Spring 2013 Candidate Surveys: Los Angeles Mayor
Survey responses provided by each candidate are for voter information purposes only. Arts for LA does not endorse candidates seeking office. We are committed to fostering respectful, nonpartisan dialogue about issues relating to arts and culture. For more information, please read about our mission and values.
All eligible candidates were contacted to participate in the survey. If you would like to revise or submit responses, please contact Abe Flores at firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-225-7526.
Elections for this office are open to residents of the City of Los Angeles only. Voters may select only one candidate.
To determine your home district or polling place, please visit the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder/County Clerk website.
The candidates below reflect only those still in the running for election.
Kevin James, Jan Perry, Emanuel Pleitez, Norton Sandler, Addie M. Miller, and Yehuda Draiman received the lowest number of votes and were eliminated from the race following LA's primary election on March 5.
NOTE: Due to a coding error, Eric Garcetti's answers to questions 3 and 4 did not display correctly. The error has been resolved and we apologize to Mr. Garcetti for the oversight.
Candidates: Eric Garcetti, Wendy J. Greuel
Question 1: What was the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up?
Carnegie hall, Museums, Art shows, Purchased some art collections.
A meaningful experience was when my parents took me to my first concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It was a majestic setting and inspired me to learn to play the piano and compose music. I still play and compose, mostly jazz.
When I was in elementary school, I saw Porgy and Bess at the Ahmanson Theatre. It was riveting. For the first time, I experienced the moving and transformative nature of artistic expression at its highest level, sparking my life-long interest in arts, culture, and entertainment. That’s why I believe that it’s essential to bring arts education back to the classroom so that all our children have the same kind of enriching and life changing experiences. As Mayor, I will support and promote LA's mosaic of art and artists for both the people of LA and for the millions who visit LA annually.
During the early years of the AIDS epidemic uncertainty was rampant, little was known about the disease, and young people were dying in large cities across the country. Stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS resulted in fear and silence among many. The AIDS quilt, created by artists as a memorial to so many that died, helped provide awareness and gave people a sense of comfort in talking about the tragedy. I will never forget the first time I saw just a portion of the AIDS quilt. The power of that message will live on with me forever.
I am an artist and received serval awards for my water color paintings when LAUSD in my hgh school years. Honored to have a my water color painting exhibited at the Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles in 1967. 1st major in high school was art. Also I enjoy when the school took our class on field trip to the Los Angeles County Museum. I have very enchanted with the paintings in the museum. I can vividly remember the school escorting our school class to the Shrine Auditorian to hear the orchestras. I adored the music. I also played the violin and the piano in recitals and the school orchestra. My family and educators would often mention that I was gifted in art. I guess I herited my gift of art from my father. He played the saxoplhone as a hobby and could draw anything with a pencil.
I have always loved music and dancing. My mother played the organ and taught us to sing. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland. My family attended cultural events at museums and we enjoyed the Cleveland Orchestra. My mother took us to see the African Karumu Theater. I learned to dance by watching as a child and later remember being taught to Square Dance at school. These experiences were all meaningful to me. As a young adult I studied ballroom dancing and continue to take lessons.
I've always loved Latin Dance and was a competitive Salsa dancer for a number of years. It gave me the opportunity to travel, taught me discipline, and helped me in all areas of my life. I'm Mexican and Salvadoran, so I didn't grow up with Salsa. The hours I spent practicing were some of the most fun I had growing up, and that is an experience that should be open to people of all ages.
This candidate has not yet responded.
Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in the development and support of the region's cultural infrastructure?
Promote Art as a culture for Angelenos
The Mayor must take the lead role. We must make sure Los Angeles is always the entertainment and creative capital of the world. The entertainment industry generates hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars for our economy. We must make sure Angelenos young and old can access cultural resources to enrich their lives and enrich their competitiveness for jobs. I'm proud what I've done in my district, from helping restore the iconic Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Art Park to working with film studios to build new facilities.
