To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Friday, February 22, 2013

I Am Car-Less in Los Angeles 


By Vivian Liao, February 21, 2013


I gave up my car last July. Yes, you read that right. About a week before it happened, I gazed upon the supposed reward (that would be my first semi-monthly paycheck as a full-time employee) for the previous two years of hard work (that would be graduate school and interning) and proceeded to throw a fit for the next nine hours. I had subconsciously been dreaming about this day for a long time, and the number in my bank account just didn't live up to my imagination. Obviously, I had known what the exact amount of my annual salary was; I just neglected to take into account things like Social Security and MediCare and 401K -- you know, all those things for which other adults had been responsible for years.

Not that I was planning on living super large or anything, but, after two years of subsisting on student loans, I'll admit I did not want to feel strapped in by a financial straitjacket anymore. And, by that statement, I don't mean "makin' it rain" at Nordstrom's or shopping for a condo or anything like that, but, you know, like buy a pair of work shoes without experiencing heart palpitations. The reality was, after responsibly paying off necessities like rent and food and loan payments and retirement savings, there was pitifully little left to be psyched about. Yes, Readers, please feel free to call me spoiled. I know I should have been grateful enough that I was able to afford all those aforementioned expenses, especially in today's economic climate. And I'd be the first in line to express my thanks to whichever god bestowed upon me a full-time job right out of school. But, alas, a lot of the previous two years sucked and, to my childish mind, I needed to justify that misery somehow.

Something had to give in my budget, and it became clear to me what it had to be. Once the apple of my eye, my silver Prius had become a symbol of an activity I despise (that would be driving) as well as all of its associated annoyances. Since I stopped making the drive to school after graduation, I did not need to get into my car on a constant basis (I was/am fortunate enough to be able to bike/walk/bus to work). Often the only driving I did do during the work week was to move the thing for street cleaning (on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Post-Its and cell phone alerts and Google Calendar littered my life with constant reminders to "MOVE CAR!!!"). And then I was constantly asking myself -- as I've had to do for as long as I've lived in Santa Monica -- if I remembered to hang up my residential parking permit (I don't really know if this is a ridiculous practice or not, but I would often run back to the car, after I had already entered my apartment, to make certain I displayed my permit).

Finally, there were: the $400 car payment I forked over at the beginning of every month for the privilege of driving in L.A., gas money (though this became progressively less), DMV registration fees (which I always failed to pay on time), insurance, random maintenance costs for problems I didn't care to understand, parking fees, parking permit fees, parking violation fines, moving violation fines (very occasionally), and blah and blah and blah. All for something I could not stand doing and didn't need to do on a daily basis anymore. The more I thought I about it, the more shocking it became that I didn't try to quit this addiction sooner.

Which revealed an interesting mentality that I believe is uniquely American: cars are a huge part of our culture as well as personal identity. I certainly remember feeling surprised (and a little uncomfortable), in my twenties, when I'd find out that someone I knew didn't drive. And that reaction didn't even have to do with the status symbol quality automobiles have acquired; it was just that I didn't think it was possible to live in this country without one. As a newly immigrated child to the U.S. in the '90s, I actually became quite enamored with cars and always imagined that a Mazda Miata would complete my grown-up life. I always figured I would be attached to cars for my entire existence and generally deemed them a permanent and necessary item on my budget.

Thus, it was not without a good amount of hesitation that I eventually bit the bullet. Many concerns flashed through my mind -- some legitimate, many absurd: what if there was a giant flood/earthquake/epidemic/War of the Worlds-style alien invasion and I needed to flee ASAP? What if a loved one needed me at 2:05 a.m.? What if my job moved to a non-bus-able/bikable/walkable location? What if I wanted to treat myself to a shopping spree at Ikea? What if my cat/dog needed to get to the vet urgently, what if everyone I knew was gathering at a magical beach picnic in Malibu? Would my mom think I've gone insane (completely moot question: she already did), etc. etc.

Ultimately, none of them justified the amount of cash I was hemorrhaging per month. For me, my once-beloved Prius had become a luxury item. And, to be honest, there was a solution for almost all of those what-ifs above that didn't involve a monthly payment. In no particular order, I could always: call a taxi, rent a car, take a bus, get delivery, or beg for rides. Not to mention, with the proliferation of fabulous peer-to-peer car-sharing companies such as ZipCar, Getaround, and RelayRides, I may eventually have a car at my disposal, when I want, anyway. (And, in the event of an alien invasion, a boat or a drill for digging a hole underground may actually prove more helpful.)

So, on July 5, 2012, I did it. Got the Prius appraised at CarMax, signed some papers, and pocketed a small but unexpected payoff. I actually rented a car from Enterprise to help me do all this and still get back home. I was instantly a fan. I got to drive a brand-new whip and got picked up and dropped off before and after.

It's been seven months of car-less bliss since that fateful day. I continue to bike/bus/walk/hitch rides to get around. As an infrequent last resort, I rent a car, usually from Enterprise because of their pickup service. I will plainly concede that such lifestyle is not for everyone. It has worked for me so far because I innately despise driving and I live with someone who doesn't mind chauffering me around when necessary. And I would never rule out the possibility of having to crawl back to the car dealership with my tail tucked between my legs and, consequently, having to take this blog post down so as to not appear a fool. For the time being, though, it feels awesome to lovingly caress my newly rescued Benjamins (ok just kidding) while not worrying about whether it is street cleaning day and not paying any attention whatsoever to car/auto insurance/auto accident attorney commercials or gas prices.

La Opinion Endorses Eric Garcetti for Mayor

The city's leading Spanish-language news organization released its choice Thursday


February 22, 2013


La Opinion, Los Angeles's leading Spanish-language newspaper, endorsed Silver Lake resident Eric Garcetti for mayor Thursday.

The paper's endorsement cited Garcetti's experience in municipal government and job creation as capable of bringing economic growth to all Angelenos.

It also called City Controller Wendy Greuel "a solid candidate," making the decision a tough one.
Read the endorsement here.

The Los Angeles City Councilman, whose grandfather was Mexican, has worked diligently to reach out to Los Angeles' Spanish-speaking community.

Earlier this week his campaign released a Spanish-language message. Actress Salma Hayek also recently appeared in a video supporting Garcetti in Spanish.

Garcetti also was quick to push for a $50,000 reward to find the killer of a Guatemalan immigrant killed by taggers outside a church in Historic Filipinotown.

Garcetti, Greuel and six other candidates are on the ballot for the March 5 primary. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two vote-getters will face off in the May 21 election.

Eagle Rock Business Owners Representative of Bike Lane Debate

The hopes and concerns of business owners surrounding possible bike lanes on Colorado Boulevard are representative of the larger bike lane debate in Northeast Los Angeles 


By David Fonseca, February 19, 2013

Ask business owners along Eagle Rock's Colorado Boulevard how they feel about the potential installation of bike lanes on their street, and you will hear a diversity of opinion.

Patricia Neale Vuagniaux, owner of Swork Coffee, is a cyclist herself. She enjoys pedaling to the beach for exercise, and thinks the installation of bike lanes would be beneficial to the health and safety of Eagle Rock riders.

However, when asked how the bike lanes proposed through the 2010 Los Angeles Master Bike Plan would affect her business, she's still unsure.

"As a biker, we don't tend to stop very often. We bike through," she said. "When I'm exercising, and biking very hard, the last thing I want to do is stop and load up on carbs."

A few doors down, at Dave's Chillin & Grillin, owner Dave Evans observes that it's the motorists who don't tend to stop very often.

Evans said he'd like to see both bike lanes and some more crosswalks on the boulevard, both of which might force drivers to slow down and smell the cheesesteak.

"The drivers just blow right by sometimes," he said.

Thus is the dichotomy that has played out in both Eagle Rock and nearby Highland Park over the proposed bike lanes on North Figueroa Street and Colorado Boulevard.

A traffic study of the proposed bike lanes predicts that stop times at intersections along both streets would be increased by about three minutes as a result of the bike lanes.

Whether or not that is a good thing for local business is all a matter of perspective.

Charles Fisher, a local historian in Highland Park, said that while the bike lanes may be a boon for small, locally owned shops, they seem to be hurting larger stores where customers load up in bulk.

"John Neese, owner of Galco's, has lost business. McDonald's is down too" Fisher said.
Ruben Perez, co-owner of Organix on Colorado Boulevard, doesn't foresee bike lanes impacting his business very much.

"We've already got three car lanes, I don't see how only having two would be such a problem. It will probably slow down between 7:30 - 9 a.m. and then again when school gets out," he said.

Perez is in a unique situation, though. As the owner of an all organic and vegan grocery store, he said he caters to a customer base that is more likely to hop on a bicycle and ride to his store.

"We raffled off a mountain bike at our grand opening," Perez said. "I think riding is good for the environment and good for the health of the community."

But what about the health of those businesses that are less likely to attract ycling inclined customers?
"I can understand the fight from businesses that depend on vehicles," he said.

(I am not wild about bike lanes on Colorado Blvd. I travel along this route often and it already takes me long enough to make a left turn into the Trader Joe's parking lot that if I have to wait for or avoid bicycles when doing this I probably won't shop there anymore. Also, there is a section of Colorado Blvd. where two lanes are consolidated and the only way to put in a bike lane is to not allow parking in front of the businesses located there. It will be interesting to see all the new bike lanes in Los Angeles will divert traffic and business to streets without bike lanes.)

