City: Los Angeles
Position Seeking: Mayor
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.
Growing up around the arts and being enthralled by history as a child, it was only a brief time before I began studying the history of art. This began my senior year of high school when I decided to take an art history course at Brooklyn College where our first introduction into art history was "Janson’s History of Art: The Western Tradition." Reading this book cover to cover multiple times, I will never forget what it was like having my eyes opened to the art of our past in all of its mediums. From that day on, art has struck a new appreciation and fascination with me, and I continue to collect art passed down from my family from years before.
Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
Our Mayor and City Council has a fundamental role in protecting and growing our city’s thriving culture, be it funding programs and outlets for the arts or safeguarding our historical cultural centers. Therefore, our Mayor and City Council must always show its leadership and support for the arts and work together with our cultural community to tackle the issues we face and fight for the budgetary priorities we need. This includes working together with the LAUSD to support the arts in the classroom and mandating that developers include spaces for the arts in our city’s development to push us towards a world class cultural center.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
My vision for Los Angeles is a city that listens, engages, and provides for it residents with real solutions to give our residents a quality of life they can be proud to have. As part of that vision, I see a city where culture sparks imagination and communication in our communities. As such, we should always provide our residents, and especially our children, with the opportunities to explore their creativity. By supporting our local arts, and most importantly – our residents, we can achieve the progressive vision I have for Los Angeles.
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?
With funding scarce enough for critical services and infrastructural needs in our city, I will lead on the forefront on day one to properly analyze the short- and long-term needs of our city’s budget to safeguard the funding we need to strengthen our creative-driven economy here in our city. Thus, by properly acknowledging the contributions our creative sector has given to our overall economy, especially the iconic film industry, and taking the budgetary actions to support these members of our community can we begin to make real progressive process towards a thriving and sustainable local economy.