The following blog posts are from the 2010 City Council election campaign.
Submitted Monday, April 12:
Dear Arcadians: With the election just around the corner, I want to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to meet and speak with you. Whether it was from precinct walking, blogging, phone calls, emails, team times, or meeting at the campaign office, I cannot tell you how honored I am to have connected with you.
Arcadia is an incredible city. I have met people from all walks of life — business owners, employees, professionals, mothers, fathers, retirees, even a person that sleeps underneath the freeway underpass; Arcadia’s energy and uniqueness is incomparable.
Now is the time for you to select someone (each person has up to three votes) that will be on city council. As such, I ask that you consider the following:
A unique prospective is what can make Arcadia a better place
I consider city council to be like a sports team. No successful sports team has all identical players. Each position is there for a reason. While some players may be similar, each one brings to the table his or her own unique perspective and understanding. That is good because any decision will be better thought out.
I am not a cookie cutter candidate. I am the only person that has ever worked inside of a city council as a non-politician. Furthermore, my views will be unhindered by years of political ties. I am younger than the other candidates. That is a great thing. It brings energy and views to the table that would otherwise be thrown to the side.
I stayed true to my beliefs in the face of adversity
As you can see, I stuck to my guns although attacked. Many people said that I was anti-Asian because I wanted to represent all Arcadians, not just one group. Others sent hate mail to the community saying that I was not a prosecutor in attempts to try to discredit me (See http://xynree.tumblr.com/post/502534027; http://arcadiaavocado.wordpress.com/; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BDn3K_4FqY&feature=channel).
What does that mean for you? It means that in the face of difficulties and pressures I will fight to ensure that I will not waiver from what I know to be true. I will not cater to one group just to get a vote. Those that took the time to create the Community of Homes deserve it.
Our campaign provided solutions not just issues
I am proud of the fact that we were the campaign that people turned to when they wanted to find solutions, not just rehash problems about Arcadia. I have always said that anyone can bring up issues. But who can bring up logical and feasible solutions that will move Arcadia move forward? While I cannot say that every one of my thoughts is earth shattering a rolling stone gathers no moss. Below are just a few of our ideas.
Community Garden: I am the only candidate to have brought up the idea of a community garden (run by the city) to help educate children and promote healthy eating to all residents.
Collective Internet Pricing: Our city should look into negotiating a collective internet rate for all households. Cities that have done so have reduced their internet prices per household by 15% or more while also increasing revenues into the city.
Focus on Expenses not just income: Income, while sexy, is illusory. We must look at further reducing expenses. Last year, we considered cutting ambulance services, street sweeping, tree cutting, and closing the libraries on Fridays. (Arcadia City Manager Don Penman, Page 10 of 2010 budget Paragraph 2: http://www.ci.arcadia.ca.us/docs/final_operating__budget_book_09-10.pdf). That is unacceptable. To be good stewards of our city, council must tackle budgetary concerns immediately.
Finance Commission: Although we have had financial committees before, I want to establish a permanent Commission that is allowed to comment to the public about their findings. I want every contract this city enters into to be analyzed by this commission. This will create a citizen check and balance and more transparency to bring back citizen confidence.
Solar Panels: I will advocate providing homeowners with an expedited way of getting permits for photovoltaic (solar panel) installations. We should also look at partnering with homes so that our city can generate revenue from credits received from solar panel installations.
Removal of Massage Parlors: While some may be legitimate, the concern is that they bring a type of connotation Arcadians don’t want. (See LA Times: In a three year period Arcadia gave out 700 massage parlor licenses: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/28/local/me-massage28). How do we weed out the good ones and get rid of the others? We need to pass a city ordinance that requires all businesses that provide massage services to prohibit tinting of windows and require video cameras on any entrance to be submitted on a weekly basis to the police department. This will immediately eliminate the wheat from the chaff.
