Los Angeles 2013 City Elections Candidate Questionnaire

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The Korean Resource Center aims to promote the full participation of Korean Americans in civic life and local elections. This candidate questionnaire will help Korean American voters learn more about the candidates running to represent them and serve them in Los Angeles City Hall at the March 2013 Los Angeles Primary Elections. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Korean Resource Center does not endorse or oppose any candidates for office, and all information is purely for information purposes.

These were the questions asked from the candidates:

  1. Please introduce your background and candidacy to Korean American voters: (30 words)
  2. Will you support allocating permanent funds towards building affordable housing for low-income and senior residents? (Question submitted by a senior citizen)
  3. Will you support measures to promote public transportation?(Question submitted by 17 year old High School student)
  4. Will you support efforts to build parks and green space in Koreatown and other parts of Los Angeles? (Question submitted by 18 year old High School student)
  5. Will you support measures to promote environmentally sustainable development? (Question submitted by 18 year old High School student)
  6. Will you hire Korean-language speaking translators in your field offices to help constituents with problems and connect constituents to city agencies?
  7. Long-term unemployment has been a serious issue for many Korean American and other families in Los Angeles. What policies will you pursue that create jobs for the long-term unemployed? (40 words)
  8. What practices and policies will you pursue that promote the full integration of immigrants in the Los Angeles community? (40 words)
  9. The Korean-language press has found that there is a lack of translated materials in city government offices, social service offices, and elections administrative departments in Los Angeles. Also, the quality of existing translation is often very poor. What steps would you take to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies? (50 words)


Los Angeles Mayor

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Addie Miller

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



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Emanuel Pleitez

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



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Eric Garcetti

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



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Jan Perry

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



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Kevin James

Campaign Website

I moved to LA 26 years ago for the land of opportunity. I have experience in small business, was a prosecutor, managed a non-profit agency, and I am a broadcaster.

Long-term unemployment has been a serious issue for many Korean American and other families in Los Angeles. What policies will you pursue that create jobs for the long-term unemployed? (40 words)

I will create an environment that welcomes more business to our city so there will be more jobs. My business improvement package will eliminate the city's gross-receipts tax and make it easier for new businesses and existing businesses to get permits.

What practices and policies will you pursue that promote the full integration of immigrants in the Los Angeles community? (40 words)

As a lawyer, I have provided immigration assistance to immigrants that want to integrate into our communities. As Mayor, I will continue to work with organizations around the city, and the leaders in the Korean American community, to make sure that immigrants are aware of the assistance and services that are available.

The Korean-language press has found that there is a lack of translated materials in city government offices, social service offices, and elections administrative departments in Los Angeles. Also, the quality of existing translation is often very poor. What steps would you take to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies? (50 words)

This problem exists because my opponents have done a poor job of managing City Hall. I will work with leaders in the Korean American community to ensure that there is easy access to all of these documents in City Hall and that they are all properly translated and regularly updated.

Answers to Yes/No questions

  • Affordable housing: Support
  • Public transportation: Support
  • Parks and Green Space: Support
  • Environmental sustainable development: Support
  • Korean speaking translators: Support


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Norton Sandler

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



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Wendy Greuel

Campaign Website

I will be a Mayor for all of Los Angeles, so no part of our city is left behind. My top priorities are economic development, education, and transportation.

Long-term unemployment has been a serious issue for many Korean American and other families in Los Angeles. What policies will you pursue that create jobs for the long-term unemployed? (40 words)

As Mayor, I’m not going to hire a job czar, I’m going to be the job czar. I will focus on four areas to get our economy moving again: rebuilding infrastructure, expanding transportation, rewarding investment, and training workers.

What practices and policies will you pursue that promote the full integration of immigrants in the Los Angeles community? (40 words)

Every person in this city deserves equality and opportunity no matter where they live. I support comprehensive immigration reform, the Dream Act and housing and health care for those who need it.

The Korean-language press has found that there is a lack of translated materials in city government offices, social service offices, and elections administrative departments in Los Angeles. Also, the quality of existing translation is often very poor. What steps would you take to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies? (50 words)

When reports of misconduct in the Housing Department went undetected because a rogue city employee was preying on victims who primarily spoke Korean, I expanded the Fraud, Waste, and Abuse hotline to accommodate more than 150 languages. I will continue that work to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies.

Answers to Yes/No questions

  • Affordable housing: Support
  • Public transportation: Support
  • Parks and Green Space: Support
  • Environmental sustainable development: Support
  • Korean speaking translators: Support


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Yehuda Draiman

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



Los Angeles City Council District 1

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Gilbert Cedillo

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



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Jesse Rosas

Campaign Website

I have been a businessman and participating community member in Los Angeles for 25 years. I know the issues and concerns of our district. We can fix them together.

