The Economy and Business Issues
Local business creates jobs, grows the economy, builds community and brings necessary energy to our City.
At City Hall, we must:
- Reform City Hall’s business policies, especially those policies that stifle small business.
- Create one-stop centers for obtaining business permits. Currently, our small business owners are sent through a byzantine network of contradictory processes that can prevent many entrepreneurs from opening their doors for up to a year.
- Establish a business tax reform plan and improve upon the local preference ordinance.
- Promote loans for façade improvement and business expansion.
- Explore possible tax credits for businesses that hire local employees who live within a three-mile radius of the job location. This will help improve traffic and parking issues and will help our environment by cutting fuel consumption and air pollution.
Improve public transportation and recognize that this city was developed and built with a great public transportation system in place (Pacific Rail cars). Improving public transportation to reduce traffic, parking problems and environmental harm should be a top priority. To do this, we have to find creative ways to fund these projects by securing federal and private funds. We must:
- Work to expedite completion of Measure R transit projects within the City; bring Measure R projects to CD13 (ex. a Sunset Streetcar line to connect Hollywood, East Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park, and downtown via Sunset Boulevard).
- Make Los Angeles more bike friendly: create more bike lines and bicycle parking; encourage better education for LAPD in dealing with bicycle traffic; support the implementation of the bicycle master plan.
- Integrate city planning and policy to create more walkable, self-sustained neighborhoods, especially near transit hubs. Walkable neighborhoods will improve traffic/parking concerns.
- Consider alternative uses of our roadways through strategically placed “road diets” to mitigate traffic, increase bicycle and pedestrian safety, and encourage alternative forms of transportation.
- Explore possible streetcar systems through dense neighborhoods; work with local business along potential routes; look to Portland and Seattle streetcar systems as models.
My passion for education stems from my time working with LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program under Mayor Jim Hahn’s administration. My current job working with prison inmates as an attorney for the CA Department of Justice has provided me with insight into the unfortunate path of crime and gangs that young people may choose without the mentorship and enrichment offered at programs like LA’s BEST. As a councilmember, I will strongly support after school enrichment programs that positively impact our youth. I propose we:
- Build more public-private partnerships to improve our after school programs to accommodate for LAUSD budget cuts to arts and music programs.
- Provide routine physical education combined with structured play and expand efforts to establish healthy eating habits in our schools.
- Initiate an expansion of technology offered for after school education for students without access to the Internet at home; encourage technology-based instruction.
Government Transparency and Oversight
Residents need to feel that the City is listening, understanding and working for them. As residents, we also want to know that our elected officials are doing what is in the City’s best interest. Therefore, we must:
- Increase citizen involvement in City government affairs.
- Establish user-friendly, transparency websites to let residents know exactly how their tax dollars are spent.
- Expand oversight to ensure that city officials, departments and commissions are transparent in their decision making and expenditures.
- Put an end to pay-to-play politics, back-room deals and political cronyism.
Clean Up Our Neighborhoods
Keeping our streets clean is more than just improving aesthetics. When our streets are kept clean, community morale improves, we see a reduction in crime, people are more likely to engage in their communities and our daily lives are simply more enjoyable. Together we must:
- Ensure streets and sidewalks are free from trash, trees are planted, graffiti is removed and business storefronts are maintained and updated.
- Repair streets that have not been repaired in decades.
- Work closely with Bureau of Sanitation to ensure couches, mattresses and bulky trash items are picked up from our sidewalks in a timely manner.
- Support community-building through neighborhood events, policing and partnerships.
- Create more public space to promote community interconnectivity (plazas/piazzas, parks, pocket parks, outdoor space). More community interaction enriches the quality of our daily lives.
We need to continue to revitalize our neighborhoods, but we must also ensure that our residents aren’t displaced in the process. I will work hard to create vibrant communities with quality housing options for all of our residents. As your council member, I will:
- Create incentives to build and maintain affordable rental units in districts where the city is also supporting business development.
- Expand and re-establish the Homeownership Zone program to support the transformation of vacant and blighted properties into mixed-income housing.
- Oppose discriminatory and exclusionary residential zoning practices.
Ensure that District 13 is allocated the appropriate share of city services, such as waste management, pot-hole repair and bike lanes.
- Change public services distribution by using a model that targets areas with the greatest needs and fewest resources. We need our fair share!
- Improve the DWP in a way that protects ratepayers while being mindful of labor and management.
- Work with public service unions to develop open lines of communication; encourage more openness between laborers and management for efficient problem solving; and generally build a customer-oriented approach.
Protecting Our Environment
- Establish more park space; identify and build pocket parks.
- Utilize Quimby funds for parks.
- Eliminate single-use plastic bags.
- Tree planting – Increase the city’s tree canopy.
- Explore more solar power and alternative energy.
- Reduce air, water, and noise pollution near the L.A. River by working with Metrolink and other agencies to improve environmental-impact awareness.
Developing and utilizing new technology is critical when it comes to the efficiency and effectiveness of our government and services. We should:
- Provide free wireless Internet in and around public buildings, including libraries and administrative buildings.
- Form a committee to explore providing city-wide, free wireless Internet, starting with areas of high density (look at models from other cities).
- Improve and develop smart phone apps to make city services more efficient including better use of Metro bus and rail apps; parking apps; apps to report bulky item dumping, graffiti and trash-littered areas; street sweeping schedule apps; etc.