STUMPED: Meet City Controller Hopeful Cary Brazeman

The first in a series of user-friendly profiles on the local candidates running for public office

On background: Cary Brazeman describes himself as an openly gay community activist and fiscally conservative progressive democrat. The Atlanta native is the founder of L.A. Neighbors United, a community group that advocates on behalf of civilians. He is also a board member of the Mid City West Community Council, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the California Planning and Conservation League. He’s also a member of Congregation Kol Ami. If elected, Brazeman would be the first neighborhood council member elected to citywide office, and the first openly gay official to hold the position of City Controller.

Current platform: Brazeman plans to address L.A.’s $1 billion budget deficit while protecting core city services like public safety, streets, parks, and libraries. He proposes publishing “Real-Time Report Cards” on core service deliveries throughout the city, including Fire Department emergency response.

Campaign slogan: “Protecting Taxpayers, Fighting to Fix Our City”

In his/her corner: Retired U.S. Representative Diane Watson and co-founder of the Latino Urban Forum James Rojas.

The City Controller acts as Big Brother to the other government offices—not the most glamorous of positions. What draws you to the job?
I was born to be a watchdog. Have you seen the campaign video of me asking tough questions at age one? Seriously, I helped bring Fire Department emergency response time problems to light last year, I pointed out ways to improve the downtown stadium deal, and I’ve shined the light on the city’s broken sidewalks and outlined a process to fix them. The Controller is the people’s watchdog, not just on finances, but on city services to ensure our tax dollars are used to directly support the quality of life for residents and businesses.

Who oversees the finances in your household?
I do. Right now, Verizon owes me 28 cents left on a debit card. One day, when I have two hours to kill, I’ll get on the phone with them and figure out how to get it. I’m determined.

ALSO: Meet the other City Controller candidates