The 2016 Los Angeles County Supervisor election looks to mark a major shift in a historically conservative board toward a new, more progressive governing body. The five-seat Board of Supervisors oversees a $28 billion budget – the largest for any county in the United States – that has huge impacts on Angelenos’ transportation options. Its responsibilities include oversight of L.A. County Metro, the Sheriff’s Department, and public health programs. In unincorporated areas like East L.A. and Marina del Rey, the County’s Public Works Department is directly responsible for street design and engineering, including bike lanes, crosswalks, and other safety measures. With a possible extension to transportation funding pending (Measure R2), the makeup of the Board of Supervisors will have important and long-lasting impacts to mobility within Los Angeles County.

Of five seats on the Board, three are up for election this year, two of which are completely open races without an incumbent running for re-election due to term limits initiated in 2002. District 2 encompasses much of L.A. County’s urban heart, stretching from Carson in the south through South L.A., Inglewood, Culver City, Mar Vista, and most of Central L.A. south of Wilshire Boulevard. District 4 covers the Beach Cities from Marina del Rey down to Long Beach, then stretches through the Gateway Cities region and all the way east to Diamond Bar. District 5 covers parts of the San Gabriel Valley, Glendale, Burbank, Chatsworth, as well as the vast northern reaches of the County, including the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley.

Bike The Vote L.A. members have reviewed the candidates for Los Angeles County Supervisor, including public statements, appearances at debates, and responses to questionnaires sent out by local non-profit groups, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and BikeSGV. See below for our grades of candidates for County Supervisor in the 2016 California Primary.


2016 California Primary election: Tuesday, June 7th, 7am-8pm
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District 2: Mark Ridley-Thomas

In District 2, incumbent Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is running unopposed for re-election in 2016, and could not be more deserving of residents’ votes. Ridley-Thomas has been a leader working to build a better regional transportation system, inclusive of bicycling as a viable mobility option. During his first year of tenure as Chair of the Metro Board of Directors, Ridley-Thomas has steered Metro towards progressive transportation priorities, including the pending implementation of Metro Bike Share in Downtown Los Angeles, community college transit passes, and continued support for CicLAvia and other County-wide Open Streets events. Ridley-Thomas sees bikes as an important component of a healthy transportation system, and the need for bike infrastructure to make roads safer for all users. He pushed (unsuccessfully) for a needed road diet to address speeding and crashes on Angeles Vista through View Park/Windsor Hills. But perhaps the most ambitious and significant of Ridley-Thomas’ advocacy for bicycling has been his vision for the Rail-to-River project: a temporary bike & pedestrian pathway along the Slauson railway right-of-way and adjacent to one of the most dangerous and bike-unfriendly streets in the County. Los Angeles County has taken some great steps towards building a layered transportation system under Mark Ridley-Thomas’ direction. We know he will continue to work toward safer and more livable streets across the County.

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: A

District 4: Janice Hahn

A current U.S. Representative and former L.A. City Councilmember, Janice Hahn has a history of consistent support for biking and progressive transportation. While serving on the City Council, she voted for L.A.’s 2010 Bicycle Master Plan. Hahn was the only District 4 candidate to respond to LACBC’s questionnaire, and in her response, she makes it clear that she supports implementation of the County’s own Bicycle Master Plan, protected bike lanes, Bike Share, and Vision Zero. We had some concern with Hahn’s suggestion that traffic congestion might be a target of environmental mitigation rather than vehicle miles traveled (VMT) – the standard that California is working to reposition environmental laws to address. But we have hope that, as Hahn becomes an active player in transportation policy at the County level, she will refine her focus toward solutions that improve the quality of mobility options – not just the convenience of those who currently drive.

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: A-

[Click HERE for Janice Hahn’s questionnaire response to LACBC]


District 4: Steve Napolitano

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: B-

(Steve Napolitano has not yet responded to a questionnaire sent by LACBC)


District 4: Ralph Pacheco

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: C+

(Ralph Pacheco has not yet responded to a questionnaire sent by LACBC)

District 5: Mitchell Englander

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitchell Englander has made some great strides on transportation, becoming one of the City of Los Angeles’ strongest advocates for safe streets. Englander led the City’s charge to tackle L.A.’s hit & run epidemic, pushing through a ‘yellow alert’ system for hit & runs and establishing standing rewards to find the culprits. Englander also embraced and helped to implement the City of Los Angeles’ first parking-protected bicycle lane on Reseda Boulevard in Northridge.

Englander was one of only two candidates in the District 5 race to provide a response to a questionnaire sent to all candidates by local bicycle advocacy groups LACBC & BikeSGV. His response showed an excellent understanding of the challenges to providing better mobility options across the region. Englander notes his support for investment in making streets safer, the need for collaboration with individual jurisdictions to provide a connected network of bike infrastructure. He expresses a desire for L.A. County Public Works to generate guidance for roadway design in line with The Model Design Manual for Living Streets, support for Vision Zero, and building equity into transportation decision making. In 2015, we endorsed Mitchell Englander in his re-election campaign to L.A. City Council. Just one year later, he has shown that not only did he deserve that endorsement, but that he has an excellent vision to make L.A. County a safer region with better mobility options.

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: A

[Click HERE for Mitchell Englander’s questionnaire response to LACBC & BikeSGV]


District 5: Ara Najarian

As a Glendale City Councilmember, past Mayor of Glendale, and a Metro Board Member; Ara Najarian has shown himself as a longtime advocate for transit. He played a lead role in getting Measure R – Los Angeles County’s current major source of transportation funding – on the 2008 ballot. With Measure R, Najarian helped push for the recently opened extension to Metro’s Gold Line. Najarian is a staunch critic of a proposed 710 highway expansion project, understanding it as a poor investment that will only perpetuate more vehicular use and emissions. His efforts in support of transit earned him Streetsblog LA’s 2012 Streetsie Award for Elected Official of the Year. We would like to hear more about how Najarian sees bicycling as a component of a sustainable transportation system, but appreciate the progressive stance on transportation that he will bring to the Board of Supervisors.

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: A-

[Update 6/4/2016: Najarian’s response to LACBC/BikeSGV’s questionnaire has been posted. We are encouraged in that he is engaging with the safe streets community and with his suggestion to reallocate existing boulevards to accommodate protected bike lanes. We still would like to see him commit to support for Vision Zero, provide specific implementation goals for the County Bike Plan, and to provide ideas for providing a regional network of connected bike infrastructure.]

(Click HERE for Ara Najarian’s questionnaire response to LACBC & BikeSGV)


District 5: Billy Malone

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: B+

[Click HERE for Billy Malone’s questionnaire response to LACBC & BikeSGV]


District 5: Kathryn Barger

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: B-

(Kathryn Barger has not yet responded to a questionnaire sent by LACBC & BikeSGV)


District 5: Darrell Park

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: B-

(Darrell Park has not yet responded to a questionnaire sent by LACBC & BikeSGV)


District 5: Elan Carr

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: B-

(Elan Carr has not yet responded to a questionnaire sent by LACBC & BikeSGV)


District 5: Raj Pal Kahlon

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: C+

(Raj Pal Kahlon has not yet responded to a questionnaire sent by LACBC & BikeSGV)


District 5: Bob Huff

Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Grade: C+

(Bob Huff has not yet responded to a questionnaire sent by LACBC & BikeSGV)