[Editor's note: This is the second of two video interviews with the candidates for L.A. County Supervisor. You can see our interview with former State legislator Sheila Kuehl here. Videos are directed and edited by Saul Rubin.]
Former Santa Monica Mayor – and nephew of late president John F. Kennedy – Bobby Shriver is one of two candidates running to replace Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who is leaving office due to term limits after two decades.
Shriver, who served on the Santa Monica City Council from 2004 to 2012, is running against former State law maker Sheila Kuehl in what is arguably one of the most important local elections in Southern California this year.
With an annual budget of about $25 billion dollars and a constituency of nearly 10 million people, the five-person Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is one of the most powerful local government institutions in the country.
Yaroslavsky’s district, the 3rd District, alone is home to about two million people. It includes well-heeled westside cities like Santa Monica, Malibu, and Beverly Hills, but its boundaries also include the historically underserved neighborhoods in the valley, including Sylmar, Pacoima, and part of San Fernando.
Aside from overseeing the County’s vast network of social services, including hospitals, homeless shelters, and libraries, all five Supervisors also sit on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), one of the nation’s largest transportation agencies.
Los Angeles Streetsblog/Santa Monica Next sat down with Shriver at his campaign headquarters on Wilshire in eastern Santa Monica to talk about his history with multi-modal transportation, his views on Measure R-2, what he believes the County can do to address the region’s housing crisis, and his vision for a more sustainable Los Angeles County.
Watch the edited video at the top of the post. Highlights from the interview include:
- At the 30 second mark, Shriver talks about his history with active transportation: “I’m a bicyclist myself, although I don’t ride my bike to work. I like to ride and I’m very aware of the danger people face while riding in L.A.”
- Shriver talks about his record on affordable housing at the 1:30 mark: “I voted in Santa Monica for the Community Corp [Santa Monica's leading nonprofit affordable housing developer] funding and as far as I know, for every 100 percent affordable project that ever came before the Council.”
- At the 2:20 mark: “But it’s clear now that, in L.A., new housing needs to be built on a very broad basis. Rents have gotten totally ridiculous.”
- Shriver talks about how he, if elected, would address the need for affordable housing at the 2:50 mark: “I’d like to get a certain amount of money into a program whereby the nonprofits can come and build affordable housing… and work with cities to see where sites might be for affordable housing construction.”
- At 4:35, Shriver talks about Measure R-2 and how much of the future ballot measure should be alloted for pedestrian and bike improvements: “As much as is necessary to make the transportation work, so whether it’s bicycle and pedestrian improvements or its shuttles to bring people to stops where there is no parking, that has to be done.”
- Shriver shares his vision for transit in the Valley at the 6:10 mark: “If you talk to people in general… people want the light rail on the Orange line…. That’s a priority. North-south connectors, they also want.”
- Also, Shriver said, “I think the biggest near-term thing that should be done in the near-term is to give all the community college students, like the CSUN students, like we did in Santa Monica, a pass to ride free on Metro… I think you should just ride free with your college ID.”
- At the 7:15 mark, Shriver talks about what he would do if he could instantly change one thing about L.A. County transit: “I’d have some sort of train facility in the Valley that zipped across the Valley.”
Watch the full 20-minute interview at Santa Monica Next. Read more…