Long-term unemployment has been a serious issue for many Korean American and other families in Los Angeles. What policies will you pursue that create jobs for the long-term unemployed? (40 words)

We will work with local businesses to provide new employment, and develop job training facilities that help place people in positions suited to their skills and experience. I also plan to provide extended education for those who need it.

What practices and policies will you pursue that promote the full integration of immigrants in the Los Angeles community? (40 words)

We hope to hold community events celebrating the different cultures and diversity of our community. This would encourage open dialogue between different groups and allow for a more unified community. I would also support efforts of new citizen integration programs.

The Korean-language press has found that there is a lack of translated materials in city government offices, social service offices, and elections administrative departments in Los Angeles. Also, the quality of existing translation is often very poor. What steps would you take to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies? (50 words)

I hope to provide incentives to improve the training of new Korean Language translators for the state, and to facilitate the creation of new, well-translated documents to allow more widespread access to information for those who speak Korean. I will work alongside organizations to facilitate access to these new documents.

Answers to Yes/No questions

  • Affordable housing: Support
  • Public transportation: Support
  • Parks and Green Space: Support
  • Environmental sustainable development: Support
  • Korean speaking translators: Support


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Jose Gardea

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



Los Angeles City Council District 13

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Alex de Ocampo

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



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Emile Mack

Campaign Website

I was born Yoon Young Do in Seoul, adopted and brought to LA where I grew up, and rose through the ranks to become second-in-command of the LA Fire Department.

Long-term unemployment has been a serious issue for many Korean American and other families in Los Angeles. What policies will you pursue that create jobs for the long-term unemployed? (40 words)

By fixing the City’s permit and entitlement processes, addressing our budget deficit and pension problems and phasing out the Gross Receipts Tax in a budget-neutral way to encourage investment, and by increasing cultural tourism and developing our workforce’s skills.

What practices and policies will you pursue that promote the full integration of immigrants in the Los Angeles community? (40 words)

I support enhanced job outreach and training, and making it easier to earn citizenship. I will have multi-lingual staff to help immigrants access city services and work with non-profits to provide classes to help immigrants integrate into the community.

The Korean-language press has found that there is a lack of translated materials in city government offices, social service offices, and elections administrative departments in Los Angeles. Also, the quality of existing translation is often very poor. What steps would you take to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies? (50 words)

Korean is fairly common in LA, so I would make efforts to increase the number and quality of documents translated to Korean and hire Korean-bilingual operators for our 911 and 411 telephone systems. I will work with Korean organizations and leaders to find types of information that this community needs.

Answers to Yes/No questions

  • Affordable housing: Support
  • Public transportation: Support
  • Parks and Green Space: Support
  • Environmental sustainable development: Support
  • Korean speaking translators: Support


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John J. Choi

Campaign Website

I am running the be the first Korean American councilman in Los Angeles history. I was born in South Korea, and share the very common immigrant experience with many Koreans.

Long-term unemployment has been a serious issue for many Korean American and other families in Los Angeles. What policies will you pursue that create jobs for the long-term unemployed? (40 words)

I am the only candidate running that has a real record of creating jobs here in Los Angeles. Job Creation is my number one priority, but more than just creating jobs, I want to create jobs that someone can support a family on.

What practices and policies will you pursue that promote the full integration of immigrants in the Los Angeles community? (40 words)

I think education is an important facet of the integration process. I think often times recent immigrants have a lack of basic knowledge on basic services available to them. Government agencies have to make it more accessible to people with little or no experience working in within bureaucracies.

The Korean-language press has found that there is a lack of translated materials in city government offices, social service offices, and elections administrative departments in Los Angeles. Also, the quality of existing translation is often very poor. What steps would you take to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies? (50 words)

As a Korean immigrant, I know first hand the difficulties obtaining literature in a language that is easy to understand. Often the Government does not do a good job of making Korean language materials available to the general public, you would have to ask for it for it to be given to you.

Answers to Yes/No questions

  • Affordable housing: Support
  • Public transportation: Support
  • Parks and Green Space: Support
  • Environmental sustainable development: Support
  • Korean speaking translators: Support


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Jose Sigala

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.



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Josh Post

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.


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Matt Szabo

Campaign Website

As Deputy Mayor, I've worked for 10 years in the highest levels of city government. I will prioritize creating jobs, affordable housing, public transportation, parks, green space and public safety.

