BIKE THE VOTE L.A. VOTER GUIDE - NOVEMBER 2014
2014 VOTER GUIDE SLATE CARD:
(see below for summaries)
- Lt. Governor - Gavin Newsom
- Secretary of State - Alex Padilla
- Superintendent of Public Instruction - Tom Torlakson
- State Treasurer - John Chiang
- State Senate, District 22 - Kevin de León
- State Senate, District 30 - Holly Mitchell
- State Assembly, District 39 - Raul Bocanegra
- State Assembly, District 43 - Mike Gatto
- L.A. Country Supervisor, District 3 - Bobby Shriver
- L.A. Country Sheriff - Jim McDonnell
- L.A. Country Measure P (Parks) - YES
- Santa Monica City Council - Pam O’Connor
- Santa Monica Measure LC (Airport Local Control) - YES
- Santa Monica Measure D (Airport Development) - NO WAY
- Santa Monica Measure H (Affordable Housing) - YES
- Santa Monica Measure HH (Affordable Housing) - YES
. . . . . . . .
CALIFORNIA STATE RACES:
Lt. Governor: Gavin Newsom
Let’s be honest: the Lieutenant Governor position barely has any authority, and very little that affects active transportation. The Los Angeles Times characterizes it as “a bully pulpit at best, a ceremonial post at worst.” Keeping this in mind, Gavin Newsom is the best choice for the job. Even though Newsom started out as a vociferous opponent of bike lanes while on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the early 2000s, he came to see the economic benefits of bike lanes as Mayor, and eventually led San Francisco’s transformation into one of the nation’s most bike-friendly big cities. Having someone who “gets it” in a position to steer economic development (and possibly to rise to higher office someday) can only be a good thing.
Secretary of State: Alex Padilla
As a State Senator, Alex Padilla was a consistent “aye” vote for all seven of the bike safety/hit-and-run bills from this past legislative session (although he missed the final vote on the cycle track bill). He’s also a hometown hero from Los Angeles. Again, Secretary of State doesn’t really have much of an impact on road safety, but it helps to have bike-friendly politicians in visible positions that could act as a future springboard, and we still think Padilla deserves our vote.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson
Here’s where we get to important offices, because one of the greatest impacts to children’s health is lack of exercise, and guess where it’s mostly missing? Walking and bicycling to school. And why? Parents think it isn’t safe — so they feel obligated to chauffeur their kids to school. Which means more cars on the road near the school making it — you guessed it — unsafe. Tom Torlakson is focused on the health and fitness of schoolchildren, and while he hasn’t yet made moves towards Safe Routes to School programs, we think he has great potential to do so. By the way his, opponent, Marshall Tuck, is a charter school CEO who wants to defund public schools. No thanks, Marshall.
State Treasurer: John Chiang
The Treasurer is the State’s top banker and financier. He/she oversees bond issuance, promotes the State’s credit to Wall Street rating agencies, and manages the State’s investment and debt portfolios. Current State Controller John Chiang, the State’s chief bookkeeper, has the chops to handle this job. The money is important! The State depends on a complex web of financial instruments to ensure an adequate cash flow for all its programs, and many of our much-needed roadway improvements will be financed through bonds. We pick Chiang.
State Senate, District 22: Kevin de León
We were torn in this race and had mixed opinions because both candidates, Senator Kevin de León and challenger Peter Choi, are great supporters of safe streets and bicycling. Peter Choi has been a vocal supporter of the Fig4All campaign, and seems like an altogether great guy that we hope to continue to see making waves in Southern California. On the other hand, de León has proven himself by consistently supporting bicycling at the state level, including all seven road safety bills this past year. Some may look to align de León with City Councilmember ‘One-Term Gil’ Cedillo, but de León’s support occurred at a time when Cedillo professed to be pro-bike lanes and pro-Fig4All. As the new President Pro Tempore — the leader of the California State Senate — de León will be key in moving the next round of pro-safety and anti-hit & run legislation through the Senate, hopefully with the political muscle to move an intransigent Governor. You can’t go wrong with your vote between these two, but we lean toward the incumbent, Kevin de León.
State Senate, District 30: Holly Mitchell
While incumbent Senator Holly Mitchell is mostly known as a defender of the environment and author of anti-fracking bills, she is also someone who gets it on active transportation. Did we mention she backed all seven road safety bills last legislative session? Well she did. She’s also incredibly sharp and very responsive to her local constituents.
