April 11, 1993

On these pages, the 11 leading candidates give their views on the local economy, racial tension, gangs, higher taxes for more police officers. . . They also respond to questions on gun control, the city's homelessness, mass transit, the city budget and where they would look for new revenue.

* Linda Griego


If you are elected mayor, what will be your first important official action?

Implementing my economic development plan, which calls for an unprecedented effort to create new jobs in L.A. by changing the way City Hall treats business. My plan focuses on small and medium-size businesses, which create most of the new jobs in this city but which are often treated as the enemy by City Hall bureaucrats.


Do you have a plan for improving the city's economy? If so, please describe it briefly.

Focus on building up small and medium-size businesses. I'm pro-business and believe businesses should improve the communities where they profit. Government should help businesses that promise to reinvest in the community, do local hiring and buying and support school job training. I'll also build coalitions among industry, labor, education, nonprofits.


Do you have a plan for reducing racial and ethnic tensions in Los Angeles? If so, please describe it.

The causes are a shrinking economy, cultural misunderstanding and leaders who seek personal gain by encouraging divisiveness. I'll start programs to teach racial understanding, use sports and recreation to bring groups together, work to create economic opportunities, give all groups proper access to business opportunities and government.


Do you support the ballot measure to raise taxes to add 1,000 officers to the Los Angeles Police Department?

Yes. But the bigger problem is that at any given moment in time only 6% of our officers are on the street. We should shift employees from other departments to the police to free uniformed officers for street duty. Adding police won't solve our crime problems all by itself. The root causes are lack of economic opportunities, drugs and lack of hope.


What do you think should be done about street gangs in Los Angeles?

My sister joined a gang, did time in jail and ruined her life. Where I grew up, Saturday night fights were the norm. L.A.'s gang problem has the same cause: lack of opportunity and hope. I would place top priority on disarming gangs and providing youth with after-school alternatives. We must also fight to keep kids off drugs.


Do you support any restrictions on the right of people to own firearms? If so, what restrictions do you support?

Yes. Crime has got so severe that we have to restrict gun ownership. I would urge the Legislature and the governor to enact stronger gun control legislation and enact legislation permitting the city to legislate in this area.


Do you believe the city government should try to alleviate homelessness in Los Angeles? If so, how?

We have to balance the humanitarian rights of the homeless with legitimate concerns of property and business owners. We must ensure that L.A. receives its share of state and federal assistance, work with nonprofits to provide basic necessities, work with advocacy groups and businesses to respond to this urban crisis. The solution won't come from government alone.


Do you support continued growth of rail mass transit, despite low ridership and high per-passenger cost to government?

Yes. L.A. residents must become less dependent on automobiles. Short-run, the city should encourage use of existing public transportation--Metro Rail, Metrolink. I'll back efficient use of transportation networks and pedestrian- and transit-friendly development. Long-run, land-use planning can make public transit more affordable, accessible, safe and effective.


Do you have a plan to balance the city budget? If so, please describe it.

I favor the current hiring freeze; employee cuts through attrition; attacking waste, which still exists; full state, federal aid; two-year city budgeting for better planning. I'd consider management pay cuts, one-day furloughs. We need more revenue without raising taxes. My top priority: new business to boost the tax base. And the city owns leasable property.


Do you support any tax increase or other source of additional revenue for the city? If so, please describe it.

No to tax increases. City government must learn to balance its revenues and costs. We need additional revenue without raising taxes: more business to L.A., increasing the tax base; leasing appropriate properties such as the civic mall, golf courses; getting revenue from our top-notch electrical labs.

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