Measure M Is for Our Kids

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I have been excitedly talking about Measure M with friends and family ever since it was announced as the ballot initiative for traffic reduction in LA County. While almost everyone is supportive, a few people have candidly told me that they believe they will never see the benefits of Measure M in their lifetime.

I get what they are saying. Project completion dates like 2029 and beyond seem far away, even for someone in their early thirties.

In reality, however, the "local return" funding that will be provided to all 88 cities in LA County will mean immediate road repairs, and recently announced public-private partnership agreements would accelerate major projects. While this answer addresses their concern, it isn’t the best answer. You see, Measure M is actually about my children because my kids love public transit. 

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A Rally for the History Books

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It was truly a historic event the Friday before Election Day when more than 100 supporters, dozens of organizations, and politicians from across LA County came out to the North Hollywood Metro Station for a pep rally organized by Move LA to support Measure M on the November 8 ballot.

Mayor Eric Garcetti called it the biggest, strongest coalition he'd seen in his political life—including Republicans and Democrats, business leaders and union workers, environmentalists and disabilities activists, faith leaders as well as organizations representing older Americans and people with disabilities.

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#VoteYesOnM Twitter Chat #2: Environment

Los Angeles County has some of the worst air quality in the country, caused by pollution by cars. Measure M will provide a myriad of environmental benefits from greening streets with shade trees and installing cool pavement and solutions to stormwater runoff from roads. Ultimately, though, it will take cars off the road which means we can all breathe a little bit easier. MoveLA and Climate Resolve brought together environmental advocates to talk about the environmental benefits of Measure M and their support for #VoteYesOnM. Check out the Storify below for a recap of our Twitter Chat...which trended at #5 in Los Angeles!

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Join our THUNDERCLAP #VoteYesOnM Campaign and Let's Make Some Noise!

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Take just 1 minute to join our THUNDERCLAP campaign to make a really big noise Monday morning across facebook, twitter and tumblr by urging your friends and followers to #VoteYesOnM. Why? Because Measure M would improve roads, freeways and sidewalks, and provide more rail, bus and bike lanes so we can all get where we need to go when we need to be there—whether by rail, car, bus, bike or on foot! Oh and we'd create 465,000 good-paying local jobs!

All you have to do is click here to allow Thunderclap to automatically send a customizable message to your friends and followers about Measure M. If 100 or more of us click to support this campaign by Monday morning, Thunderclap will automatically send out our messages to all our friends and followers—at the same time—and BOOM!!! The impact across these 3 media channels will be far greater than if each of us posts individually.

Working together we can have an impact. So please, go to Thunderclap right now and click the red “support with” button. Honestly, it takes less than a minute. And it could be crazy fun on Monday morning! Even if you decide to sleep in.

Do it NOW!


#VoteYesOnM Means Mobility for Older Adults, People with Disabilities, and the Rest of Uss

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Cynde lives in Long Beach and commutes to her job as a disability rights advocate in downtown Los Angeles, using her wheelchair and traveling along the Blue Line and the Red Line. On weekends she has difficulty getting to the Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center in Downey because of a lack of connecting service; however, Measure M will address this and other mobility obstacles by repairing sidewalks, installing more curb cuts and increasing the number of transit connections where she can change lines.

Stephanie, an older adult living in Los Feliz, would like to take advantage of what the city has to offer but without a car.  Measure M is a means to reduce the impact of cars being the dominant source of transportation in Los Angeles and provide older adults with the option of easy access to affordable public transportation that will take Stephanie where she wants to go. 

Harrison, a representative of special needs students in the Student Senate at Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley, travels to school each morning with Access services and home by bus each afternoon, a 1½ to 2 hour commute each way. Measure M’s increased funding for Access services and expanded bus service plus a conversion of the Orange line to light rail will create higher service levels and greater connectivity that will shorten commutes for Harrison and many others.   

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Want to Hear Something Really Scary?

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It’s Halloween, and we have a really scary story to tell. It's about LA's nightmare traffic and how it will only get worse as LA County's population continues to grow. As you get ready to go out tonight, take a minute—you're probably just sitting in traffic anyway—and think about it: more traffic, more cars, more potholes, more air pollution, more of your valuable time wasted sitting in traffic, stoplight after stoplight. Totally scary, right?

You can prevent this nightmare from happening by pledging to VOTE YES ON MEASURE M today.

The population of Los Angeles County is projected to increase by 1.5 million people by 2060, meaning more congestion on our already clogged streets and highways. The future of Los Angeles could be a real-life Halloween nightmare if Measure M doesn’t pass on November 8. It is like the archetypical Hollywood horror film character who we all know is about to make the wrong choice.
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Cue the spooky music.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can make the right choice. We can choose to alleviate our traffic, fix our broken streets, and build a 21st transportation network that truly serves all residents of L.A. County. So pledge to vote YES ON MEASURE M on November 8!

And while you are out with your family, friends and neighbors tonight don't forget to tell them about the real scare they're in for if they don’t VOTE YES on Measure M . . .


New Rail Cars, More Frequent Service Comes to Expo Line

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On Monday, October 24, Los Angeles Count Metro Chair John Fasano and Vice Chair Eric Garcetti announced that the Expo Line will now run every six minutes for the majority of the day—cutting in half the time between trains.

“We will meet the demand of folks who are already taking the Expo Line from the ocean to downtown and vice versa,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

This expanded service was made possible by the addition of the 50th new P3010 rail cars from Kinki Sharyo, the contractor building the new light-rail vehicles. These rail cars are built right here in Los Angeles County at a facility in Palmdale that has hired over 400 full-time union workers.