Notice: geotechnical tests for SR-710 Study begins Monday, Feb. 25

By Steve Hymon, February 22, 2013

Click above to see larger.

Here’s the link to the project home page and here’s the link to the recently-released Alternatives Analysis for the project. Five alternatives are under study: the usual no-build option, traffic signal and intersection improvements, bus rapid transit (East L.A. to Pasadena), light rail (East L.A. to Pasadena) and a tunnel to link the 710 from its terminus at Valley Boulevard to the 210/134 junction in Pasadena.

Districtwide Town Hall Meeting

Fire Station 39 Ground Breaking Ceremony

Amid questions of authenticity, Pasadena City Council candidate ends campaign


 Joe Piasecki, February 22, 2013

Pasadena City Council District 3 candidate Nicholas Benson announced Friday that he is ending his campaign and will support former opponent John J. Kennedy in the March 5 election.

Benson’s residency in the district and other details of his background, including his true name and age, were called into question during an interview this month with the Pasadena Weekly.

Benson, who serves as pastor at Summit Evangelical Church, made the announcement as he read from a statement on the steps of Pasadena City Hall.

“As a man of faith, it is important to me that as a community we focus on issues, not engage in character assassination,” he said. “Although I may have made some unintentional mistakes along the way, I am proud that my candidacy promoted issues important to the residents of District 3.”

Benson referred questions to Okorie Ezieme, a member of the Altadena Town Council serving as a consultant for the campaign.

Asked if Benson lived in Council District 3, Ezieme said he “is a resident of the community” but declined to elaborate on other details of Benson’s background.

“When he submitted his [campaign] application, it speaks for itself,” Ezieme said.

Benson had not reported fundraising during the campaign.

Although his name will remain on the ballot, Benson’s departure effectively leaves the City Council District 3 contest a two-way race between Kennedy, a Los Angeles Urban League executive, and businessman Ishmael Trone.
Gotham Dream Cars

Lamborghini. Ferrari. McLaren. You drive. 


 Go to the website for a video.

 Launched in LA after successful franchises in Miami and NYC, Gotham Dream Cars isn't just why Alfred covets Bruce Wayne: it's actually a supercar rental service that also does day-tours wherein you do an oceanside PCH drive and then jam up the Mulholland/ Topanga Canyons driving not one, not two, but six cars you'll never be able to afford. Ever. Even if you're the dude who sold that show where the monkey is a doctor. The line up:

You likely want to get involved with this 480hp-having, 194mph-going Ferrari California, which you'll take up a part of the canyon roads known as "The Snake", also the likely nickname of a dude banging a chick named Ferrari somewhere else in California.

You'll also get behind the wheel of this McLaren that can hit 60mph in just over 3secs en route to over 200mph, and features doors you have to open with a swipe of your fingers.

They've got Lamborghinis too. Market research indicates that people in rap songs call them "Lambos".

And if you still haven't had enough of driving cars that Alfred could never afford on that Wayne Manor butler salary, you'll also get behind the wheel of smooth-handling luxury cars like high-end BMWs and this Bentley. 

(Note: Wayne Manor, used in the Batman series, is in the San Rafael Neighborhood in Pasadena. It wasn't on the demolition list of one of Metro's hair-brained 710 Extension schemes to destroy the San Rafael Neighborhood but very close to other properties on that list.)

More freeway-toll plans? Slow down, Southern California: Opinion


 February 20, 2013


 The 110 Freeway earlier this month.

Southern California transportation officials continue to move at dangerous speeds, planning more toll lanes before the region has figured out if the ones we have will work. The latest development is the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's proposal to build a combination of toll and carpool lanes along 13 1/2 miles of the 5 Freeway between Santa Clarita and Castaic as early as 2018.

This news comes, as the Metro ExpressLanes continue to be tested along the 110 Freeway south of downtown L.A., as another toll system gets ready to open Saturday on the 10 Freeway between L.A. and El Monte, and as San Bernardino officials consider a project on the 10 Freeway between the L.A. county line and Redlands.

Metro officials will hold public hearings on the Santa Clarita idea Feb. 26 at the City of Santa Clarita Sports Complex, and Feb. 28, at Rancho Pico Junior High School in Stephenson Ranch, both at 6 p.m.

The public should deliver the message to slow down -- as this space said when the San Bernardino proposal was announced.

 All of these toll lanes may be an effective way to reduce congestion on Southern California freeways, but this is a new concept for most of the region's residents and the effects are uncertain. If it will take, say, a year to gauge the impact of the 110 Freeway ExpressLanes, then officials should take that time before moving on to new projects.

This will allow them to consider other ideas to make life easier for commuters, such as the one being proposed by Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Burbank. Gatto's appropriately numbered Assembly Bill 405 would create a pilot program to open carpool lanes to solo drivers during non-peak-traffic hours.
By all means, let's improve the Southern California freeways -- but be sure to get it right.

-- Opinion staff

Zoning a Healthier Los Angeles? 


By Mark Vallianatos, February 22, 2013


 (editor’s note: When I saw L.A. County was being praised for updating its zoning code to encourage wider sidewalks and bicycling facilities, I went to some zoning experts to ask them to weigh in on the county’s proposal. Occidental College Professor Mark Vallianatos answered my call. – DN)

Shock City

The Los Angeles region was intentionally planned as a horizontal city to avoid some of the perceived ills of dense European and east coast metropolises. Policy makers, planners, voters, industry and real estate interests  made choices around land use and infrastructure that enshrined the single family house, the commuter streetcar, and later, the automobile as the building blocks of L.A.   Just as London, Manchester, and New York symbolized the scale and challenges of the 19th century industrial city, Los Angeles, with its sprawl and unprecedented car culture, was the “shock city” of the 20th century, a new way of organizing urban land.

The Tangle of Health and Zoning

This simplified history of zoning is context to consider as both the County and City of Los Angeles are revising zoning laws with a goal of promoting health. We should acknowledge a central irony in this topic. Land use rules implemented in the past to protect public health have today become health hazards. As Emily Talen puts it in her book City Rules: How Regulations Affect Urban Form, “[z]oning contributed to health problems by spreading people out, increasing their reliance on automobiles and a sedentary lifestyle.” Rules that kept peoples’ homes in different districts than heavy industry were rapidly expanded to separate all commercial uses from residential zones. Starting in the 1930s, Los Angeles began required new buildings to provide on site parking for cars, subsidizing driving at the same time that separate use zoning was undercutting walking. Zoning has also long been used to segregate people by income and race. For instance, one of the first  zoning laws adopted in Los Angeles discriminated against Chinese-owned laundries and single family zones were “protected” from apartment buildings.

The exclusionary effect of some land use regulations contributed to clustering of “concentrated disadvantage:” in neighborhoods with high poverty, unemployment and crime and with few amenities.
In addressing health through land use, the County and City have a chance to undo the damage of earlier rules while also addressing new challenges and opportunities. 

Los Angeles County Healthy Design Ordinance

On February 5th, 2013, Los Angeles County adopted a Healthy Design Ordinance.  The ordinance amended the County’s planning and zoning code “to encourage a healthy lifestyle in the County by promoting walking, bicycling, and other exercise, and by creating better access to healthy foods.” The new rules are intended to promote health in four areas:
  1. provide better walking environments by widening minimum sidewalk width from four to five feet; requiring pedestrian through ways at the end of new cul-de-sacs and mid-block on streets longer than 700 feet; and requiring more street trees close to sidewalks to “establish a continuous street tree canopy.”
  2. Encourage more biking by requiring new or remodeled buildings of 15,000 square feet or above to include bike parking and allowing up to 5 percent of car parking spaces to be swapped for bike parking for buildings located close to bike paths or lanes in the County’s bicycle plan and close to transit.
  3. Improve access to healthy food by allowing community gardens in more residential and commercial zones and making it easier for farmers markets to get permits.
  4. Highlight healthy design features by requiring more maps of proposed streets and subdivisions to indicate the location of landscaping, lighting, street furniture and bike parking in more detail and making it harder for developers to eliminate sidewalks and bike infrastructure.
These are all welcome policies. It is especially encouraging to see that the County’s healthy design goals start with promoting walking. In his book Walkable City, Jeff Speck describes a “General Theory of Walkability” that holds that people will walk more if it is useful, safe, comfortable and interesting. A useful walk depends on proximity: people should live close to destinations they need to regularly visit so that they can walk to work, to shop, to see friends. The County’s new ordinance tackles some of the worst forms of exurban isolation by starting to link cul-de-sacs, but this is far from creating walkable places. Fortunately Los Angeles County is also proposing to expand transit oriented districts and is drafting a new mixed use zoning designation as part of its general plan update. In these mixed use areas, which are limited to small portions of six of the more urbanized areas of unincorporated County land, commercial and residential uses would be permitted in the same buildings, minimum parking requirements are reduced by 25 percent, and parking lots banished to the rear or sides of buildings.

The Healthy Design Ordinance takes modest steps towards comfort and interest by expanding street trees and other pedestrian amenities. It will not do much to enhance safe walks beyond requiring more and slightly wider sidewalks. Ideally, the County can draw upon the excellent Model Design Manual for Living Streets, funded by its Department of Public Health, to revise street standards and create better walking streets and sidewalks County-wide. I’d also recommend Los Angeles Walks’ call for shared space streets, pedestrian overlay zones, piloting car free areas, and vehicle speed reductions. 

