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What Does the Label Mean?

May 17, 1987

Your article, "Galanter Attempts a Liberal Balancing Act" (Times, May 3), described the Venice Town Council as "a small organization composed mostly of left-wing activists," and continued by saying that there are those "who would place the organization to the left of (Assemblyman Tom) Hayden when it comes to recent political activities." As president of the Venice Town Council, I am somewhat puzzled by this description. It is true that we are a small organization, but what does "left-wing activist" mean? Or, "to the left of Hayden?"

I have to admit that we have been involved in activities concerning city government. We sponsored, and the League of Women Voters moderated, a candidates forum for the 6th District City Council race. We worked with the city Planning Department to develop the Venice Community Plan and the North Beach Local Coastal Plan. On top of that, we have opposed small projects in our community that do not meet Coastal Commission guidelines for parking, and large projects in our District that will overburden our traffic and sewage infrastructures. Are such activities "left of Hayden?"

We've also participated with other Venice civic organizations, such as the Venice Chamber of Commerce and the Venice Action Committee, on Venice historic preservation, a parking workshop, Windward Circle development, the West Washington Boulevard Street Fair, North Venice's airport noise problem, Oakwood-area drug traffic and other projects and issues. Is that what "left-wing activists" means?

The Venice Town Council has not taken sides in the current City Council race; however, some of our members are actively involved in this campaign. Is that what "left-wing" means? I thought that was called the democratic process.

Please advise.

JOAN CORY

President, Venice Town Council

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