Opinion: A Call for Public Service: Mat Smith, US Army Veteran, Makes Long-Term Offer for LA City Council


Mat Smith has no illusions when it comes to toppling CD-11 holder Mike Bonin.

A combat veteran who has been deployed to Egypt and Somalia, Smith describes himself in the Westside of Los Angeles as “the best place on earth,” but the place he called home for decades has known hard times.

“I have considered moving to Texas because the area is falling apart.”

So fighting back was the only real option for Mr. Smith.

“I am a soldier. There are things we can do to improve our current situation, ”noted Smith who runs his own business delivering drugs to the critically ill as he prepared for a trip to San Diego after our interview. minutes.

“I have no political experience. I have no political ambition. I just want to make life better for people here in the district, ”noted Smith, who attended Loyola High School.

“I had no idea how much a board member actually earns. The size of the salary makes me more determined to give voters a choice. “

The fifteen-member LA City Council is the highest-paid city council in the United States, earning more than all serving U.S. Governors, Senators, and House of Representatives.

Supporter of Mike Bonin’s recall, Smith stressed the need to immediately build temporary housing to get people off the streets now with drug and alcohol rehabilitation amid the healing of the current epidemic of homelessness in the neighborhood. .

Smith was passionate about the plight of the homeless, especially the homeless veterans who he knows have fallen through the cracks of the current housing crisis.

Husband and father of a son, Smith has resided in the area since 1973 and believes his core values ​​of “hard work, common sense and practical solutions” are the motto required for civic success.

Characterizing his policies as “socially liberal, but fiscally conservative”, this local surfer and swimmer has a “deep love” for beaches like Venice and will strive to make our coastline “safe, clean and sustainable”.

During his time in the military, Smith delivered goods and supplies to soldiers and refugees under extremely difficult conditions such as Operation Bright Star. Smith has received several accolades, including the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Medal of Good Conduct, the Army Medal of Commendation, and the Army Achievement Medal.

Asked about the prospect of debating the other candidates in the race, he was delighted to compare and pit his ideas against the other challengers.

“I understand adversity. I was deployed to Somalia in the face of a humanitarian crisis amid famine, social collapse and civil war.

Smith agreed that homelessness has spiraled out of control and in many ways agrees that Venice has become something of a ‘lockdown zone’, which is counterproductive to meaningful solutions and real results.

“Public service means so much to me. I want to help others, especially the homeless who are suffering. We need a change in leadership.

Antonicello is an editorial page contributor for Yo! Venice and has served on numerous committees with the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org) and will provide insight into the council’s upcoming campaign in the 11th council district of Los Angeles. To reach Antonicello, call (310) 621-3775 or email nantoni@mindspring.com.


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