YJ Draiman for mayor: Questions and Answers - He calls himself Mr. Fix-it
He calls himself Mr. Fix-it, and hopes to use his innovative approach to energy conservation to shake up Los Angeles government, and move to a brighter future. YJ Draiman is a real-estate developer, utilities and conservation specialist, and member of neighborhood council in Northridge, where he resides, and is extremely active in his community. He is running for mayor for the second time, and his priorities are the economy, water and energy, and education.
Q: You say in almost all your campaign literature that you are running for mayor because you love the city of Los Angeles. My experience has been that I love the city, the sunshine and the beach; but I don’t feel that the city loves me.
A: No, the city doesn’t love you. The city doesn’t love anybody. It’s a very, very selfish city. When I was getting campaign signatures to run for mayor, I found the three out of every ten people I asked were moving out of state, because it’s too costly, taxes are eating them up alive, and it’s too liberal.
I ended up here because my son [lead singer for the Grammy-nominated band, Disturbed] had a castle, listed as one of the castles of California, but he moved because he wasn’t going to pay that much in taxes.
Q: So, someone living in a castle can’t even afford to live here?
A: That’s why he moved to Austin, Texas.
Q: Well, there’s a lot going wrong, but what do you love about Los Angeles?
A: The weather. It’s got the best weather in the country. If you do the analysis, out of 365 days of the year, we have, on average, 360 days of sun; and we’re not capitalizing on that. We also have winds that we’re not capitalizing in. I want all new developments to have solar panels with vertical wind turbines. It’s possible to produce 80 to 90 percent of your power. I think it should be part of the building codes. They should also require that you have a storage tank to catch rainwater.
Q: Do you think that having standing water all over L.A. might cause a mosquito problem?
A: No, these tanks are underground and use pumps bring the water up. Anything I recommend to people, I try, myself, first. At my house, we open the windows and use fans for much of the day. People don’t realize that indoor pollution is so much worse than outdoor pollution because of the way we live today – everything is synthetic. That’s why I recommend having a lot of house plants to clean the air. I was against it, when people started installing synthetic grass. They’re cutting back oxygen in that air.
Q: What about water-conservation?
A: We need to even it out with ground water and rain water harvesting. I think it’s shocking that Los Angeles has had water problems for centuries and we don’t have a desalination plant.
Q: Our president is a businessman, who ran for office and won. Did his election inspire you to run for mayor for the second time?
A: I’m running for mayor because I was elected to a neighborhood council, which is a voluntary job, and I see a lot of problems coming across our council, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg, I see so many other aspects. We need somebody up there who cares about the city and doesn’t worry about his own agenda or own party. That’s why I’m running as an Independent. We have a mayor that doesn’t even bother to show up to the debates, which is astounding. It just shows he’s got no respect for the people.
Q: Can you talk about your experience in real-estate and as a utilities conservationist?
A: It taught me how to find ways to cut expenses and utilities. I’ve restored old buildings. I was energy director of utilities and sustainability for 40 health care facilities in the state of California, and I was going from one facility to another, and educated them how to save money, how to clean the air inside the facility to get all the germs out, and put in a special ventilation system to clean up the air. I developed a way to use infrared cameras to find leaks and short circuits. I found company billing errors with utility bills; tens of thousands of dollars of mistakes, and I got a refund for my clients. I come to a situation where I’m Mr. Fix-it. And we need to fix it.
Q: It sounds like you want to employ the same fix-it strategies in office, as you do with your developments.
A: You know what, this is the kind of innovation; and this is the kind of aggressiveness that we need. We need an aggressive mayor who says, “The hell with all the tenements. The hell with the city council.” My goal is, if I get elected, in the first hundred days, since I'm the people's choice, I'm going to show the people that I'm living up to everything I promised them. Within the constraints of the job. Anything that the council fights me on, that I feel is important. I'll put on the ballot for the people to vote it and bypass the council. I'll do this one - two times, and the council will see what, we cannot fight this guy. We better start working with him now.
*This story was edited for length.
1) Getting Candid with YJ Draiman full 020117. Amori, Paul E. February 1, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdFVNIoVn2o&t=65s.
2) YJ Draiman Dad to Disturbed’s Lead Singer: Top 5 Reasons Unknown Underdog 2013 LA Mayoral Candidate is Freaking Interesting. Melencoff, Mars. LA Weekly. April 6, 2011. http://www.laweekly.com/news/yj-draiman-dad-to-disturbeds-lead-singer-top-5-reasons-unknown-underdog-2013-la-mayoral-candidate-is-freaking-interesting-2387953.
3)Voter’s Edge California. YJ Draiman Neighborhood Council Boardmember. http://votersedge.org/ca/en/ballot/election/area/48/contests/contest/16043/candidate/136669?&election_authority_id=19.
4) YJ Draiman Campaign Website. http://www.yjdraiman.org.
Feb. 27, 2017
Language of Journalism ENGL 2206
Word Count: 1,000