Who Is Move LA?
Move LA’s mission is to build a broad constituency that will advocate for the development of a comprehensive, diverse, robust, clean and financially sound public transportation system for Los Angeles County, champion strategies to accelerate its implementation and policies that will ensure prosperous and healthy neighborhoods around stations where people of all ages and incomes can live, work and thrive.
Move LA initiated the organizing campaign and built the powerful business-labor-environmental coalition that got Measure R half-cent sales tax for transportation on the ballot in November 2008 and worked with then Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to help ensure its passage with 67.4% of the vote. Measure R was a 30-year measure that would raise about $36 billion nearly 70% of which was dedicated to expanding the transit system in LA County, both bus and rail — a virtual doubling of the size of LA County’s fixed-guideway transit system from 120 miles and 103 stations to 236 miles and 200 stations.
Move LA’s ever-expanding coalition then worked at the federal, state and local levels to help implement Measure R and to accelerate the construction of the 12 Measure R funded rail and bus rapid transit lines. Measure R helped kick-start the local economy out of the Great Recession and has created thousands of jobs since.
Measure R also emboldened LA Metro to seek voter approval of Measure J to extend its term from 30 to 60 years in 2012. While not receiving the required 2/3 vote, Measure J’s 66.1% was impressive enough to embolden Move LA and LA Metro to begin preparation for another measure. It gave validation to Move LA’s motto: Fortune favors the bold – and so do the voters!
After 2012, Move LA urged a new LA Metro board – a board that had only 4 members from the previous board and only one who supported Measure R - to be bold and go to the voters again in 2016. Move LA began an expanded coalition building exercise hoping to convince new LA Mayor Eric Garcetti that another measure was winnable, created the Measure R2 “Strawman,” a draft measure to serve as a device to gather input and expand the program and its coalition of support to include seniors, persons with disabilities, students, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, environmental justice and smart growth advocates. Meanwhile LA Metro worked to gain the input of cities and sub-regional Councils of Government (COGs). These discussions converged to embolden LA Metro to place Measure M on the November 2016 ballot, another half-cent sales tax, this time without the sunset, while extending Measure R without sunset as well. Together they would raise $120 billion on top of the first Measure R’s estimated $36 billion for a total of almost $160 billion by 2057 – and continue beyond that. The energetic leadership of Mayor Eric Garcetti and new Metro Chair Councilman John Fasana of Duarte led to a victory of 71.2% when LA County voted Yes to support Measure M!
Measures R and M will not only build for LA the world’s most modern transportation system, but it will also enhance LA’s global competitiveness, increase the region’s economic and environmental sustainability, improve air quality and traffic congestion, and help reduce household transportation costs.
Mayor Garcetti characterized Move LA’s Denny Zane as “the grandfather – no the godfather – of Measures R and M.”
Immediately after the Measure M victory, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas asked Move LA to take a leadership role in convincing the LA County Board of Supervisors to place a one-quarter cent sales tax on the March, 2017 ballot to raise $350 million per year to end homelessness in LA County. Ever ready for a challenge that makes a difference, led by then Deputy Director Beth Steckler, the Move LA team rose to the challenge. Measure H passed with 69.4% of the vote.
Fortune does indeed favor the bold!