Tuesday, February 18

Newly elected NWWNC council members on their objectives for the Village

The North Westwood Neighborhood Council held a selection at the John Wooden Center on Thursday to determine the members of its interim board. (Michael Zshornack/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated Chantelle Eastman is a development coordinator for the UCLA Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research. In fact, she is a development coordinator for the UCLA Department of Neurology

This post was updated Nov. 13 at 2:30 p.m.

The North Westwood Neighborhood Council held a selection at John Wooden Center Thursday to determine the members of its interim board.

The NWWNC was formed following a May election to subdivide the jurisdiction of Westwood. Westwood Forward, the group behind the subdivision, ran on a platform of addressing issues such as housing and a lack of nightlife entertainment in the area.

The NWWNC’s borders include the UCLA campus, the North Village and Westwood Village. The new council will oversee local policies and neighborhood planning and will report to the Los Angeles City Council.

Michael Skiles, member of the NWWNC Formation Committee and general residential seat on the council, said the results are unofficial until a three-day challenge period has ended. During this period, the validity of the selection can be challenged, which could result in disqualification of votes or candidates themselves if a challenge is issued and found valid. Vote results with close margins may be recounted for accuracy by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees neighborhood councils in Los Angeles.

Twenty-one candidates ran for the selection. Nineteen of the candidates ran as part of Westwood Forward’s slate, while two ran as independents.

The first meeting of the NWWNC will be held on Nov. 7 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. in the Weyburn Terrace View Room.



Gabriela Meza, a fourth-year political science student, said she will advocate for affordable housing, food security and transportation/accessibility.

Katja May, a renter in Westwood, said she wants to help out the council and views helping the council move forward as a civic duty.


Kaveh Navab, a homeowner in Westwood, said he wants to work on bike lanes, accessible parking, shuttles from UCLA campus to Westwood Village, and bringing in businesses that cater to the needs of students.

General Residential

Michael Skiles, Graduate Students Association President and a renter in Westwood, said he wants to encourage housing, bike lanes, pedestrian plazas, community spaces and student-friendly businesses.

Andrew Lewis, a renter in Westwood and UCLA alumnus, said he wants to give resources and support to the diverse communities and constituencies in Westwood.


Alex Helmi, owner of Damoka, a Persian carpet store in Westwood, said he wants to make Westwood an education and entertainment district by bringing more live music, restaurants, festivals and other commercial events into the Village, and by making the Village’s events more inclusive of students.

Josh Trifunovic, owner of Rocco’s Tavern in Westwood, said he wants to improve conditions in Westwood for businesses using his knowledge as a business owner.

Kevin Crummy is chief investment officer of Douglas Emmett and treasurer of the Westwood Village Improvement Association.


Chantelle Eastman, a development coordinator for the UCLA Department of Neurology, said she wants to improve efforts to help the homeless population in Westwood by increasing outreach and working with the Westwood Village Improvement Association.

Undergraduate Student

Ashraf Beshay, a sixth-year biology student, said he wants to expand affordable housing, and remove restrictions harming businesses.

Melissa Tapia, a third-year political science student, said she wants to make Westwood more inclusive and representative of minorities.

Graduate Student

Paul Kurek, a graduate student in the department of Germanic languages, said he wants to use his experience in urban humanities and entertainment to improve Westwood as a community.

University Staff

Wren Reynolds, a programmer analyst at UCLA’s Office of Information Technology, said he wants to advocate for the growth of restaurants, retail and entertainment in Westwood.


Ryan Snyder, a lecturer at the department of urban planning, said he wants to use his knowledge of urban planning to benefit the community and revitalize business in the Village.

Organizational Stakeholder

Peter Clinco, a member of the Westwood Village Improvement Association and owner of Skylight Gardens, said he wants to help the business community become more vibrant by introducing more live music and making the Village more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

Alisha Ranadive, a pediatrician at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, said she wants to support new businesses, promote more housing options and encourage community planning that keeps pedestrians and bicyclists safe.


Christian Green, former president of the Black Graduate Student Association, said he wants to promote diversity, affordability and transparency on the council.

Grayson Peters, a second-year political science student, said he wants to run on the council to act as a voice for students because he thinks students are not proportionately represented, despite being the largest group in Westwood.

Amir Tarighat, a member of the Iranian community in Westwood and owner of WV Investments, said he wants to increase community involvement from groups he thinks were not represented by the Westwood Neighborhood Council, like the Iranian community and students.

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News Editor

Gray is the 2019-2020 News editor of the Daily Bruin. He was previously an assistant News editor and a reporter for the city and crime beat. He is also a third-year political science student at UCLA.

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