The fires of 2017 are nearly over and that means that it is time to vote for the 2017 Streetsie awards!
Longtime readers probably know the drill. This year there are five categories: Elected Official, Civil Servant, Media/Journalism, Advocacy - Individual, and Advocacy - Group. Voting starts this week and will close on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, at noon. Reader voting accounts for one half of the scoring this year, with one quarter going to SBLA staff voting, and another quarter going to a SBLA steering committee vote.
Below are details on all the elected official Streetsie nominees:
Mar Vista Community Council - With 2017's westside driver backlash causing some elected officials to backpedal and others to cautiously tread status quo waters, some of the more impressive leadership has come from the city's elected neighborhood councils. The Mar Vista Community Council was instrumental in the extensive community outreach efforts to plan and implement the Venice Boulevard Great Streets project, which includes a road diet, mid-block pedestrian crossings, and protected bike lanes. When the project came under fire for slowing drivers down, the Mar Vista Community Council supported keeping the improvements in place. They endured multiple meetings where crowds of project opponents and supporters had their say. Thanks to the council's courage and perseverance, the Venice improvements have remained in place, and data is showing that the changes have made Mar Vista safer. (Note: SBLA founder and nonprofit director Damien Newton serves on the 13-person MVCC board. He modestly requested that MVCC not be included among this year's Streetsie nominees. His request was ignored.)
Miguel Santiago - Was there any more welcome news in 2017 than the long-needed revision of crusty old 1980s crosswalk regulations? Lately those outdated gotcha laws have been responsible for 4,000-plus LAPD fish-in-a-barrel pedestrian sting tickets every year, primarily outside Metro stations in central L.A. State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago spearheaded A.B. 390, which allows pedestrians to legally enter crosswalks during countdown phases. A.B. 390 goes into effect on January 1. Santiago represents California's 53rd District, including Boyle Heights, downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, Pico Union, and Huntington Park. Santiago has been great on many other important issues, including housing, education, and climate change.
Past Winners: Councilmember Mike Bonin and Councilmembers Huizar and Harris-Dawson, Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Councilmember Huizar, Santa Monica Mayor Pam O'Connor, Glendale Councilmember Ara Najarian, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Councilmember Bill Rosendahl