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Published on June 4th, 2018 | by Susanna Schick

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Cleantech Champion Antonio Villaraigosa Wins My Vote For Governor

June 4th, 2018 by  


Originally published on Gas2.

You may have read about Antonio Villaraigosa’s work as Mayor of Los Angeles here before. After all, he was instrumental in starting the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, which has helped many great cleantech companies bloom and grow. These companies have also created great jobs in California. But he has done much more than that as a cleantech champion in a state of cleantech champions.

As Mayor of LA, Villaraigosa:

Weaned LA off coal and onto renewables, reducing carbon emissions and making it easier for building owners to go solar.

Unveiled the world’s largest solar plan in 2008.

… and followed through on it.

Has supported cleantech throughout his career. His commitment to cleantech goes all the way back to his childhood in east LA, where a clear day was rare indeed. But don’t just take it from me, hear Antonio tell you about it here.

Even spoke on behalf of the workers picking through our trash! …

Got Metro LA going again, as reported in Wikipedia:

“One of Villaraigosa’s main transportation-related goals as Mayor was to extend the Purple Line subway down Wilshire Boulevard to Santa Monica. Proponents have dubbed the project the ‘Subway to the Sea.’ Villaraigosa worked to persuade Congressman Henry Waxman to repeal the ban on subway tunneling in Los Angeles, which occurred in 2006.”

That tunnel, and many more are built and being built as I type. While Elon fantasizes about having a private tunnel to his office, millions of Angelenos currently ride Metro to work thanks to Villaraigosa. By the 2028 Olympics, we should have the Metro system of a real city, thanks to his hard work.

Los Angeles has also decreased its per-capita water consumption while population has increased. All new buildings (and there are a lot coming up these days!) are required to divert stormwater into cisterns which replenish the groundwater, instead of just shunting it out to the ocean. I’m not sure when this law was drafted, or if it’s an MWD law or a City law, but I know if anyone can get the hodgepodge Central Valley water suppliers (yes, plural!) to band together and reward farmers for conserving instead of for wasting water, it’s Villaraigosa. LADWP’s Master Plan began under his jurisdiction.

But don’t just take it from me, read MoveLA’s article on the 12 steps of making LA mobile.

CicLAvia started on his watch!

More importantly, after being hit by a car while cycling to work, he sat down with the LACBC and drafted the 2010 bike plan. Then implemented it. Sadly, Garcetti has completely lacked the political courage to keep those bike lanes coming, but if we had a pro-bike governor…

Photo by David Crane/DailyBreeze.com

Newsom’s a nice guy, sure. But the city he ran is 20% the size of LA in population, and has a much smaller GDP, with a far less diverse economy. Villaraigosa had to keep LA solvent during the recession and collapse of the housing market. Fostering job growth in cleantech is one of the ways he did this, and he can do this for the entire state.You can read all of our articles where Villaraigosa is mentioned here. I also suspect that if anyone can get this over-due California “high-speed” rail finished faster and more cheaply, it’s Villaraigosa.

Villaraigosa also has had far more experience in Sacramento than Newsom has. As Speaker of the State Assembly, he wrote legislation that brought healthcare to over 750,000 children, and worked in the Assembly for 6 years. He’s adamant about improving education, which was hard to do as mayor. My dream team is Villaraigosa and McLaughlin, because she’s got the background in education, and is even more progressive than Villaraigosa. Since most of us don’t think about what the lieutenant governor actually does, here’s the job description from Wikipedia. How well has Newsom done these tasks in his term?

The Lieutenant Governor sits on the Board of Regents of the University of California, the California State University Board of Trustees, Ocean Protection Council, the California Emergency Council, and the State Lands Commission. The Lieutenant Governor of California chairs the Commission for Economic Development, which is responsible for fostering economic growth in California by developing and implementing strategies for attracting new business to the state, increasing state exports, creating new jobs, and stimulating industries statewide.

My opinion does not necessarily reflect that of the entire staff of Gas2, or CleanTechnica. I’m just a third-generation California Girl fighting for clean air and safe cycling routes.


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About the Author

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders. Occasionally she deigns to cover automobile events in Los Angeles for us as well. However, she dreams of a day when Los Angeles' streets resemble the two-wheeled paradise she discovered living in Barcelona and will not rest until she's converted the masses to two-wheeled bliss.



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