In April of this year, our members researched, sent questionnaires out, and reviewed candidates for State and County offices, making a series of endorsements for candidates that will help to move L.A. forward in providing better mobility options. Many of our endorsements and recommendations made it through the Primary and now face a challenge in an important General Election that unfortunately is overshadowed by an insane Presidential race.
The California General Election also sees a long list of State Propositions and local Ballot Measures for voters to decide on. A group of our members met to review and discuss decisions facing L.A. Voters. Please see below for our endorsements and #BikeTheVote on November 8th!
2016 California General Election: Tuesday, November 8th, 7am-8pm
Bike The Vote L.A. 2016 Santa Monica Voter Guide: http://bit.ly/btv2016sm
Register to Vote (deadline 10/24): http://bit.ly/btvregister
Find your polling place: http://lavote.net/locator
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 two accomplished candidates. We received very thoughtful and promising responses to our questionnaire from both run-off candidates, 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. 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 assembly race 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.
ENDORSEMENT: JANICE HAHN FOR L.A. COUNTY SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 4
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. We noted in the June California Primary Election that Hahn was the only District 4 candidate to respond a questionnaire by LACBC. Her response was solid: showing that she supports implementation of the County’s own Bicycle Master Plan, protected bike lanes, Bike Share, and (recently adopted) Vision Zero. While 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 – we still saw her as the strongest candidate in the race, giving her an A- grade.
In a race to replace Supervisor Don Knabe, this race has the potential to shift the formerly conservative L.A. County Board of Supervisors towards a progressive supermajority. Based on her progressive record on transportation and safe streets, we have great hope that Hahn will toward solutions that improve the quality of mobility options across the Los Angeles region. Bike The Vote L.A. endorses Janice Hahn for Los Angeles County Supervisor.
ENDORSEMENT: L.A. COUNTY MEASURE A
Parks are an important component of a healthy and sustainable city. Their mere presence helps to improve air quality, and those of us who bike often find ourselves using them as either destinations, or routes to pass through.
It’s no secret that Los Angeles needs more and better parks and recreational amenities. According to the most recent Los Angeles County Park Needs Assessment, less than half of County residents live within one-half mile of a park, and a majority of residents live in neighborhoods with less than 1.5 acres of park land per 1,000 population. As Investing in Place notes, places with poor park access tend to suffer from health disparities and economic hardships compared with better-served communities. And many of the parks that do exist are in a state of disrepair.
Measure A provides an important funding source to ensure a healthier city, and encourages more residents to get outside and enjoy it. We urge a “YES” vote on L.A. County Measure A.
ENDORSEMENT: L.A. COUNTY METRO MEASURE M
Measure M is Metro’s ambitious ballot measure to extend an existing ½ cent sales tax (2008’s Measure R) in perpetuity, and supplement it with another ½ cent sales tax. Creating a 1 cent sales tax with no expiration date gives Metro much more flexibility to expedite projects to flesh out its transportation system. Many of these projects are high profile: a transit connection to LAX, a transit tunnel under the Sepulveda Pass, a Northern extension of the Crenshaw Line that could hit West Hollywood, a transit line to serve the congested Vermont corridor, and closure of a gap of the L.A. River Bike Path through Downtown. Accordingly, Measure M features an impressive list of endorsements, including The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Investing In Place, Streetsblog LA, The L.A. League of Conservation Voters and The L.A. Times.
Somewhat lost in the big name projects necessary to gain broader support are the very real benefits to existing transit users and residents in the form of improved bus service, repair of L.A.’s decaying streets and sidewalks, and dedicated funding for the next generation of regional bikeways.
Measure M provides the funding framework and vision for a transformation of Los Angeles’ transportation system. Advocates will have to continue to work to make sure that funding is implemented efficiently and equitably, but we see it as a huge step towards building a transportation system with quality mobility options. Bike The Vote L.A. urges a “YES” vote on L.A. County Metro Measure M on November 8th.