Letter to the Editor: Lauren Kleiman is a Respected Candidate for City Council

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On August 24, I had the opportunity to attend Lauren Kleiman’s campaign launch event for City Council, District 6 (CdM).

Lauren is the well-respected Chair of the Newport Beach Planning Commission with a passion for bettering our community. The event was attended by our current mayor, Kevin Muldoon, as well as prior mayors like Will O’Neill and Duffy Duffield.

During her kickoff speech, Lauren spoke enthusiastically about her support for our local law enforcement, reducing the homelessness that has been growing in our city and the need to stop overcrowding.

City council candidate debates are moving forward and only one incumbent (Joy Brenner) is on the debate stage. Rather than running on her accomplishments, Joy seemingly has decided that the best approach is to blame her ineffectiveness on not being a part of “Team Newport.”

Voters may remember that “Team Newport” was a slate in 2014 that included Diane Dixon, Kevin Muldoon, Duffy Duffield, and Scott Peotter. Brenner’s theory for being ineffective is an odd one, considering that Peotter isn’t on council… because she beat him.

Brenner’s claim for being ineffective due to being in the minority simply isn’t true. She’s been a leader and in the majority on multiple hot-button issues. However, the results of those decisions have been so bad that she’s now running away from her involvement.

She was one of three council members leading the city’s response to homelessness.  She’s been in the majority on every single vote from the city council dais on the subject.  But in the years she has led, the number of homeless people in our city went up.

She is one of three council members leading the city’s response to sober living homes. She has been in the majority on every single vote from the city council dais on the subject. The neighborhood issues have gotten worse.

She is one of three council members that led the city’s response to short-term lodging regulations. She was in the majority on every major vote from the city council on that topic too. And since 2017, the number of short-term living permits has increased.

All that said, it’s true that she was blocked from enacting some of her policies.  Fortunately for us, she wasn’t leading our city during the COVID lockdowns. In 2020, she tried to convince her council colleagues to vote for a mask mandate to be enforced by the Newport Beach Police Department. She sided with Gov. Newsom and voted to close our beaches.

She voted against joining the lawsuit against Newsom to get the beaches back open.  And in August 2021, she was the sole dissenter on a resolution supporting children going back to school without masks or COVID vaccines.

We should all be exhausted by politicians running from their records and blaming others. That’s not leadership. We can do better.

I’ll be voting for Lauren Kleiman. And if you take a good look at Joy’s record, you will too.

Chris Jannuzzi / Corona del Mar

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