Supervisor (D3): Pamela Conley Ulich
A former Malibu mayor and city councilwoman Pamela Conley Ulich, 47, is a real estate broker and former lawyer for the Directors and the Screen Actors guilds.
Two supervisors have proposed setting up a permanent citizen’s commission to oversee the Sheriff’s Department. Are you in favor of that?
I am absolutely in favor of setting up a citizen’s oversight commission, and the sooner the better.
In September 2014, Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina proposed setting up a Civilian Oversight Commission after the U.S. Department of Justice announced that its civil rights division would investigate treatment of mentally ill inmates. At the February 25, 2014 meeting, the Board of Supervisors (“BOS”) failed to create the commission, and instead asked the county’s attorneys to look into what steps would be required to create a commission with legal authority rather than a purely advisory body.
In addition, rather than have the Inspector General be fired at the whim of the Board of Supervisors, I agree with the Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendations that the Inspector General should have been hired for a definite term (2 – 4 years) and fired only for cause (not just because they disagree with the members of the Board.)
When I attended the February 25 BOS meeting, I testified in support of the Civilian Oversight Commission. If elected, I will vote in favor of the citizen oversight commission and will work to give the Inspector General more autonomy.
What role should the supervisors play in the management and operation of the Sheriff’s Department?
Although the people elect the Sheriff, he is dependent upon the Board for funding. In addition, the Board of Supervisors manage payments that are owed from lawsuits and/or settlements involving Deputies in the Department. As noted by the September 2012 Report of the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence, “The Board has oversight and budgetary authority over LASD.”
I believe, ultimately, both the Sheriff and the BOS share responsibility for the failure and or success of the Department and public safety. As such, they must collaborate and implement policies that address the failures of the department as soon as possible. We must unite to reform the system and culture or we will fail and leave a plague of problems that will be inherited by our children.
Sheriff Deputy Forlano worked for the County 18 years and was involved in 7 shootings. The most recent resulted in the death of 23-year-old Carlos Sola. Molina stated the lawsuits pertaining to misuse of force by deputies all have “bad management and zero accountability.”
It does not appear that procedures are in place to monitor, discipline, correct and replace employees when necessary. Penalties for excessive us of force and dishonesty should be enhanced.
If elected, I would assign as a task to the Citizen Oversight Commission to recommend how Sheriff can improve management and accountability within the Department and the Board could approve funding to implement those recommendations.
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?
I believe the jail should be replaced and the County should take advantage of the funds available for drug rehabilitation and other programs under AB 109.
The new facility could explore feasibility of entering into joint use agreements at the new facility with non-profits who could have office space and facilities for rehabilitative meeting rooms (such as AA) and mentoring facilities for education (Homeboy Industries).
I agree with Former Sheriff Baca’s concept of building not just jail cells, but classrooms. Any new facility could have a campus like area that allows non-violent defendants to be given educational opportunities for life-long skills such as carpentry, teaching/learning gardens, art programs and other programs.
The new Jail/Campus would not only incarcerate when needed, but primarily focus on helping defendants’ transition to a healthy lifestyle where they feel connected and have opportunity to find their passion and place in LA. Studies have shown that participation in mandatory programs helps reduce recidivism and reintegrate prisoners into society.
I will defer to experts regarding the exact size of the jail, but believe it should be as large or as small as needed to succeed.
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?
To reduce crowding, all options should be considered including releasing non-violent inmates early and using vacant jails outside of the County for dangerous inmates who would pose a public safety threat.
What would you do to improve the juvenile detention system, which is under federal review following the misuse of force against children?
Reform. We must break the cycle of injustice and dysfunction. The buck stops with the Board of Supervisors. We must provide educational opportunities and a healthy environment for all juveniles in our care.
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?
Realignment has put additional burdens on the County without additional funding, but it has also forced California and LA County to fix a system where “we deem it normal that prisoners come out at least as dysfunctional as when they went in.”
It seems like LA County has not utilized split-sentencing as often as it could have. If elected, I will urge that the County take a closer look at how we can reform our system and focus on helping prisoners get healthier and contribute to making Los Angeles better.
