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Green Street continues to suffer from high vacancies and empty storefronts. Many businesses have remained vacant for years and others have recently closed down. I will form a committee of business owners, residents and stakeholders to aggressively attract businesses, restaurants and new retail to re-invigorate Green. Boosting business is critical, as Pasadena's sales tax revenues are not keeping pace with the cost of City services. DTLA has become the preferred destination for many businesses and individuals, but Pasadena must be marketed as an attractive option for professionals who are marrying and having families. They are looking for a community like District 7 which is surrounded by nature, is safe, and has multiple schooling and educational options. Yet they still want to live and work in a vibrant and dynamic environment. Upscale restaurants have become the new anchor tenants in this economy. In DTLA, the Sprout Group launched Redbird, Otium, and Bestia following a Chef-centric model. I wish to do the same and bring world-class restaurants to Pasadena. We also need to create more activities and options for children, including building a community pool. Also, the economy has evolved, and many folks now work from home. I will work hard to recruit more collaborative work spaces and executive suites to fill empty offices. Additionally, many of the businesses along Green would benefit from a beautification campaign.
Any and all new development must be strategic and guided, first and foremost, by the community's input. It must be compatible with the character of the neighborhood and be environmentally sustainable.WALKABILITY
Enhancing the Walkability of the South Lake Avenue Business District and Playhouse District will reduce our carbon footprint, relieve traffic (as few of us will be in our cars), and support business. If folks live and work in Pasadena, and have plenty of dining, cultural, and entertainment options, they will be less likely to drive. New signage, public arts projects, bike paths, and other creative projects (including strategically placed green space) will be good for business, increase property values and ensure that the apartment and condo dwellers on Lake and Green will live, stay, shop, and play in the area. As a dog lover who has three rescue dogs (Lilly and her puppies, Pippa and Dolly), I would also seek to build a dog park in the area and encourage restaurants to include more dog-friendly patios. Any and all development must be guided by the community, must conform with the colonial aesthetic and design of Pasadena, must not impinge on Pasadena's historic neighborhoods, and should be environmentally sustainable.
I also believe that we can create a more walkable and greener community by bringing in world class experts and exercising more pro-active steps to engage the community. I would call upon the foremost experts like Bill Chait (revitalized LA's Foodie scene), Gil Penalosa (Bike Paths), Sam Schwartz (Traffic Guru), and Donald Shoup (Parking Expert) to help us create a forward-thinking City. I will solicit community input using technology and visioning workshops early on during the planning and decision-making process similar to what Pershing Square Renew did in redesigning this space. At the onset of the process, Pershing Square Renew conducted an online survey asking the community specifically what they wanted in terms of a green space and asked folks to identify what they liked about other world-class spaces. This is a model worth embracing.PRESERVING NEIGHBORHOODS AND QUALITY OF LIFE
I will preserve the historic neighborhoods of District 7 and safeguard your quality of life. If we create a more thriving, walkable community along Lake and Green where folks drive less, this will lead to less traffic congestion, so as to preserve the quality of the historic neighborhoods south of California. Pasadena has a certain, idyllic charm and I will work hard to preserve that.PUBLIC SAFETY
Public Safety is paramount. Our police are often lauded by residents for their rapid response times. I will make sure that keeping our residents safe is a top priority. Residential burglaries are very troubling, and we must be vigilant as a community and work hand in hand with the police to ensure our streets are safe for our seniors, families with children, and all of us.ENVIRONMENT
Pasadena's proximity to the natural environment is what makes our community so special. I love living along the tree canopies of Green and my proximity to the hiking trails up Lake. Walkable Neighborhoods where we walk and bike will reduce our carbon footprint. As set forth above, any new development must be compatible with the environment, and I will champion LEED certified, sustainable, sensible development. I also believe in protecting the Arroyo Seco and am opposed the Big Dig and drastic sediment removal. This process can be undergone more gradually.EDUCATION
My mother immigrated from Tijuana, Mexico at the age of 19 with the deeply-held belief that education could have a transformative effect on an individual. I benefited from great public schools and went on to Stanford and USC Law School. Lots of folks in District 7 send their children to schools outside of Pasadena Unified School District. I want to work with PUSD, teachers, parents, and students to ensure that our schools graduate students that are able to compete in this more technological society, while also edifying them in the arts, music and humanities. I want to ensure that where one starts out in life does not dictate where they end up.AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND TENANTS' RIGHTS
I support Pasadena's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance which requires that 15 percent of all new housing developments be set aside for affordable housing units and would support an increase in affordable housing units for new developments along transit hubs and routes I would also be a champion for tenant's rights as I am one of the founding board members, and continue to be on the board for BASTA, one of the largest tenants' rights eviction defense groups in California which employs 11 lawyers. I would bring tenants and landlords to the table to build consensus and create a better, more livable Pasadena.HOMELESSNESS
In this Post Recessionary Economy, none of us are immune from the threat of homelessness. I believe that Rapid Re-Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing is the best way to continue to tackle homelessness. Empathy must be a guiding principle for our District.