DENNY ZANE ON THE CONSTITUENCIES THAT SUPPORT A SALES TAX
Fifty people attended a conversation with new Metro CEO Phil Washington yesterday at Move LA’s offices in DTLA. But Denny Zane pointed out that the constituents represented by those 50 transportation leaders number in the millions – if one adds up the constituencies of even just a few, including One LA, the LA Area Chamber, BizFed, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the LA Community College District student population, and the disabled community. It’s a constituency that’s definitely enough to swing a vote on a new sales tax measure in LA County, Denny added, and one that should be able to participate in decision-making about the new measure with LA Metro, much like the 8 councils of government (that represent cities in the region) do -- because it’s a powerful constituency to engage.
NEW LA METRO CEO PHIL WASHINGTON ON THE IMPORTANCE OF INVESTING IN TRANSPORTATION
Washington started his remarks with a challenge: “I defy you,” he said, “to name a great city that didn’t start with a great transportation system.” He said he grew up on transit, living in the projects on the South Side of Chicago -- where he learned not to miss the bus, and that if his mother missed the bus it meant that she wouldn’t be coming home. He talked about his role in the Fastracks sales tax campaign in Denver, where he headed up the transit agency before coming to LA, and said that he fully believes that each $1 invested in transit leads to a $4 to $5 return, that accelerating project construction is key, and that private investment is too. Washington also noted that Denver enacted a project labor agreement and construction careers policy before LA Metro did.
Who was in the room and what they asked for is below.
SOME OF THE PROJECTS + PROGRAMS TRANSPORTATION LEADERS ASKED FOR
More reliable transit service; discounted universal transit passes for students, seniors and the disabled; grants to local cities for first-last-mile connections to stations; sidewalk repair and more bike lanes and infrastructure; transportation grants as an incentive to cities that preserve and build affordable housing – because if the low-income people who use transit get priced out of the neighborhoods that are served by transit, ridership will go down; renovate arterial streets as grand boulevards that can also serve as a transit access network with bus rapid transit and ride-share/car-share/bike-share; investment to bring zero- and near-zero emission trucks to the market for the 710 corridor; local hire for jobs on new rail lines in communities; funding for a robust operations budget to prevent further fare increases; Metrolink improvements.
SOME OF THOSE IN ATTENDANCE
Darrell Clarke, Sierra Club; Ron Green, AFSCME; Victor Griego, Diverse Strategies for Organizing; Marlene Grossman, Move LA Leadership Board; James Hamlin, Jacobs Engineering; Mark Kempton, SKANSKA; Jim Hilfenhaus; Joan Ling, UCLA; Eli Lipmen; Gary Toebben and Ruben Gonzalez, LA Area Chamber of Commerce; Rani Narula-Woods, LA County Federation of Labor; Jonathan Parfrey, ClimatePlan; Joyce Perkins, LANI; Alan Toy, Westside Center for Independent Living; Hilary Norton, Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic (FAST); Yasmin Tong, Yasmin Tong Consulting; Malcolm Carson, Community Health Councils; Tamika Butler, LA County Bicycle Coalition; Deborah Murphy, Los Angeles Walks; Mary Leslie and Adam Lane, LA Business Counsel; Rudy Gonzalves, LAANE; Tracy Rafter, LA County Business Federation; Claire Robinson, Amigos de los Rios; Paul Dyson, Rail PAC; Jessica Meaney, Invest in Place; Eric Bruins, LA County Bicycle Coalition; Fernando Cazares, NRDC Urban Solutions ; Andrea Hricko, USC; Adenike Adeyaya, Earthjustice; Brian Rose, Leo Baeck Temple; Harry Brown-Hiegel + Orinio Opinaldo, One LA; Nolan Rollins, LA Urban League; Claudette Moody, Parsons Brinckerhoff; Dru Solari, Teresa Eilers, Carole Eble, Elizabeth Fischer, Move LA Canvassing Team; Jake Williams, Jobs to Move America; Daniel Rossman, the Wilderness Society; Penelope Glass, the City Project; Tori Kjer, Trust for Public Land; Belinda Faustino, San Gabriel Mountains Foundation; Ernesto Pantoja, Laborers Local 300; Adam Lane, Los Angeles; Allan Alexander, Move LA Leadership Board.