City: Burbank
Position Seeking: City Council

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 an autistic child, I had a lot of difficulties at school and in social settings. I always felt different, weird, and like the odd one out. When I was fourteen, my English teacher enrolled me in an after-school theater program that specifically put me in the improv class. My life changed at that point. I found a community of acceptance, of artistic challenges – a family I never knew I could have before. Twenty-two years later, I still do improv every week and use what I’ve learned from this artistic medium every single day, in everything that I do.

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 city council is not just the executive body of Burbank. They are also symbols of cultural leadership in our community. As such, council members must embrace all aspects of learning and growth by exposure to other disciplines and traditions of groups outside of our typical daily experience. The best and most effective ways to garner these insights is through art and media. Under the purview of the city council, we must allow our budget to include the necessary infrastructure needed for our citizens to experience art regardless of age or background. I believe with all my heart that the backbone of a vibrant democracy is a civic culture that values art.

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

When governing a city, one must always keep an eye to the future. Because the future is not set, we must use our past experiences to imagine what will be. There is no greater development of imagination than art. Science fiction brings us technological advances, Renaissance painters designed beautiful architecture, horticultural gardens paint cities with greenery, and the marriage of math and science that designs our infrastructure can only be seen through the eye of an artist. My campaign and my potential work as council member is founded upon getting more people involved. Just as the arts thrive when different voices participate, democracy benefits from a multitude of viewpoints coming together to create a community. We are nothing without each other, and our individual voices are to be just as respected as the volume we can create together.

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?

As a filmmaker for over 12 years, I have worked in both independent media and studio productions. These experiences give me unique insight on how to build upon the existing creative-sector jobs while still seeking out growth opportunities and new media possibilities. The city of Burbank has become a world-renowned hub for film, television, and animation. As council member, I want to create a more symbiotic relationship between the production facilities and the residents so that we all succeed together.