Position Seeking: City Council – District 1
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.
When I was in the 5th and 6th grade at Kellogg Elementary School in Pomona, I participated in two fantastic arts programs. One was a Young Author’s Contest where we not only wrote a story, but also illustrated it. This inspired me to be a writer, and have since written and published a couple of books. Another program that we had was drama. I participated in a play The King’s Stolen Crown which involved singing, so it was partly a musical. This was my first participation in theater and I enjoyed it. This inspired me to take Shakespeare classes in college and eventually I attained my B.A. degree in English. I also chose to enroll my daughter in a local charter school since they specialize in theater and musicals.
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 elected officials of a city are responsible for listening to the concerns and suggestions of their residents. The city staff is responsible for following the directives of the elected officials. When there is no funding, then there needs to be a person who seeks out grants from multiple sources in order to attain the needs of the community. Aside from focusing on safety, I am definitely focusing on Quality of Life issues. The development of after school arts programming and contracting of murals throughout the city are priorities for me. My intent is to open up all of the existing park community centers and open them up for more hours and provide quality programming of a diverse variety. I am currently working with the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona to provide arts programming in as many parks are we can throughout the city.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
Safety is a priority for me, but corridor beautification and infrastructure improvements are just as important to provide that safety. Aside from that, I do want to focus on enrichment programs for the community (students in particular). I use my bilingual conversation to communicate to the residents of my city already. Since 78% of my city is Hispanic/Latino, I am capable of understanding that demographic since I belong to it. I also grew up in a diverse community, so I plan to make sure and keep out notions of ethnocentrism. I want to make sure that all programming is done in a multi-culturally diverse manner. As for my vision for Pomona, I want to develop the ethnic enclaves that currently exist. There are historically ethnic regions of the city and I want to develop them as Cultural Corridors that harness that commercial energy and assist these groups in expanding their cultural influences in the region.
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?
I definitely plan on hiring as many students as I can for the multiple projects that I have conceptualized throughout the city. By employing youths in work that they enjoy, I think it will provide them with better options than potentially risky realities in an urban area like Pomona. Through the Cultural Arts Commission we have a vast budget that can be spent on hiring professional artists as well as amateur artists who can participate as part of a major effort to beautify the blank walls across the entire city. I want to have murals placed of all varieties, but with input from the communities that they will adorn primarily.