The 2016 California state legislative election will determine the path ahead for safe streets at the state level. Will California provide funding for active transportation in line with Caltrans’ goal to triple bicycle trips by 2020? Will the Legislature support and augment local efforts to reduce Los Angeles’ hit & run epidemic? Will we take additional steps to ensure equity is built into transportation policy? Or will the state continue to expand costly freeways to detriment of its residents and the environment?
Bike The Vote L.A. members have reviewed the California Bicycle Coalition’s 2015 ranking of California legislators, candidate responses to the California Bicycle Coalition’s questionnaire, and responses from candidates to Bike The Vote L.A.’s own questionnaire for select races. See below for our 2016 California Primary endorsements, and click through to see full candidate responses.
ENDORSEMENT: KATHERINE PEREZ-ESTOLANO FOR CA SENATE DISTRICT 25
Those familiar with Katherine Perez-Estolano and her work in Southern California know her as a strong advocate on the environment. She has dedicated her career, which has spanned the public, private and nonprofit sectors, to working with communities on sustainable transportation and development solutions. Her responses to the CalBike survey showed that she understands the role the state can play in stitching together and strengthening our fragmented bike networks. We’re especially excited by her proposal to accelerate multi-jurisdictional active transportation projects, recognizing – as anyone in the San Gabriel Valley most certainly would – that city borders do not determine where people need to bike. She is the only candidate for Senate District 25 with a background studying and working in development, land use, and transportation, and she would bring a knowledgeable and forceful voice in those areas. With an exceptional range of experience that will help to make her a superb leader on active transportation, Katherine Perez-Estolano gets our enthusiastic endorsement for California State Senate.
ENDORSEMENT: HENRY STERN FOR CA SENATE DISTRICT 27
The contest to succeed Senator Fran Pavley in California State Senate District 27 is a tight race between five accomplished candidates. The district is so important that we sent out our own questionnaire to all five candidates to better understand their respective platforms on active transportation. While we did not hear back from three of the candidates, we received very thoughtful and promising responses from Henry Stern and Janice Kamenir-Reznik. Both candidates laid out an encouraging understanding of what it will take to develop a more sustainable transportation system. And each focused on prioritizing active transportation for the benefit of District 27, which encompasses the western San Fernando Valley (including Encino, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, Porter Ranch, Reseda, and Tarzana) as well as parts of Ventura County.
We are particularly encouraged by Henry Stern’s first-hand experience in advancing sustainable transportation options as the senior policy advisor to Senator Pavley, his commitment to double funding for the state Active Transportation Program, and his own personal experience as a daily bicycle commuter in Sacramento. With his depth of experience advocating for a more sustainable California, it is no surprise that he is endorsed by the Sierra Club and the California League of Conservation Voters. As an advocate for sustainable transportation options, Henry Stern earns our endorsement for California State Senate District 27.
ENDORSEMENT: JOSH NEWMAN FOR CA SENATE DISTRICT 29
Senator Bob Huff fas represented Senate District 29 since 2008, and unfortunately has a poor record on active transportation, with a failing 50% grade from the CalBike on his 2015 voting record. There are three candidates vying to succeed the longtime Senator, and with that recent history, the stakes could not be higher for the eastern Los Angeles County communities of West Covina, Diamond Bar, and Walnut. Josh Newman offers a welcome and much needed change for the district, with a strong platform on active transportation that includes sustained funding for bicycle infrastructure, support for Vision Zero, and a focus on the community health benefits of active transportation. We are proud to endorse Josh Newman for California State Senate, and look forward to seeing his leadership in Sacramento to promote a more sustainable Southern California.
ENDORSEMENT: STEVEN BRADFORD FOR CA SENATE DISTRICT 35
While in the State Assembly, Steven Bradford used his 22+ years of bicycle riding in the Los Angeles area – and his unfortunate experience having been hit 4 times by drivers while biking – to motivate his push for one of the most significant pieces of safe streets legislation to date in California, the Three Feet For Safety Act of 2013, also known as ‘Give Me 3.’ In 2014, Bradford authored legislation to remove a loophole that reduced the penalties for drivers who commit hit and run crimes. In his response to CalBike’s questionnaire, Bradford showed his commitment to safer streets through funding for bicycle infrastructure, a Vision Zero goal to end traffic deaths in California, and to increase bicycle commuting in the area. With his personal experience averaging 100 miles of riding a week, and his long track record on legislation to make cycling safer, it is no surprise that he is endorsed by Ted Rogers of Biking in LA. We are honored to join Ted in endorsing Steven Bradford for the California State Senate.
ENDORSEMENT: LAURA FRIEDMAN FOR CA ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 43
Laura Friedman is a spectacular advocate for environmental issues in Southern California and a champion for making Los Angeles County safer for biking. As a Glendale City Council Member, Friedman installed a bike rack in her city-provided parking space, and was a highly visible fixture in the Los Angeles region as a bike-commuting elected official. The Los Angeles cycling community is likely familiar with Friedman from her work in coordination with Walk/Bike Glendale and her participation in various Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition events. Silver Lake, Los Feliz, and Atwater Village residents likely remember her bold support for a safe Hyperion Bridge. In her response to CalBike’s questionnaire, Friedman expressed support to increase funding for active transportation, to prioritize first mile/last mile bicycle infrastructure, and to build equity into bike share systems across California. While outgoing Assembly Member Mike Gatto has been an effective advocate working to curb hit & run crimes, we can think of no greater leader than Friedman to represent Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Burbank, and Glendale in making the Los Angeles region more bike-friendly. Knowing that she will make an exceptional leader on active transportation issues, we are delighted to endorse Laura Friedman for California State Assembly.
ENDORSEMENT: RICHARD BLOOM FOR CA ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 50
In 2015, incumbent Assembly Member Richard Bloom was honored with the first ever Streetsblog California Legislator of the Year “Streetsie” Award. As chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation, Bloom has been and continues to be an important leader at the state level for safer streets. Last year he co-authored AB 902, a new program that provides bicycling education as a diversion for traffic tickets for bicyclists. Bloom is championing a number of proposals to improve active transportation, including bills that would build environmental justice into transportation decision making, and which would provide permanent funding for the State’s Active Transportation Program. Bloom has done an excellent job promoting sustainability for Santa Monica, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Miracle Mile, and Malibu, and we are honored to endorse him for a third term in the California State Assembly.
ENDORSEMENT: AL MURATSUCHI FOR CA ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 66
Residents of the South Bay are seeing a tight match in the June Primary between incumbent Assembly Member David Hadley and former Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi to represent Assembly District 66. Of the candidates, only Muratsuchi responded to CalBike’s survey to outline his platform on active transportation. Muratsuchi’s response was very encouraging, with a focus on reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) to provide a more sustainable transportation system, and a commitment to fund active transportation programs to make cycling and walking more viable options for Angelenos. Muratsuchi also made it clear in his responses to CalBike that he recognizes that Southern California cannot solve its transportation challenges through freeway expansion, and notes his commitment to fund public transit as a component of a providing better transportation options. The South Bay deserves a candidate who will stand up for providing safe and efficient mobility options, and we are proud to endorse Al Muratuchi to help bring that positive change at the state level.