Long-term unemployment has been a serious issue for many Korean American and other families in Los Angeles. What policies will you pursue that create jobs for the long-term unemployed? (40 words)

If elected, I will invest in and accelerate public transportation projects that will create tens of thousands of jobs in the district. I will also invest more resources into job placement & training programs for the long-term unemployed.

What practices and policies will you pursue that promote the full integration of immigrants in the Los Angeles community? (40 words)

I will implement the City Service Card to allow access for everyone, including immigrants, access to our libraries, banking services, and public transportation. I supported revising the city’s car impound policies & will be a strong voice for you.

The Korean-language press has found that there is a lack of translated materials in city government offices, social service offices, and elections administrative departments in Los Angeles. Also, the quality of existing translation is often very poor. What steps would you take to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies? (50 words)

I will dedicate money in the budget to ensure we have the human and paper resources available in the languages spoken by the people in my district and the city. Also, I will hire a deputy of Korean descent who speaks the language who can assist with navigating city services.

Answers to Yes/No questions

  • Affordable housing: Support
  • Public transportation: Support
  • Parks and Green Space: Support
  • Environmental sustainable development: Support
  • Korean speaking translators: Support


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Michael Schaefer

Campaign Website

I have travelled in Korea, stayed at Lotte Hotel, owned rentals in Korea Town(757 S. Berendo), had my signs translated into Korean to encourage Korean patronage of my affordable housing.

Long-term unemployment has been a serious issue for many Korean American and other families in Los Angeles. What policies will you pursue that create jobs for the long-term unemployed? (40 words)

Publicize low cost educational training; require city contractors to have 10% of employees from the Asian communities stressing their crime-free devotion to work and family, no tattoos, mostly crime-free record, loyality.

What practices and policies will you pursue that promote the full integration of immigrants in the Los Angeles community? (40 words)

Immigrants includes dozens of groups,your focus must be on Korean immigrants; my priority would be to unit families, have city contractors know of available Korean workforce by posting notices(internet, and grocery stores and Korean restaurants) as to openings, and encourage Korean youth to enter college.

The Korean-language press has found that there is a lack of translated materials in city government offices, social service offices, and elections administrative departments in Los Angeles. Also, the quality of existing translation is often very poor. What steps would you take to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies? (50 words)

As Councilman would seek a bilingual Korean spokesperson to receive all requests and would assure translation suitable for the bilingual spokeperson would be available to the Korean needing such information. The Korean business community and churches are extensive and full of talented men and women who I would coordinate with to do my job.

Answers to Yes/No questions

  • Affordable housing: Support
  • Public transportation: Support
  • Parks and Green Space: Support
  • Environmental sustainable development: Support
  • Korean speaking translators: Support


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Mitch O'Farrell

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.


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Octavio Pescador

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.


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Robert Negrete

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.


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Roberto Haraldson

Campaign Website

My background is in art, music and entertainment. As a small business owner, was elected chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council where I fought for environmental and consumer protection issues.

Long-term unemployment has been a serious issue for many Korean American and other families in Los Angeles. What policies will you pursue that create jobs for the long-term unemployed? (40 words)

Create a city wide hiring program where every resident could work at least one day a month for the city. Require all new projects in our district to hire 30% locally and pass measures with incentives for local businesses who hire local residents of advanced age or have been long -term unemployed.

What practices and policies will you pursue that promote the full integration of immigrants in the Los Angeles community? (40 words)

My office would push for more outreach from community organizations to involve more immigrants and disenfranchised residents. I would create programs that increased education of our immigrant communities to the general public and use our neighborhood council system as a tool for involvement and integration between disconnected parts of our city.

The Korean-language press has found that there is a lack of translated materials in city government offices, social service offices, and elections administrative departments in Los Angeles. Also, the quality of existing translation is often very poor. What steps would you take to improve Korean American immigrants’ language access to city documents and agencies? (50 words)

I would move that our city create a translation department where any department or office could utilize for proper translation. It would also serve to translate any document upon request and set a standard for quality of translation and training. That same department could also work with council field offices to provide community services for residents.

Answers to Yes/No questions

  • Affordable housing: Support
  • Public transportation: Support
  • Parks and Green Space: Support
  • Environmental sustainable development: Support
  • Korean speaking translators: Support


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Sam Kbushyan

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to get in contact with this candidate in a timely manner. We apologize for the oversight; the lack of response from the candidate in no way indicates lack of interest from the candidate in participating in our questionnaire. You may, however, learn more at the candidate's website.




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