I am proud to be serving my first term as the Zone 3 Representative on the Mid City West Community Council. I‘m the Head of Programming of a prominent news/politics network, and as a 20-year resident of Mid City West I am motivated to be an agent of positive change on a local level and work to support my community of neighbors and small businesses. I look forward to working with my fellow board members to support Los Angeles residents and businesses thriving in one of the largest cultural hubs in the country. I am an ardent advocate of RSO protections, maintaining affordable housing in our neighborhood, oversight on affordable housing allocations for all new developments, outreach and assistance for our homeless community, and supporting measures for intermediary resources for individuals and families that don’t yet have stable housing. Please feel free to email me with any concerns you have about future agenda items or issues in the community.
Mehmet Berker has been on the MCWCC Board of Directors since October of 2015. He is a freelance cartographer, GIS specialist, and graphic designer. He also sits on the Advisory Board for Los Angeles Walks, an advocacy group dedicated to making L.A. a safer and more enjoyable place to walk.
Playwright and screenwriter Shem Bitterman is a 30 year resident of Mid City West. He also runs PLAY LA, a playwriting organization sponsored by HUMANITAS that develops plays from the ground up and pairs local playwrights with local theatres. He has taught playwriting and screenwriting in the California Prison system and has lectured abroad on acting, playwriting and directing for the screen and stage, as well as hosting numerous panels on a variety of arts related subjects.
Lauren Borchard serves on the Planning & Land Use Committee as well as Streetscapes & Commercial. Her professional background includes community organization and activism on behalf of the 2008 Obama Campaign, the Affordable Care Act, and housing advocacy. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in environmental planning and design. She is currently serving her second term as the Membership Director for the Miracle Mile Democratic Club. Lauren is honored to have to the opportunity to work to tackle issues in our community related to transportation and housing with the interests of social equity, environmentalism, and economic development in mind.
As an advocate, community organizer, volunteer, and MPA I am SO excited to be a part of the Mid City West Community Council. Being a Renters Representative allows me to utilize my extensive background in housing policy and make informed and thoughtful decisions for the community at large. I am so thankful to be a liaison for homelessness, and happy to join committees for topics I am passionate about such as housing, homelessness, and public transportation. In my "free time" you can find me in various dance studios throughout the city, practicing yoga, doing my own community clean up projects, and volunteering at various nonprofits throughout the city that deal specifically with individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.
Michelle Einstein joined the MCWCC in 2019. For her day job, Michelle works on urban planning policy at the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. She is passionate about advancing social equity through neighborhood design, and she is excited to participate on the board and make Mid City West a more walkable and inclusive place.
Scott Epstein has served as a board member on Mid City West since 2012 and as Chair of the board since 2014. Scott is trained as a public policy analyst and works as a researcher at UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST). He is excited to work with community members to make Mid City West and Los Angeles an even better place to live, work, and play.
I am a fourth generation Mid City West resident and father of two fifth generation resident daughters. My great grandparents moved to 6th Street in 1952 and my grandfather Ben Lesser started a real estate agency on 3rd Street and La Jolla in 1974. I frequently meet people in the neighborhood who bought their first homes from him 30+ years ago. I graduated from UC Davis, earned an MBA from the George Washington University in DC and I am now a group director at Horizon Media running performance campaigns for brands like CBS and Petco. My wife Abby recently completed her PhD in public policy from the University of Texas in Austin where she works (remotely) on policy issues related to access to childcare and early childhood education at the Child and Family Research Partnership at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. I believe that our neighborhood, with it’s beautiful buildings and amazing economic and cultural diversity, can claim to be the true residential heart of Los Angeles. As a board member I will care, first and foremost, about preserving that heart by ensuring that our commercial districts remain vibrant and residential streets remain friendly.
Marisa Glucoft is an At-Large Board Member and former Board Secretary of the Mid City West Community Council. She has lived in Zone 6 of Mid City West for four years. For her day job, Marisa serves as the Director of Accreditation & Licensing, Infection Prevention, and Emergency Management at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is passionate about public and community health and joined the board to help make this neighborhood more walkable, accessible, and safe for all community members.
Amy Goldenberg, a native Angeleno, is a 30+ year resident of Mid City West. She became involved in the council as a stakeholder in 2017, looking for ways to help bring healthy, inclusive, positive change in the community. She continues her involvement as a board member serving on the Sustainability Committee as the Urban Forestry liaison working to get more parkway trees planted and bringing much needed shade to our neighborhoods. She also serves on the Homelessness, Refugees, and Renters’ Rights Committee and is the 2nd Vice-Chair of the Executive Council. Amy is an artist, a published author, a librarian and educator, as well as an urban explorer who has walked thousands of miles on our City streets seeing every kind of neighborhood. She cares deeply for her community, and will continue to work collaboratively, helping tocreate a more healthy and vibrant community, with safe modes of travel for everyone, clean sidewalks and streets, more green space, and a place to call home.
