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Los Angeles County, CA March 8, 2011 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Mito Aviles

Candidate for
Council Member; City of West Hollywood

This information is provided by the candidate

Community-Focused Development: Make Development Preserve the Character of West Hollywood

The current pace of development threatens the character of "The Creative City" and will inevitably increase our parking and traffic problems. I believe that development should not be approved without a transportation and parking infrastructure that sufficiently supports the increase in residents, workers, and/or commuters that the development brings to the City. I also believe that the current City Councilors should not destroy valued green space or cherished local landmarks in order to create parking structures for their massive development projects.

I am not against development, whether it be small or large. I simply believe that all development should be evaluated by its aesthetic beauty, its perceived and actual value to our residents, and its environmental impact, such as increase in parking or traffic. I believe that it is inevitable that West Hollywood will change. However, it is up to us, the residents of West Hollywood, to determine the direction of that change and, therefore, the future of our city.

Promoting Small Business Development and Creative Enterprises

Small businesses have accounted for more than half of the jobs created in the past decade and will continue to play a critical role in the recovery of our economy. Small businesses also offer unique and creative alternatives to the ubiquitous corporate chains that make other cities all appear eerily similar. We, in West Hollywood, have not allowed our city to be over-run by large chains. However, current development patterns threaten the aesthetic beauty and creative charm of our local businesses. We must promote small business development and monitor development that threatens the small businesses we love so dearly.

Livable-Rate Rental Units: Prevent WeHo Residents from Being Priced-Out of Their City

The residents of West Hollywood increasingly face the threat of being unable to afford to live in the city they love. While the City of West Hollywood has previously recognized the need to help protect its residents ( such as, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Inclusionary Housing Program), the current decisions of the City Council benefit home buyers at the expense of renters, including Section 8 seniors.

By allowing developers to ignore the needs and interests of the community, the City Council has decreased the number of rental units and has made it increasingly difficult for its residents to continue to live in the city and contribute to the vibrant character that sets West Hollywood apart from other cities.

As a renter in West Hollywood, like much of the electorate, I recognize that we must provide livable-rate rental units, so that the renters of West Hollywood, those of us who cannot afford houses or condos, are not pushed out of the city we love.

Safety First: Ensure Public Safety through Sufficient Support of Law Enforcement

While crime has significantly decreased overall in Los Angeles County throughout the past five years, West Hollywood has experienced the opposite trend, especially in violent crime. The crime rate in WeHo has steadily increased each of the past five years. Overall, violent crime has increased 13 percent and robbery has increase by 46 percent. We must ensure that the current revenue strain from the recession does not lead to imprudent budget cuts for Law Enforcement at this time of increased vulnerability.

Getting WeHo back on Its "Feet": Find Creative Solutions to Traffic Flow and Parking

As a West Hollywood resident, I am aware of the frustration and inconvenience caused by the City's traffic and parking problems. Sadly, these problems are complex and there are no simple solutions. I will fight to increase the flow of traffic and the availability of parking spaces; but, we can also focus on creative policies that make walking and public transportation more convenient, comfortable, and safe.

We must have convenient bus stops, shuttle systems that run late, plenty of room for bikers, and a sufficient number of law enforcement to ensure public safety. West Hollywood has so much to offer and it is only 1.9 square miles. Citizens should have the option to leave their cars at home and revive a forgotten form of transportation: walking.

Making Votes and Voices Heard: Mobilize Voters and Cultivate Public Participation

Out of the 31,000 West Hollywood residents, only about 18% vote in the City Council elections, predominately the older residents. In essence, this voter history has taught City Councilors that if they want to get elected and pass their agendas, they only need to concern themselves with the needs of a small, unrepresentative voting population. This must change NOW!

I want West Hollywood residents, my peers, to feel compelled to vote; otherwise, the City Council will continue to ignore their interests and change the unique character of West Hollywood, our home. We, as the residents of West Hollywood, must believe that our vote is important.

Similarly, we must have a City Council that encourages public participation and honest dialogue. The public hearings for the General Plan were perceived by many as insufficient and insincere: large subsections of West Hollywood were unable to voice their comments and interests and, considering that all of the initial measures of the General Plan were passed without incorporating public input, there is little reason to believe that the public hearings were more than an attempt to feign concern and provide participants a false sense of representation.

We must restore the ownership of our currently unrepresented population. We must make the City Council know that this is OUR city!

A forgotten Art: Cultivating Creativity in the 
Creative City

Let's face it: West Hollywood is known as "The Creative City," but, tragically, it is not run by many creative people. We must create policies that encourage greater creative expression, such as creating creative public spaces and venues for displaying local artists. We must promote creative enterprises and the aesthetic beauty of the city. Art remains an integral aspect of the true character of West Hollywood, but the City has done little to encourage and foster the arts and artistic expression. And With councilors approaching their 25th year in office, why should we expect anything to change?

Going Green Saves Green: Save the Environment and Save Money through Green Initiatives

West Hollywood is a progressive city that has created Green initiatives, promoting LEED certified buildings, drought tolerant landscaping to diminish water consumption, and trash and recycling programs. While I believe that the City should provide developers incentives to use green technologies in order to promote the development of green buildings, the City Council's Green Development point system provides developers "bonuses" that allow developers to circumvent our height restrictions. This creates a perverse incentive for developers to build large, out of place, buildings in areas throughout all of West Hollywood, counteracting many of the environmental benefits that the green technologies would provide.

West Hollywood is an environmentally conscious city, and together we can help reduce our environmental impact. Let's make West Hollywood a leader in the green movement, creating polices that help save both the environment and money through green technology and practices.

Satisfying Demand for Community Gardens

West Hollywood residents are overwhelmingly apartment dwellers and demand more community garden spaces. Community gardens allow people to grow their own organic produce, encouraging a healthier diet that saves money and reduces their carbon footprint. It benefits the mind, body, and wallet.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: February 22, 2011 15:10
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