November 03, 2016
By Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
Measure M is a chance to bring new resources, new jobs and new opportunities to our community. Without Measure M, the future is bleak with no real opportunity for growth. The Los Angeles County population is projected to increase by 2.3 million people. Voting yes on Measure M ensures that we will add transit, improve freeways and fix our local roads to ease the congestion they will cause. The alternative is 2.3 million people on our roads, freeways, buses and trains who will grind our transportation system to a halt because we did not take action when we had the chance.
Measure M has been independently analyzed by non-partisan experts, by community advocates and by political leaders and the results are impressive and will have a deep impact on our lives and will be a true benefit to our community. Measure M's improvements to our transportation system will reduce the time we are stuck in traffic by 15 percent and the measure will drive the creation of 465,000 jobs across our region. And we are confident, because of Metro’s new CEO Phillip Washington and because of the allies we have on the like Metro Board Member Jackie Dupont Walker, we have a great opportunity to insure that an equitable portion of these jobs will be filled by residents from our community, and those people will in turn spend their paychecks into our community when they eat out, get their oil changed and buy clothes for their kids.
Many of those jobs will be middle class jobs -- career jobs with health care and retirement benefits that have the potential to bring us back to the days when Los Angeles County's economy was more robust and there were opportunities for everyone. An economy anchored by a core middle class working in the building trades, manufacturing and related services.
South L.A. and surrounding neighborhoods have long suffered amidst crumbling roads, sidewalks and other infrastructure. Measure M would immediately deliver funding to our communities and all 88 L.A. County Cities and 134 unincorporated areas to fill potholes, repave roads, and fix sidewalks and intersections. Measure M will also provide earthquake retrofits for our aging bridges and overpasses which are in desperate need of repair and retrofitting.
Right outside our offices, the Crenshaw/LAX line is being built, and is currently planned to run from the airport to Exposition Boulevard. Measure M would extend the line north into Hollywood, providing connectivity to the complete Measure-M transit system that will run from Claremont to Chatsworth; Artesia to Westwood; Torrance to Whittier; and everywhere in between.
Measure M would also improve freeway traffic flow on the 105, the 110, and the 405, and it in fact fixes interchanges and add lanes across the breadth of our freeway network. We all know that from the day the 105 was opened it was to narrow and desperately needs improvement. Measure M is not just about what is in our community. We cannot continue to have an isolated transit system which only connects us to the neighborhoods inside of our community, but we need to be connected to the entire county and the entire county needs to be connected to us — Measure M is about where we’re going, and research shows that 50 percent of L.A. County residents travel to another part of the County every day for work or play.
Importantly, Measure M also commits Metro to keeping senior, disabled and student fares low, and invests in van and other services, to assure that transit-dependent populations can live more independently and go wherever they want to go in Los Angeles County.
Measure M is not about politics or a particular philosophy. It is about traffic congestion, it’s about economic development, it is about economic opportunity it’s about our daily lives. That’s why Bakewell Media, The Los Angeles Sentinel and The LA Watts Times all support and endorse Measure M and we encourage everyone to VOTE YES ON MEASURE M! Community Leaders, Community Organizations and organizations inside and outside of our community like AARP, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the New Frontier Democratic Club, The Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, political leaders like Mark Ridley-Thomas, Senator Isadore Hall, Assemblymember Mike Gipson, Inglewood Mayor James Butts, Council President Herb Wesson, Councilmember Marquis Harris-Dawson, LAUSD Board Member George McKenna all support Measure M.
Measure M gives us and our children a future that gives us more time to spend with our families and less time wasted in traffic. It gives us the chance to have real economic growth and provides the opportunity for real economic empowerment. Measure M means a brighter economic future, a future that helps our seniors, disabled and young people, and it means a future where our infrastructure is in good shape and built to last.
WE URGE ALL OF OUR READERS TO VOTE YES ON MEASURE M.