Robert C. Gonzales

City: San Fernando
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.

My very first artistic experience that I can remember is watching Elvis dance and sing Jail House Rock. My grandparents then proceeded to buy me a little microphone and speaker so I could sing to Elvis. I still have pictures of me singing “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog” as I repeatedly jumped off of the fireplace mantle.

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

I completely believe that we must maintain our cultural arts. As the 5th generation to live in the City of San Fernando this means so much to me as some of our family traditions are no longer followed. As Mayor, I re-established our cultural arts committee. I have also recently traveled to Tlaquepaque Mexico and sent them a letter of interest to create a sister city partnership to further our cultural arts programing in San Fernando.

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

One of my goals for the next 4 years is to establish an arts district. I have already began working on this with a group of local artist. The first step into this direction was already passed by creating a cultural arts committee and the Bike Path Beautification Project. This allowed us to finally be able to create public art. I also worked with the San Fernando Valley Museum and they have donated statues for us to place in various locations in the city.

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 mentioned earlier I have helped to create a committee of local artist called art with a cause. One of our causes is to stimulate economic development. We have an app idea that will highlight local businesses’ that incorporate art as defined in the first question. We also have discussed creation of live work development in an Arts District.