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|Los Angeles County, CA||March 8, 2005 Election|
Stonewall Democratic Clug Questions & Answers
By Edward "Ed" GarrenCandidate for Council Member; City of West Hollywood
This information is provided by the candidate
Interview Questionaire for Stonewall Democratic ClubSTONEWALL DEMOCRATIC CLUB
THE PURPOSES AND GOALS OF STONEWALL DEMOCRATIC CLUB are grounded in a belief that lesbians and gay men should be fully and equally represented both in the community and the body politic. It is our goal to make the Democratic Party and its elected officials responsive to, and responsible for, the needs of all people, particularly, though not exclusively, the lesbian gay and other minority communities. We seek to eliminate discrimination based upon sexual orientation, gender, race or disability, and we seek to promote freedom of choice of lifestyle and human and civil rights and further economic and social justice for all people. Further, we seek to promote legislation that advances our goals and to vigorously oppose legislation that oppresses and/or restricts basic human rights. We also encourage gay and lesbian candidates for public office who are competent, qualified and viable. We firmly believe that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to society in general to affirm our role in the political arena. In pursuit of our goals, STONEWALL DEMOCRATIC CLUB works with the Democratic Party and other institutions.
Do you support the goals and purposes of Stonewall as outlined above? (YES)
Do you seek the endorsement of Stonewall Democratic Club? (YES)
If you receive the endorsement will you use it in your literature? (YES)
1. BASIC PERSONAL AND CAMPAIGN INFORMATION
Name: Edward "Ed" Garren Home Address: 1247 N. Vista Street, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Campaign address: 7336 Santa Monica Blvd. #622, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Telephone:(home) 323 851-5399 (office) 323 899-4967 FAX #: 323 851-3197 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Party registration:_Democrat How long? My entire life Have you ever registered in another party? NO If so, what party?
Campaign Manager: (Co-Campaign Managers), Eric Norman & Igor Kagan Consultant NONE How many workers do you have? Paid __2____ Volunteer __8_ Are any openly gay or lesbian? Yes Whom do you consider to be your primary DEMOCRATIC opponent(s)? John Duran Whom do you consider to be your principal Republican opponent? Not Applicable Have you undergone candidate training? Yes By Whom?_Tom West, City Clerk Do you expect to be on any slates, if so which? I am hoping for Stonewall's Endorsement. I am also hoping for West Hollywood Democratic Club's endorsement. In addition, I have received significant business owner support from West Hollywood business owners.
2. OFFICE SOUGHT AND DISTRICT
What office and district are you seeking? _West Hollywood City Council_ Is it an open seat? No____ If you are running against a Democratic incumbent why do you believe the incumbent should not be re-elected? Two Incumbents, four challengers. I am most "at odds" with John Duran, who does not seem to comprehend that economic justice is a significant civil right. John envisions a "built up" West Hollywood, with condos for those who can afford them, and large corporate enterprise owning most businesses. This of course to be built after the existing residences and small business spaces have been demolished, and the current residents and business owners have been "squeezed out". What is the district registration: Dem __X__ Rep ________Other _________
Is there anything unusual or unique about the district? West Hollywood is one of the most unique areas of the United States, if not the world. Volumes could be written, and all of us would be in them.
3. YOUR BACKGROUND
Have you ever held office before? East Side Project Area Committee (original PAC was elected by the neighborhood)
If yes, which office? ______________________________________________________
Have you held appointive office? ___No____ If yes, which office?_______________________________________________________ What political campaigns have you actively participated in the last 5 years and what did you do in those campaigns? None the last five years, was in many campaigns before.
What was the last non-political, non-governmental job you held? Program Director, K.C. Services (Alcohol & Drug Treatment).
What community activities have you been involved in and what community organizations are you a member of?
Was a member of (and Secretary of) the East Side Re-Development Project Area Committee for over 7 years until it was recently disbanded by City Council. I have been Co-Captain of the Vista Street Neighborhood Watch for 11 years. I was an officer in Stonewall Democratic Club many years ago, was Director of Training and Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Police Advisory Task Force (leading up to the landmark Grobeson case, was significantly influential in Sgt. Grobeson's decision to sue the LAPD). I was the founder of the Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club of Orange County. At the University of South Florida, I was a Coordinator in the campus Gay/Lesbian student coalition, and "came out" publicly in a front page article in the Tampa Tribune in 1977.
