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.
Michael is proud to serve for a second term 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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 to create 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.
Christian La Mont
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 Renters 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!
Arnali Ray has served as a board member on the Mid-City West Community Council since 2019. She is the Chair of the Homelessness, Refugees, and Renters’ Rights Committee and a member of the Social and Racial Equity Committee. Arnali Ray is the Chief of Strategy and Programs Officer at Saban Community Clinic, a community health center providing care to more than 20,000 low income patients a year. Arnali has driven efforts to develop a more robust program for those experiencing homelessness through key partnerships and government funded initiatives. In addition, Arnali is actively involved in two coalitions focused on people experiencing homelessness, Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition and Hollywood 4WRD. Working with the community has given her the opportunity to learn about this issue from various perspectives and collaborate on solutions to address homelessness in Los Angeles. Arnali truly enjoys being a part of MCW because of the neighborhood and the incredible community members.
Daniel Schoorl joined the MCWCC in late 2020. For his day job, Daniel works as a librarian at UCLA. He is passionate about organizing to advance social equity through labor unions and community organizations. He’s excited to participate on the board and make Mid City West a more inclusive place.
Thao Tran, a former investment banking professional, is serving her third 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.
J. Keith van Straaten