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.