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Decision '93 / A LOOK AT THE ELECTION IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY : The Issues

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.

* Michael Woo

* QUESTION 1:

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

I'll declare a state of economic emergency and appoint an economic czar to lead all municipal economic development efforts.

QUESTION 2:

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

Among other steps: Appoint an economic czar to lead efforts. Establish one-stop business permitting. Create a workers' compensation fraud unit in the city attorney's office; shift redevelopment funds from downtown to small business, light manufacturing; use existing city funds to guarantee small-business loans; favor local hiring in city contracts.

QUESTION 3:

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

I'll continue my work in improving communication and cultural understanding. But economic opportunity is the real key. That's why I place such an importance on creating jobs, rebuilding inner-city communities, providing loans to minority homeowners and businesses and offering job training and job opportunities to young people.

QUESTION 4:

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

Yes. It's the most realistic way to put more officers on the streets. I am concerned that if we pin our hopes on a false promise of more officers at no cost we will never take the necessary hard steps to do this.

QUESTION 5:

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

Hire 1,000 more police officers. Move officers from behind desks onto street duty. Support the Hope in Youth gang prevention program, along with Community Youth Gang Services. Promote job training and opportunities for young people.

QUESTION 6:

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

I support existing federal and state gun control regulations and have proposed a citywide ban on Saturday night Specials. I have called for a requirement that store owners maintain special secure storage areas for keeping guns so we don't lose so many to thievery, as we did during the riots last spring.

QUESTION 7:

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

Our most important task is building affordable housing and protecting existing units. We must work with various governments to stretch resources. For instance, the city has a mobile unit that delivers city, county, state and federal services. We should seek more state aid to the mentally ill homeless. Washington must help veterans living on the streets.

QUESTION 8:

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

Yes. I believe L.A. must have a modern rail-transit system. However, I also believe that we need increased support for bus service, because it is more cost-effective and serves a lower-income population.

QUESTION 9:

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

I've made no final decisions. We should consider lowering deficit with parking-meter surplus; putting parking-meter revenue in general fund; diverting redevelopment funds; deeply cutting elected officials' spending; cutting pay of top officials; finding new revenue sources; eliminating nonessentials like city video producing.

QUESTION 10:

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

See my answer to the budget question. The magnitude of our budget problem will require us to examine every revenue and spending option we can find.

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