There’s an open seat on this yr’s Los Angeles Metropolis Council District 2 race as a result of present Council President Paul Krekorian is leaving his longtime seat attributable to time period limits.

Seven are working within the March 5 main election to exchange Krekorian, together with: Jon-Paul Bird, a psychological well being skilled; Jillian Burgos, a small enterprise proprietor; Marin Ghandilyan, an lawyer; Manny Gonez, coverage director at TreePeople; Sam Kbushyan, principal of a public affairs agency; Rudy Melendez, a laborer and artist; and Adrin Nazarian, a former assemblymember.

The winner will signify San Fernando Valley residents in North Hollywood, Studio Metropolis, Solar Valley, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village and Van Nuys.

If no candidate captures greater than 50% of the vote in subsequent month’s main, the highest two vote-getters will advance to a runoff within the Nov. 5 normal election.

The next info was compiled from written statements to a questionnaire that the Los Angeles Every day Information requested candidates to fill out, their feedback throughout a candidates discussion board final Tuesday, Feb. 6, through Zoom hosted by neighborhood councils in Metropolis Council District 2, and data revealed on the candidates’ web sites.

The Candidates

Jon-Paul Bird, 41, is a wedding and household therapist. He mentioned he’d be the councilmember to look at the psychological well being impacts in each facet of the town. Fowl beforehand labored in clinics and with socio-economically deprived households and now has a personal follow in Sherman Oaks, the place he works predominantly with Blacks, Indigenous folks and other people of colour.

Being a therapist taught him to actively take heed to folks and to downside remedy, he mentioned.

“I’ve had the expertise of counseling folks from all walks of life and throughout the socio-economic spectrum,” he mentioned. “I’ve discovered how we will reform policing by being a therapist for officers in addition to those that have been profiled or handled unjustly, enhance mobility by working with individuals who depend upon the Metro or concern strolling our streets, (or handle) the battle of housing by working with individuals who concern dropping their properties or have moved in pursuit of a extra inexpensive life.”

Jillian Burgos owns a murder-mystery theater firm and serves on the North Hollywood Neighborhood Council. She has mentioned she’s a lifelong renter who skilled housing insecurity a lot of her life.

Burgos didn’t reply to requests by this newspaper to finish the candidates’ questionnaire, however in keeping with her web site, she helped create a tenant rights workshop together with the town and two pro-housing teams, labored on grants to feed homeless folks in her group and helped deliver psychological well being companies and mentorship to college students.

“I’m not a politician, however I’ve been known as to steer, and NoHo has been my house for … almost 15 years, and I’ve grow to be deeply invested in serving to the folks of my group,” she mentioned throughout final week’s discussion board.

Marin Ghandilyan, an lawyer, didn’t reply to our questionnaire or take part in final week’s candidates discussion board. In response to her web site, she’s working to make L.A. a “smarter, safer, and wealthier” metropolis.

Neighboring cities like Burbank, Glendale and Beverly Hills present nice examples of learn how to create higher environments for traders, enterprise house owners and residents, and a nicely thought-out and executed plan may end up in “a sound property market and an enhanced place to stay and work,” her web site says.

“As an lawyer, I’ve a deep understanding of guidelines and laws, and I understand how to make use of the legislation to profit our residents, enhancing their high quality of life, actual property appreciation initiatives, their social well-being, and our native economic system,” Ghandilyan mentioned on her website.

Manny Gonez, 41, is coverage director on the environmental nonprofit TreePeople. Previous to that, he labored on the nonprofits LA Household Housing and the Weingart Middle, one other homeless companies supplier, and at Buddies of the Los Angeles River.

Gonez mentioned he has fought towards luxurious housing growth alongside the L.A. River in primarily Latino communities and that he supported a profitable effort to shut Exide Technologies, one of the worst battery recycling polluters in U.S. history that contaminated 10,000 properties in working-class and Latino communities.

Gonez mentioned he’s working for Metropolis Council “to proceed my work as a champion for folks experiencing homelessness, inexpensive housing, environmental justice, and to offer residents with the town companies they should thrive, which is of heightened significance given rising inequality and the necessity to proceed to help those that are most weak.”

Sam Kbushyan, 44, is the principal of Sam Kbushyan Group (SKG), a public affairs agency. He serves on a number of boards together with the Respiratory Care Board of California, LA Neighborhood Alliance and Immigrants Charitable Basis. Beforehand he was an organizer for Service Workers Worldwide Union Native 434b, which represents healthcare employees.

As a small enterprise proprietor, Kbushyan mentioned he will get annoyed when he hears about forms and corruption.

“CD2 has the potential to be a mannequin within the metropolis for folks in all revenue brackets and numerous teams,” he mentioned. “Whether or not you drive or take public transportation, you deserve well-maintained streets. We should reject enterprise as common and finish the corruption at Metropolis Corridor.”

