Pasadena Now continues its series of candidate statements with responses from candidates in District 2. This year’s election will see the first contested race in the district since incumbent Margaret McAustin – the only woman on the City Council — won the seat in 2007.
McAustin announced in April she would not seek a fourth term. Tricia Keane, Kevin Litwin, Bo Patatian and Felicia Williams are competing to win the seat.
District 2 includes central and eastern portions of the city, including East Colorado Boulevard between Wilson and Oak avenues, an area buzzing with residential development that has a strong Latino community and a burgeoning Armenian-American population. Over the past few years, the district has become a prime target for developers.
I am running to get good things done for the people of District 2 and the city of Pasadena. Pasadena is at a crossroads, and we have some important questions to answer like how we are going to solve homelessness, how we are going to make housing affordable, and how we will create a sustainable future for our city. Pasadena has been an innovative leader in addressing social, planning, and environmental issues over the years, and I have the direct experience needed to bring that innovation back to City Hall.
I am uniquely qualified to address — and solve — key issues that consistently get raised, namely homelessness and the lack of housing that’s affordable. I have significant, direct experience in planning for housing in a way that is sensitive to the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as direct experience in developing and implementing policies to solve homelessness. I am committed to looking at the issues facing the city with an eye on addressing climate change and ensuring environmental sustainability. I also understand how to harness the opportunity to improve our transportation system and give people options for getting around. In fact, with a career in land use and planning, the majority of my work has been focused on community-centric issues and finding innovative solutions to problems that face our cities.
My skills, experience, and dedication make me the right person to represent District 2 and keep Pasadena moving in a positive direction.
First and foremost, I wanted to make sure that everybody in the district had options because it started out as basically a small field for the replacement of an incumbent and so I’ve achieved that. Secondly, I wanted to make sure we focus on safety and security. This is what I get from a lot of feedback from the neighborhood. And even just recently it was posted on the next door app that there was a break in right in my neighborhood. A vehicle of four individuals was casing houses and attempted to gain entry into a house. This has been ongoing for the last couple of years.
Thirdly, I’d like to see more Parklands. I’d like to see more attention paid to our Parklands. I’ve had some interactions with One Arroyo. I’d love to see that product move forward. I’d love to see some more products like that develop in our city and give the people more opportunities to go out and recreate. As a state parks commissioner for California state parks, that’s my other ulterior motive.
I’m a proud product of Pasadena. I’ve been a lifelong resident of this community. I really didn’t give it much thought, but because of the groundswell of community support, I answered the call and this opportunity will allow me to serve the city. I see no bigger honor or privilege than this opportunity to serve the city of Pasadena. The good people of District 2 are not electing a leader, they are electing a representative. And the other side of that equation is that my personal beliefs, my personal values have no bearing in the decision making process as issues come up, because my most important priority is to have my finger on the pulse of what it is happening in the district, the constituents of my district, how they feel and what their priorities are. As long as I have my ear to that, I think I’ll be fine and I’ll be able to do right by the people of District 2.
I was born and raised in Pasadena and have volunteered in the community on several nonprofit boards, like the Pasadena Educational Foundation, served as my neighborhood watch captain for 10 years, and have served as a City Commissioner for 13 years. I am currently on the Planning Commission. I have a unique educational background and professional experience in public policy and finance. In my career, I advise cities on financing very large projects while preserving their financial strength to be able to provide much needed services to the citizens. Based on my years of community work, I am honored to have the endorsements of our elected officials Congresswoman Judy Chu, Assemblymember Chris Holden, and County Supervisor Kathryn Barger; local organizations like the Pasadena Firefighters and Police, Sierra Club, and Pasadena-Foothills Association of Realtors; along with 60+ community leaders and District 2 residents.
I started walking District 2 one year ago so I could hear directly from the people about their concerns, questions, and ideas for the city; to make sure I listen to the people first. I would like to use my professional experience, combined with years of involvement in the Pasadena community, to help bring people together to solve some of our biggest problems – affordable housing, homelessness, environment, and fiscal stability. I have a very diverse background so I have learned that there are valid arguments on each side of an issue which has given me an ability to listen to various perspectives without being judgmental. I hope to use this ability to listen at a time when politics have become so divisive; to find the things that unite us rather than divide us; and to celebrate and preserve the diversity that makes Pasadena so unique.