Please describe your education:
My undergraduate work is in The Humanities, and my Master's is in Rehabilitation (M.A. 1978, University of South Florida in Tampa). I have additional post Master's work at Cal State LA, CSUN, UCLA, Cal State Long Beach and USC. In addition to my core coursework, I have training in Woman's Studies, African American Studies, Linguistics, Gerontology, and Cross Cultural issues in the therapeutic process.
4. GENERAL QUESTIONS
If you are the incumbent, what do you consider to be your primary accomplishments in office? If you are not the incumbent, what are the principal reasons you decided to run for this office and what experience or training have you had that you feel is pertinent?
On May 25, 2003, I met long time associate John Duran at Tango Grill to discuss the breakneck pace at which Development is occurring in West Hollywood. I attempted to discuss with him why many people are not comfortable with the rate of demolitions and replacements, which are occurring in the city, and how that so called "gentrification" was in fact not a good thing for the city. I was told by John that private property rights are the foundation of the U.S. Constitution, and that the city could do nothing to stop, or slow down development, that it was inevitable, and he did not understand why anyone would be concerned. I suggested to him at that time that many people were concerned, including myself, and that if things did not slow down, and he did not re-consider his thoughts on development, I might run, and I would basically be running against him.
At the Council meeting of June 7th, John Heilman announced that I was running for City Council.
My experience is significant and multi faceted. It goes back to my father's involvement in city politics (elected City Councilmember) and the changes he made in that situation. I have extensive personal and professional expertise in issues ranging from public utility infrastructure and distribution systems, to years of professional human services experience serving every population which the city has human service programs. In addition I understand the significance of a "Village" and the importance of relationships that enhance any community.
Lastly, I believe this election will be the most significant in the city's history. At this point in time, we are poised to either destroy much of what makes our city both "Creative" and an "Urban Village", or preserve and protect the distinctive elements which make West Hollywood a place where diverse peoples feel "safe" and have a voice in their affairs.
If you are elected or re-elected to this office, what do you hope to accomplish in your term?
If I am elected, I hope to enact a two year emergency ordinance that is a moratorium on development related demolitions. During that time, I will call on the city to re-draft the zoning ordinances, with emphasis on small business development, preservation and re-habilitation of our city. As a part of "down zoning", I will ask that the zoning consider the city as an integrated historical site, and put the onus on developers to justify demolition rather than on the residents to stop it.
In addition, I will ask the city to enact re-location fees for persons displaced when a landlord stops accepting Section IIX.
The "La Brea" corridor is the next (and last) significant development site in the city. Rather than continue with conventional development paradigms, I would like to see the city find a way to develop "mixed use" in such a manner that the profits from the "market rate" residences and commercial buildings can subsidize rent for lower income persons who are traditionally underserved by HUD and other low income housing situations, including GLBT seniors.
The "Creative City" can do this, but has not gone out of its way to try lately.
If you are elected will you refrain from endorsing any non-Democrats for office? YES
5. MONEY AND ENDORSEMENTS
How much money have you raised? _____Approximately $3,500 _______Total you expect to raise? ____$10,000
Your top three largest contributors: 1) _June & Sam Sale_ 2)__Dino Andrianos (Astro Burger) 3)___Emanuel Kim
Who are your five most important organizational and individual endorsers? Organizational: The Yukon Mining Company, Top Hat Cleaners, Los Angeles Driver Educational Programs, Irv's Burgers, _____________________________________________________________________________________ Individual: Dina Andrianos (Astro Burger), Eric Norman Stonewall Young Democrats), Piedad F. Robertson (President of Santa Monica College), Duane "Kip" O'Conner, June Solnit Sale MSW (Child Advocate) ________________________________________________________________________________________ Will you accept PAC contributions? __Depends on the PAC___________ Will you use your own money? __Yes__________ If yes, how much? $200_________ Have you accepted any loans? ______NO_______ If yes, from whom? __________________________________________ Is there a limit you will accept from an individual or organization? ___Yes_________ If yes how much? $_1,000_____
6. CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES What is your position on the death penalty?
I have been opposed to the death penalty all of my life. It is an inhumane act, barbarian, and is discriminatory against people of modest means, minorities, and others who are perceived as "different".
