Why are you interested in this position?
I have dedicated a great deal of time and effort into building relationships and collaborating with Long Beach residents over the past 7 ½ years. I think those efforts have earned their respect, which will carry to the polls. I am pleased that despite being the first Democrat to hold the Third District seat since 1972, the Republicans did not choose to run a candidate in my last election. I think that speaks to the balance I have tried to create by voting on individual issues and approaching them from a perspective of how the policies created will impact residents not from a politics perspective. Long Beach is a diverse City in terms of political ideology with a large and active conservative community that I am uniquely positioned to represent after 7 years representing East Long Beach, while still being a Democrat. Additionally, Long Beach has a large immigrant community, something I am also uniquely able to understand and appeal to. Long Beach is also a working-class city where people work multiple jobs, and they care most about how they will make their house payments, are their kids getting a good education, and how can they support their aging parents, while living paycheck to paycheck; these are exactly the issues I face with my family daily. I am most interested in making a difference for people, not in politics. But I have been elected and reelected for my commitment to progress over politics, and it has resonated with Long Beach residents. And for this I have strong fundraising history and potential moving forward. I am well trusted and well known in the areas of the City that have the highest voter turnout, meaning anyone challenging me will be at a disadvantage. I speak to a voice often overlooked in politics today. I don’t use middle-class residents to achieve political goals of my own. I don’t claim a meaningless policy will be life changing for them in order to pass a new policy that gets my name in the paper. I work to get those resident’s street paved, I figure out ways to get them a new park, I coordinate to find new ways to address crime or homelessness so their kids feel safe walking down the street. My commitment has been to focusing on the basics and doing them well. Help residents, solve problems, be practical, and never let politics get in the way. That is why I am the most viable candidate.
What relative experience do you have in this career field?
I have a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. I have been active in my community serving on the PTA, and other non-profit boards for over 2 decades. I have served as a Long Beach City Councilmember representing the 3rd District since 2014. I have been a prosecutor for 22 years and am currently a Senior Assistant District Attorney overseeing all of the courthouses in Orange County, as well as our criminal justice reform initiatives, such as early intervention homeless outreach diversion and mental health.
What are 3 changes you would like to make while in office?
Rebuilding our Public Safety staffing- adding more police officers to the patrol division.
Expand our Homeless outreach efforts and Quality of Life teams and create a “directed outreach” plan for each council district.
Invest in Business development, recruitment and incentive programs to eliminate blight and activate all of our business corridors throughout the city.
What are your top priorities for small businesses ?
I am a small business owner so I know the gaps in our current system. I would like to provide our small business the support they need at the initial start up to ensure mitigating their costs and timing for permits and approvals.
I would like to prioritize on-going support to help small businesses build on our overall economic recovery and see them stabilize, as they are the backbone of our communities.
What are your top 3 goals or concerns for District 3?
Improve public safety, meaning more officers, and greater safety throughout the community.
Confront homelessness by staffing City departments with the goal of really solving this, not just talking about it or creating pet projects.
Bringing more business to the district and making sure our economic recovery is strong and develops in a way that makes our business community more sustainable and protected against future impacts.
How would you address people who are concerned about the City and States Affordable Housing plan and its impact on their neighborhood?
Throughout my time in office I have worked to pragmatically solve problems by working together with communities and finding middle grounds. On the topic of housing this has always been my approach. When we went through the LUE process, I literally walked block by block with your board and discussed concerns and potential solutions, and held countless community meetings soliciting input. I also worked hard to update SEASP with extensive community input as we updated building standards that took into account environmentally sensitive habitat protecting it, and creating new oppor