FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA CONTACTS: Tracy Rafter, 818.429.0862
September 25, 2012 Judi Erickson, 818.984.5080
LA COUNTY BIZFED BACKS MEASURE J
to create jobs, fight gridlock
Support Includes Landmark Business Collaboration with Metro
LOS ANGELES, CA – BizFed, Los Angeles County Business Federation, announced today it is supporting Measure J on the November ballot and is working with Metro to launch a transformational LA County Transportation Roundtable directly engaging the region’s business community on critical transit needs and implementation of the measure.
Measure J – an extension of the current voter-approved Measure R half-cent sales tax for transit projects across LA County – is estimated to accelerate creation of approximately 250,000 new direct, indirect and induced jobs and generate a total of $90 billion for transportation improvements.
“It boils down to this: We’re not going to get any help fixing our transportation problems from the state or federal governments, both of which are sinking in their own fiscal quicksand,” said BizFed Founding Chair David Fleming.
“LA County voters know we need to drive our own destiny,” Fleming said. “Measure R was the first step. Measure J is the critically needed second step.”
BizFed believes Measure J is necessary to achieve acceleration of the transportation projects our region so badly needs because bonds can only be issued against long-term funding streams. Measure J will enable Metro to sell bonds for the purpose of accelerating 7 major transit projects and up to 8 highway projects.
Measure J also does not increase current taxes, includes a sunset-provision unlike other Metro taxes, includes components that ensure continued oversight and accountability for spending, and includes more flexibility for regions to shift funds between their own transit and highway projects.
“Measure J allows Metro to continue to plan and expand the transportation projects LA County voters clearly have said are needed,” said BizFed Chair John Kelsall, President and CEO of Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce. “LA County already has a reputation as home to some of the worst gridlock in the nation. We cannot give up now on our efforts to build the transit infrastructure necessary to sustain a high quality of life and a thriving economy for our region.”
As an additional catalyst for driving LA County’s transit improvements under Measure J, BizFed has formed a strategic partnership with Metro for long-term direct engagement with business leaders across the county in a new Los Angeles County Transportation Roundtable.
“This is not just about endorsing Measure J, but about the business community rolling up its sleeves and engaging with Metro on the hard work involved in developing sustainable solutions to LA County’s complex transportation needs,” said David Grannis, co-Vice Chair of BizFed’s Transportation Committee and Co-Founder of Point C, LLC.
The Los Angeles County Transportation Roundtable will initially focus on key areas including completion of Measure R approved projects; assessment and direct investment toward Measure J projects of greatest community, regional and economic impact; and ensuring infrastructure investments continue to grow our regional economy.
“This Roundtable is an extraordinary example of the business community coming together to generate regional solutions for regional problems,” said Hilary Norton, co-Vice Chair of BizFed’s Transportation Committee and Executive Director of FAST (Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic). “It illustrates a continuing, strong business-community relationship with Metro that will energize our transportation infrastructure planning and development.”
BizFed’s Board of Directors’ vote to support Measure J – as well as the trailblazing Roundtable with Metro - comes as BizFed members have long ranked LA County transportation issues and gridlock among their top concerns in annual surveys. In 2008, BizFed strongly supported voter-approved Measure R as a significant advancement for needed regional transportation improvements.
“BizFed’s Board carefully and thoroughly vetted Measure J, recognizing the important implications of a tax extension as well as the desperate need for transportation improvements,” said BizFed CEO Tracy Rafter, a signer of the Measure R support argument on the 2008 ballot.
“In the end, BizFed’s leadership charted a proactive and visionary course with creation of the LA County Transportation Roundtable - propelling business to get a seat at the table to make sure implementation of Measure J is successful.”
The Los Angeles County Business Federation is a modern-day grassroots alliance of over 100 existing business organizations with more than 185,000 businesses whose goal is to effectively mobilize the collective voice of the Los Angeles County business community.
For more information please visit bizfed.org.
Tracy Rafter, CEO
BizFed, Los Angeles County Business Federation
818.429.0862 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
A Grass Roots Alliance of 100 Top LA County Business Groups
Mobilizing Over 185,000 Businesses