Under ABA 109 realignment, non-violent defendants can receive a split-sentence where half the time is served in jail and half is served on probation in the community with mandatory participation in rehabilitation and other programs. Serving the second half of the sentence at home will free up much needed jail space. According to LA Times: “It’s a shame. Los Angeles County and its courts are squandering the opportunity presented by AB 109 to return corrections and rehabilitation to the criminal justice system.”
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?
No. I believe we need a new Sheriff who will be accountable to the people of Los Angeles and who believes Reform is needed, wanted and starts with the person elected.
I agree with the recommendation of the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence that there should be a dual-track for careers and training. One track would be for careers in custody the other for careers in law enforcement and Patrol operations.
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?
Yes, I would support legislation to give more authority to civilian monitors whom are adequately trained and supervised. Yes, I would support legislation that would make County Sheriff less autonomous and more accountable to county supervisors.
What would be your top priority in improving the county’s child welfare system and how would you accomplish it?
My top priority would be protecting all children who are in need of help. LA County will be judged by the way we protect the weakest members of our society, and to date we have failed too many times.
First, I would ask my colleagues to hire a child welfare czar who would oversee operations and coordinate responsibilities for protecting children that are spread over several agencies. Rather, than making the children go from department to department as is the policy, I would ask that LA consider adopting the model used at the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona (CCCA) which is a “one-stop, comprehensive advocacy center providing investigational resources, medical treatment, mental health therapy, and victim support services to child abuse victims and their families since 1998. Mental Health Program staff provide long and short-term individual, group, and family therapy, parent education, court support and child advocacy services in a child-friendly environment to victims of abuse and neglect, ages 3 through 18. The CCCA provides a comprehensive array of services through a co-located, multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach that integrates the services of its five critical community partners: the Phoenix Police Department, Child Protective Services, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and Arizona Attorney General’s Office. This collaborative effort increases the ability to prosecute and sentence abusers, safeguards victims from reoccurring abuse, and prevents other children in the community from being abused. With a caring focus, the CCCA partnership is a high profile, high volume and highly successful example of professional integration and coordination of treatment, intervention and investigation services.”
Reform is needed and it will come if I am elected to serve as your Supervisor.
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 am grateful the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection is currently reviewing the systemic, structural and organizational barriers to effective performance within LA County. The final report should be issued by April 18, and I would defer to the recommendations made by this group of experts as to whether or not social workers are insufficiently trained.
I do, however, believe that a master’s degree in social services should be required of new workers. I also believe LA County should offer continuing education opportunities for current employees who would like to get a Master’s to supplement their knowledge and expertise.
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?
Yes, I favor transparency; however, I do believe the names/addresses of those involved should be redacted to protect privacy of minors.
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 – absolutely and the sooner the better.
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?
Yes, I believe more workers should be hired and the proper caseload should be reduced. It appears that the SEIU strike addressed these issues and the new contract includes the “ hiring of 450 social workers by Oct. 1, agreeing to reduce caseloads, decreasing paperwork and providing additional flexibility.”
I am grateful the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection is currently reviewing the systemic, structural and organizational barriers to effective performance within LA County. The final report should be issued by April 18, and, if elected, I will work to implement the recommendations made by this group to better serve the children in LA County.
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?
I am impressed with the courage Director Philip Browning has exhibited since his appointment. “As the department’s leader, his management style has been marked mostly by emphasizing the use of data to track performance and cautious decision-making as the agency implements its first comprehensive reform plan in a decade.” http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/24/local/la-me-browning-20130225/2
I am also impressed with the following 4 game changing actions Browning has implemented as noted in http://zev.lacounty.gov/news/reinventing-dcfs:
“Creating a radically different training program for incoming social workers. The curriculum at six local universities that channel social workers to the county is being standardized, revamped and expanded from 8 weeks to 52, with an emphasis on “much more critical thinking and much more real life experience,” Browning said.
