Why are you interested in this position?
I have watched my beloved city struggle to endure and recover from a pandemic that has depressed the economy, while leadership has largely placed priorities on their own self-interests. I want to place the priority back onto Long Beach businesses and residents by incentivising and making it easier and profitable to do business in the city. I have seen many instances where the city could improve its efforts to restore a strong Long beach but current leadership wouldn’t listen to my input or to the people of Long Beach. There is no civic participation process in place for the people, so I decided to exercise my greatest right and run for the office of Mayor and I’m running my campaign as the People’s Campaign.
What relative experience do you have in this career field?
This will be my first time running for public office. The relative experience I will bring to the office of mayor includes 20 years experience in the private sector as a business turnaround specialist helping distressed companies return to profitability, saving jobs and preserving the livelihoods of all stakeholders. I will continue to use my skills in assessing opportunities for the city and evaluating a recovery plan that will revitalize Long Beach and its residents.
What are 3 changes you would like to make while in office?
Increase spending for the multi-service center that services the city's homeless residents so that more people can be processed and assisted on a daily basis.
Implement a civilian police oversight committee that will have both residents and sworn offices, to increase the public’s awareness of the safety issues, what the police are doing to help keep Long Beach safe and help build trust and understanding between the police force and the public.
Establish a city supported, independent street paper that will employ the homeless and provide Long Beach with a voice in the media. This project is anticipated to employ 500 people and will be administered by a panel of homeless residents.
What are your top priorities for small businesses ?
Implement a competitive bid process that places a priority on awarding Long Beach businesses first.Streamline the business license process and provide for a lowered, sliding scale fee structure that makes it easier for Long Beach businesses to operate.
Bring in outside private investment in the form of a cultural event that will provide $1.5 billion annually and will increase tourism by an estimated 350,000 visitors from October through February each year.
What are your top 3 goals or concerns for District 3?
Parking: I would like to develop a city wide parking task force that will target, on a district by district basis, the parking needs of each community and work with the city to come up with a development plan to find areas where mid rise parking structures could be built that would help to support residents and Visitors parking needs while at the same time provide jobs and revenue to the city.
Public safety: I want to improve the safety of both residents and visitors by implementing systems that will make it more efficient for law enforcement to handle the more serious crimes committed in Long Beach and hire more safety ambassadors to handle smaller issues.
Business development: streamline the process to obtain business licenses and make doing business in Long Beach more attractive and profitable. Economic development is crucial to helping Long Beach continue its pandemic recovery.
How would you address people who are concerned about the City and States Affordable Housing plan and its impact on their neighborhood?
I would listen to them very carefully because this is an issue of extreme importance to all California residents. Affordable housing has become a catch phrase for development these days and it can be very confusing to the average person. Affordable housing is not a solution to the homelessness problem, rather it is a way to provide upward mobility to those just entering the home ownership phase of their life. I have an upward mobility plan that will elevate the wages in Long Beach, and augment the city’s first time buyer initiative that won’t need to increase housing density which is one of the biggest problems with SB 9 & 10.
Do you have plans to strengthen Homeless Outreach Programs such as the Quality of Life Team, Project Homekey/Roomkey, etc...? Do you have ideas of your own you would like to implement?
The first thing I would do in office is to assess the current programs that the city offers for the homeless and determine how effective these programs are and to reassess priorities based on that assessment. I believe these programs are helpful but I don’t think they are all the city needs to help its most vulnerable residents. I believe that a task force composed of all the city’s stakeholders is required to fully assess that best way to resolve the homeless population.
What plan do you support/propose for The Queen Mary?
I’m currently working with the Queen Mary Foundation, private equity investors, and other large donors that are interested in restoring and revitalizing Long Beach’s iconic tourist attraction that brings visitors to the city from every corner of the world. I have also reached out to private equity investors that can help the city restore the Queen Mary and return her to full operation by October of this year.