Changing City Hall culture
To change the culture at City Hall we need to change the representation on the City Council. I believe we can do better than having only two women out of the 15 members serving on our City Council.
As an immigrant woman, I’ve been a leader on gender equity for years. I cofounded Women for a New Los Angeles—the largest annual gathering of women leaders in California. I also created a countrywide internship program that has trained hundreds of women for good-paying careers over the past six years.
As our next Councilmember, I’ll work to close the gender pay gap and stand up against sexual harassment in the workplace.
Working families are increasingly pushed out of their homes because wages are not keeping up with rising rents and housing costs. The increase in homelessness is directly related to the lack of affordable housing in Los Angeles.
I’ll partner with our neighborhoods, homeless advocates, and public safety leaders to build transitional housing and fund the services needed to help homeless residents get back on their feet.
On the council, I’ll work to honor Mayor Garcetti’s call to open 222 units of new housing for homeless residents in our neighborhoods. My first priority will be ensuring we build housing for mothers and children who have been pushed to the streets or are living in their cars.
Safeguarding our neighborhoods
Every year the fire season is increasingly longer and fires are more dangerous. Living in a red flag zone, I have firsthand experience with having to evacuate with a moment’s notice and not knowing what will be left when I return. For our city firefighters, it means many more days of putting their lives on the line to help save families and property. I’ll ensure our city budget funds the resources firefighters need, such as reopening fire stations, increasing the number of engines, and hiring more firefighters.
I will also partner with our police officers to give them the tools they need to make our neighborhoods safer, increase patrols to prevent theft and break-ins, and stop the illegal car racing that has turned our streets deadly.
Building affordable housing
We need to protect the character of our neighborhoods. We also need to build more housing near our transit, shopping, and employment hubs so that working people still struggling to make it into the middle class can afford to rent or buy a home. As our Councilmember, I’ll hold developers accountable to make sure any new construction also results in new affordable housing and rental units. I also support incentives to encourage developers to build more affordable housing at a quicker pace.
Reducing traffic in the Valley requires regional solutions that include better synchronizing of intersection lights, creating right turn carve-outs, increasing bus and rail routes, and getting more cars off the road by building affordable housing closer to the places where we work, shop, and go for entertainment.
To make the most of our mass transit investments and truly get people out of their cars for long commutes, we need to also account for first and last mile solutions, such as allocating bike lanes and building parking lots near rail stations and bus stops. Right now, we can already build 10 miles of protected bike lanes to connect CSUN with the Metrolink Northridge Station and the Balboa Orange Line Station. I have the experience and the vision the Valley needs to move traffic mitigation plans into action quickly.
Fixing our roads and sidewalks
There is a disconnect between the Northwest Valley and City Hall in delivering the basic services our neighborhoods need. Some of California’s most dangerous intersections are located right here in our council district. I will work to ensure the Valley gets our fair share of road and sidewalk repairs to stop the spike in injuries to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists that is causing the city’s legal costs to skyrocket.
Creating good-paying jobs
I’m a middle-class mom and nonprofit executive who knows many working families are struggling to stay in the middle class and are worried about our children’s economic future.
For the past 17 years, I have helped build one of the most effective nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles (LAANE—The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy). Our organization has helped empower hundreds of thousands of low-income workers to build a more secure financial future for themselves.
I helped pass ordinances creating a living wage, raising the minimum wage to $15-an-hour, and guaranteeing that local residents be hired for construction jobs. I’ve worked to create good-paying green jobs that clean our air and make solar energy more affordable and accessible throughout the city. And I’m working to make jobs safer, like installing panic buttons at hotels to protect housekeepers from sexual assault.
As the economy and job market continue to change, I believe we need to make technology work for all of us, not just a select few at the top. We need to be ahead of the curve in training workers for new jobs created from technological innovations, as well as to retrain workers displaced by automation.
As our Councilmember, I’ll work toward recruiting more clean energy businesses and tech industries that treat workers fairly in the Valley so we can create good-paying careers that build economic security and grow our middle class.
Helping small business owners succeed
The backbone of a strong economy is built by people taking a chance to start their own business, growing that business, and hiring people at good wages. On the council, I’ll streamline the permitting process to help local businesses expand and I’ll hire a small-business liaison to directly work with our neighborhood merchants.
Closing down Aliso Canyon
Our community deserves justice for the Aliso Canyon gas leak victims and assurances that we’re protected from future gas leaks. The enormous Aliso Canyon facility is across the street from where, for the last 30 years, I’ve raised my family. We were displaced from our home and split up for more than six months because of the gas leak. My daughter suffered chronic bronchitis that continues until today.
My story is not unique. Many families who live in Porter Ranch and the surrounding neighborhoods have suffered. As our next Councilmember, I will establish a blue-ribbon panel of lawyers and environmental experts to identify and pursue every legal option to close Aliso Canyon. I’ll also work to curb our reliance on natural gas by improving access to renewable and affordable solar energy.
Standing up for our immigrant communities
I moved to the Northwest Valley when I was just 15 years old, seeking freedom and safety ahead of the Iranian Revolution. As an immigrant, I understand the challenges our immigrant communities face. On the council, I will continue to speak up for our immigrant communities and protect them from the attacks of the Trump administration.
Preserving our parks
Access to green space and parks is part of the California dream and preserving them is a promise we must keep to our children and the environment. I raised my family in the parks around Porter Ranch and I believe that increasing public space is crucial to building healthy and connected communities. As an active parent in my kids’ schools, I helped unite families and raise the funds for a new soccer field, so more children in our communities would have a safe place to play.
The Chatsworth Reservoir is fenced off for most of the year. In the same way that residents forced City Hall to analyze, enhance, and open up the Silver Lake Reservoir, we should explore those opportunities for the Chatsworth Reservoir. The Antonovich Regional Park and Joughin Ranch are some of our other amazing open spaces, which are unfortunately underutilized and poorly maintained. We need to revitalize those parks with Measure A and Prop 68 funds so more residents visit. I’ll also work to provide better access to Bee Canyon, Bell Canyon, and Limekiln Canyon.