Candidate Laura Lake's characterization of the public policy differences between us (Letter, March 21) is not simply a distortion but a fabrication of my record. Contrary to her contentions:
* School district breakup: I have long advocated the breakup of the Los Angeles Unified School District. As the father of a student in LA city schools, I know firsthand the weaknesses in our school structure. As presently constituted, the LAUSD is unwieldy, unresponsive and not functioning in the best interest of our students and their parents. I have been working closely with Sen. David Roberti on his school district breakup legislation; that's one reason he has endorsed my candidacy.
* Senior citizen bus fares: I have never supported an increase in senior citizen bus fares, as Lake contends. The City Council doesn't even have jurisdiction over RTD fares! I do support a city-funded senior transportation program which is going to lower the price of a senior bus pass by $1.50 a month. I'm proud of my record of support for senior citizen transportation, affordable housing, recreation services, health services, social services, meals-on-wheels and other programs.
* Hillside protection: I have led the effort to save our hillsides from destructive bulldozing and overdevelopment. I authored the recently adopted Hillside Protection law and co-authored the Mulholland Scenic Corridor law, both of which are designed to protect the Santa Monica Mountains for future generations.
* Community Redevelopment Agency: I am the City Council's leading critic of the CRA; I authored the most comprehensive reform of that agency in the city's history. No one who has followed the events at City Hall would question my commitment to--or my success at--stopping the gross spending abuses at CRA.
I am proud of my record as a City Council member:
* I successfully fought to increase the size of our police force and am working to increase it even more.
* I forced a reluctant school district to install metal detectors at our violence-plagued high schools.
* I authored Proposition U, which slashed commercial development by half along major thoroughfares citywide.
* I authored Proposition O, which banned oil drilling along L.A.'s beaches.
* As chairman of the council's Budget Committee, I have successfully maintained the city's fiscal stability during its worst budget crisis since the Great Depression.
One may not agree with every decision I ever made, but residents of the Fifth District always know where I stand. If the voters return me for another term, they will get the same intense, independent leadership that has characterized my service in the past.
Yaroslavsky is seeking reelection as councilman from the Fifth District in Los Angeles.