LA's Next Mayor: How Craig Greiwe Would Tackle The Big Issues Facing The City
LAist sent all candidates actively campaigning for L.A. Mayor the following questionnaire. Their responses have been published in full, adjusted only to fit the formatting and style of the page.
We also highlighted 12 questions that we think give you a sense of where the candidates align with your own views on issues that are important to Angelenos. And we wrapped it all up in our interactive "matchmaking" quiz, Meet Your Mayor. Curious? Take the quiz!
About The Candidate
Craig Greiwe is a business executive who formed his own business and marketing firm that later merged with Rogers & Cowan PMK, where he most recently served as Chief Strategy Officer.
Greiwe recently launched the nonprofit Rise Together LA, which says on its website that it's assembling a "grassroots coalition of everyday Angelenos from all walks of life into a single movement focused on change in this city." He lists his occupation on the ballot as Business Executive.
Q: California is in a chronic drought. Which of the following strategies most closely reflects what you think should be done at the city level to improve individual water conservation?
A: We need to focus on increasing supply, not asking people to cut back, when 80%+ of water goes to Agriculture, not individuals.
Q: What should the next mayor prioritize to lower the costs of converting to more sustainable electric options for homeowners and businesses? (i.e. solar power, electric vehicles, etc.)
A: Zero-interest innovation loans and grants to address our highest emitters.
Q: As mayor, Eric Garcetti promised to get to 100% clean electricity for city operations by 2035 by electrifying city buildings, vehicles, and public transit. Will you continue working toward this goal? Why or why not?
A: Yes, but we must use market incentives, and not punish or burden individuals and businesses.
Q: Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles. Where do you see the biggest opportunity to lower those emissions?
A: Building a more affordable city where people can live near where they work takes more cars off the road than any other initiative. I have the only written affordability plan to do that.
Q: What's the most important action the next mayor can take to help the city's most vulnerable residents deal with extreme heat?
A: We need to provide more tree cover, more community centers, more individual grants of cooling equipment to those most vulnerable.
Q: What should the next mayor’s top priority be for addressing the city’s poor air quality, especially for those communities most impacted by pollution?
A: Besides pulling cars off roads by building a more affordable city, we must address construction methods to incentivize more climate-friendly options, such as hemp-crete over concrete, 3D printing over traditional construction.
Q: Climate is also affecting fires in the city and its surroundings. How would you tackle this problem?
A: Fires are here, we can't solve that. We must mitigate danger by increasing fire breaks and prevention efforts.
Q: Los Angeles Municipal Code 41.18, better known as the “anti-camping law,” bans people who are unhoused from camping on public property close to locations such as schools, parks, libraries, and underpasses. Should 41.18 be kept as is, repealed, or changed (and if so, how)?
A: 41.18 is a poorly-written partial band-aid with no real solution. We cannot have encampments, but we must have places for people to go. We must regulate and enforce public space, but we must have places for people to go and services they are required to receive.
Q: Should the city be clearing encampments where people experiencing homelessness have taken up temporary residence? Why or why not?
A: Yes, we must enforce and regulate public space and clear encampments, but we can only do so when we have implemented my plan to end homelessness, providing shelter and required health services for everyone on the street, while fairly and equally enforcing the law.
Q: I believe the primary cause of most homelessness in Los Angeles is…
A: L.A. is no different from hundreds of American cities. There are lots of contributing factors, from mental health to addiction to rising costs of housing, but the #1 immediate source is "one bad day," one mistake that tips someone into homelessness. We need a 24/7 hotline to prevent homelessness with immediate response.
Q: The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) estimates that 25% of people who are unhoused have a severe mental illness. What is your opinion on the current state of mental health support for unhoused people?
A: We have almost no support, or requirement to get support. That must change. We need to generate 5,000 new residential mental health beds, and require people to get the help they need.
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Q: Do you agree with Angelenos who say that the large number of people living outside makes the streets less safe? Why or why not?
A: Yes. It's unsafe on every level. It's unsanitary, it provides hiding places for criminals, it fosters drug use, and it incentivizes bad behavior for communities. It's proven that clean and safe communities foster cleanliness and safety. We need to restore that.
Q: Should the next mayor commit to ensuring that people who are experiencing homelessness are at the table when decisions are made on the city’s homelessness policies?
A: Yes, but so should everyday Angelenos and stakeholders who are not bureaucrats and nonprofits profiting off the system.
Q: Proposition HHH is a $1.2 billion bond measure approved by voters in 2016 which supports the development of 8,000-10,000 permanent supportive housing units within the city of Los Angeles over 10 years. Has its implementation been effective?
A: Absolutely not. These units are a billion-dollar boondoggle and a waste of taxpayer dollars. We need to focus on immediate shelter, not PSH.
Q: Who should build housing for the unhoused community: the city or private developers? Why?
A: Housing for the homeless should be a temporary stabilization method. We need to stop thinking we have to house the homeless forever. Some will need permanent support, but most do not. We just need to get most people back on their feet.
Q: LAUSD is the largest school district in the country in which residents directly elect their school board and the mayor doesn’t have direct control over that board. This means the mayor has little to no influence over education in the city of Los Angeles. Should anything about this arrangement change?
A: We need to break apart LAUSD into seven smaller districts and bring it under mayoral control. We need to build in guaranteed accountability to make sure every dollar is spent on kids, not failing union initiatives.
