Who am I?
I am a fourth-generation Angeleno. I was raised in the San Fernando Valley and live today in Silver Lake with my wife and one year-old daughter.
I am the City Councilmember representing L.A.'s 13th District and am Chair of the Council Jobs and Business Development Committee. I was elected four times by my peers as City Council President, from 2006 to 2012. I am also a member of the Screen Actors Guild, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy reserve, Chair of the Democratic Municipal Officials (a Democratic National Committee organization), and a member of the DNC Executive Board. I proudly served as President Obama's California Campaign Chair and Southern California Chair.
I earned my B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University. I also studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and the London School of Economics and was a Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Fellow. I taught at Occidental College and the University of Southern California before being elected to the City Council.
I am a lifelong Democratic activist who brings to the race a record of results, not just the right things said; a record of leadership and of authoring legislation, not just voting for it.
I wrote the nation’s largest green building ordinance; the nation’s largest local clean water initiative; and the nation’s first tenant foreclosure eviction moratorium.
I’ve also put our party’s values to work to tackle challenges in our neighborhoods by tripling the number of parks in the communities I represent, from 16 to 47; ensuring there is an after school program available to every school; and creating prevention and intervention programs like At the Park After Dark (now Summer Night Lights), which today serves hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles youth with positive activities and a safe place to go until midnight during the summer when school is out. I also partnered with a local startup to create the city's first constituent services smart phone app, so that people can report problems like graffiti or potholes with a few clicks – anytime, anywhere, from the palms of their hands.
I am incredibly proud that despite tough times, Bloomberg News reports that Hollywood is attracting more investment than it has in four decades. Echo Park was named by the American Planning Association as one of the nation's top 10 neighborhoods. Silver Lake and Atwater Village were both recently recognized as being among the nation's best neighborhoods by national magazines. This was unthinkable when I took office and shows what is possible in all of L.A.'s diverse communities.
Why am I running?
I am running for Mayor because I believe I am the best candidate with a proven record of results to create jobs and solve problems for L.A. residents and businesses. L.A. will always be a big city, but I want it to be the great city we know it can be. That means delivering the best services, bringing innovation to City Hall and focusing on preparing our workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.
I want to create jobs and make sure City Hall is focused on solving problems for L.A. residents and businesses.
I will prioritize job creation and economic growth to help families support themselves and invest in their futures and to generate revenues to put cops on our streets, books in our libraries and parks in our neighborhoods.
I have a plan to create 20,000 good green jobs during my first term in office and I have announced a detailed strategy for job training to match people looking for work with employers looking to hire. I am currently spearheading tax reforms that will make L.A. more competitive against other cities that are currently luring businesses away from us and will create an EB5 office in the Mayor's office to attract investment in L.A. I will protect and grow L.A.’s biggest industries by sourcing city goods from local manufacturers and retailers, collaborating with neighboring cities to draw more tourism and trade, and fighting hard to preserve and expand California's state filming incentives to keep our entertainment industry here.
To get Los Angeles back to work, we must make City Hall work by cutting the red tape and making government faster and more responsive. On day one of my administration, I will require every department head to reapply for their position. My administration will issue new and public performance-based metrics to hold managers accountable on economic growth, efficiency, and customer service. I will hire L.A.’s first Chief Technology Officer to identify, test, and deploy technologies to help the City be faster more responsive and to better solve problems. Bringing city government into the 21st century will also save taxpayer dollars now wasted on antiquated systems.
My DFA Values
I value making government more open, more transparent, and more accessible and use technology to make it easier to get feedback from the public. As a former professor, I created a groundbreaking Neighborhood Leadership Institute that has graduated more than 1,000 Angelenos from Government 101, Budget 101 and Planning 101 courses with practical tools to empower themselves and their communities through active participation in their government. I set a rule that my office must return calls within 24 hours and I personally interact with constituents on the phone, on email, on Facebook and on Twitter. As an elected official, I was an “early adopter” when it came to starting a blog and a couple weeks ago, I did an AMA on Reddit. In addition, as an elected official I have always walked door-to-door in neighborhoods I represent and regularly hold open office hours to meet face-to-face with L.A. residents.
I have used engagement strategies to solve tough problems in the neighborhoods that I represent. I created an innovative program to fight graffiti by organizing more than 400 block captains, which has helped cut graffiti by 80 percent. I am a founding member of Hollywood 4WRD (Four Walls, a Roof and a Door) to accomplish the goal of permanently housing homeless individuals including veterans, families and chronically homeless people by bringing together business representatives, government agencies, social service providers, and housing providers. And I have worked hard to fund and build community support for housing for homeless people within the communities that I serve.
My Campaign is People Powered!
We are a grassroots campaign, driven by volunteers and young interns and reaching out to voters through phone banks and precinct walks. I am proud to be in the lead in terms of fundraising, but even more exciting is that the vast majority of our donors are new to city politics. While other candidates paid a fee to turn in the minimum required signatures to qualify for the ballot, our energized volunteers collected the maximum number and we were the first to submit them. We have earned the support of almost every grassroots Democratic club that has endorsed in this race.