Education is the number one investment this country can make in our future. The magnet programs have made a significant difference in our grade schools and should be encouraged. While I’m all about choices and fundamentally agree with the voucher system, I can’t help but feel like it’s an admission that we can’t fix the schools that need it. I hate to leave those kids behind that may not be able to take advantage of the voucher system.
Good Jobs are key to the success of our community and families. With all the manufacturing jobs going overseas and key industries running from LA we have become nothing but a service economy. Unless you’re supper high tech or working in the construction trades, there isn’t much else except service oriented jobs. I’m sympathetic to raising the minimum wage to what used to be entry level jobs, because so many are trying to live off of them. Unfortunately, the money has to come from somewhere and we have done nothing to improve the economy or improve the jobs. If president elect Trump is successful in bringing back manufacturing jobs to the US, I want them to come to LA and more specifically to Council District 7. Our diverse district has a significant industrial manufacturing capability that is drastically underused. We need to change the culture of the city government to be business friending with less regulation, reduced taxes, and streamlined processing for startup endeavors, and start acting like a partner instead of the advisory attitude that permeates the city. We need to be seeking these jobs NOW!
Veterans affairs is one of my more sensitive topics. I spent 30 years as a design engineer supporting the US Navy, Airforce and Missile Defense Agencies. I’ve participated in many engineering design meetings with service men and women coming from combat to assist us in our designs and return back to combat. The general populous has no idea of the sacrifices these men and women make when everything goes right. It’s deplorable how we treat our wounded and those suffering from emotional distress. I will always fight for our vets.
With the past failed amnesty programs and undocumented immigrants living in the shadows we have created a dual society that’s no good for anyone. Before we can do anything we need to first control the border. I’m against amnesty because it should never be acceptable to be here undocumented. Having said that I’m not in favor of any punishment as we are all co-conspirators. Who should I blame more, the immigrants who came here to better their lives or us that let it happen 11 million times. I would do what I refer to as in-place processing. Every undocumented immigrant would be required to state their intentions and apply for a Visa or Work program or apply for citizenship. If they don’t apply or fail the initial screening, they will be deported immediately.
Dealing with the homeless is a very complex problem. Having people living on the street with no bathroom or cleansing facilities, blocking access to public parks, camping in front of businesses struggling to survive, occupying our public parks, should never be tolerated. It’s unsanitary and disgusting. Instead of dealing with the problem directly, the city made it legal for the homeless to be drunk in public, urinate in public exposing themselves and litter our streets with heaps of trash and unsanitary conditions. Many of the restrooms in our public parks have been locked to prevent the homeless from sleeping in them or using them as a place to use and distribute drugs. This is not the right answer. We need a different approach that is human but effective!
Not all homeless fit into the same basket and each group requires a very different approach to resolve. You have the mentally ill, drug addicts, and many veterans that all require a very different solution. You also have those that have simply been left behind by society and need some assistance to reengage in the process then there are those that are just lazy and would just rather live on the street.
I would bring the right team of experts to together to develop the appropriate solutions. I would also do a top to bottom review of where we are spending the money that’s already been allocated to the homeless and redirect that money as required. The priority will be on the hard-working tax paying constitutes and not those that have not made good choices in life. The approach has to be human, however, the well-being and security of our neighborhoods should be the priority.