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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.

* Nick Patsaouras


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

Appointing a blue-ribbon committee to report in 90 days on how the city can speed up permit processing, especially relative to the rebuilding of properties damaged or destroyed during last year's civil disturbance. I want an ombudsperson approach to permit processing. Also name advisory groups on charter reform and economic development.


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

Identify ways to retool the regional industrial base; demand transit planning to stimulate economic growth. Over the next 30 years $184 billion will be spent, 66,000 jobs generated annually by regional transit development. Transportation and technology will be the catalysts for revitalizing the L.A. economy.


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

The mayor is the symbolic leader of the city. I am a Greek immigrant, a member of a minority ethnic community. I know what it feels like to come to Los Angeles with little knowledge of the language and customs. I will speak strongly for unity. I will meet with ethnic and racial leaders on how city leadership can reduce the tragic, divisive tensions.


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

No. It's unwise to fund departments by initiative. The city budget is interdependent and must be evaluated as a whole. Lack of meaningful jobs is the root cause of crime. Unless the economy is healthy, no amount of police will be able to cope with the crime. Community-based policing in cooperation with neighborhoods will win back the streets.


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

The gangs and taggers once were social bonding groups. The lack of jobs and hopelessness has shifted them to violence and criminal activity. Making education attractive to young people and providing a promise of meaningful jobs will provide alternatives to involvement in gangs. I will help coordinate resources and identify funding sources.


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

I support gun control. An armed citizenry merely adds to the fear and danger. The highest rates of shootings and murders are between people who know each other and act out of danger. We must find ways to encourage people to turn in their weapons instead of being tempted to use them.


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

I'll support efforts of the Community Redevelopment Agency and social service agencies to coordinate services. The most important method for alleviating homelessness is improving the local economy, creating jobs for those who are out of work or at the margins.


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

These are expensive systems. But if they stimulate the local economy, attract business, help make our city more livable and the air cleaner and reduce our dependency on scarce energy resources, they will be worth the cost many times over. Mass transit brings the rich opportunities of our great city to everyone. It is essential to L.A.'s economic vitality.


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

The key to the budget crisis is stimulating the economy and restructuring city government. Government must be more efficient, more creative and more responsive. Services must be improved. My first action as mayor will be to appoint blue-ribbon committees and an economic advisory council to assess how to achieve these goals.


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

Not at this time. New taxes may be more negative than positive in stimulating the economy. I'll reduce fees for developments that provide services, amenities or housing. I'm totally against selling L.A.'s "crown jewels," our airports and harbor. We need them as ongoing revenue sources. Leasing properties such as airports could provide ongoing income.

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