City Council (D8): Forescee Hogan-Rowles
Occupation: President and CEO of nonprofit Rise Financial Pathways, providing small business loans
What are your top three priorities if elected?
Priority 1: The 8th District has been sorely neglected. I will prioritize restoring City services with a focus on fixing potholes and broken curbs, trimming trees, cleaning alleyways and stopping illegal dumping. Many parts of CD 8 have been ignored, these communities will be prioritized as well as moving the District forward as a whole.
Priority 2: The 8th District continues to have high unemployment, investing in micro and small business will be a priority along with working with new and existing businesses in the 8th District to invest and expand thereby creating new local jobs. This will also include investing in commercial corridors and infrastructure.
Priority 3: While crime has gone down in the City of Los Angeles, crime and safety issues still loom in the 8th CD. Driving down crime and increasing safety will be a priority as well as working with the Region’s law enforcement—particularly LAPD and City Departments— to design and Regional strategy to serve the 8th CD with respect and consciousness.
What makes you more qualified for this district than your opponents?
Unique to my opponents, I am the only candidate with a history of job creation and business development experience; the only candidate that has experience as a Commissioner for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Water and Power Board of Trustees, California Commission for Economic Development, Federal Home Loan Bank-Affordable Housing Advisory Council, Comerica Bank Advisory Council and The Gas Company Advisory Board. This variety of experiences in influencing policy and programs as well as my long history of community based work, makes me uniquely qualified to serve as Councilmember in the 8th District.
Would you consider offering incentives to attract more economic development to the 8th District? If so, what type of incentives (be specific).
Yes, I would consider offering incentives to attract more economic development to the 8th District. I would consider: Fast tracking development projects that will deliver increased job creation: Offering updated infrastructure for all new projects; Offering LADWP Solar discounts and other discounts available for new business investment tied to job creation and retention.
City employee pensions
The cost of city employee pensions and health care have been a concern in City Hall. Do you support the 2012 vote that reduced pensions for new employees?
In general, I believe the City should find other ways to balance its budget rather than on the backs of City employees.
Trimming pension costs
Does the City need to take further action in trimming pension costs? If so, what actions do you support? If not, why not?
I believe City Management, Union Leadership and City Council should work with all parties involved to determine the best way to manage pension costs. Pensions have long been a benefit of City workers so to arbitrarily change benefits would have a negative impact on morale. The City Management, Union Leadership and City Council must work together to determine the best ways to fully fund pension plans, as well as decreasing costs into the future to maintain a balanced budget while supporting employees for a win-win.
Do you support asking all City employees (unionized and non-unionized) to contribute a portion of their health care premiums (including the LAPD and LAFD)?
Based on the expected new rates with the Federal Affordable Care Act, and assuming the City took advantage of those new lower rates, if there was still a need to lower costs, I would support better negotiations with Healthcare providers to eliminate the need for more employee contributions. The City is one of the largest employers in the Region, negotiations for lower costs must be pursued with Healthcare providers.
City Hall workforce
During the recession, City Hall cut its work force by about 5000 positions. Do you support adding back jobs to return to that level?
I support restoring City services to optimum levels, while striving for and maintaining a balanced budget. The City must have the revenues to support its employees as well as provide the services it is responsible for. I support adding back jobs that are necessary to meet restored City services while maintaining and pursuing a balanced budget.
The District’s boundaries were redrawn in 2010 and litigation contesting various aspects of the changes is still ongoing. Do you support the litigation, or is it time to move on?
During the redistricting, the 8th District lost a lot of great communities. The litigation and its outcomes are pending, for this reason I believe it is important to allow the process to be completed, the people will have an answer, and everyone can then move on.
Tensions with LAPD
Recent Police actions against Black citizens have sparked rising tensions with the Los Angeles Police Department (and other law enforcement agencies across the U.S.). Do you believe that the LAPD improperly targets Black residents for enforcement? If yes, what changes should the LAPD take to mediate this problem? If no, what can the LAPD do to quell this perception?
It is common knowledge that Blacks are racially profiled for incidents more often than any other ethnic group. Racial profiling is also an historical phenomenon as it relates to Blacks. In order to change this dynamic, there is much work to be done including consistent and mandatory cultural diversity/sensitivity training, new mandatory training and reviews after becoming an officer, and better policing of internal policies and how they are implemented by outside citizens.
Do you support an increase in the minimum wage to $13.25/hour (as proposed by Mayor Garcetti) or $15/hour (as proposed by some council members and outside labor/social equity groups)?
I support an increase in the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.