With a bit more than a week to go before election day, I made the pilgrimage to Nevada to canvass for Hillary Clinton. This election, there is nothing more important that putting Clinton in the White House and putting to bed America's orange menace.
So along with an energetic group from Bend the Arc and Planned Parenthood I spent two days combing the identical cul-de-sacs outside of Las Vegas for undecideds. How anyone could still be undecided at this late hour is beyond me but there they were. And so were we, with our campaign literature and door tags and pitch for why it is critical to elect one of the most qualified presidential candidates in modern American history.
#PinkOutTheVote is Planned Parenthood's aptly named outreach campaign. I like the hashtag almost as much as my new pink t-shirt.
Back in Los Angeles, we have another important vote to cast on November 8th, for Measure M. When approved by the voters, Measure M will enable L.A. Metro to deliver to the diverse County on its promise to build a world-class green and clean public transportation system that reaches more of the region's residents. While Los Angeles is already building out its transit network at an impressive clip, Measure M will help us complete the aggressive assignment. As frequent coverage in the press attests, the public is clamoring for environmentally-friendly transit like the popular, newly opened Expo Line to Santa Monica.
Commuters on the busy Expo Line are moving east to west and west to east to new creative jobs on Silicon Beach, in Culver City and in DTLA. Measure M would be a game changer for how San Fernando Valley, North County and South Bay employees get to their jobs which may be miles or tens of miles from their homes. In sum, Measure M is an economic necessity we can't afford to reject.
Still, the challenge remains of getting more Angelenos to ride Metro's buses and trains. According to Metro CEO Phil Washington, the agency's goal is to increase transit ridership from its current level of eight to ten percent to 25 percent. Unlike in the Bay Area, Chicago, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., many County residents have no history of commuting to work by bus or train. Those new riders will only get on board, ditching their cars, once Measure M funds start flowing to their communities.
Measure M will bring more clean rail and buses to the San Fernando Valley's high density corridors and it will finally bring a rail line to the notoriously congested Sepulveda Pass. Additionally, Measure M will provide funding for first mile/last mile solutions including health-promoting bike lanes and pedestrian improvements that make it easier for residents to get safely to the train station or bus stop.
These transformative developments are building a new sense of community in Los Angeles that is resulting in Angelenos from all over the region interacting in ways they never have before. Now that more of us have the option of taking the bus or train, we are also participating in healthy open streets event like CicLAvia and exploring car-free, downtown L.A. and other parts of the region we've always wondered about. For the San Fernando Valley, North County and South Bay as well as other parts of the County, Measure M will also mean better air quality and improved health outcomes for a region where asthma, obesity and diabetes are major killers.
L.A. County voters' support for Measure M will help bring green public transportation and improved air quality and improved public health to all. Angelenos deserve it!
#VoteYesOnM and proudly vote #ImWithHer
Yours in Transit,