Last summer I had the life-changing experience of volunteering for a successful
congressional campaign. Every weekend, I knocked on voters’ doors—over 1000 in
total—because I believed they deserved better representation in DC. Now, I’ve
decided to use my canvassing experience and my training as a scientist and
communicator to run to serve my fellow Angelenos on the Central Hollywood
I am an astrophysicist at the Carnegie Observatories. My work may focus on galaxies
at the farthest reaches of the universe, but my daily life keeps me grounded in the
experience of my neighborhood and the people in it. I think scientists ought to use their
skills to help improve the material conditions of all people, and I believe that engaging
directly in the political process is one of the most effective ways to do this.
LA’s Neighborhood Councils are links between the city’s 99 neighborhoods and its
municipal government (the Mayor and City Council). Neighborhood Council board
members are volunteers who can act as non-partisan conduits, bringing local issues to
the attention of policymakers and advocating for change and transparency.
As the maps and charts below show, Central Hollywood is a large and diverse place:
17,000 people of all backgrounds and ethnicities-–more than a third of whom are
bilingual—spread across more than one square mile. (Source: LA Department of
Neighborhood Empowerment.) It is home to LA’s great aspirations and great challenges—
to new construction and the Walk of Fame, but also to persistent homelessness
and financial need and insecurity. To build the best Hollywood we can, we need an
active, engaged, and visible Neighborhood Council. I’m running to increase awareness of
our local Council and to inspire our neighbors’ participation in local governance. I want
more than 81 voters out of 17,000 to choose who serves on it (as happened in 2016), and
I’ll knock on doors, write emails, update websites, and hang fliers to make sure that’s the
I’m new to elective politics—and won’t be quitting my day job—but I think my
experience has given me the skills to listen deeply and respond effectively to our
community’s diverse stakeholders.
I can’t wait to get started: This is Hollywood — let’s reach for the stars!
Elections are March 31, 2019 at Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall (6501 Fountain
Ave, Hollywood, CA 90028). General meetings are the 4th Monday of every month. Be
sure to see https://empowerla.org/chnc/ and http://empowerla.org/councils/ for more
details. For my candidate statement, and those of my eight neighbor-candidates, see here,
and be sure to tweet @lab_rams to share your ideas with me!
También espero que hablar con mis vecinos hispanohablantes para entender sus
sentimientos específicos y crecer en un trabajador eficaz para ellos. En las semanas
próximas, cuando camino por el vecindario, tendré materiales en español para facilitar
estas conversaciones importantes. (¡Por favor disculpe los errores gramáticos en esta