SAN FRANCISCO (KRON/BCN) — For three days next week, democratic Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco plans to take a trip down south to swap districts with fellow assembly member, Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles.
The idea began as “trash talk” between the two lawmakers, according to Gomez. But he said it materialized into a coordinated effort intended to provide the assemblymen insight into the successes and challenges of the San Francisco and Los Angeles communities.
As part of the swap, Chiu and Gomez will both travel to each other’s assembly districts Tuesday through Thursday. They plan to tour neighborhoods, meet with local leaders including the mayors of the respective cities, observe how the other city is addressing issues, and even take in a baseball game at their rivals’ stadiums.
Chiu, former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors says that his city and Los Angeles share a great deal of similarities. “Both [districts] have wonderfully unique urban neighborhoods, emerging new industries, thriving communities,” Chiu said. “But both face similar challenges, such as a lack of affordable housing and a broken public transit system. I am especially looking for innovative solutions.”
The two men say the goal is to take what they learn from the experience and apply it not only to their own communities, but California-wide as well.
“They hope to be able to collaborate on a state level to benefit all Californians,” according to Chiu’s office.