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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
County

Los Angeles CountyCandidate for Supervisor, District 4

Photo of Steve Napolitano

Steve Napolitano

Supervisor's Senior Deputy
129,313 votes (36.65%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Putting People and Communities First: It's not about me, it's about you--solving your problems, keeping you safe, protecting our most vulnerable--our children, seniors, Veterans and the homeless, improving education, supporting our nonprofits and bei
  • Fighting Crime and Getting More Sheriffs on the Streets: I will lead a Veteran's hiring initiative to get more Sheriff's on our streets to fight rising crime. I support diversion programs that aid the mentally ill and addicted, reduce recidivism, and
  • Investing in Infrastructure and Getting Our Fair Share of Transportation Dollars: I will capture more rain to fight the drought, rebuild our roads, sidewalks, parks and libraries, and fight for more funds for rail and highway projects for the 4th Dis

Experience

Education

Loyola Law School Juris Doctorate, Law (2000)
Loyola Marymount University BA in Fine Arts (1990)

Biography

  • Senior Deputy to LA County Supervisor Don Knabe since 2005
  • Endorsed by Supervisor Don Knabe and more than 160 local elected officials from across the 4th District
  • Former three term Manhattan Beach Mayor and City Councilmember
  • Former education law attorney/substitute teacher
  • Experienced, nonpartisan problem solver providing independent, common sense leadership

Steve Napolitano is an experienced 4th District leader for a changing LA County. He believes government must be responsive and responsible to the people it serves. He's not a Sacramento politician or Washington DC insider. He's a hands-on, independent, common sense leader with over 25 years’ experience in solving problems and serving people where it counts most--local government.

"Nobody knows the 4th District better than Steve Napolitano. As my Senior Deputy since 2005, Steve knows what it takes to keep our neighborhoods safe, promote jobs, protect our environment, and make LA County work better, smarter and harder for all of us." -- Supervisor Don Knabe

Steve serves as Senior Deputy to current Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe. Since 2005, Steve has represented Supervisor Knabe in eight South Bay communities and oversees several County departments and special assignments that span the entire 4th District and LA County. Working closely with Supervisor Knabe, Steve has a unique knowledge of County government--how it works, and how it can work better. Steve has worked to create jobs, protect our communities, improve our environment, support our nonprofits while personally answering the concerns of 4th District families and businesses on a daily basis.

Prior to working with Supervisor Knabe, Steve was the youngest person elected to the Manhattan Beach City Council in 1992 at the age of 26. He served three terms as Mayor and Councilmember, being overwhelmingly reectled in 1997 and 2001 before being termed out in 2005. Steve fought to preserve the City's small town atmosphere while improving the local economy, cutting costs and red tape for residents, supporting local schools and protecting the coastal environment. In the 13 years he served the City, Steve never missed a Council meeting. Recognized as a County-wide leader in local government, Steve was elected by his peers from cities across LA County to serve as President of the Independent Cities Association in 2002-2003.

While serving on the City Council, Steve worked as a part-time teacher as he put himself through law school, graduatin from Loyola Law School and passing the bar in 2000. He then joined a local law firm specializing in education law, whe he represented clients throughout the state on a wide variety of issues. During law school, Steve also served as a legal intern to the Los Angeles Community College District and Heal the Bay, a local environmental group.

Steve graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Loyola Marymount University, where he also received the Outstanding Graduate in Arts Award.

 

Steve is a life-long resident of Manhattan Beach, where he attended local schools. Steve and his family live just a few blocks from where he grew up and he sits on the boards of several local nonprofits.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (4)

  • Civil Engineers for Infrastructure
  • Central City Association
  • LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce

Elected Officials (8)

  • LA County Supervisor Don Knabe
  • Former District Attorney Steve Cooley
  • Former Governor George Deukmejian
  • Assemblymember David Hadley
  • Assemblymember Ling Ling Chang
  • Congressman Ed Royce
  • More than 160 local elected officials from across the 4th District!
  • LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County ILO and California Counts, a public media collaboration (5)

Homelessness is a major concern in Los Angeles County.  What role can and should the County government play in resolving homelessness? In your answer please specifically address how the county should pay for homeless services.
Answer from Steve Napolitano:
  • Every community has its share of homeless and we need to do more to solve this problem.
  • I fully support the County's new Homeless Initiative, which addresses the issues that cause homelessness as well as treating the current problem.
  • Every level of government must work together and contribute to the solution--the state and federal governments need to do more.
  • Public/private partnerships are part of the solution, we need to incentivize the private sector to contribute to the solution.

Homelessness is tragic and widespread across LA County, and I think the County is best positioned to make the biggest difference but all levels of government have a role.

I will fully implement LA County's new Homeless Initiative, which seeks to address homelessness and its root causes with strategies to prevent homelessness, provide subsidized housing, increase incomes, provide case management and supportive services and increase affordable housing. LA County is the safety net of last resort for these folks and we need to do more in terms of providing housing subsidies to those who can take care of themselves, supportive services to those with mental health and addiction issues, and provide more in general relief, which hasn't been increased in decades.

