Spring 2013 Candidate Surveys: L.A. City Council Dist. 9 Archive

Spring 2013 Candidate Surveys: L.A. City Council Dist. 9 Archive

CSS Tabs

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 info@artsforla.org or 213-225-7526.

Elections for this city council are run by district, meaning voters in each district may elect one name from the district’s candidates. Voters may vote in only one district.

To determine your home district, please visit the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder/County Clerk website.

A runoff may be held on May 21, 2013 between the top two candidates who received the most votes if neither receives a majority. If one candidate receives a majority of votes in this election, that candidate wins and no runoff will be held.

Candidates: Manuel Aldana, Ana Cubas, Mike Davis, Ron Gochez, Terry Hara, Curren D Price, David Roberts

Question 1: What was the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up?

This candidate has not yet responded.

This candidate has not yet responded.

I have had several meaningful arts and cultural experiences such as winning the semi-finalist position at the NCNB National Arts Competition when I was in the 7th grade. I also remember my first airplane ride to the New York World's Fair and seeing the monorails. It was not until many years later that I had rode the bus to Orlando, Florida on a field trip with my church and visited Disney World where I once again saw the monorails, but this time going through the lobby of the Contemporary in the theme park. In some way there is a connectedness in my serving as the Chair of the Rail Transportation Committee of the State Assembly and its relationship to art. My discovery of the significance of rail transportation and art collectively made for the most meaningful and cultural experiences as I travelled in my earlier years.

This candidate has not yet responded.

As a child, I was presented with the opportunity to play the violin, an opportunity that challenged me and opened up new worlds to me as well. I played the violin from the time I was in 4th grade through high school and was able to participate in several district-wide orchestras. Both art and music have meaningful effects on personal growth and development, and because of the availability of resources at my school, I was afforded these enriching opportunities. I want to ensure these same opportunities are available for those currently disenfranchised from the arts.

I attended Normandie Avenue Elementary School in the Ninth District where the arts were an integral part of the curriculum. I played the drums and bells in the band and created arts and crafts projects for my parents and family members. When I matriculated to Audubon Junior High School I was active in drama. Having an in-school arts program was crucial in developing my critical and creative thinking skills. I believe the foundation for my ability to succeed at Stanford University and Santa Clara University School of Law was rooted in the comprehensive education I had which included the arts.

I was fortunate to be raised by parents who encouraged travel and exposure to the Arts to me and my three sisters. I have a wealth of memorable visits and experiences. I recall trips in our station wagon and trailer to places like the Hearst Castle in San Simeon and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. I recall hearing live jazz being played in the French Quarter in New Orleans. I have vivid memories visiting the old Getty Museum in Malibu and the La Brea Tar Pits with my grandmothers and family from other parts of the country. I remember being “forced” to see the Nutcracker being performed at El Camino College, and then begging my mom to go again the following year. My family instilled art appreciation at a young age, and I continue to value the power of arts and culture as an adult.

Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in the development and support of the region's cultural infrastructure?

This candidate has not yet responded.

This candidate has not yet responded.

Provide resources, recruit talent and assist in providing an infrustructure where art can exist and thrive in Los Angeles, as well as increase the awareness of the value of art to Los Angeles. Art can enhance our city as a place of destination for tourism. To this end, we want to ensure that our architectural standards are implemented in areas of the city in which there can be distinctive charactistics realized in various communities throughout Los Angeles. We need arts communities, food courts, performing arts centers and technical arts as we prepare to maintain our postion on the Pacific. The City Council should take the leadership in creating an overall vibrant environment for the City of Los Angeles.

This candidate has not yet responded.

City Council should encourage school districts to develop arts education infrastructure on the long-term basis. LAPD annually sponsored the Traffic Safety Mural Project, an art competition to raise traffic safety awareness among teenagers and the community. As a representative of LAPD involved in this contest, I deeply understand the importance of arts education among the youth, and strongly believe arts should be a core curriculum subject in school education. Schools should integrate arts education into their general fund budgets. City Council can get more arts-related grants from the state and set up more grants for arts education to help schools solve funding issues.

I served as Chairman for the Joint Legislative Committee on the Arts for the 2011-2012 session. In that capacity I worked with policy makers as well as those in the arts, humanities and entertainment industry to explore issues from the threat of piracy on California’s economy to increasing funding for California’s schools. I will bring that knowledge base to the City Council where I believe the role of the Council is to be ambassadors and advocates for the arts and cultural tourism; and to create funding and partnership opportunities for institutional programs.

The City Council can play a stronger role in the development of a cultural infrastructure, assisting in the funding of parks, museums, nature preserves, gallerias, and many other attractions that attract tourists and generate jobs and taxes for the city. Los Angeles is in a unique position compared to other cities because of the sheer number of our diversity and the sheer number of attractions located across the City. We need to better collaborate among city officials, business leaders, artists, museums and local Community Based Organizations. Through these efforts we can generate more cultural and artistic oriented tourism here in Los Angeles.

