Bike The Vote L.A. 2019 Endorsement: Loraine Lundquist for City Council District 12
Voters in the August 13 runoff special election for L.A.’s City Council District 12 have a chance to break a decades-long run of conservative representation and send a scientist, environmentalist, grassroots activist, and bike-friendly candidate to City Hall. With her smart, progressive platform on safe streets and record of advocacy in the community, Loraine Lundquist is poised to provide the bold leadership the 12th District needs.
Located in the northwest San Fernando Valley, CD12 has long been plagued by dangerous speeding and deadly crashes. The District is the unfortunate home to an epidemic of street racing and ever-increasing speed limits on dangerous streets. The 40,000 students enrolled at Cal State Northridge have few efficient transit options for commuting to campus and face hostile streets for walking and biking. The area is projected to suffer more extreme heat days in the coming decades as climate change continues to impact residents’ health and quality of life. In light of these daunting challenges, the northwest Valley deserves an unapologetically progressive leader to set the district on a more sustainable course.
In the June 4 primary, voters awarded the two runoff spots to Loraine Lundquist, a faculty member in the Institute for Sustainability at Cal State Northridge, and John Lee, a chief of staff to the former councilmember, who is seeking to continue a dubious tradition of political inheritance: the previous two councilmembers elected from CD12 also served as chief of staff to their predecessors.
Lundquist, on the other hand, brings a fresh perspective as a community advocate, having served on the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and fought against natural gas extraction in the Porter Ranch area, both before and after the 2015 Aliso Canyon blowout. She’s also served as the neighborhood council’s homelessness liaison and argued for addressing L.A.’s homelessness crisis humanely. Clearly determined to walk the walk on sustainability, Lundquist is a daily bike commuter and primarily utilizes transit when traveling further afield with her family.
In response to Bike The Vote L.A.’s questionnaire ahead of the primary election, the two candidates articulated contrasting visions and approaches to transportation policy, with Lundquist offering specific commitments to putting safety first. Lee’s response unfortunately did not offer clarity as to what kinds of changes—in infrastructure, policy, funding, etc.—he’s willing to actually champion. He emphasized the need to engage community stakeholders and keep a range of options open. While we are disappointed not to see a stronger commitment from Lee to prioritizing safety on city streets, we’re hopeful that, should he be elected, Lee would use this focus on community input to give safe streets advocates the consideration they deserve.
Lundquist’s response to Bike The Vote L.A. was much more impressive, including detailed policy prescriptions addressing infrastructure, carpooling, land use, tree canopy, ADA accessibility, and more. She’s showed she’s willing to prioritize safety for people walking and biking, pledging to use data to target the district’s most dangerous intersections and implement needed changes. Lundquist’s uncommon expertise on transportation clearly draws from her own daily bike commute to campus and her family’s reliance on transit.
Lundquist has an outstanding transportation policy platform, an exceptional knowledge of urban sustainability, and a long record of community leadership. If elected, she’ll be a strong ally of the safe streets movement and an effective advocate for her community in City Hall. Bike The Vote L.A. proudly endorses Loraine Lundquist for L.A. City Council District 12.
If you’d like to assist Lundquist’s campaign with donations or volunteer time, you can find opportunities on her website, loraineforla.com. Bike The Vote L.A. will be organizing volunteer events between now and the August 13 runoff election, so watch out for announcements from us.