2017 Los Angeles CD9 Primary Endorsements: Jorge Nuño and Adriana Cabrera
Los Angeles’ 9th Council District comprises areas of South Los Angeles and Historic South Central, the areas of Los Angeles most negatively affected by a long history of divestment, disenfranchisement through redlining, and repressive policing. Not surprisingly, the 9th District includes the communities facing the highest rates of extreme poverty and economic hardship, among the highest rates of childhood obesity, and some of the lowest rates of vehicle ownership in the City. Access to quality mobility options is but one of many challenges facing the District.
Two home-grown community advocates offer a cause of optimism for South LA: Jorge Nuño and Adriana Cabrera. Each candidate offers a thoughtful and bold vision for transportation in the 9th District and beyond, and each recognizes the importance of active transportation as a component of household economics for those without access to cars.
Under Councilmember Curren Price Jr., the 9th District has languished. The District has been a flashpoint for protests over community and police relations after the shooting death of Ezell Ford in 2014. Much needed development across the District’s vacant lots has been limited to isolated projects unfocused on the needs of current residents. Due to the City’s failure to address outdated and dangerous street design, a large proportion of the District’s streets are on the City’s High Injury Network.
From unnecessary delay of the MyFigueroa project, to shutting community members out of the decision making process for Central Avenue’s Great Street project, to upending the quality of the recently-adopted Mobility Plan 2035 by eliminating inclusion of the street with the highest amount of bicycle travel in the City, Price has done just about everything in his power to ensure a lack of progress in improving safety on South L.A. streets (Note: Price did not respond to Bike The Vote L.A.’s candidate questionnaire).
The contrast between Price’s inaction and the bold determination to improve the quality of life for South LA residents by Nuño and Cabrera is striking. In his response to Bike The Vote L.A.’s questions, Nuño promises to “introduce a plan to make sure that Central Avenue is placed back into the Mobility plan 2035 and that it is designated as an avenue that requires bicycle safety improvements.” Nuño recognizes that many residents of South L.A. use bikes as a primary mode of transport to get to work, and deserve a dignified option to do so. Cabrera shared an equally strong commitment to prioritizing safety, saying “Central Avenue must be one of the streets designated for bicycle safety improvements.”
Nuño and Cabrera also made it clear that street design alone will not accommodate safe and equitable use of public space, each recognizing the role of law enforcement as a critical issue to address. Cabrera argues that heavy-handed policing has failed to make residents feel safer in their neighborhood, and calls for an enforcement approach based on engagement and education rather than ticketing. Nuño joins Cabrera in calling for stronger civilian oversight of the L.A. Police Department, and supports expanding the L.A.P.D.’s Community Safety Partnership Division and placing a 9th District resident on the Police Commission.
Nuño and Cabrera each offer a fresh and much needed perspective to improve the quality of life and opportunities available for 9th District residents. Bike The Vote L.A. is proud to endorse Jorge Nuño and Adriana Cabrera for Los Angeles City Council District 9.