Overdevelopment is destroying our quality of life. When I moved into the Miracle Mile it was because it had beautiful, historic and affordable buildings. They had character. Wood floors, high ceilings, spacious living and bedrooms made it possible to live in an apartment but feel like a home. Within a matter of weeks 6 apartment buildings on my block were torn down. The landlords were offered inordinate amounts of money to sell their properties. Developers would lie and tell one apartment owner that their neighbor had already sold their property so they might as well sell theirs. Developers make huge contributions to the City Council and send their lobbyists to city hall on a weekly basis to fight for what they want. What do they want? To get expensive loans and purchase any last remaining bits of open space or historic buildings for demolition in order to put up the most densely packed and unsightly buildings anyone has ever seen. Other world class cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, London, Paris understand the need for a sense of history. They understand that people need breathing room, grass, trees, room to walk around in, architecture that is compatible with the way people like to live, not just to maximize space. Courtyards, setbacks, tree plantings all of these things have to be fought for on a daily basis by average citizens who are forced to become experts on planning and land use. Every community is filled with regular people who have taken many hours off of their jobs and busy lives in order to familiarize themselves with environmental impact reports, ordinances and zoning laws, in order to try to equalize the power relationship between city hall and developers. The community are the ones that are generally left out.
Development is not inherently evil. However, much of the development that has taken place in Los Angeles in the past fifty years is. We can no longer afford to have our last remaining open spaces and wetlands (such as Ballona) destroyed by developers, funded by large banks and subsidized by taxpayer dollars to the tune of hundreds of millions. If we are to subsidize any new development it must include something that benefits the public and it must be in keeping with the character of the neighborhood. Developers often destroy the character of the neighborhood, then claim there is nothing left to save any more. We must stand firm in our position and stand up to those who have lobbied hard to get what they want. Neighborhoods should no longer have to become planning experts in order to preserve their city. The City Councilperson should be protecting their community. I will protect all of the communities in the 4th district, to the best of my abilities, in order to make sure the quality of life is secure, the open space and parks are available and people can live, work and breathe in the most livable community possible.