Guest Opinion | Why I Have Endorsed Andy Wilson for Pasadena District 7

Published : Wednesday, April 12, 2017 | 5:41 AM

The voters of Pasadena, District 7 have an important decision to make next Tuesday, one which will have a significant impact on the future trajectory of our beloved city. The voters are tasked with the same decision that I had to make several weeks back when deciding which of the two remaining candidates to endorse in the general election. As some of you know, I was the third- place finisher in the primary and my campaign’s emphasis on creating a more walkable, dynamic, and diverse District 7 resonated with many voters. After interviewing both candidates, speaking with their supporters, and listening to both of them at the various forums, I strongly urge my supporters to cast their ballots in favor of Andy Wilson next Tuesday.

Both candidates have articulated two very distinct visions for the District. Mr. Wilson’s vision for District 7 is forward- thinking, motivated by empathy, and inclusive of all of its residents. His opponent has articulated a traditionalist vision for the City that harkens back to yesteryear and takes a strong stance against growth. I do not want to turn the clock back on Pasadena, but focus on a way forward that preserves Pasadena’s heritage yet also enables the City to be at the vanguard of a modern economy.

Andy has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to Pasadena, well before he was appointed Councilmember. He served on multiple commissions and boards, including without limitation, the Planning and Design Commissions, and the Board of Pasadena Heritage. He founded Innovate Pasadena, a non-profit networking group that helps attract tech professionals to Pasadena. While on the City Council, he successfully advocated for the creation of several new landmark districts, strengthened the penalties associated with the Tree Protection Ordinance, and pushed to create a more walkable District, one which will inject dynamism into the business community and reduce our carbon footprint. As such, Andy has struck a balance between preserving the traditions that Pasadena cherishes and moving us forward.

Much of this election has focused on the issue of development. While Andy has been cast as an advocate for unfettered overdevelopment, the reality is that one of his first votes was to revise Pasadena’s General Plan to ensure that commercial and residential development would proceed on a slow-growth track. Andy believes that future development must be smart, targeted, and sensible. To take a hard line stance against development will ultimately lead to stagnation and increased business closures, an issue which my campaign focused on. My campaign also focused on creative ways to harness community and expert input to guide development-related decisions, and I hope to collaborate with Andy on these issues in the future.

I realize that it is unlikely that voters will agree with Andy on every issue. Yet rather than cast your vote based on a single issue or project, I would ask that voters take a hard look at the worldview of the candidate, his values, and those precepts that guide his decisions. At the Pasadena Latino Coalition Forum, an audience member asked the candidates if they voted for Trump. Andy openly and publicly stated that he did not, whereas his opponent was silent on the issue. Andy’s positions on the City Council also demonstrate an active resistance to the Trump agenda. So, if you value the protection of the environment and support the dignity of all residents, I would urge you to vote for Andy Wilson.
Pasadena is at a crossroads. A vote for Andy Wilson is a vote for progress and to move us forward.

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