16:24: I live in a historic house in Garfield Heights, a Northwest Pasadena neighborhood rich in diversity, tradition and culture. Recently, gang violence has escalated, and I worry that someone we love will get caught in the crossfire. It's been going on too long, and we don't want empty promises. We need concrete, executable solutions. I would like to know what you, as future mayor, would do to clean up the crime and violence in our neighborhood.
28:48: With the shift of the region's retail center of gravity from Pasadena to Glendale, what concrete steps do you propose to reverse Pasadena's loss of retailers, jobs and sales tax revenue?
41:53: With all the current construction in Pasadena, what rules--if any--should there be to limit construction and maintain Pasadena's historic theme?
53:22: What role can the mayor play in helping to make Pasadena a model city of judicial transparency and fair employment and housing practices?
1:05:16: Some California cities like Oakland and Sacramento have policies that keep city contracts and revenue local to sustain small business within their cities. What is your vision for supporting existing small businesses here in Pasadena and would you be in favor of a policy that gives preference to Pasadena-based firms?
Five lightning round questions:
1:18:40: Should the number of events at the Rose Bowl increase, decrease, or stay the same?
1:19:38: Name one personal practice that you have that reflects your concern for the environment.
1:20:40: Name a grassroots non-profit that is doing good work in the community.
1:21:31: We know you have many sources, and we want you to name one source of information that you rely on to inform you about what is going on in the Pasadena community.
1:22:55: To protect Hahamongna from LA County's precipitous sediment removal plan, which will destroy our community, are you willing to sue LA County to protect Pasadena's land and residents?
1:24:32: Candidate closing statements
00:52: Share something about yourself, why you’re running for office, and why you’re here today.
17:16: What challenges do you see in balancing your work, home life and civic duties if you are elected full-time mayor?
24:00: Up until 1999, the role of the mayor was based on rotations. It was in part based on seniority and tenure. Up to that point it was clear that the office was an honorary position. It could be argued that a full-time mayor holds a different position. What role should the mayor play . . . versus the role of city council member?
33:05: Please name at least two commissions that you feel are working effectively and share why you think they are effective -- and which commissions are working most effectively specifically for Spanish-speaking residents in Pasadena.
42:12: Many of the small businesses in Pasadena are owned or operated by those with limited English. What services and training are available to these entrepreneurs in languages other than English?
51:30: The percentage of those who work in civil service jobs and live in Pasadena seems to be at a significant low. Do you see this as being a problem for the residents of Pasadena? If not, why not? And if so, what might be done to alleviate the problem?
1:00:36: In addition to increased law enforcement at our city’s parks, what would you suggest to reduce the significant and troubling recent spike in violence at those important recreation areas?
1:10:05: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many will be able to get healthcare for the first time ever. However, many will not be able to get insurance plans due to their immigration status. Do you see this as a problem, and if so what can you and the council do to ensure that all the community has access to affordable health care?
1:18:19: Do you speak Spanish?
1:19:00: If elected, will you commit to serving the full term?
1:19:23: Share your thoughts going into the last month of the campaign.
11:00: Candidate opening statements
26:46: Next month CalTrans and Metro will be releasing the draft EIR report for the 710 Freeway project. What is your position on the completion of the 710 Freeway? What alternatives to the tunnel option would you support? And what are your thoughts on the Connecting Pasadena Project? If it came up in city council tomorrow, [would] you vote against the tunnel? And if so, what actions will you take to prevent it, and if not, why not?
39:22: In 2006, the Pasadena Unified School District closed Linda Vista Elementary School. Now San Rafael Elementary School is the only public school remaining in West Pasadena. This is a highly successful public school, which has seen wildly increasing test scores in the last three or four years with surging enrollment, including my own daughter. Yet PUSD intends to close this school due to budgetary and seismic issues after the 2017 school year. We understand that PUSD is a separate entity from city government, but what should the city’s role be in promoting high quality public education? And what, if any, concrete solutions or ideas do you have [for] promoting public education in West Pasadena?
52:51: We know the Rose Bowl needs revenue to offset renovation costs, but what do you see as the right balance between events and neighborhood quality of life? What criteria will you use to support or oppose increasing or decreasing the number of large Rose Bowl events each year?
1:04:50: As you know, a former analyst from Pasadena’s Department of Works was arrested and accused of embezzling approximately six million dollars for a decade. As of June 30, 2014, to the best of my knowledge, Pasadena has nearly one billion dollars in outstanding debt, approximately half of which is not self-supporting. In May of 2013, the Fitch Rating Agency downgraded Pasadena’s debt from AAA to AA+. In 2011, Pasadena bailed out its fire and police retirement system for the third time in twelve years and Pasadena now owes approximately $123 million on pension obligation bonds to pay for services received previously, some of which we will still be paying in 2041. What can be done and what will you do to restore trust that taxpayer money is being effectively managed, and what are the consequences when it is not?
