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Priorities for our District

We have much to celebrate in Council District 6.  As Angelenos we have a natural sense of pride in calling our city home.  Yet, as we all know, our city and our council district are facing challenges unlike any other time in history.  Homelessness, the (un)affordability of our city, public safety concerns, and protecting the environment are just a few of the issues that we must make a priority and address today rather than continuing to wait for tomorrow.  As your councilmember I will bring my on-the-ground experience working to solve homelessness along with other common-sense solutions to City Hall and tackle the issues that are important to you, your family, and our neighborhoods.  

My vision for our Valley communities is that we no longer just survive, but that we thrive.  And I intend to make that vision a reality for us all.

Below are some thoughts on how I will address our city’s most crucial issues once elected to serve you in City Hall.

As a renter, I’ve experienced firsthand that Los Angeles continues to be one of the most expensive cities in the nation to live in. In 2021, Los Angeles ranked number two – second only to New York City. At that time the median asking price for a home in Los Angeles was $930,000. Yet the median income of a family in Council District 6 is just over $46,000. And this unaffordability doesn’t stop at home ownership, it also bleeds into the rental market. According to reports, the average rent in Los Angeles for a 789 sq foot apartment is $2,786 a month. For a family earning $46,000 a year, rent alone at that rate accounts for 73% of their income (prior to taxes). It’s why almost 60% of households are cost burdened (spend more than 30% of their income on housing)

This unaffordability keeps families in a cycle of financial struggle to make ends meet and is one of the primary drivers of homelessness in Los Angeles. Many working families in CD 6 and in our city are just one paycheck away from homelessness. We need to lower the cost of living and I will be a vocal champion in doing so.

To address our housing crisis, as your Councilmember I will:

