Washington, DC – On November 23, 2011, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood supporting the construction of a light rail station in Leimert Park on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor and urging him to provide a federal grant to Los Angeles County to fund its construction. The text of her letter follows:
“I write to express my support for the application of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) for a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor and to add my voice in strong support for the construction of a light rail station on this corridor in Leimert Park.
“The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor is a light rail project that will extend from Exposition Boulevard in the north to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the Green Line in the south, serving several communities in my congressional district. This corridor will improve air quality and relieve traffic congestion in and around my district, and it will provide my constituents easier access to work, school, shopping, entertainment, and everything else Los Angeles has to offer. The TIGER grant will be used to add an additional underground station on the corridor in Leimert Park at Crenshaw Boulevard and Vernon Avenue and to construct an underground section of the corridor between Exposition Boulevard and 39th Street.
“It is critical that the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor include a station in Leimert Park. Leimert Park is a historically significant focal point of African American culture in Los Angeles. Home to art galleries, bookstores, live music, theater, ethnic clothing stores, and African artifacts, it is one of the rich cultural destinations of Southern California. Throughout the year, the merchants and residents of Leimert Park stage jazz festivals, book fairs, farmer’s markets, poetry readings, celebrations of Louisiana culture, and African drummers on Sunday afternoons. Through good times and economic downturns, Leimert Park has maintained its ability to attract both residents and tourists alike. A light rail station in Leimert Park will ease traffic congestion, stimulate the local economy, and facilitate access for residents and tourists who are drawn to the economic and cultural opportunities of this vibrant community.
“I appreciate your consideration of LACMTA’s application for a TIGER grant for the enhancement of the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor and the construction of a station in Leimert Park. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or Ms. Kathleen Sengstock, my Senior Legislative Assistant, at (202) 225-2201.”