Below is 2017 City Council District 9 endorsement Adriana Cabrera’s full questionnaire response to Bike The Vote L.A.:
1. What role do you see for walking, transit, and biking in the daily lives of Angelenos, particularly those who lack access to cars and rely on these other modes as their primary way of getting around?
As a long-time commuter, I understand the importance of reliable public transportation and street safety while biking or walking to get around. We must provide and promote an affordable & environmentally friendly alternative for our stakeholders to commute. Notably, we see that African-American, Latin-American and Asian- Americans are leading the highest growth rate in the nation when it comes to cycling as their preferred method of transportation. Thus any decision made by the City of Los Angeles to create a bike friendly community needs to consider the impact that socioeconomic status has on people who rely on public transportation as a primary mode to get around.
2. Disenfranchisement and insecurity in the public space push many youth of color to seek safety and community in gang membership. How will you address these issues so that the area’s youth can play a participatory role in building a community that is safer and stronger for all?
One of my campaign goals is to empower young people to become confident, committed, and engaged leaders in our city. Currently, 53% of our city’s budget is going towards the LAPD which limits the amount of money spend on public programs for youth. As a councilmember, I will advocate for the reallocation of five percent of LAPD’s funding to our local libraries and after-school programs to create an active environment that promotes community, culture, and places an importance on education. I support the LA For Youth Campaign’s efforts to build the following: an L.A. City Youth Development Department; the establishment of a Youth Leadership Board; and the development of 15,000 youth jobs and paid internships.
3. A longstanding lack of trust between law enforcement and the community has made passage through public space and on city streets rather fraught for many, especially teens and young men of color. What will you do to repair this relationship between law enforcement and the community they serve such that law enforcement can become a broadly trusted partner for CD9 residents?
LAUSD has established a board of education to oversee our school district. Similarly, I propose an all community control over the police elected board which will have hiring and firing power over the police. Community members have lost faith and trust in our local law enforcement due to the several fatal shootings and traumatic violence carried out by officers.
4. Many residents in South Los Angeles lack access to cars. Of these, a large percentage, especially immigrants, depend on bikes as a way to get to work and school, but lack safe options to commute thanks to a host of factors, including prevalent speeding on city streets. Mobility Plan 2035 established “safety first” as the City’s top priority in transportation decisions. Do you support prioritizing the safety of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable commuters in implementing Mobility Plan 2035, both in CD9 and throughout Los Angeles?
We will support the Mobility Plan 2035 under two conditions. First, Central Avenue must be one of the streets designated for bicycle safety improvements. Secondly, enforcement on safety first for the plan must be backed not by police ticketing but by engaging community members about the laws on the road for both cyclists and drivers. A safety first initiative supported by policing will only harm our low-income residents who rely on cycling as a primary means of transportation. Many of our residents in the 9th district are in poverty, and so ticketing is not an option for our community.
5. Central Avenue has been the site of an increasing number of tragic fatal crashes over the past month, including Jorge Alvarez on December 19th and another unidentified man on December 7th. Despite high rates of injuries and deaths among people who commute by bike, Central was removed from Mobility Plan 2035’s network of streets designated for bicycle safety improvements, with the suggestion that people commuting by bike be steered towards Avalon Boulevard instead. Given that Central Avenue boasts the highest number of bicycle commuters of any street in Los Angeles, what will you do as Councilmember to ensure that people who currently commute on Central are able to do so safely?
The current model to increase safety along Central Avenue has been based on enforcement through the LAPD and has failed to bring about any tangible results. We seek to create a model not based on enforcement but trough educational, preventive measures led by community groups in public spaces and schools. As a councilmember, I will seek to educate both cyclists and car drivers about the proper way to share the road. I will work in close collaboration with the Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure that rules such as the 3 feet for safety act (CVC 21600) become normalized as we drive around our city.
6. Los Angeles is beginning to employ bike share as a new transportation option, but many barriers to access remain, particularly the cost of riding and the fact that a credit card is needed to use the system. Some cities have offered subsidies to low-income riders and cash payment options to address these issues. What can the City of Los Angeles do to help as many residents as possible enjoy the benefits that bike share will bring?
If elected I will work with our local bike shops in my district to create their unique bike share program that stores will utilize without the requirement of having a credit card. We are mindful of the effects that Metro’s bike share program may have on small bike businesses across the district. We seek to empower local business owners by stimulating new business ideas that will increase their revenue – this is a win-win situation. As a result, bike shop owners will increase their viability in the community and residents will have access to an affordable means of transportation.