Supervisor (D3): Bobby Shriver
A former Santa Monica mayor and city councilman, Bobby Shriver, 59, is a lawyer, activist and a nephew of the late President Kennedy.
Two supervisors have proposed setting up a permanent citizen’s commission to oversee the Sheriff’s Department. Are you in favor of that?
Yes, I support a citizen’s oversight commission for the Sheriff’s Department. Community involvement will help make the Sheriff’s Department more responsive and accountable.
What role should the supervisors play in the management and operation of the Sheriff’s Department?
Manage the budget! I have hired people and managed large-scale projects. Supervisors are responsible for making sure that policing both in the jails and in our communities does not violate anyone’s constitutional rights. This is true in part because it is the law and what we deserve, but also because the failures of the Sheriff’s Department are going to cost the County millions for years to come. I will support and advocate for resources for the Office of the Inspector General and the new Inspector General Max Huntsman. I will urge the new Sheriff to immediately implement the reforms recommended by the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence to address these issues.
Former Sheriff Lee Baca has proposed replacing the Men’s Central Jail complex. What do you think should be done with the facility? If you believe it should be replaced, how large should it be?
LA county has the largest jail system in the country. The construction of a new jail will not solve long-term problems within our jail system. Right now, the issue of overcrowding needs to be addressed in a more pragmatic way. Too many people are incarcerated on pre-trial matters. Too many low- to mid-level offenders suffering from mental illness are in jail. In fact, the LA Men’s Central Jail is one of the largest—if not the largest—mental health facility in the country as demonstrated by a pharmacy the size of a basketball court. Incarcerating people who should be elsewhere creates a huge financial strain. Psychiatric treatment instead of jail time will save us millions and stop the cycling in and out of jail. The same perspective is true for the chronically homeless, who cycle in and out for crimes related to living on the streets. There is no question that the deplorable state of the Men’s Central Jail needs to be fixed.
Some officials believe the Sheriff’s Department should use vacant jails outside the county to relieve crowding and reduce the need to release inmates early. Do you agree?
The use of jails outside the county is not free. Moving mentally ill and chronically homeless people into mental health facilities would relieve overcrowding more effectively, cost-effectively, and humanely.
What would you do to improve the juvenile detention system, which is under federal review following the misuse of force against children?
Get away from the lock-‘em-up culture. Many of the kids within the juvenile system have the ability and desire to get out of the system if we offer an earned path to get there. Early intervention—including mental health and substance abuse treatment, educational opportunities, and adult mentors—can work. We need to build a system that has a built-in pathway out, but with accountability and controls to detain those who present a real danger. Leadership must be responsible for monitoring the use of force and providing appropriate training and must held accountable.
State prison realignment has shifted more felons to local law enforcement oversight. How well do you think it has worked? Would you do anything to alter it? Has the program had any impact on public safety?
I do not want to see prisoners dumped back onto LA county because the state can’t finance itself. So far Los Angeles’ crime rate, for both property and violent crimes, has dropped since this practice began. However, cities and communities still need to be concerned that Sacramento is pushing a public safety problem onto local governments without the required financing. The major problem with realignment is that the felons released from county jails—unlike inmates released from state prisons—receive no supervision from parole officers. Committing more felonies and cycling right back to prison becomes more likely. Realignment does allow judges to hand down “split sentences,” which have inmates serve part of their time in jail and the rest in a rehabilitation/reentry program. In LA County, only 6% of the cases involved split sentences. I support following the lead of other counties and using them more. I also support strict accountability and data so that we can determine safety risks and prevent crime from increasing.
Is the Sheriff’s Department doing enough to lower the cost and frequency of use-of-force, harassment and traffic-related lawsuits against the agency? If not, what should be changed?
Last year the Department’s litigation cost the county $43 million, about half of the overall litigation costs for the County. This is simply unacceptable. The taxpayer expenses for cases arising from the current federal prosecution of almost twenty deputies remains to be seen. It will not be small change.
The authority and access of the Office of the Inspector General should be beefed up so that the Sheriff’s Department’s practices are more transparent. Training on use of force needs to modernized and the recommendations of the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence should be implemented immediately. Finally, the Commission found that past problems resulted from a failure of leadership and all of us need to vote on June 3rd for a Sheriff that will lead and fix the department.
