From Fred Ortega’s article in the Whittier Daily News:
It is no surprise that the Valley has so far been unsuccessful in getting even the $8 million operating commitment from Metro, said Douglas Johnson, a fellow with the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College.
“On all levels, federal, state and county,” Los Angeles and the Westside have the advantage, said Johnson. “The perfect example is the Gold Line, which has been talked about for years with no progress, while the Westside Subway (to the Sea) has been resuscitated in recent months. The contrast is just telling.”
Johnson said the lack of political clout has less to do with local legislators than with the way area districts are structured.
“Part of it is how the population is divided by districts, where the San Gabriel Valley is carved up with many legislators having arms and legs (of their districts) extending into the Valley,” he said. “Toward the west legislators have more centralized districts and are more focused on their areas.”
In addition the L.A. region has a singular, powerful mayor who can marshal resources more effectively.
“The San Gabriel Valley is made up of so many cities there is no one powerful mayor speaking for the whole region, and that hurts them as well,” Johnson said.