City: Los Angeles
Position Seeking: City Council – District 7
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 practiced Armenian folk dancing for 10 years, I also play the violin. This exposure to music and dance has given me a lifelong appreciation of the arts. The skills I gained – practice, perseverance, creativity and so much more, have helped me in all aspects of my life and career.
Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in developing and supporting the region’s arts and cultural infrastructure?
The City Council should be instrumental in supporting the arts in our local communities and developing projects with local artists. I worked with a group of community members, neighborhood councils, and local artists to develop and find funding for a large mural on City property in North Hollywood. This site was previously a frequent target of illegal dumping and graffiti and is now a source of community pride.
Question 3: What’s your vision for the city? What role, if any, does art and culture play in advancing that vision?
Our communities have wonderful people that want to improve our neighborhoods; they deserve a representative at City Hall who will carry their interests, not sell them out to big business. I am running for City Council to be that community representative; to bring a strong, trusted voice to our neighborhoods; and to make sure we get our fair share of services from City Hall. We are also at a point where we have the political and scientific ability to move the needle on environmental issues and set the standard for the rest of the country. I have the knowledge and experience of a planning and environmental background, which makes this a perfect time for my candidacy. I believe art and the environment go hand in hand, and a more beautiful, sustainable LA is achievable.
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 worked alongside then-Assemblymember Paul Krekorian to develop a plan to keep more creative jobs in California. Production activity in Los Angeles saw a significant increase with many TV productions returning as a result of the expanded film and TV production tax credit. As Councilmember, I would do promote a pro-business, pro-jobs environment at City Hall. I would make it easier to open and do business in LA, provide additional funding for a rapid response team to serve local business needs, including providing info about city incentives and to address concerns and issues caused by the city and its considerable bureaucracy, and create business incentive zones in the Northeast Valley, using all available city and state incentives in order to promote business and job growth in Council District 7.