Mayor Mufi Hannemann is not alone when it comes to backing major rail projects that could mean more jobs for citizens of the host city.

In Los Angeles this week, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) endorsed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s plan to move forward on transit projects that involve sizable chunks of money from the federal government and a (potentially) shiny accomplishment on the mayor’s record. The bottom line: Approving projects at the county level paves the way for more lobbying in Washington, D.C., a potential source of funds down the road, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times.

“This has never been done, said Villaraigosa, who sits on the MTA board, “and I’m not sure we can say with a straight face that it will be done. But when you see unemployment as high as 14 percent, when you see the dirty air and its health consequences, and when you see the opportunity to create 166,000 jobs over 10 years, we have to do something.”

Civil Beat reporter host Treena Shapiro is working on a story about the employment opportunities the $5.3 billion Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project would create.

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