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Community Organizing: Connecting LA Face to Face Not Bumper to Bumper

Community Organizing: Connecting LA Face to Face Not Bumper to Bumper

Leo Baeck Temple engaged the greater congregation in building deeper relationships and choosing campaigns based upon the interests/concerns of our members as well as developing leaders and building power with other faith partners. Measure M’s passage means nearly 500,000 new construction jobs will be created in Los Angeles over the next 30 years and our region will, once all the projects are complete, be more livable and more just.

Community Contact Information

Leo Baeck Temple

Los Angeles, CA

http://www.leobaecktemple.org

Goals

Build mass transit along the 405 Freeway Corridor to create green jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and connect Angelenos to their work, families, friends and communities face to face, not bumper to bumper.

Partnerships

  • ONE LA
  • Reform CA

Implementation

2012

Select campaign and join a local broad base organization (One LA, our local Industrial Areas Foundation affiliate) to amplify our voice by building relationships across lines of race, class and faith.

October, 2012 – January, 2013

Meet with elected officials (two city council members), a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) Board and transit experts and advocates to build our knowledge base and refine the commitments we were to seek from our elected officials.

February, 2013

Hold an action for the four top Mayoral candidates at Leo Baeck with an audience of more than 1000 people. Identify our interests in building a train along the 405 Corridor by sharing facts and stories; obtain three specific commitments from all the candidates: 1) To meet with One LA within 100 days of taking office to establish benchmarks for the construction of rail transit along the 405 Corridor; 2) to work with us to assemble and convene a meeting of stakeholders along the 405 Corridor within 18 months of taking office; and, 3) to appoint to the MTA Board people supportive of transit along the 405 Corridor.

November, 2013

A delegation from Leo Baeck and One LA meets with successful candidate, Mayor Eric Garcetti, to plot a strategy for a ballot measure to fund transit around Los Angeles County. Mayor affirms 405 Corridor as his “number one transit priority.”

November 2013-November, 2016

Meet regularly with Mayor’s transit deputy to coordinate efforts; meetings are later joined by transit deputies for County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas.

June, 2014

LBT co-chairs with Mayor Garcetti a meeting of 405 Corridor Stakeholders assembled by LBT and including UCLA, the Los Angeles Airport authority, the LA Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and many more. Via personal stories and persuasive data, establish and confirm the need for improved mass transit along the 405 Corridor and throughout LA County.

September, 2014

One LA holds 350-person action for candidates for County Supervisor. LBT prepares and runs transit portion of the event, obtains a commitment from candidates to meet with us and support our agenda if elected.

March, 2015

Delegation meets with successful candidate for County Supervisor, Sheila Kuehl, who affirms her commitment to our agenda, and introduces us to her transit deputy who joins our regular meetings with her counterpart in the Mayor’s office.

May, 2015

Brought a group of 100 people to an MTA Board meeting to welcome its new CEO, Phil Washington. Our three speakers were welcomed and introduced by MTA Chair, Mayor Garcetti, who noted our “laser-sharp research.”

August, 2015

Met with Mr. Washington at his office with small team to develop affordable housing near transit strategy.

March & June, 2016

100 One LA and LBT members attend MTA Board meetings at which draft measure is considered and final measure approved. At each, three speakers from our team address the Board, and we were welcomed by MTA Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas.

March-June, 2016

Organize successful letter writing and phone calling campaign to pressure MTA Board to retain 405 Corridor project in draft measure against opposition from other interest groups.

April, 2016

Hosted MTA CEO Phil Washington before approximately 100 people from Leo Baeck and One LA. We shared stories about the need for new transit, for the resulting construction jobs to go primarily to people from local areas of high unemployment, and for the projects to be designed to minimize the dislocation of established communities and to maximize the construction of affordable housing near new transit so that the people who are more likely to use the new lines are able to live close enough to make the lines successful. Mr. Washington agreed to work with us on all of our priorities.

September – November, 2016

Teams of Leo Baeckers phone banked and canvassed in support of Measure M, a wide-ranging transit Measure that included our priorities for 1) 405 Corridor project and 2) jobs for local areas with high unemployment.

November 8, 2016

Measure M (which required a 2/3 vote in favor to pass), enacted with over 71 percent of the County vote.

December 2016

Mayor Garcetti formed the Mayor’s Interfaith Collective, a gathering of approximately 25 of the most influential religious leaders in Los Angeles, to begin monthly work together on behalf of our city. At the first meeting in December 2016, Mayor Garcetti specifically singled out Leo Baeck Temple as the birthplace and shepherd of the 405 Corridor project, recalling that he was asked by LBT to give his commitment to partnering on this effort during his mayoral campaign.

Results

Passage of Measure M will raise more than $120 billion over the next 40 years for transit in Los Angeles County, create equitable jobs, create affordable housing along transit corridors, and create a more livable and green Los Angeles. In his recent State of the City Address, Mayor Garcetti celebrated the victorious Measure M as “the largest transportation initiative in the history of the United States times two.”