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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
April 12, 2016 — Abril elecciones regulares
Local

Ciudad de WhittierCandidato para Consejo Municipal, Distrito 14-Year Term

Photo de Robert Canales
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Robert Canales

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Mis 3 prioridades principales

  • Jobs for our residents who need jobs. To do this I will work with the Chamber of Commerce and the Uptown Association and other agencies that work in our community.
  • Affordable housing for our veterans and our low income families. The lack of housing for our veterans has been described as atrocious by veterans and those organizations that represent them.
  • The third item I am pushing for is to complete process of political change that we started in 2014. To this end I am pushing term limits with a vow to step down in 2024 to give someone else a chance to serve, I am also pushing for an independent redi

Experiencia

Biografía

Let me start by saying I was born in Whittier at Presbyterian Hospital in 1973 when it still a small facility. I grew up in Whittier, attending Whittier Schools starting with Ocean View and East Whittier Middle School. I graduated Whittier High School in 1992 where I served on the same School Site Council that came up with the idea for the fence you now see around the school. 

My dad was a truck driver his whole and a member of the Teamsters. He raised 9 kids on his salary. Being poor we lived in the motels along Whittier Blvd including the Malahini where I first began kindergarten at Ocean View and where I was on the second floor when the 1987 earthquake hit. I remember the exact rooms we were living in during both my first year of school and the 87 quake.  

Sometimes though we were so down and out that we simply couldn't even afford a motel room and had to sleep in the car with our family at one of the local parks.  I know about abuse and bullying because I went through those. I know the struggles of those with parents who issues with consuming alcohol. You make the best of the situation you are in. 

While my mother and the rest of my family are lifelong democrats, I have always been Republican. In fact you may have heard of one of my cousins.  Hey, someone has to be different. I am a member and a deacon in the Whittier Seventh Day Adventist Church. 

I have an Associate's degree in Business Administration from Rio Hondo College and Bachelor's in Political Science from Cal State Fullerton. 

I followed the family tradition dating back to the American revolution and the War of 1812 by serving 9 years in the United States Army being stationed in South Korea, Iraq, and on the US Mexico border at a little place called Fort Huachuca. I have also served in the California National Guard. 

The jobs I have held range from office assistant at Rio Hondo College and marketing for Home Depot to Cashier in a restaurant to Campaign Manager and Strategist. My very first job, however, was selling concessions when I was just 13 and it was an unofficial arrangement. I just showed up and they let me work. 

I do have prior political experience and knowledge of government works in Whittier and I believe that will be a great advantage for our community.  I have run for Whittier City Council under the old system of general elections in 1994 and 1996. Both times I carried the area known as district 1 but both times we were outvoted by voters from Friendly Hills and Starlight Estates and this led to our community being ignored. 

 

I also ran for the US House of Representatives in 2000 after which I rejected an offer of a six digit salary at a major national corporation to join the US military and get first hand experience in the things that affect our men and women in uniform. I wanted to add this to my experience with poverty and childhood homelessness. 

 

There is one thing that connects all of these. I have always found a way to connect with and work with people of all stripes whether they be Republicans or Democrats, blacks or whites, natives or immigrants. I have worked in situations where me and my coworkers could not communicate verbally because of language barriers. But you know what, we still got stuff done and some of our work was better than that of the people who could speak the same language. It's about lifting people up. 

Preguntas y Respuestas

Preguntas de League of Women Voters (3)

What proposals do you have to encourage the residents and the City administration to adopt more environmental programs to improve Whittier's energy and water independence leading to greater sustainability?
Respuesta de Robert Canales:

The the extent possible we should have programs in place to encourage our residents and our businesses to switch to solar power. 

 

On the water front, we have much work to do replace our broken and outdate plumbing system which is currently the subject of a lawsuit due to our system continuing to pump millions of gallons of waste and sewage in our rivers and waterways. The city council approved a measure in which this problem would be addressed 40 years from now. My friends we can do better. I believe we should give voters the chance to vote on a bond measure to fix this issue in a more timely manner. 

