Where Do the Mayoral Candidates Stand on the Crenshaw-LAX Line?

Voters in Los Angeles have an important decision to make. One of the two remaining candidates, Council Member Eric Garcetti or City Controller Wendy Greuel, will assume the office of L.A. Mayor on July 1, and in that role will take Antonio Villaraigosa’s seat on the MTA board. They will also make three new board appointments to the agency.

This is a literal gamechanger. Four votes on the 13 member body will change. The ramifications for our issue and South Los Angeles transportation in general are HUGE! In May of 2011, Villaraigosa used his four votes to oppose the effort to add money to underground the Crenshaw-LAX Line on Crenshaw Blvd and add a station at Leimert Park Village. Those votes WERE the difference, as the motion failed 3-10.

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Special Screening of Leimert Park: The Story of a Village in South Central Los Angeles

As we plan for the May 23rd MTA board decision on the Leimert Park Village subway station, now is the time to make our village and the Crenshaw community shine. Black Talkies On Parade and the Leimert Park Village Book Fair are doing their part by hosting a special FREE screening at the Mayme Clayton Museum of Leimert Park: The Story of a Village in South Central Los Angeles. We encourage you to attend.

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MTA to Bond $10.2B with $0 for Crenshaw Subway or Leimert Park Village Station

UPDATE 1:00 PM: At today’s meeting, the MTA board passed the motion, without any resources dedicated to the Crenshaw-LAX Line. The law requires the agency to first provide public notice about their proposed action, before they can vote to approve it. The vote to approve it is expected at their June 27 meeting.

A key item on today’s MTA board meeting is the acceleration of all MTA transit and highway projects currently on track to be built in the 2020s and 2030s by bonding against future tax revenues. By using this financing plan the MTA board would make available $10.2 billion in public funds to build transportation projects. Not one penny of the $10.2 billion would go towards the Leimert Park Village station, or tunnel in Park Mesa Heights. At the MTA board today, we’ll both highlight this injustice and suggest a remedy. The following is our email to MTA Board sent this morning:

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Critical Community Organizing Meeting May 2nd

Join us at our May 2nd Community Meeting where we will discuss the Mayoral Candidates’ Stances on the Crenshaw Line & Preparing for the May 23 MTA Board Decision on the Leimert Park Village Station. Download the flyer.

Thursday, May 2, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Christ Temple Church Auditorium
3125 W. 54th Street
(Two Blocks East of Crenshaw Blvd)

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A Brief Update on Our Struggle & The NY Times Article

Tomorrow morning the struggle of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition will hit newsstands across the world. In addition to posting the New York Times article in it’s entirety below, here are a few critical updates about the status of our effort to make MTA underground the rail line on Crenshaw Blvd to protect and preserve the future of Los Angeles’ last black business corridor, and build a stop at Leimert Park Village to serve the center of African-American culture in Southern California.

The three primary focuses of our organization currently are our legal challenge, our efforts to pass The People’s Motion, and ensuring that the Crenshaw-LAX Line issue is a key barometer for evaluating the 2013 L.A. Mayoral candidates in South L.A. and beyond.

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Black Community Voices Against Measure J

An amazing cross-section of African-American leaders in the civil rights, political, faith and residential communities agree, VOTE NO ON MEASURE J:

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Our Measure J Op-ed in This Week’s Our Weekly

Next Tuesday, the ballots of Los Angeles County voters will feature Measure J, a 30- year sales tax increase that is projected to generate an additional $90 billion in revenue for the MTA. Measure J is the brainchild of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who sits on the MTA board and directly controls 4 out of its 13 votes. Villaraigosa’s proposed tax hike seeks to extend the half-cent sales tax for transportation passed in 2008, known as Measure R, to 2069. It is currently scheduled to end in 2039.

Every South L.A. voter must ask, how much of the $90 billion will come back to the South L.A. community?

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Measure J - We Will "Remember in November"

WHEN YOU VOTE ON TUESDAY REMEMBER MAY 26, 2011. 600 black leaders of the civil rights, faith, nonprofit, political and residential communities swarmed the MTA board room. It was a show of political unity unseen in a generation. The “black community had finally come together.” With one voice we respectfully requested our tax dollars be added to the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Project to: 1) underground the line on Crenshaw Blvd for 11 blocks to protect the last black business corridor in Southern California, and 2) add a station at Leimert Park Village to assist our revitalization of “Little Africa.”

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Don’t Let Us Get Jacked with Measure J – Vote NO!

Supporters of the November ballot measure Measure J, which is led by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others who have ignored the requests of our community with respect to transportation, have reached out to African-American opinion leaders. They are in search of black faces to support their unjust, unfair, and unacceptable proposed sales tax increase that provides NOT A PENNY for our community to address the outstanding issues on the Crenshaw-LAX Rail Line, which is soon to begin construction.

The proposed countywide sales tax increase Measure J will tax South LA communities until 2069. It is projected to generate an additional $90 billion dollars for MTA, on top of the $40 billion already dedicated to transit expansion through Measure R, which was passed in 2008.

There are many arguments for opposing Measure J, including the insufficiency of the projects to meet our region’s transportation needs for the next 57 years, the inability of the MTA to manage so many projects simultaneously, the lack of sufficient funding to operate the projects and accompanying bus service that is constantly being cut, and the simple truth that you cannot trust Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and this MTA board.

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Support The People’s Motion

The People’s Motion is an effort to request the MTA underground the section of the rail line from 48th Street to 59th Street – the final portion of the Crenshaw/LAX Line that is at street-level on Crenshaw Blvd. If the rail line is built underground in that portion the entire length of the line on Crenshaw Blvd would be constructed in a subway by bored tunnel, preserving and enhancing Los Angeles’ last African-American business corridor and protecting the safety of our children.

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