Meet Garcetti’s New Team on the Metro Board of Directors: Bonin, Krekorian and Dupont-Walker

Then Council Member Wendy Greuel, Jackie Dupont-Walker, then Council Member Jan Perry, and Eric Garcetti Photo: CD 13

Earlier today, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced his three appointees to the Metro Board of Directors. The Mayor’s Office controls four of the thirteen appointments to the body (Garcetti being the first himself.) The appointments include two City Council Members: Mike Bonin and Paul Krekorian, as well as Jackie Dupont-Walker, a community activist from the West Adams Neighborhood in South Los Angeles.

Some critics are complaining that Garcetti violated state law by appointing two Council Members to the Board. We are currently researching that claim, first made by John Walsh in an email to journalists and editors, but for now we’re assuming that this list of Garcetti’s appointments will stand.

(Update 7:45 pm – It is now confirmed, the Mayor can appoint to the Metro Board anywhere from 1-3 City Council Members.)

Here’s a quick look at the Mayor’s team on the Metro Board:

Jackie Dupont-Walker:

Dupont-Walker is the freshest face for most Streetsblog readers.  She is the founding president of Ward Economic Development Corporation, a faith-based community development. She also chairs the USC Master Plan Advisory Committee where she represents the residents of the West Adams district.  

Dupont-Walker’s appointment may also represent an olive branch to the Crenshaw Subway Coalition, a group of community groups and advocates advocating for a grade-separated Crenshaw Light Rail Line for the twelve blocks that the line will run through the Crenshaw Business District. In addition to advocacy, the group has sued Metro over the environmental documents for the light rail.

Dupont-Walker, in addition to being a resident and activist in South L.A., was part of a delegation that met with then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to push for a station at Leimert Park. Villaraigosa eventually backed the station and it was added to the project plan literally days before the Mayor left office.

Dupont-Walker will join Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas as Board Members dedicated to making sure that jobs created by the construction of the Crenshaw Line stay in the South L.A. Community.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with Mayor Garcetti to create an L.A. transportation system that will help bring our city’s diverse neighborhoods closer together in every way,” Dupont-Walker said. “A world-class system should be accessible to every L.A. neighborhood, and new transportation hubs and corridors are opportunities to spark
much-needed job creation and neighborhood revitalization by spurring local economies.”

Mike Bonin:

Bonin is certainly the easiest for Streetsblog to write about since we’re in the middle of publishing a two-part interview with Bonin conducted because he is also the Chair of the Transportation Committee for the City Council. For a man who took office less than three weeks ago, Bonin is now one of the most important people on transportation policy in the region.

The good news for Livable Streets advocates is that Bonin may be the first true-believer in “people powered” transportation ever appointed to the Board. Together with the car-free Santa Monica Council Member Pam O’Connor, who founded and chairs Metro’s ad-hoc sustainability committe, they form a powerful block of votes for funding a variety of transportation options.

“I’m excited to work with Mayor Garcetti to improve and increase bus and rail service in Los Angeles to cut congestion and make commutes faster,” Bonin said in a prepared statement. “We on the Westside are especially eager to get moving with real solutions that give us back the family time and dollars we lose while we are stuck in traffic and gridlock.”

Krekorian at a 2008 press conference where he introduced legislation changing state law regarding speed limits. Photo: Alex Thompson

Paul Krekorian:

Krekorian has a reputation as a budget hawk, which seems to be a major reason for his appointment to the Board. Krekorian also sits on the City Council Transportation Committee. Krekorian is a solid vote on sustainable transportation issues and has been a leader on fighting against speed limit increases for motor vehicles at both the city and state level. Krekorian’s Council District 2 represents a portion of the San Fernando Valley.

“I look forward to working with Mayor Garcetti, my MTA colleagues, and all stakeholders to tackle Southern California’s most pressing transportation issues,” said Council Member Krekorian, also through a statement. “Through innovation and efficiency, we need to get more for our transportation dollars and accelerate MTA’s work toward enhanced mobility throughout the entire region.  This is a critical moment in our pursuit of a seamless public transportation system that cost-effectively reduces congestion in the San Fernando Valley and all of Los Angeles, and I’m honored that the Mayor has entrusted me with this responsibility.”

  • Erik Griswold

    But, but, but…

    They are in a *CAR*…and…and…and…

    …they aren’t wearing seatbelts!

    OR HELMETS!!!!!!!

  • I thought it was kind of funny that the only picture of Eric and DuPont-Walker I could find included his two toughest rivals for Mayor. What, Kevin James wasn’t around? Maybe he was driving?

  • Niall Huffman

    The law laying out the composition of the Metro Board most certainly *is* online as part of the Public Utilities Code. The mayor has to appoint “two public members” and one member of the City Council. Presumably a member of the City Council also counts as a “public member,” so Garcetti’s probably in the clear.

    Here it is…

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes.xhtml (doesn’t allow direct linking — select Public Utilities Code and search for section 130051)

    130051.

    The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority consists of 14 members, as follows:

    (a) Five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

    If the number of members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is increased, the authority shall, within 60 days of the increase, submit a plan to the Legislature for revising the composition of the authority.

    (b) The Mayor of the City of Los Angeles.

    (c) Two public members and one member of the City Council of the City of Los Angeles appointed by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles.

    (d) Four members, each of whom shall be a mayor or a member of a city council, appointed by the Los Angeles County City Selection Committee. For purposes of the selection of these four members, the County of Los Angeles, excluding the City of Los Angeles, shall be divided into the following four sectors:

    (1) The North County/San Fernando Valley sector.

    (2) The Southwest Corridor sector.

    (3) The San Gabriel Valley sector.

    (4) The Southeast Long Beach sector.

    The League of California Cities, Los Angeles County Division, shall define the sectors. Every city within a sector shall be entitled to vote to nominate one or more candidates from that sector for consideration for appointment by the Los Angeles County City Selection Committee. A city’s vote shall be weighted in the same proportion that its population bears to the total population of all cities within the sector.

    The members appointed pursuant to this subdivision shall be appointed by the Los Angeles County City Selection Committee upon an affirmative vote of its members which represent a majority of the population of all cities within the county, excluding the City of Los Angeles.

    The members selected by the city selection committee shall serve four-year terms with no limitation on the number of terms that may be served by any individual. The city selection committee may shorten the initial four-year term for one or more of the members for the purpose of ensuring that the members will serve staggered terms.

    (e) If the population of the City of Los Angeles, at any time, becomes less than 35 percent of the combined population of all cities in the county, the position of one of the two public members appointed pursuant to subdivision (c), as determined by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles by lot, shall be vacated, and the vacant position shall be filled by appointment by the city selection committee pursuant to subdivision (d) from a city not represented by any other member appointed pursuant to subdivision (d).

    (f) One nonvoting member appointed by the Governor.

    (Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 900, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1998.)

  • calwatch

    We had this happen before when Jim Hahn was mayor and appointed two councilmembers on the MTA Board. John Walsh is a hack, as usual.

  • Matt

    Mayor Riordan asked County Counsel whether a City Council member could serve on the Board in the capacity of a citizen appointee and Counsel answered yes. Hal Bernson and Richard Alatorre served simultaneously as well.

  • Irwin Chen

    I assume the photo was from the MLK Day parade? James was shall we say not actively campaigning in South LA… :)

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