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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.

* Richard Riordan * QUESTION 1:

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

Find the best and brightest from all communities and groups and bring them into my Administration. L.A. is in decline. Crime is rampant. Parents are afraid to send their children to school. Businesses are leaving. The city is in a fiscal crisis. The next mayor must be a leader with vision and managerial know-how.


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

Yes, a 20-point plan to streamline the permit process to make quick decisions on projects; reach out to retain, attract business; develop job skills among the young; assist in developing high-technology businesses, and secure funding for enterprise zones in the city.


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

We have to tackle the alienation felt by citizens in all parts of the community and the lack of economic and educational opportunities. I will move to end the hopelessness that many people feel, give everyone a stake in their community through business ownership, a good education, job training and neighborhood empowerment.


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

Instead of increasing our police force on the backs of hard-working taxpayers, we must develop and budget for increasing it over three to five years. These funds can be acquired by reducing the city's bureaucracy. Funding will come primarily from a 30-year management lease of L.A. International Airport to a private operator.


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

Vigorously prosecute criminal gang members; look into using federal organized-crime statutes against gangs; use whatever statutory power the city attorney has to put criminal gang members behind bars. My plan includes giving neighborhoods resources to become safe: more officers, more reserves, proper equipment, neighborhood patrols.


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

I support a person's constitutional right to keep and bear firearms as long as it is in a lawful manner. We have to distinguish between the rights of law-abiding individuals and those of criminals. In this city, 89% of all dealers are not legally registered. All gun dealers should be legally registered with the proper authorities.


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

We must curb aggressive panhandling through ordinance while helping these people get back on their feet. I support offering coupons for food and clothing; support groups, job-training centers and organizations that provide food and shelter; improved coordination of nonprofit organizations plus government; long-term rehabilitation.


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

L.A. needs to support efforts to get people out of their cars. Proper incentives are needed for a measurable increase in mass-transit ridership. To really address transportation problems in the long-run, we must focus on improving our jobs-housing balance.


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

Yes. I can do it without raising taxes or cutting vital services. Key points include contracting out--a 30-year lease of LAX to bring $130 million in the first year plus $250 million up front; departmental reorganization; eliminating waste; using fund surpluses, seeking other revenues such as by selling surplus land, getting more federal grants.


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

Raising taxes and fees would be shortsighted. We must challenge the bureaucracy to change, create public-private partnerships such as leasing LAX, cut current budgets, seek state and federal funds for immigration mitigation, affordable housing.

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