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Measure M Would Redefine Commutes for Residents in Every Corner of LA County

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Measure M would dramatically improve our transportation system and redefine commutes for residents in every corner of LA County to get us where we want to go, when we want to get there, however we choose to travel—whether by train, bus, car, bike or on foot. Not only will there be more rail and bus lines and connections between them, there will also be more connections that make it easier to get to rail stations and bus stops on bike and on foot. Measure M will even close gaps to create a continuous 51-mile bike path along the LA River!

We all know that LA County’s aging transportation system needs to be modernized, and Measure M would create an expanded 21st century network of subways, light rail, bus rapid transit, Metrolink, improved freeways, bikeways, repaved local roads and repaired sidewalks—all connected into a comprehensive system.

This is such a basic and necessary improvement to LA County that it has won endorsements from business, labor, environmentalists, AARP, the American Heart Association, and educational, faith-based, political and community groups. The endorsement list includes 100 organizations and continues to grow. You can see all the endorsers at http://www.movela.org/endorse.

Why the enthusiasm when the LA County ballot is already crowded with propositions and measures competing for voters’ attention? Because LA County residents need alternatives to sitting in “soul-crushing, air-polluting traffic,” as the LA Times put it in their endorsement. LA County was built up around an extensive network of streetcar lines and grew into a sprawling metropolis along an even more extensive network of freeways—but we need something more as LA County’s population continues to grow.

The projects that would be built were selected through a 3-year process involving LA County’s 88 cities, 6 subregional Councils of Governments, stakeholder groups from across LA County, and by the nearly 48,000 people who participated in telephone town halls and in-person meetings at LA Metro—surely one of the most ambitious outreach and engagement efforts ever around a transportation plan.

Every major freeway would be improved, including fixes to the I-5, I-10, I-105, I-405, I-605, I-710 (south and not north), SR 14, SR 57, SR 60, SR 71. Transit projects would include a completed Metro connection to LAX; a Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor from the Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley to the Expo Line and LAX; a light rail along Van Nuys Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley; extensions of the Foothill Gold Line to Claremont and the Eastside Gold Line to South El Monte and Whittier; an extension of the Green Line to Torrance; construction of the West Santa Ana Corridor/Eco Rapid Transit light rail line from Artesia to downtown Los Angeles; an extension of the Crenshaw Line to the Wilshire Subway, West Hollywood and Hollywood; and conversion of the Orange Bus Rapid Transit Line in the San Fernando Valley to light rail.

In addition, all 88 cities and unincorporated areas in LA County would ease traffic immediately by repairing potholes and repaving local streets and roads.

Aside from easing traffic congestion there’s another benefit that accrues from Measure M—465,000 good, middle-class jobs negotiated with Project Labor Agreements and a Construction Careers Policy at LA Metro. And if all of this isn’t compelling enough, there’s more: LA Metro has received a number of unsolicited proposals for public private partnerships or P3s, which offer the opportunity to accelerate several of Measure M projects so we get more traffic relief sooner.

The only problem is that California’s ballot is long. So have a cup of coffee before going to the polls and look for Measure M near the end of the ballot! There’s more information about Measure M here: http://www.movela.org/measure_m_materials


Storify of Twitter Town Hall Re: #VoteYesOnM

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The Move LA twitter town hall on Measure M was jumpin', and we trended to #3 on twitter in Los Angeles using the #VoteYesOnM hashtag even though we had tough competition—it was #NationalDrinkBeerDay, which stayed solidly in 1st place.  There were 450 posts that engaged 100 users in an hour, with tweets by those users going out to another 137,000 users for a total of 1.7 million impressions (which users may or may not have seen). Significantly, more than half of the messages were positive and only 2.5% were negative (rest were neutral). And the tweet that got the most engagement was one with a photo of Ron Milam and his twin boys! Lesson learned: If you want retweets, take photos of your kids! Click below to see a "best of" the storified tweets!

 

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Public Transit Helps People Live Actively, Independent & Free

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Lillibeth Navarro contracted polio when she was a baby but has nonetheless long been a vigorous advocate in the Disability Rights Movement and in California’s Independent Living Movement. And she's the founder of CALIF, Communities Actively Living Independent & Free, a nonprofit that addresses discrimination against people with disabilities. (That's Lillibeth in the photo above; she was a plaintiff in the lawsuit contending that LA's broken sidewalks and missing curb ramps impair the rights of people with disabilities.)

Since public transportation is the key to actively living independent and free, she’s always been a transportation advocate too. She was arrested no less than 40 times during the very long campaign for passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, and during the struggle to get the American Public Transportation Association and its many transit and highway agency members to comply with the transit federal regulations for disability access in public transit.

Because of Lillibeth’s leadership, others in the disability rights and independent living movement have become key supporters of Measure M. The philosophy of independent living revolves around a core belief that there’s little that people with disabilities can’t do—they just have to do them differently—and since public transit, paratransit and safe sidewalks make it possible for people with disabilities to live full lives in their own homes and, in some cases, frees them from nursing homes or board-and-care facilities.

“I live in an urban community close to downtown LA so I have many transportation choices, and I am blessed to be able to take a DASH bus to the front door of my office,” says Lillibeth. “Yet getting to a store within rolling distance in my neighborhood can be a major challenge because of cracked sidewalks, no curb cuts, and wide and busy streets with fast-moving traffic. People in Los Angeles—not just people with disabilities—need to be able to move around on our streets without fearing for their lives.”

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