Devising an unprecedented data-driven model for customizing social worker caseloads. Previously, caseloads remained largely uniform throughout the department’s 18 field offices. But under Browning’s direction, the agency has created a statistical formula that takes into account the prevalence of certain risk factors among children served by each office. Under the “caseload equity” initiative, social workers in offices with the highest risk scores will be given fewer cases, allowing them to devote more attention to children facing the greatest dangers.
Preventing emergency response staffers from transferring to new posts after a year. Browning, to the consternation of some of the agency’s unionized social workers, has imposed a freeze on the longtime practice of front-line workers transferring after a single year. These jobs are among the agencies most demanding and stressful, involving life-and-death decisions about whether to leave children with their families or remove them. Although the union contract allows workers to request such transfers, Browning says he made a “management decision” to block the practice because children were being ill-served by the chronic turnover and brain drain. He’s now pushing for a three-year minimum assignment.
Developing and implementing a “high risk database” to identify children who need more intensive intervention. Using data mining techniques, the department created an algorithm, believed to be the first of its kind anywhere, that weighted various factors—including how often a child runs away, has a psychiatric hospitalization or moves to different homes—to find those among the 35,000 children in its care who are the most unstable and at risk of aging out of the system into homelessness, joblessness and despair.”
If elected, I will meet and interview Philip Browning to insure that he is not only up for the task of reform, but is given the requisite authority to make the changes necessary to effect change and save and improve the lives of children who need help.
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?
I am open to all alternatives to helping homeless and would consider stabilization centers in each district. I also believe that the County needs to be proactive in working with businesses and educators to insure we help promote economic growth so that people can be paid good wages and able to increase the ability to make ends meet.
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?
I believe LA County must explore having more Mobile units that offer assistance and medical treatment for those on the streets. If those on treatment leave a facility, they may still be able to get help from these Mobil units.
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?
Yes, but I also believe we must provide businesses with opportunities to develop more with less bureaucratic red-tape and reduced taxes. If we make Los Angeles business friendly, then we can attract and retain more jobs and opportunities for growth.
I would support working with Cities to implement creative Develop Agreements that would provide low-cost housing alternatives in return for additional entitlements. Additional low-cost housing options may allow those on welfare to be able to afford a roof over their head.
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?
The County must offer premium customer service and excellent health results at competitive prices.
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?
Yes, I agree with this policy. I would also try to ask illegal immigrants to help repay their debts if/when they are able.
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?
In 2007, the MLK hospital was closed and the Board promised to open the renovated hospital in 7 to 8 years.
It has now been 7 years and it appears that the hospital will be open within 8 years.
“We are taking the amount of time and care to get it done right,” Ridley-Thomas said. “We do not wish to have anything that is remotely reminiscent of the past.”
In hindsight, the Board of Supervisors could have tried to include pecuniary incentives for the contractors to build the project on or ahead of time.
The longer the project drags on, the more likely the public’s trust in the Board of Supervisors to get the job done and follow through on promises will erode.
Once lost, trust is hard to regain. It is more important that the Board only promise what they can deliver.
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?
I would work with private entities that we have partnered with like MLK Foundation to institute best practices to insure we can adequately manage the growth.
Do you have any concern about the amount of influence business or organized labor groups exert in county politics and this race specifically?
13-year old, Dylan Strickland, hit the nail on the head when he observed, “Money is basically a system by which you can cheat in politics [and] drown out everyone else’s voice if you have enough cash.”
It is absolutely anathema to democracy if any organization/special interest can “buy” an election and control the next Supervisor.
I will be open to all people in my district because my campaign is powered by people and not special interest big money. The most important quality a public servant can have is an open mind and an open heart. I possess both. I am a fierce protector for future generations.
The next Supervisor must be able to say “No” to special interests when it will adversely affect the general welfare of the county and all people in it. For the past 5 or so years, County Employees worked without raises. This sacrifice helped LA County whether the recession without layoffs and service disruptions.
LA County recently agreed to provide a 6% raise over the next 12 months plus $500 in bonuses. SEIU also won county coverage of their health care premium increases and additional rideshare subsidies to encourage carpooling and use of public transportation. This contract with SEIU will be in effect through September 2015, and then what?
