Position Seeking: City Council – District 3
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.
One meaningful experience I had as a child with art was sharing the love of photography with my father. My father’s hobby was photography, he always had a camera around his neck. He was always taking photos of my family, my little league games, school events, everything. It wasn’t until he gave me a camera of my own that I understood his passion as well as a love of the arts. It wasn’t about just capturing a memory (although that is always nice), it’s about showing others your perspective on your subject, seeing something from another person’s eye, or in a way you never would have thought.
Photography was contagious for me, once I started I couldn’t stop. I began taking photos for my yearbook at Warren High School. I was even recognized as a senior in high school with an award for my works in the Industrial Arts. That led me to volunteering my time and interning for the Downey Patriot as a photographer, which continued to nurturer my passion for Downey and the community because I was exposed to so many people and city events.
Even now, I’m always bringing a camera with me on trips and other events. The arts got me to where I am today, and I know it has done the same for so many other people.
Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
City Council should play a huge role in not only developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure, but preserving it as well too. The arts can influence and inspire people of all ages. If we support it and develop it, we can inspire the youth and young adults to create art of their own, and share that with us. We also need to preserve it, as it is our history and something we should take a sense of pride on.
There was a mosaic mural at Warren High School that meant so much to us (students), it’s no longer visible and I have no clue as to where it is (once it was taken down). So I would like to see that back up so that future classes can admire it and returning classes (such as myself) can remember it.
One way to develop arts is to make city wide contest art competitions, or having individuals donate there gently used art supplies and equipment for others to have and use who might not be able to afford them. City Council won’t have all the answers to these solutions, so city council should also take an active role in listening to what the people want in regards to the arts.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
My vision for the city is simple: continue to maintain our public safety and get them to their levels that are necessary for our city, maintain our public services and programs, and grow the support that we have for our schools. It’s fairly simple, and I’m not promising anything that isn’t doable.
Downey is a great place to live and raise a family, and it always has been. My role would be to continue that and make sure that all those families have everything I had growing up here, and more so that they may raise their family with more than I had.
Arts and culture plays a huge part in this vision, my pie in the sky vision would be to bring back the Downey Museum of Art that I remember as a child in Furman Park, and how cool it was to have a museum so close to home. It has been closed for a number of years, but I would love to bring it back for other generations to enjoy and for them to get a sense of pride of how progressive and cultural Downey is with supporting and fostering as well as preserving the arts.
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?
If elected to Downey City Council, I will make it a point to support and ensure that the continued growth of the creative economy and the artistic community thrives.
I will do that my making it a point to give as much as attention as any other public service that we have in Downey. As we support the arts and hold events that recognize the arts, it spurs the local economy because more people will want to eat at restaurants around the event, or buy things in shops close to these events. Which will continue that cycle of jobs supporting the creative sector and economy.