Yesterday I wrapped up a three-day Washington DC trip packed with meetings with key officials. In these meetings I asked for two things: first, help us leverage the investment that LA County voters made in passing Measure R by accelerating our 12 transit projects so we can build them in ten years instead of 30; and second, help us rebuild our local economy with support for creating good jobs.
Washington DC is listening and is receptive to our requests.
Whether via a bridge loan, federal loan guarantees, or another federal funding source, the members of Congress showed encouragement and great interest. They understand what 30/10 means for local jobs--166,000 of them--local air quality, and mobility throughout the county.
Just prior to the trip, I met with Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA), Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and labor leaders. In a great kickoff to the week, Congresswoman Harman joined our 30/10 coalition. She said I could share what she wrote:
"I can think of no better job-generating use of federal transit funds than for the expedited build-out of our region's mass transit system. I'm pleased to partner with Mayor Villaraigosa on his 30/10 plan and to have brought my colleague and key Subcommittee Chair Peter DeFazio to the area to see first-hand our innovative and cost-effective approaches to confronting transit and employment challenges."
Los Angeles is lucky to have her support and enthusiasm.
She and I talked specifically about connecting the Green Line light rail to LAX. It's a no-brainer project, but until Measure R passed it had no funding. The two Green Line projects in Measure R will connect the South Bay to the transit network and dramatically improve accessibility to LAX. Our 30/10 proposal will build them much faster.
LAX is a major economic engine. Completing the Bradley West Project (which broke ground on Monday) and connecting the Green Line to the airport are two essential modernizations.
I want to thank all the elected officials who took the time to hear my pitch for 30/10 and to the growing coalition of business, labor, transit, environmental, and health advocates who will help us make 30/10 a reality.
Cross-posted at mayor.lacity.org