Youth Commission: Many believe that youth have needs. Few want to hear about it from them. I want to have a youth commission made up of representatives from the high school and middle schools that will communicate to police and the city council on a monthly basis so that their needs get addressed.
I want to thank those who live here. You created the Community of Homes. I want to keep that tradition going. I hope that on April 13, 2010 you allow me to have one of your votes so I can serve your needs and give you the voice that you want on City Council. Thank you.
Submitted Monday, March 29:
I had the opportunity to attend a local church with my friend Larry. I went with him because everyone I have met from his church has always been a person of their word. It means a lot to me. So when he asked me to go, it was not if, but when.
During the Sunday school service Larry handed everyone a lemon. He reminded everyone that life is full of lemons and that we need to add some sugar water to make it lemonade.
Over the past few months I have been plagued by a person that drives around in a car making disparaging statements. He condemns me as an Anti-Christ of the Chinese people, a person that lies about my background, and a deceiver. Most recently, he sent out a letter to many citizens in Arcadia saying the same thing. We received many calls from people that were hurt, curious, offered suggestions to fight it, or wanted to interrogate me for the alleged statements made on the letter.
I was sad when I had a chance to read it. The details of the letter were extremely defamatory, very hard to defend, and absolutely false. Importantly, the letter stated that I told everyone that I was an Attorney General and/or District Attorney. That I lied to judges. That I was oppressing Chinese people. This letter was sent out to many people throughout the community.
Many people that know me know that I was a former Deputy City Attorney for the City of Hesperia. I have never made statements to the contrary.
It is also my belief that if Asian Americans continue to oppress each other by running underground businesses and abusing those that work there that mainstream society will not respect us. As such, half of my law practice is dedicated to fighting illegal cash businesses in the San Gabriel Valley. (See http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/09/prweb1398134.htm for the type of cases we do).
However, how would I be able to defend such malicious actions by this third party? How would I communicate to people that this person demanded the following to make him go away:
* Pay him a lump some of money * Dismiss the lawsuit or * Find an attorney that would defend his clients against the employees
All options are illegal. All alternatives prejudice the abused employees.
Everyday, instead of talking to people about my platform and how we could improve Arcadia, it became a character analysis of my candidacy.
I had to be strong and be sincere when people attacked me. It was not easy. I had many people slam the door on my face because of the statements made in the letter. Some even said that if the statements were untrue I should quit running and attack the person that attacked me.
On Wednesday of last week, someone in my office received a call from Andre Quintero, a current Deputy City Attorney for Los Angeles and current Mayor of El Monte. He wanted to recognize my work in the city and wanted to recognize my work as a former Deputy City Attorney. I was floored. Here was a person that I barely knew that had been following our campaign. He wanted to support me and legitimize my work.
On Saturday, March 27, 2010, Mayor Quintero came by the office. He presented a plaque to me that supported who I was and what I stood for. Suddenly, the tide of doubt had changed. Many people began to realize that was occurring was a smear campaign by one person against another. ************************** In your life today, you have some lemons. It could be family, money, life, etc. I want you to be encouraged to add your own version of sugar water. Your lemonade may not come as soon as you want, nor the way you want, but it will come. No matter what, do not give up. And when you succeed, call me, and let’s drink some lemonade together.
************************** Brother Larry, thank you. Your lemon meant more than you thought when you handed it out at Sunday school. – Submitted Friday, March 26:
Dear Arcadians, You are invited on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 1230 pm to join Mayor Andre Quintero of El Monte as he recognizes my service to the community as a former Deputy City Attorney.
He is currently a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. Thank you.
Location: 1 W. Duarte Rd., Unit B Arcadia, CA 91007
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Submitted Wednesday, March 24:
Dear Arcadians: It has come to my attention that the following negative campaigning is occurring: 1. Signs are being stolen from supporters’ lawns 2. Signs are being replaced on property that are not approved
Actions like this are unnecessary to effectuate the interests of the candidates. No one benefits from such actions. We ask all candidates and their supporters to please run a campaign that all Arcadians can be proud of.
