Why you should support Caney Arnold

This campaign and my commitment while serving in office will be built around the following values: grassroots democracy and government transparency, ecology, social justice, non-violence.

I also believe in fiscal conservatism, and weeding out fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer's money. Below are some examples of how these values relate to leadership and management of the City. Following that is a summary of my life experiences that brought me into politics as well as my educational background. Please note that the contributions and endorsements shown here are just one source for our campaign. If you like what you read below, please take the time to add your endorsement of my campaign. Please include any title(s) that you may have with a company or political, non-profit or other organization. Heartfelt comments are welcome, so that the press and anyone else reading our story understands why you are endorsing our campaign. And if you're able, please provide a donation. Every donation of $5 or more adds to my chances of receiving matching funds from the City. Thank you, and Yes We Can. Si Se Puede.

Grassroots Democracy, Government Transparency and Accountability: This campaign will be about listening to citizens, not just during the campaign, but as part of the daily management of our City. I want to increase communication with Neighborhood Councils (NCs) and constituents to ensure citizens have more opportunity to have input into the decision-making process. I want to ensure that all NCs in our district are given the opportunity to provide input on important community issues. I will ensure that my office actively seeks input from each NC before I make my vote on the City Council. This is the reverse of how things are usually done now. Currently it is up to each NC to research actions being worked by the City. As volunteers, NC board members and constituents usually don't have the time to do this research. My office will provide information packets to each NC and formally request feedback. I'm actively working to assist members of the Watts Gang Task Force in helping oversee the redevelopment of Jordan Downs. We need to make sure that the promises for a minimum of one-to-one continuance of low income housing is maintained, I would advocate working to improve that ratio to provide additional low income housing. We also need to ensure the commitment to 30% hiring of local residents is kept. While the incumbent and others are raising the redevelopment as a great success, there is a long way to go, and issues such as these that are critical to the community, If these issues are not adequately overseen, then this could very well become a detriment to the community rather than a benefit. I believe that my extensive background in Air Force acquisition and program management will bring much needed leadership in ensuring a successful redevelopment program. We also need to consider other ways that NCs can have more input, and also consider developing a Citizen Bill of Rights which has been done in some other cities.


Ecology: Environmental sustainability will be a major focus of our campaign. Our energy consumption and energy sources need to be better managed. On the supply side, the 15th District is home to numerous oil drilling, oil refinery, and oil and natural gas storage facilities. We have seen numerous safety failures lately at these facilities that put our community at risk from explosion incidents as well as toxic releases into our neighborhoods. On the demand side we need to reduce our energy use and incentivize consumers and businesses to reduce use of energy overall, but in particular the use of fossil fuels. We need to create a plan for a Just Transition from our fossil fuel infrastructure to sustainable 100% renewable sources of energy. This plan needs to be more than just a stack of paper. It needs to be approved by the Mayor and Council to provide a firm schedule with adequate funding and governmental and citizen oversight. Our City is also highly dependent on water from Central California and the Colorado river. We need to re-consider our plans for urban growth and development.


Social Justice: Everyone should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We will work to ensure that our District has equitable resources and services provided by the City. We will monitor service levels and provide residents with information regarding how our District compares with the rest of the City as far as services being provided. As a part of social justice, we need to do a better job of helping our neighbors without housing. The Housing First strategy has worked in cities across the US, and is the preferred approach advocated by the federal government. We need to move from treating homelessness as a police issue, and see the roots causes of homelessness and help keep people in their homes. We need to stop the approach of requiring the homeless to lift themselves by their bootstraps, to a Housing First approach where we remove the homeless from the unsafe environment of the streets, get them into housing, and provide them with services to help them find jobs and again become self-sustaining. The criminal justice system also needs to work together between the courts, prosecutors and police and social programs to charge, prosecute and hopefully divert people who have committed misdemeanor crimes into programs to rehabilitate them with mental health, alcohol and drug addiction programs. One of the excuses that I've heard is that many people don't show up to diversion programs and we don't have enough police to track them down. If so, when they are prosecuted and put into a diversion program, then why not also mandate a GPS ankle monitor be placed on them to make it easy to find them to get them into their programs? We also need to improve relations between the police and citizens, reduce over-policing against minorities and continue to work to reduce excessive use of force. I recently attended the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles; (INVLA), Days of Dialogue program on the Future of Policing which was sponsored by Mark Ridley-Thomas' office. This is another example of a positive approach to bringing people from the community together with LAPD officers to discuss these issues.

