With ballots dropping today, I thought it was a good time to give you my suggestions on who to vote for. I’ll caveat this by saying I’m mostly a myopic voter, I care the most about politicians that truly care about fighting climate change and traffic violence and will support safer streets — bike lanes, bus lanes, wider sidewalks, traffic calming, etc. My endorsements below reflect that lens, and don’t necessarily endorse all of their policy positions.
Here are my suggestions for the 2022 November election for LA area reps:
Mayor, City of LA — I don’t think either Rick Caruso or Karen Bass will be that different from what we’ve had with Eric Garcetti — which has been a lot of talk and not much action. I don’t have an endorsement here and I’m honestly not sure yet who I will be voting for. I wish I could tell you one of them is so much better than the other on transportation, but I can’t.
Council District 5, City of LA (Palms, Pico Robertson, Rancho Park, Cheviot Hills, Century City, Melrose, Mid City West, Carthay Circle, Bel Air, Holmby Hills, Westwood) — While I think either candidate will be better than the climate arsonist Paul Koretz, I think Katy Young Yaroslavsky will be much better. Having gotten to know Katy, it’s clear to me that she cares about climate change and is willing to make the hard decisions to enable people to not have to drive everywhere. Here’s 10 active transportation ideas for her first term.
Council District 11, City of LA (Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, West LA, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Westchester, Venice)— This one is easy; Traci Park will likely undo a lot of progress that has been made on the westside, including the changes happening right now on Venice Bl. Even if she didn’t undo things, it’s likely she won’t support projects that make it safer to ride a bike or easier to ride a bus, if it comes at the expense of car space. On the other side, Erin Darling used to be a bike commuter himself, and will double down on the progress Mike Bonin already started. Erin Darling is by far the best choice for District 11.
Council District 13, City of LA (Hollywood, Larchmont Village, Melrose Hill, Little Armenia, Thai Town, Rampart Village, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater Village)— After 9 years of Mitch O’Farrell blocking nearly every road safety project in his district, it’s time for change. Hugo Soto-Martinez is that change that is needed. A talented organizer and someone who actually rides a bike for transportation, Hugo has a great transportation platform on his website. It includes things like pedestrianizing Hollywood Bl (long overdue), supporting Sunset4All, and building protected bike lanes in CD13 (amazingly, they would be the first, as Mitch ignored the Mobility Plan 2035 for 7 years).
Council District 15, City of LA (San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor Gateway North, Watts) — I think that Tim McOsker will likely be much better than Danielle Sandoval on transportation.
Supervisor District 3, County of LA (from Westlake Village to West Hollywood to Venice to Porter Ranch, here’s a map)— I’ve known Lindsey Horvath for years and watched her in action on the West Hollywood City Council. Lindsey truly cares about the safety of those outside of cars, and would continue her push on the County Board of Supervisors. Another key factor here is the Metro’s Sepulveda Pass project. Bob Hertzberg, Lindsey’s opponent, opposes tunneling under Bel Air, leaving the monorail as the likely option. The Sepulveda Pass is a critical piece of our rail system to get right, and only Lindsey will support the best option — a heavy rail tunnel under the Santa Monica mountains, connecting UCLA to Sherman Oaks in 7 minutes.
Controller, City of LA — Kenneth Mejia has run one of the best campaigns I’ve ever seen. He’s the real deal, and is an actual accountant (you’d think this would be table stakes, but Paul Koretz has no accounting background). And while Paul Koretz kills road safety projects paid for by free money from the State of California, Kenneth will work hard to audit the city and hold people to account, which can free up money for active transportation and transit improvements. He also publicly supports Healthy Streets LA.
Culver City — I’ve known Alex Fisch for years, and he’s the real deal — he gets around on an electric bike himself, and is a champion for progressive transportation policies. Move Culver City is a fantastic project that is at risk if he’s not re-elected. Freddy Puza is also a strong supporter of multi-modal transportation, and would be a great complement to Yasmine-Imani McMorrin, Mayor Daniel Lee, and Alex on the city council. He lost by 28 votes last time, and is in a great position for victory this time around.
West Hollywood — The three candidates that would be fantastic for active transportation, as well as getting rail to West Hollywood via the Crenshaw Line Northern Extension, are Chelsea Byers, Zekiah Wright, and Robert Oliver.
Santa Monica — Santa Monica is one of the most bike friendly cities in Southern California, and we need to continue the progress. The three candidates most likely to do that are Natalya Zernitskaya, Caroline Torosis, and Jesse Zwick.
Assembly District 51 (Santa Monica, West LA, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Hancock Park, Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Los Feliz) — I’ve known and worked with Louis Abramson for years, and he’s a fantastic leader for progressive causes. He understands the connection between dense housing and a functional, multi-modal transportation system, and would be a great leader on the issues.
Congressional District 34 (Downtown LA, Boyle Heights, Chinatown, City Terrace, Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Garvanza, Glassell Park, Highland Park, Koreatown, Little Bangladesh, Little Tokyo, Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills, Mount Washington and Westlake) — David Kim narrowly lost last time he ran, and this time he has a great shot. I’m very impressed by David, not just by his policies, but by his willingness to learn and be open minded. In fact, David came to Streets For All for ideas, and we co-developed his transportation platform together. I’d be really proud to have David be my representative, and I wished I lived in the district to be able to vote for him!
State Senate District 20 (Burbank, San Fernando, Arleta, Canoga Park, Lake Balboa, Lakeview Terrance, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Reseda, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Van Nuys, Winnetka)— Caroline Menjivar is a proven environmental leader, and will be a great voice for progressive transportation policy in the state senate.
If you want to dive into any of the candidates more, you can read their questionnaire answers at Streets For All’s Voter Guide. Note that Streets For All didn’t endorse in Council District 15, so the recommendation above is my personal one.