Would you support state legislation that would give more authority to Sheriff’s Department civilian monitors? Would you support legislation that would make county sheriffs less autonomous and more accountable to county supervisors?
I support empowering the Office of the Inspector General and also support the creation of a citizens commission, which can ensure that the community’s voice is heard in efforts to achieve and maintain reforms of LASD.
While the Sheriff is currently accountable to the Supervisors through the budget process, there may well be areas where increased accountability and oversight – especially in the operation of our jails (an area that is, by statute, delegated to the Sheriff) can be achieved. I will work with the IG, the other four Supervisors, and the new Sheriff to explore this issue.
I also believe that we need to explore whether both the Board and the public have had adequate access to information. Too often, the County Counsel has rejected requests for information and deemed requested items to be protected or confidential. I will aggressively seek information and question privileged claims. I will work to ensure that both the Board and the community are kept apprised of problem areas where the LASD is struggling. I will also work with the new Sheriff to create milestones available to the public. Shining light will go a long way to aiding the new Sheriff in reforming the department and creating a partnership with the Supervisors and the public to get it done.
What would be your top priority in improving the county’s child welfare system and how would you accomplish it?
The biggest problem with the child welfare system is a lack of integration, coordination and transparency among agencies. This needs to be addressed in several ways. I support the Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendations to increase transparency and accountability by empowering a Child Welfare Director with the power and responsibility to ensure seamless child welfare services delivery, information sharing, and oversight. However, one person or agency will not succeed unless the Board also reforms the culture of distributed information, accountability, and simplifies its processes. Co-location of resources, required sharing of information and changing the overall practices of how departments work together is critical. Second, caseloads must be decreased so case workers can spend enough time and attention on each client. In addition, performance-based contracting to improve outcomes has succeeded elsewhere. We need it here.
The Los Angeles County child welfare system has been criticized for mishandling victims of abuse or neglect. Many experts say social workers are insufficiently trained to know when to separate a child from a parent. Do you agree, and if so what would you do to improve the system? Do you believe social workers should be required to hold a master’s degree in social service, as some others counties require?
I agree that we need better training for social workers on how to identify abuse, and we need staffing policies to ensure that the most experienced and knowledgeable social workers are the ones making the most sensitive decisions based upon full access to information. Training must place a greater emphasis on practical experience with real-life scenarios. Master’s degrees should be encouraged, but qualified individuals with Bachelor’s degrees and significant professional experience may be just as good, or better. We must reward them for challenging work. Gratitude for this work is important. I also agree with Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Knabe that foster children are uniquely vulnerable to sexual exploitation, so foster parents need to be trained to spot these signs.
The Children’s Special Investigations Unit looks into problem cases and recommends ways to prevent the deaths of juveniles under the oversight of county workers. Because findings in each case have been declared confidential, the public and front-line case workers never learn what happened and how it might have been prevented. Would you support making the unit’s final reports public?
A special commission on child welfare is expected to recommend overhauling the child protection service and imposing greater oversight on private foster care providers. The group also wants to create a child welfare czar to coordinate services. Would you support such recommendations?
Yes. No one person can accomplish reform without support from the Board to change the culture. The Board must support a culture of collaboration, information sharing, and accountability that does not currently exist. In addition, private foster care providers contracts should be performance based contracts. There should be rewards and support for children achieving better outcomes. There is national model on performance based contracting that has worked well in other parts of the country. We need to use it here.
Finally, I want to do more to recruit mission driven foster parents into the system. For example, parents whose children were special needs would make excellent foster care parents for special needs kids.
With more than 36,000 children under county supervision, social workers complain that they have too many cases to effectively handle. The special commission was recently told that 683 caseworkers oversee 31 or more children and that some even have more than 60. Do you believe more workers should be hired? What would you consider a proper caseload? And if more social workers are needed, how do propose to pay for them?
Over 66% of the county’s social workers manage a caseload of 31 children and sometimes 40 children. The best practice is 15 to one. The CEO, Board and the union have agreed upon some steps to reduce this workload with immediate hires, and funding has been allocated. But going forward, hiring, training, recruitment and retention need to be actively managed. I want to lead on that effort.
At the same time, we must reduce the number of kids in the system by focusing on prevention. We need to prioritize services for at-risk children and parents by adopting reforms such as mandatory health screenings and cross-reporting of all abuse cases. We should also increase the number of home visitations and prioritize access to existing services for families most in need. Early childhood education, as well as better access to mental health and substance abuse treatment will help keep families together. Relatives other than the parents caring for children need more support, financial and otherwise.