Will the next Supervisor continue to grant 6% plus increases and more bonuses, or will the next Supervisor be able to objectively reassess whether LA County can afford this increase. Will a candidate who has relied upon labor to get elected votes against an increase and more bonuses?
It is in the interest of democracy to have public servants who will put the interests of the public before special interests, or we may face bankruptcy or worse and follow in the path of Detroit.
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?
It has often been said that LA County is just one disaster away from bankruptcy; I say we are all one disaster away from our destiny. Will our destiny be one were we are self-reliant or will we rely on Government?
I believe LA County serves best by helping people be self-reliant and take responsibility during before the next disaster strikes. In other words – LA County must let people know that when the next disaster hits, help is not coming, at least not immediately.
Government needs to be honest, proactive and open to giving citizen’s the tools they need to help themselves. Local Community Emergency Response Training is one good example. Matt Haines and his local fire brigade is another: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TQGm6A2tzU
In the 2012 Annual Report Supervisor Molina takes a different approach, “LA County can trust that we’re prepared in all areas … so no matter what emergency, no matter what situation, a resident of LA County can count on the County government to be there for them.” I hope to be the voice of the future, where we can count on people first, then Government.
Why is LA County the largest employer in Los Angeles? It is my hope that if elected, we will not continue to carry this dubious honor. Instead, other industries will be able to employ more people and our economy will be fueled by creative and technological industries, and not government.
In addition to reducing costs by having people practice self-reliance, I believe revenue can be raised through creative partnerships with non-profits and businesses in LA County and not through taxes. I issued a challenge to all candidates on the ballot to give back 10% of the funds raised which could infuse $1 to $2 million back into LA County after the election.
We must have elected officials who will think creatively to grow our local economy and not raise taxes. We must learn the lessons of Detroit – “the problem with using taxes to raise revenue was that it made the city a more expensive — and less attractive — place to live and do business. People and corporations kept leaving.”
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 a much as $15.37, do you believe the county’s required living wage should be increased; and if so, to what amount?
Yes. I believe the County’s should be a leader in paying a fair wage and increase the living wage to $15 an hour.
According to a study from Economic Roundtable released by LA County Federation of labor, “Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Los Angeles could stimulate the city’s economy enough to create 64,700 jobs.” (http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/01/16/3171441/15-minimum-wage-jobs/)
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?
It depends on how the economy and the budget look in 2015. We could be one disaster away from bankruptcy, and I cannot in good conscious say whether or not we can give more raises and bonuses in 2015 until we are in 2015.
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?
The primary duty of the Supervisor is to insure that the County will be fiscally fit and able to meet it’s continuing financial obligations.
I do not support instituting this increase at this point in time because I believe the unintended consequences of this benefit could put the financial stability of LA County at risk. Employee benefits are the “primary drivers” of cost increases according to County Executive Officer William Fujioka.
If elected Supervisor, I will work to keep costs down and to reduce where possible, and not grow, pension obligations.
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?
Yes, I believe all civil service employees should be willing to go to where they are most needed. I would implore SEIU to work with the County in the collective bargaining process to insure the needs of the people we serve come first.
I do; however, feel that we should reward those employees with flexible work schedules so they can be rewarded for working in areas that may be far away from their homes or in very difficult regions.
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?
No, I do not believe it is acceptable to extract oil and gas in urban settings.
No, I do not believe fracturing is safe.
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?
I believe this is a good idea and would continue to transform the area into a National Recreation Area.
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?
I believe the Board of Supervisors should be honest with the voters and call the fee what I believe it is, a tax. This measure should be put before the voters and not instituted by the Board alone.
I believe the cost of cleaning storm water can be best addressed by being open and forthright with all 88 cities and voters and by offering incentives for homeowners and commercial entities to address stormwater issues. For example, a point of sale ordinance could be instituted which would require upgrades be made when a home and/or commercial entity is sold so additional funding burden can be eased and implemented when money will be readily available. In addition, it is crucial that LA County work with 88 cities and their elected officials to address storm water issues.
