Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fair Share for L.A.

Originally uploaded by CD-13.
I spent a day in Sacramento with Mayor Villaraigosa and my colleagues on the council Tony Cardenas, Wendy Greuel, Ed Reyes and Greig Smith. You've probably already read about our push to get L.A. its fair share of transportation dollars from last year's Prop 1B bond. I feel confident that, between our work and having both a governor and speaker from Los Angeles, we will persuade the commission to change its recommendation in favor of an accelerated start for some of our most important projects.

There are many other reasons for Los Angeles to lobby Sacramento. And we have a lot of room to improve when it comes to getting our fair share of funds from the state. (Our strong record with affordable housing dollars is an exception). Lobbying days like the one we spent are helping turn that around. We can't afford not to.

For my part, I spoke to Assemblymembers Kevin DeLeon, Ted Lieu, and Julia Brownley; and Senators Alan Lowenthal, Darrell Steinberg, and our own City Council alumnus Alex Padilla.

I had many issues to discuss with our legislators: the revitalization of the Los Angeles River, funding for new urban parks (including the Hollywood Cap Park), funds to supplement our Prop O water quality projects, and the policy problems that result from Los Angeles's Area Median Income being so much lower than that of Northern California. I also met with Dick Schermerhorn, the governor's point person on homelessness, to talk about the unfortunate reduction by $55 million of the budget for services for mentally ill adults.

I'm hopeful that our city government's relationship with our state government will flourish. Our delegation is strong in quality as well as quantity, and our proposals were met with interest and understanding by legislators who represent other parts of the state as well. I'll let you know what develops.