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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Los Angeles County, CA March 5, 2013 Election
Smart Voter

Yehuda "Yj" Draiman
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Mayor; City of Los Angeles


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. What do you think is the single most important issue facing the City of Los Angeles today? As Mayor what would you do to deal with it?

Jobs and the economy, they are linked.

Jobs and the Economy + solutions + YJ Draiman r6 As Mayor of LA, how would I create jobs? We have a tremendous amount of natural resources here in Los Angeles, which we need to develop. To put it succinctly, "You can not drill for American oil and natural gas in China, Saudi Arabia or anyplace else other than America."

The more domestic energy we produce, renewable and non-renewable, the more domestic jobs we create. Moreover, jobs in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas pay more than twice the national average. At the same time, the domestic energy we produce will increase R&D in renewable energy sources, thus, increase efficiency.

Just look how far we have come in the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the past 10 years. I intend to accelerate that trend, and to take advantage of every resource possible in technology and funding. As I stated many times; "Those who control the energy supply control whole continents"; "Those who control the water sources control life".

Americans should demand products made in the USA. We can produce a better product with better quality at a competitive price. It is my intention to provide numerous incentives to retain businesses here in Los Angeles, and to offer those incentives to bring businesses back to Los Angeles.

Employment creates revenues and saves the government money and resources by taking the unemployed off the government subsidy and social services. It also creates the "multiplier affect", which is a snowball of economic growth.

One of my top priorities is to ensure that we continue to develop and promote renewable energy sources. Many in the natural gas industry believe the day when renewable energy dominates our energy landscape is far off. I disagree. With American ingenuity, innovation and determination, the dawn of renewable energy sources can be upon us now.

What I propose is a "do-it-all strategy" in which we focus not just on developing renewable energy, but also on the development of our abundant fossil fuels. While further technology and innovation in building construction would need to be developed, such need would also provide more jobs. More importantly, our reliance on over-priced outside energy would be decreased resulting in positive economic growth.

I would promote the design of a thermal solar system that provides energy, heat and hot water. In addition, I would initiate a new and advanced fuel technology for vehicles such as hydrogen, natural gas and ultra-capacitors for energy storage. Los Angeles wastes an enormous amount of energy and work hours due to traffic congestion. I plan on an expedient advancement of our public transit system and devise systems to reduce traffic congestion.

In urban areas: roads, sidewalks, buildings and other structures prevent rainwater from being absorbed in the ground and replenishing the aquifers. It is time for us to compensate for that loss by collecting the rain runoff into retaining ponds. We need to implement the use of rainwater harvesting, gray water technology, collecting the billions of gallons of rain runoff into retaining ponds, desalinization projects powered totally by renewable energy (solar and wind combo systems) and other methods of conserving natural resources. As such, we would make existing renewable systems more cost effective and more efficient.

The result of my programs would be the increase of jobs, the decrease of energy and operating costs, and a reduction of our reliance on foreign oil. That in turn would result in decreasing the deficit and creating permanent jobs.

In short, the key to Los Angeles economic recovery is not an increase in taxes and fees. Rather, true long-term recovery will rely on the increase of efficiency and productivity; the reduction of bureaucracy; and the promotion of businesses and employment. All of which will instill confidence in our economy, generate greater revenues for the city of Los Angeles and other governmental entities.

American confidence in government is at an all time low. We no longer have the same level of faith in our institutions and leaders that we once had. Consequently, we are seeing a continued erosion of our outlook on the future. This outlook must change by initiating a massive and sound education program that produces innovation and technology.

We have an opportunity to jumpstart our economy, protect our environment and put our city on the path toward energy security through greater use of our domestic energy production such as natural gas. Our domestic energy production can serve as a foundation for our energy and economic independence. This path will enable us to develop the required innovation and production of other forms of energy sources.

To realize a course toward energy and economic security we must do what is necessary to instill confidence in the responsible development of our energy sources. We can use natural gas as a solid foundation on which to develop extensive R&D in renewable energy sources, and the efficient means to operate and maintain the mechanisms needed for such use.

Improving our educational system is the key to our economic survival. In a global, knowledge-driven economy, there is a direct correlation between engineering education and innovative progress. Our success or failure as a city will be measured by how well we do in providing the needed educational tools to promote innovation in all fields.