The County’s bike parking standards are anemic in comparison to City of Los Angeles’ recently adopted rules that allow commercial buildings to swap up to 30 percent of car parking for bike parking and residential buildings to trade out to 15 percent of car parking.
I’ve written in streetsblog before about the potential for land use and transportation strategies  to improve access   to healthy food and about permitting farmers markets, so I am glad that the new County policies address both active living and food access. Los Angeles County has been exploring whether to legalize green carts to sell fruits and vegetables on sidewalks in certain areas. I wish that this policy had been included in this package of healthy design reforms.
City of Los Angeles Comprehensive Zoning Revision, Health and Wellness Element

The City of Los Angeles is preparing to launch a five year process to revise its zoning code, which hasn’t been fully updated since 1946.  The City has also received funding from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to add a Health and Wellness Element to LA City’s General Plan. These are opportunities for the City of Los Angeles to move towards a framework of rules around the built environment that encourage a healthier city.  Among the key issues that can be addressed, I’d include:
  • What is the purpose of zoning? Which zoning rules are necessary in a world with comprehensive building codes and environmental regulations of potentially harmful uses?
  • Can Los Angeles “legalize a walkable city?”  The Planning Commission recently passed the Cornfields Arroyo Seco Specific Plan, a mixed residential, commercial and light industrial zone that is LA’s first land use plan in a lifetime without minimum parking requirements.  But will this kind of mixed-use innovation be reserved for small areas near transit and places with few current residents- or can it infuse much of the city? Los Angeles is still operating under a General Plan that mandates preservation of the majority of its developed land as low-density single family residential zones. Is there a way to break through the NIMBY politics of many neighborhoods to make more of Los Angeles walkable?
  • When to mix and when to separate? I operate under the assumption that we need far more mixed use zoning in Los Angeles, but there are still neighborhoods that are exposed to excessive concentrations of pollution from freeways, auto body shops, refineries, and warehouses and railyards.
  • Is there still a role for zoning in keeping toxins away from the places where people live, work and play, or should we be phasing out harmful emissions?
How to promote an inclusive city? By controlling physical places, zoning has sometimes kept less powerful socioeconomic or ethnic groups “in their place” at the margins of society. We cannot afford to exclude residents from amenities and opportunities or shut the door on newcomers or new ideas. Can zoning codes be flexible enough to incorporate low-cost housing, home-based businesses, street vending, street art, and other informal uses? What is the best way to make housing more affordable and reduce segregation?

Cell, wi-fi service may be coming to a light rail line near you


By Hayley Fox, February 22, 2013


 If the current contract is approved it may take up to two years to get the cell phone infrastructure installed for the light-rail lines.


Metro is considering a contract this month that if approved, would lead to the installation of cell phone and wi-fi service in select stations and underground tunnels throughout their public transit system.

The Source reports that cell service would then be available in Red and Purple Line stations and in the underground portions of the Blue, Gold and Expo lines.

Metro says: "The service would serve a dual purpose: it would enhance public safety by making it much easier to reach police while underground and it could also attract new riders who want to be online during their commute or public transit trips."

The proposed contract is with a firm called InSite Wireless: This company would install the necessary equipment then charge cell carriers to have their signal placed underground. Metro would make at least $360,000 a year from those deals — a "typical type of arrangement in the transit world," according to The Source.

Obtaining cell service for the light-rail lines has been in the works for years. In 2011, Metro issued a request for proposals from potential bidders and then had a committee evaluate the applicants, their experience and their understanding of the project.

From there, Metro has gone through a negotiation process and is now finalizing details of the contract with InSite.

Even if the contract is approved this month, Metro estimates it could take up to two years to get the system up-and-running. Cell phone service would be the first portion completed and the wi-fi would come later.

Beat Traffic-Pay Freeway Toll
By Al Naipo, February 22, 2013

Toll lanes are coming to Interstate 10 in the San Gabriel Valley. Beginning Saturday, you must have a transponder to drive in the new H.O.T lanes, which stands for High Occupancy Toll lanes.

It's free for carpools of three or more during rush hour. Metro says the new expresslanes should ease congestion for all commuters.

The price could be steep for solo drivers. During rush hour, traveling the entire 14 mile stretch between the 605 freeway and downtown L.A., could run almost $20.

Some drivers say they'd be willing to pay the price if it lessens their drive. . Metro estimates drivers could shave 30 minutes off their commute. 
Two Letters of Support for SR 710 Connection & EIS-EIR

From Sylvia Plummer, February 22, 2013

Letter from Barbara Messina, Mayor of Alhambra and President of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.


 Letter from US Congress Member, Judy Chu.



Los Angeles mayoral candidates

Where they stand



In January, The Times sent questions to the eight candidates for Los Angeles mayor. Click the issue list at left to see their responses, which are abridged and unedited. Some are summarized, but include a link to their answers.


February 22, 2013

(Article covers where the mayoral candidates stand on the 710 tunnel.)

Where they stand

City finances

The next mayor faces a projected $327-million budget shortfall in 2014-2015. The city’s budget advisor called last year for a new round of layoffs and for key city assets to be turned over to private operators. A former mayor has even suggested the city is heading for bankruptcy.
1. Do you support the March 5 ballot measure that would raise the sales tax by half a cent to generate $215 million a year for city accounts?
Eric Garcetti: No — I voted against the sales tax increase because I believe we need to make Los Angeles more business-friendly and an increase in the sales tax will put L.A.’s businesses at a competitive disadvantage compared to our neighboring cities by encouraging our residents to shop outside the city. More »
Wendy Greuel: I do not support the sales tax increase. Before taking a sales tax to the voters, the Council needs to demonstrate that it has fixed the problems that exist and has explored all other options. More »
Kevin James: I oppose the proposed half-cent sales tax. It is bad for our local businesses, chases customers away, and hurts working class families. More »
Jan Perry: I do not support a sales tax increase at this time. I believe that the city should do all that it can to get its fiscal house in order before going to the taxpayers. The sales tax revenue will be used for employee salaries and benefits not for the restoration of city services for the taxpayers. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: No, I don’t support the sales tax increase as a way to increase revenue– it’s a regressive tax that hurts the poorest in our city most. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

2. If you oppose the sales tax, what city programs would you eliminate or scale back?
Eric Garcetti: I have shown the leadership to balance our budget in the deepest recession in my lifetime. We did this by eliminating positions, tackling pension reform with our unions, and addressing the cost of health care. But cuts and reductions should not be the only long-term strategy to balance our budget. More »
Wendy Greuel: As Mayor, I’ll be a tough fiscal watchdog to make sure that every tax dollar is spent wisely. Using my blueprint for Performance Based Budgeting, we must identify the most important City services and fund them accordingly. More »
Kevin James: I oppose the sales tax increase, but would work to avoid cutting city services because Angelenos suffer when services are cut. More »
Jan Perry: I would seek public-private partnerships for operations at the LA Zoo and Convention Center and identify core city services as defined in the city charter that are General Fund obligations. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: We should not be looking to balance the budget with regressive sales taxes or by cutting services on which many residents rely. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

3. Is new revenue essential to fixing city finances? If so, what kind would you seek?
Eric Garcetti: Yes, we must grow our economy and increase our revenue base. In my district, in the midst of a recession, I have led the city in new job growth, new business receipts, and we have added jobs and business activity despite the tough times. More »
Wendy Greuel: Through the elimination of the Business Tax, the City will see more job creation and economic development, bringing in more revenue for the City through other sources, including property and sales tax. More »
Kevin James: Because of the bad decisions made by my City Hall opponents in prior years, additional revenue is essential to fixing city finances. More »
Jan Perry: It may be necessary to consider new revenue as an option only after the city has done all that it can to stabilize employee pension and health care benefits. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Yes, new revenue is essential. One option is a progressive property tax increase. Another is increasing the tax base. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

4. Do you support laying off additional city employees as a way to balance city finances?
Eric Garcetti: No, we have cut to the bone and need to find other ways than cuts and reductions to balance the budget. I worked with our employee unions over the last few years and led our successful efforts to eliminate about 5,000 positions from the city payroll. More »
Wendy Greuel: No. Layoffs must be used as a last resort and the Mayor and Council cannot use layoffs as a threat as has been done in recent years. We need to stop the cycle of crisis, layoffs and cuts by being smarter with our resources. More »
Kevin James: Laying off city employees is the worst way to balance city finances because it has a direct negative impact on the services the city provides to its residents. Layoffs are the absolute last resort and should only be considered after everything else has been tried and failed. More »
Jan Perry: I have voted to lay off city employees and if absolutely necessary I will support this option as a last resort. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: All options need to be on the table to solve or financial crisis. If layoffs are necessary, I’m not afraid to make the tough decisions. What I won’t do is shrink one department and shift the workers over to another. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

