Governor Newsom Names Antonio Villaraigosa Infrastructure Advisor to Leverage Federal Dollars in Building California Infrastructure for the Next Century

SACRAMENTO – Moving to harness a once-in-a-generation investment under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Governor Gavin Newsom today named former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve as an Infrastructure Advisor to the State of California, working with local, state and federal leaders to identify priority projects and maximize access to federal funding across all regions of the state.
Antonio Villaraigosa   By Jennifer liu

The Governor’s announcement comes as the U.S. Department of Transportation today outlined $120 million in funding that California will receive for eight projects through the IIJA Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program to improve and modernize transportation infrastructure.

“With this influx of federal dollars, we have an incredible opportunity to rebuild California while creating quality jobs, modernizing crucial infrastructure, and accelerating our clean transportation progress, benefiting communities up and down the state,” said Governor Newsom. “Antonio has the extensive experience and relationships to deliver on this promise and bring together the many partners who will be key to our success. I look forward to his collaboration with the Administration as we build up communities across California.”

Known for his skill at building broad bi-partisan coalitions, Villaraigosa will serve as the key state liaison for local elected officials on infrastructure needs, conducting meetings with regional leaders and with federal leaders in Washington, D.C., in coordination with the Governor’s Office. Villaraigosa will not be a state employee. This position is supported through a partnership with California Forward, which will collaborate with him and members of the Administration on local engagement efforts.

In 2013, Villaraigosa finished his two terms as Mayor of Los Angeles, after eight years of major strides in transportation, crime reduction, infrastructure, energy and resource sustainability, right-sizing government, business development and education reform. Prior to his election as Mayor, Villaraigosa served as a member of the Los Angeles City Council from 2003 to 2005. From 1994 through 2000, Villaraigosa served in the California State Assembly as Democratic Whip, Majority Leader and Speaker of the Assembly. He was a member of President Obama’s Transition Economic Advisory Board, the 2012 Chairman of the Democratic National Convention and President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Villaraigosa was a Fellow at Harvard University and a Professor in public policy at the University of Southern California. He was a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he has served on the McGraw Hill Global Education Board of Directors, and currently serves as Board Chair of The Change Company. He also serves on various boards, including at UC Merced, AltaMed and Peace Over Violence. Villaraigosa is currently a Partner and Co-Chair at Actum, where he focuses on strategic and crisis communication consulting to senior executives in large public and private sector organizations.

See below for a breakdown of the $120 million in funding that California local governments, transit agencies and others will receive through the RAISE grants announced today:

  • $25 million to the High-Speed Rail Authority for its Merced Extension design work
  • $23 million to San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for complete streets improvements along Howard Street
  • $20 million to the Port of Los Angeles for its Terminal Island Grade Separation
  • $15 million for the Inglewood Transit Connector Project
  • $15 million for the Yuba-Sutter Transit Authority’s Zero-Emission Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility
  • $15 million to the City of Fontana for multi-modal complete street improvements
  • $5 million to the Sacramento Area Council of Governments to plan and design Mobility Zones in the Sacramento Region
  • $1.6 million to the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation for a separated pedestrian and bicycle path across Highway 101 in Del Norte County

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