Tech entrepreneur and longtime Beverly Hills resident Michael Talei has embarked on his first run for City Council. In advance of the March 5 election, he chatted with Patch about his candidacy.
Beverly Hills Patch: Why did you decide to run?
Michael Talei: I love working on the biggest and toughest problems, and coming up with even greater solutions. For example, employers are sending jobs overseas to save money while students getting out of school are having the hardest time finding work. My solution was to create StudentFreelance.com, where employers can hire students on a freelance basis and therefore save costs while students gain employment, experience, and an income. Our growth has been tremendous and the response has been overwhelmingly positive from all sides. I am helping fix America’s unemployment problem with StudentFreelance and as council member I plan to tackle our city’s problems next.
Patch: Discuss issues facing Beverly Hills that command your attention. What would you do as a council member to address them?
Talei: The complaint I hear most often from residents is that they are frustrated by how hard it is to get anything done in our city. Residents want quick and simple access to city services. A top priority of mine is making sure Beverly Hills is responsive to the needs of its residents and that all resources are at their immediate disposal.
Patch: What is your background in politics? Have you run for office prior to this election?
Talei: No, I am not a politician and I do not have political aspirations. The most important thing to me is making sure our own community is safe and sound.
Patch: Describe your political philosophy.
Talei: Like I said, I am not a politician and I do not place myself in a political category. My promise is that I will always listen to all sides and make sure everyone is heard before I make a decision.
Patch: What, if anything, would you attempt to improve about the Beverly Hills City Council or city government?
Talei: I cannot think of a better place to live than Beverly Hills. We have great emergency services, top notch schools, and our quality of life is second to none. The future of our city is what worries me though. Young families that are first or second generation Beverly Hills residents and that have lived here their whole lives are having a hard time raising their own children in the same city. These residents need a voice in City Council and I plan on making them heard.