At the same time we need to make sure the city complies with state law and either puts the water rate hikes on the ballot or rescinds them and gives excess balance back to the rate payers. These water rates were raised, not because of the state or the drought, they were raised because the city needed a new pumping plant and now it has a lot of old plumbing that backs up during storms causing wastewater to collect on the streets of district 1. 

 

 

Question 2

How should the City provide more services and funding to aid in the transition of the homeless to permanent supportive housing?  

No se proporcionó respuesta.
In light of the current state of inaction on the Nelles site development, what would you propose to make the project Into a more positive neighborhood especially considering historical significance, public access, ease of access to schools, green space and neighborhood services? 
Respuesta de Robert Canales:

The reason there seems to be inaction is because of two things: 1. There is a lawsuit underway against the City because shortcuts were taken on the EIR due to pressure from the state.  2. Because of those shortcuts Brookfield has now been finding the property is seriously contaminated with lead and arsenic. 

Brookfield is currently working to remove the contamination to make the property habitable and it is going to take at least 6 years before the first of the buildings even goes up on the site. And Brookfield is paying 100% of the clean up costs. 

I supported this project, known as the Lincoln Plan, that was approved by the City Council specifically because the City Council had promised there would be subsidized housing for low income families from our district. 

The plan calls for a park and greenspace around and through the development. I know there are some gruops and individuals in our community who want to have a bigger park at Nelles saying that 5 points doesn't have park but I have question the wisdom of putting a new park just two blocks from an existing park when there are no parks in the area between 5 points and Lambert Road. 

While the city has done a great job in bringing corporations to our city, they still lag behind when it comes to jobs. Since the corporations are not hiring I want to support our small businesses because they do hire locally and I want to see small businesses, not massive chain stores or corporate entities at Nelles. 

We also have a huge need for veterans housing. The VA has described the lack of veterans housing in Whittier as atrocious. We need to fix that and we will. 

I would like to see the gymnasium turned into a veterans recreation center. 

 

I would also like to base the Whittier Hospitality Board there with the job of welcoming new residents and businesses and promoting Whittier as a tourist and shopping destination. 

 

 

 

Creencias poliza

Filosofía política

I believe in equal opportunity and small business. I oppose unfunded mandates on individuals, families and businesses. I also believe, especially here in Whittier, we need to focus on the bigger picture and there is not enough people looking at that bigger picture. 

We can have our beliefs and our debates but at the end of the day we have to remember it's not about us. It's about our children, grandchildren and our descendents. 

To get things done in the real world requires compromise. We might have to put one of priorities on hold to help our neighbors who are doing worse than we are. 

When it comes to budgets and legislation, our city council has always governed by consensus and I will work with them to continue the tradition because it has served us well. 

But at the time same I will continue to push for term limits and an independent redistricting commission composed of a resident chosen at random from each of the 4 districts and representatives from the business community and from education and healthcare the two biggest employers in Whittier. 

Some of the things district 1 needs in addition to jobs and affordable housing are an expansion of  the spanish language selections in our central library, we also need to bring back our own local transportation services to take people from Presbyterian or Home Depot to Whittwood, North Whittier or even Rio Hondo College. Especially since the MTA announced recently they are eliminating the 270 route. The reason for adding more spanish language materials is to promote the integration of immigrants into our community and that best done by providing them access to materials in their own language. But the only way we can do this is together. While I am a big fan of Thomas Hobbes and the philosophy he espoused in Leviathan, something ours nation was not made for that. The way we do things in America is by working together to achieve a consensus and a meeting of the minds. This important philosophy applies across all lines and across all demographics. 

I believe everyone should be given a fair and equal chance to succeed on a level playing field. To achieve this we have to work together, even with people we don't always agree with. Because of my own work experience I will not allow language to be a prerequisite for serving on any of our boards or commissions. Anyone who is a US citizen should be allowed to serve our community. 

We have always found ways to work together in the past to get things done and I believe strongly that we will continue to do so in the future regardless of who is elected. There is daylight at the end of that tunnel. 

Together we will make sure that everyone has an equal chance to succeed in Whittier and we will make sure that all of our new residents and our new businesses are made to feel welcome here. 

 

Información de contacto del candidato

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