Leadership is not a birthright. Despite what many Americans believe, our city does not possess an innate knack for greatness. Greatness must be worked for and won by each new generation. Right now that is not happening. However, we still have time. If we place the emphasis we should on education, research and innovation, we can lead the world in the decades to come. Nevertheless, the only way to ensure we remain great tomorrow is to increase our investment in science and engineering today. In addition, we must invest in trade schools to train our future workers in the new and old technology.

We have to learn how to balance the need of the people vs. the need to protect the environment. Any extreme to either side is not good.

In today's fast moving technologies, government as well as companies must learn to adjust and maneuver quickly to keep pace, or they will be out of business or incur deteriorating revenues and infrastructure. We must learn how stay competitive and resourceful to survive and thrive economically.

I submit: Leadership by example. I plan to cut waste, maximize productivity, reduce bureaucracy, increase efficiency and conservation in all city departments and assets, eliminate duplicating tasks and reward excellent performance and innovative methods of job performance. In addition, we have to use the Neighborhood Council's more effectively; they are the eyes and ears of all the communities in Los Angeles. These are hard economic times; we must all put our shoulder to the task.

We must put all our differences aside and work together in harmony for the good of the people and the city of Los Angeles. Your vote for me will be one more step in this positive direction and it will be a win for all the people in LA.

YJ Draiman youtube

2. The City Administrative Officer has estimated a $200M budget shortfall for 2013-2014 increasing to $300M in 2015-2016. What steps do you propose to deal with this problem, and how much do you estimate each step would reduce the shortfall?

I think to be honest and taking all the obligations into considerations including the full extent of the Pension and Healthcare liability, that the deficit would be far higher. We have to face our problems head on with realistic numbers. If we delude ourselves that the numbers are lower and not realistic, it is going to hurt the budget much more the next year. What we need is a disaster plan and disaster response, which requires identifying those in need of critical attention from those who need minimal. The city has to go on an austerity program. Set goals for short term. mid term and long term. In my opinion and many others the best solution is to help existing businesses survive. Set up a department that promotes businesses in the City of Los Angeles. The current fact is that Los Angeles is very unfriendly to businesses. Thousand of business is leaving LA or closed down altogether, Many thousands are leaving the city in droves. These facts are reducing revenues to the city erode confidence of the people in its government. I am a strong believer in "Made in The USA" and in developing Los Angeles's natural resources. Build an infrastructure that sets LA as "The World Capital of Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation.

3. Do you support the ballot measure to increase the sales tax in the city?

No. Increasing bureaucracy, taxes and fees depresses the economy, reduces business development, which in turn reduces consumer spending and as a result reduces revenues to the government. Los Angeles cannot continue to tax its businesses and its people to death, everyone will leave the jurisdiction and there will be very few to tax if any. An avenue to boost the LA economy would be to initiate a program for Made in America products. This would require certain tax benefits to the manufacturer of products in LA. Any unemployed American, who returns to the workforce, reduces the dependency for financial and social support by the government. Thus, it turns the worker into a revenue generator for the government, while the employee's earning is spent on goods and services, which boosts the economy further. The city of Los Angeles must make it easy for businesses to thrive. This will create employment and increase revenues to the government and it will create the multiplier effect. Multiplier effect definition: An effect in economics in which an increase in spending produces an increase in national income and consumption greater than the initial amount spent. For example, if a corporation builds a factory, it will employ construction workers and their suppliers as well as those who work in the factory. Indirectly, the new factory will stimulate employment in laundries, restaurants, and service industries and the housing industry, which employs builders, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc.

4. What role do you feel the City of Los Angeles has to play in addressing climate change? What should the City do and how would you implement it?

Every City in our country should have a role in addressing climate change.

