Beyond Borders

Joe Bray-Ali’s campaign to replace CD 1’s obstructionist showboater Gil Cedillo would resonate far beyond the district’s gerrymandered borders, and affect far more than a few bike lanes here and there.

The local effect would be huge, of course: those who know Joe know that he’s far more than “the bike guy.” He supports bike lanes, yes, not just because he’s an “avid cyclist,” a characterization the not-so-liberal media loves because its reductionism trivializes anyone it’s applied ot as some sort of addled hobbyist. He supports bike lanes because bicycle travel cleans the air, clears the streets of congestion, improves public health, boosts the receipts of local businesses, and provides travel options that don’t force people to spend their time and money on cars when they may not have much to spare of either.

Support for bike lanes is just one aspect of Joe’s commitment to stronger, healthier neighbors, neighborhoods, and neighborhood businesses. Joe believes in development without displacement, and knows that a mechanical regulatory obsession with lanes and parking makes it nearly impossible to build affordable housing that is in scale with traditional neighborhood architecture. Emphasizing transit, bicycling, and walking results in more, and more-affordable, housing in a city where, despite its image as Ground Zero of Carmageddon, half of all journeys are less that five miles long. More affordable housing and more thriving local businesses together mean fewer people living on the streets. More active transport means healthier children and old folks and lower medical expenses. Slower traffic means better quality of life, less blood on the streets, and busier sidewalk storefronts. Bike lanes are just one technique among many that bring about the benefits of a progressive civic agenda. It’s just that bike lanes can be waved about to scare the unimaginative reactionaries who can’t see through their own windshields to the world beyond and keep them voting for the Dr. Do-nothing who’s currently in the council misrepresenting CD1.

Joe would change all that, and not just in the district: once elected, Joe would help tip the balance of the entire city council towards the more-progressive, more neighborly mindset that LA needs if it’s going to live up to its image as a vibrant, creative city. We need people like Joe in City Hall, because the avid motorists who pack it now have shown themselves incapable of freeing the city from both its literal and its mental gridlocks.

Even if you don’t live in CD1, even if you never visit there, Joe will be fighting for your life. Avidly!

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One Comment

  1. davistrain
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I can relate to the use of “avid cyclist” as a pejorative. Those of us who favor increasing the railway part of our transit system are sometimes characterized as “avid railfans” “train nuts” or “foamers”, especially by bus boosters.

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