Dib: It is unfortunate that some people believe that you must have the same ethnicity as your neighbors to represent them. I share the same values, hopes, experiences and aspirations as the overwhelming majority of my neighbors throughout the district.
Finn: In a democracy, the people express their wishes through the ballot, and I deeply respect that.
Hall: The only issue should be someone's ability to represent every person in the 7th District, irrespective of race, origin, religion or age. Further, judge a candidate by his or her commitment to fighting hard for the needs of the district and the Valley. Of course, given the number of Latinos in the district, their particular problems and goals must--and will--be addressed.
Magana: I honestly believe that, unless an individual comes from any given community, it is very difficult to represent their needs, concerns and aspirations. Look at the makeup of the Los Angeles Unified School District student population and at the city of Los Angeles population and their corresponding problems. Representation from the Latino community is lacking.
Villafana: The people of the 7th District should cast their ballots for the candidate who best represents their concerns regardless of the candidate's ethnicity.
Q. Do you have any specific plan to open a facility that would create new jobs at the former General Motors plant in Panorama City?
Alarcon: One of my first actions as council member would be to form a community task force to develop specific plans for effective utilization of vacant and available parcels. The GM site would be a top priority with the biggest goal being the creation of jobs to local residents.
Chase: My plan is to seek new growth industries that will energize the local economy, especially since GM is in the enterprise zone. I would utilize the plant for the development of transportation or construction of electric cars.
Dib: I propose to make this area an enterprise zone. With such a strong labor base already established, it is a natural location. I will personally contact major businesses throughout the country to try and bring in new business and create employment.
Finn: The loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs has had a devastating effect on our city. I think we should take another look at the GM plant as a facility for the manufacture of clean-fuel buses. There is a huge domestic market for buses, so the job potential could be very significant.
Hall: I will work to reopen the GM plant as a production facility or job retraining center. Either way, I will see to it that 7th District and Valley working men and women get the chance to use this facility. We should consider building non-polluting, high-occupancy mass transit.
Magana: We need to use some of the $180 million available for transportation systems to work at this location. The General Motors plant could be used for electronic car or rail manufacturing.
Villafana: High-tech firms should be courted to the ex-GM plant. Use tax incentives to do this.