Do you believe that the death penalty should be broadened or restricted and why?
I believe the death penalty should be abolished, for the reasons above.
What changes, if any, should be made to the three strikes law?
Three strikes has some validity IF all three strikes are violent crimes. For people who commit non violent crimes, particularly drug addicts, it is of no value and very expensive to society. Much of my professional career has been spent in offender rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is not only the more humane approach, it is the most cost effective approach as well. As for "Ex-Prisoners", if an offender has "paid their debt to society" and fulfilled all of the conditions of their sentence, then their voting rights (and all other rights) should be re-instated. The "Justice" system is biased against persons of color, the poor, etc, all of whom deserve to be able to vote again after they have completed their sentence.
How would you define our "crime problem" and what would you do to alleviate the problem?
Crime is a product of social injustices and economic displacement and exploitation. The continued erosion of the middle class, small businesses, and the concentration of increasing wealth in the hands of fewer people.
I have spent most of my professional career working with offender populations and other institutionally marginalized persons.
Quality Public Education, a diverse economy which includes well paying jobs for persons of varying skill levels and which allows people to have economic dignity, rather than economic exploitation, all contribute to reduction in crime in society.
What crime prevention programs do you support?
"First Five", assuring that pre-natal and peri-natal children and their mothers can live in a nurturing environment which is safe and secure is the most important element in "early" crime prevention. For convicted offenders, rehabilitation, educational opportunities (including financial aid), and the restoration of FULL civil rights when the consequences of the offense have been fulfilled.
Do you believe penalties for a crime should be enhanced if it is determined that the crime was committed because of hatred of a particular group?
During the racial civil rights era, the often stated comment was, "You can't legislate morality". To that statement, Martin Luther King's response was, "I don't want to legislate morality, I want to legislate behavior. I don't care if someone loves me, I just don't want them to lynch me".
At this time, one of the deterrents against crimes against minority persons is the additional consequences received if the crime is considered a "Hate Crime" against a member of a minority group. Until we come up with something better, I support the affirmative enforcement of anti hate crime legislation.
7. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
What is your position on affirmative action in today's society?
For the reasons stated above, we still need affirmative action.
What affirmative action, if any, do you feel should be taken in the private or non-governmental sector?
Traditionally, Affirmative Action laws have required any business which contracts with any governmental agency to develop a plan in which the demographic "profile" of the company is a reflection of the demographic profile of the community in which the company is located. If that is not the case, the company is required to develop and implement a plan to create that reflection, and given time to do so. Generally, this works.
Private businesses which do not contract with a governmental agency are only held to the standard of the community and the customers of the business at this time.
With the continued "downsizing" and displacement of workers, the workplace becomes more competitive and "minority" persons are more vulnerable. Increasing opportunities for those persons to enhance their skills are important and should be encouraged and developed.
What type of factors would you consider in appointing or recommending persons for appointment to staff or commission positions? Will you support the appointment of qualified GLBT persons to fill appointments and vacancies?
Ivy Bottini once said, "Qualified is a Heterosexist word". Generally, I agree. My own decision to be "out" has significantly affected my career path in that in most of my career employment, I worked in "minority" settings, often one of the few or only "White Men" in the job setting. This has given me a rich perspective in the dynamics of how minority persons (including GLBT persons) are not invited to the tables of leadership and therefore do not gain the experiences to help them become "Qualified".
In my administrative career, I have hired dozens of employees (and fired a few). My administrative style has always been inclusive and my management style is participatory. I believe in engaging intelligent, sensitive and creative people, and allowing them to find their particular talents and "voice" in the work they perform. I have found that an eclectic and varied staff creates the most vibrant settings, which are an impetus for creativity and "progress".