  • Create New Opportunities for Fair Housing
      • Support Implementation of United to House Los Angeles (Measure ULA) – In November 2022, almost 60% of voters in the City of Los Angeles supported United to House LA. The effort would establish and authorize programs to increase affordable housing and provide resources to tenants at risk of homelessness through a tax on sales and transfers of real property. We need to do everything we can to get Measure ULA up and running before it goes into effect on April 1, 2023. This includes establishing the House LA Special Trust Fund and House LA Program, Tenant Council, and Citizens Oversight Committee.
      • Encourage Homeownership and Wealth Building Opportunities – Homeownership is important for building equity, financial stability, and for addressing the racial wealth gap. According to a UCLA, Duke University, and Insight Center for Community Economic Development report, Black and brown households have one cent of wealth compared to every dollar of wealth that their white counterparts have. We need to support opportunities for homeownership. The City should leverage its resources  to help first-time homeowners secure financial options (modeling after Detroit’s Neighborhood Initiative) to purchase their first home as well as implement SB 9 equitably so more affordable homes and secondary units are on the market.
  • Facilitate the Generation of New Housing Opportunities
      • Encourage Responsible Development – With new and exciting infrastructure investments coming to Council District 6, we have the chance to encourage responsible housing opportunities for all with the right leadership. Development should be climate-friendly and affordable along key commercial and transit corridors. Moreover, we need to ensure that this development provides good paying jobs for our local workforce.
      • Partner with City Agencies to Encourage Joint Development and Community Investment – In Council District 6, there are several swaths of paved parcels of land that are publicly owned and could be better utilized for future community investment and housing opportunities. The Los Angeles Unified School District owns hundreds of properties throughout the City and Metro is a significant landowner / developer in the San Fernando Valley. Many of these properties go underutilized and would offer great opportunities for workforce housing for teachers, staff, government employees and local families.
      • Work with faith-based organizations to provide affordable housing – There is a growing movement among our faith-based community to offer opportunities on properties owned by churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. I will support any efforts that encourage more affordable housing on underutilized parcels. With nearly 39,000 acres of land used for religious purposes across the State, this effort offers great opportunities to house Angelenos.
      • Promote Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – The San Fernando Valley has been a hotspot for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) creation, particularly after the State introduced recent legislation to make ADU’s easier to build, despite restrictive zoning practices. However, we must do more. Permits and approvals are taking way too long for small builders and homeowners working on thin margins. I will work with our permitting agencies to ensure that streamlining measures and timelines are committed to ADUs, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, and other small scale development that keeps our intergenerational communities stable.
  • Eliminate Bureaucracy and Remove Politics from the Creation of Housing Opportunities
      • Streamline Planning Approval Processes – Far too often, well-resourced communities are able to fund campaigns against development, placing the burden on low income communities and communities of color. The City needs to adopt new, ministerial and administrative approval processes to hasten the time it takes to get entitlements from years to several months. Moreover, I will bring the leadership to speed up and streamline approvals for housing, particularly for affordable units. Projects that comply with our community plans and building codes should be approved expeditiously and without political influence.
      • Streamline the Approvals of Prefabricated Construction – When prefabricated construction is brought to scale, it will significantly reduce per-unit costs for housing construction and will bring more new housing online faster. We must encourage flexible standards within our Zoning and Building codes to support new, innovative housing models.
      • Eliminate Site Plan Review and Other Unnecessary Entitlements for Affordable Housing – Site Plan Review is an archaic entitlement tool that was established over 30 years ago requiring developments of a certain size to minimize potential impacts on the community. However, the standard of review for projects has since been improved through recent CEQA and building and zoning code reforms. Today, site plan review only adds delays and uncertainty to affordable housing projects in the City.
  • Protect Residential Stability and Discourage Displacement
      • Create a Local Tenant Preference Policy – Low income communities experience significant direct and indirect displacement pressures due to various market forces. Recent State legislation supports the City of Los Angeles in establishing a Local Tenant Preference Policy requiring development with affordable units to adopt a Tenant Selection Plan that prioritizes local community members who live and/or work locally. A policy like this will be necessary to support constituents throughout the District.
      • Enforce Right to Return – The city must take a leading role in educating residents about their rights as renters. I would work on city legislation to expand funding for permanent and temporary relocation and work with our neighborhood councils and other local community-based organizations on outreach and educational efforts around ‘Right to Return’.
      • Support the Creation of Permanently Affordable Housing – Angelenos should have the ability to stay in the community they’ve lived in for years. I will support efforts to further establish programs such as Community Land Trusts (CLTs), Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), and Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA). Tenants should have the first right of refusal and the ability to organize if their home is slated for demolition.

Having spent the past five years working on our city’s greatest challenge – homelessness – I know that our approach to housing our unhoused neighbors is utterly broken. According to a recent count, our city streets are home to nearly 42,000 homeless individuals. Each with their own story. Some are unhoused due to job loss, some simply can’t afford the rising costs of housing, others are victims of domestic violence with nowhere else to turn, and approximately one-third struggle with mental illness and addiction. Regardless of their situation, the goal is the same – to provide them with shelter, treatment if needed, and an exit plan that includes a permanent housing solution. As a director at a local housing non-profit focused on this goal, I have seen what success looks like and the areas in which we need, and must, do better.

As reported by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), throughout Los Angeles County over the past five years efforts have ended homelessness for 84,000 individuals with 40% of Project Room Key participants moving to permanent housing. Even with such success and the investments being made by voters’ passage of various ballot measures, the number of homeless on our streets continues to increase. That is why it’s essential that we not only build off of success, but also address the obstacles that hinder progress and explore additional solutions.

We need a complete overhaul to our approach to homelessness.

To address this crisis, as your Councilmember I will:

