HomeCommunity NewsCandidates’ Positions for District 3

Candidates’ Positions for District 3

Black news from Pasadena - News - District 3 candidates position statementsIn an effort to enlighten our readers with information on the candidates of District 3, we offered each the opportunity to state their position on various questions:

  1. Why do you want to be the next City Councilmember representing District 3?
  2. What do you see as the top three issues facing residents of District 3?
  3. Why should voters select you over your opponent(s)?
  4. How would you go about making a decision that is contrary to your personal beliefs but popular among your constituents?
  5. If elected, what is the first issue/agenda you would pursue and how would you go about resolving it?
  6. Name five or less organizations and/or individuals that have endorsed your candidacy?

Their answers are below:


NICHOLAS BENSON

1. Why are you running?

I lived in Africa where the city [sic] was divided into two separate groups. The groups consisted of the rich and the poor. The rich continued to gain riches while the poor continued on the downward spiral path of poverty. I watched homeless swell and crime become the normal way of life. I have lived in Pasadena for 30 years now and I've seen the same situations here. I can no longer continue to sit idly by and watch the same train of events happen here in Pasadena, the place that I now call home.

2. What are your top three issues?

  1. Low economics. as a result families struggle to meet their everyday needs.
  2. Crime. The community has become a "Pipeline to Prison: for our young people due to the lack of jobs. It is not the police who need to be empowered, the community needs to take stake (buy-in) into their own to help empower and inspire the young. The community needs to know what is happening and be involved by coming out to vote on the issues that pertain to them and have their voices heard and votes felt.
  3. The school system. Parents need to become more involved in the learning process. Funds need to be allocated. Teachers need to be developed more in understanding the diverse cultures of the learners.

3. Why should voters select you over your opponents?

The voters should select me over the other opponents because I am of this community. I have been an advocate of and for this community. I will work for the community and not self-interest and gain. I would fight for affordable and income housing. I would work with local leaders by establishing a Think Tank. The development of this board would ensure that the community is heard from all aspects within Pasadena.

4. How would you go about making a decision that is contrary to your personal beliefs but popular among your constituents?

The decisions that I would come to a conclusion on would be for the betterment of the community. It would be based on what is in the interest of the community not what is best for me or the popular.

5. If elected, what is the first issue/agenda you would pursue and how would you go about resolving it?

I would call for a town hall meeting with the community leaders of Pasadena and the residents of District 3 to discuss the issues of homelessness, lack of jobs, the school system and affordable housing. Together we would come up with a plan of action to get the needs heard and met at City Hall.

6. Name five or less organizations and/or individuals that have endorsed your candidacy?

The people who have endorsed me are people from within the Pasadena community.


JOHN KENNEDY

1. Why are you running?

I want to make a positive difference in the lives of the residents of District 3. My lifetime of leadership service and commitment to the city of Pasadena as a whole and District 3 specifically has given me an understanding of the issues, relationships with the residents, knowledge of the inner workings of the city government (people and departments), practical solutions and a passion to make it happen. Pasadena's prosperity should be shared by all residents.

I have lived the struggles of our community and District 3. I grew up in modest circumstances in a loving family of 12 in Northwest Pasadena. My parents instilled a work ethic, an appreciation for the importance of education and a sense of history – particularly the Civil Rights movement and what it has meant for our community (and all communities). Like many others who were able to get an education and become productive members of society, I was encouraged and supported by the whole village – caring neighbors, teachers, church members, relatives and family friends.

I believe and live democratic ideals – government can and should be part of the solution. My extensive leadership experience in the public and private sectors has prepared me. Since graduating from USC with a degree in International Relations and Economics and graduating from Howard Law School, I have served for 4 years as President of the Pasadena NAACP, served as Senior Vice President of the Los Angeles Urban League, which assesses, trains and places dislocated workers, veterans and underemployed people in good paying jobs, served as Deputy Police Chief for Richmond, Virginia, chaired and served as a member of numerous Pasadena committees and commissions, and worked for Southern California Edison as a Director of Special Projects.

I intend to achieve that by holding district meetings; regularly attending meetings of neighborhood associations in the district; and maintaining a district website that keeps residents informed. I want to ensure that District 3 receives its fair share of Pasadena's $745 million operating budget. The dismantling of redevelopment agencies in the state of California and reduced tax revenue due to the recession add to the challenges of maintaining a balanced budget. Despite these budgetary challenges, Pasadena should not abandon its less fortunate residents and I pledge to be a vocal advocate for them.

I support and want to expand Pasadena's commitment to the environment and efforts to promote recycling. I want to address increasing traffic congestion caused by growth in Pasadena. I want to emphasize education and collaborate with the duly elected members of the board of the Pasadena Unified School District to improve our schools.

2. What do you see at the top three issues facing residents of District 3?

– Job Creation

– Public Safety

– Affordable Housing

3. Why should voters select you over your opponents?

I am not running against my opponents but running for my district. I am convinced I can better serve the residents of District 3 for numerous reasons: a) I have served the Pasadena community for all of my adult life. My mixture of public and private sector work experience and volunteer experience is unmatched; b) I understand the issues and offer practical approaches to addressing them; c) My extensive experience and understanding of how the city works will enable me to be effective on day 1 as District 3 City Councilmember. I will not require time to learn the role of the city council, who my city council colleagues are or what the issues are before I can become an effective advocate for my district.

