Is Leckey feeling lucky? A look at the District 2 candidate Eric Leckey
By News Editor Autumn Dixon
The Quaker Campus met with District 2 City Council candidate Eric Leckey on March 3 to get a better understanding of his platform and vision for the city of Whittier for the election on April 10.
Eric Leckey is one of five candidates running for the District 2 City Council position. Leckey lives in Whittier with his wife and children. “I have two amazing daughters that are super smart [whom] I’m inspired by,” said Leckey. “I don’t want them to ever question that they can accomplish anything, so I try to take on tasks like [running for city council]. I take them with me and try to include them.” Leckey also works with a homeless organization called Pathways of Hope. Leckey is the author of two books that can be found at the Whittier Public Library, Myths, Legends, Rumors, and Lies, an autobiography that covers a period of his high school life, and Alcohol and Cigarettes, short stories based on film noir premises. Leckey lives in Whittier with his wife and children. “I have two amazing daughters that are super smart and I’m inspired by,” said Leckey. “I don’t want them to ever question that they can accomplish anything, so I try to take on tasks like [running for city council]. I take them with me and try to include them.” One of his main reasons for running was to prove to his daughters they are capable of pursuing their dreams as well. “I’m going to do this grassroots and small scale, and I’m going to have [my daughters] be my helpers,” said Leckey. “I’m not going to let them be passive participants, they’re active participants. They stuff envelopes, we do pictures, we do promo stuff, we shoot videos together. My oldest daughter is my videographer, we knock on doors together, we do everything together. I’m showing them we had an idea, we’re going to follow it through to its completion, we’re going to do the absolute best job we can, and you’re going to come with me on this journey.”
Leckey attended multiple colleges, including Fullerton College and Cal State Fullerton, and specializes in business and business development. This business background has caused him to refer to himself as the only “business first” candidate. “I’m a real big business focused guy,” said Leckey. “That’s actually the preface for what led me to run. I’m sitting back thinking: I have this skill set where I can help businesses and help things grow and expand — why not use it for my city?” Leckey hopes to make it easier for businesses to interact with the city by cutting back on regulations and creating a government website for businesses to use in order to complete city tasks faster. “I want to create an efficient, streamlined, modern website where businesses can go on and say ‘I want to expand’ or ‘I want to add a patio covering,’” said Leckey. “One click: Here are the forms you need to fill out. Submit them online in one week. We’ll get you an approval, and you can start doing the thing.”
Leckey’s business vision for Whittier includes increasing the Uptown area.Businesses in the Uptown area are required to pay a fee to the city in order to put items on the sidewalks to promote their stores. Leckey invisions a “Shop Whittier” day, which would be promoted to help local businesses once a month. “I would waive all fees on that day for having things on the sidewalk,” said Leckey, “So we as a city could start advertising through social media . . . and we can have people discovering our city.” In addition to this, Leckey would also like to add free Wi-Fi to the Uptown area, and is proposing to make it a pedestrian only area. “Then you have people who can walk up and down freely. We would get rid of congestion. Then you would build parking structures on either side to do that, then you would utilize the structure that’s in Uptown currently,” said Leckey. “If you did that, you’re expanding business, you’re making it easier for business to operate, and you’re getting people to come this way.” Leckey plans to use the already existing sales tax revenue to fund other city projects. “If businesses are doing well, then we get more taxes,” said Leckey. “The city has more money to spend on things like homelessness or environmental causes. That’s what I want to do.”
By expanding the Uptown area, Leckey hopes to interweave the city with Whittier College. “You build up those streets, you start to build a zone, and then what happens is you get the people from the College coming over and wanting to shop, wanting to go to restaurants, wanting to go to a cool bar,” said Leckey. “Let’s also ingrain the College into our little culture here, let’s make this is a college town. I’m trying to make the town more youthful. That’s really my goal.”
Leckey is a Libertarian and has gotten involved with the Libertarian Party within the last eight years. “Becoming a Libertarian was so freeing. It was almost like discovering myself. We’re taught that there’s a two party system, but there’s more,” said Leckey. “I’m a Libertarian, and as a Libertarian, I believe the government should not at any point have oversight and rule over our daily lives unless absolutely necessary. I want government out of our lives as much as possible, and that’s my overall goal as a city councilman.” While Leckey identifies as a Libertarian, he was raised Republican and finds himself more conservative leaning. “I started to feel very distanced from the Republican party as a young person, where I started feeling like the principles they say that they stand for, they don’t actually stand for,” said Leckey. “Both parties turn into tribalism, where it’s one side versus the other. They don’t care what the actual issue is. It’s just if the Democrat takes this stance, the Republican will take the other, it doesn’t matter what it is.”
Leckey urges the students of the College to research the candidates before voting. “There is no excuse not to be a well informed voter. We live in a day and age—unlike any other time in our history—where there should be no mystery to our candidates,” said Leckey. “Google our names, read about each candidate, learn about each candidate. Don’t just pick them because of political party or ideology. Think: Do I want this person to be representative of my city?”
Leckey can be reached at his Facebook page, Eric Leckey for City Council and on his website, https://leckeyforwhittier.weebly.com/.