Non-violence: We need to address the obvious concern to reduce crime as well as concerns of police excessive use of force. By working together, the police and local communities can help reduce crime. I've been attending and working with the Watts Gang Task Force which is an excellent example of this cooperation. In addition to the diversion programs for rehabilitation, we need to review police use of force policy, train deescalation techniques, and create a fair policy to open police video footage to the public. We also need to look at approaches in other aspects of our society such as in our schools and youth programs to reduce crimes and especially violent crime, often against women and other minorities and disenfranchised people.

Fiscal Conservatism: To be consistent with the value of Accountability described above, I believe in being conservative with taxpayer's money. For example, while I support Housing First for the homeless, I was against Prop HHH because in researching Housing First, I found that when implemented correctly it is actually less expensive than our current approach. While I understand that an initial investment is required for housing, the City Council in advocating Prop HHH did not demonstrate how savings in the future will be reimbursed to taxpayers by lowered tax rates. While I know that would be highly unlikely for our elected officials to do, that's what we need to expect from them.

Candidate Experience:

Life and Politics: Having been born in 1956, and living in Woodland Hills, CA from the age of 5, I was fairly isolated from social injustices, but we had the early days of TV to help us see a glimpse into the rest of the world. My father was born and grew up in Itta Bena, Mississippi, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, so I built up many experiences over our 3-5 week summer trips to visit relatives. I'll always remember my dad taking me out in the car down a long dirt road into the middle of a farm field. I don't recall if it was cotton, or what crop, at the time. He stopped at a small rickety shack and atook me with him as he knocked on the door. A tall black man, about 40 years old, just like my dad was. He introduced me to the man and his family. It was the family that my dad lived with 30-40 years earlier in that same shack. I learned that my dad and his family were sharecroppers along with this man's family back then. We all talked briefly, and my dad made sure that I tasted the pure water from the nearby well. At the time I didn't understand the full meaning of that visit though even at that age I was amazed. Only when I got older and learned more about our society did I appreciate the difference in the path my father was able to travel vs. that of the man that we met that day, and how our social system had such a large impact on why each man went along the path that they did. Those vacations were also where I viewed segregation and racism as a young white boy. It was obviously very odd and disheartening to a youngster to see and hear the way society was there at the time. Then of course what were known as the Watts riots happened in 1965 here in Los Angeles, and it was obvious that much of the same culture was right here. I was just isolated from most of it. Other than interacting with a very few minorities in elementary, junior high and high school, most of what shaped my view of the rest of the world came from the TV, and listening to conversations among the adults here and in Mississippi. At least at school I didn't see the divide that obviously existed with the adults, except for one incident when our summer softball team beat another local team, and one of the kids on the other team called one of our teammates the n-word and a fight broke out. None of it made sense at the time, but it was reality. In 1967 one of my heroes, Muhammad Ali, refused to enter the draft which seemed to be the right thing to do, but of course it was illegal. Then 1968 changed everything. MLK and RFK were assassinated. Of course JFK had been assassinated in 1963, but I was 7 years old and just knew it was a terrible and sad thing, but after the riots, Ali being sentenced, and MLK and RFK being assassinated, childhood thinking was over, and anger over the reality of politics was taking over. Then the women's movement and environmental movement started as I was in my early teens. There was no ignoring politics, because it was suddenly right in our faces.

