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Lowenthal appointed chair of Transportation Committee

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Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal assumed the chairmanship of the Transportation Committee Monday, a move that local leaders hailed as a victory for her Long Beach-centered district, one of the most transportation-dependent regions in the state.
Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, began her tenure as chair with a hearing in which committee members weighed 16 bills on issues ranging from kit cars to emergency flights at local airports.
Transportation is familiar territory for Lowenthal. She already chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Ports and previously served on the governing boards of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority.
Assembly Speaker John Perez, who appointed Lowenthal chair of the committee late last week, said he tapped her for the post “not only because of the importance of transportation to her district, but also because of all the experience she brings to the task.”
Lowenthal represents Long Beach, San Pedro, Signal Hill, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina Island, a stretch of coastal California that features the nation’s busiest port complex, rail corridors, freeways, city streets and coastal roads.
“Transportation means everything,” Lowenthal said. “For the people in our area, it’s not just how you get to work or school, it’s how you make a living, how you link to the rest of the world. Transportation is our life’s blood.”
Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said it was “tremendously important to have a Long Beach person who understands the intricacies of these issues in this key post.”
Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, called the announcement “great news” and a “recognition of her effective leadership and knowledge of transportation issues.” Knatz said the appointment also spoke to “the important role the new Speaker sees that the ports can play in job creation and the economic recovery of our state.”
Long Beach Board of Harbor Commission President Nick Sramek said, “The Port of Long Beach is honored to have our very own Assemblywoman Lowenthal serve as the chair of the Transportation Committee.”
As chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, Lowenthal will serve as an ex-officio member of the California Transportation Commission, which oversees public investment in highway, passenger rail and transit projects.

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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
Lowenthal appointed chair of Transportation Committee