EPISODE 71 – ALEX CONTRERAS FIGHTS FREEWAYS IN DOWNEY

In our 71st episode, we chat with Alexandria Contreras (@alexfordowney) (they/them pronouns), a queer, non-binary Latinx freeway-fighter in Downey. Alex and I have a magnetic conversation on the white and exclusionary origins of single-family housing in cities like Downey, and how local laws there continue preventing the construction of affordable housing for a new generation of residents. We also discuss how Alex took their experience growing up in the suburban community to launch a campaign for Downey’s City Council. Alex also describes forming the Happy City Coalition, a coalition of gateway cities in Southeast Los Angeles formed to stop Metro from displacing communities in the interest of more freeways. To keep up with their work, follow Alex on Twitter at @alexfordowney.

J.T.

EPISODE 68 – METRO’S NEXTGEN WITH KENNY UONG

In our 68th episode, we chat with Kenny Uong, a Junior undergraduate student studying Metro and Urban Planning at Cal State Northridge, and one of the most recognizable figures for the urban planning community in Los Angeles today. Kenny and I discuss the roots of his passion for all things Metro, the importance of bus-only lanes for transportation service, Metro’s NextGen rollout, and more. See if you can keep up with Kenny’s various adventures via public transpo on Twitter at @_KennyUong_.

J.T.

Kenny Uong: Metro is the way to Go

Traveling in Los Angeles is not a fuss,

if everyone rides Metro Rail or Metro Bus.

Going with a friend, you can’t say no,

Since Metro is the way to go!

The county is connected

via public transportation.

Together, we are one big nation.

When we take transit everywhere,

We feel courageous, like a bear.

It’s always exciting 

to soar over the traffic

that is causing all of the havoc.

Passengers wait for the train to arrive,

after a work day from nine to five.

Surfing the internet or reading a book,

then into the distance, they all look.

For only a dollar seventy-five,

you don’t have to drive.

To request a stop while riding the bus, simply pull the cord.

But for heaven’s sake, please don’t pull it if you are bored!

A public transit enthusiast like me,

would always use transit to get from Point A to Point B.

I definitely feel positive and free,

when I am not the one who’s driving, you see.

From skyline to sea,

or from SFV to SGV,

people all know

that Metro is the way to go!

K.U.

Kenny Uong is an avid transit rider and transit advocate who is currently an Urban Studies and Planning Major at Cal State Northridge. Having grown up in a household that relied on public transit to get around the region and seeing firsthand how unreliable transit service negatively affects riders, he strives to help improve it in the near future. Kenny originally published this poem in 2016.