Downey City Council elections are quickly approaching with residents already receiving vote-by-mail ballots. We asked candidates about caps on rent increases, police, homelessness, and more. Hector Sosa, financial services professional, is a candidate for District Two. District Two covers southwest Downey.
You can find out which district you live in here.
You can check your registration status, request a vote-by-mail ballot, and find a local voting center by going to www.lavote.gov or calling 800-345-8683. The last day to vote is November 8th!
All six candidates were asked the same questions. Responses have been edited for clarity.
Why are you running?
Hector Sosa: I am running for Downey City Council to bring back stability to our city.
As a councilmember, how would you balance the interests of business owners with the interests of residents?
Hector Sosa: The overall interest of small business owners and residents align. We all want safer neighborhoods, clean streets, a people friendly city hall and transparency so we know how our taxes are being spent.
There has been talk about eliminating Downey LINK, Downey’s citywide transit system, by councilmembers. What are your thoughts on Downey LINK? As a councilmember, will increased public transit ridership be a priority?
Hector Sosa: We should first find out if people are actually using the Downey LINK anymore. If the results of this survey show that very few people are actually utilizing it, we should reconsider other options that provide affordable transportation within the city to our Senior citizens and everyone really.
Neighboring Bell Gardens recently imposed a hard cap on annual rent increases of 4%, going beyond the state imposed cap of 10%. Do you support a cap on annual rent increases that goes beyond the state cap?
Hector Sosa: More rent control will not solve the problem at the root. We need more housing and workshops that educate tenants on how to apply for programs that will help them become homeowners.
Downey has 218 unhoused residents according to the county’s latest homeless count. What policies or programs do you support to help these individuals secure housing?
Hector Sosa: We need to help make the connection between nonprofits that provide wrap around services and the unhoused residents. There are already many services available that can help transport, feed and house people in need.
What are the biggest challenges facing Downey in regards to public safety?
Hector Sosa: Illegal drug use activity and homeless encampments at the parks where our children play.
Should the police budget: increase, decrease, stay the same?
Hector Sosa: Increase.
Should the fire budget: increase, decrease, stay the same?
Hector Sosa: Increase.
Which city department or program is most in need of increased funding:
Hector Sosa: The city could be more business friendly. Too many small business owners in the community have expressed their frustration with me about the unnecessary level of bureaucracy and red tape. All departments at city hall need to re-invent the way they process applications and make it better overall.
What is your vision for the future of the city? What do you propose to make Downey a better city?
Hector Sosa: My vision for Downey is a safe and stable community with zero illegal drug use and homeless encampments at the parks.