A Transportation Look at a Contentious Race in CD14

Martinez placed this billboard late last year, right in the heart of Broadway. Photo:##http://blogdowntown.com/2010/10/5817-cd-14-race-debuts-on-broadway##Blog Downtown##

The race for the CD14 City Council seat has been a contentious one between two former friends.  The City Maven breaks down the relationship between the former friends that has led to a very personal campaign.

Huizar at the Boyle Heights Hotel Renovation Project. Photo: Jose Huizar/Flickr

We’re not going to talk about that.  Incumbent Councilman Jose Huizar has a pretty long record on transportation issues and his opponent, Rudy Martinez, is known for a grassroots campaigning style and a starring role in a real-estate reality show.

Huizar has been a reliable voice for progressive transportation, but slow to come up with any exciting plans on his own.  Huizar, as Joe Linton wrote earlier this year, may have “proclaimed his support for Los Angeles overtaking Long Beach’s leadership in becoming a truly bike-friendly city,” but I’m hard pressed to figure out what initiatives of his would make that happen.

His signature transportation issue has been support for “Bringing Broadway Back” planning, including the installation of a Streetcar.  Earlier this month, the Councilman wrote on his personal blog the results of a study on the economic impact of the streetcar proposal (emphasis his):

The study finds among other things that an initial $125 million public-private investment in returning the Streetcar Downtown will generate 9,300 new jobs, $1.1 billion in new development, $24.5 million in new annual tourism and consumer spending, and $47 million in new city revenue – all above projections for Downtown’s future without a streetcar.

The Gold Line Eastside Extension rumbles through the eastern wing of his district.  Community members, most vocally the Eastside Community Corporation, have complained that the people living near the line are learning how to deal with it, not using it.  It’s great that the city and county are looking to address this issue, but providing community connections is something that really should have been looked at years ago.

Huizar has also been a member of the Metro Board of Directors for most of the past two years, replacing Councilman Bernard Parks as a one of Mayor Villaraigosa’s appointments.  Huizar does miss meetings from time to time, and is replaced on the Metro Board for those meetings by Tom LaBonge, who faces a tough race of his own.  While he’s pushed for Streetcar funding, his biggest accomplishment on the Metro Board has been to back Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian’s crusade against the SR-710 Big Dig project.

Martinez has won points from community members and the Los Angeles Times for his door-to-door campaign style, but it’s not easy to find out where he stands on specific issues.  His campaign website doesn’t even really have a platform beyond knocking Huizar and promising to do better.

As for substance, Martinez is opposed to the Streetcar project, at least for now, because local businesses would be asked to help foot the bill.  While  you’d be hard pressed to find anything resembling a bicycle plan, he has “lectured audience members to get off their couches and walk or ride bicycles” in response to questions about “fixing” Los Angeles’ traffic issues.

This concludes our election preview for 2011.  Check back on Wednesday for results, and what they could mean to the momentum progressive transportation has had in the last couple of years.


Election Roundup: In City’s First Race Fought over Progressive Urban Planning, Streetsie Winner Huizar Prevails

In Los Angeles’ first political race fought over progressive urban design, incumbent City Councilmember Jose Huizar gathered nearly three times as many votes as his closest opponent, former Supervisor Gloria Molina in a lopsided victory. (Full results: here) Huizar campaigned hard on his Livable Streets record in Council District 14 (CD14) while Molina argued that […]

Today’s the Day: Rock the Vote

Election Day is finally here, and half of Los Angeles’ City Council is up for re-election.  Streetsblog has covered each of the seven City Council elections and Ballot Initiative O. Proposition O is an oil extraction tax of $1.44 per barrel.  Opponents of the tax claim it will raise gas prices at a time when […]

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 […]

Tonight! Eagle Rock! Streetsies! Huizar! Lucero!

Tonight! We’re riding and celebrating in Eagle Rock with two of our 2014 Streetsie winners: Elected Official of the Year Jose Huizar and Journalist of the Year Nathan Lucero. Councilmember Jose Huizar set a Streetsie record by garnering over 5,000 votes in his race against Joe Buscaino for the 2014 Streetsie award. Heck, Huizar got more votes […]

L.A. City Council Approves New Mobility Plan, Including Vision Zero

After a lengthy and contentious debate, the full Los Angeles City Council approved the city’s new Mobility Plan, the Transportation Element of the city’s General Plan. Mobility Plan 2035 replaces the city’s former transportation plan in effect since 1999. The final vote was 12 in favor, with only Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Gil Cedillo opposing. The approved […]