As an "Out" Gay Man (for 29 years) I will fully support the appointments of all persons who bring expertise, sensitivity, creativity and intelligence to any position which they might seek to fill.
I have made a specific promise to my Russian speaking neighbors that if I am elected my Council Deputy WILL be a native speaker of Russian so that they may have access to City Council offices without the barrier of English.
8. LESBIAN AND GAY ISSUES
What actions have you taken to support the full participation of lesbians and gay men in society?
Coordinator of the Gay/Lesbian Coalition, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL Member of the Board and Treasurer of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Miami, FL Member of the Board, Southern California Alcohol & Traffic Association, Los Angeles, CA
Steering Committee Member, Stonewall Democratic Club, Los Angeles, CA
Co-Chair of Gay & Lesbian Police Advisory Task Force, Los Angeles, CA
Founder, Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club of Orange County
Field Coordinator and Supervisor of Voter Persuasion, Orange County "No on 64" (First La Rouche HIV Quarantine initiative)
Advisor on Political Affairs (not officially titled) to the Alcohol & Drug Advisory Board of Orange County
Being "Out" in every employment setting I have held in my entire professional career.
If your 18-year-old child (grandchild, nephew, niece, etc.) were to tell you that he/she was gay or lesbian what would you say to the child?
My Nephew (now 25 years old) Michael Garren is gay. When he was 15 and "questioning", I taught him "safer" sex practices, including condom use, safe lubricants, etc. This was with the full support of both his father (28 Year Army veteran) and his grandmother. We have had other conversations about dealing with being different and discrimination. Michael's mother is Korean, so he already has significant experience with dealing with discrimination. He is a good person.
Do you believe that same gender couples should be afforded the right to marry YES
Do you support or oppose legislation or constitutional amendments (such as the Knight initiative) to prohibit recognition of gay marriages legally performed outside California, and why?
I vigorously oppose this sort of institutional discrimination. My basic litmus test has always been, "Do straight people have to deal with this?"
Do you support legislation to grant rights such as hospital visitation, inheritance, and health benefits to domestic partners?
Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes.
Do you support programs such as Project 10 and why?
I vigorously support these programs. I was a child who experienced significant discrimination, my nephew, and I have worked with children and adolescents most of my career.
Do believe that same gender couples should be permitted to adopt children?
YES !! My God Daughter Nicole lived with me (I was a single parent) for 18 months in Miami Florida when she was 6 to 8. She, and everyone who knows us and our story, credit that 18 months as the happiest time (if not the only happy time) in her childhood, and the sure sense that she was worthy of being loved.
Do you favor expanding the city domestic partnership law to those doing business with the city or in any other manner?
State reasons, if any, why you oppose discrimination against gay men and lesbians?
All of the above. We are all "Children of God". At 55, I'm just SO over it. It's like "Get a life and leave us alone".
9. REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS What is your position on the attempt to ban late term abortions (commonly known as "partial birth abortions")?
A woman should always have the right to choose. It is not up to the government to legislate morality.
Do you support any limitations on the right of a woman to have an abortion? If yes, what limits?
No, I do NOT support limits. The decision to terminate a pregnancy is a very difficult and personal one.
Do you support state funded abortions for economically disadvantaged women?
Yes, as I support state funding for all medical treatments.
Do you support or oppose legislation requiring parental/judicial consent for minors to have an abortion?
I oppose parental/judicial consent for adolescent reproductive issues, including the termination of a pregnancy.
10. HEALTH-INCLUDING HIV/AIDS
What actions, if any, should be taken to help curtail the spread of HIV/AIDS?
I am a former HIV prevention educator. I have worked significantly in Chemical Dependency Treatment programs. There is significant correlation between the two. HIV prevention programs work, but only if someone is not engaged in the self destructive behaviors associated with Substance Abuse and Addiction. So, both issues must be addressed.
Also, the Low Self Esteem issues associated with the above are rampant in all minority communities, including ours.
Do you support clean needle exchange programs to reduce HIV transmission among IV drug abusers?
Yes, and I worked in an HIV reduction research program with IV drug users.
Do you support the use of non-names-based reporting (unique identifiers) to report and track those who test positive for HIV, or do you favor names-based reporting?