  • Breakdown Bureaucratic Silos to Address the Homelessness Crisis
      • Improve Interagency Communication and Coordination – Los Angeles County and every city within the county are working individually to address what voters feel is one of our greatest issues confronting us. Additionally, each Los Angeles City Council office is working independently from others to address the issue within its own district. Homelessness knows no city or district boundary. To truly be effective, we must work together governmentally and in coordination with community-based organizations.
  • Create an Ad Hoc Committee to Explore a City Run Public Health Department – Precedent already exists in cities like Long Beach and Pasadena who have been able to nimbly respond to health crises. A city-run public health department would have the potential to cut out bureaucratic inaction and ensure that we have control over the coordination and deployment of resources such as mental health services to communities in need. I would support the creation of an Ad Hoc committee and ask our City Attorney to explore legal feasibility. 
  • Address the Conditions that Allow Households to Slip Into Homelessness
      • Support the Efforts for an LA County Tenant Bill of Rights and Implementation of the Homes Guarantee Framework – Homes Guarantee is a robust, grassroots platform directly informed by advocates and people who are impacted by the nation’s housing crisis. The framework is simple: everyone living in the United States should have safe, accessible, sustainable, and permanently affordable housing.
      • Landlord Oversight – As Councilmember, I will work with the Los Angeles Housing Department and marshall the resources necessary to hold landlords who violate our Rent Stabilization Ordinance and create inhospitable conditions for tenants – through illegal construction and a lack of building maintenance – accountable.
      • Provide preemptive services that prevent homelessness – It’s clear that homelessness can be brought on by a variety of reasons. However, from our years of working on this issue, our city has a clear idea of its cause. Like preventative healthcare, we must take the same approach to identify those at risk and offer the necessary services – from mental health and substance abuse treatment to rental assistance, family support, and ensuring our tenants have a right to counsel – in order to keep those at risk of becoming homeless in some type of housing.
      • Expand the Basic Income Guaranteed Program – No one should spend more than 30% of their income on rent, however nearly three fifths of households in Council District 6 are housing burdened. Universal basic income provides a social safety net so that our most vulnerable Angelenos can afford rent and take care of their basic needs. 
      • Establish a Permanent Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) – Similar to Basic Income Guaranteed, a Permanent Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will provide one-time cash assistance to help vulnerable tenants stay in their homes.
  • Improve City Resources to Help Connect Families to Resources and Housing
      • Create a Citywide Rental Registry – Several calls have been made for a publicly accessible rental registry that would allow renters to look up available rent stabilized and affordable housing in their communities and discover any history of code violations and legal action regarding the landlord. As a renter and Director at a local housing nonprofit, I know the need for such resources and will ensure that the Los Angeles Housing Department makes this a reality.
  • Create Immediate Housing Opportunities to Prevent Chronic Homelessness
      • Streamline Immediate Interim Solutions – The City needs to take a “FEMA” level response in order to accommodate the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness. We need to quickly establish more temporary shelter and interim housing sites, as we continue to invest in long term housing solutions that are years from coming online. We need to make it easier and cheaper to establish safe parking sites, safe camping sites, tiny home villages, BRIDGE Housing, and other innovative interim housing models. We need to cut the red tape, so we can help our most vulnerable constituents today.
      • Identify Suitable Sites to Provide for Vehicle Dwellers and Recreational Vehicles and Improve on Proven Solutions – We all want to see safer, cleaner streets for our communities. However, we need a humane and responsible response to our homelessness crisis that doesn’t shuffle the problem to different neighborhoods. I will include the community in discussions with the Mayor’s Office and our various city agencies to identify the appropriate interim sites for Safe Parking programs and overnight Recreational Vehicle parking. Additionally, we’ve seen tremendous success in a new RV Pilot that is placing 35+ individuals into housing options while getting rid of their RV’s. We need to expand this model and further cultivate this partnership.
  • Establish a Humane and Dignified Response Through Services
      • `Invest in proven solutions – From the CIRCLE program that utilizes trained individuals to respond to calls that involve the behavior of homeless individuals and thereby freeing up LAPD officers to focus on crime, to drop-in clinics that offer on-the-spot resources to services for homeless individuals and families, we have proven solutions and approaches that we must continue to invest in.
  • Provide Relief for Tenants & Mom and Pop Landlords
      • Targeted grants – I will partner and advocate with the State Senate and Assembly to provide further relief for tenants in low-income housing and residents who have been displaced like the unhoused and formerly incarcerated. We also need to recognize that the eviction moratorium has been difficult for small landlords and ensure that they get the assistance they need. 

