Haute 100 Update: L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa Focuses on Transportation as a Way to Recovery

Los AngelesMayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke at a Town Hall luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 27. While he conceded that the recession has overpowered LA’s effort to retain and generate jobs, he remained confident about the city’s future.

The mayor believes that light rail and subway development will establish a strong foundation for a robust local economy and believes that public transportation will additionally serve as a catalyst for nationwide economic growth.

At the luncheon, Villaraigosa said, “Now, let me be clear: Transportation is the key to building our own road to recovery. We must avoid turning the wrong way down a one-way street into a double-dip recession. We’ve raised the money here in LA to build our own road to recovery – but we need the financing from Congress to break ground on that road now.”

Villaraigosa is currently working with California Senator Barbara Boxer to pass America Fast Forward, a Congressional bill that will increase the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan from its current $110 million to $1 billion annually.

The mayor believes that, should this be achieved, the rest of the nation will “look to Los Angeles and Southern California, and our new subways, our railways, our roadways, and our busways. It will be a catalyst not just for LA but for the nation, if we can adopt America Fast Forward.”

Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets. To see the entire Haute 100 Los Angeles list, click here.