The current anonymous testing sites we have in California were created out of legislation promoted by Senator Roberti and developed by community leadership (mostly Stonewall Democratic Club) in my living room at 946 N. Curson. I favor anonymous testing, "Confidential" is not the same.
Do you support the medicinal use of marijuana?
Yes I do. For persons with many illnesses, THC (the active "drug" in Marijuana) is best absorbed by inhalation and oral ingestion does not work efficiently enough to create the appropriate medical effect.
Do you support making Medicare benefits available for persons under the age of 65? YES !!!
What legislation do you support to regulate HMO's, particularly unjustified denial of care and referrals?
I am a middle aged man living without health insurance because there is no reasonable health insurance for men my age, particularly if we are overweight (computed on weight charts which are unrealistic). I am also a health care provider (Mental Health) and both I and my clients are direct beneficiaries of the "Parity Law" for mental health care which was passed by Gov. Davis. Health Care plans should not deny appropriate medical treatments, but as long as the primary motivator is profit, they will do so.
I believe one solution would be for all institutional health care in the United States (hospitals and clinics) to be mandated as "Non Profits". This would eliminate significant abuse of the health care system. Under the current mix of "For" and "Non" profit providers, the corporate "For Profit" hospitals often "work" health insurance companies for all they can get. I've worked in hospitals where the sole clinical decisions were based on insurance coverage.
11. IMMIGRATION AND LANGUAGE
What is your position on Proposition 187 and what did you do to support or defeat it?
As a member of a multi lingual and multi racial family, I was vehemently opposed to Pete Wilson's garbage Prop 187.
Do you feel that there should be a difference in the benefits provided to citizens and legal immigrants?
No. Once someone decides to enter the United States, they begin the process of becoming an "American". The naturalization ceremony only makes them full voting participants. Our generosity should extend to ALL who are here.
What is your position on bilingual or native language instruction to those students who are not fluent in English?
I am from Florida. The Miami-Dade School system wrote the book on "Bi-Lingual education in the early 1960s, when faced with a massive influx of Cuban refugees. In addition, Miami Beach had a large influx of Jews from the (then) Soviet Union. We also had Haitians living in Miami, in my neighborhood. In Miami, "Bi-Lingual" also meant "English Immersion" so that while the student had the comfort of being taught in their native language, they were also learning English. In this way, within a year or two, the student was also a competent speaker of English. When I enrolled my God Daughter at Feinberg Elementary School on Miami Beach, the Miami Dade School system identified 16 languages which were native languages spoken by it's students (in 1981).
What I have too often observed in Southern California is the use of "Bi-Lingual" education as a segregation tool. Students are not encouraged to become academically proficient in English, and are relegated to being second class and often assumed to be incapable of pursuing an academic career. This is wrong, and I do not believe in any form of ongoing segregation.
12. TAXATION AND BUDGET
Do you favor any specific type of tax reductions? _This is a complex and situational question, however, I do not believe in taxes (or tax structures) which discriminate (or benefit) a specific group of people, such as GLBT couples, who do not get the same benefit as Married Couples.___ If yes, please describe:
Do you favor any specific type of tax increases? See above If yes, please describe:
Do you favor any specific increase of expenditures in any area? _YES__ If yes, please describe:
Public education spending in California is a disgrace. Spending for services for Children and Seniors is also very poor. Funding for all of these services should be significantly increased.
Do you favor any specific decreases in expenditures in any area? __NO_ If yes, please describe:
What changes if any do you favor regarding the city's business tax, particularly in regard to home-based businesses?
I am not familiar enough with the specifics of this issue to make an appropriate answer.
What actions do you favor to provide more low income housing in LA?
The ability of developers to "Buy Out" their affordable housing share had created a situation where virtually none gets built. Developers should be required to build low income and moderate income units in ALL new development.
What is your position on block grants?
Block Grant funding is a political football that gets tossed back and forth, and if often not very well accounted for. At it's best, they help cities do great things. At it's worst, only a few benefit from them.
What do you feel should be done to alleviate homelessness?
