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Richards Fires Back at Parochialism in Sales Tax Debate

8:42 AM PDT on August 22, 2008


The Southern California Transit Advocates' Kymberleigh Richards penned an op/ed for today's Daily News that punches a hole in the argument that Metro's sales tax proposal is unfair to some parts of the county because funds aren't distributed based on residential population.  To wit:

I do not disagree with Antonovich that the NorthCounty is a growth area. But I also see that the people who live therelargely work "down under" ... downtown Los Angeles, the San FernandoValley, Century City and the Westside.

This is already proven by the high demand for bothMetrolink and commuter bus service to those areas from the NorthCounty. A rail line through the Sepulveda Pass, as proposed in thesales-tax measure, would connect the Metrolink service from the NorthCounty with the Westside, and provide real relief to the supervisor'sconstituents who are at present stuck on the 405, either in their carsor in those commuter buses.

Similar scenarios exist from the San GabrielValley and the Eastside. People who live in those regions and workdowntown, in the Miracle Mile, or on the Westside are the real reasonthe subway extension is needed. Those people are already forced tochoose between being stuck in traffic in their own cars or being stuckin traffic on a Metro Rapid bus on Wilshire.

Zev Yaroslavsky has tried to make this argument in the past, but his reliance on numbers he made up on the spot made his argument less than confusing.  In her piece today, Richards clearly makes the case that spending money equally in legislative districts makes a lot less sense than spending funds where people commute.  To read the rest of Richards' op/ed click here.

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