Teacher, Blogger Odysseus Bostick Enters City Council Race

The candidate plans to challenge incumbent Bill Rosendahl in the spring.

A Westchester resident and former science teacher has joined the Los Angeles City Council race for the District 11 seat on the ballot next spring.

Odysseus Bostick, who is a , quietly launched his Facebook page this month and his campaign website is officially up and running. He plans to challenge incumbent Bill Rosendahl for the seat.

The site has landing pages for the neighborhoods of District 11, and he said that each community needs to feel it has its own identity.

"If I don't catch anything, tell me," Bostick, 35, and a registered Democrat, said in an interview this week. "I think the job of a city councilman is to be open with someone whose feet are on the ground."

He recently resigned from the in Echo Park after two years of teaching mostly at-risk youth. He was laid off in 2008 after three years at in a downsizing of the staff. However, he's kept active in civic causes and has been a regular attendee at public meetings, including those for the Pacific Palisades Community Council. 

Bostick favors public education reform, responsible growth and development and improving public transportation. He lives in Westchester with his wife and three daughters and is active in Westchester, Venice, Mar Vista, Palms and Playa Vista. He is a native of north Florida and moved to Los Angeles in 2003. 

The city's primary election is scheduled for March 5.

'Complacent' Vision For District 11

Bostick voted for incumbent Councilman Bill Rosendahl twice. But he noted that since the recession hit in 2008, "a lot of people" in his immediate neighborhoods feel there's a lack of city services and that Rosendahl has "grown complacent in expressing a vision in a big way" for the district.

In 2008 and 2009, he said his neighborhood banded together, accepting that things in the city "were terrible" and the government didn't have a lot of money.

"Being unemployed is a terrible feeling," he said. "We kind of grew together to have relationships more than what just serves us."

Bostick said he's spoken to people in Venice who say they're paying $6,700 to $7,000 a year in property taxes.

"I just went to someone’s house yesterday and they can’t get their tree trimmed, and you think, 'You’re paying that much in property taxes, and you can get your trees trimmed?'" he said. "It’s such a shortsighted way of doing things."

Take a drive through Mar Vista and Westchester, Bostick said, and there's trash in sewers and water backed up on major thoroughfares. He noted that he doesn't feel safe taking his children to playgrounds or the public library in Westchester.

Fear of LAX expansion lingers

Bostick said Councilman Rosendahl "swooped in" when LAX proposed to expand into Westchester in 2005, and championed the cause to stop the proposal. Now seven years later, expansion talks have resurfaced and Bostick said residents he has talked to are fearful.

"Because nothing in the interim was done to prevent them [LAX] from expanding," he said. "There’s been a constant undercurrent of fear. People are afraid they're going to lose their livelihoods. They don’t really know what’s going to happen."

Improving public transportation

has spurred the creation of a world-class transportation system based on light rail. But Bostick said the move away from cars brings with it more density that might compromise the unique qualities of the district's neighborhoods.

He said new development should cater to specific neighborhoods by increasing walkability and bike-ability, public spaces, parks and urban forest. Developers should also provide housing opportunities to all socio-economic backgrounds and ensure any increase in density is of mixed use, he said.

Bostick said rail service should be provided into LAX as well as connect Santa Monica and Venice into the South Bay.

Rethinking after-school programs

Bostick said he's taught seventh-grade English, fifth-grade English, seventh-grade math, eighth-grade history and eighth-grade science. He said there's a "structural inefficiency" with the number of teachers that middle-school students have during the day, and a lack of effective communication among those teachers, tutors and students' parents.

"When you get a single-subject teacher, you get kids for 50 minutes a day, and with classrooms overcrowding, somewhere in [the] high thirties ... you don’t really have time, but you have to prepare for standardized testing," he said.

Bostick suggests treating after-school programs as an entirely separate educational opportunity from the day’s instruction, targeting cultural awareness, personal responsibility and academic confidence. He also supports the creation of learning gardens on school campuses as well as culinary arts, martial arts and financial literacy programs.

Bostick's oldest daughter attends Mandarin Immersion Program and he serves on the school's growth and transition team. Bostick also serves on the board of the Westchester Neighbors Association.

Bostick graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in English and graduated from Western Governors University with a post-baccalaureate in education.

Minoter August 26, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Bostick just needs a job. Not a good reason to vote for the guy. We love Rosendahl. He's one of the rare office holders who actually cares and speaks his mind.
Minoter August 26, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Yuk. Sorry to hear that. And why is this important news for a Patch article?
Odysseus Bostick August 26, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I completely appreciate your loyalty. But don't vote for me because I "need a job". I do not live a life rooted in facilitating personal gain through the employment of pity. I resigned from my job to run because being a council member is a 24 hr a day mission + I am serious about performing well in that capacity. Vote for me because you want to see stronger communities, a smart growth city, a vibrant solar economy, the ability to move easily throughout the district, more access to public space, better bikeability, more meaningful after school programming, a dominant tech INDUSTRY in LA, and public policy built from the ground up. I also appreciate rosendahl's candor. But I would prefer that he act bolder and show more efficacy in the council position. The quality of life in many of the district's neighborhoods is demonstrably lower than before and I believe it is directly related to that lack of vision and leadership. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you further. Visit my website www.Bostick4LA.com and contact me.
Jim P August 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM
What is Odysseus Bostick position on the Santa Monica airport?
Odysseus Bostick September 04, 2012 at 06:46 PM
@Jim P: From the conversations I have had with residents on the LA side (and let me invite you to share your opinions with me here or through my website: www.Bostick4LA.com), a major issue isn't just the increased air traffic/pollution and changes in plane type that use the airport now, but the lack of teeth in the penalties levied when pilots break curfew. On the short-term, I think a massive increase in fines for breaking the curfew are in order in the hopes that a larger penalty might deter wealthy users from coasting in when they please. Additional revenue from such a penalty increase should go towards sound mitigation in the form of increasing the urban forest in the area. On a longer term, I don't see the intelligence in having flight schools or an airport in the middle of such a densely populated and trafficked area. The Santa Monica Airport was once surrounded by fewer people, but we can't risk having it anymore. I think it should be converted into public space in the same vein as the Highline (http://www.thehighline.org/) in New York. It could provide tremendous value for the surrounding communities.


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