Until around the time of the first Gulf War in 1990 though I hadn't really gotten involved in political activity beyond talking with family and friends. Then I started listening to stations like KPFK and reading more articles and books like Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States", and I started to better understand just how deep the manipulation of the people was. I volunteered in the campaign against Prop 187 in 1994 and against Prop 209 in 1996. I also volunteered with the Aids Heartline at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, and the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, both in the mid-1990's. I volunteered with United Farm Workers. I helped the Sons of Thunder chapter at Los Angeles Air Force Base to distribute clothing and food to villages south of Tijuana. In 1993 my son had been born, and by 1997 I was also volunteering to coach youth baseball and basketball for my son's teams.

I had sat out the Bush v. Gore election of 2004. Of course 9/11 happened in 2001, then talk of war against Iraq started. My wife, Lori, and I participated along with approximately 100,000 others in the march and rally against the Iraq War in Los Angeles in January 2003. Lori and I worked on the Presidential campaign for John Kerry in 2004 by helping with GOTV in Las Vegas on election day. In 2007 I served as a volunteer assisting victims of domestic violence at the Restraining Order Center at LA's Stanley Mosk Courthouse. I supported the campaigns for Barrack Obama, but was not very involved in either one. They both seemed like easy wins. Then I retired from civil service in August 2011. In 2013 my step-daughter gave birth to her and her husband's son, and my wife and I became grandparents and in January 2014 we started babysitting him during the days that they were at work.

Then Bernie Sanders announced he was running for President. He had always been one of my heroes in Congress, and it was wonderful to see him announce although most of us felt he had little chance at the time. I had to help though, and started by hosting one of the first campaign house parties for his campaign in July 2015, and helping create a large contingent of Bernie volunteers in the South Bay and Harbor Area. Then we went to his rally at the Sports Arena in September and it was amazing. The line was incredibly long, and people were even left outside. Being Bernie, we heard that he had stopped outside afterward to talk to those that weren't able to see him in person inside. The momentum was underway, and we knew he had a chance. Then we saw how the primaries were being run. Polling hours for precincts outside of New York City were changed just a day or so before the primary -- to start at noon rather than the usual 7am or so start. People that we called to out there from our phonebanks didn't believe us. More and more discrepancies happened along the way. By the time the primaries came to California the campaign was disheartened, and Berners were disappointed and angry at how the DNC had handled the primaries. I was so discouraged that I changed my registration to the Green Party just before the 2016 Democratic National Convention since it was clear that the DNC had been involved in tilting the primaries against Bernie. I worked with the Green Party for six months and campaigned for Jill Stein in the recent Presidential election, but supported progressive Democrats as well such as Nanette Barragan, Maxine Waters and Al Muratsuchi. I also supported Blue Revolution Democrats in the recent ADEM delegate elections and was impressed with the success. At the same time, after six months of working with Green Party it became evident that the party is not yet ready to support candidates, so I changed my registration back to the Democratic Party.

Around the time of Bernie's rally at the Sports Arena, our City Councilperson, Joe Buscaino held a Townhall on Homelessness in San Pedro. My wife and I attended, and afterward I decided to volunteer at Harbor Interfaith Services. While helping another homeless advocate with helping a mother and her two children navigate through the City and County red tape, I saw that the local government was failing our homeless. The paperwork is excessive. The homeless are forced to carry paperwork from office to office in most steps along the way even in this age of the internet. There aren't enough temporary housing facilities, or mental health, drug or alcohol addiction services. At the same time misdemeanor crimes committed upon or by the homeless aren't prosecuted in most cases and diversion programs aren't enforced to help people in need be helped to become stable and productive citizens again. I decided to run for Harbor City Neighborhood Council and succeeded and started in office in July 2016. I looked into our City Council motions and votes, and campaign and officeholder finances. It was appalling. I decided that someone needed to run for City Council in our District 15, then seeing no one else was running, I decided I was someone, and that I would run.

I've participated in many other marches and rallies including a recent rally against the Dakota Access Pipeline. I currently serve on the Harbor City Neighborhood Council as the Legislative Liaison. I served as a high school basketball referee for the last 5 years with the California Basketball Official's Association South Bay unit. I coached our PeeWee basketball team at Harbor City Park and Recreation Center this past season to the PeeWee championship and assisted in practices for the Minors league.

