The CALÓ NEWS opinion editor reached out to both candidates running to be the next mayor of Los Angeles. Businessman Rick Caruso sent us a statement on why he wants to be the next mayor of Los Angeles and how he will address issues of concern to Latino voters.

Los Angeles is home to nearly 2 million Latinos who for generations have worked hard to build up our great city, and who make up around half of the city’s population. It has never been more important for Latinos to hear directly from candidates for office on their vision for Los Angeles, and their plans to address issues disproportionately impacting Latino communities–such as homelessness, crime and environmental degradation.

I pledge to help Latinos that make up our great city, and I will work to increase opportunity. I promise that my Administration will reflect the diverse communities of the great City of Los Angeles, and will ensure at least 50% of the appointments to my staff and commissions are Latino. I will listen to the community and focus every day on what can be done to make LA more affordable, safer, and a place where families can build community and see their children thrive.

I understand housing affordability is stressing many families. I want to incentivize the development of housing so people can afford to live and work in the City of Los Angeles. We currently have regulations that inhibit the construction of housing with two or more bedrooms, forcing families to leave the City (and spend more time commuting). That constraint fuels the demand (and price) of our limited family-sized housing, worsens traffic and contributes to poor air quality and increased greenhouse gas emissions. I am a builder, and I know these regulations need to change.

Regarding the homelessness crisis, on day one I will declare a State of Emergency. We will ensure 30,000 shelter beds are built in 300 days to get people off the streets, and have services provided. Community policing so officers reflect the neighborhoods they serve will be a key priority. Community members need to feel comfortable reaching out to the police, and LAPD needs to earn that trust. We need to hire more police officers so families can feel safe going to the park, having their kids walk to school, and using public transportation to commute. I also will create programs that afford second chances to reduce recidivism through better education, access to job training and mental health services.

I will use the full power of the office starting on day one to defend Dreamers. I will do everything I can to stand with them and their families. On day one of my administration, we will take a series of steps to reverse the ongoing damage being done by those who are putting up roadblocks for Dreamers and their families. We will convene and enlist a team across agencies and task them to use every single tool at our city’s disposal to prevent DACA recipients from taking any steps backward on their route to full citizenship. I will work to expand educational opportunities for immigrant families. Moreover, I will craft a policy to ensure that the city is not discriminating against young immigrants in its hiring policies.

I am proud to say that I have been a strong advocate and supporter of the Latino community throughout my life, whether in my company or through my philanthropic efforts. My grandparents were immigrants and settled in Boyle Heights. My grandfather was a gardener who worked out of his truck, and I remember riding with him as he worked hard to give his Family the American dream. As Mayor, I will work closely with Latino community leaders to identify opportunities and skilled work training access to ensure that everyone has a fair shot at that same American dream.