I believe every level of government is needed to address and pay for this effort, and will seek help from the state and federal government. California has 1/3 of the nation's homeless but only a fraction of the funding needed--this must change. LA County can't spend its way out of homelessness on its own.

While we've just come up with an overall plan, we must continue our efforts at the community level--there are some great nonprofits out there doing great work in solving this issue and rather than reinvent the wheel, we should point more resources their way. I worked to secure funding for some of those efforts in the South Bay where homelessness has increased, especially in San Pedro.

The County has identified several funding options, but I believe those are just a starting point of discussion with our cities, the state and federal government as to what's needed.
Like affordable housing, I think some of the answer includes private/public partnerships to build more housing near employment and transportation hubs. 

Many in Los Angeles County cannot afford to rent or buy their own home. How do you propose to make it easier to afford housing?
Answer from Steve Napolitano:
  • We have a housing shortage in Los Angeles County, which has given rise to high prices.
  • We need to rethink our approach to housing by increasing the number and variety of units allowed to meet different needs.
  • Increasing density should be considered where it makes sense--next to transportation and employment centers so that people need their cars less and use alternative transportation more.

I want to rethink our approach to housing and I want to lead the way and put our best efforts to building more homes and apartments where people want to live and work. I support mixed use development, where residential and retail occupy the same or adjacent buildings like they do elsewhere. When residents are close to goods and services, they’re more likely to walk or use alternatives to cars, leading to less traffic congestion, which is better for people and better for the environment.

I’m in favor of a wider variety of housing as well, and would like to look at smaller homes and apartments to increase affordability and the number of units available. For a good number of our population, smaller is better and we should adjust our codes and expectations to meet this need. We need to look at increasing density where it makes sense, especially next to public transportation hubs that serve large employment areas.

Private/public partnerships are needed to get more built faster--I’ve already worked on this type of development in Marina del Rey where the County owns the land and enters into an agreement to allow a developer to build a market rate project with a percentage of affordable units, with the County taking a reduced rent to subsidize the affordable units. This is a model that can work elsewhere given the amount of land that local governments own that could be built on.

Think of mixed use developments with affordable housing next to transportation hubs—that’s the future of affordable housing in Los Angeles County, and I’ve got the vision to get us there.

 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a raise of the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020 for unincorporated areas in the county. Some business owners say the hike in wages will eliminate jobs. What solutions do you propose to encourage job growth in the county?
Answer from Steve Napolitano:
  • I have a long record of results in making government more business friendly and jobs focused.
  • I helped create LA County's new Business Concierge program, a one-stop shop to get businesses up and running and stay running.
  • I will hold "business summits" to hear directly from local businesses on how LA County can improve our systems to suit their needs.
  • More yes, less no, and quicker turnaround times.

As Senior Deputy to Supervisor Knabe, I've worked for several years to encourage job growth in LA County by making it easier for businesses to get running and stay running by inititiating the County's new Business Concierge program, which creates a one-stop shop for businesses to get the permits and approvals they need easier and faster.

As Supervisor I'd call for “business summits” between my office, our regional business groups and regional chambers to discuss issues and solutions to making LA County more business friendly. This is what I did on the Manhattan Beach City Council--there's no substitute to actually listening to people and their problems to get better solutions. Among other things, I'd also:

  • Invest in technology to help save time and money--we make it harder that it should be to do online business license renewals and permitting. I'd like to make it as easy to use as Amazon.
  • I will continue efforts to eliminate the patchwork of filming rules in LA to retain industry work here--I've worked on this already, and will continue to do so.
  • A strong economy starts with a well educated workforce--I support vocational education and career pathway programs and early childhood education to put kids on the right path early in life.
  • Support nonprofits, especially those that assist our most vulnerable in training and lifeskills.
  • I will expand County funding of arts organizations and internships.
  • I will work to get more rail and road improvements to move moves goods and people, add two members to Metro Board for communities under 150k for better representation and fair allocation of resources.
  • I'll ensure that County staff is responsive and has a can-do attitude; more yes, less no--help those who need it, then get out of their way and let them do their thing.
Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in Los Angeles County. What new strategies should the Board of Supervisors implement to ensure that Los Angeles is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific.
Answer from Steve Napolitano:
  • Los Angeles County needs to be 'water secure' and less dependent on imported sources.
  • We need to conserve, capture and recyle more water than we do now.
  • I want to reengineer our streets, medians and open spaces to capture more storm runoff to recharge our ground water. Less runoff also means less pollution.
  • I want to rethink our zoning codes to allow for more gray water use and micro-scale storm water capture.

The ongoing drought is our most immediate environmental issue and will continue to be despite El Niño’s best efforts. I will make sure we conserve, capture and recycle more water than ever to improve our local water supply.

On the macro scale, I will make sure the County rethinks rain runoff so that we reengineer our streets, medians, park and building designs to capture and retain as much runoff as possible to recharge our ground water. Billions of gallons of rainwater are sent into the Santa Monica Bay every time it rains. It’s easier, cheaper and better to capture that water and use it locally. Less runoff also means a cleaner Santa Monica Bay, so everybody wins.

