Building a Smart Transportation System Means Jobs and Clean Air

05/10/2010 04:35 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

This week I've traveled to Washington DC to advocate for my 30/10 plan, which calls for federal assistance to help get our top 12 measure R funded transportation projects built in the next 10 years, instead of 30. My plan would not only get LA the transportation network it deserves sooner, it would create 166,000 jobs and get thousands of cars of the road.

Last Friday I testified before US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and US Senator Barbara Boxer about our region's transportation needs. They came to L.A. as part of a series of listening meetings around the country on the reauthorization of the surface transportation bill. I testified to the readiness of our 12 measure R-funded projects, and to the need for federal assistance to help us finish them in the next decade. We are building momentum, and I believe that our message is being heard.

Senator Boxer has always been a fighter for California and she understands that we need her now, facing unemployment of 14% and a devastating prolonged economic crisis. In some of the construction trades, unemployment in LA County is running 35-40%!

It was very gratifying to hear both Senator Boxer and Secretary LaHood talk about investment in infrastructure construction to jump start the economic recovery. In short, they get it. Building transportation projects means jobs, jobs, jobs.

Cross-posted at mayor.lacity.org
During the hearing, I talked about our victory when 67% of LA County's voters supported Measure R, securing $13 billion for 12 transit projects over the next 30 years.

Before the hearing started, Secretary LaHood and I had a very productive conversation about my 30-10 plan.

Afterwards he told the hearing that he's committed to helping me make that happen.

Earlier in the day Denny Zane's Move LA and representatives from the labor, environmental, public health, and the business communities held a rally in support of the 30-10 plan.

I thank them all for their enthusiastic support.

And I want to acknowledge the newest member of our growing 30-10 coalition, The American Lung Association. The Association has a long, distinguished and successful history of fighting the tough fight for clean air.

We still have a long way to go to get the support we need from Washington to make 30-10 a reality, but with friends like Senator Boxer and Secretary LaHood, and our strong LA Coalition, I'm confident that together we will make it happen.

Cross-posted at mayor.lacity.org