5. To spur business activity, is it necessary to eliminate the city’s gross receipts tax? If that were done, how would you make up the revenue?
Eric Garcetti: Yes, the city’s gross receipts tax puts the city of L.A. at a competitive disadvantage, is the highest rate in the County, and taxes businesses even when they lose money. More »
Wendy Greuel: I support a phased-in approach of eliminating the City’s gross receipts tax, with triggers that only cuts taxes when revenue milestones are hit. More »
Kevin James: It is necessary to eliminate the city’s “gross receipts” method of calculating the business tax in order to spur business activity. The revenue is made up from tax revenues generated from the new business activity. More »
Jan Perry: I do not support the elimination of the Gross Receipts Tax. … Eliminating the Gross Receipts Tax would add $400 million more to our already strained budget deficit. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Yes, we must repeal the gross receipts tax – it overburdens companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, and makes it difficult for them to invest and hire in Los Angeles. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

6. Do you believe city employees should make additional concessions on employee salaries, pensions or benefits? If so, how? If not, why not?
Eric Garcetti: I am the only candidate in this race who has negotiated hundreds of millions of dollars in pension reforms. This was tough, but ultimately successful, because I worked with our employee unions and brought all sides to the table, and I will continue to do this. More »
Wendy Greuel: I am proud of the work of our over 47,000 City employees. If the budgetary situation continues to worsen however, I will work together with our City employees to make structural change through the collective bargaining process to that is required by law. More »
Kevin James: Yes, city employees should make these additional concessions. More »
Jan Perry: Yes, I believe that city employees must understand our fragile fiscal condition and that if we do not correct course there will be greater job losses. We must meet current pension obligations and stabilize both our employee and the city’s contributions to pensions and health care. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Our elected officials made a deal based on numbers they didn’t understand, and they sold a promise to city employees that in reality the city could never meet. Our city workers deserve their benefits, but there’s now a risk they’ll get nothing unless we make some changes. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

7. Do you believe future employee retirement benefits for city workers should be provided through a 401(k) plan, as many private-sector employers have done? Why or why not?
Eric Garcetti: No. I was the first mayoral candidate to publicly speak out against Riordan’s 401(k) ballot measure, and have been clear and unequivocal in my opposition. More »
Wendy Greuel: No. Because to administer a separate 401(k) for new employees, or to convert to one from our current system, would actually cost taxpayers more, not less. More »
Kevin James: Yes. I believe future employee retirement benefits for city workers should be provided through a 401(k)-style plan. However, it is possible that sworn public safety personnel would be exempted from the 401(k)-style plan. More »
Jan Perry: No. I have not seen an analysis or actuarial study for a proposal of this kind. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I believe retirement security isn’t a luxury and we have to do everything in our power to do right by our city employees. Moving toward 401(k) plans, or a hybrid defined-benefit/defined-contribution plan, would give workers more control over their pension. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

8. What current services, if any, do you believe the city can no longer afford to provide?
Eric Garcetti: We cannot afford to further cut city services. As Mayor, I will be looking to restore those core services: public safety, public works, and libraries and parks. More »
Wendy Greuel: Using my blueprint for Performance Based Budgeting, we must identify the specific core functions, associated levels of service and fund accordingly. Among these core services must be public safety, public works and economic development. More »
Kevin James: Bad management by the city’s elected officials has already resulted in too many city services being cut. What has to be “cut” are the bad decisions coming from City Hall. More »
Jan Perry: We should look at non-essential services and operations at the Convention Center and LA Zoo as potential contract services. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I would look into privatizing operation of the Convention Center, moving to private provision of ambulance services (like most cities), and propose cutting elected officials’ salaries as measures to help balance the budget. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

The economy and development

Los Angeles’ 10.9% unemployment rate is still one the highest among U.S. big cities. And many of the post-recession jobs being created are part-time, low-skilled positions.
1. Do you have any plan to immediately bring jobs to the city, boost the middle class in particular and lower unemployment?
Eric Garcetti: On day one as mayor, I will set in motion my plans to bring jobs to Los Angeles by focusing on a more business-friendly city, investing in the jobs of the future, and accelerating infrastructure projects to rebuild our crumbling city. More »
Wendy Greuel: I will personally and regularly reach out to businesses to encourage them to stay or locate in Los Angeles and I will convene a “Jobs Cabinet” of relevant City department heads to closely track the progress of economic development activity in the City. More »
Kevin James: Yes. To grow employment in Los Angeles, I will present a “business improvement package” to the City Council within days of taking office. More »
Jan Perry: I will focus on getting projects that are in the pipeline completed, including the expansion of the Convention Center, the new stadium, the Wilshire Grand Hotel and the USC project. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: As Mayor, I will create an impact investing culture. South LA, the Eastside, and the East Valley – ignored by too many of our politicians – are undervalued assets, with many residents currently unemployed but hungry to work. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

2. Apart from construction jobs and the movie industry, do you have any plan to grow the job pool by drawing new industries to the city?
Eric Garcetti: Yes, as Mayor I will focus on jobs in emerging industries such as advanced manufacturing, digital technology, and clean energy jobs. First, I have a detailed plan to create 20,000 new jobs in solar installation, energy efficiency, and water improvement projects in our city. More »
Wendy Greuel: Los Angeles is a diverse city of entrepreneurs, with world-class innovations and boundless creativity. Our city is an international trade hub, one of the world’s top tourist destinations, a manufacturing powerhouse, and a growing center for new technology. More »
Kevin James: Yes. My business improvement package will entice many new industries to come to Los Angeles, particularly in the areas of trade and technology (including green jobs). More »
Jan Perry: Emerging industries here include fashion, new technology, creative industries and green energy. I would seek ways to get them working together to support growth in each field. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Yes. To attracting new businesses to Los Angeles, we need to make LA a more attractive place in which to do business. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

3. Do you believe Los Angeles must provide tax subsidies or exemptions to attract new development?
Eric Garcetti: I’m leading efforts to eliminate the gross-receipts business tax to make our city more attractive for new businesses and to prevent existing businesses from leaving. As Mayor, I will continue to help LA businesses start-up, grow and create jobs. More »
Wendy Greuel: Los Angeles can no longer rely solely on beaches and year-round sunshine to attract and grow businesses. We need a smart jobs strategy that uses all the tools that we have, including subsidies and exemptions. More »
Kevin James: No, I do not believe such subsidies and exemptions are needed to attract new development. An important question to ask is what do these tax holidays and incentive packages do to the new company’s competitors, the existing businesses? They punish them. More »
Jan Perry: For capital projects yes, I have used these tools to attract investment in Downtown Los Angeles. I believe that these incentives must be linked to job creation. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I don’t think it’s necessary if we create an attractive business environment. That said, businesses that are especially active in training Angelenos or investing in underserved communities should get extra advertising and tax breaks as rewards for investing in LA. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

4. Do you believe in fostering transit-oriented development?
Eric Garcetti: I believe in good, neighborhood-focused development. What makes sense in one part of the city doesn’t necessarily fit in another part of LA. It makes sense to keep larger buildings away from single-family home neighborhoods. It makes sense to put jobs near transit and housing near transit. More »
Wendy Greuel: Yes, transit-oriented development is essential for the future development of our City. However, I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all solution for the diverse communities of Los Angeles. Density makes sense for some areas near transit hubs but not in others. More »
Kevin James: Transit oriented developments should be utilized where appropriate. However, TODs should not be placed near pollution sources such as freeways that can permanently damage the lungs, and existing infrastructure concerns must be addressed as a result of the added density from the TODs. More »
Jan Perry: Yes, I believe that this is a positive trend in areas of the city that want and accept higher density. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Yes. Great urban infrastructure – a transportation system that provides easy mobility, an energy grid that’s efficient and environmentally friendly, a telecommunications network that gives everyone access to information – requires first and foremost great planning. LA doesn’t have great infrastructure. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

5. Business leaders complain that the City Hall permit and inspection process continues to be a tangle of red tape. What would you do to make it easier for businesses to come to, and operate in, the city?
Eric Garcetti: I recently partnered with License 123 to offer LA residents a free one-stop service to get all permits needed to open a business in L.A.(you can go to my city web site, http://www.cd13.com to get this service for free if you are opening a business in LA). More »
Wendy Greuel: First and foremost, I’ll talk to businesses, chambers of commerce, and industry leaders across the city to hear from them about what needs to be done to cut red tape and bureaucracy. More »
Kevin James: I will create a Permit Center which will accelerate previous progress made through the City’s Case Management Series office, and will bring in representatives from the key City departments needed to implement effective improvements in permitting. More »
Jan Perry: I established the Downtown Street Standards Committee allowing developers to sit down and meet with several city departments simultaneously to ensure consistency where policy is applied to projects. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I’d centralize the process, and establish permitting and inspection centers throughout the city. Right now permitting and inspection is spread across too many departments, too many forms, and too many points of contact. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

6. How important do you think AEG’s downtown stadium plan is to the city’s overall development?
Eric Garcetti: It would be great to bring football back to Los Angeles. While football is only 8 games a year, having a large indoor multi-use arena will help the city attract NCAA Final Fours and other large attractions that will draw more visitors to L.A. More »
Wendy Greuel: The downtown stadium is a major investment that will create new jobs and boost economic activity as we struggle to revitalize our economy. More »
Kevin James: I do not support AEG’s downtown stadium plan as currently proposed because it puts the taxpayer at risk. In addition, there are too many unknowns resulting from the potential sale of AEG and the new owners could seek different financial arrangements. More »
Jan Perry: The new stadium will provide significant employment opportunities and as a catalytic project will encourage more investment and development in both downtown and surrounding communities. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I opposed the AEG deal and I think it will hurt Los Angeles. Our politicians made a deal with a private developer that could leave taxpayers footing the bill once again. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

