Q&A: Marlon Marroquin. Embracing the Unexpected

6 mins read
A person posing for the camera
Marlon Marroquin. Photo: Campaign
This entry is part 17 of 23 in the series 2024 Primary Election Candidates

Q – What’s your plan to help the Transit-to-Trails program?

A – Despite the significant funding and the efforts to connect mass transit, the program faces many operational and infrastructure hurdles. A key issue is the lack of comprehensive funding for managing the increased influx of visitors. This influx has led to problems like habitat destruction, litter accumulation and insufficient restroom facilities.

With an average of 32 visitors per weekend, the outcome points to a possible mismatch between the programs’ offerings and the public’s needs and awareness. Additionally, program expansion into deeper forest areas raises concerns about the preparedness of visitors, their wilderness experiences and a lack of basic infrastructure.

The program aims to reduce urban isolation and connect more people to nature. But there is also the need for a more holistic approach that includes robust infrastructure, adequate staffing and public education to ensure the sustainability of these natural spaces and the safety and enjoyment of their visitors.

“To put on boxing gloves, officials must own up to any lack of foresight or missteps in the program’s planning and execution.”

Marlon Marroquin

To put on boxing gloves, officials must own up to any lack of foresight or missteps in the program’s planning and execution. Rather than making excuses, there should be a systematic review of what’s working and what isn’t—guided by tangible metrics like visitor numbers, traffic and traffic accumulation rates, and the effectiveness of infrastructure in place.

Lessons learned from the program’s initial challenges, such as the low usage of the shuttle service in the pilot phase and the inadequate provision for increased visitor traffic, must inform future decisions and build public trust by showing a commitment to transparency and responsibility.

Officials needed to demonstrate a willingness to learn from past mistakes and adapt their strategies, accordingly, ensuring that funds and resources are utilized in the most efficient and impactful ways to preserve these natural spaces for current and future durations.

So, the gist of it is accountability. One of the foundations of my campaign is that a lot of contemporary politicians, despite their good intentions, tend to fight for funding, but after the funding gets here, they don’t go into detail about how the funds should be used. It’s just seen as a win.

I’m someone who considers everything more on a macro scale. I see patterns, and it’s not just attributed to my ADHD, but it’s something that I’ve learned throughout my whole life. I might not be the best at reading the script. I might not be the best to take those very generic political videos, but I’m really good at details. Current policymakers here in Los Angeles County just care about getting it through so they can say, “Hey, look what I did.”

But they always lack detail. That worries me, especially with a county with a large population like LA. My solution is accountability and going into the details because creating legislation or policy just to say you did that is not the answer.

Q – What are your thoughts about the Pasadena City College dual enrollment program?

A – I think it’s important to let the voters know where you stand politically and personally. I want voters to know that I was a dual enrollment student.

I became a dual enrollment student because I needed to break away from the standardized, one-size-fits-all approach that often overlooks individuals’ learning needs. I wasn’t raised in an affluent environment. My path wasn’t just about academics. It was about an educational system that often fails to recognize and address students’ diverse challenges.

Many of these things go unnoticed by parents, educators and the district. But it highlights a broader issue: Who are these programs really for?

“It’s not just about implementing programs. It’s about asking the right questions and understanding the real needs of our students.”

Marlon Marroquin

There’s a significant conversation missing about accessibility and how we apply these programs to all students, not just a select few who think a certain way. I’m committed to bringing these issues to the forefront. I want to ensure that every decision made in our educational board meetings is scrutinized through the lens of what’s generally best for our students.

It’s not just about implementing programs. It’s about asking the right questions and understanding the real needs of our students. I want my students to know that when I walk into a board meeting, I am their advocate, committed to ensuring that every deal and decision made is in the best interest of our students, particularly those who are struggling and often overlooked.

So, as much as I love these programs from firsthand experience, again, it’s the details. Too many students are falling through the cracks that politicians or policymakers have graded. As much as I would love to say yes, I want to keep going with these programs, I also want to take a deeper look into them and see where they are failing. Many students feel lost, and I want to clear the fog before we go with more programs.

Q – Can you comment on how the sheriff’s department and the LA County District Attorney can help curtail retail theft?

