Arcadia developer Henry Nunez has still not eaten anything since Sunday, as he tries to draw attention to next week's Arcadia City Council election.
“I'm just hurting,” he said by phone today. “It's a roller coaster for me. Supporters will stop by the office to say how much they believe in what I'm doing and I get fired up. But then my energy starts going down.”
As first reported in the Pasadena Star-News, Nunez wants to build a mixed-use development around the city's planned Gold Line light-rail station. But under current zoning laws, buildings in the area are limited to three stories. Nunez wants to increase the height limit to five stories and boost density restrictions.
Since Sunday, Nunez has consumed only water, tea, coffee, Diet Mountain Dew, a Muscle Milk protein drink, and some vitamin supplements. The 245-pound developer said he has lost a couple pounds.
Nunez is backing three candidates in next Tuesday's election: incumbent Peter Amundsen and challengers Sho Tay and Paul Cheng. Led by incumbent Robert Harbicht, the current council has refused to consider Nunez's proposals to upzone the area surrounding the proposed transit stop.
“I understand what Bob Harbicht and his crew want,” Nunez said. “They were here when they had lemon groves. I know they pine for that old Americana, and I understand that, but life has changed too much to do that… I'm trained in urban development… You've got to create public spaces where we can integrate and we can meet.”
Despite warnings from his doctor, Nunez wants to keep the hunger strike going until polls close next Tuesday at 8 p.m. He said he's not sure he'll make it, and will consider spending Saturday in bed if he continues to have full-body aches.