Kate Pynoos

Kate Pynoos

VENICE  - A former policy adviser to Councilman Mike Bonin announced today she is running against Councilman Mitch O'Farrell to represent District 13, including parts of Silver Lake, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Atwater Village and Hollywood.

Pynoos served as policy director for Bonin from September 2019 through last month, according to Bonin's office.

Pynoos says her focus is on implementing progressive policies related to housing, the environment, homelessness, and immigration.

"For too many, our city isn't working. There's not enough affordable housing, and too many people are falling into homelessness. We still suffer the damage of systemic racism and haven't acted boldly enough to stop climate change," Pynoos said in a campaign video released Thursday.

As policy director for Bonin, there have been multiple concerns about Pynoos not fulfilling public record requests, including multiple  ones made by the Westside Current.

Last October, the Current requested information about the Penmar Encampment to Home program, including costs to taxpayers.

After numerous prompts to get the request fulfilled, Pynoos sent the Current a handful of emails, none of which included the information asked in the request. When asked for more details, Pynoos stopped corresponding. Pynoos also never responded to multiple requests made for information about the Ramada Inn Homeless Shelter.

The Current doesn't stand alone. Venice resident Tracy Carpenter went back and forth with Pynoos with an open records request linked to the Lincoln Place Apartment.

In her first response to Carpenter's request, Pynoos sent Carpenter a few emails of concern from area residents and what appeared to be a conversation between Bonin and Becky Denison, the VCHC executive director. Those emails included redactions with no reason given for them.

Correspondence between Carpenter and Pynoos show that several attempts were made by Carpenter to ascertain why the redactions were made. Carpenter also says that she knew about additional emails that had yet to be provided, including three of her own.

Pynoos told Carpenter that the redactions were made in accordance with the deliberative process privilege—a stipulation stating that documents are reflective when they capture candid internal communications which, if disclosed, would have a chilling effect on communications within an agency, thereby limiting the agency's ability to make day-to-day decisions necessary for effective governance.

Carpenter emailed the city attorney reiterating concerns that the emails included redactions and that she didn't think Pynoos's reasons for them were justified. Carpenter also stated that she had concerns about missing emails, several of which she knew she sent.

Two days later, Frank Mateljan of the city attorney's office provided the redacted text and a few new emails. Included in the new emails were two exchanges in which Bonin's staff appear to be mocking a parent's concerns about gun safety.

Fight Back Venice also says they experienced similar experiences with Pynoos. On different occasions, the organization fighting the Reese Davidson Community project, said they had multiple requests that were either partially fulfilled or not  fulfilled by Pynoos.

Along with Pynoos, People's City Council organizer Albert Corado and former Los Angeles Unified School District football coach and community organizer Clay Johnston have announced they are running against O'Farrell in the 2022 election.

Information from City News Service was used for this story.