If you don’t vote, you’re the problem

I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

Last March, only 377,881 people bothered to cast a ballot in the Los Angeles primary election. That’s less than the 400,000 people LADOT estimated in the new bike plan rides a bike every month.

Think about that.

Only 21% of eligible voters actually voted last time around. Just 25% are expected to vote in today’s election.

If every eligible bike rider were to get up and vote today — and vote their self-interests as cyclists — they would be the single most dominant and powerful voice in L.A. politics.

More than the unions, more than any political party or interest group.

A force strong enough to ensure the election of a bike friendly candidate in every race, from mayor through city council, city attorney and controller.

And that’s just bicyclists.

Add to that a few hundred thousand daily transit users. As well as pedestrians — which includes all of us at one time or another.

Suddenly, you’ve got enough strength to wrest political power from other interests groups, and ensure the governmental support we need to fix the sidewalks and potholes, build out a better, faster bike plan and a world-class transit system.

It’s not going to happen, though.

Because too many Angelenos are going to convince themselves that their votes don’t matter, or that there’s no difference between the candidates.

Or after an excruciatingly long campaign season that started with the presidential primaries over a year ago, they’re just sick of the whole thing.

Which is a tragedy. Because that indifference is what ensures we will continue to have a government that doesn’t reflect our interests, and doesn’t take the steps that will transform L.A. transportation for the better.

It’s up to you.

If you vote, you’re part of the solution. And a vital stakeholder in demanding better, more responsive government.

If you don’t, you — yes, you — are the problem.

Not the politicians others will select to represent you.

If you’re one of the few who actually cares enough about L.A. transportation issues to cast a ballot, Damien Newton offered a good look at the L.A. mayoral race yesterday, while The Source explains why it matters. You can view videos of candidates for L.A. city council, city attorney and city controller from the L.A. Candidate Forum on the Environment, Transportation and the Economy.  And the LACBC provides the information you need to Bike the Vote.