City: Lakewood
Position Seeking: City Council

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 very young, I had the opportunity to take tap dance lessons from one of the dancers on the Lawrence Welk Show and her mother. I liked it but eventually quit because, as my mom tells the story, I thought one of the teachers smelled funny! I blew it because the instructors wanted to pair me up with one of the girls and actually have us perform on the Welk show. What a missed opportunity.

As a result, I have had a lifelong appreciation for tap dancing and dancing in general. I have tremendous respects for the artists in the field.

Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?

We need to use our “pulpit” to promote the arts and support those who do. For the 16 years I have been on the city council, I have personally supported the Lakewood Artist Guild and the arts in our local schools and park programs. Maintaining a cultural infrastructure must be a community core value.

Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?

My vision is to continue promoting the arts among our young people. I founded and lead the Lakewood Education Foundation and one of our core priorities is supporting the arts in local schools. As we all know, the arts are woefully underfunded and among the first to go when budgets get tighter.

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 believe the key is investing in the arts for our young people in the schools and parks programs. As stated above, the Lakewood Education Foundation is a key conduit for funding and we hope to expand our fundraising so we can invest even more heavily in arts development programs. I will also nurture and help sustain local artist guilds and associations centered around promoting the value and importance of the arts within our community.