Position Seeking: City Council – District 7
Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up and its impact on you.
I learned to play the guitar and sing at a fairly young age and was influenced by artists like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, BB. King, Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, Sam Cooke, Hoyt Axton, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Tim O’Brien, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and so many countless others.
Their words and music resonate through my daily life and have shaped my worldview in a way that might not have been possible without my connecting with their music.
With Bob Dylan…it was “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall” about the contemplation of nuclear war and the rationalization and hypocrisy of standard political thought.
With Springsteen it was”Highway Patrolman” about a cop’s willingness to look the other way when the criminal was his brother.
Steve Earle speaks for the homeless with his song “Invisible”
He also spoke about our immigrants with his song:
“City of Immigrants”
I could go on all night about my love for these brilliant artists and how they have expanded our collective consciousness.
I am a better person because of the simple, yet profound words and music of these giants, who have spoken about the irony of life, of hatred and love, the acceptance of other viewpoints, the mystery of life and death and the rage that smolders just beneath the surface in this beautiful, conflicted nation.
Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
We can start by promoting more music festivals. I would love to see a multi-day celebration of our Latino Heritage…especially considering that California was once a part of Mexico.
*Weekend Art festival
*Encourage more street musicians
*Mentoring for kids in music, performance and visual arts.
I don’t have all the answers…but more art is better!
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
I want to make Pasadena in to the most bike and pedestrian, mass-transit and green friendly city in the country.
All of the arts play a vital role in exposing hypocrisy by challenging our citizens to be more responsible and voice their concern when things go bad.
Artists have been at the forefront of social movements since the beginning of time and I want to engage our citizens by appealing to them with music and other art forms.
Questions 4: A recent report by the Otis College of Design found that 1 in every 6 jobs in LA County supports the creative sector and economy in Los Angeles County. If elected, how will you aim to ensure the continued vitality and growth of the creative economy and the artistic community that it supports?
We need to make it easy and profitable for the film industry to do their projects here.
We need to do everything we can to support Live music at our local venues.
We should seek out promising visual artists and find ways to use their art works in public spaces.
Our public schools should have a major emphasis on art as an alternative to a college degree…with a real path to a decent standard of living…I’m not sure how we will achieve this, but it’s possible…everything good starts with a dream!