Our city is home to roughly 9,500 police officers, 3,250 firefighters and hundreds of support staff. Together, as our first responders, they respond to thousands of calls daily in an effort to keep our communities and our city safe. 

However, most first responders will tell you that much of their job and what they confront has changed over time. According to the Los Angeles Times, of the more than one million dispatch calls annually, less than 8% were reports of violent crimes. Today’s first responders are tasked with addressing events such as episodes of mental illness and addiction.

We need to move toward a public safety network that addresses the needs of today – a network that allows our law enforcement to focus more on violent crime and crime prevention, empowers our trained mental health professionals to respond to situations that require their expertise, and rebuilds community trust.

As your councilmember, I’ll work to build a public safety net by working to:

  • Provide More Resources for Trained Mental Health Response
      • Expand CIRCLE (Crisis and Incident Response through Community-Led Engagement) – a program which diverts non-emergency calls related to homelessness by sending trained, unarmed individuals to engage, assess, de-escalate, and provide support for that individual.  Every year LAPD receives 140,000 calls related to homelessness (roughly one call every four minutes).  The program has been operating successfully in Hollywood, Venice, and portions of the Valley, barely expanding into a small part of CD 6.
      • Explore the use of LAPD’s SMART teams (Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Teams) – Similar to CIRCLE program, SMART is a program designed to use trained mental health experts to de-escalate situations in which mental illness or addiction may be the cause, and how the LAPD is determining whether or not to deploy its teams as was raised in the recent deaths of Takar Smith, Keenan Darnell Anderson, and Oscar Sanchez.
      • Invest in Community Health and Wellness Centers – We need to normalize mental health services and make them accessible to the general public. The City of Los Angeles has dozens of underutilized community centers that can be programmed to provide free to low cost services to help people navigate mental health concerns.
  • Refocus the Role of LAPD
      • Free Up Resources for Law Enforcement – We currently ask our law enforcement officers to take on too many responsibilities that are unrelated to their mission of solving violent crime. We need to allow our officers to better respond to 911 calls and so I will divert officers away from traffic enforcement, minor non-violent disturbances (noise complaints), and homelessness response and support hiring trained social workers, and safety ambassadors to address these issues.
  • Combat Gun Violence
      • Invest in Anti-Gun Trafficking Initiatives Gun violence is a public health crisis in this country. I will work with our local law enforcement, regional, state legislative, and federal partners⁠ to address illegal gun trafficking in the city of Los Angeles and address the distribution of ghost guns and 3D-printed guns.
  • Invest in Safer, Enriching Schools – A recent Washington Post analysis identified that the total number of children exposed to gun violence at school has exploded, rising from 187,000 in 2018 to now 338,000 children. We must do more to ensure that LAUSD remains a safe space for our students. As Councilmember, I will partner with LAUSD to audit and review their security protocols and encourage enhancements such as greater access to mental health services, access to tip hotlines, and security improvements to dated facilities.
      • Gun Buyback Program – I would help secure state, federal, and private funds to invest further in our local gun buyback program and encourage greater collaboration between law enforcement and community organizations. We should also regularly evaluate the program to assess its effectiveness and make improvements as needed.
  • Law Enforcement
      • Addressing Police Culture – We need to reassess our recruitment efforts and see if we are meeting gender parity in new hires and we need to ensure that women make up 50% of captains and commanders (currently, they only make up 13%). We also need to evaluate where we are recruiting new law enforcement officers.
      • Rebuild Community Trust – It is incumbent on law enforcement agencies to actively engage with community members, including holding regular meetings beyond their current outreach to neighborhood councils to listen to concerns and feedback, and work with community organizations to address issues local to those communities. We need to expand the Community Safety Partnership model so that residents can learn who their local law enforcement officers are.
  • Investing in Community-Based Solutions
      • Increase Access to Mental Health Services – We need to normalize mental health services and make them accessible to the general public. The City of Los Angeles has dozens of underutilized community centers that can be programmed to provide free to low cost services to help people navigate mental health concerns. 
      • Increase Funding for Youth Programs – Investing in youth programs is an important part of reducing crime. By providing young people alternatives such as education and recreational programming, we can help prevent them from becoming involved in crime. Programs like Los Angeles’ Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) have seen marked success in preventing crime. I would also increase budgeting to the city’s Youth Development Department.

