Increases Representation on Board by Ten Members
June 23, 2016
Sacramento – Citing the need to improve accountability and representation on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board, Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) announced today that he will re-introduce SB 1472 in the State Assembly to increase the membership of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from 14 to 24 members
“SB 522 will add ten more members to the Metro Board in order to ensure it more fairly and equitably represents all of Los Angeles County’s ten million residents,” said Senator Tony Mendoza.
Currently, LA County Supervisors hold five seats (38%) while representing only 10% of the population, while the City of LA has four seats, leaving only four seats for the remaining 85 cities in the County, representing over 50% of the County’s population. This lopsided system is reflected in the lopsided priorities of Metro, particularly in failing to address the needs of residents living outside the City of LA.
Created by state legislation in 1972, Metro is the regional transportation planner for all of Los Angeles County. Metro serves more than 9.6 million people. Nearly one-third of California’s residents live or work within its 1,433-square-mile service area. Metro’s Board of Directors develops and oversees transportation plans, policies, funding programs, as well as short-term and long-range solutions that address the County's increasing mobility, accessibility, and environmental needs.
“SB 522 will also improve Metro’s ability to increase support for its regional transit plan that meets the needs of building a representative 21st Century transportation system which benefits all of Los Angeles County,” added Mendoza.
Last year, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León authored SB 767, which authorized Metro to place a new transportation sales tax measure on the ballot. This measure called for a bottom-up approach to develop a Long Range Transportation Plan working with the Council of Governments, local groups and residents.
On June 10th a revised Long Range Transportation Plan was released by Metro to the public. This Plan is scheduled to be voted on by the Metro Board on June 23rd. On June 16, 2016, State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) sent a letter (see attached) to Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas requesting that it postpone its vote on the Plan, pending the outcome of a Senate Transportation Committee oversight hearing, which was scheduled to allow sufficient time to place the tax measure on the ballot.
Although Metro responded to the Senate President pro Tempore’s letter, there is no indication they are planning to postpone today’s vote.
“The fact that the Metro Board will not commit to postponing the vote in order to gather additional information is evidence that the board needs greater representation that adequately reflects the whole county and provides greater responsiveness to its residents,” said Senator Mendoza. “Due to the lack of consideration from the Metro Board, the Senate hearing is postponed and I am focusing on legislation to change the Board’s membership dynamic.”
More information on the Metro plan may be found at http://theplan.metro.net/
Senator Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles native and former elementary school teacher in East Los Angeles, represents the 32nd Senate District encompassing portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. For more information about Senator Mendoza visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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