Photograph courtesy Facebook
The campaign is over but your job has just begun. Which is harder: taking office, or beating your opponent in the primary?
We had a tough race that took us to a run off. In the end every single vote counted. Now that we are in office, it’s a matter of acclimating to the City’s way of doing things.
What did you wear on your first day as a councilman?
A blue suit with a blue shirt, and of course my favorite orange tie.
As you get to know your route to your new office, have you found a place to stop for coffee along the way?
I tend to visit Homeboys downstairs for coffee. As you know, Homegirl Cafe is in my district, it is important for me to support our local businesses, in particular an organization that creates a pathway for change for our at-risk youth.
What did you bring with you to make your new desk feel like home?
Everything! My entire office is my personal furniture. This allowed me to not spend any city funds on anything new and maximize all money to be used for our communities. I am particularly happy with all the paintings I brought from home. I am displaying pieces that speak to who I am as a person, that describe the communities I represent, and highlight the rich culture of Los Angeles.
It’s lunchtime: brown bag, or eat out?
We get lunch? I often grab a quick bite, since we have non-stop meetings every single day. Guisados Tacos, El Huarachito in Lincoln Heights (best chilaquiles ever), and Pete’s Cafe down the street from the office have become my favorites.
What are you most looking forward to in your term?
I look forward to representing the people of the First District as best as I can. I’ve devoted my life to public service because I like helping people. I want to make Council District One #1. This has been our slogan the past few months and will become our brand while in office. I believe this district deserves the best. I look forward to creating strong partnerships with all of the communities of CD1, but also with different non-profits and philanthropic groups to leverage our assets and turn this district into a place where someone can grow up and grow old.
What issue are you tackling first?
My top priority is a ‘Clean Streets’ campaign. In order to decrease crime and spur economic development we must tackle the issue of blight and clean up our streets. Working with Los Angeles Conservation Core we are launching a program that will be CD1 specific and establish dedicated cleaning crews in our neighborhoods. I have also introduced a motion that will improve the bulky item pick up process. Residents should be able to make in-house appointments for bulky item pick up in order to avoid items sitting out on sidewalks for weeks at a time. I think a clean community is the foundation for any change and will help bring prosperity to the neighborhood and to the entire district.
Sum up your feelings about your first few days at work in three words.
Ready to go!