At the heart of our city are the working families that help make local businesses – large and small – thrive. I currently sit on the board of two nonprofits that focus on small business entrepreneurship in low-income communities: Mid-Valley YMCA and ICON CDC. While they’re the backbone of our economy, the reality is that many businesses I’ve spoken to continue to struggle – either living in poverty while working over 40 hours a week or still suffering from the impacts of the pandemic. 

In the last census, 16.6% of residents in Los Angeles were living in poverty. According to a recent PEW study, in order to be considered “middle class” in Los Angeles, a family of 3 must earn at least $165,000 a year. We must work to ensure that jobs brought into the community are not just jobs, but rather good jobs that offer a livable wage and provide upward mobility to anyone willing to work hard. Additionally, we must ensure that marginalized groups – such as undocumented immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals – have access to quality jobs and support services they need.

I’ll work with the business community – especially small businesses – to create incentives for higher pay that also allows them to thrive, and we must ensure that we are rewarding city contracts to those who set the example for other businesses to follow.

As your Councilmember, I will:

  • Encourage Fair Representation in Our Workforce
      • Hire a Small Business Deputy – I will hire a Small Business Deputy  to streamline the internal city hall bureaucracy that hinders small businesses from receiving the licenses and permits in a timely manner required to do business. As a city known for its entrepreneurial spirit, we must do what we can to ensure that that spirit is fostered and rewarded rather than defeated.
      • Create an Economic Safety Net for Formerly Incarcerated Workers – We need to acknowledge that racism persists in our criminal justice system. To uplift our community, our City must support individuals leaving incarceration by providing services to connect people with job opportunities, job training, and apprenticeship programs.
  • Support the Creation and Preservation of Jobs and Small Businesses
      • Establish a Jobs and Economic Development Incentive Zone (JEDI) – I will push to establish a Jobs and Economic Development Incentive Zones (JEDI) in our District in order to obtain a variety’ of incentives such as case management of development permits, permit fee subsidies, and business consulting for our local entrepreneurs.
      • Private Development Receiving Public Dollars Should Support Our Workforce – I strongly support the implementation of sound, safe, and just practices through Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for private development receiving public funds. PLA’s are commonsense agreements that ensure more than just a standard of pay, they push for job safety standards, the requirement of local hires – specifically for typically marginalized communities, and set the tone as to avoid labor disagreements down the line. PLA’s are good common sense practices that protect our workers, but also mitigate issues for employers down the line.
  • Support Small Businesses Through Low Barrier Incentives as we Recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic
      • COVID-19 has challenged many working families across the city, particularly small businesses and frontline service workers, who are predominantly Black, Brown, or Indigenous. Although, COVID-19 brought many hardships, it introduced new ways of thinking to support small businesses such as streamlining outdoor dining regulations through Al Fresco dining options, streamlining the issuance of conditional uses for the sale of alcoholic beverages, waiving certain land use requirements such as parking for a change of use and  on a site to support new tenants and businesses, or providing commercial tenant protections. As Councilmember, I aim to make many of these programs permanent and ensure that low barrier solutions remain with minimal fees and bureaucratic hurdles.
  • Advocate for the Creation of a Public Bank – Public Banks help spur local investment into communities – which the Valley needs – and help us weather periods of economic crisis as we experienced during the pandemic. Currently, Council is waiting to act on allocating funding for a study on establishing a Public Bank in the City of Los Angeles. I will work to ensure that this study moves forward and that a Public Bank finally can make its way to the ballot to obtain approval from the voters.

If anyone understands the effects of global warming, it’s those of us living in the Valley. With 100-degree+ days becoming more common than ever, it’s clear we must continue to take action to address the climate crisis and local leadership is critical in doing so. According to Bloomberg Philanthropies, state and local government will be key to meeting 3/4ths of our climate goals under the Paris Climate Accords. 

