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After careful deliberation and consultation with residents and local business andreligious leaders, I have decided to enter the race for City Council District 9.

I am very familiar with the opportunities and obstacles that exist in this district, almost one-third of which is in the 26th Senate District, which I now represent.

The exciting job opportunities and developments associated with L.A. Live, Farmers Field and USC are tempered with the other realities of District 9, including high unemployment, struggling schools and the lack of clean and affordable housing.

I am running for this office to offer leadership by calling for a new level of collaboration among public and private sector resources.

I’m adopting the phrase, the “New 9th,” to signal a new level of commitment and enthusiasm to engage residents and community-based institutions to work together to improve the quality of life for all residents in the “New 9th!”

I plan to tap into the multicultural diversity of District 9 residents who make our city strong and produce creativity and innovation that can lift up a community and its institutions.

My priorities as a representative on the Los Angeles City Council will be focused on three broad and interrelated policy areas:

COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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Significant commitments and promises have been embodied in certain “community benefit agreements,” tied to the development of “Farmers Field” at L.A. Live, and the “Village” at USC. Through my direct involvement with these Agreements and with City Council oversight, I pledge that local hiring goals (during construction and operation) for both projects will be achieved or exceeded.  In addition to commitments for job training and jobs for area residents, the Agreement promises to promote local and small businesses, another important element in community economicdevelopment.

I will ensure that programs that offer technical and financial assistance to support business development and procurement efforts are measurable and targeted tobusinesses capable of creating real jobs.

Housing

There is a paucity of affordable housing in the 9th District.  This problem, exacerbated by the displacement and redevelopment activities, means that resources must be focused on creating new affordable housing, along with the preservation of existing affordable housing stock. My pledge is to work with for-profit and non-profit housing developers and community activists to create projects that reflect single housing and multi-family needs. We must provide housing that is near public transportation, close to jobs and that contributes to making the New 9th sustainable and prosperous. I will find the manpower to clean up our streets and neighborhoods and remove blight to create a community that residents are proud to live in.

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

In addition to being an advocate for community economic development, I want to be a cheerleader for greater citizenry participation. I will enhance and expand the number of neighborhood councils. I will also engage the cross section of community based non-profit groups that came together to support programs and initiatives at Farmers Field and the Village. To harness this energy, I envision periodic, “stakeholders summits” convened to monitor commitments and identify successes and areas for improvement.

NEW INITIATIVES

The New 9th is ripe for innovation. I want to advance programs that have great applicability, not just in the district, but city wide. One area that I will pursue will be the use of social impact bonds to solve some of our most pressing social needs such as affordable housing, health and human servicesdelivery and reducing recidivism in the criminal justice system. This innovative financing tool will allow for private sector investment to resolve some of the most intractable problems in our community. The private sector would like to invest in improving outcomes in our community and the ideal method is the use of social impact bonds. Social impact bonds allow for non-profit service providers to receive much needed funding from the private sector in order to continue to improve the quality of life for residents.