7. Do you believe that having a professional football team would bring in new revenue and not just move revenue from one type of entertainment to another?
Eric Garcetti: Yes, professional football is a uniquely popular attraction that draws fans from across the region. Big games, like the Rose Bowl and Super Bowl, draw huge interest in our city and encourage talented individuals to move to L.A. In fact, my friend Jan Perry decided to move to L.A. after attending the Rose Bowl! More »
Wendy Greuel: Yes. Having a professional football team will bring people from across the region and the state to Los Angeles. That means economic activity not just from ticket sales, but from restaurants, hotels, and retail stores in the city. More »
Kevin James: Yes, I do believe that having a professional football team in the region would bring in new revenue to Los Angeles. That is one of the reasons I support the stadium being built in the City of Industry. More »
Jan Perry: Yes, I believe having a football team will increase activity in Downtown Los Angeles and that this will benefit the city. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: It will bring in new revenue, but our money and energy could be better spent elsewhere. Our priorities are in the wrong order. We shouldn’t be borrowing to invest in a new entertainment venue downtown. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

Public safety

Some say the expansion of the LAPD has strained budgets to such a degree that the city must lay off additional civilian employees. Lawsuits continue to dog the LAPD. The fire chief blames budget cuts for declining response times, which he admits he cannot reliably track.
1. Should the LAPD continue to hire officers to replace those who resign or retire, keeping staffing levels the same? If not, should the department be larger or smaller? If you believe it should be larger, how would you pay for that?
Eric Garcetti: I believe that more cops makes L.A. safer and I fought to bring more officers to the neighborhoods I represent, including 40 foot patrol officers to Hollywood, and we cut violent crime by two-thirds. When we cut crime, the economy grew. More »
Wendy Greuel: I am supportive of replacing officers who resign or retire and my goal is to keep 10,000 full time officers. I will work to make sure the police force is netting more officers on patrol – we need to move people out from behind desks and into our neighborhoods and on to our streets. More »
Kevin James: Not necessarily. The goal of the LAPD is to ensure our communities are safe, rather than reaching or maintaining a specific number of officers. More »
Jan Perry: I do not advocate reductions at LAPD. Expansion beyond where we are now would be difficult. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: We don’t have a staff size problem - we have an efficiency problem. Our officers spend two-thirds of their time behind a desk instead of on the street protecting people. We need to change that. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

2. Will you ask Police Chief Charlie Beck to serve a second term?
Eric Garcetti: I am asking all my department heads to reapply for their jobs. … . I would certainly encourage Chief Beck to look at a second term in Los Angeles, and I will engage the public in the process of hiring (or re-hiring) any police chief for the city. More »
Wendy Greuel:I am committed to keeping him as part of the solution that I will put into place to make Los Angeles safe for all Angelenos, no matter which part of town they live in. More »
Kevin James: No. More »
Jan Perry: I do not see any reason not to ask Chief Beck to serve a second term. His job is too important to the city to politicize it. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I can’t commit to that without fully reviewing the performance of the department under his leadership and sitting down with him to discuss his plans for the future of the department. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

3. Do you agree with Chief Beck’s decision to make it easier for unlicensed drivers — many of them illegal immigrants — to keep their vehicles from being impounded for long periods?
Eric Garcetti: I support Chief Beck’s position to end the practice of automatically impounding the cars of unlicensed undocumented immigrants. The federal government cannot saddle our first responders with the high costs of their failure to act on immigration reform. More »
Wendy Greuel: I support granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, because it keeps our roads safer and provides a tool for law enforcement to identify individuals. I support the Chief’s recent decision on impounding vehicles for unlicensed drivers. More »
Kevin James: No. The chief’s decision is inconsistent with existing state law and I agree with the lawsuit brought by the Police Protective League challenging the chief’s decision. This is a public safety issue, not an immigration issue. More »
Jan Perry: Yes, I support the chief’s and now the Police Commission’s decision. People that drive in our state should be identified and trained to be good drivers. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Yes. Immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, are people first and foremost. The need to get their kids to school, they need to go to the store, and they need to get to work. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

4. Do you believe the LAPD is doing enough to lower the cost and frequency of use-of-force, harassment and traffic-related lawsuits against the department? If not, what should be changed?
Eric Garcetti: As Mayor, I will direct both the LAPD and the City Attorney to take a comprehensive review of how to stop litigation before it starts and to win on the cases that we bring to court. More »
Wendy Greuel: The department has recently hired a new Risk Manager who is working with the Police Commission to help improve risk management policy and prevent high-risk liability in the department. I think this is a good start but there is always more we can do. More »
Kevin James: No. I agree with the statement that “lawsuits continue to dog the LAPD.” Better training continues to make a positive difference and should continue, and there are more opportunities for accountability with the increased usage of cell phone cameras and other available technologies. More »
Jan Perry: I will work with the Commission and Inspector General to ask for a review of training practices and how assessments in the field are used to assist officers in alternative use of force. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: It will never be enough as long as there are still legitimate lawsuits on the books. We need to change the culture of law enforcement to prevention and intervention, not incarceration. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

5. Do you believe police officer disciplinary hearings and records should be open to the public or kept secret?
Eric Garcetti: Nothing should be kept secret from the Inspector General, the Chief and the Police Commission. I do not believe that personnel files should be made generally available to the public and they are protected as confidential by state law. More »
Wendy Greuel: Disciplinary hearings are personnel matters and under State law must be kept private to ensure the safety of the officers. More »
Kevin James: I believe police officer disciplinary hearings and records should not be open to the public. However, I support third-party oversight mechanisms such as the Office of the Inspector General to ensure proper review occurs when needed while protecting sensitive police information that should not be made public. More »
Jan Perry: I support the state legislation that protects personnel records and any penalty assigned to an officer. The discipline of police officer is a personnel matter. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: They should be open to the public. Transparency should be increased in all areas of our government. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

6. The city will soon begin negotiating a new contract for the LAPD’s 10,000 officers. Should that contract continue to require that officers take compensated time off in lieu of overtime pay? If so, how much?
Eric Garcetti: I want to turn around our economy to build city revenue so that we can afford more cops on the street. The contract should allow paid overtime because this puts more cops on the streets, but the amount depends upon our budget numbers at that time. More »
Wendy Greuel: As Controller, I have repeatedly stated in my financial reports the need to properly manage banked hours. It is distressing that the dollar value of banked overtime hours for LAPD officers has grown to $110 million in recent years. More »
Kevin James: No. The city should phase this practice out. The LAPD comp time policy should be brought into alignment with the Fire Department’s policy. More »
Jan Perry: The department must practice restraint in its budget and we should not defer comp time to future budgets. The city should pay the maximum amount of overtime that we can afford. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: If we have so many officers that we’re paying some to stay home, then we need to have fewer officers and use our officers’ time better. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

7. Do you have confidence in the administration of Fire Chief Brian Cummings?
Eric Garcetti: No. I believe confidence needs to be restored in the Fire Department management. More »
Wendy Greuel: I have expressed concern regarding Chief Cummings’ leadership as it relates to response times. I questioned the department’s methodology and data reliability in determining whether its current deployment plan was successful. More »
Kevin James: No. More »
Jan Perry: Chief Cummings is fairly new as Chief, has been straightforward in his dealings with the city, and is doing a great job. He has shown that he has the knowledge to operate the department. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: We need to make sure services are being delivered efficiently and effectively to every community, regardless of who’s in charge. Right now that isn’t the case. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

8. Do you support a plan to convert LAFD dispatch-center employees from 24-hour shifts to a 40-hour work week?
Eric Garcetti: No, the 24-hour schedule is specifically designed to respond to emergencies and allows for increased capacity within minutes. The Fire Department is our insurance policy and we must be prepared for the worst. More »
Wendy Greuel: I believe there may be different proposals that are more effective and cost-neutral. I will work with LAFD and the firefighters union to create a plan that maintains safety levels and that both sides can agree to. More »
Kevin James: No. Converting the dispatch center as described in the question puts public safety at risk because the LAFD would lose its ability to rapidly bring additional dispatch resources online in the event they are needed. More »
Jan Perry: Eight-hour shifts provide for a better turn around and better access to your personnel. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I want our dispatch centers adequately staffed 24-hours a day to respond to the needs of our city. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

9. Should the LAFD dispatch center be staffed by civilian workers instead of sworn employees?
Eric Garcetti: No, LAFD dispatchers are fully trained firefighter/paramedics and their training and experience helps to start to address the needs of the emergency immediately. More »
Wendy Greuel: I do not support having civilian workers at LAFD dispatch centers because it takes more than reading numbers on a screen to understand the complex dangers that firefighters face. More »
Kevin James: No. LAFD current dispatchers are trained firefighters, trained paramedics who have in-the-field experience in handling the types of emergencies that are presented to dispatchers. More »
Jan Perry: I believe with the right training and sworn oversight this is possible. This would be similar to how LAPD’s dispatch center operates and I believe it is a good model. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Dispatch centers should be staffed by trained and competent employees, whether they’re sworn or civilian. I’m a results-driven person and I’ll be a results-driven Mayor. The people will always be my first concern. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