We also know that we have to center working class communities and communities of color in the transition to a renewable economy. The majority Latinx working-class population of CD 6 overwhelmingly bear the brunt of climate change. They face worse air quality, lack access to clean water, lack access to green space (1.78 acres of open space/1000 residents), and have little to no urban tree canopy.

We must work together as a city to explore new ways to address climate change. I will push our communities to take steps that may seem small, but collectively make a great impact on a cleaner and greener future for everyone.

As your Councilmember, I will:

  • Advance the Goals of a Climate Resilient City
      • Hold LADWP Accountable to a 100% Renewable Energy Portfolio by 2035 – We need leadership that will not settle for nonsolutions and will keep the City on track to removing fossil fuels from its energy portfolio. I am committed to decommissioning the Valley Generating Station, weaning the city off natural gas, and creating thousands of good paying clean energy jobs in the district.
      • Commit to Locally Sourcing At Least 70% of Our Water by 2035 – Los Angeles is taking big steps to improve drought resiliency and Council District 6 is going to play a key role in the City’s strategy to shift our reliance on imported water. Spreading grounds are a form of centralized stormwater capture where water collects and seeps into the soil to recharge our aquifers. The District is home to Hansen Spreading Grounds, Tujunga Spreading Grounds, Pacoima Spreading Grounds, and Branford Spreading Basin. Additionally, these facilities offer wonderful opportunities for community investment and beautification.
      • Champion Projects that Improve Equitable Investments for Resilient Infrastructure – I will be a lead advocate to leverage existing funding opportunities such as Measure A, Measure W, and Prop 68 to support groundwater recharge, stormwater management, and green infrastructure in vulnerable communities.
  • Commit to Planning for Climate Resiliency and Adaptation
      • Create a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) – A CAAP directs the City on how it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve climate impacts on the environment, public health, public infrastructure, the environment, and the economy. The City of Los Angeles has fallen behind in terms of incorporating Climate Action into its plans for growth and development in the City. Many cities have already adopted Climate Action and Adaptation Plans (CAAPs), which afforded them many benefits such as CEQA streamlining and an edge in grant funding.
      • Incorporate Community Vulnerability Assessments (CVAs) into Planning Practice – The San Fernando Valley is at the frontline of the climate crisis. We are beginning to experience hotter summers and more days of extreme heat that reach temperatures above 100 degrees. The City must conduct comprehensive climate vulnerability assessments that identify the unique risks climate change poses to communities to inform adaptive and resilient policies and programs.
      • Create a Standalone Environmental Justice Element in the City’s General Plan – Key portions of the General Plan, the blueprint for growth and development in Los Angeles, are decades old and require an update to reflect the current needs of the City. One of those needs is a greater focus on equity and environmental justice, particularly as we plan to fairly distribute growth across the City in response to our housing crisis. Moreover, the City Council needs to hold ourselves accountable for fully implementing the existing policies and programs that do address the needs of disadvantaged communities
  • Lead the Fight Against Noxious Facilities
      • Shut Down Valley Generating Station – I will continue the effort to decommission the Valley Generating Station owned and operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in Sun Valley. LADWP revealed that there were ongoing methane gas leaks in 2020. We cannot risk more events like the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility and need to expedite our transition to 100% clean, renewable energy.

If we care about creating a city where residents can live and thrive, we have to ensure that Los Angeles has a world-class transportation system that prioritizes people. For years, the Valley has felt disconnected from the rest of the city and that has led residents to experience higher transportation costs and increased unaffordability. Access to transit is not only key to addressing affordability, but also ensuring that residents can afford to live in the community they call home. 

We know that 16% of the population commutes more than an hour to get to work and many residents in CD 6 rely on public transit. They deserve transportation that is affordable, accessible, and reliable. I am committed to investing in our transit infrastructure and mobility alternatives that will drive sustainable and equitable growth for our city. Accessible and reliable transportation options are essential for creating more connected and thriving communities.

