Following the Forum: A Talk with CD 11 City Council Candidate Mike Bonin

Following last night’s CD 11 Livable Streets Candidate forum, I sat down with each of the four candidates for a brief chat about the forum, the state of the campaign, and what they thought of the debate.

Our last interview was with Mike Bonin. Bonin, the Chief of Staff to current Council Member Bill Rosendahl, has been working in government for nearly two decades following a career as a community reporter. For the last four years, Rosendahl has chaired the City Council Transportation Committee and Bonin is clearly well versed on transportation issues…on the Westside and across the city.

During the forum, the audience parsed Bonin’s words to a greater degree than the other candidates perhaps acknowledging his current frontrunner position. During our interview, Bonin showed an in-depth knowledge of local transit issues, including the need to get Expo, Metro buses, Culver City Buses and the Big Blue Bus to work together to maximize transit service to the Westside.

One way Mike is different than his current boss, Streetsblog famously worked with Rosendahl’s office to get the “guy who hadn’t ridden a bike in four decades” a bike lesson. Bonin’s bike experience is actually pretty similar to mine.

Full disclosure: Mike has been an outspoken supporter of Streetsblog, both as a city official and as a candidate. I’ve also worked closely with his office as a reporter and appointee to the Expo Bicycle Advisory Committee. In short, while we’re just meeting the other candidates, we’ve known Mike for years.

  • Anonymous

    I’m tired of the hypocrisy of some council members claiming to be big supporters of the bike plan and yet are not willing to take away any parking or travel lanes if the public complains. Several of the council members that get praise for being the biggest supporters of bicycling are likely going to be turning down most of the proposed bike lane projects in their district due to the negative reaction from constituents. Candidate Bonin stated that it was important to build out the bike plan. The follow up question to him should have been “Then you would agree to having parking or a travel lane taken out on Bundy Dr and Centinela Ave to put in bike lanes, because those streets are on the bike plan?
     
    Why is it that some council members are in support of tearing down businesses or take out 2 1/2 travel lanes on a street to put in a BRT or LRT line and yet are not willing to give up one single travel lane or storage for vehicles on a arterial street to put in a bike lane?

  • Irwinc

    Just catching up on the videos from last week… I think Mike missed an opportunity with the magic wand question to state his support for bus lanes throughout his district. Getting people to try public transit is easy so it is a wasted magic wand if that’s what he wants to do with it. The diffult thing is changing the mindset of moving cars to moving people and that is what you should do with the magic wand… I don’t think any of the candidates really get it.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Meet Your New Transportation Committee, Chaired by Mike Bonin

|
We just received confirmation from Council Member Mike Bonin’s office that Bonin will  replace his former boss Bill Rosendahl as Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee. The Westside’s Council District 11, which Bonin represents, is home to two of the largest infrastructure projects in the region, the 405 Widening through the Sepulveda Pass and […]

Election 2013: CD 11 Debate on Jan. 22 on the Westside

|
Working with Bikerowave, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Los Angeles Walks, Streetsblog is hosting a candidate forum for the four candidates running to replace the retiring Bill Rosendahl in the Westside’s Council District 11. The forum will be held on Jan. 22 at Nolte Hall at 11555 National Boulevard at 7:00 p.m. There will […]