1. Metro bus ridership has dropped 25% over the last 10 years, as Metro has largely failed to provide quality and frequent bus service to transit-dependent communities including those in South and Central Los Angeles. It is clear that a wide network of frequent, reliable bus service utilizing bus-only lanes is a critical solution for low-income residents who depend on transit. If elected as supervisor, would you use your position on the Metro Board to support bus rapid transit projects prescribed by Measure M, and work with cities to aggressively implement bus-only lanes?
Improving our County transportation system is key to connecting jobs to job creators, whether within the neighborhood or across town. The long-anticipated extension of the train/subway will provide for new and efficient means to traverse the city/county, new businesses anchoring transit hubs along with the new housing adjacent to it. However, the specter of gentrification to displace current working and poor families along the route of the train extension is the ugly side of improving infrastructure. Therefore, the Supervisor of the 2nd District must assure that development allow for an even playing field putting community (as it is currently populated) needs as the priority, not creating for profit luxury-priced housing.
Bus lanes are an efficient means of attracting drivers out of their cars (especially for daily commute) as well as servicing non-car owners. The planning of bus lanes and other accommodations to mass transit must anticipate future needs for the next 50 years. A growing aging population that is also living longer will define how public transportation serves them, as well as the working class utilizing these new methods and technologies among an ever-growing diverse population.
2. The lack of safe infrastructure in the Second District means that people on foot and on bicycles are especially vulnerable to being killed or injured while moving around their communities, including the late Frederick “Woon” Frazier, who was killed by a hit and run driver in South L.A. What would you do as a Supervisor to prioritize safe mobility for low-income residents and students who depend on active transportation options?
In general, traffic fatalities are caused by irresponsible drivers (e.g. DUI, speeding) that need to be deterred from that bad behavior. Surveillance of public spaces, roads and highways could improve identification of bad drivers and their presence may be a deterrence to others. (However, this is not in any way supportive of facial-recognition technology and its problematic issues that it fails to properly identity brown and Black faces).
New habits have caused new dangers with the advent of the cell phone device. Pedestrians, drivers and bikers alike are ignoring basic rules of safety by their inattention due to staring at the device while traversing intersections, or distracted drivers and bikers. Also, scooters dashing across lanes, some with two people astride and neither with helmets, zip in and out of traffic. While County law enforcement is busy enough, safety patrols that educate youth to the best driving/biking/walking habits can be budgeted via the schools.
3. This past summer Metro incorporated Equity Focused Communities into its Equity Platform to prioritize the needs of low-income residents and households with low vehicle ownership. On the Metro Board, would you put meaningful financial resources behind the Metro Equity Platform and fund projects that improve mobility, access, and safety of these communities?
The mantra of my campaign is “Dignity and Equity for Everyone”, it reflects my view that government is not s burden, but rather is a catalyst to better the quality of life, and a reminder of the Great American Promise to reward hard work regardless of race, gender identity or disability. We have been the primary advocate for “Don’t move, Improve!” campaign and has personally invested in providing privately-owned public space like The Big House. We need more Big Houses in our neighborhood to provide s one-shop location for information and assistance in applying for MEP financed projects by local residents.
4. Gentrification is a major issue facing many communities across the District, especially where new transit investments are being made, such as along the Crenshaw Line. Metro’s power relative to individual cities lies with Metro’s power over funding. As a Metro director, how would you use funding incentives and existing programs (e.g. the Business Interruption Fund, Joint Development program, and Transit Oriented Communities program) to encourage cities to protect existing tenants and produce affordable housing, particularly near new transit investments?
A Supervisor is a major player in the future of the County whose baseline attitude about development could reshape a community for decades. This campaign is not a “get along, to go along” effort to represent developers and their luxury projects. As Supervisor, the real estate developers will know that my priority is for 100% affordable housing subsidized by federal and state partners along with private equity funds.
5. Far too many Angelenos face barriers in their access to public space including on public transit. For example, many Metro riders—but especially women—face high levels of harassment from other system users. At the same time, teens and young men of color are too frequently the victims of police brutality for simply existing in public spaces. In 2017 and fed by the false narrative that more policing provides more safety for riders, Metro directors approved a 5-year, nearly $1 billion security contract which has expanded the presence of armed police on trains and buses. What will you do to address the issue of harassment on Metro services and what would you do to build a relationship of trust between communities of color and law enforcement?
Creating more positive relations with communities of color and law enforcement can best be fostered with institutionalization of interaction at every social level, schools, parks, as people learn to communicate and be attentive to specific community needs. Leadership defines the mandate a spirit of that vital relationship, as Supervisor paying close and careful attention to our bail and jail policies that cause financial hardship.
6. Metro CEO Phil Washington has called for congestion pricing to fund free transit in the Los Angeles region. A) What are your thoughts on Congestion Pricing and would you seek to expand Metro’s ExpressLanes program? B) Do you support making transit in Los Angeles County free?
Congestion pricing is discriminatory to the working poor and middle-class as well as small businesses creating an additional tax burden on already stretched household budgets. We believe greater investment in coordinating mass transit plans and projects as the goal should always be to mass transit rather than higher pricing that negatively affects thousands of citizens.