Democratic Club Overwhelmingly Endorses Meghan Sahli-Wells, Thomas Small, Daniel Lee for Council
Los Angeles Democratic Party Endorses Sahli-Wells, Small, Lee the Previous Night
The Culver City Democratic Club overwhelmingly endorsed candidates
Meghan Sahli-Wells, Thomas Small and Daniel Lee for the three open seats on the
Culver City Council. The endorsement, voted by Club members, immediately
followed a forum during which all Democratic candidates responded to questions
about their experience and perspectives.
The previous evening, the Los Angeles Democratic Party endorsed the same
candidates, Meghan Sahli-Wells, Thomas Small and Daniel Lee, for the Council
“These Democratic candidates are a unifying force for our city. This
is the reason we should find them so compelling to vote for April 12th, “
Khin Khin Gyi, president of the Culver City Democratic Club, said.
"Culver City Democrats look to us to provide the information they need to
vote for the best candidates,” Darryl Cherness, a past president of the
Club, said. “We take this responsibility very seriously. We are very
pleased to endorse Meghan Sahli-Wells, Thomas Small and Daniel Lee for City
Council this April.”
Council member Meghan Sahli-Wells , who was raised in Culver City and
graduated from UCLA, is the only incumbent in the race. She was elected in 2012
and has been endorsed by all four of her fellow councilpersons.
Meghan Sahli-Wells and her husband, Karim Sahli, a small business owner, are
the parents of two sons who attend Culver City Middle School.
During her first term, Sahli-Wells’s strong voice, collaboration and
key votes contributed to saving the homeless and rental assistance programs,
creating the Finance Advisory Committee, banning plastic bags, restoring arts
funding, creating affordable housing, expanding bicycle infrastructure, and
protecting the City’s billboard ban.
The list of her priorities is long. Among them are collaborating with the
school district (CCUSD), addressing mansionization and airplane noise,
investing in critical new infrastructure, attracting new businesses,
maintaining high quality City services, and protecting health and safety with
stringent oil drilling regulations. She advocates creating a comprehensive
community plan for the City, further streamlining city services, supporting
Fire Department and Police Department efforts to prepare for natural and
man-made disasters, designing streets safe for all users, and providing
high-speed Internet connectivity to Culver City businesses, schools and
residents by installing a municipal fiber network.
Councilperson Sahli-Wells serves on a number of city committees and
coalitions: as chair of the School Board and City Council Liaison Committee,
chair of the Sustainability Committee, member of the Oil Drilling Subcommittee,
member of the LAX Overflight Working Group, and member of the Culver City Ready
Coalition, a county disaster resilience project.
Thomas Small, a graduate of Yale University, is a commissioner on the Culver
City Cultural Affairs Commission. He and his wife, Joanna Brody, are the
parents of twins who attend Linwood E. Howe Elementary School. She is PTA
president. Mr. Small, who is fluent in Spanish, volunteers in the
school’s Spanish enrichment program, which his wife co-founded. He also
coaches AYSO soccer.
As a commissioner, Thomas Small initiated and moderated “Architecture
Talks,” a series of public conversations among the City’s
residents, business persons, and world-renowned Culver City architects. He
initiated the artist and poet laureate program in advance of the City’s
centennial. He brought the City’s first international film festival to
Culver City and awarded $48,000 in grants to Culver City performing arts
Thomas Small is an expert in the fields of architecture and urban planning.
He points to the nine new developments already underway locally and emphasizes
the importance of the City requiring green open space, innovative
transportation alternatives, sustainable design and environmental building
practices, walkability and bikeability. The transportation alternatives will
mitigate traffic congestion, and the sustainable design will result improved
parking. All these features will make these developments work for Culver City
residents, Mr. Small says.
Thomas Small is committed to nurturing and encouraging creative businesses
and the innovation, media, design, digital and internet economies that have
much potential to bring additional revenue to Culver City.
Thomas Small is an environmentalist. At UCLA he taught Sustainability for
Organizational change, and he advocates an environmental sustainability master
plan to be developed jointly by Culver City and the school district.
Daniel Lee is a 13-year resident with a master’s degree in social
welfare from UCLA. He credits his grandmother, who participated with Dr. Martin
Luther King in the Montgomery bus boycott, for his desire to be of service and
his own social justice perspective. He has served on the Culver City Martin
Luther King Celebration Committee for the past five years, planning its
citywide celebration of the iconic Civil Rights leader.
Much of Mr. Lee’s local effort has been with youth. A filmmaker and
actor, he has volunteered with El Rincon Elementary School students in an
artists and communication program for several years. He also developed a Civil
Rights curriculum that he implemented at the Teen Center to increase young
people’s understanding of their country’s history.
Daniel Lee has placed the environment and the health of residents at the
center of his agenda. Chief among his concerns is the Inglewood Oil Field. As
an environmental fellow with Liberty Hill Foundation, he worked with area
organizations toward a Los Angeles City fracking ban. He and other Culver City
residents also met with State Assemblyperson Sebastian Ridley-Thomas to
advocate for a state environmental bill, SB 350.
As the only renter among the candidates, Mr. Lee intends to focus on
affordability, homelessness, enacting a city minimum wage and making the City
work for all residents.
Daniel Lee has been a key grassroots organizer in Los Angeles' "Money out,
Voters In" initiative, and Move to Amend Los Angeles. He was asked to join Move
to Amend’s national board and since then has travelled across the
country, educating audiences about their Constitutional rights.
"We need people on the council who can support Meghan Sahli-Wells and her
important work in sustainability, transportation and social justice,”
Democratic Club member Rick Tuttle said. “We believe that Thomas Small
and Daniel Lee can help increase the quality of life for all of us in Culver
For more information about the candidates, access their websites:
Vote4Meghan.com, Thomas4CulverCity.org, and DanielWayneLee.com.
The Culver City Democratic Club has been active in local, state and national
politics since 1953.
The Culver City Democratic Club has been a vital force in electing
candidates to local office, as well as to state and national positions. Many
members of Culver City’s City Council have been members of the Club,
including four of the five current Councilmembers.
The Culver City Democratic Club and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party
are chartered under the California State Democratic party to represent the
voices of Democrats in Culver City and the Los Angeles area.
The Culver City Democratic Club meets every second Wednesday night at the
Veterans Memorial Complex Rotunda Room. For more information, go to
www.culvercitydemocraticclub.org, phone 310 398 5328, email email@example.com, or mail the CCDC at PO Box 4254, Culver
City CA 90231.