Orange County Register Candidate Questionnaire

As always in the efforts for full transparency I here include my response to the OC Register when they reached out with a candidate questionnaire. These answers are exactly as they have appeared when I responded to their email. I received this originally on September 30, 2020 and replied on October 8, 2020.

Biographical information: I was born in South Africa, and immigrated here to Irvine in 2004. I’ve lived here ever since, and have done every single year of my schooling since here in Irvine. I’m a product of this community, and I feel greatly honored and humbled to be so. In payment I have done everything in my power to give back to the community, as I believe that’s my duty and responsibility to do so. Which is why this year, after years of being dissatisfied with the way the city council is run, I’ve decided to take the step and run for council myself. I’m running to represent everyone, and not just the big developers. That’s the way it should be. 

Name: Dylan Green

Occupation: Graduate Student Researcher

Top three community or volunteer positions (where you would mention if on planning commission or in the PTA, please keep short): Youth Umpire, Head of Audio/Visual at local school musicals

Campaign website or Facebook: https://greenforirvine.com

Question 1:
The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has left every city with budget troubles. What expenses are you willing to cut, or what would you suggest the city should do to bring in more revenue?

I wouldn’t suggest we cut any expenses at the moment. We’re at a critical moment in our city’s history, and we are currently too vulnerable to cut anything without seeing serious repercussions. What we should be doing is encouraging people to get back to work so that we can get tax revenue to flow into the city. In order to this I propose that we start providing coronavirus related assistance to small businesses so that they might reopen with confidence, not only to inspire faith in our local community but also to start being able to pay wages. We should provide them with PPE so that they can feel safe and so that we can set a good example. Simply put the best way for the city budget to recover is for the city itself to recover and we can’t do that by cutting the budget.

Question 2:
Southern California is in dire need of more housing, especially at manageable prices for working families. In what part or parts of your city are you willing to consider more or denser housing, or do you have other ideas to help the city meet state-mandated housing goals? 

There are dozens of places where we can build more or denser housing. The Great Park for example is surrounded by areas that we could build houses on. There’s even space within Irvine where we should be building houses instead of empty office buildings. Take Spectrum Terrace for example. An office block built on a plot of land in prime position for housing that now sits empty because we have absolutely nobody in town who is willing to work in it. We just simply do not have the housing to support the increase in office blocks. There’s also Old Town Irvine, at the intersection of sand canyon and the 5, a spot that was once an RV park and is now an office building in construction. Places like that are perfect for apartment blocks or high density housing, as they’re near infrastructure, and perfectly situated to be easily accessible. And now instead we have offices that will sit empty for the next three years as we try desperately to draw more business here.

Question 3:
Why would you make a good leader and how would you represent the diverse communities of your city? 

Simply put I’m someone who listens to the constituents of this city. And not only that, I call the city council out when they’re not doing just that. When people contact me with suggestions, I listen. My very first email was on a policy position on my website that was unclear, and not only did I clarify it for them, I went ahead and updated my website with the newly rewritten statement as well as evidence so as to strengthen my point to represent the majority of Irvine better. I’ve never said no when someone asked for help, and I’ve made every good faith effort to read and respond to every single email I get regarding policy. The city council should work for us and I’ve been doing my damndest to make sure that I do so during my campaign. And every time I see our city council do something wrong, I call them out on it. People have said I’m a strong leader, but beyond that I’m a leader who listens to their team. When the ocean rises we all rise with it and that’s the best way we can get this city back on track and moving towards the future. I have consistently encouraged people of all backgrounds to reach out with suggestions for the campaign, and when they do I listen to them. No matter what.

Question 4:
What’s an important issue in your city that we didn’t already cover in the previous questions, and how would you address it?

You have not asked about climate change and I feel that’s a grave error. Local change is the best place where we can really start down the path of improving our country’s response to climate change. While big picture policies are held up in congress, it’s time for us on the local level to start making a change. We simply do not have time to wait any longer. We just don’t. I’ve proposed multiple climate change initiatives, including clean air directives, a public transport system to not only clean up our air, but also improve the traffic problem, and buying into the community choice energy program – no matter how many other cities join us. I’ve also taken a pledge to do my best effort to make every Irvine city managed building run on renewable power in ten years. It’s about time we had local leaders acknowledge the existential threat that is climate change and for them to do something about it.