State Assembly, District 39: Raul Bocanegra
Assemblyman Bocanegra was a consistent vote for bicycling in the last legislative session. He also sponsored AB 1179, which authorizes the California Tire Recycling Management Fund to authorize grants from funding derived from every purchased (car?) tire for greenways and parklets projects that use recycled tires in disadvantaged communities — encouraging bicycle use and walkability in those communities. More money for public space is always a good thing!
State Assembly, District 43: Mike Gatto
Author of not one but two hit-and-run bills (that got unceremoniously vetoed by a clueless Governor Brown), Assemblyman Mike Gatto may be the strongest safety champion in either house of the Legislature, certainly for Los Angeles County. We must get him re-elected. If you live in Los Feliz, Little Armenia, East Hollywood, northern Silver Lake, Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta/Montrose, or La Cañada Flintridge, Mike Gatto needs and completely deserves your vote.
L.A. County Supervisor, District 3: Bobby Shriver
The contrast in the Supervisor District 3 contest could not be more sharp, nor more critical to those of us who would like to get around the County safely by bike. Bobby Shriver, a bicyclist himself and CicLAvia regular, gets that we need safer roads, more bike lanes, and that overly wide travel lanes encourage unsafe speeding to the detriment of all Angelenos. Shriver is a former member of the Santa Monica City Council, a leader among L.A. County cities in promoting bicycling through engineering, education and enforcement. Then there’s his challenger Sheila Kuehl, operating with a windshield mentality and outright communicating that she’s against road safety projects altogether, because she’d rather allow for L.A. drivers to speed. In her interview with Santa Monica Next, she said that she doesn’t understand why transportation funding would be spent on sidewalks. For reals. The County Supervisor position will be a seat on the Metro Board, and we need Bobby Shriver in it.
L.A. County Sheriff: Jim McDonnell
Of all of the candidate surveys returned to LACBC, none was more impressive than Jim McDonnell’s. And thankfully so. Clueless and negligent Sheriff’s Deputies have harassed bicyclists for commuting legally, incorrectly ticketed others, and killed Milt Olin. The department desperately needs a sweeping overhaul, and we’re convinced that Jim McDonnell has grown and learned from his years as Long Beach Police Chief sufficient to lead the County’s law enforcement in the right direction.
L.A. County Measure P, Park Funding: YES
We need funding for L.A. County parks. Backed by all of our favorite non-profits, including LACBC, Measure P will keep funding towards accessible open space for Angelenos: the kind that you can walk and bike to and within.
Santa Monica City Council: Pam O’Connor
In their endorsement, the California Bicycle Coalition called Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor “a powerful leader on sustainability and smart growth in Santa Monica and throughout Southern California.” We could not agree more, and are not the only ones, as she’s also backed by L.A. Mayor Garcetti, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, and Assemblyman Richard Bloom. She’s helped lead the way to Santa Monica being one of the only places in the County to comfortably commute by bike. She’s been a powerful voice for livable streets on the Metro Board, at the Southern California Association of Governments, and elsewhere. She’s got the right mindset to keep Santa Monica moving forward and deserves your vote.
Santa Monica City Council: Frank Gruber
A daily bike commuter for over 10 years, a strong advocate for options in transportation, and a former City Planning Commissioner, Frank Gruber is the next strongest candidate in this field of 14, and well deserving of your vote. He’s focused on safe streets and healthy, affordable housing.
Santa Monica City Council: Michael Feinstein
We had a tough time picking our third endorsement among a number of bike-friendly allies, but Michael Feinstein edges out Nick Boles for his experience and long track record of working towards making Santa Monica the great biking city that it is (we love Kevin McKeown & Richard McKinnon for their work on bike lanes, but don’t agree with their take on development). Michael’s a regular rider of Santa Monica’s Critical Mass from the early years, and a longtime defender of bicyclist rights. We know that Michael will continue to do good work for Santa Monica.
Santa Monica Measure LC, Airport Local Control: YES
Bringing local control to the Santa Monica Airport is an important step towards building a more sustainable Santa Monica. Endorsed by Santa Monica Spoke and just about every local neighborhood council, we think this is the right move for the region.
Santa Monica Measure D, Airport Development: NO WAY
Completely deceptive in its language, this aviation lobby-authored measure purports to give residents a voice, but sets an insane threshold for residents to exercise it. Nice try, jerks.
Santa Monica Measures H & HH: YES
Everybody realizes how expensive Santa Monica is, and how housing costs are forcing many out of the area (which has a terrible effect on housing and gentrification across the County). These measures help to fund new affordable housing while protecting existing renters. Endorsed by Santa Monica Spoke.