City: La Puente City
Position Seeking: Councilmember
Question 1: Please share the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up.
Living in the Palms area of Los Angeles in the 1950’s, adjacent to Culver City, I would go with my family each year to the week long La Ballona Days Festival which was a cultural celebration of Culver City’s Spanish and Western heritage. Begun in 1951, La Ballona Days had people go to events and even to work dressed up as Native American Indians. rancheros. seÃ±oritas. cowboys and cowgirls. The early fiestas evoked pride among the descendants of the first families and offered the entire community a playful opportunity to connect with its history.
Question 2: What do you think should be the role of City Council in the development and support of the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
As mayor, in 2012 we started the La Puente Art Walk. This event brought artists from all over Southern California to show their art in downtown La Puente. This included music and poetry readings as well as crafts and jewelry exhibits. Having served on our school district’s Visual and Performing Arts Commission I believe the arts are an important part of our communities cultural fabric.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in achieving that vision?
I believe the Arts are an important piece of of a city’s culture and should not only honor the past but also look to the future. We are now beginning a civic/public art project we hope will bring art to the masses.
Questions 4: A recent report by the Otis College of Design found that 1 in every 7 jobs in LA County is supports the creative sector and economy in Los Angeles County. What strategies, if any, would you pursue to enhance the region’s creative economy (i.e. cultural tourism, indirect and direct jobs, nonprofit and for profit organizations)?
In a small town like La Puente, where we have no vacant land and a low to middle income population. there are few chances to influence the larger creative arts economy of Southern California’s (jobs and tourism). Our key role is to educate our students and population at large about the importance of the arts, their beauty and significance and encourage them to reach out beyond our borders to experience, work in and enjoy the Southern California art scene.