Another population I have worked with. No one seems to remember that we did not have "homeless" people in this country until July of 1981 when the (newly elected, "Voo Doo Economics) Ronald Reagan budget erased the federally funded mental health system in this country, much the same way G.W. Bush erased the matching funds for community based medical care in 2001.
The "homeless problem" is a direct result of bad health care (specifically bad MENTAL health care) policy from the federal government. That policy is firmly rooted in the beliefs similar to the economic "Darwinism" of the current majority on the West Hollywood City Council.
What actions do you favor to alleviate traffic congestion? What policies do you support to improve the public transportation system in Los Angeles? More "light rail", more electric busses, synchronized traffic signals on "artery" streets.
Do you support the break up of the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) and why?
I do not see any advantage to breaking up the MTA.
15. GUN CONTROL
Describe any changes that you feel should be made in California or federal gun control laws and why?
I applaud West Hollywood's ban on cheap hand guns. On the other hand, I do not want G.W. and Dick Cheney to be the only people who have access to firearms. All of my political refugee friends who have immigrated here understand the importance of the right to "bear arms". I do not own any firearms.
Do you favor federal licensing (registration) of gun owners?
NO. I do not favor any legislation which would give this administration MORE power.
What policies do you support to improve/maintain Los Angeles' air quality? Electric busses on heavily used MTA lines (like the 4 and the 304 going through West Hollywood).
What policies do you support to improve/maintain Los Angeles' water quality?
Encouragement of water conservation, increased testing for water purity and bacteria count.
What restrictions or mitigations, if any, do you favor regarding developments that create additional population density and traffic?
West Hollywood has the highest population density on the West Coast, and possibly east of Manhattan. Part of my "platform" is NO MORE DENSITY IN WEST HOLLYWOOD !!
What actions do you favor to assist the LAUSD?
Working parents desperately need AFFORDABLE child and after school care. The city should have a larger focus on after school programs for working (and single) parents. In addition, the city should encourage the creation and preservation of pre-schools in the city.
What is your position on government funded vouchers to subsidize private and religious school education?
I am against any form of vouchers. Quality Public Education is the cornerstone of a strong democracy.
What is your position regarding the breakup of the LA Unified School District?
This is a mixture of issues, and I have many friends who are teachers. On one hand, the district is "top heavy" with too many administrators and not enough teachers. It is often not very flexible or accountable to local communities. On the other hand, its size helps it be consistent on many issues, including human rights issues.
I don't think breaking it up is the panacea. I think there is some middle ground in which local schools can have more flexibility, but not become too myopic.
18. CAMPAIGN PROCESS
What measures do you favor to regulate campaign contributions and spending?
I think spending $60,000 to $90,000 for a small municipal election such as West Hollywood is obscene, yet at least one incumbent is poised to do just that. My question is, how many people who actually LIVE in the city are contributing that kind of money?
19. LABOR AND TRADE
What actions have you taken in support of organized labor?
When I was a Children's Social Worker for Los Angeles County I was the "shop steward" for our office in Region II (South Los Angeles, Compton & Watts).
Do you support an increase in the minimum wage and to what level?
I support an increase in minimum wage, but more importantly I support incentives to keep manufacturing and service jobs in the United States so that better paying jobs remain here.
What type of expansion or other changes, if any, do you favor regarding the living wage?
The creation of entrepreneurial opportunities for persons who are not able to work in traditional corporate or governmental environments. For most non-English speakers, owning one's own business is the only way to survive.
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles helped to create such "cottage industries" with the creation of "Mama's Hot Tamales" carts in the Mac Arthur Park area. The women who own this businesses are able to be self sufficient because the Diocese, as part of it's Economic Justice initiatives, helped them work through the business codes, and lobbied the city of Los Angeles to be more "cottage business" friendly.
The Diocese was also centrally involved in the formation of "Janitors for Justice".
What policies do you support to develop and maintain well-paying jobs in Southern California?
Well paying jobs relate to the creation and sales of competitive goods and services which are desired on the market place. West Hollywood's participation in that endeavor is our creative people who contribute to the entertainment industry. Many of these people do not make significant income. The maintenance and creation of low and moderate income housing, and the preservation of the small business environment all contribute to the commodity which we market, creativity.