A – It is essential to utilize methodologies and data-driven strategies over outdated methods of brute force policing. The idea of militarizing our streets and malls as a primary solution is a concession of defeat. It lacks innovative planning and resilience – force over intelligence.

We have access to current technology that’s far more effective. It’s crucial to analyze crime patterns and work closely with businesses to implement preventive strategies, not to deploy more officers randomly but to utilize smart policing based on data and trends.

“It lacks innovative planning and resilience – force over intelligence.”

Marlon Marroquin

As for new technologies, we need a vigilant eye to ensure we’re not handing out blank checks to unproven programs, especially for the private sector. We tend to write blank checks for unproven and absurd tech solutions. Look at New York City, for example. They released robots into their subways, and I could not stop laughing. It looks good on paper, but it just doesn’t work.

We need someone in those negotiations to understand both the technology and its practical applications in law enforcement. My background as a survivor of human trafficking and my experience with checking into international criminal organizations gives me a unique position to collaborate with law enforcement in combating crime.

We must demand proactive and intelligent approaches, not just reactive ones. We must get ahead of organized crime to prevent the county and the state from suffering further and restore confidence in local government.

Q – What’s essential to your campaign that you want our voters to know about?

A – I want to speak more about the critical situation on our streets, especially concerning people experiencing homelessness. In LA County, I want voters to recognize that this crisis didn’t emerge overnight. The tools and information to prevent the rise of homelessness and crime have always been available, but they weren’t utilized effectively.

Take the COVID-19 pandemic, for example. Viruses have coexisted with humanity for millennia. Leaders acted unprepared, using the virus as a scapegoat for the ensuing chaos. This reactive approach is a pattern for handling major county-wide problems, including homelessness.

My vision is to see issues in a broader context, understanding that they are interconnected, while current politicians focus on immediate isolated issues. I am committed to a macroscale approach.

It’s crucial to have leaders who understand the complexities of our world, from viruses to technology to crime, and not just to excel in communication or media presence, paid for transparency and transparency and leadership.

Born and raised in District 5, my diverse international and domestic experiences have given me unique insight beyond office reports. I represent no special interests, and my goal is to lead District 5 into a new chapter where we address challenges holistically. It’s not about maintaining the political status quo. It’s about uniting our diverse communities to prepare for global challenges.

My commitment is to honesty, even when the answers are complex. To ensure a better future, you will always get a blunt answer from me, regardless of anyone’s emotions or political aspirations.

Q – Here’s our bonus question: Do you have any thoughts about saving local news?

A – I love your bonus question.

The landscape of modern journalism is particularly influenced by the dominance of major news outlets with access to big data and complex algorithms. This is a growing concern of mine.

While influential in disseminating information, these tools can sometimes lead to the propagation of sensationalized content. They often prioritize stories that elicit strong emotional responses, like fear and anger, and overbalanced, informative reporting. This tactic, driven by underlying motives to increase viewership and engagement, can distort public perception and overshadow the more nuanced everyday realities, especially those covered by more local news outlets.

“It’s about asking the hard questions and expecting honest, direct answers from our officials, not allowing them to deflect or spin the narrative.”

Marlon Marroquin

Smaller local news outlets must champion trustworthy journalism and integrity and prioritize content that serves the public interest. It’s about asking the hard questions and expecting honest, direct answers from our officials, not allowing them to deflect or spin the narrative.

A lot of the more prominent news outlets tend to do this. We need to foster a culture of accountability where officials are held responsible for their actions and statements.

This shift also requires educating the public about how larger outlets curate and present news. Awareness of these practices is crucial as it empowers individuals to evaluate the news they consume critically.

Ultimately, the goal is to move away from fear-based narratives. I think local news is at the front of that. Eventually, especially with tools like AI, people will discover that many of these fear-mongering and clickbait stories were never in their best interest.

I guarantee you that in the near future, local news will be a great tool that locals will use daily.

Series Navigation<< Q&A: Debra Archuleta. Crime, Bail and Punishment in LA CountyQ&A: Konstantine Anthony. Champion Working People >>
The short URL of this article is: https://localnewspasadena.com/gof6

Sheryl Turner

Sheryl is Local News Pasadena's Publisher and Pasadena Media Foundation's Founder. When not saving local news, she devotes her spare time to finding the best meatloaf in town.
Email: [email protected]

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