Let me begin by stating that I have been a long-time resident (almost 45 years) of Los Angeles Council District 12 (which includes a large portion of the northern and western San Fernando Valley).
As a teacher by profession, I know the importance of education. As a person who has worked with California inmates for many years, I well understand the causes of the school-to-prison pipeline. As a green advocate, I clearly comprehend that addressing environmental issues must take precedence over many other dilemmas that we face. If we do not first (or simultaneously) take care of the precarious conditions of our current ecosystem, all other matters will very well become moot points. Thus, I turn to Dr. Loraine Lundquist who ardently shares these concerns.
Dr. Lundquist is a professor of sustainability at CSUN (our local university) and a founder of an Alliance on Homelessness. She is a scientist whose specialty is physics but is also a research fellow. She understands how the study of science applies to all other conditions that affect our daily lives--homelessness, poverty, crime, cost-of-living, housing affordability and accessibility, overcrowded neighborhoods, lack of adequate transportation (for school, work, and medical attention), clean air and water (the lack thereof leads to migraines, asthma, lung diseases)--all affect our environmental health and welfare--physical, mental, and emotional.
For years, we in CD 12 have lived with councilmembers who seem to represent only the top tier--the wealthiest and the better off--those who have more power.
For years, we in CD 12 have lived with councilmembers who seem to represent only the top tier--the wealthiest and the better off--those who have more power (and a louder voice) to get the attention they demand in order to get their often selfish issues resolved in their favor while the rest of us (those who are often selfless and altruistic and want their councilmember to embark on actions that benefit the greater community) find our needs often coming in second place. These representatives have virtually ignored (and still do) the horrific Aliso Canyon gas explosion debacle (from which thousands were displaced for months and hundreds became seriously ill due to exposure, many of whom continue to be sick or are newly diagnosed). Think of our first responders after 9/11 and you get the point.
Quite by coincidence (but perhaps not) and just beyond Aliso Canyon is an oil field whose owners are guilty of fracking practices and at the same time (quite counter-intuitively by most standards) ask for expansion of those fields while offering empty promises that what they do there will be safe for all residents and businesses in the area. It is simply a fact that fracking can never be safe! Thus, we need Dr. Lundquist (who has studied these practices) to prevail upon our City (as well as the County and State) to ban such methods and permanently shut down Aliso Canyon. These are policies she is committed to addressing.
Because Dr. Lundquist is a mom and a community activist, she understands that our children (and the elderly and all others) need to live and prosper in an environment free from the fear that breathing our air or drinking our water can make us sick, free from worrying about getting a quality education, free from threats of rampant crime, free from potholes that damage our vehicles, free from unsightly garbage and discards that blight our community.
Organizations such as Food and Water Watch and the Sierra Club (I am affiliated with both) have been working hard and diligently to ameliorate the environmental problems that we face, keeping in mind that what happens in the Valley does have a direct affect on those who reside in the rest of the city. People like State Senator Henry Stern (who represents portions of this region) has been an advocate on these matters and has the desire to work with those who share his commitment. Such a person is Loraine Lundquist. Her election will make possible the development of important policies which will go above and beyond what others have done in the past. Her constituents will have her ear and will know that she will act on their suffering with the urgency that their angst requires.
She will be able to work with her fellow councilmembers to pass (and expand upon) the kind of rules and regulations that will make a difference. We can no longer afford to live in a Los Angeles (and more particularly in a San Fernando Valley) that neglects the pressing needs of its residents and business partners.
There is not a one of us who doesn't want an immediate response from the office of our councilmember, one that will act to resolve concerns and offer immediate feedback, with people who will meet and interact at Neighborhood Councils, townhalls, and in the office on a one-on-one basis. Constituents will come to know and expect that with whomever they meet, they will be taken seriously.
I know her and have faith in her and I trust her. She is a woman of her word. Under her leadership, our needs and concerns will no longer be on the back burner (as her predecessors have all too frequently done--those who worried more about their re-election). If elected, she will take the actions that are expected of anyone holding such office.
I know and have worked with both Dr. Lundquist and her opponent. That knowledge leaves me no doubt in my mind that she will make the better councilmember and, in turn, because of her collaboration, transform the entire City Council into a more formidable, accomplished, and answerable body, representing not only her district but all the people of Los Angeles.
Loraine Lundquist is the person we need. Her staff members, selected for their expertise and under her guidance, will reflect her dedication to her post. No question, each one of us will be a beneficiary as a result of her election to CD 12!