What is your view of the job being done by Department of Children and Family Services Director Philip Browning and would you support his retention?
We must address the needs of L.A. County children in a consistent, thoughtful and informed way. As a Board member, I will rigorously evaluate Director Browning’s performance based on better outcomes for kids.
A $100 million plan to regionalize homeless services by placing a stabilization center in each supervisor’s district was shelved after community opposition arose in 2006. Should that plan be revived? How should the county deal with the homeless?
It makes perfect sense to assess at one location all the types of services that homeless or about-to-be-homeless people need. Part of the problem with the 2006 effort was that communities were not convinced that the five proposed centers could actually succeed in handling even a small portion of the County’s 80,000 cases at the time. The Family Solutions Centers established last year so far seem to be a more successful version. From March through December 2013, the 11 centers assessed 1,452 families that were either homeless or on the verge of it. Of those, 302 were kept from becoming homeless. Another 305 were placed in interim housing, and 417 were placed in permanent housing. That is a phenomenal success rate! If it continues, more centers should be opened and this One Stop concept should be expanded to individuals not just families.
The county periodically assigns the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to move people off the streets, offering assistance and shelter. Many who go in for treatment, however, quickly leave. How should the county close this revolving door while making sure money is not wasted?
The short answer: Long-term supportive housing. People who have been living on the streets for a short time can benefit from temporary shelter and treatment, but the chronically homeless need much longer-term support. The case workers and services attached to this type of housing—medical and mental health treatment, substance abuse prevention, employment counseling, and life training—enable people to stay housed and live better lives. Consider cost of the alternative: paramedics’ and police officers’ time, plus the continuous cycle from the streets to emergency rooms, hospitals, and jails. We are wasting a lot of money now. Supportive housing is actually much cheaper than leaving people in the streets—studies in Los Angeles say 40% less costly. It has been effective in cities all across the country. Plus it’s the responsible, compassionate thing to do. Homelessness can be eliminated, if we are determined and creative.
In Santa Monica during my first term as councilmember, we established programs that work well alongside ermanent supportive housing: Serial Inebriate Outreach, which sends case managers into the jail to refer people to treatment; the Chronic Homeless Service Registry, which—like Skid Row’s Project 50—identifies the most vulnerable homeless people and one by one places them in housing; Homeless Court, which forgives minor citations for people who complete rehab; Project Homecoming, which reunites homeless people with family members who agree to give them support; the Santa Monica Police Department’s Homeless Liaison Program, which refers minor offenders to rehab or mental health services. I also worked to require the Veterans’ Administration to convert three of the many empty buildings on the West LA campus to supportive housing for the county’s 6,000+ homeless vets. One building is underway, and legislation just passed making it possible for other buildings to follow.
About 60% of those on welfare are homeless. Some say they remain on the street because their monthly check of around $250 is far less than what it costs to rent. How would you address this issue? With federal housing vouchers frozen and rents continuing to go up, would you support raising the general relief amount? If so, how would you pay for it?
The California Housing Partnership Coalition recently released a report underscoring how serious the affordable housing crisis has become in L.A. County. There is currently a shortfall of 375,000 units for extremely low income people, which places them at significant risk of homelessness. The core issue is a lack of affordable housing. As Supervisor, I will fight for a significant increase in our stock of affordable housing. I would like to commit a significant percentage of the county funds from the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agencies to affordable and supportive housing development.
As the Affordable Care Act increases the number of people with health insurance, a once-captive client base for county hospitals and clinics will be free to seek care elsewhere—and to take their newfound insurance coverage with them. What can you do as a supervisor to insure that county facilities don’t lose these now-paying customers?
Make county facilities more customer/patient service oriented. Local health care innovators both in and out of government are already taking the first steps and I will encourage this practice and find ways to provide better service to compete in this market. In addition, the expansion of MediCal means fewer non-paying patients will receive care in the hospital. The County must demand that Sacramento funds MediCal payments are set at a rate above the cost of care, so that caring for low-income patients does not bankrupt the system.
The culture of health care services at the County will change with the introduction of choice, and the new requirements for data collection will provide the information to make improvements and create a benchmark against which future success can be measured. As Supervisor, I’ll focus on supporting the necessary investments in technology and infrastructure to bring the County’s hospitals to a state-of-the-art level of care.