10. What would you do to speed response times, especially in those parts of the city — such as hillside communities and around the city’s border — where responses are slowest?
Eric Garcetti: We first need to collect accurate data and set clear goals for response times. For too long, the Department has had junk data and this led Council member Mitch Englander and I to launch an initiative called FireStat, which will finally give us a clear picture on response times and other critical data. More »
Wendy Greuel: Having slow response times in any part of the city is unacceptable. I’ll make sure that fire safety is a top priority and will do what is possible to restore services to appropriate levels. More »
Kevin James: We must restore staffing levels to prior numbers. We must replace the current dispatch system with modern technology. We need GPS systems in our fire trucks. More »
Jan Perry: We need to constantly evaluate response times and should employ GPS to deploy responders closest to an incident location. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I will use data and information technology to create specific response strategies for these areas. That may mean creating a new station or moving an existing one, but we can’t settle for slow response times under any circumstance. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »


The Measure R sales tax is generating billions of dollars for road and rail construction, including a Westside subway extension, but efforts to speed work with additional money have fallen short. There is still no rail to LAX, and traffic on the Westside has even caused President Obama to express dismay.
1. Do you believe Metro should try again to win an extension of Measure R, similar to the Measure J ballot proposal that failed in November?
Eric Garcetti: Yes, accelerating Measure R projects would create thousands of jobs, reduce traffic congestion, and decrease air pollution from single occupant car trips. We need traffic relief and we need it now. More »
Wendy Greuel: Yes. Los Angeles is building a transportation system benefiting every community in the City, as well as the Southern California region. … Measure J received over 66% of the vote in November, so it’s clear that Angelenos are very serious about this issue. More »
Kevin James: Not at this time. I believe Angelenos are taxed enough. When the voters were convinced to support Measure R through representations made about what Measure R funds would bring to the community they relied on those representations. More »
Jan Perry: Not at this time. We need to complete projects and demonstrate to the voters that their money is effectively being used to mitigate traffic in the city. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I disagree with regressive taxation or forcing the people to pay for poor planning by our city officials. Traffic congestion needs to be reduced and we have to increase mass transit options, and we need to do this with a strong plan in mind before we tax or borrow. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

2. Do you agree with advocates who call for changing the voter threshold for taxes on transportation projects to be lowered from two-thirds to 55%?
Eric Garcetti: Yes. More »
Wendy Greuel: I support lowering the voter threshold for taxes on transportation projects from two-thirds to 55%. More »
Kevin James: No. Because such transportation projects are long-term and extremely costly, I believe the two-thirds threshold should be maintained. More »
Jan Perry: It is clear that voters want improvements in local transportation. But it seems to me that if we are to ask voters to lower the threshold for transportation we should apply it to education and law enforcement as well. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: 55% is arbitrary. I think a simple majority should be the best threshold. The idea that a majority of people could want changes in taxes on transportation and still couldn’t make it a reality is something I fundamentally disagree with. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

3. Will you give rail development the same emphasis that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has?
Eric Garcetti: I will continue to accelerate badly-needed rail lines (and where appropriate busways), since these projects have the best shot at reducing traffic throughout our city. More »
Wendy Greuel: I will continue Mayor Villaraigosa’s robust efforts building our rail system throughout Los Angeles, but plan to increase attention to connectivity to other modes, especially walking and biking. More »
Kevin James: I support heavy rail in the form of subways. Light rail passing through heavily urban areas needs to be grade separated. Adding a new transportation mode should not effect the capacity of existing transportation modes. More »
Jan Perry: I served on the Exposition Light Rail Construction Authority and completing our rail network is important. We must improve linkages for bus riders to our rail and intermodal connections as well. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Rail projects are fun and exciting to talk about, but they take a long time to complete, and we need more efficient and effective mass transit options today. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

4. Mayor Villaraigosa was sometimes criticized for prioritizing rail projects over the county’s bus system. What role do you think the bus system should play?
Eric Garcetti: Buses are critical for our transit system to work—more people ride buses today than rail and a bus can sometimes get people places quicker and closer. They play an integral role in building a linked transit system with easy transfers. More »
Wendy Greuel: I will not compromise bus service for rail. A “one-size” transportation solution does not work for our City, so we must continue building all modes of transportation throughout our City. More »
Kevin James: The bus system plays an important role, indeed a critical role, in our public transportation system. More »
Jan Perry: Having represented South Los Angeles it has been apparent to me that there are glaring gaps in local bus service. In fact bus line services have been reduced in many transit dependent communities. This makes getting to work more challenging. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Our bus system needs more lines, more buses, and more dedicated bus lanes. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

5. Do you believe rail is the most cost-effective way to improve transportation in the city?
Eric Garcetti: Not always, as in some cases, buses can be more cost-effective. We should build rail where it is necessary and look at busways where it is just as fast to travel and often cheaper and faster to get a line up and running, such as with the Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley. More »
Wendy Greuel: No, because I do not believe that any single mode of transportation is the answer or most cost-effective because of the wide variation in our City’s transportation landscape. More »
Kevin James: This question is unclear as to whether you are asking about the cost to build, the cost to maintain/operate, or the cost to use. … The subway system is a needed long-term solution. In the meantime, in the short-term we need to more effectively move traffic on our surface streets. More »
Jan Perry: In terms of daily ridership it is cost effective. The Gold Line has 25,000 riders daily. How many buses would be required to transport that many people? More »
Emanuel Pleitez: No. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

6. Do you believe that a “subway to the sea” — the Westside subway extension — is necessary?
Eric Garcetti: Yes. We must extend the Wilshire subway to West L.A. We may not get all the way to the sea, but we absolutely must get to UCLA and the VA at a minimum. More »
Wendy Greuel: Yes. The Westside experiences some of the City’s heaviest traffic congestion, and simply adding more buses will not meet our current and future needs. More »
Kevin James: Yes. As someone who has worked in Century City for years, I know that a subway stop linking Century City to downtown, to Westwood and eventually to the sea is desperately needed. More »
Jan Perry: Yes, it is a much-needed east-west connector. The Westside has the greatest traffic challenges and we need to offer alternatives to car uses. The subway to the sea will alleviate the need to use an automobile to connect the west side to downtown Los Angeles. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: No, but it would be a good option to have if we can get it done in a timely, cost-effective way. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

7. What route should Metro select for the Westside subway as it passes through Century City?
Eric Garcetti: I support the current plan for the subway to pass through Constellation and Avenue of the Stars. More »
Wendy Greuel: I support the Westside Subway Extension Project adopted by the Metro Board of Directors in May 2012, including the Constellation Station. More »
Kevin James: At a recent debate, I pointed out that Beverly Hills has raised some serious concerns relating to the safety of tunneling under Beverly Hills High. … We need to simultaneously protect our kids while understanding that the environmental benefits of taking cars off the road also benefits all of us. More »
Jan Perry: In the course of my work on the Exposition Light Rail Authority I have worked to find a balance between local interests and development interests. In the case of Beverly Hills I believe that more studies should have been conducted to determine the preferred route. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I want to sit down with expert urban planners to find the route that reduces the most congestion with the smallest impact on the surrounding communities. I’m not convinced we’ve found that route yet. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

8. Should more toll lanes be placed on Los Angeles freeway carpool lanes?
Eric Garcetti: Not at this time. I am monitoring the progress of the pilot toll lanes and am interested in the data that we get from this trial. More »
Wendy Greuel: If the pilot projects on I-110 and I-10 prove successful, then yes. More »
Kevin James: No. More »
Jan Perry: We now have a federally funded demonstration project on the 110 and 10 East Freeways. We should see the results of the study of this effort before implementing more toll lanes. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: We need to look at the effect that toll lanes have on overall traffic congestion. I tend to disagree with toll lanes because it disadvantages people who can’t afford their use. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

9. For decades transit officials have debated an extension of the 710 Freeway through South Pasadena. Should it be built, and if so, how?
Eric Garcetti: I am opposed to the 710 extension being built. More »
Wendy Greuel: There are still many uncertainties on an extension of the 710 Freeway. We need to ensure that the current process being managed by Metro to assess alternatives is both transparent and credible. More »
Kevin James: No. The affected communities need to be on board, and they are not. More »
Jan Perry: No, this battle has gone on long enough. The only way that connection could be made it to go underground, a cost prohibitive option. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: We should focus on mass transit options before extending the 710. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

10. Do you favor moving the north runways at LAX closer to Westchester? If so, why?
Eric Garcetti: I have been listening to Westchester residents and other stakeholders to resolve safety, traffic and efficiency concerns at LAX and look forward to continuing this discussion in the campaign. More »
Wendy Greuel: It is imperative that we keep LAX competitive. Part of this means reconfiguring the north runway to improve safety, efficiency and accommodate the next generation of aircraft. And I do support a reconfiguration of the north runway to address these concerns. More »
Kevin James: I am still in the review process regarding this issue. More »
Jan Perry: The airport staff has made a recommendation and I am looking at the recommendation and will wait to make my decision following the conclusion of the public comment and response to the public comment period. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: That’s a decision I would make in close consultation with the Westchester community. If moving the runway would be beneficial, I support it. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

