverage that experience, and his growing support in the Culver City community, to gain a seat in this year’s campaign. If elected, he would be the first openly LGBTQIA Culver City Council Member, a historic milestone that would further the city’s reputation for inclusive leadership.
The Culver City Council election will be held with the U.S. General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Culver City residents are encouraged to vote.
To learn more or support Freddy’s campaign, please visit FreddyPuza.com.