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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 50

Photo of Will Hess

Will Hess

Writer/Director/Producer
16,482 votes (14.5%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Build a coalition of the willing to eradicate homelessness.
  • Building infrastructure (desalinization plants, mag-lev high speed rail, subway expansion, etc.)
  • Grow Affordable Housing; Support 2nd Amendment Rights; Remove Sanctuary City/State Status; Enforce Immigration Laws; etc.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Documentary Writer/Director/Producer
Writer / Director / Producer, King Cake: The New Orleans Mardi Gras (documentary about the 300 year history of the city of New Orleans and its Mardi Gras celebration). (2012–2020)
Writer / Director / Producer, With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story (biography documentary about the life of Spider-Man creator and Marvel founder Stan Lee). (2006–2012)

Education

University Southern California M.F.A., Cinema Production (2004)
Louisiana State University B.A., History (1997)

Biography

CANDIDATE STATEMENT OF WILL HESS            My name is Will Hess. I was born in Dallas, Texas and I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana playing trumpet and marching in the Mardi Gras parades annually with my brothers and sister. I’ve now lived in Los Angeles for two decades upon moving here after finishing undergraduate studies at LSU in Baton Rouge where I earned my B.A. studying history.  I earned my MFA from USC in Cinema Production right here in Los Angeles. I also earned a paralegal certificate from UCSD in La Jolla while living in San Diego for a two year stint.   Between 2006-2012 I wrote/directed/produced my first documentary entitled WITH GREAT POWER: THE STAN LEE STORY which was the official biography on Spider-Man creator and Marvel founder Stan Lee. I met Stan when he was 86 and became friends with him until he passed away at 95 years young. I dedicated myself to telling his wonderful story. Most only know him for Spider-Man if they know him at all but as shown in the documentary, Stan created at least 532 characters in the Marvel Universe notably Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Black Panther, Thor, Avengers, Iron-Man, Hulk, Ant-Man, Silver Surfer, etc. Stan’s two decade struggle to get the characters into major motion pictures depicts a “fight on” attitude (which also happens to be the USC motto) and inspires one to never give up on their dreams. WGP played in 26 film festivals, won 8 awards and was distributed by PBS, Netflix, Viacom, Fox, Amazon, Vudu, Hulu, and can be currently seen on YouTube Movies.   Roughly, in 2012 I began shooting my second documentary currently entitled KING CAKE: THE JOIE DE VIVRE which looks back at the 300 year history of the city of New Orleans and its Mardi Gras celebration. I’ve interviewed 100 people for it and am currently editing and hope to have a cut at some point in the next year to submit out to film festivals.   I love music, documentary, film, art, writing, painting, etc. and will always be a proponent of funding for these items via the youth in class rooms and after school programs throughout our district. Unfortunately when budgets have to be tightened the arts are usually the first to feel it. There’s an irony in there somewhere because without art to help us understand and appreciate life we’d go crazy.   I’ve always enjoyed reading and studying history over a good cigar. I enjoy studying the law and I read daily about the state of politics in not only California but the country as a whole. This is a terribly divisive time in American politics and I will do my part to focus the dialogue on the issues and not on the name calling which is unproductive and leaves you back at the same spot you began at. I’ve been guilty at times in getting caught up on social media arguing a point as these days it’s hard not too. In a time where everyone can easily be a keyboard warrior and sling names and innuendo from anonymity behind their social media shield, not many will come out though and follow up running there mouth with actions that better society but for those that do volunteer and get involved in public service I applaud their actions as actions will always speak louder than words.   We have local problems which we need to deal with at a local level by finding local solutions. We cannot depend on Washington nor Sacramento (although if they extend their hand and what they’re offering is in the district’s interest then I will gladly take it). Local problems must be fixed at the local level. The very history of America involves a revolution of 13 colonies because the colonists could not depend upon fair representation in parliament on the other side of the ocean. Therefore breaking away and saying enough is enough was their solution to finding a more fair and local system of representation on this side of the Atlantic. Now I’m not advocating that we revolt from America as it’s the greatest social experiment ever attempted by mankind but we can improve on it and make it even better!   In a day when large global corporations and their high paid lobbyist look out for each other in Washington and Sacramento, who looks out for the little guy, the everyday man and woman in this community? I will. By voting for me, you will be aiding and abetting democracy. By voting for me, you will get a man who is not afraid to stand up to the big moneyed interests and fight for what this community needs and for what is in the best interests of the people of this community. By voting for me, you will get a voice in the state house, one whom will stay true to his convictions and whom shall not be corrupted and which will further the interests of this community like eradicating the homeless problem, expanding the mass transit, building infrastructure like high speed mag lev rail and desalinization plants, beautifying and making the district more green by planting more trees and flowers, sweeping the gutters, cleaning up the litter, graffiti etc.    I will build a community of district 50 residents whom want to get involved and be more active in the community. We will meet up monthly at locals restaurants for town halls with drinks and snacks to discuss the policies pending at the moment. It will provide me a great source of advice by hearing vocalized, what the citizens of the district care about and want. Friendships will be built and steps made to rebuild and save what everyone knows and loves about Los Angeles. It is a town where dreams come true. District 50 is only as great as its citizens and their willingness to get involved and what steps they are willing to take. I ask for you to join me by taking this first step and giving me your vote. From there, our course of civic duty, we shall chart together.

Thank you,


Will Hess
January 29, 2020
Bel Air, California  

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

Housing Question

Describe what proposal(s) you would support to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing for all income groups in California?

No answer provided.
What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of all Californians?
Answer from Will Hess:

I would vote for and push for building desalinization plants along our coast line. Israel and Japan have used them for decades. The technology is there. Why does Los Angeles import all her water from mountains a hundred miles away when we live on the Pacific Ocean? Why can't we expand our access to water for agriculture use and to help battle forest fires? We should not be having water shortages when the oceans makes up 70% of the Earth's surface. This will also be good for building infrastructure. The distribution of clean water throughout Southern California and to the central valleys will only expand our ability to output agriculture.

Carbon Neutrality Question

To reach a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, as set forth in a 2018 executive order what, if any, proposals, plans or legislation would you support?  Please be specific.

No answer provided.
Incarceration Question

According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, we spend over $81,000 per individual who is incarcerated.  Other than incarceration, what ways can the State address safety and justice?

No answer provided.

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Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

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