Lynda La Rose
Lynda La Rose is a poet/performance artist who has been writing since 1993 and a longtime resident of Mid City West. She has been published in several poetry anthologies. In 2007, Lynda wrote her poetry / spoken word show, “Summerfruit” - she performed her show at Beyond Baroque, the Hollywood Fringe Festival and the Bootleg Theater with great success. Lynda acted in several theatrical productions with the Walking Theatre Group in Venice, CA. Her writing is based on her own personal experiences and is a continuation of her self-expression and passion for language.
Lynda works for the City of Beverly Hills and is an MCW Business Representative board member - she serves on both the Homelessness, Refugees and Renters’ Rights and the Social and Racial Equity Committees. She brings her creative spirit and desire to be of service to both committees and is thrilled to be a part of Mid City West Neighborhood Council!
Mr. Lindenblatt is currently in his fourth period of service on the MCWCC Board of Directors, as Renters Representative, appointed in Sept. 2019, after having previously served as Business Representative (09/2018-06/2019); At Large Representative (12/2004-05/2016); and Renters Representative (01/2003-06/2004). Leadership roles he has held on the board include First Vice Chair (10/2013-04/2014); Secretary (08/2009-09/2012); Bylaws Committee Chair (07/2011-08/2012); Bylaws/Grievance Committee Chair (07/2008-06/2011); Election Committee Chair (07/2007-06/2011); and Chair of the Hollywood Community Plan-Draft Environmental Impact Report Working Group (04/2011-05/2011).
Professionally, Mr. Lindenblatt holds a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Northwestern University; he is a policy analyst by training. Mr. Lindenblatt has held a variety of positions including Statistician in the marketing department of a tax resolution services firm (08/2019-01/2020); Economist at the UCLA Anderson Forecast (11/2016-12/2016), and 3.5 years in research positions at both the Milken Institute and the RAND Corporation.
At the Milken Institute, Mr. Lindenblatt prepared reviews of the literature of Asian economies; assisted in the preparation of various indices, such as the Capital Access Index; and graphically analyzed and presented global macroeconomic and stock market data for the Institute’s annual Global Conference. At RAND, he analyzed defense-related contracts and education data for projects in subject areas including purchasing and supply management (PSM), strategic sourcing, reserve recruiting, and core equities analysis.
Born in Santa Monica, Mr. Lindenblatt grew up largely within the Mid City West boundaries, having attended Hancock Park Elementary School and Fairfax High School. Active in his community for many years, Mr. Lindenblatt has in the past been a member of the Los Angeles County Young Democrats, and his Assembly District’s Democratic Committee.
In these challenging economic times in which we live, Mr. Lindenblatt looks forward to continuing to apply his background and experience in economic and policy analysis for the benefit of the stakeholders in the Mid City West community -- a neighborhood that has given him so much over the years.
Jenny Morataya joined the Mid City West Community Council in 2020 and serves on the Transportation Committee. For her day job, Jenny is a project coordinator at an LA-based engineering and program management firm that works on public infrastructure projects throughout California. She is interested in the people who make up our communities and how they move around the city. She thinks it’s important to understand the nexus between transportation, sustainability, and equity so we can make our streets safer for anyone who walks, bikes, scoots, takes the bus, and drives. She is excited to work with the community to make our neighborhood a wonderful place to live.
Lauren Nichols is the Program Officer at the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation where she supports the management of the organization’s grant-making program and related philanthropic activities in the community. She also supports the administration of Foster Care Counts, a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving outcomes for foster youth and families in LA County.
Before joining the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, Lauren worked primarily in arts and culture organizations in Development. In recognition for her community work, the Empowerment Congress nominated her in 2017, as one of the ’40 under 40’ in LA County for civic engagement. She is also a founding member of the Foster Nation Young Leaders Collective, which connects millennials in the community with their peers who grew up in foster care. Lauren has also been an active member of the Advisory Board for Emerging Arts Leaders Los Angeles. She holds a BA in History/French from Tulane University and a MA in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University where she was the recipient of the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Fellowship in Arts Management.
Taylor is serving his third term on the MCWCC board where he has focused on making our streets safer for everyone age eight to eighty. Having raised two daughters within MCW he envisions a neighborhood where we are “Back to the Future” and children can walk and bike to school and one not need spend a gallon of gas to buy a gallon of milk. When not learning about best practices and fighting for safer cities Taylor is an actor and filmmaker.
Abe represents Zone 1 on the Mid City West Community Council board. He co-founded Let America Vote, a national voting rights organization, worked on Capitol Hill and in state government, and has managed local, statewide and national political campaigns. He is a member of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the LGBTQ Victory Fund Campaign Board.