1:19:23: The final months of 2014 saw an increase of home burglaries and mail theft in council District 6. What is your plan to reduce crime in this district and in the City of Pasadena? Also please state what policing policies you would support and describe your overall philosophy about policing and the role of police in all communities.
1:34:20: Pasadena has a long tradition of encouraging resident involvement. Many residents, not only from this community, but from all across Pasadena have contributed thousands of hours participating in councils, advisory committees, developing plans, making recommendations. Sometimes city government accepts those. Sometimes that time and effort is ignored by the city council or other aspects of government. A recent example is the public bathrooms added to Desiderio Park. As mayor, what would your attitude be toward citizen involvement in government, and what do you intent to do to ensure that the city council responds to local concerns?
1:48:40: There’s another elected mayor in an adjacent municipality who has been successful at securing approximately one billion dollars for the restoration of the L.A. River. The Army Corps of Engineers, which is an integral part of that operation, has begun a study of the Arroyo Seco, which is a tributary to the Los Angeles River, which is part of the whole river system. My question is, as this study goes forward, which we anticipate being completed 2016 -- early 2016 -- how do you feel about the potential of stream restoration in the Arroyo, specifically in the Lower Arroyo, from the Colorado Street Bridge to Busch Gardens?
1:57:14: Are we ready for a major San Andreas fault earthquake? And if not, what specific ideas do you have to help Pasadena get ready for a major event?
2:06:41: My question concerns the Hahamongna sediment removal project. I had the honor to expend much effort and energy serving on the working group and we came up with what we felt was a very well-reasoned compromise that solved the flooding issue, solved the issue of the sediment in the Hahamongna, but protected the neighborhoods to the greatest extent we could -- there are still going to be enormous impacts -- but it’s what we have to do to solve the problem, but we felt would leave the residents without enormous public health impacts, leave our freeways and our traffic flowing -- sort of -- and solve as many problems as we could for neighborhoods. This working group document was well-received by the current council, and then it went to the county where our staff -- many of us felt -- abandoned us. And in fact the county adopted this and adopted their own project, which is extreme, adopted an EIR, and then our staff did work to get some of our suggestions in there, but the basic ones are not accepted by the county -- the amount of sediment, the number of trucks, the intensity of what is going to go on there for years. Admirably, a group of citizens has filed a CEQA suit to challenge that EIR, similar to a group of us who have challenged certain suggestions for events in the Rose Bowl, because sometimes we have to take care of ourselves, and I appreciate how you’re all committed to public participation, so I suggest that you listen to many of us on this issue. So I want to know, how committed are you to the working group recommendations, and how committed are you to asserting the city’s rights under the easement agreement with the county? It appears very obvious to many of us that the county is exceeding its rights under the easement. The City of Pasadena owns that land. We feel the working group solution is the best. What will you do to get this adopted by the county and have them back off from the extreme position that they’re taking now?
2:18:55: I commend your interest in being a public servant. I think that’s a very noble job. Somehow, [it] came across this evening that most of the answers given were general and not very specific. I am very concerned about the educational system. The strength of our nation and the strength of our city lies with our young people and with our children. Somehow the public schools in Pasadena [are] not well thought of. Why, I don’t know. You may have more specific answers. In other parts of the world, in other places, the public school usually is the best, but here, the private school takes the best spot. Why, I don’t know. I think you might have more specific ways of addressing the problem.
6:12: Tell us why you want to be mayor of Pasadena and who you are.
18:11: Some of the folks in this...neighborhood have done some of the numbers: about 15,000 cars transiting South Oak Knoll every day, comparable on Marengo and Los Robles. (These are residential neighborhoods.) We know all of you have come out against the 710 tunnel….But we...wanted to know about the plans that you have, that don’t have to do with chicanes and...traffic circles….So...how are you going to get more creative than that in dealing with the traffic impact which we can all guess is only going to be getting worse?
26:09: We all do as much as we can to save water….[I]t’s been reported and confirmed by the city manager’s office: the city wastes 1.5 million gallons of water every day. And the problem with that is obviously old and leaky pipes. We replace three miles of leaky pipes per year, but hundreds of miles of pipes in this city are now over 100 years old. At the current pace, the analysis says that the replacement will be done in 150 years. As mayor, which of you would adhere to the guidelines of the master plan, written in 2008, calling for the replacement of 8 miles of pipe per year, rising to 18 miles by 2020, and how would you pay for it?
34:01: Everybody knows about the six million dollars of our money that’s gone somewhere else…. What went wrong,...could the mayor -- a mayor -- have done something about it, and should City Manager Beck take his leave?
