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30/10 Transportation Initiative Gaining Steam

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I'm headed back from Washington DC today, where I continued our efforts to persuade the federal government to get on board with our 30/10 transportation plan, which would accelerate the construction of 12 big-ticket transit projects to 10 years from 30.

Also here this week is the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, with more than 200 business leaders here to advocate for jobs for our region. The Chamber is strongly behind our 30/10 plan.

At a press conference with Senator Barbara Boxer yesterday, LA Chamber President Gary Toebben said:

"The 30/10 plan is one of the main focuses of this year's trip to Washington, D.C. Not only will it help clean up our air and reduce traffic, but will be an economic stimulus for the recovery of our region by creating tens of thousands of jobs."

That's exactly right. 30/10 will be a game-changer, completely transforming our transportation network, and stimulating our local economy by creating 166,000 jobs.

The 30/10 initiative is a bipartisan effort bringing together business and labor leaders, Democrats and Republicans. Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor was also at the press conference. She had this to say:

"We are here asking the president and members of the house and senate to look to Los Angeles where the labor movement, the business community, and a broad coalition of stakeholders have all come together around this common issue and to say with one voice: 'Put us back to work! Help us get out of traffic! And help us improve our air quality!'"

As usual, Maria Elena makes a very persuasive case.

One of the most encouraging signs for our plan is Senator Barbara Boxer becoming a real champion for us. She is working hard to make 30/10-and the jobs and environmental benefits a reality for Los Angeles.

A lot of legislators are responding to the fact that we're not just asking for a hand out from DC. Because of Measure R, the voter-passed ½ cent sales tax dedicated to transportation funding -- we will have the money for all the 30/10 projects. But LA needs these projects -- and the jobs they'll create-now, so we want to use the Measure R funds as a guarantee that the federal government will get their investment returned.

Senator George Voinovich from Ohio -- a former mayor himself -- said that regions like Los Angeles should be rewarded for raising our own transportation funding.

The 30/10 initiative could be a new model for federal-local partnership, that could help cities across the country rebuild their infrastructure and kick-start their economy.

I will keep you posted as we continue making progress, and we get more supporters on board with the 30/10 plan.

Cross-posted at mayor.lacity.org