Who am I?
Currently serving as City Controller, I am the city’s chief auditor and financial watchdog. Under my leadership, the Controller’s office has identified $160 million in potential savings by eliminating waste, fraud and inefficiencies.
A lifelong Angeleno, I attended public schools from Knollwood Elementary, to John F. Kennedy High School, through earning my degree at UCLA. I started my career in public service working for former Mayor Tom Bradley, eventually becoming deputy to the Mayor.
While in Mayor Bradley’s office, I was a leader in the creation of LA’s BEST, a nationally recognized afterschool program that provides a safe and supervised environment for children in the hours after school. My commitment to strengthening our schools has been a priority throughout my career, and means even more to me now that my son attends a public school in LA.
Following my tenure in Mayor Bradley’s office, I worked as a senior advisor at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. At HUD, I helped secure over a billion dollars in support for those affected by the Northridge Earthquake. In 1997, I transitioned into the private sector, working in the film industry as an executive at DreamWorks Pictures for five years.
In 2002, I was elected to the Los Angeles City Council, where I was the architect of historic business tax reform. This reform returned nearly $100 million to local businesses, eliminating the business tax for over 60% of small businesses and making the tax system more comparable to neighboring jurisdictions.
While pursuing major policy reforms such as the business tax, I also focused on basic city services, such as sidewalk and street repair. I became known as the “Pothole Queen” for my relentless pursuit of filing every pothole in my council district.
In 2009, I was elected Controller for the City of Los Angeles, performing more than 60 audits of city departments and investigating allegations of waste, fraud and abuse. I have brought greater transparency and openness to city government, such as posting the salaries of all city employees online.
I live in the Studio City neighborhood with my husband Dean and our son Thomas.
Why am I running?
I will be a Mayor for all of Los Angeles, so no one is left behind.
I am running for Mayor to get our city back on track. I want to create a sustainable city with a thriving economy, great public schools and a seamless transportation system.
As Mayor, I’ll fight for new investment to create good, family-wage jobs with fair benefits - and job training so that Angelenos can fill those jobs. I am proud of the support from working men and women across the city who stand with me to reach this goal.
I am running for Mayor to improve public safety and keep our communities secure. That is why police officers and firefighters endorsed me – they know I will be the partner they need to keep our city and neighborhoods safe.
I am running for Mayor to strengthen our public schools. I attended public school my entire life – from elementary school through university. And, I am the only candidate with a child in public school. This issue is deeply personal for me. As Mayor, no one will fight harder to improve our schools, with more after school programs and more local control.
I am running for Mayor because I want to protect our environment, from the Santa Monica Mountains to the LA River. As Mayor, I’ll continue to clean up our air and create a world-class transportation system, with interconnected bike lanes and more transit. I am proud of my endorsement from the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, who knows I will remain dedicated to creating a clean and green Los Angeles.
It’s time for a strong manager and fiscal watchdog who is willing to take a hard look at how taxpayer funds are being spent and make sure our priorities come first, and that’s why I’m running to be Los Angeles’s next Mayor.
I don't just want to be the Mayor, I want to do the job of Mayor. That means making sure that every part of the city government is working as effectively as possible, as I have done as City Controller. My top priorities as a tough fiscal watchdog are economic development, education, and transportation.
I have a unique perspective on job creation because I’ve worked both in the public and private sectors. From my family’s building supply company to my work at DreamWorks Studios and the City, I get it.
As Mayor, I will focus on rebuilding infrastructure, expanding transportation, rewarding investment, and training workers. We need to invest in our ports and our streets. We need to expand transportation, including transit and bikeways. We need to reward investment by attracting businesses to LA and by creating workforce housing, so that our city’s workforce can afford to live in LA. And, we need more specialized job training, to provide workers with the skills they need.
As the only candidate for Mayor with a child in public schools, I have an up-close and personal experience with LAUSD. Los Angeles needs to dramatically reform its schools to ensure that our kids can compete in the 21st century’s global economy. As Mayor, I will champion common sense reform ideas such as supporting effective teachers and considering longer school years. We have to stand up and say no when Sacramento wants to balance the budget on the backs of our teachers and kids. I want every student in Los Angeles public schools to have the same chance I did to achieve his or her dream.
I am a product of public schools, from Knollwood Elementary all the way through to UCLA. My great public education is the foundation of what I have been able to achieve in my life, including the possibility of making history as the first woman Mayor of Los Angeles.
Angelenos have been very clear that they want a public transportation system that works, and streets where they can drive quickly and safely. Improving transportation has a cost, but so does congestion. Congestion is a high cost we ALL pay – in time not spent with our families, in increased shipping costs for business, in work hours lost, and higher medical bills for asthma and other diseases caused by pollution.
Throughout my career I have worked to reduce congestion through practical initiatives such as a ban on all street construction during rush hour; anti-gridlock zones; synchronizing 75% of traffic lights across the city; and successfully lobbying Sacramento for funds to complete the construction of the I-405 carpool lane.
I was a leading proponent of the Measure R, which has helped enhance mobility, improved air quality and served as a catalyst for capital improvement and economic development in the City. I will continue to work hard to deliver traffic improvements that relieve congestion.
My DFA Values
I will be a strong leader for all of Los Angeles, so no part is left behind. That means that means no matter where you live, you deserve the same quality of services as any other part of the city. It means that when you call 911, you get an ambulance quickly whether you live in Bel Air or Boyle Heights. It means you don’t have to drive 10 miles to find a safe and clean park. My campaign and my administration will embody these values. I will continue to be the taxpayer's watchdog and get our fiscal house in order, making City government more effective and transparent.
My Campaign is People Powered!
I am proud of the large coalition of thousands of community leaders from across Los Angeles supporting me, including: Women with Wendy, Valley Leaders with Wendy, Latinos with Wendy, African Americans with Wendy, Koreans with Wendy, Armenians with Wendy, Conservationists with Wendy, Business Leaders with Wendy and Young Professionals with Wendy.
I am also proud of my campaign’s very robust field campaign. With 5 field offices all over the City (South LA, West LA, Boyle Heights, Studio City and Van Nuys), my campaign is effectively reaching voters in different demographic areas. Each office is filled with volunteers both phone banking and canvasing the neighborhoods of LA. We recently launched a Youth Vote Project and a Women 2 Women Project, taking place out of all of our field offices, to engage young people and women across the city to help get out the vote on March 5.
My support from low-dollar donors also signifies my expansive community-based support. In the last reporting period, fifty-seven percent of my contributions were $250 and under. In all, 6,813 people have made 9,116 contributions to my campaign.