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District 5 candidates for LA City Council share election platforms

(Christopher Kha/Daily Bruin)

By Kurtis Yan

June 1, 2022 9:31 p.m.

This post was updated June 2 at 1:05 p.m.

Four candidates are running for councilmember representing District 5 in the Los Angeles City Council.

District 5 represents neighborhoods such as Westwood and Mid City West. The city council serves under the mayor as the primary governing body of LA and is responsible for organizing elections, levying taxes and modifying and approving the mayor’s budgetary proposals.

The primary elections will be held Tuesday, with general elections taking place Nov. 8.

 

Jimmy Biblarz, professor at UCLA School of Law

  • Policy stances
    • Homelessness
      • Promote the construction of permanent supportive housing services, expand and protect tenant rights, provide financial assistance for individuals experiencing homelessness and adopt an individualized outreach program suited for the diverse unhoused population
    • Housing prices
      • Provide a variety of affordable permanent housing options, ensure developers meet affordability standards, provide subsidies to low-income renters and raise the minimum wage to meet rising living costs
    • Public safety
      • Prevent crime by reducing illegal gun sales and providing a medium for community members to voice concerns through an office of neighborhood safety
      • Implement safe urban design policies and redirect policing efforts to prevent violent crime
    • Climate
      • Achieve 100% clean energy in LA by 2035, provide further funds for LA water conservation efforts and promote water catchment systems
      • Upgrade urban energy efficiency, enforce evaluations on environmental standards and address racism in land-use policy
    • Transportation
      • Reduce individual transport costs, improve bike lane access, promote pedestrian safety and make bus transit more passenger-friendly and reliable
    • Jobs and economy
      • Advocate for labor rights, create living and housing conditions that meet the needs of city workers, protect low-wage workers and limit outsourcing and privatization
      • Provide support for small businesses that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • History with city politics
    • Led protests to protect jobs in LA during the Great Recession, remains an active union member of Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Auto Workers Local 118 and University Council-American Federation of Teachers
    • Worked at the LA public defender’s office

 

Sam Yebri, lawyer and former commissioner on the LA Civil Service Commission

  • Policy stances
    • Homelessness
      • Protect tenant rights, invest in mental health and addiction services, and maintain standards of public cleanliness and safety through the street clearance measures of Ordinance 41.18.
      • Expand the number of homeless shelters
    • Housing prices
      • Guide the cost-effective, timely construction of new affordable housing units and preserve existing affordable housing units
    • Public safety
      • Redirect policing efforts toward crisis intervention training, place more officers on patrol and hold officers to a higher standard of accountability and training
      • Better track the illegal sale of firearms, encourage individual neighborhood safety programs, allocate more resources toward mental health crisis services and focus on hate crime prevention
    • Climate
      • Improve public transportation and adopt more environmentally friendly technologies such as water reuse methods, solar panels and electric vehicles
      • Preserve wildlife areas, expand green spaces and strictly enforce inspection and enforcement policies on corporate activities to limit pollution
    • Transportation
      • Improve public transportation efficiency and reliability to discourage individual car ownership and reduce emissions
    • Jobs and economy
      • Address corruption to ensure political decision-making is aimed toward creating widespread benefits such as affordable workforce housing
      • Assist small businesses in staying open, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • History with city politics
    • Served as commissioner of the Los Angeles Civil Service Commission
    • Worked for the city attorney’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and LA County Assessor Jeff Prang’s transition team
    • Co-founded the 30 Years After nonprofit, which seeks to help Iranian American Jews participate and lead in politics

 

Scott Epstein, contact tracer at UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center

  • Policy stances
    • Homelessness
      • Create outreach teams to connect people experiencing homelessness with social services and temporary and permanent housing
      • Address the link between housing affordability and renter protections and homelessness
    • Housing prices
      • Address the lack of affordable housing in LA through renter protections such as the right to counsel
      • Experiment with zoning reforms and transit-oriented infill housing
    • Public safety
      • Redirect funds from policing to crisis intervention programs and antipoverty programs while prioritizing civilian oversight
      • Enforce officer accountability and decriminalize homelessness
    • Climate
      • Invest in clean, environmentally friendly energy methods such as insulated homes and green energy production
      • Back the Green New Deal while recognizing potential transition difficulties for natural gas companies
    • Transportation
      • Address high traffic and motor vehicle deaths by redesigning streets to prioritize driver and pedestrian safety
    • Jobs and economy
      • Eliminate regulations that hurt small businesses and disproportionately affect minority groups
  • History with city politics
    • Served as former chair of the Mid City West Neighborhood Council
    • Founded the Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition

 

Katy Young Yaroslavsky, climate attorney

  • Policy stances
    • Homelessness
      • Support the creation of a regional homelessness authority with local budgetary power and allocate resources toward mental health and addiction treatment
      • Prioritize cost-effective, affordable temporary housing options until more permanent housing solutions are formulated
    • Housing prices
      • Address homelessness by proactively reaching out to homeowners at risk, finding out whether they can afford rent and provide rental assistance
    • Public safety
      • Invest in police reform, hold officers accountable and divert officers and resources toward rapid crime response
      • Collaborate with mental health professionals to address mental health crises along with investment in comprehensive health services
    • Climate
      • Shift toward 100% clean energy while phasing out oil drilling and other forms of emissions
      • Address drought through water reuse methods, construct new parks and green spaces and invest funds in land protection
    • Transportation
      • Streamline public transportation through a mass transit system and greater investments into the metro system overall
      • Set up electric vehicle charging stations, create a safe bicycle network and repair sidewalks for pedestrians
  • History with city politics
    • Senior policy adviser for Sheila Kuehl, LA District 3’s supervisor from 2015 to 2022, specializing in the environment and the arts
    • Led the creation of the Clean Power Alliance and helped create an Office of Sustainability in LA County
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