Thank you all so very much for being a part of our 5th Annual Transportation Conversation at Union Station — the cathedral of public transportation! To have so many coalition leaders and partners in the room together with such a large audience of people who care about these issues was an exhilarating experience, a reminder of the power of a coalition that shares an agenda to address the challenges and opportunities of 2013. Again, thank you all for making time in your busy schedule to help make the day a success.

Our annual event always serves to remind us that together — with our business partners, the transportation industry, labor leaders, and environmental, public health and community-based organizations — we can work successfully with every level of government to ensure the continued prosperity of our region and our country.

We have already achieved so much together — including the transit build-out that is being funded by Measure R and the low-interest TIFIA loan program, with two new transit lines in operation last year, two more under construction now, and utilities relocation underway on three more. Our ambitions have caused the rest of the country to take notice: The New York Post said it all in a headline last summer, “LA Is the Future . . .”

We believe that the answer to the resource constraints that governments are facing is not just funding but also smart financing, and that the federal government should provide incentives that encourage local voters to step up and tax themselves to fund local projects that are under local control — because the local level is where the serious money is.

We hope you are with us this year on key initiatives including lowering the local voter threshold to 55%; winning the support of Congress for the America Fast Forward bond program; re-deploying tax-increment financing around high quality transit; using state Cap and Trade funds to help fund transit operations as well as first-mile last-mile connections and housing that is affordable.

Together we have helped hoist Los Angeles once again into the ranks of national innovators, and we have reclaimed our reputation as a region that can solve problems. We are on the verge of a transit breakthrough and we shouldn’t slow down now. Thank you for being an important part of the transportation conversation and for moving LA forward.



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