I have facilitated large scale change as a Government Relations Strategist, Public Policy and Administration Leader, and subject matter expert in local, state, and federal government operations. As an elected official for 13 years, and a non-profit leader, I’ve influenced public policy development, garnered resources and support, and created dynamic relationships between private and public partners.
Our current housing crisis has been decades in the making, and responding to it has been my top priority. I have aggressively worked with nonprofit housing developers to build housing and to develop policies to expedite construction. If you’re serious about helping people and achieving true social justice we have to meet peoples basic needs.
Planning and Land Use
Having built and defined a path for many communities I know that listening to and interpreting the needs of people creates opportunities for residents and positive outcomes for neighborhoods. The foundation of improving and empowering a community is to recognize this with understanding and sensitivity to history and legacy. Planning is a fluid concept that never stops – planning ahead to take care of people who are aging, young people who need a start in life and everything in between.
For nearly two decades, from inside and outside the system, I’ve continued to push for more housing. I’ve been the voice that said we’ve got to build more, we need to move faster to get people off the street and into emergency, transitional and permanent housing. As councilwoman I built 5,670 units with great urgency. I have the knowledge to continue to respond in the midst of a crisis that is still ongoing. I can do much more.
In our country conversations that we needed to have are finally taking place. There have been many times that I felt as if I was howling in the wind and that no one was listening. This is our time of reckoning and our chance to get it right. If we truly stand for social justice all we need do is grab the very issues that are right in front of us every single day and turn them in a new direction.
I have always been drawn to the power of local government to solve problems. My entire career has been based on a community focus to bring solutions that are sustainable and long lasting. As an elected official and long time community activist my vision has been shaped by the people I have helped and the communities I have served.
The creation of good public policy is a foundation and a place to begin. Nothing gets done in a vacuum. The only way to be relevant is to listen to what people say, understand what they need and make an all out effort to fulfill their dreams. I have the lived experience to bring dreams into reality based on a background of actionin planning and land use, legislative development, community organizing, finance and a deep well of understanding of social issues.
A history of standing side by side with the people who are making a difference.
Lasting Solutions to Great Challenges
Building New Housing
A need to continuously build housing includes places for people to rent, places for people to age in place, first time home buyers, and saving and preserving the housing that we have. It’s about a range of residents on all income levels and getting homeless people off our streets and into supportive housing. I understand the tools to finance new construction, preserve existing housing and how to keep all doors open so that everyone has a chance at a decent life.
Delivering on Women’s Rights
Focused in the fight to provide special services to homeless women and families I’ve built supportive housing for women including grandparents raising grandchildren andemancipated young women. At a time when women’s reproductive rights are under attack, I worked with a reproductive rights advocacy group to establish full-service clinics to dramatically improve women’s access to health care services.
Creating Good Jobs With Good Wages
Having created more than 90,000 full-time jobs in the greater Los Angeles region I understand it takes bringing business, labor and community leaders together for the greater benefit of all communities. One of the most accepted ways to mobilize training and placement is through a robust workforce development system. I was fortunate enough to be the General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department for 5 1/2 years and oversee the growth of a quality job development and training system.
Building Green, Not Just Talking Green
In working to protect the environment I expanded parks and created new green spaces, wildlife habitats and wetlands. In coauthoring Proposition O, a clean water bond, it was designed not only with the intent to protect environments and water source but to rebuild our infrastructure. We need to commit to continually green communities with the greatest need.