LA County: Fifth District
Position Seeking: Supervisor

Question 1: What do you believe the role of the County Board of Supervisors should be in the development of the region’s cultural infrastructure? 

Arts and culture facilities are essential to every vibrant, healthy community; this is particularly true in LA County. The County Board of Supervisors has a very real responsibility to provide leadership and oversight in the shaping of the cultural landscape and infrastructure of our region. Working in association with the LA County Arts Commission, the Board of Supervisors supports accessibility of the arts in Los Angeles County and provides leadership in cultural services and operates the Ford Theatres. An important step forward in the advancement of the County’s cultural infrastructure occurred in 2004, with the Board of Supervisors adoption of the County’s first Civic Art Policy. This policy allocates one percent of design and construction costs of new County capital projects to a Civic Art Special Fund.

Through this policy, the LA County Arts Commission Civic Art Program facilitates the development of high quality civic spaces by integrating artists into the planning and design process early in the project design process, enhancing innovation in civic art design and development of public spaces and civic infrastructure. 

Question 2: The County Board of Supervisors has a history of supporting Arts Education through its Arts for All initiative. As Supervisor, how would you address the need of all public school students to receive a well-rounded education that includes quality arts education instruction?

We know that public school kids need and deserve a well-rounded education and that a quality arts education and opportunities play an essential role in the education experience. I will work to ensure that every public school student in LA County receives a high-quality K-12 education, of which the arts are a critical and key part, by implementing and supporting the Arts for All initiative which serves as Los Angeles County’s regional blueprint for arts education. This important initiative lays the foundation and provides necessary guidance and leadership by setting forth a series of policies, educational initiatives and infrastructure proposals to promote a broad-based, systemic and balanced provision of the arts. The initiative defines the role of key stakeholders and provides the road-map for the improvement of arts education, but it will require prioritization and continued leadership from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to encourage those key stakeholders to implement and advance the initiative and its guidelines.

Question 3: In light of the County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, how would you address issues of inclusion, equity, and diversity in the region’s nonprofit cultural arts sector?

On November 10, 2015 the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion that directed the Arts Commission to establish an advisory committee of arts and community leaders within the County to develop recommendations for ways to enhance the participation and leadership of individuals from underrepresented communities in the arts. This action directly led to the process that is underway now entitled the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative. This important initiative seeks to understand and begin to tackle the structural, historic and cultural impediments to inclusion, equity, and diversity in Los Angeles County’s cultural arts. This is major policy and community undertaking that will require time, commitment and follow through on the part of regional leadership and stakeholders. I count the rich diversity of Los Angeles County as one of our greatest strengths and recognize the need to support and engage the discussion that will lead to a better understanding of the policy changes that will be needed and the full discussion of other regions who have had successful models for advancing inclusion, equity and diversity in their cultural arts sector. As Supervisor I will embrace the initiative and process already underway and as outlined in the Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative Literature Review I would endeavor to focus on a positive process that emphasize and celebrates our diversity rather than a policy effort that merely seeks to remedy past imbalances.

Questions 4: As Supervisor, how would you approach the development of a regional approach to cultural tourism?

Los Angeles has long been a destination for world travelers. Our vast array of theme parks, historical sites, urban districts and cultural attractions have made us one of the world’s premier tourist destinations and tourism is an important and positive segment of our economic picture. Tourism also contributes to the support of arts and culture.

In addition to the traditional tourist destinations, Los Angeles County has a variety of historic sites, modern urban districts and “ethnic pockets” that reflect the rich diversity of our region in addition to what many may consider more traditional cultural arts destinations that appeal to cultural tourists. Each of these are tremendous assets for our region and as Supervisor, I will work with those in our tourism and arts sectors to promote an integrated strategy that is inclusive of all of our regions’ attractions and affirmatively encourage and promote the growth of cultural tourism.