City: Los Angeles
Position Seeking: Mayor
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.
I've always loved music, films, and television shows, which have had a tremendous effect on my life and who I am, and obviously I realize that Los Angeles is probably the center of the world in those departments. I worked with kids for several summers, including being a Jr Camp Arts and Crafts Specialist for 3, 4, and 5 year olds for one of those summers (creating a different project, ordering supplies, and supervising each week). The other summers, there were obviously a number of activities that involved the arts, and I have continued working with children to this day. I also took cotillion dance classes for several years.
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 love museums and would love to go to them more often than I do. I think we need to work on making them more convenient with respect to transportation, hours of operation, and cost. I fought to save the Fairfax DASH which goes to Museum Row on Wilshire, including LACMA. I am certain that without my efforts the line would have been completely eliminated...it was slated for that. I contacted various major stakeholders to lobby to save the line. We lost half the service, which is unfortunate, and I believe the line still does not run on Sundays, which is not helpful. Museums are also important for tourism. I would like to see them go beyond traditional two-dimensional art, be gathering places for various activities, and provide great food. Arts education is tremendously important to support. I also believe galleries are a great land use and am supportive of them.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
I happen to be running on a vision of Two Cities, autonomy for the Valley and accountability for the Westside, the creation of 2 Equal Cities, each with its own elected Mayor and Council. Arts and Culture are important to foster compassion, humanity, civility, and other good values. Arts and Culture are particularly important to our Entertainment Industry and to Tourism, they're important to our Economy. Regardless of whether we have one city or we end up with two (maybe not as soon as I would want), arts and culture matter.
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 think what is very important is supporting resources for arts education in our schools, whatever the level of education. Our schools need help. I remember Fairfax High School coming to my local neighborhood council to ask for money for band uniforms for their award-winning band. The school, I believe, ended up losing its highly popular and successful music/band leader/teacher for lack of funds...I believe he was young and lacked seniority when the cuts came. In running my campaign, I realize how critical graphic design skills are and how valuable they are. I would like to support theater, even though I hardly ever go, because I know it is important, it is popular, but it is struggling. I would like to support adult education and vocational school for adults who want to transition to the arts or need additional skills for a brighter future. I would like to preserved beautiful older historic buildings that are used in filming and that are in danger of mass demolition. I would like to find creative ways to get new creative/artistic businesses to locate in the City and to stop existing ones from leaving.