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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA May 19, 2015 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Council Member; City of Los Angeles; District 4

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Most Important Issue, Budget Shortfall, Your District

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

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

Answer from David Ryu:

The single most important issue facing the City today is the disconnect between residents and neighborhoods. Right now, City Hall is not listening. Neighborhoods are the heart of Los Angeles, particularly CD4, but too often neighborhood interests are shoved aside by those with the deepest pockets and the loudest voices. This plays out in large and small ways, from broken sidewalks to development projects that end up decided by courts rather than residents and elected leaders.

I plan to deal with this as a Councilmember the same way I am running for Council - by listening to residents. CD4 residents' voice is my voice, and residents can expect to be in communication with me on the issues that matter most to them - development, mansionization, open space. Being elected to City Council is a position of trust, and I intend to fulfill that trust if elected.

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

Answer from David Ryu:

There is no silver bullet to fix a shortfall of this size, so a solution is going to have to be multi-faceted:
1. Instead of just reducing the gross receipts business tax, it has to be fully replaced with something more akin to a net income tax and then calibrated to match the City's needs.
2. The City has to continue to work on pensions - both fully funding our previous obligations, but also working to plan for future pensions going forward.
3. The City has been neglecting its infrastructure needs, and those costs will have to be addressed. I am an expert in reviewing and squeezing public budgets from my time on County Supervisor Burke's staff, and I will make sure that we are getting everything possible from our current budgets. But if they are insufficient, I will have the courage to say that and present the problem and solution to residents.

? 3. What is the single most important issue facing your Council District today, and how would you deal with it?

Answer from David Ryu:

Apathy - this plays out in various ways. From low voter turnout and involvement in elections, to a disgust with government generally. Residents don't see their concerns being addressed, either when an out-of-scale and out-of-compliance house is built on their street, or when a large development project ends up in court.

I believe in government, and I've seen first hand the good work that government can do when it is responsive to communities rather than special interests. Residents will respond when they see government working for them - and that is how you fix apathy within the District.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' answers are presented as submitted.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: July 23, 2015 11:01 PDT
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