Culver City Community Coalition has endorsed candidates Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch in their bid for election to the Culver City City Council. Both candidates provided extensive written answers to Community Coalition’s questions. Their responses can be found in the following links: Daniel Lee Responses, Alex Fisch Responses.
Lee and Fisch are among four candidates vying for two City Council seats in a race that will culminate Tuesday, April 10, election day.
All candidates were invited to take part in Community Coalition’s endorsement process. Daniel Lee, Alex Fisch and Marcus Tiggs participated; Albert Vera did not.
“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of the Culver City Community Coalition, whose vision and goals I wholeheartedly support,” Daniel Lee said. “In particular, I am committed to making the health and safety of residents regarding the operation of the Inglewood Oil Field a priority. Equity and representation of all Culver City residents in our local governance is another value I know we share. We can make real inroads in addressing the need for affordable housing in Culver City, with appropriate leadership on the City Council. And, we must also explore the development of a ‘renters bill of rights’ to realize a Culver City that prizes economic and racial diversity.”
In learning of his endorsement, Alex Fisch said: “Culver City Community Coalition embodies my belief that our city’s greatest assets are our diverse and talented residents. “Community Coalition’s passionate members strengthen our community by supporting improved access to affordable housing, sustainable environmental policies and increased participatory democracy. I’m honored and grateful for the Coalition’s support in the upcoming election. As a council member, I look forward to working with the Coalition to pursue better housing and transportation options, protect our community from the health and safety threats posed by the Inglewood Oil Field, and eradicate homelessness from Culver City.”
School Board member Dr. Kelly Kent expressed her pleasure at the endorsement. “What an honor it is to be able to endorse both Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch personally as well as in partnership with this intelligent and strong team of Culver City activists, the Culver City Community Coalition.
“These two candidates are my picks for our council because I know they care as much as I do about two very pressing issues: the effects that our very own urban oil field has on the health and well-being of our children, and the effects that our home affordability crisis has on our students and their families.
“Since January of this academic year, no less than 65 Culver City Unified School District families have been forced to move outside our city in order to be able to afford rent. This has caused educational instability for the children and trauma for the families.”
“I look forward to working with both Alex and Daniel on a future that does not pose health risks to our students’ vulnerable bodies, due to fossil fuel extraction. And a future when families can plan for their children’s entire K-12 experience to be spent right here in our excellent school district.
Former Culver City Mayor Gary Silbiger, a Community Coalition member, recently described what makes an outstanding elected official:
“Since setting policy is a major part of a Council member’s responsibility, a candidate should have taken the time prior to the election to publicly provide meaningful suggestions to Culver City’s burning issues, such as the Culver City Oil Fields, the City’s General Plan update, development, and affordable housing, just to name a few. Likewise, a valuable City Council member will be compassionate towards all residents.
“Alex Fisch and Daniel Lee,” Silbiger said, “stand out as leaders in Culver City who have already been positively tested by our community through their valuable contributions, and their brilliant ideas for improving life in Culver City for all who live, work, attend school and visit here.”
Among the members of the Community Coalition endorsement committee were Deborah Weinrauch, Prisca Gloor, James Province, Carlene Brown, and Patricia Bijvoet. They were interviewed shortly after the endorsements were made.
The dangers posed by the Inglewood Oil Field are of particular concern to Attorney Deborah Weinrauch, a Raintree resident and parent. “The problems surrounding the Inglewood Oil Field are serious and involve potentially deadly issues of public health and safety,” Weinrauch said. “Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch understand the dangers of the Inglewood Oil Field and will work tirelessly to protect and ensure the welfare of every Culver City resident.”
Urban planner Patricia Bijvoet, formerly chief designer with the Physical Planning Department in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has been participating in community conversations and Community Coalition’s efforts around affordable housing. “I’m greatly encouraged by Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch,” she said. “They are dedicated to achieving a Culver City that works for everyone. They have thoughtful proposals for solutions to some of our greatest needs. For example, both are highly knowledgeable about land-use, housing and traffic and stress their interconnectedness. They realize the need to change transportation, not only because of traffic congestion, but also because of its effect on global warming.”
The effects of the increasing cost of homes are a focus of Prisca Gloor, a psychologist. “The housing crisis in Culver City is real; people experience it, “Gloor said. “Homelessness increased by 85% in our city in 2017! Both Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch have valuable ideas to tackle this situation. Both want to expand housing units for low-income residents, increase the number of accessory dwelling units, and see the Rental Assistance Program expand. And more! Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch have the experience, the intellect and the heart to lead our city through this pivotal stage.”
James Province, a social worker and father, has spoken out publicly against police drones and surveillance cameras. “I support Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch for Culver City Council because they have demonstrated a commitment to civil liberties and privacy in both Culver City and the region,” Province said. “They understand that police drones and license plate cameras pose a potential threat to those liberties, and they are committed to safeguards and thorough accountability for their use and for the information and data that are collected.”
Gun violence, both nationally and in Culver City, have been a focus of educator Carlene Brown. “As a teacher concerned about the proliferation of shootings across the country, I was pleased to learn that both Alex Fisch and Daniel Lee had researched this issue and are proposing specific actions our City Council could take to maximize safety from gun violence in Culver City,” Brown said. “That is the kind of council member I want to see governing our city, not one who says this is someone else’s problem. Both Alex Fisch and Daniel Lee see it as their responsibility to propose and enact public policy for the common good.”
Daniel Lee is a social worker who received his graduate degree from UCLA. He is also an alumnus of USC and a veteran of the US Air Force and Air National Guard. He has volunteered for 14 years with Culver City students, and continues to serve on the Culver City Martin Luther King Celebration Committee. The only renter among the four candidates, he has resided in Culver City for 15 years.
Alex Fisch is a California Deputy Attorney General specializing in environmental law. A graduate of UC Berkeley and UCLA Law School, he is chair of the Culver City Committee on Homelessness. He sits on the board of the Rancho-Higuera Neighborhood Association, and is a member of BikeCulverCity. He is the father of two children who attend CCUSD schools.