What is your position on privatization and contracting out of government jobs and services?
Los Angeles County decided to contract out all of its alcohol and drug rehabilitation services in the 1970s, which is why persons in my profession are underpaid and have no retirement benefits.
I'm against it.
20. CITY ISSUES
What do you feel should be the number one priority for the city?
Stop the demolitions, and the increase of density.
What actions do you favor to decrease tensions between different communities in the City?
The Russian speaking community in West Hollywood have long felt marginalized and "outside" of the city. Because they are my neighbors, I have promised them a Council Deputy who will speak and understand Russian.
Do you have any specific plans to reduce violent crime and crimes against property?
Maintain and enhance Neighborhood Watch associations. Increase recreational activities for young people.
Do you support the new neighborhood council program and would you support granting them voting rights in regard to approving or rejecting projects?
I was on the East Side Project Advisory Committee (PAC) for 7 years. It was elected by the east side community, and functioned as a "neighborhood council", meeting monthly for over 7 years. The current majority on City Council decided to disband it, and has since appointed it's own PAC, many of whom do not live on the East Side, and which is slated to meet quarterly.
In this regard, West Hollywood has gone in reverse, not forward.
Also, there are NO City Council members living east of Crescent Heights. Three of them (the same majority) live in condominiums west of La Cienega.
What actions do you favor to prevent or minimize police misconduct such as that reflected in the Rampart situation? Law enforcement agencies MUST be accountable to the communities they serve. In West Hollywood, we have a very "pro" community policing sheriff's department, the sheriff is elected by the county and the city contracts with the sheriff's department and maintains a strong control over the type of police "work" it wants in the city.
Los Angeles needs to learn from this.
21. PARTY ACTIVITIES
Have you ever been active in Democratic Party clubs or organizations? _YES___ If yes, describe:
Stonewall, Eleanor Roosevelt and West Hollywood Democratic Clubs.
Have you held any office in a Democratic Party club or organization? ___Yes____If yes, describe:
Stonewall: Recording Secretary, liaison to the Police Advisory Task Force Eleanor Roosevelt: Founder and first male Co-Chair.
22. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS OR INFORMATION
My candidacy is about protecting our village community and to keep it from becoming a place that none of us want to or can afford to live in. A village is defined by its relationships. In a village, neighbors and business owners know and care about each other. With the current irresponsible development, our village community is being threatened.
Issues Facing Our Community
The skyrocketing property values have fueled the desire of many to exploit our community by overwhelming us with irresponsible development. The belief that all development is good has encouraged the current wave of demolitions that are threatening to destroy existing affordable housing and small business spaces that create our village-like community. Below are properties currently in danger of being demolished.
1. The Ramona-1236 N. Harper Avenue
The city has become very "developer friendly" and in the process is also becoming very "corporation friendly". Do we really want our diverse housing and our thriving small businesses replaced by large condos (up to 65 feet tall) and corporate businesses?
My Vision For the City
West Hollywood has always been a place where people felt safe. Our strong beliefs in protecting human rights, encouraging social and economic justice, are core values in which the residents have always held to be important. Irresponsible development is destroying these protections.
Immediate actions I propose if elected:
1. Draft an emergency ordinance calling for a moratorium on all demolitions for up to two years. (as allowed by state law)
I was the first activist voice in the city to propose a moratorium on demolitions in the city. I was also the first activist voice to push the city to provide re-location fees for ALL Ellis Act Evictions in the city (which finally passed 14 months after the state amended the Ellis Act).
We are witnessing the "corporatization of West Hollywood. The "new owners" will have little regard for what we consider "our" values.
One example, the new Walgreen's management told a business owner in Crescent Square shopping center that he could no longer display "Frontiers" news magazine because the "content of it was not in keeping with Walgreen's policy".
Is this what we want taking over the city?
I appreciate Stonewall's consideration of my candidacy and I ask that all candidates be considered on the basis of the needs of the city and the decisions the elected council members will make to affect those LOCAL CITY needs.
Position Paper 3
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