With the election less than a week away, and campaign activities more intense than ever, we were interested in what the younger generation is doing this election season…so we checked in with four young adult residents of our area who have been motivated to get involved in the CD4 City Council race.
Windsor Square resident Tommy Atlee has been making calls for the Nithya Raman campaign when he’s not working from home as an analyst for Freddie Mac. The recent college grad, who studied economics, told the Buzz that housing is the most pressing problem facing that city and he’s inspired by Raman’s message of pushing the city council to find more creative solutions. Atlee, who grew up in neighborhood, told us that he has learned from the campaign how important the city and county officials are to our daily lives. Atlee is considering graduate school in public policy or real estate.
Morgan Keane agrees housing is a huge issue facing the city, and says that’s why he got involved in helping David Ryu’s campaign make short video testimonials for social media. Keane, who grew up in Hancock Park, was asked to help out by his mom, Cindy Chvatal-Keane, who is active in Ryu’s re-election effort. Keane told us he trusts his mom’s instincts about worthwhile efforts, and said that while feels Raman is riding a national progressive political wave, like “Bernie or Bust,” he doesn’t think that’s the best approach at the local level.
“Here, what gets done, really matters. You can’t just strong man change on the city council,” said Keane, who also said he believes Ryu knows how to get things done at City Hall.
Though he studied mechanical engineering in college, Keane said he has really enjoyed his recent foray into film and television production, and working with a longtime television director to produce the social media videos. (We’ve heard he’s an excellent editor!)
Next, we caught up with Zoe Zoldan during a break from her part-time job with a local interior design firm, setting up a house for a photo shoot the other day. When she’s not in school at UCLA studying design, or working, Zoldan has been “tabling” for the Nithya Raman campaign on Larchmont Blvd., where she told us she literally grew up spending many hours going up and down the street.
Recently, Zoldan also stepped in to help Village Pizzeria by setting up a Change.org petition. And last spring, she also volunteered for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, for which she went to Nevada to help with the caucuses. But she told us she is very inspired by the down ballot races and propositions this fall, which she feels are ushering in a more progressive era to Los Angeles politics. And she said her recent activism will go past this campaign.
“This feels really different,” Zoldan said. “There’s no better time to ramp up and change political atmosphere. We really need drastic change, so my generation is not plagued by climate, continuing police brutality and worsening housing crisis. This feels like the time.”
Finally, Benjamin Rubin is still in high school, but he already knows he loves politics. A resident of Hancock Park, Rubin has been working as an intern for the Ryu campaign for the last three weeks, making phone calls while doing school online in addition to his extra curricular activities like Model UN and debate at Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles (YULA). As a debater used to researching issues, Rubin said he’s personally looked into Ryu’s record and he’s been impressed with Ryu’s efforts to help our unhoused neighbors during the pandemic by moving people into housing, providing masks and hand washing stations. He said he also supports Ryu’s anti corruption efforts at City Hall, and feels Ryu has been very good to the Jewish Community by stepping up and quickly condemning anti-Semitic actions.
“I like what he has done and don’t want a change,” Rubin told the Buzz.
About Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.
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