If you find a sign on your property that was not requested please let us know as expeditiously as possible so that we take it back immediately. I apologize on behalf of all the candidates for any inconvenience this has caused.
Submitted Friday, March 5:
For many people, crime has become an issue that many want addressed immediately.
I know in our community meetings, many people ask me what they can do to prevent crime, what my position is on it, and what I can be able to do if elected to City Council.
For purposes of concision, I am getting this blog done quicker than normal. Grammar edits will have to be done by your eyes. Thank you in advance.
What can one do to prevent crime?
Report all suspicious activity
Many times, crime occurs because people fail to report suspicious activity. Studies show that prior to a home invasion robbery felons have already studied your patterns, understood when one arrives and leaves the house, and whether your neighborhood is one which people call in suspicious activity.
Herein lies a serious problem. Arcadia is the Community of Homes. And yet, we are not a community of neighbors. In the past ten years there has been a huge influx of immigrants into the community. With the diverse families people do not know each other on a personal level anymore. This unfortunate circumstance makes it so that questionable activity is not reported.
Recommendation: Report anyone whose actions beg a second look. Always report someone that stays in a car over 30 minutes in a residential area.
Ethnic Signs Off
Some crimes target specific people groups. In Arcadia, many of the homes targeted are Asian owned. Asian immigrants are well known for dealing in cash and keep much of it at home along with jewelry. (In some Asian communities, cash is exchanged for gold bars that are also kept in the home).
Thieves specifically look at clues to your home. I have recommended all ethnic signs to be taken off of doors and windows. While I am happy that people have pride in their own communities, I am very concerned by the clues being given to those that are scoping out homes in the area.
Recommendation: At a minimum, take off the signs that celebrate Chinese New Year.
Overflow on Mail
Call your local postal service when you are on vacation. Even three days worth of mail can overflow your mailbox. That is a direct clue that you are not home.
Recommendation: For those uncomfortable with notifying the USPS tell a neighbor that you would like them to pick up your mail when you are gone.
Tell a Neighbor
As previously stated, it is unfortunate that people do not know each other anymore. Vacations are an ideal time for people to invade your home.
In telling a neighbor, you reduce of risk of theft.
Case in point. Theft recently occurred when a family went on vacation. Two vans backed into the driveway and made off with many items. Perhaps that may not have occurred had the victim had trusted people to communicate her whereabouts and the neighborhood was vigilant in calling suspicious activity.
Recommendation: Tell a trusted neighbor that you will be gone on vacation.
This is an inexpensive no-brainer and one which every house should have.
Recommendation: Just do it.
Different Routes Going Home
Every person should have 3-5 different routes in going home. Some studies show that a person may be followed for up to one month prior to an invasion occurring. As such, taking alternative routes (which may not add additional commute time) helps in reducing home invasions.
Recommendation: Immediately find 2 routes by the end of this week and 3 others next week to go home.
Wallets are the New Purses
I notice that many women in Arcadia wear extremely expensive jewelry and purses when they go to the supermarket and the mall. The attention brought upon those women sometimes is not desired. As such, I recommend having women bring as little as possible when you go shopping. If you can fit it in a wallet, do it. Leave the purse at home.
Recommendation: Wallets are the new purses in Arcadia.
My Position on Crime
I am a former prosecutor and Deputy City Attorney. My take on crime is very simple. Realistically, police cannot be everywhere in the city. As such, we must do our part to reduce the possibility of crime in our neighborhoods and against us personally. We cannot blame the police when we have not done our part to reduce the potential crime.
What do I intend to do for Arcadia Regarding Issues of Crime
There are several, low cost and effective ways that our city can improve citizen safety
I have previously spoken on this issue before and will not belabor the point. We need to have representatives of the local high school and junior highs tell us what their concerns and needs are in the City of Arcadia. I always say that although I do not know who the gangs are, where drugs are sold, and where kids race cars, our youth do. We must give youth every opportunity to speak up what they need and how Arcadians can help. That in effect benefits all of us.
