The latest in a series of Mayoral and City Council candidate forums before the Pasadena election on March 3, 2020, took place at Maranatha High School on January 23.
By Mike Pashistoran
All Pasadena mayoral candidates were present: Entrepreneur Jason Hardin, District 5 Councilman Victor M. Gordo, incumbent Mayor Terry Tornek, and businessman Major Williams.
All City Council District 6 candidates were present: non-profit executive Ryan Bell, attorney Tamerlin Godley, and incumbent District 6 Councilman Steve Madison.
The candidates were asked questions by the hosts and audience on issues which included affordable housing, the homeless, accessory dwelling units (ADU’s), state controls of local zoning laws, development of the 710 stub and the related homes still owned by CalTrans, Colorado Street Bridge suicide prevention, the future of the Lower Arroyo Seco, mass transit, vehicle recharging stations, The Pasadena Way, citizen involvement, and the financial stability of Pasadena government. A video will be available on Pasadena Media TV.
Ms. Godley, commented that the issue of highest concern to people is homelessness, but it is not possible to build out of the affordable housing crisis. Steve Madison noted that District 6 has the second highest percentage of affordable housing in the City, and Mr. Gordo reported that Pasadena is doing its part regarding affordable housing and should not be penalized for what other cities are not doing. Ryan Bell reminded the audience that he is a strong advocate for rent control.
The decrease in Pasadena’s black population (from 20% to 4% in 10 Years) by noted by Mr. Williams, and Ms. Godley noted the lack of a female voice on the City Council. Mr. Madison also noted that he led the increase in the minimum wage in Pasadena, and Mr. Gordo voiced the importance of the 710 Stub as the “most important question facing our City.”
Mayor Tornek thanked everyone for coming and participating in the long session. He noted that Pasadena has a great record of soliciting community involvement and being responsive to the people.
The “highlight” of the evening is that the candidates are beginning to come to life! Councilman Gordo took a couple of jabs at Mayor Tornek for his backing of a decision to drop out of a California government association. Ms. Godley was critical of Councilman Madison; she said, “we may have had the benefits of Steve’s gifts, but also his gaffes” since he’s been on the City Council.
About 200 turned out to listen to the candidates, although only about 50 remained at the end. Among those who stayed were two Pasadena Unified School Board members sitting quietly in the very back.
We hope you appreciated this article. Before you move on, please consider supporting the Colorado Boulevard’s journalism.
Billionaires, hedge fund owners and local imposters have a powerful hold on the information that reaches the public. Colorado Boulevard stands to serve the public interest – not profit motives.
While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and climate crisis while supporting reproductive rights and social justice. We provide a fresh perspective on local politics – one so often missing from so-called ‘local’ journalism.
You can access Colorado Boulevard’s paywall-free journalism because of our unique reader-supported model. People like you, informed readers, keep us independent, beholden to no outside influence, and accessible to everyone.
Please consider supporting Colorado Boulevard today. Thank you. (Click to Support)