Q: What role does the city play in addressing a lack of affordable child care, which is particularly acute in low-income areas?
A: We must provide child care for everyone. My administration will enact child care vouchers for every single Angeleno to choose a child care provider of their choice until their children reach school age.
EQUITABLE ECONOMICS AND HOUSING
Q: I believe the biggest barrier to building more affordable housing is…
A: The government. Dozens of companies are able to build affordable housing everywhere else without government assistance or financing. Our arcane regulations, insane bureaucracy, and city leaders make it impossible to build any housing, including affordable housing.
Q: Due to the city's emergency decree, rent increases are currently not allowed for tenants living in most apartments built before 1978. But before the pandemic, Los Angeles generally capped annual rent increases at 3% for apartments covered by local rent control. Should the city keep its existing rent control ordinance, eliminate it, or modify it?
A: We should keep the existing ordinance, but we must work to build more units to create an actual housing marketplace where no one pays more than 30% of their income in rent. With a properly functioning market, we eventually don't need it.
Q: Landlords also say they’ve been struggling amid rising costs, inflation over 7%, and pandemic-era restrictions such as temporary bans on rent increases and evictions. What, if anything, should the city do to help landlords?
A: We must end the eviction moratorium and find other ways to keep renters in their homes, such as through direct assistance. We must also provide assistance to mom and pop landlords to compensate them for their city-inflicted losses, as we did renters.
Q: What statement best reflects your position on the minimum wage of $16.04 that goes into effect on July 1, 2022?
A: It's too low, but many businesses also can't afford it with the high taxes, high rents, and the cost of regulations.
Q: Mayor Garcetti piloted a universal basic income program. Do you support the idea of a universal basic income in Los Angeles? Why or why not?
A: No. It's a band-aid to avoid solving our real problems like the cost of housing, the cost of food, cost of transportation. It's a glorified lottery that papers over problems instead of solving them.
Q: Street safety advocates say at the current pace of improvement, it will take 200 years to fulfill Vision Zero, which was supposed to be accomplished by 2035. What’s the first step to getting Vision Zero back on track?
A: Getting more cars off the road. By building a more affordable city, where people live closer to where they work, we can take cars off the road and do more to achieving Vision Zero than any other initiative.
Q: Should the Los Angeles Police Department remain at its current size of 9,500 sworn officers, should it be downsized, or should it increase? Why?
A: No one knows because we can't hire for the positions we have open, and we don't focus police on police work. We need to start by focusing officers on police work, instead of asking them to show up to everything, and remove them from the homelessness response. Only then can we see how many officers we need.
Q: The current LAPD budget of $1.76 billion represents almost 16% of the overall city budget. Should LAPD funding stay the same, increase or decrease? Why?
A: We cannot defund the police, but no one knows how much funding they need. We need to put LAPD to work doing just police work, and see how much that costs. There are definitely cost savings we need to put in place that can bring the budget down, but we also need to fully fund the LAPD's work to keep our communities safe.
Q: Is it possible to reduce crime in the city without increasing the LAPD budget? If so, how?
A: Yes. We need officers to live in the communities they serve, we need to implement the 2015 Community Oriented Policing Report, we need to fully fund a non-violent community engagement force focused on mental health, addiction, and other issues. We need to ensure that people who commit real crimes serve their time, and we need to focus on anti-recidivism efforts so those people don't commit crimes again.
Q: A rising number of Angelenos say that Los Angeles no longer feels safe. As mayor, how would you address their fears?
A: My plan to end homelessness puts the equivalent of 3,000 officers back on patrol without spending an additional dollar. The city attorney will begin to prosecute more crimes committed in L.A., instead of entrusting the disastrous DA. We will make sure everyone who commits a crime pays their debt to society, so that people know crime has consequences.
Q: Media investigations have found that LAPD officers have disproportionately stopped Black drivers, and were much more likely to search Black and Latino drivers. Do you believe racial profiling is a problem, and if so, what should be done to address it?
A: The Obama Department of Justice put together a bipartisan 2015 Community Oriented Policing Solutions roadmap that showed how to bring crime down, build trust with communities, and bring more fairness to policing while eliminating bias — we should implement that plan wholesale.
Q: Would you be willing to meet with groups that have been sharply critical of the police, such as Black Lives Matter and Reform LA Jails?
A: Yes. Every mayor should be willing to meet with every group that is willing to have a productive, constructive conversation, provided that group does not advocate for anti-democratic principles, racism, criminal activity, or other activities that are reprehensible behaviors that run against our country's ethos.
Q: District Attorney George Gascón came to office on a progressive agenda that includes fewer prosecutions for low-level crimes. What statement best reflects your opinion of his agenda?
A: I think he should be recalled from office. I was the first candidate to call for his removal, as he is not fulfilling his constitutional duties. I believe criminal justice reform is needed, but his work is extreme and makes Angelenos more unsafe while creating a divisive environment.
Q: Who should be sent when a call is made about a mental health crisis?
A: Mental health experts unless the public or an individual is in immediate danger or there is a crime actively being committed.
Q: How would you want the police chief to address the frayed relationships between the LAPD and many of the communities it serves?
A: We must implement the 2015 Community Oriented Policing Solutions roadmap to build trust. The solutions were provided years ago, and it's unconscionable that we simply ignore them. This is hard, but not complex. Do the work, build a fairer system, give the public a voice and oversight, build trust, engage communities, and support the police.