On the micro level, I will change our codes and incentivize property owners, including homeowners, to adopt a lot of the onsite capture and gray water reuse systems that have become standard in places like Australia, which has suffered an even longer drought than ours. Water from our sinks, showers, bathtubs dishwashing and washing machines can all be reused onsite for landscaping and other nondrinking purposes. Using rain barrels and cisterns to capture rain run off would provide every house with an additional source of water.

There’s also no good excuse to not look at greater use of recycled and reclaimed water for nondriking purposes. We need to look at expanding our current systems, and possibly look at two systems to service residents—one where recycled/reclaimed water is used for things like toilets and irrigation, and drinking grade water is used for consumption and hygiene.

I believe everything should be on the table to ensure that we have safe, reliable and local water sources to meet our needs. I’ll make sure that LA County does its part and is ‘water secure.’

What steps, beyond a citizens' commission, should Supervisors take in preventing abuses within the Los Angeles Sheriff's department?
Answer from Steve Napolitano:
  • I will work to end abuses in the Sheriff's Department--it robs people of their dignity, safety and even their lives, it creates mistrust in our communities, low morale in our ranks, and the taxpayers foot the bill for every lawsuit.
  • We're short about 1,500 Sheriff Deputies right now. I will work to institute a Veteran's Hiring Initiative to get more Sheriff's on the streets.
  • I will invest in diversion programs and better probation oversight to prevent recidivism. 
  • I will also invest in new techonologies and facilities to ensure the safety of our officers and the public.

Sheriff McDonnell has made great strides in turning the Department around and he has my full support. The former Sheriff and Under Sheriff have been convicted, and the culture of our ranks is turning around, but we still have a ways to go.

We're short about 1,500 Sheriff's Deputies, which adds to the danger of those on the streets and in our prisons, including the public and those the Deputies come in contact. Deputies are doing double time in the jails, leading to stress and related issues, because we can't recruit enough qualified Deputies. I propose a Veteran's hiring initiative to fill our needs--as our troops reenter civilian life, they need jobs, we need Deputies, and they make great public safety officers.

I will invest in new facilities that prevent abuse and are safer for all involved. The old Men's Central Jail is outdated, unsafe, and falling apart. I support replacing it with a right-size facility that is safe for inmates and Deputies.

I will invest the necessary resources in our Office of Diversion to identify inmates better served by getting help with mental health and addiction issues, rather than having them as part of the general jail population.

This is an issue being considered by public safety departments across the country and we should be looking at them for best practices and training. I support devoting the resources to providing what our Deputies need to do their duty and protect the public and themselves from any abuse.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

  • Steve is a problem solver, not a politician.
  • Steve believes in putting people first, not partisan politics.
  • Steve has 25 years' experience in local government with a proven record of results and ideas that make a difference.
  • Steve wants to reinvent LA County for the 21st Century--he knows how LA County government works, and how it can work better for you.
  • Running for Supervisor is about you, not Steve. It's about solving your problems, keeping you safe, creating jobs while protecting the environment, supporting our nonprofits and making government open and accessible.

If you think LA County should be run more like Sacramento or Washington DC, you'll have your pick of politicians looking for a new job or another stepping stone to some other office. That's not me.

I'm running for Supervisor for the Fourth District to rethink, reinvent, and re-engage LA County. I'm not about partisan politics or special interests. I'm running for everyone--everyone who lives and works in the Fourth District and LA County. I have a passion for public service, and I want to remove the boxes and barriers that keep things from getting done. 

As Senior Deputy to Supervisor Knabe since 2005, and a former three term Mayor and City Councilmember for the City of Manhattan Beach, I have 25 years of local government experience in solving problems with proven results. I've worked to make local government more responsive and responsible by providing independent, common sense leadership that puts people ahead of politics.

It's Not About Me, It's About You

I'm running for one reason--you. I'm running to keep our neighborhoods safe, promote jobs and economic growth, protect our environment, and make LA County work better, smarter and harder for all of us. I'm running to maintain our fiscal strength, invest in our infrastructure, and make quality healthcare accessible to everyone. I want to connect LA County through affordable public transportation that makes sense, and increase access to all County services, especially for our most vulnerable populations. And I want to fix the things that need fixing--like making sure our children and foster youth are protected and free from harm, and addressing the problems that come with the early release of criminal offenders in our communities. I'm not interested in the status quo, I'm interested in doing what it takes to get real results.

And I'm running to represent all of the Fourth District. From Diamond Bar to Downey, from Hacienda Heights to Hermosa Beach, I want to celebrate our diversity and support the unique identities of each city, community and neighborhood. I can do this because I know the Fourth District--I live and work in it for you every day.

Fourth District Knowledge, Fourth District Experience

Of course, a lot of folks will say the same things--who's not for public safety and the environment, right? But none of them will have the experience and County know-how that I do. Working closely with Supervisor Knabe for the past ten years, I know how County government works, and how it can work better.

And nobody else will carry on the programs and services that Fourth District residents enjoy now like I will. The funding of parks and libraries, the grants for nonprofits and bus rides for our seniors, the top-notch responsiveness of our staff, and support for our communities. Why? Because running for Supervisor isn't about me. It's about you.

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