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 come from a family who throughout their lives have pursued creative expression. Growing up, I took piano lessons at the Barnsdall Art Center in Hollywood and theater courses in high school. I continue to keep my grandmother’s piano in my office. My inspiration has always been my hometown of Los Angeles.
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 have worked closely with the Los Angeles City Council, our Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles Public Library, and other city departments to bring meaningful cultural services to all Angelenos.
We launched the first artist-in-residence in our Department of Transportation to work with employees and public transit users to employ the arts in achieving our transportation and safety goals. We also launched our multi-departmental Great Streets Initiative in 2014 to strengthen our urban corridors with new arts and cultural investments.
Understanding the complexities and intersectionality of the arts is one of the reasons I chose Danielle Brazell to lead our Department of Cultural Affairs based on her visionary leadership heading Arts for LA during one of the most turbulent times for the arts in the city.
We have also redefined the role of library spaces and services with progressive and innovative programing, and our library system was honored First Lady Michelle Obama with the 2015 National Medal for Museum & Library.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
Arts and cultural drive our economy and strengthen our identity as a destination to live, visit, and work. That's why I led the fight in Sacramento to more than triple our state's film tax credit which has helped bring over 50,000 entertainment jobs back home to Southern California.
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?
Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world with more artists and creative sector workers than any other community in the nation. We need to ensure that our region’s creative sector opportunities are equally available to all Angelenos from all corners of our diverse city. The Department of Cultural Affairs’ Creative Pathways program in conjunction with my HIRE LA’s YOUTH initiative provides access to arts employment for young people from the foster care system.