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?
We must educate and empower people in LA County to be environmental leaders.
Rather than limit new residential or commercial development, we can institute best practices to improve sustainability and environmental stewardship. Our plan will be to implement the following action items:
- Plant community organic gardens
- Consider installing windmills and solar panels in the LA County Parks and invite children track how much greenhouse gas they are saving and how much energy they are producing
- Get children and community involved in a 100% renewable energy study for LA County
- Host beach cleanups in coordination with Environmental Groups
- Conduct community awareness campaign to promote efficiency, conservation, and the transition to renewable resources
- Establish a tree planting and greening program using local species, and invite schools and community groups to be involved
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 will insure that all meetings are open to the public, especially whenever I meet with more than 1 supervisor. I would also request that the BOS consider conducting business after 5 p.m. or on a Saturday at least once a month to insure those who attend school or who can’t miss work can still participate in government.
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?
Absolutely. I would duplicate the practices at LA City Hall and require that every person who lobby’s county official disclose the issues they work on.
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?
First, it seems unconscionable that Supervisors can spend the public’s money without any transparency or checks by the Supervisors or public. I would ask that the Supervisors pool this money and put it back into Budget where all expenditures are vetted and approved in public.
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?
I believe the system isn’t broke - it was built to keep politicians and special interests backing them in power and the dangerous “trend to spend” has spiraled out of control since the 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.
I am running for LA’s future. If elected, I promise to be an innovative, creative and collaborative Supervisor who will challenge the status quo and put people first.
I fear that when my daughter can vote in 4 years, the only people running will be ones who are independently rich or bought and paid for by special interests.
People, not corporations or special interests power our campaign, TeamLoveLA.com. The people behind our campaign are not famous or political insiders; they are 13 year-old Dylan to 97-year-old Jane. They are average people who want to have a voice.
We believe, Democracy should not be for sale and it is our hope that with the advent of new technology and smart phones Candidates will be able to get there story out without having to pay millions on mailers which will end up in land fills in Simi Valley.
I believe that the current law does not even the playing field. I do not believe the limit of $1.4 million is too low especially with the advent of low cost/free social media opportunities.
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?
Yes. If elected I would create and seek voter approval of a regulatory Body which to shape, administer and enforce laws regarding governmental ethics, conflicts of interest, campaign finance and lobbying.
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 have used public transportation throughout the world, in NYC, Washington DC, Boston, Maryland, San Francisco, Zurich, and many other places. I also used it to visit all of the venues at the London Olympics because it was more reliable and easier than cars.
Unfortunately, in Los Angeles, I live in a location that is not served by light rail or a subway. I look forward; however, to riding downtown from Santa Monica early next year and believe it will be a reliable and energy efficient alternative for all.
Should Metro’s rail system be extended all the way to LAX; and if so, how?
Absolutely. We have to look for alternatives such as the people mover in the interim. Los Angeles is a world-class city and we need world-class public transportation.
What do you believe is the most pressing transportation issue that county residents face right now and how would you address it?
Traffic throughout the heavily traveled commuter corridors is bad and only getting worse as population increases. As new transportation options offered by light rail and subway continue to increase, hopefully, people will have alternatives to traveling solely by car. In addition, we must also consider whether we could provide safe bike options since our weather is conducive to outdoor biking.
LA County must be creative in addressing this issue. First, as one of the largest employers, LA County could institute flexible work start and finish times to ease 9-5 peak travel times. I also feel LA County should offer incentives for people to carpool such as tax credits to businesses etc.
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, but I believe voters should also decide whether the money raised through taxes should be spent on local or USA based companies who will provide opportunities for good jobs in Southern California, or whether the location of the provider of items needed (ex. Subway cars) is not relevant.
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?
Yes, I would support toll lanes for solo drivers to ease congestion, but hopefully commuters will be able to have alternatives such as light rail and subway which will offer additional choices.
Photo: Pamela Conley Ulich. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times.