11. What improvements are still needed at LAX?
Eric Garcetti: Our first focus at LAX needs to be improving the passenger experience, ensuring plane safety, reducing neighborhood traffic, and expanding public transit options from the airport and cutting the pollution. Specifically, we need to extend the Green Line and the future Crenshaw line into LAX. More »
Wendy Greuel: LAX needs a better customer experience — from restaurants and luggage retrieval to ground transportation and rental cars, LAX currently lacks what we need to be competitive for passengers when they depart or land at LAX. More »
Kevin James: The traffic patterns are unacceptable. The appearance of the terminals is unacceptable. The pathways from rental car centers to the airport are unacceptable. The Green Line needs to go all the way to the airport, and the overall terminal experience for passengers must be vastly improved. More »
Jan Perry: Ground transportation in and around the airport should be improved with linkages to all transportation systems including bus and rail. I also support offsite parking facilities and an intermodal transit center. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: There seems to be a consensus that we need to expand and modernize LAX. We all know bigger is not always better. If expansion is really going to modernize our airport and not going to be a detriment to our surrounding communities, then I am for it. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

12. Would you sell or give up control over Ontario International Airport? If so, why?
Eric Garcetti: LAWA is already in negotiations to sell Ontario to the city of Ontario and I fully support local ownership of Ontario if we can get revenues to help the city of LA, boost passenger use of Ontario, and better integrate the airport with the eastern part of LA County and the Inland Empire, which will reduce car traffic throughout the region. More »
Wendy Greuel: I do not believe in retaining control solely for the sake of maintaining an airport empire. On the contrary, I support the fiscally responsible option that provides the best services to the people of Southern California. More »
Kevin James: I would allow the City of Ontario to control the Ontario International Airport. More »
Jan Perry: We need more information to determine the economic interests and I will bring in a third party to analyze whether it is in the city’s best interests to continue to operate Ontario Airport. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: If it would be financially beneficial for our city, I would. Regardless of who controls it, we need to increase coordination with all of the airports in the area. Better integration of all of our transportation infrastructure and services is a must. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

13. Do you think the city needs to privatize its parking garages?
Eric Garcetti: No. These types of solutions to raise revenue quickly are not long-term ways to solve our city’s structural deficit problem and they often involve selling an asset for much less than it’s worth in revenue. More »
Wendy Greuel: I do not believe that running parking garages is part of the City’s core services. More »
Kevin James: No. More »
Jan Perry: I think we can look at public private partnerships for the management of our parking garages as that is not a core city service. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: We should consider private provision of garage services. We do need more above ground structures to meet the needs of Angelenos. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

14. The city has a growing bicycle movement. What are your feelings about bicyclists in L.A., and what needs to be done/not done to accommodate them on L.A.’s roads?
Eric Garcetti: We must continue to implement the bicycle infrastructure laid out in the City’s Bike Plan, however, we can not rest on its laurels - we must challenge ourselves to continue to innovate and draw from best practices across the globe to make L.A. a bikable city. More »
Wendy Greuel: Our roadways need to be designed with bicyclists in mind, and we need to thoughtfully establish a network of bicycle routes that connects our neighborhoods to our commercial, retail, educational and cultural centers. More »
Kevin James: Los Angeles should finally become a bike-friendly city through the acceleration of the city’s bike plan. More »
Jan Perry: As mayor I will ensure that both the Planning Department and Department of Transportation continue to develop the network and systems to accommodate bike riders. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I love that more Angelenos are biking. Biking is a sustainable and healthy alternative to cars that we need to support. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

15. At least 42% of the city’s sidewalks are in poor shape, and lawsuits may force the city to spend huge sums to repair them. What would you do to fix the city’s streets and sidewalks?
Eric Garcetti: Los Angeles needs to fix its sidewalks and we must be strategic about our resources. We first need a methodological assessment of city sidewalks in order to assess where the most need is. More »
Wendy Greuel: Implementing a robust sidewalk improvement and pedestrian safety program will be a priority of my Administration. … I will explore bringing back the “50/50” sidewalk program that I pioneered in my council district, sharing the cost of sidewalk repair between the City and the community. More »
Kevin James: I will make sure that homeowners are not burdened with the added responsibility of repairing the city’s sidewalks outside of their homes. There are, however, some homeowners and business owners that are willing to share in the cost of sidewalk repair voluntarily. More »
Jan Perry: I have proposed sidewalk, street lighting, and landscaping assessment districts. Property owners living within a district would vote to or not to assess themselves for improvements and maintenance. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: The condition of our sidewalks and streets is the legacy of neglect our current politicians have left behind and would likely continue should one of them be elected Mayor. There are streets in Pacoima and South LA that don’t even have sidewalks. That’s unacceptable. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »


The largest school system in California struggles with low test scores and graduation rates. LAUSD teachers and administrators disagree on evaluation methods. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attempted a takeover but settled for running a limited number of campuses.
1. How would you describe the state of the Los Angeles Unified School District?
Eric Garcetti: While there have been some areas of improvement in recent years— such as relief to overcrowding, ending forced busing, and improved test scores at the elementary level—as a parent, I find the current state of our public school system unacceptable. More »
Wendy Greuel: While I am proud of the progress our students and teachers are striving to make every day, there is no doubt that the state of Los Angeles schools is far from where it should be. More »
Kevin James: The District is in a state of crisis. Too many students are not graduating — dropout rates and truancy rates are excessively high. More »
Jan Perry: LAUSD is in transition. The past decade the district has undergone major change with the development of new schools and the establishment of charter schools. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: It’s in shambles. We have the lowest high school graduation rate in the country compared to any comparable city. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

2. Will you continue to oversee the nonprofit that runs Mayor Villaraigosa’s 15 schools?
Eric Garcetti: Later this year, the LAUSD will evaluate the Partnership’s achievements over the last five years and decide whether to renew the five-year Memorandum of Understanding. If the agreement is renewed, I will support and oversee the Partnership Schools. More »
Wendy Greuel: Yes, I will continue the strong collaboration between the City and LAUSD. More »
Kevin James: No. Many parents that have kids in the PLAS schools are dissatisfied and unhappy with the program. More »
Jan Perry: The next mayor should be involved and seek better education outcomes for our students. I will appoint a Deputy Mayor of Education and seek help from the best available experts in the field of education I can find. My office will be involved in the oversight of the nonprofit. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I oppose the Partnership. We should not be cherry-picking schools to be run by the Mayor’s office. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

3. Will you try to have the same level of political involvement and influence over the school board by fielding candidates and helping to pay for their campaigns?
Eric Garcetti: I will continue to support good candidates who run. More »
Wendy Greuel: As I have done in the past, I will support school board candidates who share my vision for improving our schools. More »
Kevin James: Yes. I will consider supporting candidates (potentially through endorsements and/or fundraising efforts) that want to reform the District and help change the way our public school system works. However, I have no intention of controlling the Board but instead will partner with it. More »
Jan Perry: As mayor I will do my part to create effective partnerships with the school district to ensure safe routes to schools, support programs that improve education outcomes and work to help our students find success. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: No. That’s not the Mayor’s job. If the Mayor spent his energy on our students instead of political game playing, our graduation rate would be better. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

4. How would you evaluate the performance of Superintendent John Deasy?
Eric Garcetti: Superintendent Deasy has made progress in important areas, improving test scores and cutting waste at the administrative level but even he knows that progress is slow and we are still failing too many kids. More »
Wendy Greuel: Since John Deasy became the Superintendent of Los Angeles schools just less than two years ago, he has proven to be a capable and courageous leader of the District. More »
Kevin James: While I believe he has exhibited the skill set needed to provide balance in negotiating with union leadership, he made early mistakes in the handling of the Miramonte scandal that could have been avoided. So far he is doing a satisfactory job and I look forward to working with him. More »
Jan Perry: I have not been in a position to evaluate John Deasy’s performance as Superintendent. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I like that John Deasy has sought to shake up the bureaucracy of LAUSD and focus on our students. However, we must do more to increase our high school graduation rate and the skill level of our workforce. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

5. Mayor Villaraigosa has said that student test scores should account for at least 30% of a teacher’s evaluation. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Eric Garcetti: Data does have a place in evaluating teachers, but I don’t know what the specific percentage should be. The teachers and the District have agreed to include data and this is a great first step. More »
Wendy Greuel: To reward great teachers, support those who are still developing their practice and hold accountable those teachers who are struggling, we need an effective teacher evaluation system. More »
Kevin James: I believe that student test scores should have an impact on the evaluations but am concerned that 30% may be too high. There should be multiple factors considered in the evaluation process including student and parent input. More »
Jan Perry: Evaluating teachers and helping them succeed is important. Measuring student test scores should be one element of many used to evaluate performance. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: I agree that test scores should be part of the evaluation. We have to take into account the overall performance of our students and their personal evaluation of our teachers as well. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

6. What are the top three things you could do to help improve the school system as mayor?
Eric Garcetti: I will align education with the needs of the economy. I will forge connections between LA-based businesses and local schools so that students gain access to skills needed for the workplace of the future. More »
Wendy Greuel: I will fight tirelessly for more funding for our schools to reward successful teachers and school leaders while pushing for accountability measures to improve the school district. More »
Kevin James: I would use the power of the Mayoral podium to: (a) find ways to more fairly and efficiently fund our schools; and (b) support parent empowerment and the parent’s right to chose the school that best fits their child’s needs. More »
Jan Perry: My priorities are to focus on Middle School students to strengthen the safety net and keep them in school. This is where we lose too many students. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: We need to increase the learning and educational opportunities for our students outside the classroom that will challenge our young people to explore their interests as well as keep them away from bad influences. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

