As Stephen Box points out, today could turn out to be one of the most important days in determining the future of cycling in L.A.
That’s because today there’s an election to fill the city council seat recently vacated by former Transportation Committee Wendy Greuel. And whoever is elected to represent the 2nd Council District will have an outsize influence on the council, since many of the members currently on the council are in their final terms — and thanks to the effects of term limits, will soon be more focused on running for their next office than representing the district they currently serve.
Which is not so much a comment on our current council members as it is a comment on a highly flawed system that throws out the good with the bad.
As Box put it:
Los Angeles has a Mayor and a City Council made up of 15 Councilmembers. A significant number of those in office are lame ducks, politicians in their last term who can’t run for reelection. The person who wins the CD2 seat is in a position to set the tone for the next round of candidates who run for the even numbered seats in 2011. That’s seven seats and the person who wins today will be setting the pace for that race. As for today, there are ten candidates and it’s a bit late to try to cover the many issues and the many positions and the many debates and the many forums. Suffice to say that there are two kinds of candidates, those who embrace the Cyclists Bill of Rights and those who don’t.
I’ve written before how cyclists can have an outsized influence on the electoral process. In the CD5 primary, the winner was determined by a total of just 60 votes — votes that could have easily come from the cycling community.
And with 10 candidates in today’s election, this one could easily be closer. Which means that your vote may never mean more than it does today.
You can learn more on Stephen’s blog, where he has video from four of the candidates, and written statements from two more. And over at Streetsblog, Damien Newton has done a great job covering the race from a more general transportation perspective.
But whatever you do, if you live in this Valley district that wraps around the west sides of Glendale and Burbank, from Mulholland to the Verdugo Hills and west to Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks, get out and vote.
Because your vote today could determine how you ride tomorrow.
A cyclist was injured in a collision behind the Orange Curtain. The hit-and-run epidemic has spread to the East Coast. New York cracks down on illegal rental bikes. Boston plans to put more bikes on the street to end its bike unfriendly image. There’s a new shockproof, waterproof bike mount for all you iPhone users. Bike & Brew reaches Kalamazoo. The wife of British gold medalist Bradley Wiggins was hit by a car while riding over the weekend; as usual, the driver claims he just didn’t see her. A ghost bike in Bogota. Finally, ride your bike to the polls when you Bike the Vote in CD2 today — after all, it’s World Carfree Day.