Areas of concern in the city can be monitored with mobile cameras. It an inexpensive way to help our local law enforcement to have a third pair of eyes.
24 hour tip hotline
We need to have a 24 tip hotline where one can leave tips in their native language. While I am not an advocate of catering to people that do not speak English, I believe for crime purposes, we must accommodate cultural barriers that prevent people from calling in crime.
Citizen Crime Commission
We need to develop a CCC. The commission acts as an intermediary between the citizens and police. Complaints, concerns, tips, etc., can be given to this commission to help our police become better public servants.
I am proud to have citizens and law enforcement that want to make this city into an even better place. I hope this small blog helps you know more about my campaign.
Submitted Saturday, Feb. 6:
Someone came up to me about a month ago. The child (and later his parent) said to me that down the street from my campaign office they sell pot. I asked the child how he learned about this and why I didn’t know. He said one thing: “Because you’re old.”
I was stunned. But it suddenly dawned on me that he was right. When I was child I knew many things that my parents did not.
That is what is happening here. Our children know so much that it is frightening. We must utilize our children’s knowledge to keep us abreast of what is going on. They are one of our last untapped resources in fighting crime.
Merely knowing the latest technologies (internet, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc.) is not enough. We must not shut the mouths of our children.
Our children know why there has been a recent stabbing, why thefts are increasing, and why youth on youth crime is prevalent.
A youth commission would be like the other commissions in the society (Historical, Planning, etc.). They would report to our police, fire and city council. They would make suggestions and tell us when they believe our civic leaders are going down the wrong path to solve youth problems.
I know that our children have a voice. They have always been speaking to us. Time for us, the adults, to listen.
Submitted Thursday, Feb. 4:
Last night I had the opportunity to go to Baldwin Stocker Elementary School.
I was touched because I saw Ms. Hillman and lots of dedicated teachers freely giving their time to help students improve their math.
We should be proud of people like Principal Hillman and the teachers that wake up every morning to work with our children. Our children spend more time with teachers than with us. Treat them well. They are molding our children for the future.
Also, I was so happy to see the large number of fathers that took their children to the math session. It’s so important to have parents involved; especially fathers. I did not have the opportunity to have father-son time with my own dad. He was a hard worker and I accept that. But I cannot tell you how much I wish I could have five minutes to work on math problems with my father. And last night, I missed him more than anything.
Application statement filed with City Clerk’s office:
Paul Cheng Occupation: Former Prosecutor/Attorney
As a former Deputy City Attorney and Prosecutor, Paul Cheng brings the experience it takes to continue making Arcadia a safe and prosperous city for all residents. Paul Cheng is committed to PRESERVING THE PAST AND PROTECTING THE FUTURE. And during these tough economic times, Paul Cheng has the courage to bring necessary fiscal reform to city spending, and fight for our fair share in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
As City Councilmember, Paul Cheng has a clear vision for Arcadia based on the PRIDE we all have in our city:
P reserve Arcadia’s General Plan R educe traffic congestion I ncrease Public Safety D ecrease Unnecessary City Spending E ncourage Citizen Participation
Arcadia was recently named “The Best City to Raise a Child” in California. As City Councilmember, Paul Cheng will make sure that Arcadia continues to be a great city to raise a family. Working closely with Police, Fire, and local schools, Paul Cheng will work to preserve our city’s quality of life.
Paul Cheng earned a B.A. in Philosophy from UCLA and a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. Paul Cheng is honored to earn your trust and support for City Council. For more information visit: www.FriendsofPaulCheng.com
(Jan. 18, 2010)
This is one of six blogs provided by ArcadiasBest.com to the six candidates running for three seats on the Arcadia City Council in the April 13, 2010 election.
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