As your Councilmember, I will:

  • Build out a Network of Safe, Reliable Bicycle Infrastructure in the Valley
      • Advocate for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Infrastructure – The City’s Mobility Plan identifies key corridors in our District like Van Nuys Boulevard and Woodley Avenue (north/south) and Parthenia Street, Roscoe Boulevard, and Sherman Way (east/west) as Tier 1 Protected Bicycle Lanes – which means bicyclists should receive extremely safe, high quality amenities that are physically separated from vehicular traffic. Bicycling right now in the San Fernando Valley is unimaginable. With fresh leadership on the council, we will receive the investments our communities deserve.
      • Make Existing Bicycle Infrastructure Safer – Our existing bicycle infrastructure in the District is inconsistent at best. The painted bike lanes and sharrows along key north/south bicycle connections in the District (Woodman Avenue and Laurel Canyon Boulevard) feel extremely unsafe throughout the day. Unprotected bike lanes exist, where we should have protected lanes like on Woodley Avenue. Moreover, many of these routes contribute to our City’s high injury network – where injuries and deaths are more frequent. On my first days in office, I will ask for a full assessment of the existing bicycle infrastructure in Council District 6 and request an action plan to fully implement key connections by 2035.
  • Make Public Transit Safe and Accessible for All
      • Advocate for Fare Free Transit – Most of the revenue generated by fares collected by Metro, goes back into policing transit riders through fare enforcement. Farebox revenue generates only a small portion of Metro’s operational budget. Free fare will place less of a burden on our low income communities and will encourage greater transit ridership.
      • Hire Transit Ambassadors – Black and Brown communities are disproportionately policed in our City and are also the communities that are most likely to take advantage of our public transit system. With transit ambassadors trained in de-escalation, we are able to emphasize high quality customer service and promote public safety. 

Unfortunately, past leadership has failed to actively negotiate on behalf of constituents for better streetscape improvements,  particularly around Van Nuys Civic Center – the heart and soul of the Valley. While these projects are far along in the process, I will take steps to get Metro back to the table to discuss how we can leverage these resources to better serve our communities.

  • Support the Healthy Streets LA initiative to Require the City to Implement Its Own Mobility Plan – Believe it or not, the City of Los Angeles has a Mobility Plan that directs us to invest the public right of way to create safer streets and transition away from a car oriented culture. Since the passage of the Mobility Plan in 2015, Los Angeles has only implemented 95 miles out of 3,137 miles planned (about 3% in 7 years). I will fight for continued investments on major corridors like Van Nuys Boulevard, Roscoe, and Sherman and will use every tool at our disposal.
  • Creating A More Livable and Walkable City
      • Promote the Goals of the Livable Communities Initiative (LCI) to Encourage Responsible Development that Uplifts Communities – I proudly support the goals of the Livable Communities Initiative, which is an effort to reimagine the city and address the housing, mobility and climate crisis at the same time. The LCI seeks to streamline the creation of missing middle housing, while advancing a holistic vision for livable, healthy, and sustainable communities along the City’s transit-rich corridors. The LCI seeks to improve our sidewalks, tree canopy, outdoor dining, bicycle infrastructure, transit shelters, fast and frequent transit, and public seating and plazas.
      • Implement the LA 25×25 Initiative – I will fight for sidewalks that are passable and ADA compliant, shade and tree canopy, and more parks. I will bring leadership to this office to address the lack of public and private investment in our public realm so that we may enjoy more accessible, green, healthy and productive communities.

Our city services are here to serve its residents and yet City Hall has always felt at arms length to residents in the Valley. They can be challenging to access – especially with over 20% of CD 6 residents having limited English skills and with others living in fear due to their immigration status. If elected, I’ll ensure that my council staff is available to answer your questions and make city services accessible to all – without fear or concern. 
However, we have to go further in making our local government work for working people. Special interests have too much control in the decisions our city makes and we can’t let it go unanswered. City Hall will remain broken until we make structural changes.

