District Candidates Gather for Meet and Greet

Rodriguez and Gibson meet community members at Back Door Bakery

By: Katie O’Brien, Contributing Writer

“Whoever is elected will have to hit the ground running,” said Northeast Valley resident and 7th District Council candidate Monica Rodriguez, who, along with candidate Dale Gibson, greeted voters at a “meet and greet” held recently at the Back Door Bakery in Sunland.

Rodriguez noted that each of the seven communities in the 7th District of Los Angeles have different issues that need addressing.

For the past three years, Rodriguez has served as vice president on the Los Angeles City Board of Public Works, where she helped lead over 5,500 employees and managed an annual budget of more than $565 million. Rodriguez also managed the Small Business Academy, which helps small, minority, and women-owned businesses compete for infrastructure and public-works contracts to put more resources back in local communities while creating jobs.

As commissioner of Public Works, Rodriguez was recently able to get immediate permission for local community artists to paint Department of Transportation (DOT) utility boxes, a long-planned community project that had been on hold due to a snag at the DOT, which Rodriguez worked to clear. The project was spearheaded by former Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council board member Gail Carlson.

Longtime 7th District resident Gibson, of Gibson Ranch in Sunland, has been president of the Los Angeles Equine Advisory Committee and works with City Hall on zoning and equestrian issues, pushing for legalization of reclaimed water for ranch and local use. He is president of Junior Rodeo and past president of Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council. He also is co-creator and past chair of Ride for a Cure, which has raised over $100,000 for local hospitals and charities.

Gibson has also worked for 30 years in various roles as a TV and film actor and stuntman, doubling for such actors as Lou Diamond Phillips and Tommy Lee Jones.

In 2007, Gibson hosted a three-day event at his ranch, culminating in the Grande Finale Rodeo, with proceeds going to Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s Disease Fund. The rodeo events continued from 2007 to 2012, with proceeds given to different charities.

Gibson, according to his campaign materials, plans on developing a solution that helps the homeless in need, and that stops homeless camps, which may pose a safety threat. He also plans to bring back filming to the community, and to encourage small businesses to the district to create jobs and increase revenue to help fix aging infrastructure. He also opposes the state’s high-speed-rail system.

Covering the northeast section of the San Fernando Valley, the 7th Council District includes the communities of Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace, Sylmar, Pacoima, Mission Hills, and North Hills.

The primary is March 7, with a general election, if necessary, to be held in May.

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