The creative economy is among our region’s top employers, and the Mayor is responsible for supporting the artistic and cultural infrastructure. As Mayor, I will grow this industry to ensure that we are the world’s innovative and creative leader. As home to many thriving industries, we must foster that creativity through a supportive environment of economic development and job creation. As Mayor, I will promote arts education to develop interest and train our next generation of creative professionals and audience goers. I will build partnerships with local organizations and artists to increase grant funds to promote the arts in every area of artistic endeavor and in every part of our City.
The Mayor must be a public champion of arts in Los Angeles, as well as support and promote the diversity of our communities. The arts are a direct reflection of the region’s cultural infrastructure. It is the Mayor’s obligation to create an environment that allows the arts to thrive - through funding, through education, and through career opportunities. That means getting Los Angeles back on track financially so that our community can foster the talent of those who live here and want to live here.
Art is lke a book, it speaks to people through paintings, drawings, statues, pottery, music etc. This is why all over the world there is art to express what was taking place at that particular time and place. As Mayor I want to see more art displayed. The City of Los Angeles has an abundand of artist, but they just don't have a place to exhibit their gift. Many will write on private and city property to release their gift of art. As Mayor I will create a location where these artist may freely express what have in their minds and won't be punished. The City of Los Angeles needs more art. In this day and time everyone on the computer. I want those who are interested to get out of the computer to in the real world for a while and express themselves artically.
The Mayor has the ability to celebrate, encourage and support art and culture in Los Angeles from the smallest production to the biggest. Los Angeles is the cultural capital, rich in classical as well as ethnic culture. The Mayor has the unique ability to build cultural awareness, bridge communities with shared art and cultural experiences and to support and grow appreciation by seeking grants and leveraging resources through public/private partnerships to support cultural infrastructure in our city.
The Mayor and the Mayor's office should be actively involved in the organization and support for cultural events and awareness. This can mean anything from co-sponsoring events to making sure all communities are represented in city government. Unfortunately, that isn't currently the case. Many ethnic communities are overlooked and ignored. I will change that as Mayor of Los Angeles.
This candidate has not yet responded.
Question 3: How would you champion modifications to, or expansion of, the city's current funding stream for local arts and culture?
Provided, funding is available, or ask various foundations to contribute to this cause.
The city's major funding stream for arts is a 1% of the transient occupancy tax levied on hotel rooms that is directed to the Department of Cultural Affairs. Whether it's arts funding, books in our libraries or parks in our neighborhoods, we must realize that the revenues that support public services are generated by economic activity. My focus is not on how much to tax people or how much to cut services. It's on how to grow our economy -- tourism, manufacturing, small businesses -- across the board.
Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world, and I would expand the City’s funding mechanisms for local arts and culture. I will be a champion at the federal and state levels to advocate for arts programs. I will ensure that Los Angeles has a world-class cultural affairs department to provide critical marketing, arts education programs, and cultural tourism in Los Angeles. I am in the process of conducting an audit of the City's Transient Occupancy Tax 1% allocation to the arts to ensure that these dollars are going to the right programs.
In order to expand the City’s funding stream for local arts and culture we must restore trust in our City government. As the former Co-Chair of AIDS Project Los Angeles, I have experience applying for and receiving grants. Potential donors and grant makers are discouraged from Los Angeles because of our pattern of misusing funds and lack of results. Changing this culture and restoring trust in the way we spend our money is imperative to receiving the funding we need. To do so, we must have a leader who is independent of the special interests at City Hall.
I'm quite sure there many people in the City who adore art. I will champion the art by reaching out to these people who respect and adore art. People do not mind helping, as long as they witness where their contributions are going. In my opinion artists are pushed behind now days. I want to bring this culture back. I have nothing against computers, it is todays communitcation. But people should not get lost into the technology. As mayor I would want to invite the citizentry to come see the magnificent art displays. And I believe they will turn off the computers for a while and come out to the real world "art". When Richard Riordan was mayor, I noticed statues all around downtown Los Angeles. The statues had wings and they all were different colors. I thought was so beautiful. Every once an a while I see a winged statue. In the entire world on the continents there are exhibits of are pretaining the culture of that part of world.
