Misi Tagaloa, 54, is a pastor and CEO of a housing nonprofit who has lived in District 1 for 25 years. He is a registered Democrat.
Read the Post’s profile on Miss Tagaloa here.
Why did you decide to run?
I decided to run because the challenges are still there. We don’t have a neighborhood library, a fact that undergirds the insitutional treatment of the 1st District over the years. There are so many things that could be better in the district. We don’t have a person who represents the district and represents them well. I want to serve. When my dad died in 1994, I learned there was a lot more important things in life than climbing the corporate ladder. I want my life to count for something.
The 1st District has some of the highest rates of violence among the city, including shootings. What solutions do you have to reduce gun violence? And does that include increasing the number of police officers?
I would like to see an increase in police officers, but I don’t think that’s where the solution comes from. It comes from a sense of belonging. There are a lot of crimes that go unreported. It’s so complicated, I’m not sure there’s a political solution for it. When we all come together and work together we may be able to solve these problems. It becomes part of our ethos.
What type of solutions would you propose or support to provide more affordable housing? Is rent control part of your plan?
You have to build more housing. One of the reasons we don’t have affordable housing is supply and demand. We need to build more. I am an affordable housing exective, and one challenge is finding resources. You could something like block grants that don’t need to be paid back. It costs about $500,000 to build an affordable housing unit, so you need someone who’s paying about $5,000 a unit to finance that. If you’re building for those people they can only pay about $1,300. The difference has to come from municpalities, through bond initiatives, or other creative ways of filling that gap. I am on record as being against rent control.
How would you address the homelessness crisis in the District, including the issues associated with homelessness like mental illness and addiction?
There are no easy answers to this. Building relationships with them is a good start, and holding their hand. If this were a perfect world—when I grew up in our village, we had super nannies, people who look after the kids; they pay attention to what’s going on—I think we’re missing that in the 1st District. We need to invite them to programs that are available to them. I do believe in housing first: we need to solve homelessness, then introduce a program to get people involved.
What is your plan for improving air quality in Long Beach? Do you support the expansion of the 710 Freeway and the use of MHF in nearby refineries?
We need to remove those pollutants, causes and origins or pollutants. Ultimately that’s what we need to do. If we are committed to purifying the air, the Alameda Corridor has to be electrified, and we must modify our appetite for fossil fuel. I don’t think electing any one person is going to solve this. We need to figure out, what is the real cost for doing business, and factor in the poisoning the environment.
What have you personally contributed to the District?
I have a wife and I have three kids; I paid attention to them, and now they’re great kids; I felt good having three less kids causing problems in the hood. What you do doesn’t have to be heroic. Things like taking out the trash, helping, listening without loss—these are things that can make change and make a difference in the world.
Who is funding and endorsing your campaign?
Vice mayor Dee Andrews has endorsed me. My family is funding the bulk of my campaign.
Do you have plans for higher office?
I have no plans for higher office.