Last month Denny Zane, our founder and executive director, announced he would “move over” and asked our Leadership Board to support his recommendation to appoint Eli Lipmen (that’s me!), as next executive director. Last week, we made the formal transition and sent out the announcement (which received a great response!).
My first week as executive director was very exciting. I joined a small group of nonprofit leaders for a private meeting with USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. We discussed how the federal government can play a role in developing more affordable housing near high-quality transit and improving transit service and distribution of discretionary grants for transportation infrastructure projects. It was a unique opportunity!
This wasn’t the only exciting news this week. It was announced that the Clean Car and Clean Air Act, a landmark clean air initiative developed by Denny Zane alongside our partner Nick Josefowitz with SPUR in San Francisco, qualified for the November ballot. It is designated as Proposition 30. It would generate $4 billion to $4.5 billion annually and $100 B over twenty years, providing California with a stable funding source to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles on the road— both battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell-powered light-duty cars, heavy-duty trucks, ships, trains and aircraft—and to help prevent and suppress wildfires. Move LA and SPUR began public online discussions in 2020 with colleagues and partners that led to this ballot measure. (You can listen to all nine Zooms here.)
Nearly one million Californians signed the petition to put the Clean Cars and Clean Air Act (CCCA) on the ballot; the measure is supported by a broad coalition of environmental and environmental justice groups, firefighters, labor, public health groups, and businesses.Move LA also participated in the groundbreaking for the Rail-to-Rail Active Transportation Corridor—a new 5.5-mile path for pedestrians, cyclists, and rollers on an unused rail corridor that will save lives and bring the promise of Measure M of greater connectivity to residents in South LA by connecting the Blue ‘A’ Line, the Crenshaw ‘K’ Line and, eventually, the West Santa Ana Branch Line. Move LA, through its partnership with SLATE-Z, played a pivotal role in ensuring this project happened, identifying and advocating for multiple funding sources so that the project could move forward. You can read more about our role on our blog.
Finally, I attended Metro’s State of the Agency with several Move LA Leadership Board members. We heard from CEO Wiggins who talked about an aggressive land banking program for affordable housing with a goal to build 10,000 units of affordable housing on Metro property close to transit, plans to restore bus service, building more bus infrastructure, and the challenges of making the system more reliable and safer for customers. Incoming Chair Ara Najarian spoke about ensuring major Metro projects are delivered on time and on budget and the need to improve regional mobility—issues of top concern for Move LA. This will be an important year for Metro to build and re-build and we plan to continue our important watchdog work with this agency.
I’ll continue to send out periodic updates like this on our efforts. Feel free to reach out—I’d like to hear what you are working on and how Move LA can partner with you.
Yours in transit,
Eli Lipmen, Move LA