Rudy Melendez, 55, didn’t reply to messages or submit a accomplished questionnaire. However throughout final week’s discussion board, he mentioned he works within the movie trade and is a member of a Hollywood labor union.

“As a socially progressive, fiscally conservative laborer, artist and environmentalist, I intend to root out the corruption at Metropolis Corridor, restoring character by public service and rebuilding voter confidence in L.A. metropolis governance,” he mentioned.

Melendez also ran for City Council four years ago.

Adrin Nazarian, 50, is a former California state assemblymember who now serves on the California Public Employment Relations Board. He was elected to the Legislature in 2012 and served till 2022, representing residents within the forty sixth Meeting District. Greater than half his constituents additionally lived in L.A. Metropolis Council District 2, he famous.

Earlier than being elected to workplace, Nazarian labored as an aide to then-Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, and later served as chief of workers to L.A. Metropolis Council President Paul Krekorian – first when Krekorian was within the Meeting, then once more through the early a part of Krekorian’s time on the Metropolis Council.

“I grew up within the San Fernando Valley and after I arrived on this metropolis … after fleeing conflict and persecution in Iran with my household on the age of eight, I discovered for the primary time what it was prefer to stay and never be persecuted. I’m working for Metropolis Council with the dedication to enhance the standard of lifetime of our residents,” Nazarian mentioned in his solutions to this paper’s questionnaire.

High Points for the Candidates

Nazarian’s prime three priorities are to handle homelessness, public security, and housing and affordability. On homelessness, he mentioned the town can’t look forward to everlasting housing earlier than saving lives and will construct or convert present area into emergency shelters. He desires to boost wages and defend renters to stop extra folks from falling into homelessness.

He additionally mentioned he would push to diversify the town’s housing portfolio by constructing a mixture of inexpensive, low-income, market fee and middle-income housing; streamline the constructing course of; and help transit and corridor-oriented developments close to the Metro crimson line stations in North Hollywood and Common Metropolis. “Moreover,” he mentioned, “corridors like Lankershim and Vineland are primed for elevated housing choices. I’ll rezone industrial corridors to draw new companies and residences to those areas.”

On public security, Nazarian mentioned he’d concentrate on community-based policing; increase the police pressure – he helps Mayor Karen Bass’ plan to offer incentives to recruit new officers – whereas reforming the LAPD; and improve funding for the hearth division.

Melendez mentioned through the candidates discussion board that along with rooting out City Hall corruption, he would prioritize public security and bettering the delivery of basic city services like graffiti elimination, litter abatement and common upkeep of bus stops, parks, leisure areas and streetscapes.

He known as homelessness the “disaster of our lifetime” and mentioned that after years of coverage failures, the town must “throw out the playbook and begin over” – although he mentioned he’s unsure anybody has the reply. “I don’t know if I’ve the reply to resolve it. I don’t assume anybody does actually. However what we’re doing proper now will not be working, and I’m not going to make any guarantees tonight,” he mentioned.

Kbushyan cited homelessness, group security and rooting out Metropolis Corridor corruption as his prime priorities.

He mentioned he helps a mixture of offering housing, companies and tenant protections to maintain folks off the streets. He would help ending “violent sweeps” and eradicating armed officers from common homeless encampment outreach efforts. He backs changing vacant or underutilized motels, motels, retail and workplace buildings into interim and everlasting housing and would open drop-in facilities with companies for unhoused folks 24/7. He would help creating union job applications to coach and rent homeless outreach employees.

Kbushyan outlined security as “housing stability; zero visitors deaths; highway restore and emergency automobile entry; entry to jobs and healthcare; growing old in place; clear air; applications, and help for youth.”

To handle corruption in Metropolis Corridor, Kbushyan desires a new redistricting process to find out Metropolis Council districts and to increase the size of the council. He desires to cut back the affect councilmembers have in land-use choices; shut loopholes in a ban on marketing campaign donations from builders who’ve initiatives earlier than the town, and ban marketing campaign donations from companies; more strictly define who a “lobbyist” is and require lobbyists to identify themselves when talking at Metropolis Corridor or neighborhood council conferences; and tighten guidelines about when councilmembers should recuse themselves from Metropolis Council votes.

Gonez’s prime priorities are to handle housing and homelessness, a greener economic system and bettering metropolis companies. He desires to establish, observe and help people most liable to dropping their properties to stop homelessness. He helps present efforts to maneuver unsheltered folks indoors, then present them with wraparound companies that embrace psychological well being or substance abuse remedy companies.

As well as, Gonez desires to increase entry to inexperienced area and parks, to extend the town’s tree cover and to construct extra sustainable public transit techniques.

To enhance metropolis companies, he mentioned he would work with metropolis departments on sooner response instances to residents who name in for companies and he desires to work to enhance roads and create safe passages to schools.