Every City in our country should have a role in addressing climate change. YJ Draiman proposes & welcomes innovative renewable energy zone approach which will create 200,000 + new jobs over the next 5-10 years. An ambitious project that will transform the way universities, business and industry collaborate, and establish Los Angeles as a world leader in the research, development and design of next generation renewable energy technology, was announced today, January 2, 2011. Spearheaded by YJ Draiman and the Economic development agency, Various Enterprises, and National Technology Renewable Energy Zone, will be established in the city of Los Angeles with the Universities of Southern California Technology Innovation Development at its heart. A large parcel of land will be allocated to set up the renewable energy enterprise zone site, which will be within the boundaries of Los Angeles. There will be an academic center, which will be transformed into a center of excellence for academic research, commercialization and industry collaboration. The renewable energy zone initiative, which would span further than the confines of the City of Los Angeles and include Southern California, is expected to create 200,000 + new jobs over the next 5-10 years and give a boost to the Los Angeles economy through further industry academia collaboration and inward investment. The developer said: "This new vision of the Renewable energy Technology Innovation Center will be the cornerstone of Los Angeles Technology and Renewable Energy Zone. The developer's vision for The Renewable energy Zone is to provide a breeding ground for ambitious companies to harness cutting-edge research, access the best people and develop the products, which will shape the renewable energy industry of tomorrow. "Southern California has already claimed a place on the renewables map attracting energy heavyweights and pioneers in the solar and wind sector and I believe that by establishing this zone we will help reinforce Los Angeles position as a location of choice for the rapidly expanding renewables industry." Developer said: "The Universities in the Los Angeles area's Technology and Innovation Center is a transformational project for Los Angeles, building on California's great tradition of innovating new technologies and developments in fields; including energy and engineering while creating and supporting hundreds of jobs. Through this collaboration, the aim is to quadruple the scale of research program investment in Los Angeles in areas key to economic growth by up to $10 billion + in five to ten years. "And now, as an integral part of Los Angeles Enterprise's new Technology and Renewable Energy Zone, which aims to establish Los Angeles as a premier location for inward investment into world-leading technology and renewables research and development, we have the potential to deliver huge economic and social benefits, not only in Los Angeles but nationally and beyond." See Energy Zone:

5. As Mayor, you would sit on the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. What would you advocate there in terms of transportation policy?

With the escalating cost of energy - it is time to re-visit expanding the transit system. Put all politics aside and look at a short-term goals and long-term goals. Expanding the mass transit system in the Los Angeles Metro Area is critical to the future vitality of its economy; it will save energy, reduce pollution, save lives, and increase health by reducing stress. It is time to forgo ego and consider the good of the public. A transit system utilizing cable car or light rail over the freeways or any other types of mass transit in the Los Angeles Metro area is a reasonable solution to decrease the congestion on the roads, save energy, reduce pollution, improve air quality, save money, save lives and improve our health. Cost of energy and vehicles and maintenance has climbed dramatically in the past 10 years, warranting this issue to re-examine the expansion of mass transit in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The longer we wait, the greater the cost and the more imperative this project becomes. In many areas of the country, there are transit stations and parking lots, which provide parking for the transit customers. The costs should not be astronomical. (Based on current energy costs, and future increases). There is no need to acquire large parcels of property; with some modification, such system can be implemented and operational within the next decade. Another option is building a transportation system over the Los Angeles River - From the San Fernando Valley to Orange County.

6. If elected, what role, if any, do you intend to play in K-12 education in Los Angeles?

Education will rebuild Los Angeles economic sustainability I have three words to say to you. EDUCATION... EDUCATION... EDUCATION... You want to get ahead in life, you must have education. You want to compete in today's economy you must have education. You want to provide for you family you must have education. Education, vocational/trade schools and energy efficiency will be the spearhead to our economic recovery and economic sustainability. Education will lead to economic progress, bring about innovation and technology, trade schools will help people earn a living, Energy efficiency and Renewable energy will create jobs, save money, resources, and make LA energy independent. We all know no society cannot survive without water and energy. Water & energy conservation used effectively will save the city of LA billions of dollars every year. Those saved dollars will be used to build and enhance LA's economic vitality. My profession & expertise for the past 20 years has been in implementing Energy & utility efficiency. As mayor, one of my goals is to utilize my expertise and implement Energy & utility efficiency for the city of LA, while rebuilding our educational system. I will set-up an independent citizen oversight committee on government with members replaced every 2 years.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. 

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: January 6, 2013 08:53
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