4. How would you go about making a decision that is contrary to your personal beliefs but popular among your constituents?

My unwavering commitment and responsibility as an elected official will be to represent my district. That means supporting and advocating the positions and interests of my district as my highest priority. My process for making a decision contrary to my personal beliefs but popular among my constituents would begin with confirming that my constituents understand the issue. I would want to ensure that the issue, the tradeoffs and consequences of the decision were clearly conveyed and understood.

5. If elected, what is the first issue/agenda you would pursue and how would you go about resolving it?

The first issue I would pursue is job creation and economic development. This is my top priority because creating jobs helps solve other issues – [such as] crimes. My first step would be to talk to my colleagues on the city council to discuss their views on job creation and how we could work together to promote job growth and economic development. My second step would focus on job training. My next step would be to meet with the key private, public and nonprofit institutions in the city to get their support. My next step will be to enlist private investors. My final step would be to create a public education process (district meetings/town halls; flyers; emails) to inform local residents and businesses.

6. Name five or less organizations and/or individuals that have endorsed your candidacy?

  1. Hon. Judy Chu, Congresswoman for the 27th District
  2. Hon. Mike Antonovich, Los Angeles County Supervisor 3. Hon. Joyce Streator, (retired/former) Vice Mayor, City of Pasadena
  3. Dr. Jackie Jacobs, retired Vice President of Administrative Services of Pasadena City College
  4. Los Angeles County Federation of Labor
  5. Arroyo Democratic Club and ACT.

I humbly ask for your VOTE on March 5.


 ISHMAEL TRONE

1. Why are you running?

I am running for the city council position because improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods is my top priority. For the past ten years, I have worked very closely with the past City Council Member Chris Holden (who has strongly endorsed my candidacy), to improve public safety, enhance quality of life and to create jobs which builds strong communities.

I have very deep roots in the City of Pasadena. I have lived here, raised my children here and my family has owned a local business here for over 40 years. As a businessman, I understand how businesses operate, have good understanding of budgets, finances, taxation and real estate. I have served the Pasadena community for years. My neighbors are my clients. As a community leader I have been involved with several city commissions, committees and advisory bodies. I have dealt with the challenges that face district 3, such as nuisance liquor stores, addressing affordable housing, preserving open space and public parks for our youth and local hiring.

As a board member of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Trustee for the Pasadena Museum of History I advocate for the economic vitality of local businesses and to preserve the rich cultural history, art and diversity of our great city.

My vision for the community, integrity, inclusionary mind set and balanced perspective makes me the ideal candidate for the district 3 council position.

2. What are your top three issues?

  1. Promote and advocate for smart growth development to ensure that everyone within the district has the ability to live in a beautiful neighborhood that is affordable, safe, walkable and has transportation to jobs, shops and schools.
  2. Increase public safety by creating events and activities with local law enforcement to increase relationships and communication with community leaders, local organizations, business owners, youth and clergy to build mutual trust and respect.
  3. Creation of jobs by strengthening the current local hiring ordinance to ensure that developers hire locally and by promoting economic vitality and sustainability of businesses to create new hire employment positions.

3. Why should voters select you over your opponents?

My track record illustrates that over the past ten years, I have been actively engaged in providing a better quality of life for the constituents living in the district. During this time, my accomplishments out-weigh those of my opponents, who have been inactive.

I have worked on the creation of the Rose Bowl renovation Local Hiring Advisory Body which has accounted for over $2.1 million dollars in the hiring of local labors and $3.7 million dollars to sub-contractors and $4.8 million dollars in procurement to local businesses.

As the Chair of the Robinson Park Master Plan Oversight Committee, I oversaw the renovation of the $10 million dollar multi-purpose field creating open space for youth educational programs and currently working on finalizing the master plan.

As the Chair of the Orange Grove/Fair Oaks Project Committee, I was responsible for numerous redevelopment projects that revitalized a large low income blighted area in the City of Pasadena, providing economic development, affordable housing for seniors and job creation.

Finally, as the Founder of Ideal Youth summer internship program, I have assisted high school and college students with summer internship opportunities that provide paid stipends and computer lap tops, thus providing valuable career building opportunities and giving youth positive alternatives to stay away from gangs and criminal activity. As a second generation local business owner I have served this community for over 44years. I will be the only candidate who will be accessible to the constituents for the long haul.

4. How would you go about making a decision that is contrary to your personal beliefs but popular among your constituents?

As the representative for the district, I become the voice of the people. It is my obligation to represent their position, not mine. As long as their position does not inflict any negative action to the city, then I shall support their position regardless of my personal beliefs.

5. If elected, what is the first issue/agenda you would pursue and how would you go about resolving it?

Creation of jobs by strengthening the current local hiring ordinance, to ensure that developers hire locally and by promoting economic vitality and sustainability of local businesses to create new hire employment positions.

Create a local hire task force to meet on a regular basis, with staff support to inject a local hire provision in every Bid, RFP or RFQ for city-wide projects.

6. Name five or less individuals and/or organizations that have endorsed your candidacy?

  1. Assembly Member Chris Holden
  2. Pasadena Star News
  3. United Teachers of Pasadena
  4. International Union of Operating Engineers local 12
  5. Pasadena Foothill Association of Realtors
  6. The Los Angeles County Democratic Party
 

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