Keep Culver City Weird.
My work in the Culver City Downtown Business Improvement District has been all about building community. Community means connecting people and space to build up a sense of place, shared values, and identity. Community includes everyone: renters and homeowners, adults and children, small businesses, the homeless, undocumented persons, and the quarter million people who work here during the day. We cannot afford to leave anyone out.
Technology and media companies moving thousands of new, good jobs to Culver City – including Apple, HBO, Amazon Studios. Most cities in America are begging for this kind of economic development. But these come with challenges and costs, tangible and intangible, particularly in a small city. We should not be overawed by the powerful corporations and wealth coming to our city. People must come first. I will sit down with everyone, but will not be afraid to say “no.” This is our city, and we must not surrender the power to shape our future. I believe large corporations must pay their fair share of the costs that business activities impose on city services, so the burdens of economic growth do not fall on homeowners and small businesses in our community. Economic development should mean community development.
Culver City is facing the urbanization of West Los Angeles. We can’t move the mountains and we can’t move the sea: it is happening. Housing costs are the most pressing burden on most families, renters and homeowners. Too many are being priced out. We need to adapt new statewide rent control rules to our own local needs, but that is not enough. I support legalizing more housing options, particularly in our commercial corridors. I want a housing market that works for everyone. A healthy housing market controls costs naturally through abundance and competition. We must decide what kind of city we want to become rather than just let it happen to us.
Transportation / Mobility
Traffic is a huge problem in this city. The root of the problem is that too many people drive across Culver City to get to work. Cars cause traffic. Without good alternatives, automobile use and traffic will not be contained. The truth is that people prefer sitting in traffic jams to other transit options that are too slow or don’t get them close enough to home or work. We need to change the calculus for as many people as we can. Let’s build housing near where people work to shorten commutes. Let’s make every Culver City neighborhood walkable and bike-able. Let’s make alternative transit as useful for as many people as possible. We need an “all of the above” transportation system.
Every city has a responsibility to fight climate change. I will make sure we do our part. Housing and transportation are environmental issues too. The best thing Culver City can do for the planet is to reduce commuting culture by helping people afford to live near where they work.
As Vice Chair of the City’s Finance Advisory Committee, I understand how the city spends its money. I will ask the hard questions to ensure use our money wisely. The better we manage city funds, the more we can do.
Few things are more important to Culver City than maintaining our independent Police and Fire departments. That independence means that Culver City can ensure that services are provided with equity to all. I want to make sure they have the resources they need as we grow, and make sure the cost does not all fall to homeowners. We also need to engage with the public and CCPD in the nationwide effort to reimagine public safety for the 21st century.
Streamline City Services
Sometimes it can feel like we are drowning in rules. City government can seem straitjacketed by subcommittees, outside consultants, expensive studies, and lawyers. We must fight the tendency of bureaucracy to become an end in itself, for process to be a substitute for action. Culver City should be nimble. Permits should be easy to apply for. Applications should be reviewed with common sense. New projects can be tried without years of study. This is the big advantage of being a small city. I want to create a citizen’s task force to work with city staff to streamline processes across all areas of city government.