Angelenos Against Gridlock
Before we tout our own horn, we should note you don't have to take our word for it about our achievements. Some of Los Angeles' most prominent leaders and foundations have given major donations -- and in each case, major follow-on donations -- to us, including business leaders Elon Musk (of Tesla & SpaceX fame), the David Bohnett Foundation, and Robert A. Day (of Trust Company of the West). They've found our achievements worthy of repeated funding, and we appreciate the Goldhirsh Foundation's consideration of joining the ranks of our funding partners.
* Laying the groundwork for $40 billion in transportation funding: our CEO Summit at the City Club on Bunker Hill brought together prominent business leaders to get everyone together on the need to dramatically increase the momentum for change. The next day's LA Times announced the support by business leaders for a sales tax for transportation, and the LA Business Journal featured a dedicated editorial praising the event and the newfound sense of possibility. Speakers included David Fleming (recent Chair of the LA Chamber, and Chair of BizFed), Bob Lowe (Chairman/CEO of Lowe Enterprises), Pam O'Connor (Metro Board Chair), among others; event partners included Metro, the LA Chamber, and BizFed.
* Programs attracting key elected officials and policymakers. Our events have attracted leaders from the LA City Council & Mayor's Office, Santa Monica City Council, Assembly, Senate, Metro Board, etc.
* Raising expectations and pushing for change. From outreach to op-eds, our efforts have gained widespread media attention:
BROADCAST: CBS2, NBC4, ABC7, KCAL9, KPCC, KCRW, KABC 790, KNX 1070 PRINT / ONLINE / WIRES: LA Times, LA Daily News (article & op-ed), Los Angeles Business Journal (front page article, editorial, and op-eds), Patch, LA Observed, Curbed LA, Metro's The Source, Streetsblog LA, Reddit, HuffPost, Rough & Tumble, City News Service
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "We would be happy to share [Angelenos Against Gridlock's "Transit 101" How to Ride Guide] internally with our 30,000+ employees through our many different internal communication vehicles. We truly appreciate all of the work you are doing for all Angelenos. It is our sincere hope that we will help to accomplish some of the change you are striving towards." -- Ralphs Grocery Company / Food 4 Less
“It was invigorating for me to attend last week’s rollout meeting…. It was reassuring to hear David Murphy, one of the organizers of the group, say in opening comments: ‘It’s time to come together…. Enough is enough.’” -- Editorial by Charlie Crumpley, Editor, LA Business Journal “I think your sympathizers are in the millions.” -- Warren Olney, host of KCRW's “Which Way, L.A.?”, introducing us on the air. (Our efforts under the names Angelenos Against Gridlock, and our predecessor efforts under the name Building LA's Future are covered herein.)
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1 Submitted Idea
- 2013 Grants Challenge
Our goal is nothing less than to lay the foundation so we will transform Los Angeles into a world class city and region by 2050, by tackling the biggest obstacle to meeting the housing problems LA2050 lays out.
The reality is that we cannot solve the region’s housing challenges without first addressing that sibling of land use issues: transportation. An adequate rail transportation system – like most other large cities have -- is the means to an end here for making it politically possible to build the ample, denser housing needed to increase affordability and meet current and future needs. The biggest challenge to building the housing supply that will meet demand and lower costs, and to making areas with affordable housing accessible, is our traffic and lack of adequate mobility options, which causes citizens to block new housing construction.
Our LA2050 project will propose, legitimize, and build a movement for a fully-built out, fast rail transit system in Los Angeles County: fast, ubiquitous subway lines that connect housing, jobs centers, and major destinations; and frequent, expanded commuter rail to connect more affordable housing areas. New York City has it. London has it. Tokyo has it. Paris has it. Chicago has it. Los Angeles doesn’t, and we’ll never be a world class livable city until we do. And we certainly will never be able to meet our housing challenges until we do.
We won’t just propose a vision; we will legitimize it and build a movement of supporters.
To do so,. this year we will host an international distinguished speaker series bringing top global thinkers & doers to LA to inject global thinking into the civic conversation in LA, and to speak to the impact that other cities’ fully built-out rail systems have had on livability. Modeled on an expanded version of the Dutch Embassy's 2011 ThinkBikeLA weekend, which resulted in green bike lanes in LA, we will invite speakers of the caliber of Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), Tyler Brûlé (founder of Monocle & Wallpaper, Financial Times columnist, known for Monocle’s Global Quality of Life report), and Bruce Katz (director of Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program). Beyond our own events, we will invite the LA Mayor and other civic elites to host additional receptions, high-level meetings, or workshops to maximize the visitors' influence.
We also propose to make infographics & a video to build momentum for our vision and to highlight other cities that have coordinated and met their housing and transportation challenges, to inspire Angelenos that we can do so, too. (We have already have an Emmy/Peabody- award winning documentary producer who wants to do a longer, multi-year documentary project for us (funding permitting); this YouTube video could either be a short 2-3 min. documentary-style video, or an independently produced viral video similar to “Did You Know?” (http://youtu.be/PHmwZ96_Gos).
We will make presentations on our LA2050 vision -- and how to fund it to make it happen -- to major business, civic, labor, environmental, and land use groups and leaders, signing up endorsers and building a coalition of supporters. We will work through the media to attract signatories from the broader legions of frustrated commuters, and we will do other efforts advancing our mission.
INDICATOR There are three primary reasons that a fully built out rail transportation system impacts the Housing Indicator:
1) despite housing shortage – and the according increase in housing costs, the lack of a fully built out rail system causes traffic gridlock, blocking new housing construction from being approved due to community concerns about traffic impacts of new development. (Our group’s president used to staff the Land Use Committee at a major business group and saw this firsthand.)
2) areas that do have (more-) affordable housing in the suburbs and exurbs lack subways or adequate commuter rail linkages, unlike counterparts in other cities.
3) Angelenos have less money to spend on housing due to high transportation costs. Unlike in other cities, transit often isn’t a practical option. The average Angeleno could save $900 per commuter per month by taking transit and giving up a car (http://bit.ly/XFWdVk), money that could go towards housing expenses.
But perhaps the issue is best illustrated by this anecdote from a LA Times article by Christopher Hawthorne: "Ron Galarze, who works in the epicure department at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills ...takes the bus to the store from his home in Whittier, a trip that takes between 90 minutes and 2 1/2 hours each way." Housing & transportation issues are intimately linked.
By building a comprehensive rail transit system, we will be able to remake LA, with dense housing developments along transit lines and near job centers. We can--and must–remake LA into a livable, world class city.