Close the Revolving Door at City Hall

This special election marks the second time in just over two years that a City Council member in the Valley has resigned early to take a high paying job as a lobbyist. While it lines their pockets, it leaves LA taxpayers footing the bill for a special election. The city estimates that this special CD12 election will cost $2.4 million. One of my first motions when I get to City Hall will be to establish a waiting period that prevents our elected officials from becoming registered lobbyists immediately after their terms. Eleven states have such prohibitions and we need one in LA.

Expand Paid Parental Leave

Read my post on the value of paid parental leave:

Better for Kids, Better for Parents, Better for our Economy: Why LA Should Lead the Country in Providing Paid Family Leave

  • California offers programs which can add up to 18 weeks for some mothers, but it only covers 60–70% pay. This means the economically privileged take this time, while the poor cannot afford to.

  • One study concluded mothers are 93% more likely to be in the workforce 12 months after childbirth when they are provided with and take adequate leave, versus those who do not.

Shut Down Aliso Canyon

All 114 wells at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility are cut by an active fault. The Los Angeles Fire Department has voiced serious concerns about its ability to defend against wildfires or earthquake-induced fires affecting this site. (LA County)

We can find better, safer, and greener energy solutions for Los Angeles.

Read my LA Daily News op-ed, published following the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, about the earthquake hazards posed by our natural gas infrastructure.

Create Transportation Alternatives

Los Angeles was built around the car. It is a sprawling city, designed like a large suburb. This design crowds our streets with row after row of cars.

In addition to the impact on carbon emissions, it is simply unpleasant for car commuters to deal with traffic in the city. Worse, attempts to alleviate this pain by widening highways and increasing parking minimums usually have the opposite effect, by inducing demand and ensuring that even more cars are driven.

On roads designed solely to maximize the number of cars that can pass through them, cyclists face an impossible choice: ride on the sidewalks, where they may be a danger to pedestrians, or ride in the streets, where they risk their own lives instead.

And bus commuters face unenviable dilemmas as well. Should they spend three hours each way on a bus that costs them a couple dollars to ride, or shell out for an expensive rideshare that will get them across town in one hour? Should they be late for work, or spend an entire hour’s wages just getting there?

These are complex problems, and they are going to be challenging to solve. We need a comprehensive reform of our transit modes that preserves the nature and character of our neighborhoods. We also need to balance the needs of commuters with the needs of local communities.

We can start by making public transit frequent, fast, and more accessible. We can also redesign our transit corridors so that buses do not share the right of way with cars, and bikes have dedicated lanes where their riders will be safe.

Done properly, these reforms will actually decrease congestion, even for car drivers. Fortunately, I have dedicated my life to studying sustainable urban design. I look forward to contributing to solutions to these challenging problems.

Clean up Santa Susana Field Lab

This site, formerly host to a nuclear meltdown, open-air burning of chemical and nuclear waste, and other experiments, has never been properly cleaned up.

The Administrative Order on Consent agreement, signed in 2010, promised the site would be cleaned up by 2017, but here we are in 2019 without a clean-up having even begun. The health impacts of leaving it unaddressed have not been adequately studied and are not well-understood by those in power.

I understand that cleaning up the site will not be easy, and we cannot solve the problem by simply shipping contaminated materials somewhere else, to become another neighborhood’s problem.

Nonetheless, I know we can do better. We owe it to the people living there, and to future generations, to do what is in our power to make the site safe.