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2014 Candidate for Supervisor, Supervisorial District 3 - Los Angeles County, California
- 29 year Valley resident of Studio City
- WGA member, Line Producer/Int'l production consultant
- Attended and participated in the last three years of weekly board meetings (163)
- Worked as Mental health worker at inpatient psychiatric facility
- Attend and participate in Los Angeles City Ethics Commission meetings
- Justice reform including better solutions than incarceration of mentally ill and homeless
- Government ethics reform and expanded opportunities for civic participation & engagement
- Fiscal pragmatism aimed at finding economic incentives to retain vital county businesses
q & a
What steps do you think the Board of Supervisors should take to improve the foster care system and in particular to provide safe emergency or temporary placement for infants and children?
5000 new cases have been opened by DCFS since December 2013. The recommendation to put a Czar in place, something akin to the Supreme Allied commander in WWII is a good one. Silo mentality has failed the children of LA county. Engaging an outside "change agent" with authority to redeploy budgets cross departmentally is a critical first step to reform.
For example, the county sends our least trained and inexperienced social workers into the field to make, arguably the most important field decisions about taking children. We collectively know that this is wrong, and yet, this is what we do.
We provide more money for "non-family" care providers, even though the statistics show that 'family-care-givers" struggle more with money and have significantly better outcomes -- we know this is wrong, and yet, this is what we do.
The many workers we have are being asked to operate a system that is not functional. Many of the fixes we have been able to make, including the reduction of ludicrous amounts of pointless paperwork, has been thanks to the fine work of diligent and passionate child care workers. That said, in the simplest terms we must "reduce removal" and "support reunification."
The County Supervisors sit also on the board of the Metropolitan Transit District. What would be your top priorities for the MTA?
Traffic is off the charts bad. Any fix is going to come down to vision and resources and compromise. I believe we need to inspire people who generally drive to actually use alternatives. The way to get them to opt in, is to provide a really good service.
I am among the 169,478 daily riders of the Red Line, at least once a week. The Red/Orange line through the Valley serves the largest commuter population and should be emulated elsewhere.
But if the big goal is to increase transit ridership while reducing automobile congestion, we must be sure that our transit system serves the communities that use it, equitably. The proposed concept of high tolls without an alternative becomes an equity issue because we'll be pricing working people off the road. If we move beyond the testing of toll routes, we'll need to ensure that we provide alternatives to driving... like dedicated lanes for buses.
Buses have two key advantages over underground rail systems; they're flexible and can serve the residents by population. Also, bus lines do not require ten years of digging and a whopping price tag that we'll be paying down for decades.
In Sacramento at present there is a motion to expand the MTA by two seats, which I think should be heard fairly at public hearings, to see what the people think.
I certainly support accommodations for bicycle commuters.
Do you support the creation of an independent oversight commission for the Sheriff's Department?
I fully support the idea of setting up a citizen's oversight commission and personally attended and participated in most of the Citizen's Commission on Jail Violence [CCJV] hearings in 2012.
The crisis of leadership in the Sheriff's department has resulted in some very disturbing realities. To restore a sense of confidence and mutual respect between residents and the Sheriff's department, during the leadership transition currently underway by election, a strong reminder of who is working for who is needed.
Miriam Krinsky, the executive director of the CCJV, explained the need for "golden key" access. The basic idea is that everybody, law enforcement included, behave as better citizens, when there is a feeling that a group of witnesses might walk in at any moment.
Sheriff Baca supported this idea, so the fact that the Third District vote never materialized was a big disappointment and contributed to my decision to run.