Question 3: How would you champion modifications to, or expansion of, the city's current funding stream for local arts and culture?

This candidate has not yet responded.

This candidate has not yet responded.

As the immediate past chair of the California State Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee, I have championed several projects and bills that addressed the need for exposure to local arts and culture. As the next city councilman, I would expand more financial resources for the development of a more robust and comprehesive and multi-cultural arts society in Los Angeles by enhancing our relationship with both corporate and philanthropic organizations. I would look into creating partnerhips by and between area schools and businesses for the purpose of improving the awareness and appreciation for local arts and culture. Given that Arts Education Month is celebrated and duly recognized on the state legislature calendar per a Bill I introduced, ACR26, I would continue to make the discovery and appreciation of arts as an important learning experience.

This candidate has not yet responded.

Arts and cultural festivals have a particularly unique way of bringing diverse people together as the arts are a universal language. I have experience in overseeing budgets for such festivals in such a way that increases revenue/sponsorships, making them a feasible reality even in times of economic downturn. Many candidates may have the intention to advocate for local arts and culture, but may not have the know-how. As Councilmember, I will use my experience as well as leverage my unique partnerships to make local arts and culture a reality for my district even when public funds are not sufficient.

In 2010, I authored SB 1076 which was sponsored by the California Arts Council. The bill allows taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the California Arts Fund through a designated box on their state personal income tax return(s). To date, the program has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for arts education programs. If I am elected to the Council, I would like to supplement the funding for the Arts lost to budget cuts by exploring similar programs in partnership with business, labor and community organizations who believe that the arts are the foundation for civic engagement.

The first thing we need to do is put more artists onto boards and commissions to ensure their viewpoints are expressed when the City moves forward with new projects and policies. I know that Art is an important component of economic and cultural development, and have managed efforts to expand new art projects and programs in Leimert Park Village and Exposition Park throughout my career in public service. I have worked with leaders like Karen Mack from LA Commons and Jay McAdams from the 24th Street Theater. They understand my passion for youth arts programming and have endorsed my campaign. We must also expand our view of creativity. Often times we define entrepreneurship in terms of innovation in business or technology but art is probably the most innovative and creative field that has ever existed. We need to find ways to expand artistic businesses by encouraging artisan entrepreneurship. We need to encourage further arts education in our schools and promote after school arts, music and cultural programming. Without art there is no culture; we need art in order to promote Los Angeles’ history and culture. I have worked to do precisely this at the EXPO Center (city’s largest recreation center) with the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, and collaborative efforts with LA Commons, USC and the MTA on the Expo Light Rail Banner Project.

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)?

This candidate has not yet responded.

This candidate has not yet responded.

The three things I would do to deepen the City's investment in its creative economy is: 1) Give incentives to Companies and Departments which set expamples by intergrating art into their organization 2) Institionalize an appreciation for art by conducting a citywide arts contest 3) Support creative projects like Marketplaces which encourage international trade with other countries Each of these ideas will encourage an appreciation for art, an awareness of the education of art, and the opportunities for direct and non-direct employment for both non-profit and for profit entities in our multi-cultural city.

This candidate has not yet responded.

First, I see a need to highlight this regions talent and culture by identifying local talent and providing the avenues to showcase that talent, particularly the talent among our youth, such as the Inter-city Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. Next, I want to advocate for arts and cultural festivals, such as the Nisei Week Festival, which celebrates Japanese American culture in Little Tokyo each year. I have seen first hand how these festivals are enriching, but also can generate profit to meet the needs of our community. I plan to focus on reviving the Central Avenue Historic Jazz Corridor – a cultural landmark here in CD9 that would strengthen our level of pride in our community as well as foster tourism and business development.

1) Create measurable rankings for education in arts related fields. In 2011 I introduced legislation to establish within the Department of Education an Advisory Committee on Creative and Innovative Education for the purpose of rating K-12 schools based on creative/innovative activities offered. I did this because we need to cultivate creativity in schools and measure the outcomes. 2) Partner with corporations and non-profits to create pipelines for jobs and internships in the creative economy. 3) Promote and encourage local points of interest in communities with a rich diversity of arts and cultural history through partnerships with trade and tourism organizations.

1. Re-examine the effectiveness of the 1% City Arts Fee and MTA Public Arts Program 2. Expand public-private partnership for After-School Arts and Cultural Programming at Recreation Centers, Libraries and Non-Profit Facilities like A Place Called Home and 24th Street Theater 3. Expand and encourage marketing efforts with MTA and other Public Agencies for visual, performing and art exhibition programs at public facilities and during large public events (i.e. Special Events at Exposition Park and USC—CAAM Target Sundays, First Fridays at the Natural History Museum, LA Times Festival of Books, Rose Garden, Central Avenue Jazz Festival) I believe that we have a “wealth” of tools and opportunities to expand Art appreciation here in Los Angeles. However, we must do a much better job at effectively managing these programs and seeking collaborative opportunities to promote and expose these programs and festivals to the general public.