Venice, California Politics
Venice politics and its rich history of progressive values and social change
In 1913, as the Automobile Age advanced into full throttle, the Venice community began to struggle over what to do with the Venice canals (See "Venice Canals"). This emotional, spirited discourse which lasted until 1929 when a majority of the canals were filled, shaped the politics of today's Venice.
Political clashes result in the filling of the majority of the Venice Canals making way for the age of the Automobile
As Venetians chose their side of the issue - the canals were no longer useful and had to go VS staying true to founder Abbot Kinney's original dream - the entire ideological struggle helped to set the tone for the community's overall image. As a result of these early struggles - or perhaps because of them - Venice, California continues to be known worldwide as a counter-culture enclave which not only exists, but can actually be experienced first hand.
The media regularly portrays Venice as a place where "alternative" life styles are embraced. Venice has been chronicled as the west coast birthplace of the "beatniks" of the '50's, the "hippies" of the '60's and as everything from the site for anti-war protest rallies in the '70's to nude sunbathing advocates in 2008... and everything else in between.
Venice remains one of the most politically vibrant, vocal, and visible areas of Southern California. It continues to provide a rich history and tradition of progressive values and social change.
You can hear more about the history of Venice politics and its place on the local, regional, state and national scene today on your Venice Beach Walking Tour.