Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was appointed infrastructure advisor for the state of California Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced.
The appointment, in which Villaraigosa will be tasked with identifying priority projects in the state and help maximize access to federal funding, comes as $120 million in funding was awarded to California by the Department of Transportation for eight projects.
"With this influx of federal dollars, we have an incredible opportunity to rebuild California while creating quality jobs, modernizing infrastructure and accelerating our clean transportation progress, benefiting communities up and down the state," Newsom said in a statement. "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."
Villaraigosa served as mayor from 2005 to 2013, and ran against Newsom for governor in 2018. In this role, Villaraigosa will not be a state employee, but will serve as a liaison for California on local infrastructure needs in meetings with regional and federal leaders.
The $120 million award comes from the IIJA Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program. Local recipients include the Port of Los Angeles, which will receive $20 million, the Inglewood Transit Connector Project, which will get $15 million for a people mover project, and $15 million to the city of Fontana for multi-modal complete street improvements.
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