Vera kicks off council campaign
with ‘packed house’ of supporters
By Geoff Maleman
Business owner, commissioner and lifelong Culver City resident Albert Vera kicked off his campaign for a seat on the Culver City Council in the April 2018 election in front of a packed house on Sunday.
More than 150 people attended the event at the home of Camille and Robert Greenspan, representing all corners of the Culver City community. Numerous former and current City Council members and CCUSD Board of Education members attended the function in support of Vera, who told the standing-room only crowd, “I am humbled by the number of people who turned out today to support me.”
Vera outlined his vision for Culver City’s future, focusing on the need for attainable housing for seniors and young professionals, support for the city’s protective services, and the need to be smart about traffic and development.
“We have attracted some great high-tech companies, brought our city a new public transportation hub and seen lots of positive development, but all that success comes with a price,” he said. “We need to make sure that development is done correctly. We need to take care of the less fortunate. And we need to do that without constantly coming to our residents to increase taxes.”
Former Culver City Mayor Andrew Weissman introduced Vera, telling the crowd that, “If you like the way things are going in Culver City, there is only one choice for City Council, and that’s Albert.”
Mayor Jeff Cooper was out of town, but sent comments that were read aloud to supporters.
“I am supporting Albert for some very simple and basic reasons. He understands our city and has been committed to it for many years: not only by carrying on the great family tradition of being a giving person, but by rolling up his sleeves and getting involved as a volunteer on many committees, with many non-profit organizations, and is even serving our city currently as a Civil Service Commissioner,” read Cooper’s statement. “I ask you to join me in spreading the word that we need to support him and vote for him in April. Talk to your friends and colleagues who reside in our city and tell them to vote for Albert, because he cares about Culver City and he has great ideas to make it an even better place to live.
Speaking in the same backyard where his father launched his run for City Council, Vera struck an emotional chord, choking up when talking about how supportive the community has been to him and his family over the years. He brought his daughter, Alexandria, up to the stage and the two embraced as he said, “This is why I do everything I do.”
Vera, whose father served 12 years on the City Council from 1992-2000 and from 2002-2006, said he hopes to give back to the community that supported him and his family through good times and bad.
Born in Culver City, Vera attended St. Augustine Elementary School and St. Bernard High School, while helping his parents, Albert and Ursula, in their landmark Sorrento Italian Market on Sepulveda Boulevard. He served for 15 years as a Culver City Police Department reserve officer, while continuing to help run Sorrento, during which time he got married and had a daughter, Alexandria.
“I am anxious to bring my business experiences to City Hall,” Vera said. “We need to be smart about our city’s finances, but we also have to focus on important issues like attainable housing for working professionals, public safety for all of our residents and intelligent ways of dealing with traffic, transportation and mobility.”
The Sorrento market retains its old-world charm, but Vera has made numerous upgrades and improvements, including the introduction of new imports from all over Italy and the creation of what has become one of Southern California’s finest Italian wine departments.
Vera has maintained the broad philanthropic efforts undertaken by his father, something he said has shaped his attitude toward how the city should be run.
“We need to look out for everyone who calls this city ‘home,’” Vera said. “Culver City should be a safe and welcoming environment for families at all levels of the economic spectrum, and I am committed to making sure our schools, our police department, our fire department and our parks system have the tools and resources they need to create that environment.”
Vera is a member of the Culver City Exchange Club and has served on both the Culver City Landlord/Tenant Board and the Culver City Civil Service Commission, where he currently serves as part of the five-member commission charged with advising the City Council on all matters concerning Human Resources administration.
Vera also serves on the Culver City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Culver City Palms YMCA Board of Managers and the board of Upward Bound House, a non-profit agency that works to find permanent, supportive housing for homeless children and their families.
For more information about Vera and his campaign, visit www.veraforcouncil.com.