Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Interview with Stephen Box: Candidate for LA City Council District 4 – Part I

As a person who has served on the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council for 2 1/2 years, I have come to appreciate the importance of local politics.  And while I have rarely if ever used this blog to endorse political candidates; when it comes to local politics, I much more inclined to do so, especially if I know the candidate personally, and have a deep respect for them. I love living in Los Angeles, and I really desire to see LA become all she can be, which is why I am excited about this interview with Stephen Box, who is running for the LA City Council – District 4.

Before going into this interview, I must first disclose my bias to you.  I am a strong supporter of Stephen Box.  My endorsement, which you can find on his site reads like this:

“In a day where it is easy to be cynical about politicians, it is refreshing to have a true statesmen running for the LA City Council.  Stephen Box is a grassroots activist who loves our city, and his love for the city is contagious. He is bright, informed and will be a positive force for LA.  This is as excited as I have ever been for a candidate running for the city council.” – JR Woodward (Author, Activist, Speaker, Blogger, Co-founder of Kairos Los Angeles)

Now for the interview.  This is Part I.  I will have Part II of this interview tomorrow, and Part III on Monday, March 7th.

JR: Tell us a little about yourself, why you decided to run for city council district 4, and why you would be a good candidate.

Stephen Box: My parents were Nazarene pastors and on the front door of their first church in the sub-tropics of northeast Australia, there was a sign that read “A Welcome Awaits You” and that was how I was raised.

I came to Los Angeles almost 14 years ago to work in the entertainment industry and it’s where I met my lovely wife Enci. Along the way I learned to navigate City Hall while producing music videos and commercials.

The turning point for us as community activists took place on a summer night as we rode our bikes home from the Echo Park Film Center and encountered a Metro bus operator who ran me off the road. We reached out for help from the city and the county and found none. We’ve never looked back!

Since then I’ve fought for safer streets, for funding to improve our community, for enforcement support, and for accountability and oversight in our local government.

JR: What are your biggest hopes for the city of LA?

Stephen Box: I have traveled the world, living in cities both very large and very small, and I know first hand that what happens in Los Angeles resonates throughout the world. We have an obligation, not just to ourselves, but to the world, to embrace our Great City potential and to partner in greatness.

Los Angeles is the greatest city in the most populated state in the most powerful country in the world. We must set the standard for Public Safety, for Public Works, for Public Health and for Public Education. Not just for us, but for all those who look to us as we set the standard.

We have all that it takes to make this happen. LA is the capital of innovation and creativity. The people I meet in the entertainment industry, in the arts and culture community, in the social services community, in the neighborhood councils, in the small businesses which drive our local economy, and in every walk of my life in LA continually inspire me.

Come back for Part II of this interview tomorrow, Sunday, March 6th.  And remember elections are Tuesday, March 8th, so don’t forget to vote.  And if you are living in District 4, vote for Stephen Box!

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