June 18, 2024 Your Source for Brentwood News

Brentwood Beat: Mike Feuer vs. Nick Melvoin: a Really Tough Choice

By Jeff Hall

As we enter the political season, many in Brentwood will have their eyes on both Mike Feuer and Nick Melvoin.

Both are running in California’s 30th Congressional District, seeking to replace Adam Schiff, who is now running for U.S. Senator.  There are 13 candidates in the primary race. The top two vote-getters will go on to November.

Technically, the congressman from the 30th District doesn’t represent Brentwood, so it might seem odd that I’d be writing about this particular race. We can’t vote for any of the candidates. 

But we have two candidates we know well, Mike Feuer and Nick Melvoin. Both have represented Brentwood in one capacity or another. 

Mike got started as a city councilman representing the 5th District, succeeding Zev Yaroslavsky.  He then went on to become a state assemblyman in Sacramento – where he represented Brentwood.  He later served as city attorney, representing all of Los Angeles.  

Nick Melvoin grew up in Brentwood and became a public school teacher in LAUSD in Watts.  He later worked in the Obama White House, and upon his return to Los Angeles, he ran for a seat on the LAUSD School Board.  He won in the 4th District, which represents Brentwood.

I attended a 30th District candidate forum the other day at the Ebell Theater.  I counted ten candidates on stage and maybe 100 in the audience. These things can be a bit wonky and not for everyone – especially on a Saturday afternoon – but some of us actually like this stuff.  I thought it was a really good event, very ably moderated by Elex Michaelson, an anchor for FOX11.

Most of the candidates were very impressive.  This will be a tough one for voters. For the purpose of this article, I’m still focused on Mike and Nick.  I’ve known them both for years, I’ve interviewed them both, I’ve watched them in action. 

I’m glad I’m not voting in this one. I like them both.  

Mike Feuer is quite brilliant and really understands the nuances of policy.  He has authored many important bills and initiated important actions while city attorney.  He has a true gift for being able to explain the complexities and minutiae of public policy in a way that’s simple to understand. 

Mike seems professorial, and I mean that, in this context, as a compliment.  You always learn something when you listen to Mike.  Mike and I go back a long way; I think he’d make an excellent congressman.

Nick Melvoin strikes me as possibly the more action-oriented of the two. When he and several teachers got laid off from LAUSD because of a dumb seniority policy, he sued. He was a school board member during Covid, and he leaped into action, keeping students in school – masked, inoculated, cared for, and fed. Because of this, parents could hold down their day jobs.  It was quite a logistical feat and really changed the role schools play in our lives. 

Now, Nick is championing using unused LAUSD campuses for the purpose of building affordable housing for teachers and other school personnel.  These are hands-on managerial experiences many elected officials never acquire. Nick is now emphasizing the need for generational change, an argument that could resonate at a time when it currently looks like a rematch between Biden and Trump. Nick is 38.

Photo: Jeff Hall

Nick Melvoin, left, listens to the question. 

Anyway, I can’t say anything more.  The Brentwood News is officially neutral in such matters, and if I had to vote in this race, I wouldn’t know what to do.  If you live in the 30th District, all I can say is good luck choosing.  In addition to Mike and Nick, there are several outstanding candidates. Whoever wins, you’ll be in good hands. 

I know I speak for many in Brentwood when I say “thank you” to Nick and Mike for all they have done for our community over the years.

in Opinion
Related Posts

Opinion: Is Brentwood in Danger of Losing Its Farmers Market?

May 28, 2024

May 28, 2024

By Carolyn Jordan, Chair, Brentwood Community Council The Brentwood Farmers’ Market at Gretna Green and San Vicente has been with...

Opinion: Toxic Exposure May Impact Veterans’ Health Even Today

April 29, 2024

April 29, 2024

By Cristina Johnson  Military service members spend years in hazardous environments unknowingly, often developing fatal illnesses decades after their service....

If You Have a Loved One Experiencing Severe Mental Illness, We Can Help

February 15, 2024

February 15, 2024

By Lisa H. Wong, Psy. D Many families across Los Angeles County know what it’s like to watch a loved...

Brentwood Beat: From Brentwood News to OUR NATIONAL CONVERSATION

November 16, 2023

November 16, 2023

Back in 1991, when I started the Brentwood News, I wrote that Brentwood’s new community newspaper would remain politically neutral...

A Hopeful Future

May 25, 2023

May 25, 2023

A Hopeful Future I attended two events this last month that made me feel better about the state of the...

New Program Can Help Protect Southern California Homes in the Event of an Earthquake

May 13, 2023

May 13, 2023

Residents Have Until May 31 To Apply For Seismic Retrofit Grants By Janiele Maffei, Chief Mitigation Officer for the California...

Column: Tired OF Declinists? Some Enduring New California Positives

April 18, 2023

April 18, 2023

By Thomas D. Elias California has taken a beating lately, with (mostly Republican) governors of other states blasting many aspects...

Brentwood Beat: New Leadership – and an Old Question

March 31, 2023

March 31, 2023

I attended the recent Brentwood Homeowners Association annual meeting. Like all BHA meetings, this one didn’t disappoint. One reason for...

Column: SB 9 Ended R-1 Zoning, but It’s Not Meeting Goals

March 11, 2023

March 11, 2023

By Tom Elias More than a year after it took effect, the landmark housing density law known as SB 9...

Column: The Inevitable Conversions Begin Multiplying

February 25, 2023

February 25, 2023

By Tom Elias It’s a phenomenon from New York to Dallas to Fresno and Los Angeles, one that seemed inevitable...

Brentwood Beat – Westside Urban Forum: Small Can Be Good

February 24, 2023

February 24, 2023

I was invited by fellow Brentwood resident Josh Stephens to moderate a recent panel conversation conducted by the Westside Urban...

Column: The Fantasy World of California Housing Policy

February 20, 2023

February 20, 2023

By Tom Elias If you’re looking for sure things among bills under consideration in the state Legislature, think of one...

Column: State Usurping Key Powers From Cities

January 28, 2023

January 28, 2023

By Tom Elias All over California last fall, hundreds of the civic minded spent thousands of hours and millions of...

Column – A California Positive: Kids Swarm Extra Classes

January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

By Tom Elias It’s become a cliché, the shibboleth that California has lousy public schools and most of the kids...

BrentwoodMeet: What a Great Idea!

December 23, 2022

December 23, 2022

I started seeing signs pop up around Brentwood about an upcoming gathering of something called “BrentwoodMeet” (see BrentwoodMeet.com).   It sounded...