LA City Council District 6 Special Election Scheduled for July 23

LA City Council District 6 Special Election Scheduled for July 23

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 9:59am
Advocacy Team (if applicable): 

Photo: LA District 6Arts advocates in LA’s District 6 are encouraged to vote on July 23 in the run-off race between former LAUSD Board Member Nury Martinez and former State Assemblymember Cindy Montañez.  

District 6 includes the neighborhoods of Lake Balboa and Panorama City and portions of Sun Valley, Arleta, North Hills East, and Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley.

Spring 2013 Candidate Surveys Archive: L.A. City Council Dist. 6

Spring 2013 Candidate Surveys Archive: L.A. City Council Dist. 6

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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.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. A runoff will be held on Tuesday, July 23rd, if no single candidate receives a majority of the votes cast. If one candidate receives a majority of votes in this election, that candidate wins and no runoff will be held.

Candidates: Walter Escobar, Jose Roy Garcia, Nury Martinez, Cindy Montanez, Richard Valdez, Derek Waleko

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

The most meaningful arts experience I had was going on a field trip to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The music and the architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall is amazing. To all music aficionados, you can feel the vibrations of the music inside your own body and it soothes you. I am planning to go again in the near future.

This candidate has not yet responded.

I grew up in a family and community that cherished its culture and identity and celebrated that through music and the performing arts. Murals flourished at parks and along main thoroughfares. In an integrated arts program at San Fernando High School, I discovered a love of theater, dance, visual arts and extraordinary exposure to the arts and cultural diversity available in Los Angeles. This inspired me to stay in school, love learning and eventually go to college. As a School Board Member, this experience motivated my efforts to freeze any deeper cuts to already underfunded arts education and to establish art as a core subject at LAUSD.

This candidate has not yet responded.

My Mother, who is now 68 years old, has been an artist since before I was born. I grew up watching her engage and teach in many forms of arts, from acrylic and water base painting to huge murals with amazing messages. Although I did not inherit the artist gene, I am glad that my 6 year old daughter has.

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?

The City of Los Angeles must take the initiative to foster growth and make sure that we stay above all other cities in the cultural dynamic that this city has. We have the largest entertainment industry here and we must make sure that we continue to grow that industry because it is revenue to the city and it gives people job opportunities. We need to have festivals at least once a month to show how ethnically diverse this city is.

This candidate has not yet responded.

Access to community art is essential to the quality of life. As much as we need to emphasize smart development, job creation, housing, and transportation in all areas of the City, the human and creative components of our neighborhoods must be nurtured and the arts is a critical way to do so. I experienced that growing up and I’m glad to see it in my neighborhood today at spaces such as the Sun Valley Youth Arts Center. We need more of these facilities and organizations so that community members can have access to lessons, exhibitions and celebrations of their visual, performing, and media arts.

This candidate has not yet responded.

I believe the City Council needs to be engage in facilitating avenues to our community to promote learning and performing different types of arts.

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?

We need to find new revenue sources or continue to expand on existing revenue sources. We do not need to raise taxes because it hurts the people. The City Council needs to first cut its own budget and must lead by example by cutting from the top down. Let the City of Los Angeles be transparent for people to see where all the money goes. The money is being stolen by these same politicians that are elected and someone needs to call them out. A perfect example is that two days after the March 5th, the Mayor said that the deficit is $100 million and not the $250 million that was originally said. If the sales tax had passed, where would the millions of dollars go?

This candidate has not yet responded.

The Arts Development Fee and the dedicated portion of the Transient Occupancy Tax are positive funding streams for local arts and culture. These still only provide a limited amount of resources compared to the tremendous need for arts support throughout the City. My experience at LAUSD has shown me that there remains a tremendous opportunity for the City and School District to strategically pool resources and leverage the impact of their investments. At the City, I would introduce a motion to explore the use of the City’s bonding capacity, at an appropriate level, to accelerate the availability of funds for additional investment in community art.

This candidate has not yet responded.

I would advocate for the funding of after school programs that would provide FREE of cost courses in art to the community. I would want the children of our community to have the same opportunity that I had.

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)?

We need to conduct fundraising events so that the money can be invested in the creative economy. The way to generate more revenue is to become a small business friendly city. We need to work with small local businesses and give them a break. By growing our economy, the revenue can be used to get our creative economy going once more. The City of LA must also become more aggressive in promoting tourism. Not just Hollywood, but every cultural center in Los Angeles. If you talk to a tourist, they always talk about Hollywood. There are many more places to see in LA and we need to tell people that. There is the Getty Center, Griffith Observatory, Olvera Street, Santa Monica Pier, Chinatown, Koreatown, Universal Studios, the Great Wall of Los Angeles and much more.

This candidate has not yet responded.

1) Establish a consolidated Art Week to complement dineLA’s Restaurant week. Cultural Tourism is currently a series of individual activities, as opposed to the collective social and entertainment experience it should be. 2) As the City considers a phase-out of the Gross Receipts Business Tax, businesses that serve the creative economy may warrant prioritization to encourage creative industries to reinvest in direct and indirect jobs. 3) Lastly, there is an opportunity to partner with private and nonprofit organizations to establish an arts industry “incubator,” to support the establishment, growth and success of business that would become part of the creative economy.

This candidate has not yet responded.

I would advocate that the City of LA partner with local organizations to assist the development of programs in arts to be made available to our community. This can also be done through the parks and recreation facilities, by either volunteers of paid art teachers. I would also support art exhibits of famous artist to take place within our city.

This candidate has not yet responded.