Voter Information Series Debuts October 8

To clarify the important issues that will appear on the November 5 ballot, Friends of the Platt Library is sponsoring three information and debate sessions in October.


Secession Issues Overview

Former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Joy Picus will begin the series on Tuesday evening, October 8 at 7:00 pm. Focusing on the actual secession proposition, Ms Picus will review each major point and its potential impact on Valley residents and businesses.

Few are better qualified to understand the ramifications of Valley secession. In the 18 years that Joy Picus represented West San Fernando Valley interests on the City Council (from 1977 to 1993), she earned a reputation as an effective elected official who truly knew her district and connected with her constituents—all 232,000 of them. Her tenure was marked, in the 3rd District, by reasoned development and ample city services. Since leaving office, she has remained actively involved in the community, serving on the boards of many civic, educational, and charitable organizations. And she's been an active participant in the League of Women Voters’ study of Secession over the past 5 years.

Whatever your views on civic reform, the insights of a public figure intimately familiar with both sides of every issue are certainly worth a hearing.

Clockwise from top left: William F. Powers, Jr., Michael Feuer, and moderator Dan Strauss.

Secession Debate Pro & Con

On Thursday, October 17 at 7:30 pm, Valley Attorney William F. Powers, Jr., and previous Los Angeles City Councilman Michael Feuer will face-off in a formal debate. This will be moderated by Dan Strauss.

Representing the views of those who favor secession, William Powers heads his own Chatsworth-based law firm and has been a licensed California real estate broker since 1978. He's Chairman of the United Chambers of Commerce of San Fernando Valley and sits on the Executive Board of the Valley's Economic Alliance. A 2001 finalist for the Fernando Award, Mr. Powers serves on the boards of (to name but a few) CSUN, the Child Development Institute, and Valley Cultural Center. He's also active in a number of L. A. City commissions and advisory committees, and besides his current involvement in VALLEY VOTE, his civic activism includes founding and directing organizations aimed at reforming the LAUSD.

Representing the views of those opposed to secession, Michael Feuer served the 5th Council District (which included portions of Sherman Oaks and Encino) from 1995 to 2001. Especially committed to governmental reform and citizens-at-risk issues, Mr. Feuer spearheaded the City Council's latest business tax reforms and played a major role in creating the Read LA literacy program (among many accomplishments). He is currently Of Counsel to the Los Angeles law firm of Morrison & Foerster. Before joining the City Council, he was Executive Director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a public interest law firm that provides free legal services to elderly, disabled, and other disadvantaged clients.

Better known as Houdani, Moderator Dan Strauss is a stubbornly non-partisan, longtime Woodland Hills resident and Friends member, an instructor at Pierce and Moorpark colleges, and a professional magician. With these two high-powered, brilliant, experienced legal-eagles defending diametrically opposed points of view, we figured a mature bit of magic might be needed to leaven the argument.


General Ballot Issues Review

On Wednesday, October 30 at 7:00 pm, League of Women Voters ballot analyst Carol Winston will balance the one-issue debate with a review of all the other propositions being presented to voters on November 5th.

Ms Winston's professional career spans teaching high school Social Studies through Labor Relations and Human Resources consulting. She's been active in the League of Women Voters since 1992. As in previous election years, her run-down will emphasize just what each measure contains, its intent, and how to pass or defeat it. Although not as exciting, this is possibly the most important session. There are several propositions that need careful consideration.

Don't let the November ballot catch you unprepared. Mark all three meetings on your calendars now! Also, the full secession proposal and checkout copies of the LWV's Report on Secession are available at the Reference Desk and online. Read up on the measure that may affect your future and that of your children.

The Friends of the Platt Library Newsletter is produced and maintained by Hearn/Perrell Art Associates. Editor: Therese Hearn
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