Candidate info: http://www.smvote.org/Candidates/detail.aspx?id=53687094964
We did not receive a questionnaire from Oscar de la Torre. Mr. de la Torre has been on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education since 2002 and has been a champion of underprivileged youth in the city for even longer.
However, the social equity of sustainable and safe streets has not been a focus of Mr. de la Torre’s and though he has been in a unique position to work at a grassroots level for positive outcomes for bike and pedestrian safety, especially at the school district, he has not demonstrated that it is a priority for him.
In his own neighborhood, Mr. de la Torre fought against improvements along the Michigan Avenue Greenway, a major access point for students commuting to Santa Monica High School, that would have made travel by foot or by bike safer and more convenient, including the realigning of on-street parking for a potential protected bike lane. He is also a supporter of Measure LV, which Bike the Vote L.A. has opposed because we believe it will undermine Santa Monica’s commitment to a more sustainable city.
We hope that whether he remains on the School Board or earns a seat on the City Council, Mr. de la Torre will reconsider the importance of championing safe streets not only to address traffic issues in the city but also to improve the lives of the city’s most underprivileged residents, many of whom cannot afford cars and must commute by bike or foot.
Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: C-