County health officials have said they will continue to care for people who remain uninsured, including immigrants without legal status. Do you agree with this policy? Should there be limits to this care?
We cannot protect the public health without providing basic medical care to all. The impact of denying care on communicable diseases, infant mortality, and chronic illnesses would be enormous and create additional risks and costs for everyone.
The projected $237 million cost for rebuilding Martin Luther King hospital rose to $281 million last summer. Its reopening has also been delayed for months. Do you think the delays and increased costs are justified? Is there more county officials should be doing to get the project completed; and, if so, what?
I am eager to see Martin Luther King hospital fully staffed and operational and will work closely with Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and others to make sure this hospital budget and deadlines are carefully projected and met. The community it serves deserves a state of the art facility.
As Supervisor, I will make sure that projects are delivered on time and on budget and will work to improve the delivery of large projects as I did in Santa Monica.
Studies suggest emergency room use is likely to increase at least initially as newly-insured people drop their reluctance to seek care because of cost. Given that most county emergency rooms are already overcrowded, what would you do to manage this growth?
The first priority in managing the increased demand on County emergency rooms is to distribute Measure B funds fairly. In 2002, 73% of L.A. County voted for Measure B to preserve and expand emergency medical services and ensure timely responses to medical emergencies. Yet these funds have not been fairly allocated, which has contributed to emergency room overcrowding in certain hospitals. Demands on emergency rooms can be reduced by redirecting people to clinics and other primary care providers that can handle pressing but non-urgent medical conditions. Better technology and public education could decrease emergency room use. Encouraging primary clinics to extend their evening hours will also help.
Do you have any concern about the amount of influence business or organized labor groups exert in county politics and this race specifically?
I respect both Labor and Business participation in the political process. In my public service, I listen to both and many other points of view and make my decisions based on what I think is best.
In my campaign for Supervisor, I have support from Business and Labor. I am unique in the race for Third District Supervisor because I accept contributions of no more than three hundred dollars. No contributor has a major role in my campaign financing. Other candidates are accepting large contributions as much as $75,000.
Supervisors boast of having maintained the county’s fiscal health by keeping purse strings tight during the recession. In that same period, the jails have been overcrowded and fallen under federal investigation; the child welfare system has been accused of failing abused kids due to heavy caseloads; public hospital emergency rooms have overflowed with patients, and programs to move tens of thousands of people off on the streets have seen limited success. What would you do as supervisor to raise new revenue or free up existing resources to address these budget challenges?
Not all of the reform efforts require funding, and many of them will reduce costs in the long term. Initial steps for reform and technology upgrades do require funding investments. We need to be strategic in finding the funding to make those investments with existing resources. For example, patients receiving long-term care in County hospitals can cost $3,000 per day, while switching to supportive housing or in-home care would cost the county a fraction of that amount. Smart social service investments will both reduce demands upon County services and free up resources to address other problems.
The county currently requires many contractors to pay a “living wage” that amounts to $11.84 an hour. Given the current national and local movements to raise the minimum wage to as much as $15.37, do you believe the county’s required living wage should be increased; and if so, to what amount?
We cannot wait for the federal government act and we cannot afford piecemeal approaches. We need basic minimum wage protections that help bring working families out of poverty. We have broad support both from business and labor and we need to increase minimum wage and not just the living wage across the board in LA County. We need to do it in a responsible and phased in approach and I would recommend that we look at lowering other costs to businesses at the same time. I don’t know what the exact wage should be for the county and would consult with business, labor and experts in and out of government to reach a decision.
Los Angeles County government has the largest workforce in Southern California, with about 101,000 employees. Many went without pay raises during the recession. Would you vote to give county workers higher pay at this point in the economic recovery?
My first priority in contract negotiations will be to ensure the long-term sustainability of the County’s pension and healthcare benefits system and to implement reforms to deliver better services to every client of County. Whether we are serving a child in foster care or a community that needs fire protection, we need to improve services first.
Los Angeles County is one of the few remaining jurisdictions that does not offer peace officers “3% at 50,” which would mean sheriff’s deputies can retire at age 50 and receive 3% of their highest year’s pay for every year of service. Do you believe the county should move to that standard?