Arnali Ray was born in Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in the suburbs of Boston. She attended University of Massachusetts in Amherst and received her B.S. in Holistic Health. Post undergrad, a college roommate posed moving to head to the sunny skies of California and she took her up on that offer. Her intention was to live in California for a year but as soon as she got here, she knew that it would be much longer than a year. Arnali began working for a real estate company managing residential property in
Hollywood and in Miracle Mile. In addition to work, she volunteered in the ICU department of Cedars-Sinai which is where she discovered she wanted to pursue a career in mental health. Arnali attended and graduated from Phillips Graduate Institute in CA with her Master’s in Counseling. She was placed at the Saban Community Clinic to accrue hours towards licensure and soon realized how much she would love
working in community health care.
For the past decade, Arnali has worked at the Saban Community Clinic, a community health center that that provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services to the underserved community in Los Angeles. As the Chief of Strategy and Programs Officer, she has advocated for community members and collaborated with local organizations to create innovative programs. Arnali has been an advocate for individuals experiencing homelessness. She is an active member of the Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition, a non-profit that is working to connect our neighbors
experiencing homelessness with housing and resources. She is also involved in the Hollywood 4wrd Coalition, a “self-selected” coalition of the willing who come together approximately five times a year to share information, problem solve, establish advocacy priorities and build relationships. With this experience, she hopes to help the community as the Chair of the Homelessness, Renters’ Rights and
Refugees Committee and excited to work with the community on these important issues.
In her free time, Arnali loves to travel, hike, workout, try new restaurants, and spend time with friends and family. Some of her favorite destinations have been Panama, Mexico City, Italy, and Spain.
Currently, Arnali lives in Mid-Wilshire with her husband, Daniel and very cute dog, JJ. Arnali enjoys living here because she lives close to friend, family and work (key to living in LA) and truly enjoys the neighborhood. Over the past several years, Arnali has had the opportunity to work with other MCW Board members through the Midtown Homeless Coalition. Through this work, she was able to witness the passion and
dedication these Board Members had for helping their community. She had also watched the community change over the last 2 decades and wanted to be more involved. These reasons led her to run for the MCW Board this past spring. Arnali is currently the chair of the Homelessness, Refugees and Renters’
Rights Committee. She is passionate about equity and ensuring that everyone in the community has a voice. She hopes to engage the community through outreach, volunteer opportunities, and informational sessions and resources. Arnali is excited to be on the Board and work even more closely with the
Ivan Salas Orono is the Treasurer of Mid City West and serves as a member in the Homelessness, Refugees and Renters’ Rights Committee. Ivan is passionate about building a community where all voices are heard, where we lend a hand to our most vulnerable neighbors, and where we strive for
robust, equitable, economic growth.
Ivan’s day job is as Director of Corporate Business Development and Strategy at Warner Bros. Studios, and he previously held positions in Starwood Hotels and Morgan Stanley. He has a Bachelor of Science in
Finance from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Michael is proud to represent Zone 2 on the Mid City West Community Council board. He believes that now is the time for progressive change to our city - housing and land use policies that allow us to fix our chronic supply/demand problem and help make housing more affordable - supportive housing for homeless members of our community - and infrastructure that supports safe, multi-modal transportation options. Michael is an L.A. native and a serial tech entrepreneur - he enjoys using his “day job” skills to better our community.
Thao Tran, a former investment banking professional, is serving her second term on the board at MCWCC. She serves as Chair of the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee and sits on several others committees including Streetscape & Commercial; and Arts, Parks, & Recreation. Thao also serves on the board at LAPD Wilshire Station’s Community-Police Advisory Board (CPAB) and the Miracle Mile Residential Association. Additionally, she is one of the primary organizers of the Miracle Mile Neighborhood Watch.
Originally from Vietnam, Thao immigrated with her family to Southern California in 1978 and grew up in the South Bay city of Torrance. She holds a BA in Economics/Applied Mathematics from USC and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
As a long time resident of the Miracle Mile I am honored to serve as the Zone 7 representative on the Mid City West Community Council.
I have a background in healthcare management, business and public/private partnerships. With my leadership experience and experience on several public and private boards in the City of Los Angeles that are involved in many aspects of everyday life I am your representative that advocates for safer, walkable, bikeable and livable conditions for all of our residents.
The lack of housing for low to median income families combined with exploding rents, activist groups against further housing development and developers refusing to increase the number low income housing units has caused the housing crisis to explode to a level unseen before. This is has caused the number of homelessness to skyrocket.
We advocate for the right side of the issues but again everything is a process and needs your input and strong participation in order to enact real lasting change.
As part of the planning and land use committee I have seen first hand the railroading of the needs of our community by those sitting in higher City offices - if we stand together with one mission and one voice we too could topple the statues of corruption that have plagued our City for too long. I am proud to serve you and will not let you down.