City Council (D4): Fred Mariscal
Fred Mariscal, a proud first-generation American, continues to build a record of service in multiple communities around the city of Los Angeles. As a three-term Neighborhood Council member, community activist and volunteer, Mariscal built an impressive record of leadership, and building on that passion and dedication, now enters the race in City Council District Four.
Top three goals
List the top three things you would seek to accomplish as a city council representative.
1-Job Creation. (In order to get our budget and economy back on track.)
2-Parking Enforcement Reform
3-Protect our neighborhoods from over development & solve the problem of Homelessness among our veterans.
Is City Hall doing a good job handling development projects? If so, why? If not, how would change it?
City Hall is not doing a great job handling development in the District because they are not enforcing the planning laws. As a council member I will make sure the rules are obeyed by developers. But we also need to reform it, make it clearer and enforceable. At the same time:
A) I support neighborhoods who want to protect their historic integrity by putting in place Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZ) and Reduced Floor Areas (RFA) to limit the size of new construction and remodeled homes.
B) We need to make sure that the “conditions of approval” placed on developments are actually done. We shouldn’t rely on the community to be enforcing these conditions. It should be the Planning Department doing the enforcement.
C) We need to plug the loopholes in the BMO’s bonuses and exemptions that are allowing builders to construct homes far larger than 50% of lot size. No new home construction under the ICO allowed to exceed 50% of lot size, per the BMO amendment’s changes.
City Hall power
Do you believe any particular interest – labor, business, or something else — has too much power at City Hall? If so, how would you counteract that power?
Yes, I believe that city unions have the edge. Don’t get me wrong, I support Unions, I believe in their mission and I understand the need to protect workers and middle-class jobs. However, this has made it very hard to push through policies needed to keep the city afloat. We need to secure the city’s financial future by placing a Charter amendment on the ballot that mandates that the city to “Live Within its Means.”
As a council member I work towards bringing labor and business together.
Council District 4 includes an unusual array of neighborhoods, from Sherman Oaks to Los Feliz to Hancock Park. Do you believe any parts of the district have been underserved, and if so, how would you rectify that?
As I walk around the district I hear two stories. In the more affluent areas (for the most part) residents tell me that our current council member has been there for them, but in the not so affluent areas they either don’t know who their council member is, or if they know him often times his office has not been responsive to their needs.
When elected I will do my best to get to know as many residents of the district by the end of my first term. I will also be responsive to ALL the residents and citizens of the district, not just a few.
What do you see as the three biggest issues facing CD4, and what concrete proposals would you make to address those issues?
1- Over Development: I have answered this question above.
2- Lack of Accountability from the Council Office: I’m running because I want to restore the trust & faith of the residents of the district in city government. I will be responsive to ALL the residents. It’s all about costumer service. I’m going to be there for my constituents solving their problems and in the cases; when I can’t I will be honest and offer an alternative solution.
3- Traffic and Parking: Traffic is getting worse. The only way to mitigate traffic is by getting more residents to give public transportation a chance. We need to make public transportation better, easier and more reliable. We have to make sure that affordable housing is developed near public transit as well. I will also work on:
A) Improve signal control and timing.
B) Restrict curb parking on busy thoroughfares.
C) Implement paired one-way streets.
D) Promote ride-sharing, telecommuting, and flexible work schedules.
E) Promote deep-discount transit passes; expand bus rapid transit and bus-only lanes.
F) Implement a regionally connected bicycle network.
We also need parking enforcement reform. Need to get rid of the excessive parking fees and regulations. Parking enforcement should work for us not against us.
What three steps would you take to help balance the city budget?
A) Need pension reform
B) No cost-of-living increases for the city’s workers and push for employees to pay 10% of their health insurance premiums
C) Per the 2020 Commission recommendation we need to create an independent “Office of Transparency and Accountability” that would review and analyze the city’s budget and finances, analyze proposed legislation and its impact on jobs and the city’s budget.
Are there any major decisions in CD4 over the past three years that you would have opposed?
I believe in smart neighborhood oriented development, the kind of development that takes into account traffic, parking and quality of life issues. However I feel some of the projects around the district are way out of line. I would not have supported Il Villaggio Toscano (IVT) project in Sherman Oaks. This project violates numerous requirements of the Specific Plan for the area, will make traffic worse at Ventura and Sepulveda and gives city roads to the developer at no cost. Also I would not have supported the Wilshire La Brea BRE’s massive, $105-million, 480-unit mixed-user project.
In such a crowded race, what makes you different?
I’m originally from Mexico City, my first language is Spanish. I’m multi-cultural and Los Angeles is a multi-cultural city! When elected I’m going to organize a trade mission to Mexico. There are a lot of businesses there who want to come to Los Angeles and create jobs for Angelenos. As a council member there are some things I will be able to do on my own, but many others I’m going to need the support of my fellow council members, and I think the fact that I’m multi-cultural will help me in getting things done, reach consensus and build coalitions to move L.A. forward.
I also care deeply about my neighborhood, that’s why I founded my Neighborhood Watch Program (only candidate that has done that) and I’m also the only candidate who is a graduate of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program. I’m ready and prepared to assist the local communities in the event of a catastrophic emergency.
What steps would you take to address L.A.’s failing pipes and other aging infrastructure, and how would you fund those steps?
This is something that the DWP is going to have to do, not the City. I support the “Dig Once Program.” When the city is ready to fix some of the roads above aging pipes the DWP should go and replace the aging pipes with new ones and vice versa. This is already happening, not fast enough, but it’s happening.
Do you support increasing the citywide minimum wage, and if so, to what amount and by what year?
I support the Mayor in gradually increasing the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017.
Do you think the city should reduce or eliminate its gross receipts tax on businesses? If so, how quickly should it do so, and how can the city replace the revenue it provides?
1- I support phasing out the tax until it is eliminated. We can start by reducing the tax by $15 million per year over a three-year period. Then over the next 15 year phase it out 50%
2- I’m going to work right away on bringing more businesses to Los Angeles. Specifically I will go to Mexico City, on a trade mission to bring companies who want to do business in Los Angeles and create jobs for Angelenos.
3- We also need to provide business owners with incentives for expansion, among others. But success will come through improved customer service. “I, like the Mayor, want a customer service driven city hall where calls are returned within 24 hours and service requests can be tracked like a package.”
Do you support returning control of LA/Ontario International Airport to the city of Ontario? Why or why not? Should the airport be sold or simply be transferred back? If you support a sale, what do you think is an appropriate price?
I do support returning control of the airport to the City of Ontario. This is one big operation; Los Angeles World Airport doesn’t have the management capabilities to run that airport properly. I think it will be better for L.A., for the region, and for the Inland Empire to take control of the airport. About the price I agree with Mayor Garcetti when he says that it should be sold at a fair price.
Which company do you believe should be awarded the Greek Theatre contract – Nederlander-AEG or Live Nation? Why?
I believe Nederlander -AEG should continue to operate the Greek Theatre, that’s what the residents of the area want. Nederlander-AEG has done a great job, they have built up a strong relationship with the community and they have pledged to continue to put the neighborhood and fans first.