About two years ago, I experienced a turning point in my life. I had taken a teaching assignment as a visiting professor in Guanajuato, Mexico, teaching U.S. Constitutional Law to Mexican law students.
During that time, I came to know a lot about the people and the area in which I was living. When I was not in the classroom as a teacher, I began to learn Spanish and build friendships with locals. I noticed a distinct difference in their philosophy of life from ours. They seemed to have embraced the ideal that life was about the relationships we build with each other, and their daily lives centered around this strong sense of community. And a communal effort to celebrate living had extended into a philosophy that government existed to serve its people, to improve the quality of life for the residents. To find proof of this, I just needed to look around the city, filled with the public plazas, surrounded by cafes and gardens, and the parks steeped in a joyous, wholesome sense of personal ownership and respect for the city and everyone’s place within it.
With all of this said, I decided when I got back from Mexico that I wanted to make a difference in my community in Los Angeles. I wanted to somehow spread this sense of communal participation.
We have a choice here in L.A. We can be secluded in a tiny box of fear and selfishness or we can participate in our public square. Lately, I am invigorated by what I see because I see people choosing to engage with their surroundings. Everyday, people here are beginning to stand up and get out into their community – changing the ways their schools work, showing up in droves to challenge the redistricting process, and generally taking ownership of their city.
The mission of the Los Angeles city government should be to establish a higher standard of living for its people. And my vision of L.A. is one where the streets in our neighborhoods are clean, safe, and equitably developed. I want to collaborate with entrepreneurs and families to create a sustainable balance of business and recreation. We need to see more trees, green space, plazas, community gardens, playgrounds, parks, and outdoor activities. We also need to facilitate an economical model that serves our community. In short, we need a more user-friendly Los Angeles.
For those reasons and many others, I am running for city council here in the 13th Council District, and my vow is to return public service to government. I believe in a greater Los Angeles, strong in community and mighty in its people. We stand at the crux of significant change in leadership and growth. And we need real vision to move us forward, not political rhetoric. I’m running for city council to increase access to the council, empower people to participate, and generally set a precedent for meaningful collaboration between the public and their elected representative.
I invite the community to learn more about me and my campaign at a mixer this evening, April 24th, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Edendale restaurant, 2838 Rowena Avenue , Silver Lake, CA 90039.