Juan Guillen, insurance specialist and community activist, has officially joined the 2015 race for Burbank City Council. He’s the latest of several candidates to take that step. Guillen made the announcement to me last Saturday during a chat at the Starbucks on North San Fernando Boulevard in Downtown Burbank. Guillen made an unsuccessful attempt for a council seat back in 2013, but impressed many with his intelligence and passion for the city and its residents.
While some candidates who failed to get elected disappear from the public eye, Guillen says he “never stopped doing — and representing the community.” The 35 year-old Guillen is the vice-chair of the Burbank Board of Library Trustees, trustee of the Burbank Veterans of Foreign Wars,on the board of the Burbank Salvation Army, member of Burbank Coordinating Council, member of Burbank Sunrise Rotary and a volunteer for the Bike Angels. ( a partial list.) Also, the former marine and Iraq War veteran has a B.A. from California State University, Northridge and teaches fitness classes through the Burbank Adult School.
Guillen says one of his mottos is to “serve, listen, and represent.” In the past, he has become involved with a number of controversial issues like North Screenland sidewalks, hillside neighborhood private gates, and Magnolia Boulevard merchants dispute over parking problems. Guillen says it’s “… never the wrong time to do the right thing.”
“This is my city and I’m proud of it,” Guillen told me and then added that no matter the outcome of the election, ” I will continue to serve it.”
Here are Guillen’s responses to three questions I am asking each council candidate:
1. Why are you the best candidate for a seat on the Burbank City Council?
I am a resident and small business owner who LOVES OUR CITY ! I will bring a youthful energy to our city council. As a Veteran I believe our community, our neighborhoods, and our quality of life are worth protecting. I will work to ensure that the voices of our residents are heard and resident involvement is encouraged. This is my commitment to my community.
2. What are the major problems facing the city that you can help solve?
Preserving the quality of life in our neighborhoods and throughout our city should be at the center of every decision we make. We must ensure that we engage our residents and not simply wait for them to come to city hall when a problem arises. Burbank is a community where neighbors know one another and work together for the good of their neighborhood and our overall community. Residents are the biggest assets that our city has and our quality of life is something that we must protect. I believe that I can address these issues by being a leader who brings our residents together, listens to their voices and helps them to be directly involved in addressing the issues we face.
3. What are the biggest concerns of residents? What do you think the city council should do to alleviate those concerns?
While resident concerns may change from day to day, at the heart of the concern is always the quality of life in our community. Traffic, street repair, mansionization, overdevelopment, and other issues should be approached proactively with effective outreach to residents that ensures that their voices are heard and they are actively included in the solutions.
Q & A with other city council candidates