I support the collective bargaining process and will discuss retirement and pay within those negotiations. Pensions and retiree health care benefits must be financially sustainable. We need to plan for the long term and look at reforms that decrease unfunded liabilities.
Current civil service protections prevent the county from moving some veteran employees to posts where their experience may be most needed; for example, social workers who have already spent time in a difficult region of the county cannot be sent back without their permission. Would you do anything to change that civil service rule?
County management needs flexibility in staffing assignments but not at the cost of losing veteran employees to burnout or exposing them to the threat of retributive staffing assignments. This discussion should be an active part of the negotiation process with employees to improve overall performance and services.
Oil extraction is on the rise in parts of the county and residents fear that some techniques might pollute the air and water. Do you believe it is acceptable to extract oil and gas in urban settings? Do you believe hydraulic fracturing is safe?
I do not support fracking in L.A. County because of my concerns regarding groundwater usage and the safety of the water supply. I believe that we should expand the moratorium on fracking to include all of L.A. County.
What is your position on the proposal to transform the San Gabriel Mountains’ Angeles National Forest into a National Recreation Area either managed or co-managed by the National Park Service?
Yes, I support designating the Angeles National Forest a National Recreational Area and transferring management to the National Park Service. The National Park Service has done an excellent job in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area providing education in nature and science, well maintained trails and signage and a great park experience. This designation should include the park-poor areas of San Gabriel and Rio Hondo River areas. Not only does the National Park Service enjoy a better reputation than the U.S. Forest Service, but there is considerable support for the proposal from affected communities and local leaders. There are remaining concerns about the financial implications of the transfer of control and some residents have raised concerns about water issues, but on the whole I believe the proposal is worth supporting.
Should the county make another attempt to ask voters to approve a storm water cleanup fee? If not, how should the county address the cost of cleaning up storm water?
One of the most important short-and-long-term issues for the County is a clean and sustainable supply of water. Both local lawsuits about pollution and contaminants as well as potential federal fines are only going to increase the costs of cleaning our water. Acting now could potentially save money and create a path to drought-proof LA County. This cannot happen without voter approval, which means that we need to demonstrate success on managing and cleaning our water supply and work to build coalitions to support long-term investment in clean local water.
The County needs to secure a reliable funding for capturing, cleaning and storing storm water, to ensure that toxins like copper, lead and ammonia do not reach the ocean, and to better utilize and replenish our local water supply. Using our local water cuts energy use statewide because 20% of all energy consumed comes from pumping purchased water to Southern California. And the cost of imported water has steadily increased over the past few years.
As Supervisor I will be a leader on the storm water issue as I have been in Santa Monica. I will also lead on cleaning the toxins out of the large aquifers under the San Fernando Valley and incentivizing businesses and residences to install water-capture tools on-site. I will partner with the Department of Public Health to make sure that we are monitoring and reducing toxins from potential polluting sources.
Given the statewide drought, should the county be doing more to conserve water; and if so, what? Would you limit new residential or commercial development?
Of course, we could all being doing more. We need to make sure that we are using the best technology to detect leaks, monitor and decrease usage and landscape appropriately. We have to look at all infrastructure demands as we approve new developments, including water use, traffic impacts and fire safety. We need to work to capture and clean the water that we do have locally. In Santa Monica we increased our local supply by 70%. Israel has fantastic processes and software on many water issues.
The supervisors have been chastised for violating the state’s open meetings law, as they did in 2011 when they met in private with Gov. Brown to discuss state prison realignment. What will you do to improve government transparency and avoid violating the open meetings law and public records act?
I am running for L.A. County Supervisor to shake up county government so that the public can be a part of county government. I have served in local office, and I value the opinions of the people whom I serve. I believe in open meetings with the public being exposed to difficult discussions. I want to bring County government closer to the people by hosting monthly meetings of the Board of Supervisors outside of the Hall of Administration in different parts of the district, in the evening with free parking.
Unlike a standard practice at Los Angeles City Hall, people paid to lobby county officials are not required to disclose the issues they work on, and they sometimes violate existing reporting standards without punishment. Would you do anything to change the county’s lobbying rules?
Yes. I will increase transparency and disclosure in every aspect of government, including lobbying activities and enforcement of reporting rules.
Each supervisor has a pool of money that can be spent at their discretion and without full board approval. What would you do to insure that the public easily sees how you spend your share?
