What they’re saying: State and local leaders across California applaud Antonio Villaraigosa’s selection as infrastructure adviser
SACRAMENTO — State, local and transit leaders across California are expressing support for Governor Gavin Newsom’s selection of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as the city’s infrastructure adviser. State of California. Leveraging its extensive experience and cross-industry relationships, Villaraigosa will work with local, state and federal leaders to identify priority projects and maximize access to federal funds.
Senate Speaker pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego): “Appointing Antonio to this role makes perfect sense. He has always had an affinity for infrastructure, knows our communities across California, and is an effective leader.Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood): “It is important for California to prioritize connecting with the federal government over infrastructure funding. We have ready-made projects that promote the kind of climate-responsible infrastructure we need, both here and nationally. A position like this and the selection of someone like Antonio Villaraigosa can help California get its share of the dollars to capitalize on these projects. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg“Congratulations to my former president and friend Antonio Villaraigosa and Governor Newsom for this inspired choice. Antonio knows how to do it. He knows and appreciates that infrastructure is about building and rebuilding the physical landscape of our cities. He has also dedicated his career to climate change, high-wage job creation, and vocational technical education, all key components of our state’s infrastructure strategy. I couldn’t be happier with the Governor’s decision. Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland and President of the California Big City Mayors Coalition: “The mayors are thrilled to have one of our own leading California’s infrastructure agenda as we build back better and maximize historic federal investments that will create and sustain good, working-class jobs.” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo: “Our collective ambitions to build a more sustainable, resilient, equitable and safe California will benefit immensely from Antonio Villaraigosa’s leadership and experience. Governor Newsom made an inspired choice to benefit our infrastructure and our future. Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer: “The Governor’s selection of Antonio Villaraigosa as Infrastructure Advisor is an excellent choice. As a former mayor, Antonio knows firsthand the needs of our cities and the importance that infrastructure plays in many of our older neighborhoods that have been left behind. I am confident in Antonio’s ability to provide sound advice to our elected leaders so they can make informed decisions about the state’s infrastructure needs. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: “Antonio’s extraordinary record of accomplishment and advocacy for the future of infrastructure makes him an excellent choice to lead this work in our state – and to lobby in Washington for the accelerated investment that cities have need and deserve. He understands the issues for our communities, always puts fairness at the center of the conversation, and knows how to reduce bureaucracy to achieve great things. The Governor has made an exceptional decision that will pay dividends for Californians now and in years to come. » San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria: “As a former mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa uniquely understands the infrastructure needs of California cities. He is a recognized leader who will put a strong emphasis on California’s efforts to get its fair share of federal infrastructure dollars. As Mayor of San Diego, my focus is on fixing our crumbling roads, repairing our aging water pipes, and fighting the increasingly devastating effects of climate change. I look forward to working with Governor Newsom and Mr. Villaraigosa to achieve this. Michael Pimentel, Executive Director of the California Transit Association: “In choosing Villaraigosa, Governor Newsom has once again signaled to the nation his intention to transform California’s infrastructure, with a greater focus on sustainability, equity and economic progress for all Californians. When Mayor of Los Angeles (2005 – 2013), Villaraigosa undertook the Herculean task of transforming the transportation system of California’s largest and most famous car-centric city by championing investment in public transportation and bicycle and pedestrian projects. His leadership in support of Measure R, Los Angeles’ landmark transportation funding measure, has provided billions of dollars for transit and rail capital projects and operational upgrades that have increased frequency and reliability of public transportation, forever improving Los Angeles County…Villaraigosa is poised to share his knowledge, expertise, and political acumen with the State of California to ensure the availability of new federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is effectively leveraged to achieve California’s goals. Vicente Sarmiento, Mayor of Santa Ana: “Congratulations to Antonio Villaraigosa on his new role as Governor Newsom’s infrastructure advisor. Having a leader in this position with extensive experience serving the needs of local government will be invaluable as the City of Santa Ana seeks federal funds to improve our roads and facilities. One such project is the planned grade separation on Santa Ana Boulevard adjacent to our transit center, which will improve traffic flow at a major crossing by constructing a vehicle underpass, installing a bridge and a square for pedestrians, by enlarging the sidewalks and adding protected cycle paths. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia: “Throughout his career, Villaraigosa has created effective partnerships and coalitions to deliver for Californians and he is the right person to help our state seize this moment. It is imperative that cities, state, and local partners collaborate on our shared priorities and make the most of federal funding to maintain and modernize infrastructure in our communities. James Corless, executive director of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments: “The Sacramento area has laid the foundation to be ready to invest in infrastructure, so we are excited to have Antonio Villaraigosa at the helm and lead California’s efforts to compete for more federal funding. He is uniquely qualified to help our region and the state stay at the forefront of infrastructure and transportation development. Hasan Ikhrata, CEO of the Association of San Diego Governments: “SANDAG is ready to partner with Mayor Villaraigosa to bring as many dollars as possible to the San Diego area. He is a leader for California, with considerable experience, and with the $300 million included in the state budget for the LOSSAN realignment, we are perfectly positioned to attract federal dollars to move this project forward and other important projects in the region. Micah Weinberg, CEO of California Forward: “California Forward is excited to participate in this project which builds on our existing work and successes, to ensure the strategy developed reflects the priorities of regions across the state. We are pleased to continue our partnership with the administration on creating equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically vibrant communities, and we appreciate the Governor’s leadership and foresight in prioritizing this opportunity for California.