LA Elections Roundup – What It Means for Cycling

While you could argue an overwhelming number of people headed to the polls of Thursday, that would only be in comparison to the number of people involved in a beach volleyball match.

The showing was poor, but nonetheless, thems be the results and we’ll see about the bike implications from these officials. A quick rundown:

District 12

  • Mitch Englander ran unopposed garnering roughly 329% of the vote. This is his second term and his district covers most of the northwest portion of the San Fernando Valley. A big issue on the bike front is the slated bike lane that goes the length of Parthenia, giving the valley one of the most badly needed east-west links. Hopefully winning a second election gives him some clout to move this forward.

image (2)District 2

  • Paul Krekorian won his second term by roughly a 3:1 margin. In his first term, he added bike lanes which I would classify as low hanging fruit. There are also portions that have not been elegantly handled. With CicLAvia coming through the bulk of his district, will the long proposed Lankershim lanes finally take hold?

District 6

  • Nury Martinez also got added to the two-timer club, having won her reelection over Cindy Montanez by a 3:2 margin. Her district will also be involved with the Parthenia lanes, as well as the future existence of Van Nuys Blvd. bike lanes. You could argue that there are very few districts that need better bike infrastructure better than hers.

District 4

  • The election provided some intrigue, unless you looked at the money raised. If the results hold, Carolyn Ramsay and David Ryu will advance to the May 19th runoff, far outdistancing the other twelve candidates in fundraising. Tomas O’Grady is still holding out hope with the provisional ballot results and a recount, but it looks like he’ll be just on the outside of this one.
  • Carolyn Ramsay made the BiketheVote list of cycle friendly candidates, while David Ryu didn’t even attend the livable streets forum. I’m still lukewarm to Ramsay, as it sounds like she’s reluctant to add the Hollywood Blvd. lanes. I’m even more concerned whether we’ll see striping down Riverside Dr. in Toluca Lake, a badly needed link for cyclists. As for Ryu, some of his comments from the Toluca Lake forum sounded like old, failed solutions to problems, but I hold out hope that he’d react to some ole fashioned ideas.
  • It’s funny how Tomas O’Grady and Teddy Davis got the Daily News endorsement and Sheila Irani was heralded by the LA Times, but none advanced to the next round. This election was about money and using properly to mobilize your constituents.

Other non-valley Districts

  • Herb Wesson and Marqueece Harris-Dawson each took their respective districts easily. Harris-Dawson will be replacing Bernard Parks, who was also on the city council transportation committee. It’ll be interesting who will fill
    Do you see Molina at CicLAvia? She's lurking on the the shadows...
    Do you see Molina at CicLAvia? She’s lurking on the left…in the shadows…

    those vacancies, along with LaBonge’s departure.

  • Jose Huizar won a crucial battle for cyclists with his reelection in council district 14 over longtime county supervisor Gloria Molina. While Huizar had a sizable fundraising advantage, it was an all out war on bikes as Molina referred to cyclists as “enthusiasts”. Yuck..

LAUSD(my only politically charged rant)

  • I have to mention the race for board member position for LAUSD District 3. Incumbent Tamar Galatzan didn’t receive the 50% necessary to avoid a runoff, meaning she’ll face off against Scott Schmerelson on May 19th. She outdistanced her nearest competitor by roughly 8:1 in fundraising and STILL didn’t advance. I bring this up because Galatzan has vigilantly pushed for this failed iPad program(under FBI investigation) and the blunder of a payroll system(MISIS). This has been the case of throwing millions and millions of dollars guided by special interests, as the public had relentlessly questioned the impropriates.
  • Why do I bring this up? This is less money for biking…..