42:23: What do you consider the greatest fiscal challenge facing the city and why? What’s your solution and does it include new revenue?
48:54: The primary business area for these neighborhoods here is South Lake Avenue. There are lots of vacancies, particularly in the larger spaces. Most of the new businesses seem to be fast food. I have a wonderful quote here from somebody, “There’s more mattress stores per capita than anywhere else in Southern California.” ...Do you think there’s a problem here? If so, is there a role for the city creating a cohesive vision for the revitalization of this area? What would you do to bring that vision to fruition?
56:35: [What is] your position on creating new jobs in Pasadena? [And would] you would be for a Pasadena-centric minimum wage?
1:05:21: Pasadena has many excellent private schools and an extremely high rate of private school enrollment….How would you improve public schools so more families will want to enroll and what is the mayor’s role? Is it just the bully pulpit? Or can you use some of the charter elements of the city’s involvement with the PUSD to improve public education here?
1:12:51: It’s 2019. You’ve finished your first term as mayor. What is the single accomplishment you are most proud of, and what is the one single thing that differentiates you from the rest of the candidates here...that is going to get you to that goal…?
1:20:08: Candidate closing statements.
15:22: Why do you want to be on the school board?
23:07: What do you see as the district's greatest opportunities and greatest challenges?
29:29: Historically, the board has been accused of making reactive decisions based on the desires of a vocal few. How would you balance your responsibility to establish a vision for our schools and hold the district administration accountable for implementing that vision with the individual concerns of parents and community members?
35:38: How would you deal with declining enrollment? Do you have an optimal size for schools and classes that you would promote? Do you have any thoughts about how you would discourage people opting to choose private schools? Would you favor closing low enrollment schools and making the others have more students?
40:19: Would you support dual enrollment with PCC and expanding CTE opportunities?
42:34: Common Core will impact California's educational standards for years to come. Do you support Common Core state standards? This will increase rigor in our schools. What would you do to address implementation in PUSD?
46:10: Would you favor prioritizing raises for employees above hiring more staff and giving more services to students?
49:50: Many parents are not happy with the recent addition of health and CTE (Career Technical Education) to the graduation requirements. Would you modify or eliminate that requirement, and if so, how would you do that?
53:15: Since so many students attend schools outside their neighborhood, how would you balance the concerns of your voters with the needs of the whole district?
57:07: What is your opinion of charter schools?
1:00:19: Pasadena Unified School District has a very high suspension rate -- the third highest in LA County. What should we do to address this?
1:04:26: Why would a board member opt not to renew a superintendent's contract?
1:07:30: The issue with health is that it's taking away an elective option and it isn't ATG[?] certified. There isn't money coming to the schools to offer it, either. Advanced students at our academies will have no elective periods and varsity sports programs will be affected. How would you solve this?
1:12:14: Candidate closing statements
I have to admit, this is a catchy line. It appeals to the inner cynic in us all and makes a certain amount of sense in a core, "what can you do for me," type of thinking.
But it's hog-wash.
I work for Google so I follow the news about the company and I'm really tired of seeing that first line, or some variation of it, spouted by people who really don't care enough to want to think it through. It does not work that way!
Yes, Google is a company. And yes, Google is a reasonably large company (though not that large compared to the likes of IBM, GE, etc.). But though a company is a single entity in the eyes of the law, it is not run like that. Google is full of many thousands of individuals, many of whom are more rabid about user privacy than the privacy watchdogs that complain. I've watched them take Larry and Sergey to task on stage about the smallest things. I've done it twice myself. If the leaders of the company purposely violated our users' trust, there would be open revolt and the founders would be lucky to not find themselves strung up by their toes.
Everything Google does is done for our users. Your happiness is always the first priority, even above Ads. (I've seen this in both policy and various practical implementations.) You are not product; you are our customers! That's simply the way we view it and it permeates the company from bottom to top. Everything is done to make a better service for you.
Even Ads is viewed as a service to our users. Random ads are garbage. Useful ads are a benefit. Yes, it's also a benefit to our publishers and yes, it's also a benefit to our shareholders. Since when did win-win-win arrangements become a bad thing?
I won't claim that Google always gets it exactly right or that we haven't made mistakes. We don't and we have. And we admit it. And it will happen again. Sorry. But everything is done with the right intent even if it doesn't always work out as hoped. Hindsight is perfect.
Google is the most moral company in which I have ever worked. But guarding our users' privacy doesn't just make moral sense, it makes business sense. If we purposefully violated our users' privacy, we wouldn't have a business at all before very long.
It's not just the private sector that preys upon the poor
It's not just the private sector that's preying on the poor. Local governments are discovering that they can partially make up for declining
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