Tomorrow, millions of Angelenos will take to the polls for L.A.’s 2009 Municipal Elections. Truthfully, the most exciting races are the ones for Comptroller and City Attorney, with the Mayoral and most City Council races all but decided.
However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared to go to the polls and vote tomorrow. There has been some good reporting done on this election, especially in the 5th Council District’s election to replace Jack Weiss, and I’ve compiled some of the important links for a quick primer.
For Mayor, the candidates all answered a survery for the Times on the Subway to the Sea, but the candidates all have larger platforms at their personal websites. Incumbent Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa brags that he helped pass Measure R and banned road construction during rush hour, but I’ll give a Streetsfilm t-shirt to the first person that can find the word "bicycle" anywhere on his campaign website.
After Villaraigosa, the candidates all may have better platforms, but they also have much smaller campaign war chests. Walter Moore seems to be the alternative to Villaraigosa as far as running a viable campaign and he has an interesting transportation platform that seeks to replicate the old "red car" transit system with a series of Bus Rapid Transit lines. Craig X. Rubin has also has a multi-modal plan to reduce automobile congestion that does promote bikes, but doesn’t have the same detail as Moore.
A lot of the other candidates don’t really talk transportation at all on their sites. I have trouble finding any information about David "Zuma Dogg" Saltsburg concerning his transportation policy at his official website…and the same is true for Carlos Alvarez. David Hernandez writes on Mayor Sam about his plans for the city and doesn’t mention transit or transportation.
If I’m missing anything on some of these candidates’ websites, please let me know. There’s a lot of information on each candidate out there, but if they don’t put transportation front and center it’s not easy to find links to their views.
For a series of links for the 5th District, read on after the jump.
Oddly, the Times did a more in-depth series of questions on development and transportation for the City Council candidates looking to replace Jack Weiss than they did for Mayor. The Times asked them about both the Expo Line and development in more general terms.
On Expo, each of the candidates repeats some version of the arguments that break out everytime Phase II of the Expo Line is discussed. If you have strong feelings on Expo, or it’s alignment you should definately read what each candidate has to say.
The blog "BikingInLA" did it’s own candidate forum, asking the 5th District Candidates to write whatever they wanted to about bicycling. Four of the candidates, Aadeena Bleich, Robert Schwartz, Robin Ritter-Simon and David Vahedi all responded with what are pretty well thought-out responses that all show a good understanding of cyclists’ issues.
While we may not have a lot of transportation information now, Streetsblog will do candidate surveys for any election that ends up with a runoff.