City: Los Angeles
Position Seeking: City Council – District 9

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.

As a young boy, I was part of the local Summer football team at the park.Suddenly, when I arrived to sign up for it again I found out that they were not offering it anymore. The government had cut its funding. I still wanted to do something that would keep me busy, and I joined a graffiti crew.I was a young graffiti artist and began to write my name on walls. It was not until I was in my late teens that I decided to use my creativity and pursue graphic design. Through hard-work and dedication I became relatively successful at a young age. I now have my own graphic design company and I am currently working on a project with local high schools in my neighborhood to tell the story of what our students and community have to offer. Its been a rewarding and continuing experience for me, the arts gave me that opportunity that I would like to continue sharing.

Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?

The creativity and imagination of our community’s talent especially our young talent should be fostered in a way that can lead them to become successful in their daily lives. In my district, there is an 80,000 sq ft abandoned warehouse that I plan on converting into a building that incubates entrepreneurial ideas and focuses on the arts, technology and education. The City Council must direct millions of dollars into funding that will encourage, promote, and provide resources to the Arts to increase participation among all Angelenos.

Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?

I see a sprawling city that is free of homelessness, a city that provides economic opportunity to everyone, that is inclusive of the arts and culture of our city, and is a safer city to live, work, and play. The abundance of different arts and cultures that is found in Los Angeles is part of what makes Los Angeles a great city. It gives us the opportunity to share our differences and work creatively to find innovative solutions that will inspire others to follow suit. We have to capitalize on this and continue to invest in programs and organizations that will continue to expand our arts and cultures.

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?

Part of my platform is to create jobs in my district. Within that umbrella of job creation are the Arts. It has not only been my career choice but I know first hand the impact it has had on me and my community. I will designate money from within my office as Councilmember to provide spaces and programs that will prepare our community for jobs and careers in the Arts.