Meet The Candidates: Lucas John, West Hollywood City Council
To prepare for the upcoming March 8, 2011 elections, LAist has contacted each candidate on the City of L.A.'s Official Candidate List to participate in a Q&A. All candidates received the same set of questions, with the exception of West Hollywood city council candidates, who received a WeHo-specific list of questions. LAist does not endorse political candidates, and responses are posted in the order they are received.In this edition of "Meet the Candidates," we hear from West Hollywood City Council candidate Lucas John.
Other candidates in the March 8, 2011 West Hollywood race are Scott Schmidt, Abbe Land, Mark Gonzaga, Mito Aviles, Steve Martin, John D'Amico, Lindsey Horvath, and John Heilman. Three candidates will be elected.
Image courtesy of weho.org
Tell us about your background and what you'll bring to the table. What makes you different from the other candidates, and what qualifies you to represent West Hollywood?
I am a small community-based business owner who isn't afraid to speak his mind and be a voice for my generation. What qualifies me to represent West Hollywood is my several years of residency and it's a place I've called home ever since I was a teenager.
What are your top priorities for the city? How do you plan on tackling them?
My top priorities for this city are a) to reinstate the democracy that this country was founded on and end the under-the-table corruption in city government, b) real elections for all city council members so that the community is accurately represented, c) refuse to take any contributions to further any personal agendas, d) create more parks and community areas for families, e) establish a free clinic so everyone can have access to health care, and f) build programs for our youth including after school and recreation programs
As WeHo continues to draw down its reserves to balance the budget for consecutive years, what are the plans to begin balancing the budget before the reserve runs dry?
I believe it's important to have policies to encourage businesses to come back to West Hollywood because there are many unsightly store fronts and strip malls, and this would increase the city's tax revenue and thus strengthen our city's finances.
Do you support the new expanded smoking ban and why or why not?
No. Even though I am not a smoker, I believe that the smoking ban would stifle a city that is so dependent on its world-class nightlife and during such tough economic times, can we afford to keep consumers away from our local businesses?
How would you balance the various desires of the residents between continued development by some and the desire to hold onto the unique, artsy, affordable city WeHo used to be?
Although it is impossible to please everyone, I believe that I have the ability to strike a balance between those who want continued development and those who want a more artsy city through smart development that actually redevelops and contributes to the quality of life for the city's residents.
How do you plan on working with your constituents in addressing their concerns?
I plan on hearing what my constituents have to say by keeping an open-door policy, such as establishing real town hall meetings where the community genuinely have the opportunity to voice their concerns.
Public transportation is an important issue for LAist readers. What role should public transportation have in West Hollywood?
Great, I am so enthusiastic your readers are fans of public transportation because so am I. I believe the infrastructure of a city greatly depends on its public transportation. We should increase the variety of public transit and establish a more bike friendly community and one that is multi-modal. If we encourage more mixed use, it would absolutely stimulate our economy. Plus, it would foster a more green and healthy lifestyle.
Endorsements (provided by candidate):
- John Duran, Mayor Pro Tempore, West Hollywood City Council