Why I’m running for re-election on the Mid City West Community Council
2020 was one of the craziest years we’ve seen in our lifetimes — from a once-in-100-years pandemic to our democracy being threatened by a sitting President, it was truly unprecedented. However, one thing that didn’t change is the persistent loud minority that opposes safer streets and positive change in our community. Those same loud voices — using the same arguments they always use — helped defeat a fantastic project like Uplift Melrose, and would prefer that Mid City West essentially build a virtual wall around itself, keep everything as is (with more police presence, of course), not approve new housing, and keep our roads as deadly as ever.
When I ran for Mid City West Community Council in 2019, I said that I saw “all the challenges and also the possibilities of our amazing community” and that I wanted to “serve to enhance our area’s livability and help solve the challenges of our day.” Having served on the board these past two years — as chair of the Transportation Committee — I now have a deep understanding of how the neighborhood council system works, what it can do, and how to use it as a mechanism for positive change in our City.
In the past two years, along with many of my fellow board members, I have:
- Helped bring slow streets to Mid City West — slowing down cars on our residential streets and giving people more space to walk, run, bike, and scoot during COVID. It’s been amazing to see families and children using space in the middle of the street, in the middle of the city! Based on our survey, 87% of respondents said they wanted slow streets to be permanent, and so I am working with LADOT on making that happen.
- Worked hard to rehabilitate Melrose by being an enthusiastic supporter of Uplift Melrose. This would have been a $40 million dollar investment into one of the most iconic streets in Mid City West, just when our small businesses and community need it the most. Yet — despite broad community support — a few loud members of our community couldn’t see past reallocating some space away from cars, and our community missed the opportunity. But Councilmember Koretz terms out during the next neighborhood council term, and I will fight to get another bite at the apple with the next Councilmember.
- Worked with LADOT to get our traffic lights changed to “recall” (meaning no one has to push a button to cross the street, especially important during COVID) and also to add leading pedestrian intervals, especially at major intersections of our slow street network — making the street safer for pedestrians.
- Asked that Metro bring its bike share system to Mid City West.
- Asked that LAPD be more thoughtful about not blocking bike lanes, and be stricter on enforcing the law when drivers block bike lanes — which resulted in LAPD publishing new guidelines interally.
- Demanded that the LASD commit to a number of changes after the tragic death of Dijon Kizee — pulled over for an infraction while riding a bike.
- Supported LA Al Fresco and asked that it come to Mid City West to support our restaurants during COVID.
- Worked to implement our City’s 2035 Mobility Plan on San Vicente Bl by adding protected bike lanes as that street is repaved — this is now an official LADOT project.
- Helped to implement the Mid City West Neighborhood Greenway, which began with a new bike and pedestrian-only signal at Rosewood and La Brea, and will continue with new roundabouts and similar intersection treatments, making our neighborhood streets safer and more peaceful.
If I am re-elected — this time as a Business representative as part of the Progressive Slate — I will protect the progress we’ve made over the last two years, and work hard over the next two years to ensure that Mid City West’s streets are safer for people to walk, bike, scoot, and drive on. At the end of the day, this is all of our community, and I am committed to working for a Mid City West that is quieter, less polluted, safer, and more enjoyable for all.