I will make publicly available all of the spending for my office and will seek public input on priorities for spending their money.
The county’s current campaign finance law is designed to reward candidates who stick to a voluntary spending limit for elections. But critics say the current limit of $1.4 million is too low. Do you believe the campaign finance law should be changed; and if so, how?
Yes, the law was passed in 1996 and the financing system is out of date and contains many aspects that violate current constitutional law. The current law is not transparent and favors incumbents. What we need is a system that is consistent with the law and returns control and responsibility to the candidates and thereby reduces the influence of Super PACs and Super Donors. I would seek to establish an independent nonpartisan commission to review our current system and come up with comprehensive recommendations that reflects the current legal realities and enforces real transparency.
Should the supervisors create or seek voter approval of a regulatory body similar to Los Angeles’ City Ethics Commission, which attempts to shape, administer and enforce laws regarding governmental ethics, conflicts of interests, campaign financing and lobbying?
I support a County Ethics Commission, but would also support efforts to better use the County Registrar’s office to make public all contributions more quickly, to make forms simpler, and information more readily available.
Supervisors also serve as members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, overseeing billions of dollars in subway, light rail and bus transit services. Do you use public transportation? If so, how often and what routes?
I am not a regular user of public transit, and that is why I look forward to the completion of the Expo line, which will stop in Santa Monica at Colorado Avenue and 4th Street—less than two miles from my house. I want to make sure it is easy for every person to get to his or her local stop. If it isn’t, parts of the community won’t use public transit. We need to provide parking at stops, as well as access to neighborhood transit and pedestrian-friendly access.
Should Metro’s rail system be extended all the way to LAX; and if so, how?
I strongly support connecting LAX to the light rail system. I support the most seamless option possible and will work to secure funding to support it. It is critical for a world-class airport that passengers can wheel their bags from public transit to the terminal. More air travelers would ride in and back on the train if it stopped inside LAX. This would reduce traffic and pollution in and around the airport.
What do you believe is the most pressing transportation issue that county residents face right now and how would you address it?
Congested roads and freeways waste enormous amounts of fuel and time and create environmental and health problems. I support a multimodal transportation plan that will improve our roads and freeways while expanding the range of alternative transit options. More specifically, I will advance the following objectives:
Finish the subway (Purple Line) to West LA. Metro is about to sign a full funding agreement to complete the segment connecting Wilshire and Western to the L.A. County Museum of Art. I will work to gain New Starts federal funding to complete the next two segments and finish the rail to the Westwood stop.
Connect the Valley to the rest of the region. First we must expedite the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor project and include rail. This project will start connecting the Valley to West LA. The next part is to connect through the Sepulveda Pass which will likely require a public/private partnership. These two projects are critical to link the Valley to the rest of the region through transit.
Finish 405 improvements and reduce costs through constant oversight and management. In both local government and nonprofit management, I watch projects like a hawk to make sure they come in on-time or under-time and on budget. I will make sure that this work is done as soon as possible.
Support and expand bike-sharing and car-sharing programs. Particularly in congested areas we need to offer to offer viable transit alternatives and make first- and last-mile transportation easier and more efficient through neighborhood transit and smart bus routes.
Foster livable, cohesive neighborhoods and developments that focus on pedestrian safety and reducing congestion. Searching for parking is one of the many ways we add additional traffic congestion. Designing smart parking access and way-finding signs for parking in congested areas can decrease traffic by 30%. These types of smart solutions will drive my decision-making for development and infrastructure improvement.
A sales tax for transportation projects (a new Measure R) will likely be on the 2016 ballot. Do you support a tax increase for transit? If so, what specific projects do you think such a tax should fund?
Yes, I do support extending Measure R and hope to gain voter support to do so. It is critical that any extension ensures a fair share of funding for the Valley in the transit projects outlined above.
A year ago, Metro and Caltrans converted the carpool lanes on the 110 and 10 freeways into experimental toll lanes that solo drivers are allowed to use. Would you support a similar conversion to toll lanes on other county freeways, like the 405 or the 5?
In general, I believe in ride-sharing to reduce the number of cars on the freeway rather than congestion pricing that allows people to pay to bypass traffic. Tolls might be the only option to pay for some specialized transit options, but I want to examine the issue fully to make sure that we are not putting more of a burden on low-income workers who need a car for work.