SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA — Newspaper Publisher & Van Nuys Neighborhood Council President George Christopher Thomas has officially announced the formation of a steering and policy committee for the purposes of pursuing a bid for the California State Senate (District 27) in 2016.
“Our steering and policy committee is going to focus on fiscal responsibility, education reform and public safety. We have several community leaders that are members of the committee, including Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Public Safety Chairman Josef Lazarovitz, Newspaper Publisher & Agoura Hills resident Kathleen Sterling, and Van Nuys Neighborhood Councilman Kambiz Merabi,” said Council President George Christopher Thomas.
“Our committee is going to address cutting waste in Sacramento and making the state government more accountable to the people. I cut government waste on a city and local level as the Council President in Van Nuys, and plan on taking that experience to Sacramento to do the same. I will call for a forensic audit to the entire state budget, as well as an inventory of all state property and real estate. After both houses of the legislature are presented with these findings, I will call for a quarterly treasurer’s report to be presented without fail to the Assembly and the Senate so we know exactly where we stand,” said Council President George Christopher Thomas.
“Our committee is also going to designate education reform a top priority. Affordable higher learning, job training and expanding the workforce should be top legislative priorities in Sacramento. We are going to thoroughly address how our young people can continue their education in an affordable way, or get trained to do a skilled trade or labor to become productive members of our society. We are also going to form partnerships and connections with schools to promote high education for our youth along with continuing adult education,” said Council President George Christopher Thomas.
“And our committee will also concentrate on public safety, and getting residents and businesses more involved in community policing. As a volunteer for the LAPD for over ten years, lowering crime and keeping our neighborhoods safe has always been one of my top concerns. I believe moving forward on having all of our officers work with body-worn video cameras is the next major step in policing. In recent studies, wearing cameras was associated with dramatic reductions in use-of-force incidents and complaints against officers. There are several different police departments in the 27th State Senate District, and our committee will be reaching out to the leadership in each department to work on this issue. This technology initiative has broad implications for the field of policing, and is the next major development in law enforcement,” said Thomas.
“As we hold these meetings and discussions over the next few months, I can see this steering and policy committee turn into a listening tour. I am going to invite stakeholders and community leaders throughout the 27th State Senate District to join and participate, and look forward to the healthy discourse that will come from these discussions,” said Thomas.
Thomas was elected to the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council in 2010, and successfully ran for Council President in 2012. Thomas was unanimously re-elected Council President in September 2014, and continues to preside over the largest neighborhood council in the San Fernando Valley. Thomas also volunteers for the LAPD Van Nuys Division and sits on the Community Police Advisory Board. The Community Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) is a group of volunteers who live or work in the Van Nuys Area, comprised of the following neighborhoods: Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Valley Glen, Sherman Village, Valley Village and a small portion of Studio City. The C-PAB members advise and inform LAPD’s Van Nuys Area Commanding Officer of the pressing public safety and quality of life concerns on behalf of the Community, an area of 30 square miles with over 325,000 residents. Thomas also owns and runs a weekly newspaper called The Government Center Gazette & Van Nuys News Press, and has since February 2007. Thomas worked as a Congressional Staffer for Rep. Brad Sherman from 1997-2001. Thomas lives in Agoura Hills with his wife Joanne, and maintains newspaper offices in Van Nuys, Lake Balboa and Woodland Hills.
California State Senate District #27 is based on nesting Assembly Districts 38 and 45 and incorporates and maintains the eastern portion of Ventura County, which includes the cities of Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, and Westlake Village. It also includes the coastal area extending from Leo Carrillo State Beach to Malibu and on to Topanga Canyon. Additionally, it captures the communities of Calabasas, West Hills and a portion of Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County. It maintains the coastal mountain range and watershed. This district reunites the cities in Eastern Ventura County above the Conejo Grade and combines them with communities in the greater Santa Monica Mountain area and the western San Fernando Valley including Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Chatsworth, Canoga Park, Winnetka and Northridge along the Highway 101, 405 and 118 corridors. The cities of Santa Clarita and Los Angeles were split to achieve population equality.