It was a sunny Sunday filled with support for both council candidates Dan O’Brien and incumbent council member Alex Fisch, as both had events on August 14, 2022. For the O’Brien campaign, a ‘meet & greet’ in the backyard of supporters drew just over twenty neighbors with questions about council issues. For Fisch, it was a formal launch with many other elected officials in attendance with local voters and organizers.
At just about 11 am, O’Brien introduced himself with a brief and modest overview of his involvement in municipal policy, from the creation of the Committee on Homelessness to the work of Feed Culver during the pandemic. Thanking the organizers of the event, Leslie Gardner, Heather Moses and Marti Paez, he took questions from the crowd.
“One of the things that got me involved really early on, my kids were toddlers and the playground at the park – which is about 200 feet away – was just over-run with mentally ill homeless folks. So we couldn’t use our park, and these people had issues. Myself and other neighbors spoke to the city council meetings, and that was beginning of the Committee on Homelessness.” O’Brien emphasized that his interaction with agencies like PATH and the St. Joseph’s Center, gave him an education of the issues behind homelessness, and that it was one of the things that the city was continuing to work on.
O’Brien, who is known for his research, listened to questions and gave detailed answers. People were looking for information on current local projects, how council might affect policy, and what Dan’s views were on some controversial issues. The brief backyard session ended with the candidate asking for volunteers, for contributions, and the time-honored offer of lawn signs to take home.
At 3 pm, on the other side of Culver City, another crowd of politically minded people gathered to cheer Fisch in his bid for re-election. Introduced by former Mayor Thomas Small, the gathering heard from Assembly member Isaac Bryan, and Los Angeles council candidate Erin Darling, emphasizing that problems did not stop at municipal borders; interconnection and outreach were key to good governance.
Local school board member Paula Amazola spoke about her own perspective on Culver City’s history and future, and introduced Fisch to speak to the gathering.
Launching a re-election campaign, Fisch noted, “It’s been a wild four years … the pandemic, the most significant civil rights movement in my lifetime…and this work is not done. You can’t just apply an ideological framework, you have to get into the hard work and do it.”
His time on the council has allowed Fisch to gather substantial local support, and the more than fifty people who attended at the invitation of Lisa Marie Parker Desai listened intently to the council member speak.
“California has had a housing problem for 50 years …Change is going to happen. Accept it or don’t, but it’s not avoidable. Change is here.”
While the summer settles toward fall, it’s already election season, and there will be many more events on the municipal calendar t0 speak with candidates and make choices.
Full Disclosure – Dan O’Brien has contributed as a writer to this website in previous years.