Last week General Chairman Marco Gudino and Rail Local Chairman John Cabanas Jr. met with the newest member of the LACMTA Board, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. The meeting was an opportunity for the leaders to get to know one another and discuss important transportation matters. Topics of discussion included the new multi-agency police contract, the aging Blue Line and contract negotiations. Mayor Garcia discussed his priorities for improvements to the Blue Line as well as safety and security on the system. When discussing subcontracting, Mayor Garcia also expressed his preference to have “municipal employees do municipal work,” instead of outsourcing to private contractors. Union and city staff were also able to meet and exchange information so that a closer relationship could be developed.
Recent changes to the members of the LACMTA Board of Directors represents a massive shift in the political ideology of the Board. Supervisors Janice Hahn, Kathrine Barger and Mayor Robert Garcia are substantially more Union friendly than their predecessors. It is vital that the General Committee keep an active presence with the Board of Directors to ensure that the issues and topics of the members remain a priority.