Meni, Falea’ana “Ana” Arieta

Occupation: Unemployed
Office Seeking: City Clerk
Ana Meni - 2020.jpg

Q:

Please highlight your community involvement, including any previous appointments or elected offices held, volunteer work or other leadership positions. How have these roles prepared you to lead the City of Carson as Council Member?

A:

My Christian faith and my Samoan culture have been the foundation of my upbringing.  My sisters and I were raised that we were blessed with our talents to serve God and our community.  My work for the City and Union was my service.

I volunteered for sixteen (16) years in labor leadership for AFSCME Local 809 – City of Carson Employees, the last five (5) as President.  AFSCME Local 809 represents the majority of the City workforce.  I also served on the AFSCME District Council 36 Executive Board - Vice President of District 4 - Union Locals in the South Bay region.

Since March 2020, I have been volunteering with Labor Community Services (LCS), community partner of the LA County Federation of Labor, as part of the COVID-19 Volunteer Corp.  LCS has hosted over 100 food distributions throughout Southern California.  The food distributions have helped more than 80,000 families and over 322,000 people.  I have worked for more than sixty (60) of them including several vaccination clinics.

I also volunteered for my neighborhood park - Dolphin Park Volunteer Association, Belmont Shore Youth Rugby Club, and First Christian Church of Wilmington.

May we continue to be a service to those in need.

Q:

What does Transparency mean to you, and how will you ensure Carson’s city government is accountable to its residents?

A:

Transparency in government is the pathway to restore the public’s trust in our elected officials.  Transparency is what I fought for every single day against the City of Carson.  My mentor and first boss at the City of Carson was the late City Clerk Helen S. Kawagoe.  She instilled in me that we are public servants and that we have a duty and obligation to the Carson residents to be good stewards with the City’s funds and property.  That with every action we take, we must meet the following targets – be effective, be efficient, and be transparent.

Q:

Carson was able to pass a structurally balanced budget for the first time in years, how do you plan to maintain this balanced budget?

A:

The City Clerk only has control over the City Clerk’s Department budget. 

The Governor recently approved bills that the incoming City Clerk will have to factor into the City Clerk’s budget most notably AB 37- automatic mail of ballots.  To reduce the costs, the City Clerk will have to actively engage with the Carson voters to update their voter registration including a productive partnership with the LA County Registrar to update the voter pool (remove deceased, moved, etc.).

I would also reevaluate the past two fiscal years to make sure budget forecasts will be sufficient for City Clerk’s operations.

Q:

What specific policies will you advocate that will benefit the residents of Carson?

A:

Motto – be effective, efficient, and transparent.  Top priorities - access to City records, voter outreach, passport services, and legislative education.

Access to records – free and easily accessible online access to City records is paramount to achieve efficiency and transparency.  Will implement streamlined portal to City records including expansion of available documents and integrate the records with legislative actions.

The information will easily be accessible and reduce the need for the public to submit Public Records Act Requests, which are costly.

Voter outreach - engagement with the community is not enough, they must be an informed community.  The City’s social media is underutilized, yet it is the number one source the public relies on.  I will release short education videos of the election process, City’s legislative process, and explanation of the different levels of government including the services they provide and to connect with them.  I will also host online townhalls.

Passport services – reinstate the services so that our Carson residents have a centralized and easily accessible location to submit for a passports and passport cards.