We consider Metro CEO Phil Washington a real hero for what he has done during his 7-year tenure at LA Metro, because he has used the funding voters provided with Measures R (2008) and M (2016) to turn the agency into one that is, as he told us on a Zoom call last August, “not just about mobility anymore, and not simply a big transit construction program.
"Now Metro is also about investing in communities—as well as new transit lines,” he said, “and delivering jobs, training programs, and small business assistance programs. While previously LA County had invested mostly in freeways to provide mobility, the Measure R and M era of investment is doing something very different: Now we are funding the construction of new transit lines with the goal of providing access to opportunity—education, jobs, healthcare—and to uplift disadvantaged and low-income communities.”
Please join us Thursday, March 25, 5:30-7 p.m., for a special networking event to honor Phil and other leaders who have taught LA to take on big challenges—like the need for better transit service, more affordable housing and curbing climate change. REGISTER HERE.
We will also celebrate the accomplishments of (left to right) Laborers Local 300 Business Manager Sergio Rascon, LA County Business Federation CEO Tracy Hernandez, former Metro Boardmember and Duarte Mayor John Fasana, former Metro Boardmember and current Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Skanska Executive Vice President Mike Aparicio, and LA Business Council President Mary Leslie.
We admired Phil Washington even before Mayor Garcetti brought him to LA from Denver in 2015, where he'd had an illustrious career following passage of a ballot measure, not unlike Measure M, and began building out Denver's transit system. In Los Angeles he has taken even bigger and bolder steps, recommending that Metro move forward with a congestion pricing program and a fare-free transit system.
On that Zoom call last summer he discussed topics ranging from the need to help LA County's low-income riders and the homeless, as well as Metro's work on equity, transit-oriented communities, the impact of Metro's investments, affordable housing and the 4,500 units of housing (37% are affordable) Metro has built or is building, the need for vibrant and safe streets, bus rapid transit, and transit electrification and job creation.
He concluded by saying that "This is a challenging time. COVID has put all of us and the struggles of LA County under a magnifying glass. But we believe that with great stress comes focus and productivity." You can read the rest of our conversation here.
Join us Thursday March 25, 5:30-7 p.m., to honor Phil and the other leaders who have showed us how we can take on big challenges—like the need for better transit service, more affordable housing and curbing climate change. REGISTER HERE NOW.