As your Councilmember, I will take the following steps to ensure government works for all:

  • Demand Transparency and Accountability in City Government
      • Reform Our Campaign Finance System & Establish Democracy Vouchers – Angelenos have lost faith that their government works for them because elected officials are beholden to big money interests instead of working people. Campaign spending continues to increase and grassroots candidates still have difficulty accessing our city’s matching funds. We need to democratize our campaign finance system and establish a citywide Democracy voucher system. Not only would it break special interests’ stranglehold on our elections, but we would amplify more voices in the political process. Historically, the vast majority of political spending in the city has come from wealthy white neighborhoods and donors are usually male. With a Democracy Voucher system, more women, more people of color, and more young people will be able to participate in our electoral system.
      • Establish an Independent Redistricting Commission – We need to remove the potential for corruption and political influence in amending our council district borders. This process occurs every 10 years to ensure that Angelenos have equal access to political representation. As a renter, I have found this process to be disheartening, as it has disenfranchised renter communities, while empowering homeowners and special interests.
      • Overhaul the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance – The Lobbying Ordinance has not been comprehensively updated since it was first adopted in 1994. We need to redefine who is a lobbyist in this City with objective and verifiable standards. We must also clearly define what lobbying activity is. Far too many scofflaw special interests groups evade registering as a lobbyist with the City in order to influence our legislative process out of the public eye.
      • Re-introduce the language to support the City Ethics Commission’s request to update the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance. – The Ethics Commission’s recommendation is supported by nearly 40 Neighborhood Councils that have issued community impact statements.  According to the Ethics Commission, the updates involve key definitions, registration and reporting requirements, exemptions, gifts, enforcement, and technical adjustments. There have been previous attempts to update the rules, but no progress has been made.  CD 6 and the entire city would benefit from an update to rules that are 29 years old. For perspective, these rules were developed before the widespread use of the internet, email, and cell phones.
      • Champion Ethics Reforms – Creating an independent redistricting process similar to the state’s, redesigning the City’s Ethics Commission so it is independent from political pressure, expanding the number of council seats, establishing a strong budget with a COLA increase for the City Controller’s office and the Ethics Commission so the City Council cannot use the budget funding process to influence, or restrain these two bodies that should be independent
  • Encourage Fair Representation in Local Government
      • Establish a Permanent Office of Immigrant Affairs – As a sanctuary city, the City of Los Angeles needs to have dedicated resources to meet the needs of our vulnerable immigrant communities in Los Angeles. I will work with the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department and the Community Investments for Families Department to identify permanent funding to establish an Office of Immigrant Affairs.
      • Expand the Number of Seats on City Council – Each Council District represents nearly 250,000 people, the size of most small cities in the United States! Smaller Council Districts will ensure that more voices are heard, reduce the chance of corruption, and limit the influence of special interests with deep pockets that do not represent our communities.
      • Encourage Representative Brown Act Bodies – In a “minority-majority” District, we must ensure that our key decision makers look like the communities they represent. I will work with the Mayor’s office and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to ensure that our boards, commissions, and neighborhood councils encourage participation from communities of color and low income communities.
  • Reduce Barriers to Active Civic Engagement
      • Fight for Greater Language Access – Our City services need to be accessible to all. All our city websites and mobile applications need to be able to support multiple languages. At City Council, members of the community who require translation services should receive language access on demand. This is as simple as ensuring that the City has enough assisted listening devices for every member of the public that requires them.
      • Continued Virtual Hearings for Neighborhood Councils – COVID-19 brought many challenges, however it introduced telecommuting to almost every aspect of our lives. For over two years, our Neighborhood Councils have been meeting via zoom, which allowed members to balance their City services with their everyday lives. We need to create less barriers to civic participation, not more.
  • Back to Basics
      • A Focus on Constituent Services – Council District 6 will be without elected representation for 6 months by the time of the special election. As one of my first legislative actions, I will request a report back on all outstanding service requests such as sidewalk and pothole repair, streetlight maintenance, bulking item pick ups, etc. and ask for the resources to get these open requests resolved as soon as possible. In addition, I commit to always proactively engaging with the community.
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