Nithya Raman is an inspiring grassroots candidate with a long track record of advocacy and community organizing centered around equity. She’s trained as an urban planner, and it shows in her systematic approach to solving problems, and her deep understanding of the root causes behind L.A.’s transportation challenges. To Raman, transportation is not just a matter of getting around: it’s a critical aspect of environmental action, a public safety crisis that is injuring and killing too many residents, and an issue of equity that limits opportunity and access for people with disabilities and low income Angelenos.
In her detailed and inspirational response to Bike The Vote L.A., Raman articulates one of the most progressive transportation platforms ever put forward by a Southern California candidate for elected office. Raman rightly recognizes that what L.A. currently lacks is political will, and makes clear that she’s ready to turn the tide. We are impressed with her determination to improve access, efficiency, and the overall experience of bus service; a critical aspect of an equitable transportation system. In noting the ways in which the City has failed to build out a safe bike network, Raman rightly points to the need to reconsider on-street parking, too often considered a third rail by elected officials.
In November, Raman released an exceptional and cohesive environmental platform, that smartly puts protected bus lanes, protected bike lanes, and pedestrian-friendly design at the center of action to address Los Angeles’ worsening air quality. Stressing the need for immediate action, she highlights L.A.’s ready-to-implement Mobility Plan 2035 and its already-adopted Vision Zero policy, both of which are in search of leadership to bring about results.
As Raman notes, it is not only leadership that is lacking, but also a commitment to building consensus. We are impressed with Raman’s track record of effective community education, outreach, and coalition building as the founder of the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition. Bringing this level of community organizing to issues of transportation equity would be transformative for safe streets advocacy.
As Los Angeles dithers on Vision Zero, we need effective leadership that understands the complexity and intersectionality of issues we face. Nithya Raman is a truly inspirational and deeply knowledgeable leader with a plan to turn the tide on the structural issues that negatively impact the day-to-day lives of Angelenos. Bike The Vote L.A. is pleased to endorse Nithya Raman for Los Angeles City Council District 4.