Burgos mentioned “housing as a human proper,” public transportation and unarmed disaster response are amongst her prime priorities. She mentioned she would push for the conversion of empty industrial buildings into housing, extra public housing, social housing, renter protections and getting the homeless into housing, together with wraparound companies.

In the course of the candidates discussion board, she criticized the city’s anti-camping law known as 41.18, which makes it unlawful for a homeless particular person to arrange a tent inside 500 ft of “delicate” areas comparable to colleges, daycare facilities, parks or libraries. Doing so can result in arrest. Burgos mentioned enforcement of the ordinance solely quickly beautifies an space however could cause trauma to the homeless particular person.

When it comes to mobility, Burgos helps creating protected bicycle lanes on closely traveled corridors and devoted bus lanes. She helps making LA Metro fares free.

Fowl listed homelessness, inexpensive housing and public security as his prime points. He proposed tagging shelter beds with a barcode in order that as quickly as somebody enters or leaves a shelter, the standing of that mattress’s availability is up to date to a central system and outreach employees be taught in actual time if there’s area at a shelter for one more particular person. He helps the state’s CARE Court program to assist folks battling psychological sickness or dependancy.

Fowl proposed rezoning industrial corridors to accommodate mixed-use residential and industrial developments. He additionally desires to work with the county to let the town purchase properties listed on the county’s default tax lien auctions listing earlier than different consumers come alongside. He would dedicate these properties to makes use of comparable to social housing or group land trusts.

On public security, Fowl helps unarmed disaster responses and desires extra funding for psychological well being technicians and avenue drugs groups. He mentioned such groups may additionally reply to calls when somebody is having a psychological well being disaster, as a substitute of sending the hearth division. And he desires to higher defend public utilities to stop copper thefts that darken city streetlights.

Fundraising and endorsements

Listed here are the candidates who raised essentially the most marketing campaign funds as of Jan. 20, in keeping with filings with the city’s ethics commission:

Nazarian raised almost $610,000 and spent over $456,000. He additionally acquired $174,000 in public matching funds by a voter-approved program. Nazarian is endorsed by Mayor Bass, Krekorian — who is his former boss and whose seat he’s searching for to take over – the L.A. County Federation of Labor and the L.A. County Democratic Occasion.

Kbushyan raised about $391,000 and spent about $227,000. He acquired almost $134,000 in matching funds. He’s endorsed by Angie Reyes-English, the mayor professional tem in Hawthorne; and Mike Schaefer, a member of the California Board of Equalization.

Gonez raised simply over $169,000 and spent greater than $256,000. He was helped by about $115,000 in matching funds. He’s endorsed by former state Senate Majority Chief Richard Polanco, former L.A. Metropolis Councilmember Ed Reyes and a number of other unions.

Burgos raised over $68,000 and acquired near $80,000 in matching funds. She’s endorsed by L.A. Metropolis Controller Kenneth Mejia, former mayoral candidate and activist Gina Viola, and teams together with LA Ahead and Streets for All.

2024 presidential main election

Election Day: March 5, 2024. Polls shut at 8 p.m.

Early voting: You may vote on the Los Angeles County registrar’s workplace starting Monday, Feb. 5. The registrar’s headquarters are at 12400 Imperial Freeway, Room 3002, in Norwalk. That workplace is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Vote-by-mail: Ballots started going out on Thursday, Feb. 1. You may submit VBMs in 3 ways: By mailing them to the registrar’s workplace (VBMs embrace return envelopes with the right handle and postage already included); by inserting them in an official drop field; or by dropping them off at any county Vote Middle.

VBM deadline: VBMs despatched through mail should arrive no later than seven days after the election, however they should be postmarked by March 5. The deadline to position VBMs in a drop field or ship them to a Vote Middle is 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Vote Facilities: Vote Facilities open 10 days earlier than Election Day. This yr, that’s Saturday, Feb. 24. You may vote at any Vote Middle in Los Angeles County. Previous to Election Day, the Vote Facilities shall be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Election Day, they are going to be open from 7 a.m. to eight p.m.

Concerning the ballots: In California, the order races are listed on ballots goes from native to federal, which means the nominees for president shall be listed on the backside. Apart from presidential races, California’s primaries for “partisan” places of work – now often called “voter-nominated places of work” have a top-two system. Which means the highest two vote getters in a given race advance to the overall election, no matter political social gathering.

To discover a drop field or Vote Middle and for extra info:

Los Angeles Metropolis Council District 2

Candidates: Jon-Paul Fowl, Jillian Burgos, Marin Ghandilyan, Manny Gonez, Sam Kbushyan, Rudy Melendez and Adrin Nazarian

Time period size: 4 years

District boundaries: North Hollywood, Studio Metropolis, Solar Valley, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village and Van Nuys within the San Fernando Valley

Registered voters: 138,142

Key points: Housing and homelessness, public security, atmosphere, transportation and corruption


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