The biggest problem in this district is the lack of good, family-wage jobs. Under my opponent's watch, Council District 1 was last in the city in job growth - 15th out of 15. That's not acceptable.
As a state lawmaker for our community, I authored the Downtown rebound legislation, investing millions of dollars in our community.
With so many in the construction industry out of work in our communities, I believe that it’s time to rebuild our roads and neighborhoods. By incentivizing business to hire locally, we can put Angelenos back to work, revitalize our neighborhoods and create an infrastructure of prosperity for years to come.
As our City Councilman, I'll expand access to job training and vocational education to prepare Los Angelenos of all ages for the jobs of the future. I'll work to build stronger partnerships between the city, local businesses, non-profits, unions and community colleges to ensure students receive the real world training they need to succeed.
I am running for City Council to bring back the Los Angeles of Tom Bradley. A city that understood that a progressive polity and a business-friendly climate were compatible, rather than contradictory. A city that understands that the city relies on business to create jobs and revenue, and that business relies on the city to deliver it educated citizens, safe streets, and a fair set of rules. I believe that this relationship has become unwound in recent years, with the relationship between labor, business, and the city becoming adversarial, rather than symbiotic, and as a public servant who has brought people together to get things done, I am running to do my part to make that relationship work again. The city can only work if all of its stakeholders are pulling in the same direction.
I served as our local State Senator and State Assembly Member for over 15 years. As a State Lawmaker, I authored nearly 100 bills that were signed into California law by four different Governors. Most notable was legislation that created jobs in downtown LA, expanded access to healthcare, protected the rights of immigrants, and held gang leaders financially responsible for their crimes.
The most pressing issues facing the district, as well as the City, are 1) delivery of core city services with reduced general fund resources, 2) the lack of a coordinated economic development strategy to promote jobs in this City, and 3) the prioritization of core city functions in the budget process.
My policy priorities will be to focus on constituent services, the creation of affordable housing, including workforce housing, and sustainable land use policies that encourage economic development and job creation.
I am running to be councilmember of the First District because I believe our neighborhoods still matter. We live, work, and raise our families here, and ultimately neighborhoods define our collective experience. In my professional career, I have served the same neighborhoods in the non-profit sector, where I organized for community empowerment; the private sector, where I advocated for community investment while learning about budget accountability; and most recently the public sector, where I harnessed city resources that built libraries, created more open space, and helped put more police officers on our streets.The neighborhoods of the First District have defined me.
Also, my entire life has been connected to the neighborhoods of the First District: playing as a child in MacArthur Park, taking Sunday school courses in Chinatown, spending weekends visiting family and friends in Lincoln Heights and Highland Park, and eventually marrying a woman that was raised in Pico-Union.
In my role as Chief Deputy for Councilmember Ed Reyes over the last ten years, I am proud to have played a critical role in making our neighborhoods better places to live. Working with hundreds of community leaders and volunteers, we have created 100 acres of open space, invested over $10 million to improve our recreation centers, repaired dozens of miles of our streets and sidewalks, and created programs to prepare our young people for the jobs of the future.
As councilmember, I will bring leadership based on proven community-based experience, deep knowledge of our neighborhoods, and a work ethic that will continue the good efforts of the last ten years, while embracing new opportunities to make our communities still better.