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::: Neighborhoods & Housing :::

Lucille Mozena
Steve Mozena

Dear Neighbor:

I'm strongly pro-development and would love to see lots more affordable housing in Carson. 

I came from a poor family in the Philippines, a country where too many people cannot afford to live in a decent house. 

I know firsthand what poverty is like, so I would make every effort to ensure that everyone in Carson has access to good, affordable housing. 

Everyone who works for a living should be able to afford to buy a house in our city. 

That is what we as a community should be striving for. 

It's part of the American Dream, and as a recent immigrant, I believe in the American Dream.


Lucille Mozena


Dear Fellow Carsonite:

There is a lack of affordable housing in Southern California, and Carson's urban planning is atrocious. We have business parks and factories next to residential areas. Residents must put up with semi-trucks rumbling by, belching out exhaust fumes, not to mention the pollution that emanates from the industrial plants. We also have homes on busy major streets.

As a city, we set the zoning. We set the rules. And the rules should favor the residents of the city. On our major busy streets, there should only be strip malls and office blocks.

I would halt any new housing and business development while the city redraws an urban plan, instead of merely falling prey to the whims of developers.

In my business, I have met many college professors, among whom are some who teach urban planning. I'm sure I would be able to enlist some of their students, as part of a class project for their Master's or Ph.D., to help with the correct zoning and planning of the city of Carson for free.

Housing developers make large profits while we get shoved closer and closer together like rush-hour subway travelers. I won't let housing developers run roughshod over us. We want homes with big lots. We want to take advantage of the California climate and grow fruit trees and have vegetable gardens. We want our kids to have backyards with BBQ's and swing sets.

Recently, the city of Carson has seen many small housing developments. The houses are beautiful but they are too close together. This maximizes the bottom line for the developer, at the expense of the new homeowners. No home should be on a lot less than 100 ft x 100 ft.

As to sidewalks in these new developments, what sidewalks?

All sidewalks should be wide enough for at least two people and preferably more: mother, wife, husband, father and child, to walk side by side. And grandma and grandpa too. The more attractive our sidewalks are, the more seniors will be encouraged to start walking to keep their blood circulating. We all need to walk more to lose weight and promote longevity. Better sidewalks mean more people out walking, and that also makes for better neighborliness. People will be able to greet each other as they walk, water their yards, garden or just sit out front enjoying a quiet evening.

It is easy to be a first time-home buyer now in Carson. The City even has incentive programs, but it needs to revisit them and adapt them for the maximum benefit of current and future Carsonites. As a city, we should facilitate this to help people who want to purchase their first home in Carson.

No one should have to live in a condo, townhouse, trailer home or even an apartment simply because these are "affordable" housing options. Of course, there may be families who prefer such living arrangements. For seniors and perhaps single parent families, these may be ideal living situations. But for those who want to buy houses, we must make it as easy for them as possible.

We also need to foster a sense of community in our town.

At the moment, we have tons of cinder-block walls in Carson that turn homes into fortresses. These fortresses line our streets both on busy roads and residential roads, and we hide behind them as if we feared attack from Los Angeles gangs or even Rottweilers and Pit Bulls.

We should have neighborhoods where people know one another. We should create homeowners' associations throughout Carson, with designated representatives who can act as liaisons between the homeowners and the Mayor and Council.

We need friendly neighborhoods where people have block parties and block watches, and bring housewarming gifts to people who purchase new homes in the neighborhood. Let's not wait until an earthquake or terrorist attack brings us together as neighbors. Let's do it now.

We must open up our yards, and keep them well maintained too. If residents don't keep their grass trimmed in front of their homes and on the islands, they should be fined.

We also need to encourage our two large ethnic groups, African Americans and Filipinos, as well as everyone else, to mix together more. It seems like the city is divided in the way that the old Berlin Wall divided that city. The majority of African Americans are East of 405, while the Filipinos are West of the 405. Let's come together more often as one group. Let's be color blind.

All streets should be wide enough to accommodate parked cars, so that family and friends can visit their relatives without inconvenience.

Our streets should also be well lit at night so our grandmothers, mothers, daughters, and nieces will feel safe walking the streets.

We should optimize the use of cul de sacs and speed bumps, to reduce the risks associated with large traffic flow and promote safety for the residents and their children.

Finally, we need to seriously consider some name changes. We should change the name of Figueroa street, which is known to those who do not live there as "Fe ga HO a" because of the many prostitutes who walk the Los Angeles section of Figueroa. Maybe it should be named after a former Councilmember. Call it Calas Corridor.

We also need to consider changing the name of Carson because it is frequently confused with Carson City, Nevada. We need a name that establishes our own image. How about "Southbay".

That is my plan, and I will work hard to achieve it.


Steve Mozena