The recession has hit the city hard forcing us to institute layoffs, furloughs and early retirement and reduce our work force. We continue to face a significant deficit in the coming fiscal year. We are not in a good position to increase the city’s financing for local arts and culture. I will work to forge public private partnerships, seek grant opportunities and work to leverage our resources for the arts. I have had discussions with the arts community about seeking a voluntary donation in conjunction with ticket sales for arts programs and I am willing to look into that as well.
The first thing I would do is ensure the City has funding period. Our current pension system is crippling our budget. Reforming the pension system would give the city more funds to direct toward local arts and culture programs. Right now those are being cut, and that's thanks to our current politicians. My job is to make sure the city has money and that it's going where it's needed. The arts are important and an we can't afford to continue looking at local arts and culture as expendable.
This candidate has not yet responded.
Question 4: What three things would you do to deepen the city's investment in its creative economy (cultural tourism, indirect and direct jobs, nonprofit and for profit)?
Promote our existing Art museums and other Art exhibits
I will continue my work to make sure L.A. fights back and remains the entertainment capital of the world. I will continue making filming in L.A. easier, reducing taxes and fees for creative industries and being proactive in recruiting productions to our city. -I want to boost cultural tourism. I will make sure L.A. is strategic in recruiting tourists from growing markets. Instead of current efforts that are inefficient and dilute our marketing, I will work in partnership with regional cities such as Anaheim and Long Beach to recruit tourists. - I will partner with the school district like I have as a Councilmember to make sure arts education is there for our kids -- to foster a love of the arts and in recognition of how arts education enhances learning in mathematics and other subjects.
I have a unique understanding of the creative economy because of my work at DreamWorks, working with highly successful leaders in the creative economy - Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. First, I will reform Los Angeles to make it more business friendly, providing the right kind economic environment which will enable support of cultural institutions. Second, I will continue to fight runaway production and bring Hollywood home to Los Angeles. Third, like at DreamWorks, I will continue to create partnerships between schools and the creative industry, giving young people exposure to that industry and skills to help them enter the field. I will continue to push for training programs to involve students in the creative industry at a young age. Lastly, as mentioned, I will push to reinstitute arts education in our schools not only for its intrinsic benefits but also to grow the consumers of artistic expression of the future.
As Mayor, I would fight for private, state, and federal dollars to keep arts programs in the LAUSD. In order to have that fight, the Mayor must effectively communicate to the public the overarching benefit of arts programs such as career opportunities and economic benefits. I will also fight to bring entertainment jobs back to Los Angeles through business tax reform, permitting reform, incentives, and some unconventional ideas, such as the Los Angeles Production Benefit Model.
The City of Los Angeles is a World Class city and I know having exhibits of art, will surely attract tourism. As far as the City's investment, needs more researching.
I have worked to expand exhibition space at the Convention Center that will rank Los Angeles in the top 5 locations in the country. This will attract far more tourists seeking cultural experiences in the city and region and lead to over twenty thousand new direct and indirect jobs. The future of Los Angeles will demonstrate the development of new technologies that will support and grow the creative economy. I will support this new technological development in every way possible. As councilwoman I worked to vastly increase affordable housing opportunities and this included a set aside for artists. I believe in building mixed income communities and will continue to advocate for artists forging their way in our city and to keep the creative community living and working in Los Angeles.
We have to make our city more attractive. That means creating a friendly environment for potential investors, nonprofit and for profit entities included. We have to invest in communities and areas with the most need. Many of these areas happen to be ethnic communities with rich cultural heritages and vast economic potential. I grew up in these areas. South LA and the Eastside are ready to become strong cultural and economic centers. We just need a Mayor that will pay attention to these communities and invest in them. I'm that Mayor.
This candidate has not yet responded.