Ben Tarzynski is one of eight candidates running for the Gardena City Council.
Tarzynski, 34, is a Deputy District Attorney who says that he has a lot of experience as a public servant.
“If voters honor me with a seat on the city council, I will go in with a lot of expertise,” he said. “I will be ready on day one.”
He said that he was inspired to run in the March 3 election because he has “always been involved, even in college, and concerned” about a lot of issues.
“There is a lot going on on the council, and a lot of things on the national and local level,” he said.
Tarzynski said that his three main issues are public safety, housing and the environment.
On public safety, he mentioned his experience as a criminal prosecutor for the District Attorney’s office. He also said that there was a lot that Gardena could do to prevent crime from happening.
“I feel that we can do more with gang diversion and youth programs for crime prevention,” he said.
He said that the housing crisis was a regional problem, but added that Gardena would have an important role in solving the problem of finding more affordable housing.
“We can not escape the fact that Gardena is a municipality in the middle of L.A. County,” he said.
He said that people “should not panic” about regional plans or new laws which would call for more housing in the area.
“We need to educate voters about what the city will look like in the future,” he said. “We need a long-range plan, because we will be at the center of it.”
Tarzynski said that Gardena also needs more trees.
“I want to see more green spaces,” he said. “We have a lot of space where we could add trees, and do it in a smart way, so that they are not cracking sidewalks. But there should be plenty of trees.”
Tarzynski said that Gardena’s identity as a “Freeway City” had a downside.
“They dump a lot of exhaust on us, and we need to be concerned about public health,” he said.
He said that he was endorsed by Councilman Dan Medina. According to reports, Medina will be unable to run this year because of term limits. Medina’s council seat will be filled in the March election.
Tarzynski said that he also had endorsements from former Assemblyman Warren Furutani, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the Gardena Valley Democratic Club and the Korean American Democratic Committee.
Tarzynski received his law degree from UC Hastings and served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. He said that he has lived in Gardena for five years.