Career: I worked for 32+ years for the Department of Defense in both logistics management and acquisition management. Twenty eight of those years were at Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in El Segundo. I retired in 2011 at the civilian rank of GS-14 which is roughly equivalent to the military rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I have extensive experience working large programs and overseeing contractors, and also working in a large bureaucracy to get things done. I've led major projects and the acquisition of logistics support for major acquisition programs such as GPS, satellite tracking stations and launch vehicles, and I ran a major project to upgrade the Center's online document management system. When I retired I was serving as one of two Chiefs of Acquisition Development responsible for supervising staff coordinating the review of acquisition plans for all space system programs, coordinating with all staff organizations such as engineering, logistics, finance, contracts and legal. Our office worked with program offices and staff to improve these plans and for unresolved items provide Senior Executives alternatives along with rationale for each option for their Executive decision. I've seen the infamous revolving door of government officials leaving their jobs to go into the private sector that they were in charge of overseeing, and I decided not to be a part of that system. Whether at the federal, state or city level, the revolving door has a negative impact on over-sight by creating conflicts of interest for public employees.

Education:

B.A., Economics, UCLA, 1974

Masters in Public Policy and Administration, CSU, Long Beach, 1994. After completing my Masters I served as a paid project lead on a contract for assessing the customer satisfaction of Redondo Beach City employees with the City's internal services departments, and as a project lead on contract to assess community satisfaction with services provided in the City of San Gabriel.


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  • Marcel Nagy endorsed

    “I liked everything I read in your statement. When a I saw that you were a Bernie supporter, I knew we were on the same page. You have my vote.”

  • Donna Tarr endorsed

    “Caney Arnold cares about the people of Los Angeles, and wants to make the city of Los Angeles better for everyone. Caney will be a great addition to the Los Angeles City Council.”

  • Nicholas Wood endorsed

    “As a member of Los Angeles South Bay Progressives I fully support Caney Arnold for City Council District 15. He would be a great champion for the people.”

Sep 21 2016

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Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • Marcel Nagy endorsed

    “I liked everything I read in your statement. When a I saw that you were a Bernie supporter, I knew we were on the same page. You have my vote.”

  • Donna Tarr endorsed

    “Caney Arnold cares about the people of Los Angeles, and wants to make the city of Los Angeles better for everyone. Caney will be a great addition to the Los Angeles City Council.”

  • lydia arata endorsed

  • Helen Gaskins endorsed

  • Mindy walker endorsed

  • Nicholas Wood endorsed

    “As a member of Los Angeles South Bay Progressives I fully support Caney Arnold for City Council District 15. He would be a great champion for the people.”

  • Bill Reynolds endorsed

    “I endorse Caney Arnold for City Council because I know he is on the side of the PEOPLE, not money on all the issues.”

  • Yolanda Gonzalez endorsed

    “I support Caney Arnold for Los Angeles City Council 2017 because he will provide the kind of honest representation that the people deserve!! Yo estoy apoyando a Caney Arnold porque es importante que la gente tenga una persona honesta representando!!”

  • Tyler Francis Morrison endorsed

    “Green city revolution !”

  • dr vicki endorsed

  • Odette Leonelli endorsed

    “Caney Arnold is a personal friend of mine. I went to his home to watch presidential primary debates.Together we went to LA City Hall to fight for housing to the homeless. He stands for what I stand. The environment. Economic justice. Social justice.”

  • Bill Roberson endorsed

    “I endorse Caney Arnold for Los Angeles City Council Office CD-15 in 2017 because he has the right combination of top executive experience in a large organization while remaining true to the best progressive values.”

  • Anne Olivier endorsed

    “I support his platform of citizen involvement, progressive thinking, and concern for the environment and homelessness issues.”

  • deseray endorsed

  • Caney Arnold endorsed