LFNC Election 2018: Nick Schultz, Candidate, District D

 1.  How long have you lived in District D?

My wife and I moved to Los Feliz in March 2016, and we’ve lived in District D the entire time. 

2.  How many hours a week can you devote to the work of the Neighborhood Council and its subcommittees?

I’m ready to commit at least 20 hours per week to the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council (LFNC) Governing Board and its various committees.  I understand that being elected the District D representative will entail a monthly Governing Board meeting, as well as several committee meetings throughout the neighborhood.  If elected, I also plan to make myself available to my constituents by hosting a coffee and conversation event at a Los Feliz coffee shop every month.

3.  How many Neighborhood Council meetings have you attended in the last six months?

I joined the LFNC Education Committee in March 2017 and I have been to several meetings.  Earlier this month, I also attended the most recent LFNC Governing Board Meeting, as well as the Executive Committee Meeting.

4.  The Neighborhood Council has a number of areas of interests and concerns.  What areas of interest do you plan to become involved in?

There are many issues that I’m passionate about and that I plan to work on if elected as the District D representative.  For example, I will work with city officials to find long-term solutions to our affordable housing and homelessness problems, protect our environment and public spaces, and fight for additional funding for public schools.  In fact, my entire platform is available online at: https://nickforlosfeliz.wordpress.com/

With that said, the neighborhood issue that I would tackle first as a member of the LFNC Governing Board is public safety.  The last few years have shown us that our region is not immune from natural disasters.  For example, the rampant wildfires last year left many of our neighbors in the greater Los Angeles area financially devastated and displaced.  Additionally, we, as residents of Southern California, are certainly aware of the constant risk of earthquakes in our region.  Lastly, our community has been significantly impacted by gun violence and criminal activity resulting in tragic losses of life, such as last year’s shooting at the Chevron gas station on the corner of Los Feliz and Vermont. 

If elected, I will work with the LFNC Public Safety Committee to ensure our emergency preparedness.  This includes supporting the committee’s ongoing projects such as offering free CPR and First Aid classes, and the Los Feliz Emergency Radio Network, which is a family radio service network designed for emergency use in the event that cellular capabilities are overwhelmed or out of service.  Moving forward, I’d like to see the LFNC Governing Board set up community banks of emergency food and supplies to adequately prepare for natural disasters.  Finally, I will work with the LAPD Northeast Community Police Station to ensure that Los Feliz gets adequate law enforcement resources to protect our stakeholders.

5.  How familiar are you with the particular issues, projects, and nuances of your particular District?

I feel very connected with the neighborhood, in particular District D.  My wife and I shop at local businesses such as Gelson’s Market, Mixto, and Standing Egg Coffee.  Every day I see how many families are utilizing the soccer fields and tennis courts along Riverside drive.  I also experience the substantial traffic on Los Feliz Boulevard every week.  I understand the many issues facing District D because I spend most of my time living, shopping, and relaxing in the district.  More importantly, not only have I personally experienced our problems of traffic, homelessness, affordable housing, and public safety as a resident of District D, but I've spoken with fellow residents of District D and have heard their similar concerns.

6.  What issues in your District make you interested in representing it? Why do you think you are qualified to work on these issues?

I am running to represent District D on the LFNC Governing Board because I cherish the beauty and diversity of the neighborhood.  I want to serve as the District D representative on the LFNC Governing Board to represent your voice and to share your concerns about our community.  I want to ensure that Los Feliz, in particular District D, remains the best place to live in the City of Los Angeles by finding long term solutions to our problems of affordable housing, traffic, homelessness, and public safety.

District D is uniquely diverse in that it is comprised of both private homes and multi-unit dwellings. It has a vibrant commercial corridor, natural splendors, and excellent public schools. However, our district is facing a shortage of affordable, long-term housing which has further negatively impacted long-term housing stability and bargaining power for renters.  Furthermore, rising home prices leave many residents and prospective residents priced out of the Los Feliz market.  As a renter living in District D, I will work with potential developers and the City of Los Angeles to promote the construction of additional safe and affordable housing developments, establish more protections for current tenants, and pursue new forms of public-private partnerships to assist working-class and middle-class tenants, as well as homeowners.

Much like many other parts of Los Angeles, District D is also dealing with problems of homelessness, traffic, and public safety. With regards to homelessness, I will work with community-based organizations, such as People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), which prioritizes safe and affordable housing for the homeless while also providing customized supportive services for people in need and their families. With regards to traffic, I will listen to residents and business owners to make sure that any new traffic development plans promulgated by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) take into account the interests of our neighborhood.  And with regards to public safety, I will work with my fellow LFNC members to set up community banks of emergency food and supplies to adequately prepare for natural disasters.

I’m running to be the District D representative because I believe that I have the right combination of experience, legal knowledge, critical thinking, problem-solving skill set, and a fresh perspective to be an effective advocate for the neighborhood if I’m elected to the LFNC Governing Board.  I’ve also developed lasting relationships with city and state officials through my involvement in the Democratic Party, which will enable me to find solutions to the many issues facing our district.

7.  Once elected, you will be representing a specific District.  How do you plan to stay in touch with the residents of your District?

As I previously mentioned, I plan to make myself available to my constituents by hosting a coffee and conversation event at a Los Feliz coffee shop every month.  This will be an important way for me to stay connected with the stakeholders that I represent while also supporting local businesses.  In addition, I plan to maintain my current website to provide information about the projects that I and my fellow LFNC Governing Board members are working on.  The website is equipped with a feature that allows stakeholders to contact me directly with their concerns.  My website is currently available at:  https://nickforlosfeliz.wordpress.com/

8.  What activities have you been involved in with the community? (Give examples)

After the results of the 2016 presidential election I was motivated to become much more active and engaged in the community.  As such, I joined several neighborhood organizations and made lasting connections with members of local and state governments.  I currently serve as President of Democrats for Neighborhood Action (DNA), which is a chartered Democratic club representing residents of the Los Feliz, Silverlake, and Echo Park neighborhoods.  Additionally, I serve as Co-Chair of the Political Action Committee for the Executive Board of the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley (DPSFV).  I’ve also been a member of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council (LFNC) Education Committee for the last year.

9.  Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I plan to be still working for the California Department of Justice and hopefully owning a home in the area.