7. Should every charter school have a teacher workforce that is represented by a union?
Eric Garcetti: Every teacher should be free to organize into a union if they desire to do so, without intimidation. More »
Wendy Greuel: Every teacher should have the right to organize and collectively bargain at his or her local charter school. More »
Kevin James: No. I am not a supporter of the position that every charter school have a teacher workforce that is represented by a union. More »
Jan Perry: No, teachers that choose a career in private or charter schools make that choice. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: We need to find the best teachers for our students. I don’t care if they are union workers or not. My focus is on our students. That should be our teachers’ focus too. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

8. How many additional charter schools should LAUSD allow?
Eric Garcetti: There are great charter schools in L.A. and there are bad ones that perform poorly. I do not believe that charter schools or non-charter schools are inherently better. We must look at what schools are doing well and support and encourage sharing of these best practices. More »
Wendy Greuel: I believe that is the wrong question to be asking. The question is how do we ensure a strong foundation of good schools operated by LAUSD. More »
Kevin James: There is no magic number of how many charter schools there should be. The focus should be on good schools not how many are charters. More »
Jan Perry: LAUSD should continue to partner with charter school organizations when this option promises the best education outcomes. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Regardless of the number, our charter schools should be purposeful. The goal shouldn’t be to use our children as experiments or stroke the ego of wealthy donors, it should be to find the best methods for educating our students so we can apply those methods to all of our schools. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »


Power costs are rising as the DWP moves from coal to renewable fuels. The Supreme Court is weighing lawsuits over the port’s clean-truck program. Advocates for green spaces say more parks are needed. Developers are pushing back at state environmental impact laws.
1. Some projections provided to the city forecast that the DWP will have at least 10 consecutive years of rate hikes as the utility complies with regulations and moves toward more renewable power. What would you do to address these rising costs?
Eric Garcetti: I created the Ratepayer Advocate to protect consumers and help reduce LADWP rates. Aging infrastructure and technology, salaries, pensions, health care all contribute to our overall energy costs and must be addressed. More »
Wendy Greuel: I will challenge the DWP to ensure that it is streamlining processes and decreasing costs before approving any additional rate increase. More »
Kevin James: Let’s not fool ourselves. The rate hikes have been driven by years of neglect of the water and power infrastructure. It is a symptom of bad management over the last decade and beyond. More »
Jan Perry: We need to balance the interests of both our ratepayer’s and our workers. A municipal utility should be fair in its rate structure. We need to reduce operational costs at the DWP. By that I mean employee compensation. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: DWP has increasingly been used as a revenue source for the city, covering shortfalls in revenue and hiding our politicians’ poor budgeting. I don’t support any rate increase that’s used to transfer funds from taxpayers to the city’s general budget. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

2. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pledged to wean the DWP off coal by 2020. But the DWP’s projections show the utility will still be receiving 28% of its energy from coal by that date. Would you uphold Villaraigosa’s pledge? If so, how would you achieve it?
Eric Garcetti: I want to go further and as Mayor would work to get LADWP off coal and nuclear free by 2021. I agree with the Sierra Club, UCLA, and others who have put forth what I believe is an aggressive but do-able mix of power that is coal-free and I believe should be nuclear-free by 2021. More »
Wendy Greuel: Yes. The good news is that LADWP is moving ahead with the transition away from coal-powered generation. The bad news is that it’s not happening fast enough. More »
Kevin James: I can’t promise to wean L.A. off coal by 2020, but doing so will be a priority. Weaning the city from coal represents a huge job creating industry for our city, and one that can’t be outsourced. More »
Jan Perry: We need to continue to focus our efforts in this direction and maintain our commitment for renewable energy uses at reasonable costs to ratepayers. We need a long-range plan on how to improve our chances at achieving our renewable goals. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: We must invest more in renewable energy technologies – solar, for example, a technology I learned a great deal about while serving the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

3. The Supreme Court is poised to consider challenges to the port’s clean-truck program, particularly as it relates to regulations on owner-operated trucks. Do you support the program as passed by the Harbor Commission?
Eric Garcetti: Yes. Cleaning up the port while retaining and creating good paying jobs with safe working conditions requires out-of-the-box thinking. The Court should respect this innovative local solution that achieves multiple worthy goals. More »
Wendy Greuel: Yes. The Port of Los Angeles is one of City’s most important engines of economic growth. To keep it competitive and growing, we need to ensure that it does so in a way that’s sustainable in a dense urban environment like Los Angeles. More »
Kevin James: I support the program’s environmental goals. I am troubled by the inclusion of a provision, which forces all drivers to become employees of trucking firms rather than be allowed to remain independent. More »
Jan Perry: I support it as a means to achieve our clean air and environmental goals. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Owner-operated trucks should be subject to the same environmental and security regulations as other shippers. I support the required compliance with existing regulations. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

4. Do you support the Southern California Intermodal Gateway project in the Port of Los Angeles? How would you address concerns from activists that the project would significantly harm neighbors, both in terms of air quality and traffic?
Eric Garcetti: This proposed project does brings rail closer to the port, and that’s movement in the right direction. But on-dock rail, which would eliminate most local truck trips and would keep the air near the Port cleaner and has not been fully explored. More »
Wendy Greuel: I do support the SCIG. We need to make sure that we keep our port competitive to keep jobs in the region, and the key to the competitiveness of our port is increasing throughput. More »
Kevin James: I am not sure the traffic concerns stand up. Increased port activity absent the SCIG would also result in increased traffic. It is also not clear that the project won’t actually decrease traffic as thousands of truck trips will be taken off the roads. More »
Jan Perry: The expansion of operations at the port will be a major job generator. Mitigation measures must be implemented in response to community interests. I would rely on the environmental review process for the best measures and mitigation effort to address community needs. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: This is where data and technology can be used to resolve disputes and find the most environmentally friendly way to transport goods to and from the Port of Los Angeles. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

5. Should the California Environmental Quality Act be rewritten, as many real estate developers have suggested, to reduce the financial impact of legal challenges over environmental impact reports? If so how?
Eric Garcetti: Yes, but not at the expense of the environment. More »
Wendy Greuel: CEQA has protected our communities, environment and health for over 30 years and should continue to do so. More »
Kevin James: Accurate EIRs rarely draw challenges. Inaccurate EIRs not only create lawsuits, but they allow elected officials to avoid facing the specter of publicly accepting real project impacts. This “so sue me” approach has caused the lion’s share of lawsuits.The solution is to improve confidence in environmental reports by: More »
Jan Perry: I concur with Governor Brown and many state legislators that we should look at modifying the law in a manner that supports more development and investment and at the same time supports environmental objectives. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: No. We can’t afford to compromise on environmental regulations. We have to reduce consumption and increase energy efficiency and options to reduce our carbon footprint. Gambling with our energy security is not an option. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

6. Anschutz Entertainment Group, the developer of a proposed downtown football stadium, received special state legislation that allowed its project to have an accelerated environmental review process. Should every business receive such treatment? Why or why not?
Eric Garcetti: I support CEQA reform that guarantees that projects have to meet stringent environmental standards and neighborhood protections, but discourages legal challenges that drag on for years. More »
Wendy Greuel: Streamlining for special projects should be met with a healthy dose of skepticism. More »
Kevin James: No. Carve-outs create the impression of special-interest influence. With the above CEQA implementation reform, such carve-outs would not be necessary. I believe in a level playing field for all. More »
Jan Perry: I agree that there are some capital projects that qualify for this effort. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: The speed of the review process is irrelevant so long as the review is thorough. Los Angeles has a significant amount of bureaucracy that is unnecessary and we shouldn’t just accelerate regulatory processes for large developers, but small businesses and entrepreneurs as well. More »
VJ Draiman: Statement » | Addie Miller: Statement » | Norton Sandler: Statement »

7. Advocates for green space contend that Los Angeles needs more parks. Yet the city has been struggling to maintain the parkland that it already has. How would you improve the maintenance of those that already exist while adding new parkland in coming years?
Eric Garcetti: I have been working with a coalition of parks advocates, business leaders, union representatives, and neighborhood groups to focus on funding the ongoing maintenance and operations in our parks. More »
Wendy Greuel: I will continue to add new parkland throughout the City – especially in those parts of the City that are the most park – poor. As I have successfully done, I will hold department heads accountable for improving the maintenance of existing parks to keep them safe and clean for all Angelenos to use. More »
Kevin James: The best thing we can do for our park system is to get our financial house in order, and that will take some time. Absent public funding, public-private partnerships represent part of the solution. More »
Jan Perry: This is another opportunity to look at public-private partnerships as a possible means of funding our parks. I want to see more parks developed at the local neighborhood level and believe that partnerships and sponsorships for parks is a reasonable approach to offset maintenance costs. More »
Emanuel Pleitez: Maintaining our current parks is tied directly to our budget. I will resolve our pension crisis and balance our budget to halt the current cuts from our parks and green spaces. I won’t add new parks that we can’t afford.  More »